Six Things Every Prepper Should Do With Arduino

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Over the years, I’ve given a lot of thought to just how much I should try to avoid modern electronic devices when it comes to prepping. I have also sought, wherever possible, to end or reduce reliance on electricity and anything else that requires a major social or commercial effort.

There are some devices that I feel cannot be done away with, at least in the final stages of a major social collapse and during the first few years after.

In this case, I refer to Arduino computer controllers. These small devices are very easy to customize and can be used to increase your odds of survival.

Arduino is a combination of mini, solid state computers housed on a circuit board, and the programming required to make them work

For preppers looking for low cost and easy methods to achieve certain goals, Arduino can be an ideal means until you are able to build systems that do not rely on solid state electronics.

Modern Challenges That Complicate Disaster Scenarios

Smog, weird colors in waterways and horrible smells coming from the ground all point to high pollution levels – you go deep into the woods, and still won’t be aware that upstream or upwind pollution has found its way into the plants and animals living there.

If a major disaster occurs, you will wind up coming into contact with even more dangerous forms and levels of pollution.

Here are some sources of toxins that are somewhat contained now and may increase the problems in the aftermath of a disaster:

  • You may not want anything to do with modern electronics, but thieves and other rouges might take advantage of your lack of interest in this area. From radar surveillance to RFID bugs and other devices, criminals can easily figure out where you are, what supplies you have on hand, and how best to get everything of value from you.
  • Once sewage systems aren’t maintained anymore, clogs and pipe collapses, which will make every city street a disaster zone as the sewage backs up into the streets. It will be impossible to live in any home attached to the community sewer system because backups will occur through the pipes.
  • Right now there are thousand to millions of barrels of toxic waste sitting in dumps, underground, and in the oceans. These barrels are leaking and causing massive problems that require millions of dollars to clean up. When nobody will control or limit these problems, there will be no such thing as a safe location to live free of these poisons.
  • Factories, commercial farms and other large scale operations also work with extremely hazardous toxins on a routine basis. These toxins require careful storage and monitoring so the people wouldn’t be exposed to them, but the chemicals may escape their containment, and no one will be available to stop the situation or remedy it. In fact, even if you come across a toxic spill, you won’t have the gear or the skills to restore order.
  • As different chemicals merge together, there will be an increased risk of fires that push smoke filled with toxins into the air, affecting people for miles around at a moment’s notice. While these explosions do happen right now, they are the exception, not the norm that you will see in a major collapse scenario.
  • Given the number of nuclear reactors and the number of people required to keep them safe, it is a given that exposure to nuclear radiation will happen in a large scale after disaster. If you don’t have the means to detect the presence of nuclear radiation, you won’t figure out what is going on, let alone get to a safe location underground.

GREEN ENERGY – Click Here to find out how you can build your own energy generator.

What is Arduino?

Basically, Arduino is a combination of mini, solid state computers housed on a circuit board, and the programming required to make them work. The IC chips used to power Arduino are not as complicated as the ones that control your computer, however they can keep up with some tablets and smart phones on the market today.

Arduino systems are also very easy to customize in the sense that you can buy all kinds of add-ons and accessories that are controlled by the main board.

Here are just a few things you can use Arduino for.

Building Robots

Even though these robots may not be very big, they can be used for all kinds of things. For example, if you need to probe an underground tunnel, you can always send in a wireless camera on wheels.

The Arduino controller will act as an interface between the vehicle and the controller that you use to steer it. The Arduino main board can also receive information sent back from the camera so that you see it onscreen.

Chances are you would be truly amazed at how useful small, wheeled vehicles can be in a survival situation.

From mobile cameras used for scoping out an area to testing for land mines and traps, these robots can be true life savers. You can also use these robots to detect unsafe radiation levels, or to help you avoid toxic ground, air, and water.

Hazardous Air Indicators

Have you ever gone out of your local area, only to discover that other locations smell very different? When you returned home, did you notice that smells that bothered you early on have returned? If so, then you can readily understand why hazardous air indicators are so important.

No matter whether you have become accustomed to the smell of smog, waste dumps, natural gas, or other odors, they indicate the presence of gasses that can be dangerous to your health.

During and after crisis, these air toxins are bound to reach levels that will make you much sicker, or even kill you.

Since you can buy several different kinds of air quality sensors to use with an Arduino controller, you could to detect the presence of, or increase in toxic gas levels. From there, you can take appropriate steps such as wear a respirator mask, or employ other means to clean the air circulating in your home.

Detect Electronic Surveillance

As a prepper, you are always going to be concerned about your privacy or the number of people that know about your stockpile, it’s contents, and where it is. More than a few products you are storing away may have hidden RFID chips in them.

While these may be referred to as innocent inventory tags, there is no telling what those chips can do when activated. If you try to buy a pre-manufactured RFID sniffer, it can cost hundreds of dollars and still miss out on some of the more stealthy chips.

There are many frequency detector accessories that can be purchased to use with Arduino controller boards. Not only will you save money on the RFID detector, you will also be able to customize it to detect both older and newer sensor types.

This can also come in very handy if you need to find out if these kinds of chips are hiding around your property, in your vehicle, or in other areas.

Tools and Knowledge You Need for Building

To build complex systems using Arduino, you need very little in the way of tools and skills. The basic tools you will need include:

  •  a computer (even a tablet or smart phone can be used to transfer programming to the Arduino controller);
  • the actual Arduino controller and accessories (kits that include the main board and accessories run around $30.00 USD);
  • access to Open Source code for the controller and Add-Ons (this is free and accessed through your computer);
  • a solder iron (used very rarely);
  • any attachments that you may want to add to the controller.

For example, if you want to build a robotic camera system, then you might purchase a kit that includes these parts, plus others that can be used to expand on your main application.

Insofar as knowledge required to use and build Arduino systems, you should have at least a basic understanding of electronics.

Even if you don’t know the difference from a resistor or capacitor, however, there are plenty of instruction guides filled with pictures that will tell you exactly what needs to be done.

At the beginning, you will not need to know anything about computer programming because there are many excellent sources of code that can be used with the main controller and any accessories you want to attach to it.

That being said, as you expand into more personalized applications, you may want to learn how to write your own code.

Video first seen on I Like To Make Stuff.

A Caution About Videos and Tutorials

Over the years, I have searched through thousands of videos and tutorials as I worked my way through different DIY tasks. In many cases, I have seen hundreds of videos showing the exact same mistake, yet the “results” shown on the video were astounding.

For me, the most memorable occasion for this is when I decided to build a pen gun. Just about every video and tutorial on this subject showed using a wad of paper to push the spring into position.

What I quickly found out is this would never work for two reasons:

  1. If the wad is big enough and adheres to the walls of the pen enough to hold the spring in place, then the spring will never have enough power to eject it, let alone propel the payload forward.
  2. If you use a wad that is too small, the spring and everything else will come out and fly all over the place. Let’s just say that the vast majority of videos on this topic lead to creating something completely useless.

In other cases, I have found videos that offered contradictory, and often dangerous advice. Unless you actually take the time to build something yourself and test each stage out with care, there is every chance that the advice in these videos will do more harm than good in a time of need.

Now, if you go online and look for videos on Arduino, you will find thousands. While they may give you the basics on how to insert wires and parts into a breadboard, do not assume that the actual wiring details are correct. It is truly best to explore on your own and take the time to check your work carefully.

Even if hundreds of videos show the exact same thing and the exact same results, remember what I learned from the pen gun explorations – no matter how many times something wrong is repeated – it is still wrong and can never be made right.

What to Beware Of

As someone that has worked with building electronic gadgets and programming computers, I tend to be a bit cautious about an interface that combines both.

In particular, I’d hate to plug in my Arduino controller to the USB port on my computer, and not realize that there is a short somewhere in the breadboard attached to the Arduino.

For this reason, I advise taking the following precautions as a beginner, and even later as you become more confident of your skills:

  • Load programs onto the controller without other accessories attached. This will help reduce the risk of shorts and other mistakes being in an electrical connection with the rest of your computer.
  • Use an old tablet or old computer for programming. Try to avoid using anything expensive until you are sure it is safe to do so. Today, there are plenty of tablets that cost less than $100.00 that you can add Arduino related apps to.
  • Never rely on the computer or tablet for powering the Arduino while accessories are attached. Unless you built your own computer and know that the power supply can take the added load, never assume that the computer can handle even a small additional load. After programming, it is best to power the Arduino board with a dedicated power supply. In many cases, this may be as simple as a AAA or 9V battery pack. You can also purchase regulated power supplies that are designed to attach to the Arduino controller board.
  • Follow Basic Safety Precautions – in most cases, you can do more damage to the Arduino controller and accessories than they can do to you. Never handle the controller or accessories without wearing an anti-static grounding strap. It is also important to avoid touching the circuit board itself or any metal parts. Always handle the controller from around the edges. When you set the controller or other parts down, make sure they are not on a surface that can conduct electricity. Finally, always store the controller and parts in a case that will keep it safe and free of moisture and dust.
  • Never combine the controller with parts it isn’t designed to work with. During the process of selecting an Arduino controller, you will find several variations on the market. While most sensors and accessories will work with all boards on the market, others will not. Study the data sheets for the accessories carefully so that you know which boards they will and will not work with.

Six Things Every Prepper Should do With Arduino

When it comes to meeting a wide range of survival needs, Arduino can fit into just about any scenario and make things easier.

Here are six things that you should know how to build and operate.

1. Environmental Pollution Detector System

As mentioned earlier, being able to detect air pollutants and toxins is and will be crucial after crisis. If you suffer from breathing problems, you may be amazed at what a few simple sensors will reveal about why you are sick and how best to get on the road to being well again.

Arduino controllers can also be used to power water pH and and other aspects of water quality. Since water is usually at neutral pH (7.0), levels significantly higher or lower can point to the presence of dangerous toxins.

If you find water that has an unusually acidic or alkaline pH, you can use that information to determine how to clean the water.

This meter can also tell you how effective your methods were. Without a question, if you thought boiling water is the “end all” cure all for water quality problems, seeing the pH skew even more in the unwanted direction will reveal problems with that idea; and may just save your life.

In a similar way, you can use other sensors to test soil quality. This will help you choose the best areas to grow food crops as well as help you figure out which additives will make the soil more suitable for your plants.

Video first seen on The Suburban Hippie Experimentalist

2. Mobile Surveillance Systems

Also mentioned above, there are truly endless ways to use Arduino wheeled robots, cameras, and recording systems for surveillance.

No matter whether you want to know what is happening near a distant fence or even some location within your home these wheeled systems can meet all your needs with ease.

3. RFID Detectors

RFID detectors are absolutely necessary since chips are planted in everything from razor blade packages to children and pets. Knowing where RFIDs are can help you understand all the possible locations where spies can find out where you are and what you are doing.

You can always upgrade the Arduino sensor system for a fairly low price instead of spend hundreds of dollars on pre-fabricated systems that come out in response to newer stealthier RFID technologies.

4. Radios and Receivers

You can build everything from Foxhole radios to transmitter systems, but they may not be as strong as what you can make using an Arduino controller. If you take advantage of the wireless sender and receiver kits, you can also communicate more easily over short distances using much lighter equipment.

Video first seen on David Watts

5. Alarm and Safety Systems

Why should you sit up day and night worry about if thieves are going to get into your campsite? Have you been hoping a deer was going to come your way? There are literally hundred to thousands of ways that alarm systems can be used to enhance safety and survival goals.

With Arduino, you can build all kinds of systems that will generate invisible beams that will alert you to the presence of something you should know about. When combined with wireless signal systems and cameras, you can have real time intelligence about everything going on around you.

6. Nuclear Radiation Detection System

Although often overlooked, nuclear radiation risks are truly going to be much higher regardless of whether nuclear bombs are deployed. While you can always use a Kierney Fallout meter, it never hurts to have a Geiger counter onhand.

You can purchase an add-on for Arduino controllers that will do this job with ease. Remember, if you don’t want to dedicate a controller just to this task, just unplug the sensor from the Arduino controller and use it for some other task!

In fact, you may even decide to use one board for all your prepping tasks until you decide which ones you want to build as permanent applications.

Even though most of your prepping must involve tangibles like food, water, defense, and transport, it may not be a good idea to ignore all forms of electronic devices.

Arduino controllers and their accessories are highly customizable and can be used to help you navigate through a crisis more easily than expected. As you think about each area of your survival plans, consider that these systems may be of far more value than you realized.

Feel free to share other ways your prepping efforts might benefit from using an Arduino interface. I have built several for my own current and prepper based needs and would love to discuss them with those who are interested in learning.

If you are looking for low budget options to bridge the gap to more expensive devices, or ones that don’t rely on electronic devices, Arduino can fill that gap, and may you didn’t even realize existed in your current plans.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

This Is How To Make And Recycle Rubber

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You need a fully functional tire (as opposed to a donut) in the trunk of your vehicle, and you may have gone through the extra expense to get it. Many other people haven’t even thought that far ahead, even this problem alone would lead to endless traffic jams and other problems in times of distress.

And there’s more bad news: even if you take good care of your tires and have a viable spare, there will come a time when all of your existing tires will have to be discarded.

Modern tires actually need to make contact with roads on a regular basis or they will begin to crack and rot. That’s why having the skill of making or refurbishing tires would worth a lot during crisis or after a major collapse.

Rubber is Older than You Think

While Europeans are credited with spreading the use of rubber throughout the world, it was first used by the Maya. They used latex from Hevea trees to coat balls that were used in a game similar to basketball.The latex was mixed with sap from the Ipomoea alba vine to make it less sticky and more durable.

In the 1700’s, French and English explorers discovered that rubber could be used for many other things. “Vulcanization”, which also makes rubber less sticky and more durable was not invented until the 1800’s by Charles Goodyear.

Since latex bearing trees only grew in South America, a great deal of effort went into protecting this monopoly, and it didn’t change until thousands of seeds were smuggled out of Brazil in 1876 by Henry Wickam. The plants that grew from these seeds were eventually used to build enormous rubber plantations in India, Indonesia, Asia, and Africa.

As automobiles became more popular, it became harder to keep up with the demand for rubber. Eventually, scientists found a way to synthesize rubber from petroleum. During WWII, this became a vital source of rubber that was used to keep the war effort moving forward.

Today, most, if not all rubber used in automobile tires is made from petroleum sources. As different nations become more unstable, there is an increased interest in finding plant based sources of rubber.

Russian Dandelions (T. kok-sanghyz) produce a latex that makes rubber almost as good a what you would get from a rubber tree. Milk thistle, or Prickly Lettuce, also produces enough latex to be used in making rubber.

There are also several other plants in the United States and around the world that may be suitable for this purpose, however much work needs to be done to find out which ones work best and how to get the most out of them.

Where to Get the Rubber From

Many preppers feel that it is very important to store away essential building materials such as wood, metal, glass, plastic, and cardboard. How many of them did ever think about storing away rubber, which is also a very important material to have on hand?

If you are building a stockpile of materials, you may find it a bit difficult to find rubber at a place other than Grainger. Rubber that hasn’t been made into some kind of product isn’t available to consumers. Make your own research in the following places, and you may come across limited supplies as they become available:

  • Repurposed materials
  • Public Surplus – if you are interested in used tires, this site may be a good place to start. Check if your local community has abandoned properties or other places where tire dumping is a problem. If you can get ahold of these tires, then you could do something with the rubber from them.
  • Salvex
  • Skycraft Parts and Surplus
  • Surplus Record – If you are part of a large enough prepper community and have plenty of land to work with, then think about building a small rubber factory. This site will give you information about equipment used to make synthetic rubber from petroleum. If you also have land that can be drilled for petroleum, it may be worth your while to think about turning some of it into rubber.

Even if you do not need to make rubber immediately after a major crisis, it could be an important commodity as society rebuilds and regains its capacity to bring people together to achieve goals. If you can produce petroleum and rubber, you and your group will prosper as different groups of people seek to regain the technologies and conveniences that may have been lost due to social collapse.

Never forget that future generations of your family will have to compete, and that will entail having marketable skills and products. As expensive as this equipment may be, it may be a wise investment that will set you and your family further ahead than you realize.

ENERGY SAVING PLAN – Find out how you can save energy following two simple steps! 

Basic Guide for Making Plant Based Rubber

If the Maya could make perfectly good rubber centuries ago, then it may also be possible for preppers to do the same. Making rubber from petroleum will more than likely be a lost skill after a major social collapse occurs.

As long as you have a source of plant based latex, then you should be able to make small as well as large batches of rubber to meet a range of needs. Here are the basic steps:

Step 1

Start off by harvesting latex. While Hevea Trees have to be “tapped” with V shaped slits in the trunk, the process is a bit different for plants.

For example, if you are going to use Milk Thistle, you will need to break open the plant stems to get at the latex, which is a milky white colored substance. If you decide to use dandelions (ideally Russian dandelions), you can get latex from the roots as well as the stems.

Step 2

Once you have collected enough latex, add some water and an acid to the sap. You can use vinegar or other weak acids. The ratios of sap, water, and acid will depend on the amount of latex in the sap as well as the strength of the acid.

For example, if you are using regular or Russian dandelions, you would use 1 part sap to 8 parts water and then enough vinegar to make the latex and water stick to whatever you are using to stir the mixture.

Step 3

Even though rubber made from dandelion will finish to “cure” or dry out on its own, you may still need to add sulfur and heat it to produce a more durable form of rubber. You may also want to try using Ipomoea alba sap to vulcanize the rubber.

Remember, different applications will require different levels of flexibility and durability. You will need to study the different characteristics of each type of rubber you plan to work with, and see what will work best to make them.

Video first seen on DSCDocumentries

When making plant based rubber, remember to start off with small batches and see how the resulting compound holds up over time and across different temperature conditions. Among other things, you will need to assess if the rubber will crack, and how well it will bounce back to its original shape after heavy weights are applied.

Give yourself plenty of time to explore this fascinating topic. Since there is still a great deal of trial and error involved in making rubber from dandelions and other more common plants, it is best to see what others are doing in this field even as you develop your own recipes and methods.

How to Recycle Rubber

Overall, there is a point where you can recycle rubber easily enough, and a level where it is well beyond the technical skills and assets available to most preppers. The complexity associated with fully recycling rubber lies in the process of vulcanization.

Let’s say you want to bake a cake that requires using eggs, flour, and some sugar. Let’s say you sift together the flour and sugar. Even though the sugar and flour are well mixed together, you can still separate them using various means. Once you crack open the eggs, in theory you can still put them back into the shell. To some extent, you can also still retrieve the eggs, sugar, and flour after they are all mixed together. Up until the cake is baked (the heat from baking drives off water and also causes different molecules in the batter to break apart and from bonds with other molecules), it is actually possible to separate out all the ingredients used in it.

In a similar fashion, once latex is treated with sulfur and heat, the molecular structure changes to a point where it cannot be reversed – or at least not reversed with ease.

Over the years, a great deal of effort has been made to see if there is a way to take rubber and turn it back to the latex stage. There is one patent, held by The Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company, on a process that uses high pressure and 2-butanol to reverse vulcanization.

This process is not something that can be done easily enough at the consumer level. Therefore, if you are interested in recycling tires or other rubber materials, you will need to take the existing rubber and use it for some purpose other than simply remaking tires.

3 Tips to Know Which Tires can be Salvaged

Consider a situation where a major catastrophe has made tires unavailable. While you are searching for replacements, you find a landfill and hundreds of tires stacked up. It may take a lot of work to find salvageable tires with a little bit of patience and effort, but you can do it if you keep in mind the following:

  • Tires with cracks in the sidewall and tread area more than likely have dry rot. The tread and sidewalls cannot be restored or reused for making new tires. If the tire is of a size that you need, you could take it apart and use the belts in combination with new rubber that you make from a plant based source. As long as the tire doesn’t show signs of having more than two patches, there is a chance that the inner anatomy of the tire is still intact. Even if you have to recoat the inner structures with more rubber, at least you will have some belts to work with.
  • Avoid tires that were punctured or slashed in the sidewall. If the tire is punctured deep enough, than it might have been discarded because it would not hold air. There are some methods you can use to repair a sidewall, but the tire may fail at a critical moment and cause a very bad accident.
  • Be wary of tires that are patched, even if the patches are less than ¼ inch in diameter and located far enough away from the sidewall.

Video first seen on Tank0923.

There are several different ways to repair punctures in tires. Depending on the size and age of the tire, you may find one that is worth patching even though the former owner chose to discard it. Remember, many people throw away good tires or repairable tires because their vehicle must be inspected and they don’t want to risk it failing. On the other hand, if you really need tires, then you could get some mileage out of them so long as you repair them correctly and drive carefully.

6 Ways to Use Tires for Your Homestead

  • The rubber part of tires can be ground up into a smaller bits that can be added to paving materials.
  • Rubber from tires can be cut into pieces and shaped into everything from shoe soles to waterproofing for containers.
  • When treated with acid, rubber softens and can be shaped into different objects.
  • Rubber products such as tires can also be burned to generate heat. From campfires to operating a steam turbine, you can easily use rubber tires and other products for this purpose, but keep in mind that it might have some health impact.
  • The rubber from tires can also be separated from the steel belt; which can be used to make new tires or for other purposes.
  • Rubber tires can also be used as raised bed planters. This may be especially useful if you plan to grow a garden in an area where water supplies and good soil are limited. In fact, if you want a cheap, easy way to make a multi-level potato planter, just stack up tires as the plants grow, and then harvest in the fall when it is time. Needless to say, if you are looking to hide your plants in open sight, a stack of tires may just look so unappealing no one will bother to look there for edible plants.

Video first seen on Just productions

Anatomy of an Automobile Tire

Today, there are many different kinds of tires that can be used for the same vehicle. For example, “all weather tires” are different from snow tires, mudders, and ones used for racing. Regardless of the tire type, they all have the same basic parts, however these parts may be designed a bit differently to accommodate different driving conditions.

Even though each layer of a tire also has many parts, here are the most basic ones you need to know about:

  • Treads – this is the outermost layer of the tire. It is the part that grips the road and wears out from friction with the road. The treads may also have sipes, or smaller grooves that increase traction when the tires are moving over ice, water, sand, and snow.
  • Grooves – these are also found in the outermost layer of the tire. Grooves are the long, deep channels cut into the tire. They help the tire to shed water and moisture so that it doesn’t clog up the treads.
  • Sidewall – this is the side of the tire that covers the other inner parts. It serves to protect and keep them clean and dry.
  • Belts – even though rubber bounces back to its original shape, it is not very strong. Without belts of nylon, steel, and even fiberglass, the tire would not maintain its shape very well. Depending on the tire, it may have several belts organized into layers just under the treads. When reclaiming rubber for other purposes, you will also be separating out these belts so that they can be used to make more tires, or for some other purpose.
  • Inner liner – separates the belt layer from the plies. It is also meant to act as a barrier to air so that it cannot escape into the belts, sidewall, and treads.
  • Plies – this part is what gives the tire most of its strength, and also the layer that holds air in. Typically, this layer is made up of materials that are organized so that the fiber runs across the tire instead of around it (the plies are perpendicular to the treads).
  • Bead – this is a metal cable coated in rubber that runs all the way around the inner rim of the tire. It is meant to keep the tire from slipping once it is mounted on a rim.

Why to Make Your Own Tires from Scratch

If you look at a modern tire factory, you may feel like it is impossible to make tires on your own. The task is going to be a bit difficult, but do not give up on researching and looking into automobile history to see how tires were made before robots and large factory machines were used.

Even if the tires you make aren’t as good, or don’t last as long as ones made in a modern factory, they may still be of use for short trips or keeping a tractor up and running.

Once you know how to make rubber and feel confident in your skills, the next step will be to see if you can recognize which tires can be retreated, and then figure out how to design your own tires and build them from scratch.

Retreading Tires

Not so long ago, retreading tires was seen as something dangerous and to be avoided at all cost. In many countries, including the United States, retreads are seen as a way to keep tires out of the landfill, and also as a means of cutting costs associated with vehicle maintenance.

As a prepper, you won’t have a modern retread factory or some of the more complex tools to work with. Nevertheless, if you look at retread factories in other places in the world, you can get some ideas about substitute tools, and then also figure out how to make the safest and most durable retreads possible.

Regardless of the factory type or situation, retreading requires the following basic steps:

  • Start off by inspecting the tire to check for signs of dry rot, punctures, slashes, and anything else that might have damaged the internal structures of the tire or its sidewalls.
  • If the tire is basically sound, strip off the treads. You will still need to leave some rubber behind for new material to adhere to.
  • Make sure the new surface is perfectly clean and ready to accept new rubber. If you see signs of belts showing through, or other damage, repair these issues first.
  • Apply rubber to the ground down surface of the tire. You may need to do this in several layers.
  • Next, apply the treads. These should be pre-made from rubber. If you know how to make rubber, then you can also use basic casting methods to produce strips of rubber treads that can be used for retreading.
  • Use heat and pressure to finish binding all the tire parts together.
  • Check the tire again for signs of holes, damage, or other problems.
  • Finally, apply a coat of paint or some other sealant to complete the tire.
  • Once the tire is dry, it should be ready to use. Make sure that you test the tire out in a safe area after mounting it to the rim. Do not forget to balance the tires and make sure that they are inflated properly.

As you can see, there is more to making rubber and using it for tires than you may have realized.

At the same time, tires and many other rubber products are integrated into almost every area of life. Since it is not always possible to replace rubber items with plastic ones, knowing how to make rubber and use it for a variety of purposes will help you a lot.

From fixing your own tires to bartering these services, you will always have something of value no matter what is going on in the human world around you.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 


How To Protect Your Ammo Stockpile

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Even though you may make every effort to become self sufficient, there are some things that cannot be made without a good bit of help from modern tools and equipment. Some of the best ammunition in the world will no longer be available once society collapses and the technology and skills are lost for making it.

Under these circumstances, you may feel that it is best to store away as much ammo as possible. At the very least, if you have a bigger stockpile left, there is a chance that you or your survivors can command greater resources once societies begin to form again.

In the meantime, storing ammo properly is also very important so that you will be prepared for smaller emergencies that require the use of the items in your stockpile.

Here are some basic guidelines for keeping your ammunition safe in a world where new technologies may make it a bit more complicated than expected.

Making Your Ammo Invisible

Ground penetrating radars, X-ray scanners, satellites, and other devices make it very hard to hide metallic objects even in your own home or in the ground beneath it. This, in turn, means that making ammo invisible will be harder than you may have expected. Here are some things you can try:

  • All of your ammo should be impossible to trace to you. When you buy ammo, always pay cash and only divulge your identity to people that you can trust. Never buy all your ammo in one place. If someone is watching your purchases at one location, they may not be able to gauge your stockpile as easily if you buy elsewhere.
  • Pack your ammo into smaller cans that can be harder to spot by scanners from above or at ground level. Smaller boxes can be hidden among metal pipes or other “scrap” as long as the metals in question are similar to those found in the bullets. If there is a reason why you would store away bullets with aluminum or steel casings over brass ones, this would be it!
  • If you purchase a square or rectangular shaped ammo can, it may be very easy to spot on some scanners. You may want to make unevenly shaped boxes from polymer or other materials that will keep the ammo dry, cool, and safe. When using polymer, do not forget to cover the outer surface of the container with rocks, bits of metal, or anything else that will help scramble the signature of the ammunition hidden within the can.
  • You may also be able to find paints and other materials that will absorb scanner signals or reflect them in a way that masks the presence of the ammo can. You will need to have a good idea of the technologies used to scan for ammo or metal, and then figure out which coatings will best suit your needs. While you may be tempted to try and jam scanners, the consistent failure of these devices in certain areas may draw unwanted attention. It is truly better to make the signature of your cache as small as possible so that it is overlooked or mistaken for something else.  Just remember that it can be harder to fool modern computers that do not get tired, bored, or lose focus as a human viewer would.

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Making Your Ammo Stockpile Mobile

One of the most important, but overlooked aspects of ammo stockpiling is making sure that you can move everything around with ease.  Here are some things you can do to make the task easier:

  • If you have ammo stored away from home or underground, make sure that you have pulleys, carts, and other devices to move the ammo around with ease.
  • Always make sure that you can clear pathways easily, yet cover them back up so that the presence of your ammo remains undetected.
  • Have a locus of four or five locations nearby that you can rotate each can in and out of. If you have two cans of ammo in your home, then you should have at least 10 hiding places that the cans can be moved in and out of.
  • Take the time now to practice moving ammo around so that you know what to expect. In an emergency, there is nothing worse than being pressed for time and unsure how long it will take to accomplish a task. Even if something does go wrong or the unexpected happens, these time frames will help you make better decisions about what to take along and what to leave behind.
  • Never forget that lighter weight is easier to carry around. Lighter weight cans are also less likely to break apart or puncture when jolted in transit.
  • When you practice moving ammo from one place to another, always include awareness of fires, excess heat, and water. Never put ammo near heat or flames even if you want to test your skills. It is safest to make sure that you are aware as you go through your drills. If you truly feel compelled to drill with live fire, then use ammo cans filled with sand; this will keep you safe and help you gain a sense of what must be done. Don’t forget to include a thermometer on top of the can and one that will record temperatures inside the can. If nothing else convinces you to avoid drilling with ammo in the presence of fire or excess heat, this may well do the job.

Video first seen on Patriotsurvival

Avoid Indirect Damage from EMPs and Nuclear Blasts

It is true that nuclear blasts and EMPs cannot directly cause primers to explode or gunpowder to ignite. EMPs are well known for causing fires.

If you have ammo cans stored near wires, cables, or anything else that might burn up from the EMP, then the heat from that fire may be enough to cause the ammo to explode. The thermal wave from a nuclear blast and the fires caused by it can also affect ammo in a harmful way.

There is only one real way to prevent EMPs and nuclear blasts from ruining your ammo supply. As with protecting yourself, all of your ammo will have to be stored in an underground bunker or shelter. Never hesitate to build additional tunnels or layers of tunnels so that you can move the ammo around underground.

If you cannot store ammo underground, then you can still take some steps to reduce the risk of ammo related explosions caused by an EMP. If you decide to stash ammo in the walls of your home make sure that the cans are far enough away from electrical wiring, metal pipes, or anything else that might conduct electricity. You should also avoid storing ammo in any location where only a bit of plaster or wood stands between an electrical appliance and the ammo hiding in the wall.

When storing ammo in a bug out bag, make sure that all electronic devices and conductive materials are stored away in EMP proof bags. As long as no fires start in the bug out bag, and everything stays cool and dry, then the ammo should also remain safe.

Safeguarding Your Stockpile

There are many different ways to safeguard your ammo stockpile. If you are prepping with a group, then you can always look for way to use conventional guard duty systems. That being said, no matter how much you trust the people around you, it never hurts to have a few hidden caches of ammo that only you know about.

If you have ammo stored in remote locations, the geography of the region itself should be able to deter electronic scanners and curious people. While you may not be able to actively patrol these areas, you should still be able to draw adversaries into fire zones or use traps to neutralize them.

When setting traps in areas you don’t plan on visiting very often, just make sure you remember what you did. There are few things worse in life than going to a cave where you hid some ammo, only to wind up hung up by a snare you set in front of the entrance, and then forgot about.

Depending on the location of your stockpile, some defense methods may be more feasible than others. For example, if you rent an apartment, or have very little room to hide ammo, then decoys, distractions, and diversions may offer some viable options.

Consider a situation where you have only one room suitable for storing ammo, you can still put one can in plain view. Even if it is empty, the invader may well move over to that can first. From there, you can choose any number of actions.

First, you can detonate traps that will prevent the invader from taking further action. If there is more than one person, you may want to use this diversion to grab your bug out bag and run. Should you be fortunate enough to have several minutes to make your escape, then you can always try to move one or two ammo cans to your bug out vehicle.

Without a question, if you have been drilling on moving ammo from one place to another, you will know pretty much how long it takes and then make your decision from there. If you feel that you cannot get the ammo out in time, it is truly better to escape with your life rather than lose it for the sake of a few rounds of ammo.

At its simplest, you can keep your ammo storage plans to choosing airtight and waterproof cans that will be stored away in a cool, dry location.

As a prepper, however, it is also important to be able to move, manage, and care for your stockpile even in extreme circumstances. Being able to effectively hide ammo, move it around, and use simple tools will all make it easier to have plenty of ammo on hand for years to come.

Keeping up with electronic technologies and polymers will also go a long way towards helping you keep your stockpile safe, sound, and in good condition.

No matter whether you are storing rounds or gunpowder, following some basic rules and maintaining a good level of stockpile awareness will truly be of immense benefit.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

Reinventing The Wheel: How To Get Perfectly Round Shapes

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From round tires to mirrors and wheels of cheese, round shapes are a major part of our society and culture. In fact, round shapes are so common, you may feel like there is no need whatsoever to “reinvent the wheel”.

What happens when society collapses and there are no means to run the computers and factories that generate all the round things we use today? Where will you get new tires, new steering wheels, and other round items?

If you do not know how to make perfectly round shaped templates and then fashion them into working items, it will be impossible to repair damaged devices and build new ones.

The Importance of a Durable and Reusable Template

Consider a situation where you need to make a new wheel for a wagon or some other device. At the beginning of your task, you may think that you are only going to make one wheel, and then not need to worry about producing another one for some time.

For the sake of speed and utility, you may think it is best to find some way to duplicate a round shape right on the material that you plan to work with.

To begin, if you do not have a template, you will not be able to start again as easily if the material in question falls apart or does not work for your application. At the very least, if you have a template, you can simply use it to mark another piece of material without having to go through the whole measurement process again.

If another round object of the same size breaks, you can simply use the template you have on hand and save yourself a few steps.

A good quality template can also expand your material choices and options for producing the wheel. Among other things, you can use it to help with making molds, or even creating round objects that are made from layers of different materials.

The template can also be used to guide tools and help ensure that the final product is the proper size for your application.

Don’t forget to add extra material in case you need to add treads. Worst comes to worst, if the wheel is too big with the treads, you can simply sand or file it down to the right size. Just make sure that you also have a slightly smaller template to go by so that you don’t wind up with an irregular shape.

During the process of choosing a template material, it is very important to know what kinds of materials and tools you will be working with. For example, if you are planning to cut a round object from wood, it may be best to have a metal template.

This is especially important if you are going to use the template as a guide for the tools. Just make sure that the metal in question will not be damaged by the tools you are planning to use.

If you are only going to use the template as a means to draw marking guides on the material, then you can use paper, cardboard, or hard plastic.

Remember, if you do not have enough hard plastic on hand, you can try ironing together plastic bags to make a durable sheet of thicker plastic.

The template should be easy to fold up or roll up so that it does not take up much space. Just make sure that when you open the template back up, it does not have folds or creases in it that will cause spots to be less round than needed. The template should also lay perfectly flat and be easy to hold in place while you are working.

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Some Ways to Get a Perfectly Round Blueprint

When a wheel or another round object spins, any deviation on roundness or weight disbursement can cause wobbling, excess wear, and possible breakage of the item. While some of these problems can be compensated for with balancing weights, it is still very important to start off with the roundest shape possible.

Simply trying to trace a round object onto a piece of paper or other template material will never work because the object in question will have been worn down from being in use.

It is much better to use the following methods for creating a round template that can be used to shape other objects.

Use a Compass

Even though a drafting compass is not very large, it will give you a perfectly round circle. I tend to prefer all metal compasses that have one pointer leg and a second one to hold a pencil. There are also extendable drafting compasses that will work just as well.

Use a String and a Pencil

To use this form of makeshift compass, you will need to set the pencil (or other narrow cylindrical object) in the center of the material you are using for the template. It should not bend in any direction or wobble.

Next, place the string around the pencil and measure a length that corresponds to where you want the outer edge of the circle to be. Use a pencil or something else that will make marks so that you have a more precise measure.

Hold the marking tool in place while you take the two ends of the string and tie them together. The marking tool should fit within the loop. You can make the loop as big or as small as you need to make a large enough round shape.

To use the compass, keep the string tight against the marking tool as you move it around the central pencil. When using this makeshift compass, make sure the string does not jump up and down on the central pencil.

You will also have to be very careful to make sure that the marking tool does not bend inward or outward, as this will throw off the roundness of the circle.

Use a Stick and a Central Pin

This method is very similar to the string and pencil compass, but it eliminates the problems associated with the string jumping and marking tool wobbling.

Basically, this makeshift compass looks a lot like an old fashioned stereo arm. Instead of the arm reaching in from outside the record, the holding place is located in the center of the circle.

You can use a stick of wood, or just about anything else as an arm. Just make sure that it can spin as freely as possible on the central holding point without wobbling or jumping up and down.

Next, drill or cut a hole in the arm that matches location that matches the edge of the circle you are planning to draw.

Set a pencil or other marking device into the hole so that it does not wobble, lean inward, or lean outward. Now all you have to do is push the marking tool so that the arm moves with it. As the arm moves around the central point, the marking tool will create a circle.

Video first seen on Make Something

Basics of Wheel Design

In a time of need, you may not be able to get the exact same materials that were used to create the device you are trying to repair. While you may be thinking that plastic or metal might have to be replaced with wood, there are many other options.

Since different materials have different strength levels and tendencies, you may need to change the internal shapes found in the wheel as well as it size and thickness.

Keep the following wheel design elements in mind as you study different materials. If you are building something completely new, you will also need to evaluate these elements in relation to the materials on hand and the application.

Even though you may be thinking mostly about vehicle wheels, there are many other places where these elements must work together for optimal performance.

If you are going to lift heavy objects with a simple machine, you will need to figure out the best ratio for pulley wheels. If you decide to advance into making gears, these elements are also very important to consider.

No matter whether you decide to create a pulley, a water wheel, or an automobile wheel, you will need to know how the following elements affect the performance of the wheel, and how that, in turn, affects the entire machine you are building or repairing.

Wheel Size

Since a wheel is designed to move in relation to a central axis, the diameter of the wheel is very important. A larger wheel will turn fewer times to cover longer distances, however, the engine or source of power will have to do more work to make the wheel turn. Smaller wheels will turn more times when compared to larger ones to cover the same distance, but it takes less work to turn the wheel.

Wheel Width

Thinner wheels can be useful for applications where you want less traction and resistance to travel. Thicker wheels are better for places where you want to reduce the risk of skidding while moving forward or making turns. Since thicker wheels also weight more, they will also absorb bumps better and with less loss of control.

Wheel Weight

More than a few people think that wheels should be as light as possible so that it takes less work to move them. On the other side of the equation, wheels need to have enough weight so that they will create enough drag as they move over surfaces beneath them.

If the wheel does not grip the surface properly, skidding will occur. Minor skidding can also be a problem because locked wheels are harder to turn than ones that grip surfaces properly.

Spokes vs Solid Construction

When you start making wheels big enough for a wagon or other vehicle, the weight of a solid wheel can cause a number of problems. On the other hand, spokes or cutouts in the wheel can reduce the weight to acceptable levels. That being said, if you are working with a material that has very little durability, you may still need to revert back to more solid shaped wheels.

You can also try using fortifications such as an independent rim that will add strength while reducing the overall weight of the wheel.

Surfaces for Traction

Weight alone is not enough to ensure that a wheel will always maintain good traction. This is why patterns or “treads” are often cut into tires. When combined with the weight of the vehicle, these treads help to grip the road without adding to the weight of the tire.

If you are going to build a brand new wheel, do not forget to choose a tread pattern that matches your application. This includes making sure that you know which patterns will work best in the mud, snow, ice, or anything else that you might be driving on.

How to Cut Round Surfaces

Once you know how big and thick the wheel is going to be, the next step will be shaping it from the base material. Here are the basic steps for a situation where you are cutting the material from a block of solid wood, plastic, metal or some other material.

  • Start off by making sure that the block is the right thickness or width for the wheel. Try to make the surface as smooth and even as possible.
  • Next, use the template to draw the round object. Be sure to note where the axis will go as well as how big it will be.
  • Use your cutting tools to take away the bulk of material from the edge of the wheel. Do not cut all the way down to the template lines. Leave at least 1/8” to ¼” so that you have enough room to sand the edges as well to create the roundest shape possible.
  • Once you have the basic wheel shape in place, go back and try to make it as even as possible all the way around before sanding. Do not cut to the point where you are at the template lines. At this stage, try to leave at least 1/16” all the way around the wheel.
  • Get rid of any excess material by sanding it away.
  • If needed, add any treads that you may need to complete the outer surface of the wheel.
  • Go ahead and drill out the area where the axle will go.
  • Complete the wheel by hollowing out any areas required to reduce overall weight.

Video first seen on bobdutica

Shaping Wood and Other Semi-Pliable Materials

Have you ever looked at wooden arched doorways and wondered how they could be made from just a single piece of wood. Surprisingly enough, this task isn’t as hard as it looks. By the same token, you can also bend metal and other materials into wheel shapes with relative ease. In order to do so you will need a solid wheel form that can be used to support the new form.

If you are planning to shape wood into a wheel, start off with a thin board that has the same width as what you need for the finished wheel. Next, you will have to soak the wood to soften it a bit.

Apply weights to the wood so that it “warps”a little, and then it it slowly dry up again. You will need to repeat this process several times to complete the wheel shape.

Once you complete a wooden wheel, do not forget that thin wood will require some form of support. You can use metal or plastic rims, as long as they are durable enough and can easily be bolted to the wood.

After you complete the outer rim of the wheel, you will need to complete the spokes and the hub. These can be fairly involved processes. As you put the spokes and hub into place, do not forget that the wheel must balance properly while in motion. If you notice that it wobbles you can attach weights on the inner surface of the wheel rim to improve balance.

In some ways, shaping metal can be a good bit easier. You can heat and hammer wood into thin enough strips that can be bent with relative ease with your hands or pliers. Just make sure that the underlying form can withstand the heat from hot metal if you decide to work with metal when is softer and more pliable.

Overall, you will find plastic one of the easiest materials to make wheels from. If you are working with a hard plastic, just apply some heat and let the plastic rest on the underlying form. Make sure that you also have the form covered with something that the plastic will not adhere to. Make sure that you can break the underlying form apart if needed.

Casting Wheels

Throughout time, many people have found out it is easier to produce consistent wheels by making a reusable mold first. Molds also open up the number of materials that you can use to make wheels.

For example, if the wheel isn’t going to be used in heavy stress and strain applications, you may even be able to get away with using glass. Wheels made from plastic, metal, or even clay are easily made when you cast them using a mold. Here is the basic process:

  • You will need to start off with an exact model of the round shape. It should match your needs in terms of width, circumference, hub design, and spokes. You can use any material that you want as long as it won’t collapse or warp while you care making the mold.
  • Next, choose the material that you will use to create the mold. The material should be heavy enough to withstand pulling and pushing without warping. It should also be strong enough so that it won’t break or be damaged by the material used to make the final shape.
  • When creating the mold, you will need to account for a place to pour in the material used to make the wheel. You will also need to decide how and in what places the mold will be opened in order to remove the finished wheel. Depending on the wheel design, you may be able to get away with a 2 part mold. If the spokes or internal shapes are more complicated, you may need a 4 part mold.
  • After you remove the model (it’s OK if it is destroyed as you won’t need it any further), go ahead and clean up the mold.
  • Put the mold back together and secure it with rope or something else that will keep the pieces all together. Try to make sure the pieces fit together as tightly and as perfectly as possible so that the material used to make the wheel won’t leak through.
  • Next, go ahead and fill the mold.
  • Once the material used to fill the mold is fully cured, go ahead and open the mold up. If you did everything right, you should have a fairly close duplicate of the original model wheel. You may need to remove mold seams and other imperfections, but the basic round shape should be just fine.

Right now, it is fair to say that most people take wheels for granted. At the same time, if we lose factories during a major social collapse, wheels, gears, pulleys, and other round objects will be very hard to produce.

Knowing how to “reinvent” a wheel may not seem very useful until you are in a situation where you must do so or face serious problems.

From bugging out to keeping your homestead running in good order, being able to make new wheels and design them from scratch is a very important, but overlooked skill.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

8 Ways Big Pharma Is Robbing You Blind

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If you require medical prescriptions to gain or maintain good health, then you may be very concerned about a major social collapse that prevents you from obtaining those drugs.

As the cost of these drugs continue to rise in the pre-crisis world, you’ll also be concerned about the way big pharma and the insurance companies appear to be holding people financial hostage.

From this perspective, let’s have a look at how big pharma, in particular, may be reaching into your wallet and reducing your chances of enjoying good health through the influence of your doctor.

They Sell Patented Products Only

At first, you may not think much about the fact that major pharmaceutical manufacturers only sell items that they have patents on. After all, the way modern laws go, no company wants to be accused of, or sued for stealing the ideas or research conducted by another company.

The problem is patent law does not cover items that exist in nature. Therefore, even if an herb works better than something manufactured by a pharmaceutical company, they will never sell the herb as a medicinal option because they cannot get the patent.

In the end, this causes harm to consumers and patients in many ways. First, researchers in big pharma are strongly motivated to disregard centuries of documentation from around the world regarding the use of common herbs.

For example, conventional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine have some of the best cures on Earth, yet big pharma does not research them because they cannot get a patent. Instead, they move ahead with the development of dangerous drugs and seek to make a profit on them because that is how the system works.

It stands to reason that part of protecting one’s market revolves around making sure that better, or in this case, safer products, never come to be used by the mainstream.

When combined with the lack of fair and non-biased testing of alternative medical options (including reiki and meditation), it become impossible for doctors to recommend these options to consumers. To make matters worse, consumers that want to pursue these remedies have very few reliable resources to work with.

Get this lifesaving information about surviving when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down!

Sidelines Selling Herbal Blends and Extractions

If you visit any pharmacy, supermarket, or department store, you are likely to find shelves filled with “nutritional support” herbal blends and extractions. No matter whether you are looking for cinnamon pills for diabetes or garlic pills to get rid of a cold, there are many brands and strengths to choose from.

In the end, these are still pharmaceutical companies that manufacture these products. Perhaps this is why the “nutritional support” products bear more resemblance to cradle-to-grave pill popping than to the way herbs have been used for centuries.

Did you know that Chinese, Ayurvedic, and even Native American folk medicines are little more than dried herbs taken as teas several times a day? It is my contention that the herbs you see in pill form today are formulated based on “scientific experiments” that lead to the exact same kind of dangerous side effects as you see in conventional drugs.

On the other hand, using dried herbs and teas gives the body more time to absorb the necessary therapeutic agents without doing as much damage. In the end, all we come away with is the idea that there is no real difference between herbs and modern drugs; so patients might just as well go with what the doctor wants; which in the end, is what big pharma wants them to push.

Once you decide that you no longer what to subscribe to big pharma’s cradle-to-grave view of their products, herbs are usually the next place to go.

Remember, at this point, your doctor has already led you to believe that you have a medical condition that requires relying on pills for life. This is reinforced by the fact that you may have failed in lifestyle change efforts caused by lack of awareness about what is actually in foods and the environment that may be preventing you from succeeding.

For example, if you have asthma and know that you need to exercise more, walking outdoors can make the situation worse because you don’t know how to protect yourself from smog and air pollution caused by body care products.

When you go to a doctor, very rarely do you come out of the visit without a prescription for something or other. In many cases, these prescriptions are meant to be taken for a few weeks, which stretches to months and then years.

For example, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other “chronic diseases” caused by lifestyle and diet choices are treated with pills that must be taken for life. Even though the doctor may start off with good intentions and a diet sheet, that quickly falls by the wayside.

Once you become tired of the pill routine and its side effects, it is still very easy to transfer that pill popping behavior to the herb aisle. At that point you are right back to relying on big pharma instead of learning how to grow and make herbal teas the way they were meant to be used.

Video first seen on The Truth About Cancer

Pumping Doctors Full of Fake and Sub-par Statistics

If you visit medical offices on a regular basis, you are bound to see pharmaceutical representatives stopping by from time to time. When these people stop by, they also bring along all kinds of charts and statistics (based on research conducted by the manufacturer) that show how their product works better than anything else on the market. These results may have been fudged, or completely false.

To understand how this works, you must understand how doctors are educated in the United States. Essentially, unless you have an undergraduate degree in a “legitimate” science such as biology, chemistry, or biochemistry, you will not have the “coursework” required to enter medical school.

If you have ever attended undergraduate “legitimate science” classes, then you will quickly see that the textbooks and teaching methods look like a form of brainwashing that discourages students from thinking outside of scientific method and theories that have come to be accepted by dogmatics that shape this field.

Students are practically forbidden from having anything to do with things that “cannot be scientifically tested” at this time – or rather, anything that they don’t want to test unless the flaws in the test design create the desired conclusion. This means that meditation, reiki, and many other techniques that may work to heal or cure disease are already drummed out of existence in the prospective doctor’s mind.

By the time these people get out of medical college and into the field, most of them are prime picking for any pharmaceutical representative that waves a few numbers and charts under their nose. To add insult to injury, if a patient does mention alternative methods, the doctor either knows nothing on the subject or cannot absorb the information because of prior “educational” experience. Perhaps we can say this one is simple psychology.

Wooing Doctors With Gifts and CME Credits

There is no question that running a medical office or practice is very expensive. Malpractice premiums can cost several thousand dollars per year alone, while staff, supplies, and book keeping, and billing can cost even more on a monthly basis. Doctors emerging from medical college may be saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debts plus a plethora of expensive social and community obligations.

All of these financial situations can make doctors of all ages highly susceptible to lavish gifts from pharmaceutical companies.

Pharmaceutical companies may give “free” CME courses (Continuing Medical Education credits are required to keep a license to practice medicine) in all kinds of beautiful locations, or make expensive gifts in private. Anything from a lavish dinner to insider stock tips can make it very easy for the receiving doctor to look more favorably on products sold by the pharmaceutical company.

Consider how you feel about someone that gives you a gift versus someone that doesn’t. Even though the non-gift giver may have a better product or more honest intentions, glamour and glitter still sell better. But today you can find out just how much money your doctor is getting from pharmaceutical companies from here.

While these payments may seem small, remember they are still more than the doctor is getting from companies that sell dried herbs, herbal teas, or meditation products. No matter how small the gift may seem, remember that it may have a subtle impact on decision making by your doctor.

While doctors may immediately claim they cannot be bought, the fact of the matter is there is no such thing as a business that doesn’t need money or help with financial matters.

A medical office is still a business and even if the doctor doesn’t want to follow the money, there are others in the practice that will force them to kowtow or see that their license or ability to practice is severely curtailed.

The Licensing and Mandatory Insurance Scams

Today, we take it for granted that doctors know what they are doing because they must get a license from the government to practice. This license, in turn, is based on how well a doctor performs on a variety of tests designed to determine the person’s level of scientific and medical knowledge.

As you saw earlier, this “knowledge” they are being tested on may not be reliable or accurate because the scientists doing the research may have fudged the results. From that perspective, the entire licensing system isn’t a “better than nothing” scenario. Rather, it becomes a sham and an excuse to push big pharma’s expensive and dangerous “cradle-to-grave” drugs down everyone’s throat.

If you happen to be a political conservative, then you may be waiting as patiently as possible for the complete dismantling of Obamacare‘s mandate that everyone must carry health insurance. As you wait for this change, stop and take a look at how drug prices have changed since Obamacare came into effect. From Epi-pen to common antibiotics that used to cost less than 10.00, the costs are skyrocketing and going higher every day.

When it comes right down to it, the rising costs suggest some very unsettling things about the effects of the mandatory coverage mandate (along with it’s adjusted federal standards of care guidelines that may one day include outright death panels).

This mandate has become nothing more than another tool big pharma uses in its quest to shove dangerous and expensive drugs down your throat via your doctor’s prescription pad. Now that everyone “covered” with insurance and, in reality pays for very little, big pharma can raise the cost of drugs with relative impunity.

Since the insurance company gets money from the government to cover “additional” costs associated with Obamacare, there is little, if any incentive for them to try and reign in the cost. As long as big pharma can keep doctors writing prescriptions, this entire mess of mandatory insurance coverage will ensure they get richer while patients get sicker.

Stock and Financial Incentives

Medical providers are like everyone else in the sense that they would like to retire some day, pay off their homes, and enjoy all the best that life has to offer. As with most other people that work for a living, they aren’t about to reach that goal without having some kind of investment portfolio.

If you do some research on stock and industry trends, you will see that big pharma has been growing steadily for some time. This, in turn, means that pharmaceutical representatives will turn to doctors and larger sized practices for stock investments.

If you have ever invested in a business, then you already know that you are going to think more favorably of its products. By the same token, if you want to make some money, then you will also encourage others to buy from that company.

Once big pharma is able to encourage doctors to invest in their businesses, it stands to reason the doctor will become a de facto salesman. The person being led by the doctor to buy these drugs happens to be a patient that may be emotionally and physically vulnerable to suggestions that may or may not be good.

Inclusion in Research Studies

In the arena of keeping insurance costs down and maintaining a license, doctors have to obtain a certain number of CME credits each year. Depending on the state and the insurance carrier, doctors may also be required to publish something in a peer reviewed journal.

If you have never conducted a scientific experiment or dealt with peer review standards, then you may not realize just how hard it can be to get published. Flawed system or not, any doctor that wants to take advantage of the credits and prestige of being published will wind up relying on big pharma for assistance.

At first, the whole issue of research and peer review may not seem like it has much impact on patients. After all, the doctor isn’t about to force you to be part of the research project, let alone use drugs or procedures that haven’t been fully tested.

The more doctors and researchers learn about medical conditions, the better chance they have of finding cures and better treatments. As hypothesis goes, those are good ones, however it may not turn out that way in day to day impact on patients.

Among other things, people enrolled in clinical trials may not actually get the medication depending on the research design. While clinical trials can offer access to “cutting edge” drugs, there is also a risk of being exposed to very dangerous chemicals because test results done on animals may have been fudged. Perhaps it can be said that fake or slightly fudged test results may be an even bigger problem than the money basis for big pharma.

The sad reality is that patents on prescription drugs only last for so long. Once that patent expires, other companies can manufacture the drug and undercut the market. As a result, the pharmaceutical company must have another proprietary drug on hand to take its place. This cannot happen without more research and more input from doctors that have access to patients that can be enrolled in clinical trials.

No matter how much or little money a doctor gets from big pharma, he or she is going to write more prescriptions. It does not matter how that money comes in, only that it comes in. Today, it is possible to find out if the doctor you are seeing takes money for big pharma research efforts. Pay as careful attention to these incentives as you would any other.

Faked Data Goes Further Than the Lab

Every now and then, there’s something on the news about how the vast majority of herbal supplements on the market are nothing more than placebos. While there is very little regulation of these supplements, it is impossible to tell the impact of big pharma on these operations.

Here are just a few things that may be happening:

  • Even though the labs that do the testing are supposed to be non-biased, they may be getting adulterated samples to test. If illegal aliens can work under the table in food production industries with ease, rest assured that people from big pharma can probably get into nutritional supplement companies and adulterate samples. When it comes to money, never underestimate what people will do. In my opinion, as long as people can do it and deny it, there is at least an increased chance they will do so.
  • Big pharma may own or have hidden ties to any number of supplement companies. They can use this position to generate all kinds of fake test results and data that guide doctors and patients right back to more expensive products manufactured by big pharma.
  • Big pharma may also have financial or other ties to people working in government sponsored research projects. If big pharma doesn’t want you to know about an herb’s benefits, or the proper amount to use, rest assured the results can be fudged with ease. Not only does this throw off the entire herbal supplement system, it also makes it much easier to “prove” to doctors that only big pharma has the answers to their patient’s problems.
  • Together with faked data, there is also data that can be used to justify irrational and dangerous conclusions. The data itself may be true, however the conclusions are faulty at best. Today, irrational conclusions arrived at by big pharma can even make the doctor ignore previously learned information about how the body works. For example, if you are a diabetic, you may have been told ad nauseum that it is a bad thing for glucose to be eliminated through the kidneys. In fact, you may even think no doctor in his her right mind would recommend a product that causes glucose to be eliminated through the kidneys! Some newer drugs approved for diabetes do just that, and doctors are prescribing them left and right. As they prescribe these drugs, more people wind up with kidney failure even as the pharmaceutical representatives continue to wave their charts that show fasting blood sugar and Hemo A1C levels are lowered using these drugs.

Big pharma is an integral part of every doctor’s practice and perhaps even their personal lives. While big pharma may be able to produce some good results, recent trends in class action lawsuits for dangerous drugs reveal that they may be more concerned about money than tangibly helping people to get well or remain in good health.

Perhaps the saddest thing in all this is patients rarely, if ever understand the role big pharma is playing in how the doctor chooses to treat any given condition. When you put your trust in someone that is supposed to help you make good health decisions, it is truly disheartening to see that this trust may be misplaced.

At the very least, if you are also a prepper, this should serve as an incentive to investigate your doctor far more carefully as well as any health records and tests he/she may have in your files.

If you are going to thrive in a situation were medicines and medical care may not be available, this will be one step of many that you will need to take in order to succeed.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

10 Current Nuclear Risks Every Prepper Must Know

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Over the years, the media has done an excellent job of minimizing the immense risk of nuclear contamination.

No matter whether mainstream media makes their reports late at night, or the newspapers print somewhere in the middle of the paper, American citizens remain largely unaware of just how bad the nuclear contamination problem really is.

While these problems continue to be understated or ignored, cancer rates continue to skyrocket and large scale animal die offs go on without other explanation.

Since the media cannot provide an accurate barometer, preppers must take extra care to investigate nuclear risks and be ready to deal with them long before a critical level warning is issued.


Even as I write this article, the #2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is pumping out over 530 sieverts of nuclear radiation per hour. It only takes 1 sievert to cause radiation sickness, and 10 to kill. Right now, the radiation levels inside the reactor are so high, even the best radiation shielded robots cannot survive more than 2 hours.

Now, if you do a Google search in the news section for Fukushima, you only find Fox News reporting on this matter. If you watch TV or read a newspaper from other mainstream sources, there is every chance that you won’t even know that the ongoing situation in Fukushima has gotten much worse.

To add insult to injury, for some time now there are massive die offs of fish all along the west coast from Alaska to Chile. There are also genetic mutations popping up in fish and other animals that suggest they have been exposed to nuclear radiation.

Very soon, perhaps, the US government will have to admit that coastal areas of the Western United States are experiencing higher rates of cancer; and those cancers are being caused by nuclear contamination from Fukushima. In the meantime, all we hear from Japan is that it can take 40 years or more to stop the radiation leaks and fully decommission the reactors.

If you live along the west coast, or plan to bug out to any area west of the Rocky mountains, it is best to move further inland as quickly as possible. Your best options will be locations that are on the east side of the Rockies, and in the lowest valleys on that side. Just make sure that you aren’t near any nuclear plants or nuclear waste dumps.

Because nuclear radiation from Fukushima is being detected all over the world, it is also very important to have your own Geiger counter as well as a Kierney Fallout Meter. In addition, it is also extremely important to avoid buying foods, beverages, or anything else from Japan or anything from businesses along the western seaboard.

Since people are not aware of the level of nuclear contamination, it is all too easy to ship products that have low levels of contamination all over the place.

Never forget that ionized radiation exposure produces effects as it accumulates in the body. What looks like a safe amount right now may not be when added to continual exposure.

The Bear is Still out There

Right now the media claims that just about nothing can stop the tawdry bromance between Trump and Putin. Nevertheless, there are many tangible points of contention between our two nations.

While Trump and Putin may ultimately agree on Syria and be able to work together on this issue, there is a very real possibility that they will not be able to reach common ground on nuclear disarmament.

Relations between the United States and Russia soured during the Obama administration. Virtually all of the work done starting with the Reagan administration is lost, as evidenced by Putin’s videos saying that war with the United States was inevitable. While he often said that he held hopes for better chances with a new president (Trump), his actions since the election say there are problems.

For example, Russia is performing snap air raid drills and has been conducting civilian nuclear bomb shelter drills even before Trump was elected.

Keep any eye out for more news of large scale civilian preparedness drills and military maneuvers, especially in relation to the Ukraine or Russia’s border with other nations.

Chinese Aggression

Even though former President Clinton was eager to sell China super computers, it remains very clear that this communist nation can and will flex its muscles in military matters. Aside from serious trade deficits, China is becoming increasingly hostile to the United States with regards to the South China Sea.

There are several tiny islands in the South China Sea that are claimed by different nations. They may not be worth much of anything in terms of real estate, but the sea floor beneath and around them is believed to be rich in natural resources such as oil and natural gas. Given China’s economic growth and population size, it is very clear they need the South China Sea for fossil fuels.

While China isn’t likely to start a nuclear war over this incident, they may be more inclined to follow North Korean aggression if the situation is to their advantage. Never forget that the government of China takes the issue of saving face very seriously.

A nation that issues decrees that attempt to tell supernatural entities where they can and cannot incarnate is not likely to forget a slight no matter how minimal. This, in turn, can make China very easy to control by North Korea even as they seek to make it look like they are the ones controlling the situation.

The very fact that North Korea continues with its nuclear arsenal says that China will use them as a scape goat to start a nuclear incident, and then follow up, either from the position of “protecting an ally”, or more likely defending Chinese honor.

North Korea

Considering the number of other nuclear threats we face, it is not likely that North Korea will develop its own arsenal (including delivery systems) fast enough to be a risk to us or any other country.

The real risk from North Korea stems from it’s position as an ally of China and the interest ISIS has in being recognized by North Korea. We cannot discount the role of South Korea in this problem given that the people of both nations are keen in being one nation again.

While that is a positive thing in cultural terms, it is not so good for the global economy because South Korea has been infiltrated by Sharia Banks. Even though the majority of these banks may be peaceful, we cannot ignore the possibility that these banks secretly support ISIS and other terror organizations.

As it stands, the greatest risk we face from North Korea is a diplomatic one. Because it is a small country, other nations such as China can use it as a front for hostile actions.

It is, and remains my contention that China, and perhaps even Russia will not attack directly. They will attack through North Korea, a state run by what western media paints as a “madman”. In my opinion, it gives North Korea far more leverage in the nuclear arena than we are led to believe.

Video First seen on AFP news agency.

Watch the news carefully for signs of these developments, as well as the Sharia watch group site that gives excellent information on the progression of Sharia law and banks throughout the world.

Israel Upping the Stakes in Iran

Iran is similar to North Korea in the sense that it is not likely it will develop a nuclear arsenal and delivery system fast enough to compete with established nuclear nations.

On the other side of the equation, Iran is favored by many people in Islamic nations and seen as a crown jewel. As messy as the situation was in 1981 when Israel bombed Iranian nuclear material sites, it did give the rest of the world some time to think about how to manage a nuclear capable Iran.

History still paints this action as something of a disaster because Iran is now far more protective of its nuclear sites and has gone to great lengths to protect them from bombings.

Even though Israel stopped short of bombing Iranian nuclear targets just a few years ago, there is a definite chance they will go through with their plans sometime soon.

Because there are no Middle Eastern nations that admit to having nuclear weapons, it is not likely this action would trigger an immediate nuclear attack on the United States from a country in this region.

On the other hand, Russia remains supportive of Iran as front much as China does North Korea. Given that stance, it is likely both Russia and the United States would be drawn into the fray. If other tensions continue to escalate, there is a chance we will be right back to facing nuclear war with Russia.

Before closing the topic of Iran, let me point out that two of the five nuclear weapon states (United States, Russia, China, UK, and France) have puppet nations in front of them that claim to want access to nuclear arms. I think these puppets hold far more power than we estimate because they might be bought for the right price by the nations hiding behind them as well as other nations that want to push China or Russia into a war with the United States.

In the end, never forget that smaller nations always want to get bigger and have a better place in the global pecking order, while large and powerful nations must struggle to maintain it at their own level plus watch out for the effects of smaller nations acting en masse.

Use business activity sites to watch for where large companies are moving or building their factories as well as FOREX sites that revel changes in one nation’s currency in relation to another.

The Dilemma of Pakistan

Even though Pakistan is a nuclear nation and ally of ours, it is at odds with India, another ally and nuclear nation. At this time, Russia makes no secret of its interest in strengthening economic and cultural ties with India while Pakistan struggles with terrorist groups trying to take it over from within.

Unlike Iran and North Korea, I don’t necessarily see Pakistan as a puppet that could be used by the Trump administration. Nor do I see Pakistan as a nation that would attempt to start a nuclear war on its own.

However, if a terror organization gets control of any of nuclear assets (not just weapons), it can spell disaster for nations surrounding Pakistan that are aligned with the United States. It is through this form of aggression that a major global nuclear war can be triggered.

This weapon that can instantly end modern life in America by knocking out our power grid!

In the arena of Mutually Assured Destruction, diplomatic ties are always complicated when two groups are leery of each other. In this situation, the media tends to sway public opinion into thinking that “other countries” will break their promise first, or fall to terrorism long before the United States will.

The mirror here works two ways and the media in these other countries may also cast doubt on the strength and integrity of the United States. No matter whether Pakistan chooses to align with Iran, or gives another non-Israeli Middle Eastern country the promise of nuclear weapon support, it can be a very dangerous trigger.

Escalating levels of mistrust alone can create a self-fulfilling prophecy of horrifying proportions. If there is one warning I would look for insofar as Pakistan serving as a trigger to a major nuclear encounter, it would be support of a Middle Eastern nation against Israel, or increasing indicators that radical Islamic terrorists are controlling the government and nuclear assets.

A World Ready to Stop Our Nation

When Trump made his inaugural speech, many people in the United States cheered when the candidate they voted for proclaimed “America First”. This phrase, however, has become a point of mockery via viral videos that are being shared around the world. These videos, which seek to “introduce” Trump to their nations say “we don’t mind you being first, but us second, or third, etc.”

While these videos pretend to be humorous, the “me second” theme can be seen as threatening from the standpoint of war, in particular, MAD.

In a MAD scenario, it is often thought that the first strike is not always the defining one. Instead, as other nations join not the fray and launch nuclear weapons, the destruction of the first striking nation, and quite possibly the rest of the world, is assured. Since many of these nations “nuclear sharing” contracts with NATO, it is entirely possible these videos are a warning.

Many of our allies, including Israel have made these videos. While they may, in fact, just be a joke (which in an of itself can be seen as an act of aggression), the fact remains that nations will always look for the most advantageous positions for themselves. Mocking a president of a world power is not a way to grow an alliance. If anything, it will only lead to more aggression.

Insofar as nuclear risks, watch for points where nations making these videos move to contribute to the destabilization of the United States or act in some way that increases the risk of the United States being drawn into a nuclear conflict with one of the other main nuclear nations.

Never forget about France and the UK. While they are historically some of our best allies, they also have many ties to other nations and are on a path to global unity. Trump may not want to bring the United States into that conglomeration especially if our nation cannot be the leader or act with unreserved autonomy.

Aging US Nuclear Reactors

If you think the overseas based threats of nuclear disaster are troubling, then you haven’t been watching Fukushima or Chernobyl close enough.

Source: Radiation Network

What is happening at Fukushima can easily happen right here. We have hundreds of aging nuclear power reactors spread throughout the nation. For example, Indian Point has been showing signs of trouble for decades, however it never gets shut down because it brings in too much money.

For the most part, you won’t get any warnings from the media or government sites about nuclear reactors that may be in trouble. Earthquakes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters could also cause problems at these power plants.

As a prepper, you will be best served by always being informed and aware of how close or far away you are from nuclear reactors. Avoid being downwind of a nuclear power plant and within 200 miles.

It is also very important to have several Kierney Fallout meters located around your home and work place. These will help you detect sudden changes in ionized radiation. If you see something going on, you can always follow up with a Geiger counter.

What Else is ISIS Hiding?

One of the biggest problems with ISIS and other terror groups is they have a lot of money. While many people want to stereotype radical Islamic terrorists as being of Middle Eastern descent, the fact of the matter is many radicals are in Asian and Oceanic countries.

For example, Indonesia and the Philippines both have fairly large terror cells that may well rise up and take the place of ISIS on the world scene. In some cases, some of these groups may already be aligned with the Taliban, ISIS or Al Quaeda or are offshoots of these groups.

This is how you prepare to face ISIS threat to put the entire American nation on our knees!

Since these groups have so much money and access to gullible people of all races, lone wolves can slip through even the best clearance processes for nuclear facilities. No matter whether they get in as janitors for a nuclear medical testing facility or work in a nuclear power plant, there are probably dozens of ways they can gain access to nuclear materials.

Also, with money comes the capacity to buy scientists. In this case, even if we don’t have the technology to turn medical grade nuclear materials into warheads, that doesn’t mean terrorist based scientists aren’t trying their hardest.

Unlike other scientists committed to curbing or inhibiting weapons development, rest assured that drugged up, knocked up, brainwashed and radicalized terrorists will not hesitate to find as many deadly tricks as they can. Just as sadly, they more than likely have all kinds of money at their disposal to do the job.

From dirty bombs to close range warheads, the best thing preppers can do is be aware. Keep a close watch on abandoned buildings and people that go in and out of them. Get to know the homeless people in your area so that you can figure out who is new or using that as a cover. Make it your business to keep a Kierney Meter with you at all times. If you detect suspicious levels of radiation, report it. You just never know what might be hiding under your own nose.

Other than that, never assume that it is just Middle Eastern people that may be plotting to launch an inside nuclear attack in our nation. Even if the final perpetrators wind up being from this part of the world, it is entirely possible that people from other races were part of the process.

In short, let the trail of ionized radiation be your guide and suspicious behavior patterns be your guide more than race based stereotypes.

Improper Medical Testing and Nuclear Waste Disposal

Speaking of obvious sources of a nuclear disaster, never forget about how much radiation you are getting from x-rays, mammograms, CT scans, and other medical diagnostic systems. While these are supposed to be safe over a lifetime, they may be enough to cause serious damage when combined with contaminated food, air and water.

It is best to limit your exposure to these tests as much as possible. Ask for, and demand tests that use other means to view internal organs and systems while providing suitable information. If your insurance company will not pay for alternative tests, do not hesitate to take the matter to social networking, the media and your elected representatives.

From mundane things you deal with every day to large scale conspiracy theories turned real, our nation is in serious danger from nuclear fuels and technologies.

Now is the time to make sure you know how to detect nuclear radiation and spot global trends that indicate dangers are increasing. This is also the time to make sure you can follow appropriate steps based on what you find. Do not forget to include nuclear survival gear in your bug out bag and EDC, and learn how to survive an attack!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 



Storing Ammo: A Guide For Preppers

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Storing Ammo

When most people think about organizing their ammo stockpiles, they do so based on cartridge or shell type. For example, if you have four or five different types of ammo, you may be inclined to store them all in separate containers.

While this method seems practical at first glance, you may find that other methods will work better. In particular, you should not keep all ammo of the same type together in the same location.

Let’s say you have five different ammo types, and ten boxes of each one. You also have five ammo cans that you can use to store the ammo. Instead of putting all of one type in each can; put only two boxes of each type per can. In this way, you will have five cans of diversified ammo.

Here’s why this arrangement has a few advantages:

  • If you have to move quickly, grabbing even one can will ensure that you have at least some ammo for any gun that you are able to bring along.
  • It will be much easier to store your ammo in different locations without having to worry about which one holds the ammo you need at some point in the future. As long as you are able to retrieve one can, you will know that you have at least some usable ammo on hand.
  • You will find it much easier to practice with all of your weapons on a regular basis. Just make it a point to use all of the ammo in each can and you will never have a gun laying around that hasn’t been fired in years because you put the ammo in some place that isn’t easy to get to, or worse yet, you forgot the location.

What a Good Storage Location Is

Good storage locations for ammo aren’t as easy to find as you might think. Many people try to bury ammo stockpiles under their home, stash boxes behind closet walls, and even put ammo cans under their bed. While these places may be safe, dry, and cool, they are also the first places thieves, rioters, and others will look if they invade your home.

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When hiding ammo, you should make it your business to find locations that:

  • Are easy to defend. It is very important to make sure that you can arrange zones of fire around your stockpile. Always consider that people may stumble onto your stockpile by accident, or they may even be watching you as you put items in the stockpile or remove them. It is always best to choose a place where you have an advantage in terms of defending the area if needed.
  • Choose a location where you can make more than one entry point. If someone does find your stockpile, you should be able to enter through another location and neutralize the invaders
  • Look for an area where it is safe to destroy the ammo if needed. When you know all is lost, there is no point to letting thieves and rioters steal all you worked so hard for. It is better to have the stockpile in a place where you can destroy it rather than see it be stolen.
  • It should be easy to move the ammunition out of the area and into another one with ease.
  • There should be enough room to expand if needed.
  • You should be able to keep surveillance on the area from a distance without being detected.
  • The area should be hard to spot by satellite or other overhead scanning systems that might be used to locate the stockpile. In addition, you should also be able to get to the location without being easily spotted.
  • High temperatures and moisture are extremely damaging to ammo. Try to pick a place that is as cool and dry as possible. If you have to choose between cool and dry, choose the area that is cool, and then make sure that the ammo itself is packed carefully away in moisture and water proof containers.

Choosing the Right Containers

Today, there are many different kinds of containers that you can use to store ammo.

If you are budget conscious, then go for the metal ammo cans or boxes. You can purchase them new or used at surplus stores as well as at gun shops and gun shows. Before you buy an ammo can, make sure it is free of rust, holes, and other signs of corrosion.

ammunitionThe lid should fit properly and create a waterproof seal.

It may also help to have some extra room in each box, especially if you haven’t purchased all of the guns yet that will be part of your permanent stockpile.

When choosing containers for ammo, think about what will happen in those first hours after a major crisis occurs.

To be fair, if you aren’t on a heavily guarded estate with plenty of supplies and acreage, you might have to leave your home and the majority of your stockpile behind. This is why your ammo storage plans must also include ensuring you can bug out with enough supplies to meet your needs.

Have a dedicated backpack or ammo pouch with at least five boxes of ammunition for the one gun you will absolutely take with you no matter where you go.

If this is your everyday carry gun (a.k.a. EDC), then by all means, go ahead and carry the bug out ammo with you as well. The backpack or pouch should be comfortable to wear and not be noticeable to others. Make sure that the internal pockets are waterproof, yet breathable so that moisture does not collect in the bag.

You will also need to inspect the pack on a regular basis to make sure that the constant weight of heavy ammo rubbing against the fabric does not lead to wear that will let water get into the ammo.

Storing Gunpowder

Many mid to advanced level preppers store away gunpowder in the hopes that they will be able to reload ammo in a time of need.

Storing gunpowder is not as easy or as safe as storing away cartridges and shells. Because gunpowder releases gases upon ignition, you should never store it away in an ammo can.

If the building the can is stored in catches fire, or the temperature reaches a critical point for some other reason, the ammo can will explode and cause major damage.

Also avoid storing gunpowder in the house or in a building for the same reason.

It is best to store gunpowder in a dedicated and well built outdoor magazine where it will be heavily guarded and safe to be around.

Supplies and Equipment to Have Onhand

Overall, there aren’t many supplies that you need to keep on hand to store ammo and keep it in good condition for years on end.


Regardless of where or how long you are storing the ammo away for, each container should have a few packets of desiccant in it. This will help reduce moisture and condensation.

Waterproof Ziploc Bags

Every can should also have a few extra waterproof Ziploc bags and a permanent marker. If a box happens to break or is damaged, then you can always put the cartridges or shells in the bag to keep them safe.

Clean Rags

It is also important to store away clean rags so that you can clean ammo off if needed.

Pull Cart

When you first buy an ammo can, you may not think it is very heavy. By the same token, lifting one or two boxes of ammo may not seem like much. Once you start adding a few dozen boxes to the can, you will find it very hard to push the can from one place to another let alone pick it up to move it.

This is why you will need to have a pull cart or some other kind of wheeled bed that you can use to move ammo cans from one place to another.

The cart should have some kind of pole or extension that you can raise up and use as a post for a pulley system. All you have to do from there is store some rope in the can and a pulley that can be attached to the pole.

At the very least, if you have to lift the ammo can into the back of a truck, you will be able to do so faster and with less risk of injury to yourself or others.

Video first seen on AnalyticalSurvival.

Why Storing Multiple Ammo Caches Is Important

Let’s say you are a homeowner, but you don’t have much property; or you rent an apartment and also don’t have access to much land. Let’s also say that you have decided you are going to bug in regardless of what happens in your local area and in the rest of the country.

Many people that decided to sit it out through a hurricane or other natural disaster can tell you that one bad situation was enough to last them a lifetime.

While some people may have been lucky and got through several storms with no problems, a major social collapse is a very different and far longer lasting scenario. As a result, it is best to try and make at least some bug out plans and factor ammo storage needs into those plans.

Most people that plan to bug out after a major crisis actually have five or six locations that are located at different distances from their current position. These places may be the homes of family members or friends, or even areas where they have visited and feel they can live comfortably.

No matter where people are planning to bug out to, they will usually set up caches of supplies that can be accessed along the way.

When it comes to ammo, small caches like this in multiple and diverse places is just as important as food, water, and medicine. Just make sure that the areas you choose are safe and hard to find by others. If you do leave ammo with friends or family members, make sure that these are people you can trust regardless of what is going on.

Even if you are absolutely certain that you aren’t going to bug out, it will be to your advantage to store away ammo in several different locations.

If you are storing ammo in your own home, make sure that you have five or six locations that are hard to find, and one that is somewhat more visible.

You can use the more visible cache as a means to lure invaders into a zone of fire, or allow it to be taken in the hopes that invaders won’t go looking for the more important items in your stockpile. You can also set up snares and other booby traps that will neutralize invaders.

Never use explosives or anything that will start a fire near the ammo cans or you can wind up making the situation even worse.

Rotate Your Ammo

No matter how carefully you store ammo away, some condensation will always build up, temperatures will change, and the ammo itself will begin to deteriorate. This, in turn, means that you should be using ammo even while you are building up your stockpile.

Always use the oldest ammo first and make sure that you replace it with the same or better quality rounds. For example, if you have about half your stockpile dedicated to rounds with steel casings, do not backtrack and buy more aluminum rounds to replace the used ones. Instead, go for more steel casings or see if you can afford rounds with brass casings.

Keeping your ammo stockpile in a steady state of rotation also helps ensure that you will actually practice shooting. From developing muscle memory to gaining confidence with cleaning and caring for weapons, just about everything starts with shooting on a regular basis.

If you can’t find a reason to go to the range other than rotating your ammo, at least it’s better than not doing any shooting at all.

Inspect the rounds on a regular basis. There are few things worse than having ammo cans sitting in the attic for decades without paying any attention to them. During this time, you may not know about rust that may have developed on jackets and casings.

If you wind up needing decayed rounds, you won’t be able to use them safely. If you rotate ammunition on a regular basis, you will isolate problems quickly and replace ruined ammo with something that you can use in time of need.

Gain as much experience as possible with different kinds of ammo. Once you know what kind of rounds your gun can take, try ammo from different manufacturers.

When you routinely rotate and use part of your stockpile, test out different products and see how they work for you. Later on, if your stockpile is gone or inaccessible, you will know how any ammo you find will work to suit your needs in a self-defense situation.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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10 Ways To Prepare Your Tractor For Survival

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Prepare Your Tractor For Survival
Homesteaders and farmers recognize the importance of tractors in daily life. These vehicles tend to be very durable, but it’s important to make sure you can still use them in a post-crisis world.

Aside from increasing the number of things you can use the tractor for, taking these steps will also help your tractor last longer and perform better during its lifespan.

Know What the Tractor Can Do

Over the years, I’ve purchased all kinds of gadgets in my quest to find devices that use less electricity or power while delivering at or near the same level of usefulness as more conventional devices.

For example, when I was still learning how to use power tools, I thought battery powered tools would be better or safer than conventional ones. It wasn’t long before I found out that “under powered” means nothing more than slow and virtually useless.

To this day, my very first battery powered jigsaw sits in its original box somewhere in the attic, with a battery that I haven’t charged more than once every few years to see if it still works. At the same time, my conventional powered jigsaw sits right next to my desk and is always ready to use.

When it comes to preparing a tractor, it is very important to know just how much work they can do. Simply put, you cannot get an engine rated for 5 – 10 horsepower and expect it to do the work of a 25 horsepower engine.

If you are going to add accessories to the tractor, or in any other way expand what you use the tractor for, it is very important to know if the engine, drive train, and transmission can truly take the added wear and tear. The last thing you will want to do is purchase attachments or make plans only to find out that the tractor won’t suit your needs. Get a good sense of what your current tractor can do so that you can purchase something better or look for alternatives before it is too late.

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Buy Adapters that Expand their Usability

Did you know that you can purchase an adapter for a tractor that can be used to plow snow?

While many preppers think of tractors as farm and homestead equipment, they may also be useful to conventional homeowners and apartment dwellers. The sheer number of attachments and accessories for tractors make them as versatile as they are powerful.

Here are just a few attachments that you may find of use for homesteading as well as some others that can be used by just about any person that is concerned about having a versatile travel vehicle in time of need:

Forklift Attachment

It’s ideal for people that have large stockpiles stored in boxes or crates. The fork lift can be used to lift all kinds of heavy items at one time. Depending on size and power of the main tractor, a forklift may also be useful for lifting and pushing small vehicles out of the roadway.

Steel Tracks

No matter how big or sturdy tractor tires may be, muddy terrain or complex areas can be more easily navigated with steel tracks that give you advantages similar to what you would have with a tank.

Log Dragger

If you are planning to cut down large trees, you can easily haul the lumber with this tractor attachment.

Spade and Bucket Attachments

These devices will give you a chance to use the tractor as you would a backhoe.

Steel Enclosure

This should be one of the first things you buy, especially if you plan to use the tractor like a forklift or backhoe. The steel cage will keep you safe and may also make it easier to use the tractor in a wider range of weather situations.

Harrows, Scrapers, and Pipe Layers

There are all kinds of attachments for tractors that can be used for planting crops, or digging into the ground for some other purpose.

Get All Shop Manuals for the Tractor and Accessories

As with any other motor vehicle, you need as much information as possible about the parts and functionality of every system in your tractor. A shop manual will give you far more information than just how to exchange old parts for new ones. You may get a better look at what is inside each part so that you can refurbish the parts if needed.

These schematics will also help you gain a sense of additional skills and tools that might be of use to have on hand. For example, if a specific part has a rubber diaphragm, then you know that this part may be something that wears out faster than others. This information will show you what things are best to have in your stockpile. In this case, you will store away materials that can be used to make a new diaphragm as well as extra parts that can be changed out as needed.

When it comes to sourcing replacement materials for parts refurbishing, new polymer and resin technologies may offer better replacement materials. Once you get a look at the shop manual and study it carefully, you will know more about what kind of newer materials may work as well, if not better. Considering you may have to keep the tractor running for decades or even pass it along to future generations, you need as many suitable materials on hand as possible.

A shop manual will also give you a complete listing of every part used in the tractor. Did you know that it may be possible to scavenge parts from vehicles that aren’t the same make and model?

Usually, the key to achieving this goal is to know exactly where the mounting points are and if they can be adapted to your vehicle. Once again, the schematics for the parts used for your tractor will give you some good ideas about how the insides are arranged. This, in turn, makes it easier to estimate what can and cannot be done with scavenged parts.

Setup and Maintain a Maintenance Schedule

It is very easy to be inspired by all the power you wield when you have a tractor at your fingertips. On the other side of the equation, a tractor is still a machine that requires good quality routine maintenance to keep it working for as long as possible.

It’s all too easy to forget when the last oil change was, or when you carried out some other maintenance task. As with your car, setup and maintain a maintenance schedule for your tractor, based on the following:

  • Consult the shop and owner’s manual so that you know what should be done at each maintenance interval.
  • Include a listing of all materials and tools that you will need.
  • Identify any areas where you feel that you do not have the knowledge or skills to do the job yourself. Even if you cannot do the job at the nearest time interval, make it your business to get the necessary training to do the job the next time it is needed.
  • Set aside enough time so that you can do the job yourself and be sure that you are doing it well.

When it comes to prepping, there are some additional things you should add to your maintenance plans. Consider a situation where you have been doing routine maintenance, but haven’t done any tests to check on the engine compression. Even though the tractor is operating just fine, wear and tear is going to add up over time.

It is best to have some advance warning of parts that may fail so that you can be ready to repair or replace as needed. You will need to consult the shop manual and research each part of the tractor. The more you learn about the risks, the better chance you have of developing tests that will help you diagnose and repair in time.

Convert for Multiple Fuel Use

Just about every prepper is aware about the lack of fuel for motor vehicles in the post crisis world; this topic comes up as often, if not more than EMP proofing. Even though many tractors run on diesel, make sure that you have systems in place that can take advantage of biodiesel, wood burning and methane.

One of the most fascinating emerging technologies involves using hydrogen to partially or fully power motor vehicles. While kits designed to inject hydrogen into cars and trucks are still controversial, there is far more progress being made with tractors. There are already kits on the market that covert water to hydrogen through a hydrolysis process without having to involve a commercial electricity supplier.

Video first seen on Daniel HHO Hydrogen Donatelli.

Consider changing out the tractor’s engine entirely and using a steam engine instead. This is the best way to incorporate the largest number of fuels because you can burn just about anything to generate steam.

If you decide to keep the internal combustion engine running in your tractor, it doesn’t harm to keep a steam engine, boiler system, and transmission connections on hand. If you do run into a situation where the main engine is of no use, then you can try installing the steam engine instead.

When considering alternative fuel types, remember that any system you use must also have a good chance of surviving an EMP. If you experiment with hydrogen fuel, eliminate solid state technologies as much as possible. Instead, look for ways to use gears and other simple machines to replace of electric motors and controls. In a worst case scenario, you can still try shielding these and other vulnerable parts of the tractor with EMP proof paints and coverings.

Have the Right Tools and Spare Parts

More than a few preppers think that if they find an second hand tractor that matches their own, they will have more than enough spare parts to get through a major crisis.

Tractors and their parts are made in largely automated factories just like cars and trucks. This means if there is a problem on the production line that impacts one part, it is likely that it will impact every reproduction of that part until the error is discovered. In most cases, that error is not discovered until hundreds, and perhaps even thousands of consumers wind up having the same kinds of problems.

So even if you do buy a spare tractor, the parts in it may be just as inclined to wear out or break down in the same order as the ones in the tractor you plan to use on a regular basis. In fact, if you buy a tractor that doesn’t run, the part that you need most may be the very one that you already know isn’t working on the spare!

From this perspective, choosing the best parts and tools comes down to researching before you actually buy anything. Once you go through the shop manual, research on consumer forums dedicated to the tractor model that you own. If you see that several people have the same problem, then make sure that you have extra spares for that part, or that you can refurbish what you have.

Be Able to Maintain and Repair On Your Own

Have you ever kept the same vehicle for so long that friends and family members joke that you must have replaced everything but the gas cap?

If so, then you have an idea about what it will be like in the post crisis world where you will have no choice but to patch things, bypass them, or make something new to replace something that fails. You may view this as an educational hobby right now, but these skills will become important.

Here’s what to learn if you plan to maintain and repair your tractor at the highest possible level:

  • Know how to salvage and repurpose any metal that you happen to come across.
  • Know how to recognize sources of metal ore and extract it from natural sources.
  • Know how to mix different ores and minerals to produce a metal suitable for making tractor parts.
  • Be able to heat, forge, and anneal metals so that you can shape them into usable parts. This includes extruding wire and making precision cuts and holes in any given piece of metal.
  • Find out more about polymers and other materials that can be stockpiled and used to make prototypes or actual tractor parts. You’ll also find useful to have a 3D printer on hand.
  • Be able to weld, solder, and manage every other aspect of metal working.
  • Find ways to melt down plastics or other non-metallic parts so that you can make new items or repair old ones as needed.

Overall, I recommend getting rid of as many computer based or electronic controls in tractors and other vehicles for the sake of EMP proofing and also long term durability. Even though computer chips and solid state devices can go for decades and work perfectly, there will come a day when they stop working.

Unlike purely mechanical devices, there is simply no way to repair a blow IC chip or other solid state part, and all of your efforts will go to waste if you cannot replace these parts with functional new ones. Use your time to make changes that eliminate these devices instead of trying to store them away or figure out how to diagnose them.

Have at Least 3 Safe Storage Locations

No matter how many people die or are wounded when a crisis begin, those left behind will also die off or be injured in large numbers. Before that happens, desperation will drive people to do all kinds of things: joining together to pillage and loot any place that might have food or other important resources.

If you have a tractor and land, sooner or later some kind of rouge element will find its way to your door. From EMP blasts to hostile invaders, you need at least three safe storage locations for your tractors, accessories, and spare parts.

When planning your storage locations:

  • Try to divide up the items into caches so that anything found at one site is useless unless it is combined with items from 2 or three other locations. For example, if you are storing away engine parts, do not store the tools in the same cache.
  • It’s best to have underground storage locations since these will be easiest to protect from nuclear radiation. If you are already building a shelter for yourself, you can add on to that shelter more easily than building a structure above ground for the tractor.
  • The shelters should all be EMP proof.
  • The shelters should be hard to find from the ground or by land. Learn more about ground penetrating radars as well as how to disguise the tractor signatures as much as possible.
  • Make sure that all of your caches are easy to defend. Choose areas where you can quickly arm traps as well as areas where you have enough room to lure invaders into fields of fire.
  • The caches should be far enough apart so that you can get the tractor into them as quickly as possible no matter where you happen to be on the homestead.
  • Resist the temptation to connect all the caches via underground tunnel. If someone does invade and gets to one of the caches, it will only be a matter of time before they find all of them.

Practice Making Your Own Fuel and Secure Provisions

Regardless of how many ways you modify your tractor to accept different fuels, you need to know how to make them. Make sure that you can produce and store the materials until you are ready to turn them into fuel. For example, if you went ahead and installed a steam engine or a wood burner in the tractor, then make sure you have plenty of trees.

Also if you are going to make biodiesel or some other fuel from natural resources, make sure you can carry out the task for decades or more. Many biodiesel manufacturers today rely on GMO corn.

If you purchase these seeds, it is likely that they will not produce viable seeds for the next season, and the plants that grow from these seeds won’t release pollen that reaches crops earmarked for food. Not only will you lose the capacity to grow corn for biodiesel, but you may also wipe out safe corn for food.

Rather than use GMO seeds, learn how to make biodiesel from sugar beets. There are many heritage strains of this particular plant that can be used for food and biodiesel. As an added bonus, sugar beets usually yield more fuel per acre than you would get from GMO corn.

Once you have all the materials for making fuel in place, make sure that you can store the fuel safely. If you are lucky, you will have one or two crops to harvest per year, and then you will need to make the fuel and store it until more can be made. As with storing the tractor, store fuel tanks underground and in multiple locations.

Know and Practice Making Lubricants

Motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and other maintenance products may become unavailable before conventional fuel stores run out. No matter how many bottles of these materials you store away, they may decay over time or be used up before you were expecting a problem. If your tractor develops oil ring wear and burns more oil, and you cannot replace the ring, your oil stores will go faster than expected.

At least, learn how to strain oil to remove the worst of the debris. Look for oil blends that will not break down as fast as older types. Remember, no matter how much you filter the oil, that does not mean the molecules in the oil have the same capacity to lubricate and remove heat from moving parts.

Overall, you will find it very hard to make a motor oil that will match the characteristics of modern oils. You can still do some research on this topic, as well as the main ingredients found in modern lubricants.

Experiment with different materials to see if you can make something that will last for at least a short time. Look for the best quality oils that last the longest and storing them away for future use. If you can’t find what you need, then mix different products to see if you get something that works better.

Some aspects of preparing your tractor for a major crisis will be easier than others. Set tangible goals for yourself so that you have a functional tractor on hand when you need it, and even if you only accomplish some objectives, it is better than not doing anything at all.

No matter whether you work with a group to divvy up the tasks, or it takes you several years to complete them, you will be taking action that leaves you better prepared for anything that may happen to disrupt your way of life.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Design Your Own Weapon, In These 14 Steps

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Survivopedia Design Your Own Weapon In These 14 Steps

Weapons are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Having the proper weapon makes self-defense much easier.

You don’t have to ruin your budget on the perfect gun, but you can challenge your skills and build your own homemade weapon. Learning how to build your own weapon is a handy skill that will serve you well in a survival situation.

It may be time consuming, but you will have a weapon that will perfectly fit your needs. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to build a knife that can be held better in arthritic hands or you want to design a super gun that breaks all the rules insofar as barrel length and projectile launching methods.

This article covers a step-by-step guide on how to build your own self-defense weapons.

If you follow these steps carefully and take your time with each phase, you will produce better weapons that will meet your needs.

Choose the Purpose of Your Weapon

Start off by deciding what you want to use the weapon for. Are you planning on building a self-defense weapon that will be used within arm’s length, or do you want to be able to attack something several feet to several yards away?

When considering this question, decide how lethal you want the weapon to be. If you are the kind of person that believes you cannot kill, there is no point to making a weapon that has a high chance of taking a life. In these cases, focus more on weapons that act as diversion, or those that will wound long enough for you to make your escape.

At this stage, it is also very important to decide how much you want to reveal about the weapon when you are carrying it. Do you want something that you can completely conceal regardless of where you are? If so, then you will need to list that as a priority so that you can fully evaluate which materials will meet your needs.

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Choose a Relevant System to Study

Once you know what you want the weapon to do, look at systems that have already been developed.

For example, if you know that you want to make a bladed weapon, study knives. If you want something more lethal, then go ahead and study systems that include adding poisons to the knife.

During this stage, try to find at least 100 designs so that you know as much as possible about what has been developed through time. If you are combining systems, such as a knife and a poison delivery system, make it a point to find 100 designs for both.

Narrow Your Selection to One Design

Out of 100 designs, you may only find 5 or 6 that have sufficient appeal to work with. You will need to find one design that has the most appeal, and then keep detailed notes on the other systems that may work for your needs.

Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each design.

Create Your Own Design

When it comes to developing new personal defense weapons, many people are tempted to start here instead of studying other systems first. If you did your research well, you will find this step easy.

Take the time at this stage to make sure that you have all the best ideas in place for each part of the weapon. If you are going to innovate or bring in ideas from other weapons systems, make sure you understand how all the pieces will fit and work together.

At this stage, it is also very important to figure out how you will make allowances for wear, repair, and making changes based on available materials.

You should also make sure that you know what tools and skills will be required to make the weapon, use it, and maintain it.

Make a Blueprint with Scaling and Measurement Notes

There are few things worse than building a weapon without a detailed blueprint. When you don’t have a solid pattern to follow, it can be very hard to make precision parts. You will also find that it becomes all too easy to go off on a tangent.

No matter whether you get hung up on adding a style element, or you cannot seem to get the right shape for a part, a fully scaled blueprint can help keep you on track.

Make a List of Materials and Tools

Once you have a clear idea about what you are going to build, it is time to start assembling the tools and materials. You should also have a list of alternatives on hand in case you cannot obtain the items that you identified as ideal.

This list will also come in handy if you find out that you first choice wasn’t as good for one reason or another.

Create a Production Timeline

Before you begin working on the actual weapon, it is important to know how much time you plan to spend building the prototype, and then a full working version. This can help you save time as well as ensure that you make enough room for this task.

The last thing you will want to do is try to build something at the last minute, and then find out you needed far more time than expected.

Test the Materials

From polymers to metal and wood, there is a definite learning curve that you must go through. Simply reading a package or some instructions will not prepare you for all the things that come up when you work with the materials.

It is very important to know that you are comfortable with each material so that you know exactly how you are going to work with it while making the weapon.

This will also give you a chance to see if you need additional tools, or if you would be better served by using a different material.

Build a Prototype

Many people do not build a prototype because they think it is best to just aim for something that will work. When you don’t have a prototype, you waste material and time.

When you build a smaller working version, it gives you a chance to build and test your skills as well as see how everything will fit together. Even though a prototype won’t detect all your design problems, it can still be very useful.

Build a Functional Weapon

If you have been eager to build your weapon, then this stage is bound to be your favorite. Now is the time to put everything you learned plus your skills into making the finest weapon possible based on your plans.

Do not rush through this stage. Make sure that all the modules work correctly, and redo parts if they don’t come out right. Remember, your goal is a final product that will work to save your life, not put it in danger.

Test the Weapon

Once the weapon is built, you will need to test it out for strength and functionality. Each weapon design will require different testing strategies.

Do not test on live animals or other human beings. There are many ways to use dummies, blocks of wood, or other materials to see if you have a weapon that works properly.

When testing weapons, do not forget to wear adequate safety gear. Never assume that the weapon will work correctly. It is best to be well protected in case you made a mistake in the design, or something unexpected happens to turn the weapon against you.

For example, if you are working with poisons, gases, or liquids, make sure you are wearing full eye and face protection as well as an appropriate coverall and footwear.

Store the Weapon

After you know the weapon works, set it aside for a while. Give yourself some time away from the active development and building phase so that you can go back later and look at it with fresh eyes. This will also give you a chance to see how the materials change over time.

If a material is going to degrade over time or lose its usefulness, then it is best to find out before you need to use the weapon for self-defense.

Continue Testing and Studying Your New Weapon

From time to time, it is very important to test the weapon out and practice with it. This will give you confidence in using the weapon and help you find design and material flaws.

Make Modifications as Needed

If you find a problem with the design or materials, it is important to go back and fix them as soon as possible. In some situations, you may have to go back to the design and development stages and then build another version of the weapon.

As time consuming as this may be, it is better to take these steps with care and come out with something better the next time around.

Remember that a personal defense weapon should be something you feel comfortable carrying at all times. Learn from the experts the secret of self-defense. Click the banner below to grab your guide!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Read This Before Start Building An Utility Trailer

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Survivopedia Read This Before Start Building An Utility Trailer

Even though there are plenty of pre-built new and used utility trailers on the market, they may not meet your exact needs. If you are going to use the trailer for any kind of prepper application, it is best to make sure you have everything you want in the design.

As with so many other things, this means you will more than likely need to design and build the trailer yourself. While this may cost more in terms of time and labor, in the end it may save your life and make living in the post crisis world easier than expected.

If you are looking to expand or upgrade your DIY skills, building a utility trailer will give you plenty of practice.

Stages of Building Your Trailer

These brutal financial times make it difficult to justify building a utility trailer that may or may not be needed to address some kind of major future crisis. Surprisingly enough, you don’t need to build a utility trailer years, or even months in advance of a major social collapse.

By keeping the following points in mind, you can build a suitable trailer in just a few days, or even do so after a major crisis happens.

As you think about how long it will take to build a utility trailer, keep the following points in mind. You can divide the timeline into five main parts:

1. Planning and designing the trailer

You can plan and design a trailer at little or no cost. Make your basic plans on paper, and then do your research for free online. Look at other designs on the market, find out what materials are available, and get a good sense of how much all the parts will cost. Once you have the blueprint, parts list, and projected assembly plans, just about everything else can be done in a matter of days.

When of making up a parts list, include as many recycled or salvage parts as you can, and add at least 2 or 3 alternatives that suit your needs. This will make it easier to choose parts later. If you run out of time before acquiring all the building materials, you can use this list during and after a major crisis as a guide to viable materials.

2. Obtaining raw materials

Before you buy materials, purchase any tools that you might need. These tools can also be used for many other household and travel needs, so they won’t go to waste. The more time you spend using basic power and hand tools, the better off you will be in any situation.

The more time you have for obtaining building materials, the better. Aside from being able to budget more easily, you will see if there are reusable materials in flea markets, junk yards, or estate sales that might be of use.

Individuals that are building and maintaining comprehensive bug out plans should take the salvage and alternative material list along on test excursions. This is an excellent time to take note of what items may be available on the way to your bug out location.

3. Building the trailer

Preparing for an emergency is never easy, especially when you are concerned that all your hard work will be stolen by rioters or others. An utility trailer can be a bit hard to hide, and just about everyone that sees it will know what it is, or remember that you have one. Once a major crisis occurs,these people will be looking for you and ready to take anything of value that you might have.

This is the main reason why I don’t recommend building a utility trailer from the top down and having it all ready to go. Rather, it is better to build the trailer in units, test them out, and then be ready to assemble them at a moment’s notice. Many systems are small enough to be hidden in your home or garage, and then assembled later on when the need arises. If you make fast assembly and modular system designs part of your plans, this process may be easier than you would expect.

 4. Testing everything out

There is a definite trade off between testing out a completed trailer and keeping its existence as secret as possible. Doing your best to test specific modules may not be enough when you actually assemble the trailer.

Your best option will be to try and assemble the trailer in a quiet location where no one will know. Once you know everything works together as a unit, you can always take everything apart and then reassemble it in time of need.

5. Maintenance

As soon as you begin keeping supplies on hand, or materials to build the trailer itself, you will always need to be concerned about maintenance.

For example, if you purchased aluminum for the sides of the trailer or other parts, they may still need painting, lubrication, or other routine care to prevent them from being ruined.

Where to Get Materials From

Have you ever gone to a local hardware store, home improvement store, or automotive shop only to be disappointed by the inventory? You may find some items in these stores to get you started on a DIY product, while other items may not be available (thicker aluminum, for example).

Be careful how you shop online, and you should be able to keep your building plans secret.

Here are some other places where you might find building materials at a more reasonable price:

  • Local auctions and surplus events. Newspapers and websites dedicated to your town or city may list these venues as well as what kinds of materials are available.
  • Watch the classified ad listings in supermarkets, department stores, or other areas where estate sales, flea markets, or other private sales might be listed.
  • Military surplus outlets may also be of some use.

Check the end of the article for a list of websites that may help to salvage or find construction surplus materials.

Basic Parts

The absence of a means of propulsion doesn’t mean utility trailers are simple, or that you can build them with a lack of care and consideration. A poorly designed or constructed trailer can spell disaster. Do not cut corners or reduce quality if you want to build a reliable trailer!

Wheels, Axle, Suspension, and Braking Systems

The axle and suspension system must be able to support the entire weight of the trailer and everything in it. These parts must also have the flexibility to absorb shock as the trailer moves without bending excessively or breaking.

Many utility trailers have smaller wheels, but bear in mind that you might take the trailer off road or into areas with deep ruts, mud, or broken pavement. Spend a bit more on larger wheels with deeper and heavier treads so that the trailer passes more easily over these areas.

Basic Frame

The frame must work in conjunction with the suspension, axle, and braking system to provide a solid foundation for the rest of the trailer. No matter whether you choose an open design or a closed one, the suspension must be sturdy and durable. A frame that is built independent of the suspension will give you more options and also much better performance.

Coupler and Tongue Jack

If you do not have a good quality coupler and tongue jack on the trailer, it can lead to a number of problems including:

  • The trailer may break way from the vehicle pulling it along.
  • It may sway from side to side or be very hard to control when the pulling vehicle turns.
  • A poorly designed coupler may be difficult to connect and disconnect as needed.

Wall Frame

The wall frame must still be study enough to keep all of the items in the trailer secure no matter whether you design an open trailer or a closed one. Choose frame material that will not bend or buckle if objects inside the trailer hit it.

It is also best to choose a frame material that is sturdy enough to accommodate the weight of a roof and enclosure if you decide to make these changes later on. Even if you decide on low walls now, make sure that you can bolt on taller pieces later on without sacrificing on frame strength.

Roof Frame (optional)

Try to make the roof frame sturdy enough to accommodate the roof covering and storage for other items. It never hurts to create a roof top frame that can also be used to house solar panels, small wind turbines, or other devices used to generate electricity, gather water, or carry out other tasks.


If you are looking for a cheap easy way to enclose the trailer, start off with canvas, and then keep a vinyl covering for times when you need to keep the interior as dry as possible. As time and budget allow, enclose the trailer with aluminum or some other more permanent and durable material. As long as the roof is made from a solid material (polymer or resin might work), you could also generate power and still use canvas for the trailer sides.

Access Points

Most people that build low walled trailers do not worry about doors or windows. On the other hand, even if you plan to live in a canvas covered trailer, you’ll need to enter, exit, add to, and remove items from the trailer.

Ventilation and adequate air flow are also important so that you don’t wind up with moisture, mold, and mildew buildups inside the trailer. Doors and windows on solid side, enclosed trailers can also make it more comfortable to live in.

Security System

When all your worldly possessions are going to be packed in a trailer going a long distance, security systems are crucial.

You can use electronic surveillance systems as well as specialty locks and bolts. Just remember that these systems are only as good as the materials used to build the rest of the If the sides are made of canvas or vinyl, there will not be much sense in installing locks. Instead, think about what kind of weapons you can use to defend the trailer as well as any devices that can be used to deter people from approaching it.

Internal Features

Shelves, seats, tie down areas, and privacy enclosures are all important for a multi-purpose utility trailer. Keep weight down by using plastic furnishings or ones that can be packed away easily.

For example, beanbag chairs are lightweight and can be put together to make a bed. Alternatively, use plastic tubs to store your items and then put an air mattress on top of them. Just because internal features need to be light weight and simple, that does not mean you have to be uncomfortable or unable to enjoy whatever time you may need to spend in the trailer.


Aside from running computers or other devices that store important data, electricity is important for power tools used to fix the trailer or build parts that were not complete before started using it. There are many devices that can be used to power a utility trailer, like different wind turbine designs that will lend themselves well to sitting on top of a trailer. As long as the trailer is in motion, the turbines will spin.

You can make a series of smaller turbines that are housed in other parts of the front of the trailer and then combine them into a single battery pack. This is especially important if you want your trailer to look as inconspicuous as possible. A few fans hidden behind grills will not be as noticeable as solar panels or a shell design turbine sitting on top of the trailer.

Make your home 100% immune from future power outages or blackouts with this DIY Home Energy System! 

Water and Sanitation

Many people that don’t plan on living in a utility trailer after a major crisis occurs think they can ignore water and sanitation issues.

On the other hand, you are always going to need clean water. As such, you should at least have some tools on hand so that you can purify water or pull it from other resources. Even if you store away plastic and a shovel so that you can retrieve water vapor as it evaporates from the ground, you will be ahead of the game.

Setting aside a small part of the trailer for sanitation and privacy needs is more important than you realize. At the very least, bring a few items along that you can use to meet these needs once they are assembled.

Tools and Skills You Need for the Project

You will need common tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, metal cutters, drills, and hand saws for building your trailer, but also other items. These tools require electricity to operate, but it’s not impossible to make a sturdy trailer without them.

  • Welder – you need a welder to join together steel rods used in the trailer frame. Even though welding is not especially difficult to learn, you need some practice before you weld the rods together. Remember to wear a welding hood, gloves, and an appropriate apron. No matter how fascinating welding and the sparks it makes may be, remember that you are working with very high temperatures and a light source that can blind you in a matter of seconds.
  • Circular saw, jig saw, and hand drill – these power tools make cutting boards and other materials much easier and faster. Perhaps I am a bit old fashioned in my preference for corded tools, however I have yet to find battery powered tools that lasted as long or provided as much power when I needed it most.
  • Hydraulic Jacks – you need at least 4 to support the frame while you are mounting the axles and wheels.
  • Hoists and Pulley Systems – if you start building in modules, hoists and pulleys make it possible to assemble completed parts in a matter of minutes.

Equipment and Furnishings: Buy or Make Your Own?

When you make your own racks, shelves, and other furnishings, it’s easy to create what you need and in the size that you need it. But if you don’t have the time or patience to make furniture, it can be a very tedious task. Unless you upcycle free wood palettes or other materials, you’ll find that the cost of making your own furnishings is about the same as buying pre-made models.

Research on camping and RV gear, and you’ll find all sorts of things that can be used to make the utility trailer more comfortable and convenient. In many cases, this equipment may not meet all of your needs. You may not be able to repair the items if they break down, or they may not be as durable as you would like.

If you want cutting edge designs or newer technologies, those devices may also be more expensive. For example, if you want to include a wind turbine, it may be impossible to find the best in a pre-fabricated form, so you’d better look at different bladeless turbine designs, and build something that meets your needs.

Newer polymers and other materials on the market can make this task as simple as working with a 3D printer and a few well designed templates. Aside from cost and innovative concerns, when you make your own equipment you can always add room for adaptability. If you need to scavenge parts or build systems that are easy to repair, there is nothing like developing your own designs.

DOs and DON’Ts When Building an Utility Trailer

Building an utility trailer is like many other things in life. There are some basic things you should always do, and others that you should avoid.

Here are some of the most common practices that lead to building a trailer that will be durable and useful or one that will not be worth the effort you put into it.

  • Do not cut costs on critical components such as the frame, suspension, axle, and coupler. Everything in the trailer depends on how sturdy and durable these items are. If you don’t know how to weld, or don’t have enough practice in metal working, make sure that you know what you are doing before you tackle building these parts.
  • Do seek training for everything you need to do. From wiring the trailer for electricity to installing windows and shelves, it never hurts to take a few courses on these and other building oriented topics.
  • Never work on the trailer when you are tired, angry, or sick. Most of the time, you will be working with power tools, chemicals, or something else that can cause injury or death. Exhaustion, excess emotions, and illness can make you careless and impatient. Even if you are not injured, the mistakes you may make can come back to haunt you when you put the trailer on the road and discover these “hidden features”.
  • Always observe safety precautions. Goggles, ear protection, gloves, aprons, steel toed boots, dust masks, and respirators are all necessary safety gear that should be used. While many people today recognize the need for goggles, far too many do not wear protective ear plugs and respirators. Never forget that everything you are working with will create some kind of dust, smoke, or gas. None of these fumes or dust are good for your lungs or your health.
  • Give yourself plenty of room to work. Over the years, I have seen many accidents caused by a simple lack of working space. Make sure that you have plenty of room to lay all the parts and tools out. Keep your work area neat and clean. No matter whether you are working indoors or outside, it is all to easy to take a step backwards and trip over something you forgot was back there.
  • Make sure that others working with you observe safety and good working habits. If you work with a team, it is all too easy for you, and others to put things where they can pose a risk to others. If everyone makes it a point to put things back where they belong, it will be much easier to avoid accidents.
  • Always keep detailed records of everything you did and how each system fits together. Later on, if you need to diagnose problems or make repairs, these notes will give you a valuable point of reference. Include photographs taken during the construction process, these will make it easier to orient and prepare for making any required changes. Do not forget to update your notes and photos once you are done.
  • Never use drugs or alcohol while working on the trailer. As soon as you lose any kind of control of yourself, both the tools you are using and the materials can also get out of control. This can lead to cuts, bruises, burns, and other serious injuries. If you must have a drink or take some kind of medication, stop for the day and then go back to it when your thinking and your reflexes are in better condition.

Take the time to design and build a custom utility trailer, and you’ll develop a perfect prepper solution!

While this task isn’t as difficult as it seems, you will need to put in a considerable amount of time, effort, and money. When a disaster strikes and you are able to move and live comfortably in the trailer, you will see that it is well worth the effort.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


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10 Reasons To Have A Sewing Machine

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Survivopedia Resons to have a sewing machine

If you visit any department store or second hand store, you are bound to find more clothes than you know what to do with. No matter where you look, it seems like there is no end to cheap clothes that can be used for every occasion.

As a result, most people see sewing as a “hobby” or a skill that they don’t really need to learn. But many clothes will vanish very quickly after a disaster, so you might have a reason to buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it.

Here are ten things that may just change your mind on this matter.

What Kind of Sewing Machine is Best?

If you sew on a regular basis, choose a good quality, heavy duty sewing machine. Personally, I have always preferred Singer over any other brand. Modern sewing machines can be programmed for embroidery as well as many other complicated tasks. Do your research to make sure that the internal parts are sturdy enough to meet the challenges of stiff, bulky, or very thick material.

There are also many vintage models that still have metal gears and motors powerful enough to last for decades more. Just make sure that you have a finger guard installed if the machine doesn’t already have one.

It can be very dangerous if you don’t pay attention to where your fingers are in relation to the needle. As dainty as the sewing machine and needle may look, the motor is strong enough to push the needle right through your finger.

In addition, sewing by machine can also be a very hypnotic task. It seems simple enough to keep your fingers away from the needle, but it is all too easy to loose track and wind up with a serious, and very painful injury.

As a prepper, think about what you will do with devices that require electricity. It does not matter whether this loss comes from an EMP or a hurricane. The fact remains that modern sewing machines require electricity in order to run. If you are not confident in generators or DIY power generation methods, then look for foot or treadle powered sewing machines.

Today, you can choose from antique machines as well as newer ones. For example, the Janome 712T does not have a motor and runs without electricity. It is more expensive than motor powered machines, however the expense may be worth it if you want to be sure you can sew regardless of the electricity situation.


As Clothes Wear Out You can Remake Them

Not so long ago, you could buy a sweater or pair of jeans and expect them to last for several years. Today, even more “rugged” garments wear out in just a year or two.

Since you will not find new garments in the post collapse world, you will have to find some way to make your clothes last a bit longer. In this case, you can take apart old clothes and use a sewing machine to piece together parts that are in better condition.

Here are some things you can do with a sewing machine that are difficult, if not impossible to do by hand:

  • Many fabrics today have a good bit of stretch to them. When these fabrics are sewn by machine, it is much easier to create sturdy overcast stitches (a stitch commonly used to prevent fabric from raveling) that will not come apart. Even though it is possible to make overcast stitches by hand, it is hard to control the spacing and tightness of each stitch when dealing with stretchy fabric. No matter whether you are trying to sew together pieces of jersey knit, spandex, or some other stretchy material, a sewing machine makes the job much easier.
  • When people make garments with elastic in them, they usually fold the fabric over and then sew the seam so that a column is left to draw the elastic through. If you look carefully at commercial garments, you will often see the elastic is sewn directly onto the fabric. Since there is no margin or extra material to work, it will be impossible make a column for the elastic to go through. This, in turn, means that you would have to try and resew the elastic onto the garment by hand if you did not have a sewing machine. I can tell you from personal experience that there is no pin in the world and no elastic stretching device that makes this a comfortable, let alone feasible task. On the other hand, when you have a sewing machine, the weight of the foot and the tractors beneath the fabric easily keep the fabric in position while you manually pull the elastic so that it fits properly on the material.

Easier to Darn Socks and Other Items That Develop Holes

Have you ever just tossed a sock in the trash because it developed a hole? If so, then you may also be very unhappy with the fact that modern socks really do seem to wear out a lot faster than ones made just a few years ago. While it is not especially difficult to darn sock holes by hand, this task is also much easier to accomplish with a sewing machine.

You will also find that it is much easier to use a sewing machine to patch small holes in other kinds of garments without using additional material to make a patch.

When you use a sewing machine to stitch across a flat piece of fabric, you don’t worry about the fabric bunching up or becoming uneven. If you have never done embroidery on thinner fabrics by hand, you won’t realize just how hard it can be to repair holes on garments without a sewing machine.

Even if you try to put the fabric in an embroidery hoop to keep it from bunching, you will have a hard time getting good quality stitches that don’t rub at your skin when wearing the garment.

Sew Heavier and Coarser Fabrics

Before sewing machines were invented, our ancestors routinely sewed together furs and other thick, heavy materials. If you have denim garments, or clothes made from other heavy, coarse materials, you will find it very hard to make, let alone repair them without a sewing machine.

You will face problems associated with manufacturers that compensate for using less fabric by using stronger stitches or patterns of stitches to make a durable garment.

During crisis, you’ll face constraints on the nature and amount of fabric that you have on hand to work with. If you’ll be using old garments as a pattern for new ones, then you can also use smaller margins and come out with a functional garment.

If you try to duplicate these stitches by hand, you will find that it takes more fabric. Since sewing machines also use two threads (one under the fabric from the bobbin, and one from above on thread spool), the stitches will always be stronger and tighter than ones done by people who have limited experience with sewing.

Many people feel they can sew heavy fabrics by hand as long as they take their time and focus on making even stitches. In most cases, it will take 2 – 3 times longer by hand, and leave you with both eye and hand strain.

You won’t have time to spare in a survival situation. If you don’t have time to mend clothes or make them by hand now, don’t expect to do it then. A sewing machine would solve this issue and leave time for other tasks.

Make Money as a Seamstress or Tailor

There is no question that people are becoming more frustrated with commercial garments that do not fit right (since when does a petite woman of 5’3” have an inseam of 32 – 36”?!), look hideous, cost a lot, and do not last for very long.

The cost of fabric, patterns, and notions aren’t as cheap as they used to be, but many people are taking up sewing in order to have nicer clothes. If you become proficient as a seamstress, you can make money now as well as after a social collapse.

Custom Design Clothes that Meet Your Needs

When you go on a shopping expedition for prepper clothes, you are bound to be overwhelmed by all the coveralls, heavy jackets, Thinsulate gear, and camouflage prints. What happens when you are in an actual disaster and find out that you need to move to a warmer climate, or that most of the clothes in your stockpile won’t meet your needs?

A sewing machine can be used to make any kind of garment, including camouflage. Store away patterns in different sizes as well as a range of fabrics to meet all your needs, rather than completed clothes. From waterproof fabrics to denim and fleece, it is easy enough to add these items to your stockpile and then use them as needed.

Being able to design clothes is also very important if you have children or expect to have a baby after a major crisis. Given how many growth spurts children go through, you’ll need clothes that can be let out at the seams, or adjusted as needed.

When you buy modern clothes, there is no extra fabric let alone a way to modify larger garments for smaller sizes. And if you look at modern patterns, you will find many places where you can cut the pieces a bit larger, and then simply leave more fabric at the seams.

As a prepper, you know that your body is going to change a lot after a major crisis occurs. If food is scare, or you get very sick and lose a lot of weight; or you may wind up putting on a lot of water or edema.

Either way, all those clothes you stocked away may not fit properly, and worse yet, may restrict your movement. It is very important to have a sewing machine and fabric on hand so that you can make new clothes that fit properly.

Make Blankets and Quilts for Many Purposes

Do you have blankets and quilts hanging around that have been part of your life for decades? If so, then you may not give much thought to the availability of these items during crisis. Both novice and advanced preppers have been known to only keep a foil emergency blanket in their bug out bag.

But what happens when disaster strikes, you are on the road, and need something a bit warmer and sturdier? Even if you can find fabric and some kind of filler to make the blanket warmer, it can take days or even weeks to sew a quilt or blanket by hand.

In most cases, however, you can sew the exact same blanket or quilt using a sewing machine in just a few hours. You can use anything from worn clothes to fabric set aside in your stockpile to make blankets and quilts with ease using a sewing machine.

Here are just a few situations where you might wind up needing more blankets than you have on hand:

  • If you are trying to shelter animals that no longer have a building to live in. Blanket can offer warmth and comfort to stressed animal. They can also be used to temporarily restrain the movement of animals that need medical care, or for other reasons.
  • As a temporary shelter when there are no materials available for a tent.
  • To cover supplies or anything else that needs to be protected from dirt and dust.
  • All the blankets in your stockpile were stolen, burned in a fire, or ruined in a flood involving municipal sewage or other contaminants. At the very least, if you had a few clothes or some fabric that escaped the destruction, you can still sew them into blankets or quilts with a sewing machine.

Get More Out of any Fabric You Come Across

Surviving a social collapse is going to involve a lot of innovative thinking and action. Regardless of how much you have in your stockpile, or how well run your homestead is, just about anything can come out of the blue and send you into a tailspin.

Once you are in the situation, the things you underestimated are apt to stick out like sore thumbs and hurt just as badly. In this case, not having a sewing machine can make it difficult or impossible to make use of any fabric that may be available.

Consider a situation where you are moving through an area with very little vegetation. You have a sewing machine with you and a portable power system that can be used to run the motor. As you pass through an abandoned junk pile, you find a stack of clothes that cannot be worn; but not the rope that you so desperately need.

To resolve this situation, all you have to do is cut the garments up into strips and sew them together into longer pieces to make a rope. When you have a sewing machine, you can make use of pieces that are only a few inches long and about 2 inches wide.

If you tried this same task with hand sewing, you would not be able to consistently make strong enough seams in a reasonable period of time.

Make Or Repair Furniture Covers

Do you have an old couch or recliner that either needs to be thrown out or reupholstered? As trivial as this problem may seem when compared to others, it will only get worse after society collapses.

In particular, if you are bugging in, there is a chance that floods or other disasters may ruin your furniture to the point where you can no longer use it. For example, if you have a couch, the cushions and any other soft parts will have to be discarded.

Rather than throw the entire piece of furniture out, you can at least try to salvage the wood or metal frame that supported all the soft parts. Once the frame is repaired and safe to use, just about any fabric and soft stuffing can be used to “reupholster” the furniture. If you have a sewing machine, you can also sew much heavier fabrics or layers of fabric in order to make something more durable.

Similar to many other things, there will be a time in the post crisis world when people will do as much as they can to make pre-existing items last for as long as possible.

This, in turn, means that you can barter or trade your furniture repair skills for other things that you might need. As time goes on, you can also shift your furniture repair trade to actively making furniture from raw materials that others begin putting together in larger quantities.

This is the only ultra-precise machine that can spit-out personalized pieces of woodwork!

Build Shelter Covers and Carrying Aides

One of the worst things you can do as a prepper is think that bugging in means you will have shelter and that you won’t need to bug out for some reason or other. It is very important to understand that a crisis can come from where you least expect in.

For example, while the vast majority of preppers focus on problems that will affect the entire society, something may come along that affects only you or your family. This may include job loss, illness, or the sudden passing of a family member that enabled you to have shelter and security.

Even if you do a minimal amount of research on homeless people, you will find that it became impossible for them to afford shelter and the basics of life. No matter whether these people suffer from illness, addiction, or just plain bad luck, the fact remains they were not prepared for personal financial collapse.

Given the angst in our society these days against our incoming president, sabotage by those who dissent is entirely possible. Under these circumstances, you may find that one disaster after another will arise that leaves you without shelter.

Let me be clear in saying that a sewing machine won’t solve all your problems. However, you can use it to your advantage while you still have some assets to work with.

You can take old garments and sew them into blankets, carrying aides, and anything else that will make it easier for you to travel. If you can find a safe place to store the machine, then you may also be able to make some money with it and get back on your feet.

There is also no question that many homeless people today live in cars and trucks. While this may not seem like a good place to have a sewing machine, you can still use it to make shelters outside of the vehicle. If society does collapse further because of internal or external pressures, you will still have a viable trade and an important tool to work with.

Make Toys and Other Items for Children

When I was a little girl, the battery powered toy craze was just getting started. I remember my parents being unhappy about all the “plastic battery powered junk” that cost a lot and didn’t seem to last.

lot-of-8-original-vintage-cabbage-patch-kTo this day, some of my fondest memories are of my mother sewing little stuffed toys for me.

From iron on appliques to furry teddy bears, I spent hours watching these creations unfold on my mother’s sewing machine.

Later on, we did these projects together and had far more quality time than we would have had if she just bought me a bunch of plastic toys.

During illness or great distress, it is normal to look back on safer and more peaceful times. These days, it often seems like our children will have no such peaceful times to look back on. Even if they do remember their childhood, it is likely to be filled with violent video games, nonstop social pressure, and all sorts of other worries.

Sewing toys with your children is a simple, inexpensive way to give them, and you, peaceful times to look back on. While that may not seem important right now, just think back to the times when you were in crisis and what memories like this meant to in terms of helping you get through the situation.

Making toys for children isn’t just something that works well in a time of social collapse. It is something you can start doing now that will build bonds and give you and your children a chance to enjoy time together. Building custom toys can also give you a chance to innovate and perhaps come up with something marketable that other children might like to have.
Perhaps off topic, but never doubt the possibility that you can make a fortune with a sewing machine and a good idea for a toy. Anyone that remembers the Cabbage Patch Doll craze can certainly relate to the fact that sewn toys can easily become very popular in a short period of time.

As you will recall, the Cabbage Patch Kids were invented by Martha Nelson Thomas, a woman who learned quilting from her mother. Just remember, if you do come up with something that becomes popular, you will need to copyright patent, and trademark the design so that no one else can steal it and profit from theft of the design.

In the arena of prepping, there is always a sense that time is limited. When you don’t know what will happen, or what challenges must be overcome, it is very tempting to cut corners. For example, when it comes to clothes and other fabric based items, you will more than likely buy what you need or hope that you can make do with what you have.

Even though sewing by machine is often relegated to a “craft” or a “hobby” it is a vital survival skill that you may wind up needing. Today, you can increase the chances of surviving long after a major catastrophe by learning how to use a sewing machine and having one in your stockpile.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Nuclear Survival: Bugging Out Safely After An Atomic Blast

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Nuclear Survival

With the North Koreans gathering plutonium for nuclear warheads, and their Supreme Leader unhappy with Trump’s ascension to the office of President, nuclear preparedness should be everyone’s concern. How to stay safe while bugging out makes part of this plan, for sure.

Even someone that can navigate by looking at the sun or using other “low tech” means can easily fall prey to radiation poisoning after a nuclear incident. In fact, people interested in bugging out or moving from one area to another might be at higher risk than those who are staying in one area.

So if  you are in an area where more nuclear incidents are likely to occur or you need to travel for some other reason, safe navigation is extremely important.

While the basics of using maps, compasses, and other tools will not change, your path from one point to another may be far more different than expected. In particular, you will need to know more than how to skirt around  areas where radiation intensities are highest.

You will need to know how to predict where radioactive materials are most likely to disburse as well as how shifting weather and tide patterns will affect where additional materials will build up.  This is even more important if you intend to gather water and food along the way and happen across what appear to be low or non-contaminated areas.

Calculating Rate of Radioactive Travel By Land

Calculating how fast nuclear radiation will spread over land is no more difficult than knowing how fast breezes and the wind will move from ground zero to your location.

First, you must know the source of the radiation. You can use the links we posted at the end of the article to test out different areas and nuclear yield in order to get some idea about how large an initial area will be affected. Next, study the predicted wind currents for the area surrounding the contaminated site. Use the national climate archives to figure out the general wind direction for each state during specific months, as well as for major cities within each state.

For example, if you want to know how a nuclear blast in Alameda, California will affect Los Angeles CA, you might start off by visiting the Western Regional Climate Center, and then click on Average Wind Direction by State. You’ll see that the winds in Alameda usually go to the West, and in January they tend to go towards the NNW. Since Los Angeles is roughly Southeast of Alameda, you could go from Alameda towards Los Angeles for most of the year and more than likely escape fallout from the nuclear zone.

Unfortunately, since the wind from Alameda moves to the SE in December, you would not want to try and escape to Los Angeles as the nuclear radiation would follow you or precede you out of Alameda.

If you have a bug out plan that lists this information, you can also use real time estimators of wind current to project how fast the radiation is moving. Use the Beaufort Wind Scale to help you figure out how local winds are moving. If you get contradictory information between the historical tables and your observations, it may be best to get underground as quickly as possible and wait a few days to see what the air currents are doing.

Take the time now to observe wind directions and durations in your local area. If you have projected bug out paths, make sure that you have year round information on wind currents in those areas as well as studies on how wind from other areas moves into the ones you plan to travel through.

Calculating Rate of Radioactive Travel by Water

When it comes to calculating the spread of nuclear contamination over land, it can be said that air and its associated wind currents determine both the speed and distance. In a similar way, water acts as the medium of transport when attempting to calculate the rate of radioactive travel by water. If a detonation spreads water and debris into the air, you would need to calculate both the air mass and the water currents.

To calculate the rate of radioactive travel by water, start off once again by visiting Nuclear Secrecy so that you can get some ideas about how large the initial impact area will be. Then you will need to look at charts of the tides, water currents, and wind directions in the area.

There are two free resources that may be of some help to you. First, Open Nautical Chart offers global charts that also provide information about global wind and precipitation patterns. You can try using this chart for predicting how nuclear contamination will spread over areas of both land and water just by looking at the general trends. For more specific information about the currents and tides around the United States, visit Office Coast Survey.

Once you have the maps, all you need to do is compare the information between where the nuclear fallout is, and the maps will show you where it is most likely to go. For water calculations near the coast, you may also want to take the daily tides into account. For this, visit Salt Water Tides, and then select the region and date of interest to you. You can also use this site to project future tide timings.

Set up your own system that will generate you an endless supply of fresh, pure, clean water right in your home!

Mountains and Other Geographic Mitigating Factors

Even though you may be aware of seasonal changes in precipitation types or storm intensities, you may not realize that wind patterns also have seasonal and predictable fluctuations. Aside from that, mountains, hills, valleys, and other geological features can alter the way both wind and rain will affect any given area.

When it comes to getting away from nuclear fallout, you can think of mountains and hills in two ways. First, you can think of them as shields that you will want to put between you and the source of the radiation.

Typically, both wind and precipitation contaminated by nuclear materials will fall on the side of the mountain closest to the blast. As with everything from hurricanes to snowstorms and other weather systems, the precipitation-bearing clouds will drop in temperature as they try to move over the mountains.

This, in turn, will cause them to a good bit of water before they reach the other side. In some areas where this effect is especially pronounced, you may notice that rainfall data is less than it is on the other side of the mountain.  The “drier” side of the mountain will be safer in a nuclear crisis because prevailing rain patterns will not carry fallout over to the other side.

Second, you can think of mountains and hills as places where prevailing weather patterns may offer clues about lower fallout risk regions.  Excessive dryness on one side of the mountain may indicate that prevailing winds shift in the opposite direction. In this situation, even if the source of radiation is closer to the drier side of the mountain, it may still be safe because the debris will be carried in the opposite direction.

That being said, an area in this situation is also apt to be desert, or at best, scrub  lands.  If you are considering using an area like this as a nuclear bug out location,visit the area first and make sure that you know how to live in a desert region and be sure that you can secure water on a regular basis.

Locality Based Mitigating Factors

While you are moving from one place to another, it is important to realize that just about anything can act as a shield to nuclear radiation. If you are always aware of wind direction in relation to your location and ground zero, you will have a better chance of knowing when to take cover. While underground locations will always be best, buildings and even a tree can mitigate the amount of radiation that reaches your body.

Just remember to stand or sit in a place where the object is between you and the direction the contaminated air is coming from.

As you move through different areas, you are also bound to need water. If you cannot locate underground sources, some terrains may offer safer water than others. For example, if you are near a pond with bushes or shrubs growing nearby, take note of where the shrubs are in relation to the prevailing wind. If the shrubs stand between the wind (and the nuclear debris it carries), then the water may have less radiation.

The taller the shrubs or trees, and the denser they are, the more protection they will afford. As long as it hasn’t rained since the nuclear blast occurred, the water may be a bit safer than what you would find in other locations. At the very least, if you have no water purification options available you can try using this:

  • Start off by taking water only from the uppermost part of the pond. Dust and heavier contaminants will settle to the bottom.
  • Let the water settle for at least 24 hours so that any additional radioactive material will settled towards the bottom of the pitcher.
  • To get rid of any bacteria or pathogens, it is best to let UV light from the sun kill them off. It is best not to boil the water in this situation because it will only concentrate any dust particles that remain in the water while the lighter water molecules escape.

If you come across a moving stream or river, be very careful about the direction of the water flow in relation to the fallout zone. Even though moving water will dilute the nuclear material, it is best to seek a water source that is upstream of the blast. As with ponds, the more shields and distance that exist between the water and the nuclear site, the better.

Areas to Stay Away From at All Cost

Did you know that there are unsafe areas right here in the United States because the levels of nuclear radiation are too high?

What you may not realize is that the surrounding areas may also be contaminated to a point where they can endanger your health. To make matters even worse, Fukushima and other nuclear accidents may make an area you thought was safe far too dangers for a bug out location. When it comes to navigating after a nuclear disaster, you will need to factor in these locations plus the locations of any nuclear facilities that may pose a risk to your well being.



Remember, if our nation is under some kind of nuclear attack, it is also entirely possible non-nuclear attacks may happen at the same time. Large hospitals with nuclear diagnostic equipment, medical waste transports, nuclear power plants, and other sites that have nuclear materials will be a target.

As such, personnel that are best trained to control the situation may also be unavailable. If you try to pass through these areas, the chances of you coming into contact with high levels of nuclear radiation is very high even if the direction of contamination from a nuclear ground zero indicate otherwise. Always remember that nuclear radiation exposure is cumulative. It does not matter where the radiation comes from; only that you were exposed to it.

What About Edibles Along the Way?

No discussion on navigating during a nuclear disaster would be complete without a discussion on how to recognize which foods are safe to eat in an area that might have been impacted by nuclear fallout. While it is risky to eat anything in these areas, you can reduce the risk to some extent by taking the following advice:

  • Choose foods that were stored underground first.
  • If you must consume plants, use the deepest roots you can find first. It would also be best to choose plants that have not been exposed to rain since the nuclear blast occurred. For example plants in the middle of a patch, or covered by other plants may be safer.
  • If fruits and vegetables are available, try to use ones that have skins that can be removed. Smooth skinned fruits and vegetables will be safer to wash off and eat than rougher skinned items.
  • Canned foods should be ok; but choose ones in an area that is best protected from the blast direction. Consider a situation where the nuclear blast occurred to your west. If you are in a pantry, you would select foods from the east shelves because the radiation would have to pass through all the cans on the western side before reaching the others.  As with transportation, always look for foods where the largest and heaviest shields stand between the radiation and the food resource.
  • Avoid dried foods such as beans and fruit. You will find it very hard to wash nuclear debris off them or remove skins that might have captured the radiation. Also avoid leafy vegetables or anything else that you cannot peel or wash vigorously.

How do You Know You are Close to Ground Zero

Let’s consider a situation where a nuclear blast occurs and you must evacuate immediately. As you run to get your bug out bag, something distracts you, and somehow all your maps and important information about wind directions and navigation get left behind.

But thing can go worse than that. You have your cell phone, but you never uploaded these important files (so you wouldn’t have to go online or to the cloud to get them) because you were afraid an EMP would knock the phone out and make it useless. Upon turning on the phone, you realize it works perfectly, but you cannot get online. You have a compass, but never took the time to learn how to use it. Tucked deep in the bottom of the bag, you find a pair of binoculars that can be used to reveal wind direction and cloud formations. Since you don’t remember how to assess wind direction, you conclude the binoculars won’t be much good.

Realistically speaking, if you are in this condition after a nuclear blast and somehow managed to find safe shelter for a few days, you are going to have a fairly hard time finding a viable path to safety.

If you remember nothing else about how to navigate during a nuclear crisis, at least remember the signs and signals that you are at or near ground zero. At the very least you can try to skirt through these areas, avoid eating in them, and try to get out of them as quickly as possible.

Animals and Plants in Distress

Animals may have mouth sores.They may also bleed more from the nose and eyes, and may also show signs of fur loss. Large numbers of animals and insects may be dead and just laying around. Large numbers of fish may also be dead and have open sores on them.

Baby animals may have unusual numbers of digits on their paws. They may also be completely misshapen or have organs growing outside the body.

Animal or human feces may be in the form of diarrhea or have blood in it.

Plants will have tumorous knots on the stems, or unusual leaf patterns. For example, a three leaf clover plant may have five, six, or even seven leaves on a single stem.

The Black Rain

You may find signs of black rain: a combination of nuclear debris and soot from all the fires that happen after a nuclear blast. You may see streaks of thick, sticky  black liquid on walls, dripping from trees, or anything else that it lands on. If you look carefully at the ground, you may also see signs of this “rain” laying along the ground. Animals and plants may also be covered with it.

If you encounter black rain, it is extremely toxic, and will most often be found in the debris field surrounding ground zero.  Once you encounter this kind of debris, your best bet is to go back the way you came, an then try to choose another direction.

f you are closer to ground zero, permanent shadows may exist to reveal where objects once stood. For example, if you see a tree shadow on a sidewalk, but no tree, that means the tree was vaporized by the blast. The angle of this shadow will reveal the direction of the blast in relation to where the object was. To get away from ground zero, just go in the direction where the tree or object “points”.  In this case, just walk in the same direction as where you see the “top” of the tree’s shadow pointing.

You can also get some rough ideas about how far away the object was from the blast. The shorter and more perfectly proportioned the shadow is, the closer it was to ground zero. A longer shadow means you are a bit further away.

Signs of Disaster

Any area that was hit by the heat wave will show signs of having fires.  You can expect to see buildings, cars, and many other objects that may be charred beyond recognition.

The closer you get to ground zero, the signs of disaster you will see: walls, buildings, and even motor vehicles knocked over.  This damage occurs as a result of the air blast created by the explosion. Since the shock wave bands usually extend beyond other types of damage, finding them is a good indicator that you are either heading into ground zero or away from it.

For example, if you passed through areas that showed signs of being on fire, going through a blast zone might be an improvement.  If the radiation shadows are getting longer as you go along, this might also be considered a sign that you are heading away from ground zero.

Tools That Can Help You Avoid Contaminated Areas

Here are a few tools you might find useful:

  • Maps listing known nuclear material zones
  • Maps of historical wind current
  • Maps of water tides and currents
  • Long range binoculars
  • Small drones or robots that can be used to deliver testing equipment into a suspected area of contamination.

It is often said that if you have a map and compass, or know how to navigate by the sun and stars, you will never get lost. That being said, navigating during and after a nuclear crisis requires far more than simply figuring out how to get from Point A to Point B. Your plans can easily be disrupted by other situations involving nuclear hazards as well as radiation sickness.

Learn how to navigate when you aren’t feeling well along with how to recognize the signs that increased radiation may exist in an area that you plan to travel through. No matter how you look at it, radiation is a hazard no matter where you find it, and avoiding it will still be a primary concern while you are traveling.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 


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Vehicle Prepping: Displacing The Control Module Of Your Car

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Vehcile Prepping

Do you have enough money set aside to pay for hundreds to thousands of dollars in vehicle computer repair and diagnostics?

Have you been watching the news and feel that either a terrorist group or a foreign country is right on the brink of launching an EMP strike right here in the United States?

Even without the usual concerns you take into account as a prepper, just a few computer chips can make it impossible for you to use your survival vehicle, nor to get to work and meet other vital transportation needs.

Replacing the PCM or Powertrain Control Module in your vehicle brings you one step closer to having reliable transportation regardless of what is going on in the world around you.

What is the PCM?

In most vehicles, the Powertrain Control Module is the key computer that controls just about every aspect of your vehicle’s performance. Its presence is designed to improve gas mileage and also make it easier for mechanics to detect oncoming system or part failure as well as find problems faster when they occur.

As with any other computer, however, they can be a serious headache to consumers because:

  • When they break down or produce false readings that prevent an otherwise functional car from operating. Replacing the computer can be very expensive and is usually beyond the ability of the vehicle owner. It also often requires a manufacturer licensed repair shop to reset the new computer so that it works correctly.
  • The PCM and other computer systems in the car are all susceptible to EMP strikes.
  • In more modern vehicles, the computers may be hacked by outsiders that can literally cause your vehicle to stop cold in traffic or accelerate to a dangerous level in order to cause a crash.
  • RFID chips equipped with GPS locators or wireless internet access elsewhere in the vehicle can make it easy for hackers, stalkers, and others to locate your vehicle. In some modern vehicles, these chips which may not reside in the actual PCM can cause your vehicle to become inoperable.

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The Basic Parts of the PCM

The ECU or Engine Control Unit

It controls the air to fuel ratio, idle speed, and ignition timing. Together with these functions, the ECU or related computers may also control firing order and valve timing.

In some vehicles, the ECU may also control ABS braking, skid control, traction monitoring, and cruise control. The ECU may also have some control over steering in newer vehicles with automated crash avoidance technologies.

The TCU or Transmission Control Unit

It’s mainly used in vehicles with automatic transmissions. This part of the PCM receives information from sensors that reveal the vehicle’s speed, the throttle position, and traction control monitoring. From this data, it determines which gear is best to use.

It also controls how the transmission shifts from one gear to the next. The TCU is also heavily involved in improving mileage.

The BCM or Body Control Module

This module is usually dedicated to other accessories found in the vehicle. Automatic seat belts, electronic lock doors, sun roof, anti-theft systems, the radio, electronic windows, and internal lights will all be controlled by this module. Some vehicles may have this module integrated with the ECU, while it is a separate computer in others.

Video first seen on DanielJaegerFilms.

In order to function, the PCM must send and receive information about what is going on in other parts of the vehicle. Much like your brain, the PCM has “sensors” that detect certain conditions and then relay the information directly back to the PCM, or to another module that reports back to the PCM.

As an analogy, your eyes detect the presence of a very narrow band of frequencies within the light spectrum. That information is sent via the optic nerve to your brain where it is interpreted so that you can “see”.

Once the PCM receives information from the sensors, it compares it to information organized in a table or database. If the value is outside the range set in the database, then the PCM “interprets” that something is wrong. If the data is inside the range, then it determines there are no problems in that part of the engine. Depending on the findings, the PCM will send one set of directions or another to other computer modules, that, in turn, control how the actual working parts of your vehicle perform.

As an extremely simplified example, a sensor located inside the cylinder might report when the spark plug has fired, as well as the estimated power of that spark. The PCM or an associated module should have already initiated the process which takes fuel from the gas tank, turns it into a mist, combines it with air, and then injects it into the cylinder.

As the explosion occurs inside the cylinder, another sensor might keep track of the heat delivered by the explosion, if there are leaks in the piston rings, and when the piston reaches its lowest point in the cylinder.

While all this information is coming in and being compared, the PCM will be dedicating some of its resources to repeating the same process in the next cylinder set in the firing order. If a fault occurs, other resources within the PCM will be used to let the driver know there is a problem by activating one or more lights on the dashboard.

That’s a lot of work for one tiny computer, isn’t it? While you can expect the sensors attached to the PCM to fail more often than the computer itself, they can cause it to send out wrong instructions, or, worse yet, cause the PCM to shut your vehicle down entirely. In the scenario listed above, here are some problems that can occur.

These problems can occur regardless of whether an EMP strikes. In addition, if an EMP occurs, damage to the computer chips or those found in the sensors can also generate false readings or no readings at all. Either way, your vehicle may not run, or be ruined because the computer will give directions that can cause the engine to seize up and fail.

  • If the plug is fouled or does not fire, that will be transmitted to the PCM. An error code will be generated that will cause the check engine light on your dashboard to light up.
  • If the sensors itself is failing and transmits that the plug is misfiring, it will also cause the PCM to generate a system fault.
  • If an EMP strike affects this or some other sensor that, in turn, damages part of the PCM, it may cause the cylinders to fire out of order. It may also reduce coolant flow (modern automobile computers send less coolant through a newly started or cold engine so that it heats up faster), which can cause the engine to overheat and seize up. If you think about all the things that can cause an engine to seize up or fail, chances are you will find at least on sensor that leads back to the PCM. Each of these sensors can very easily cause the engine to seize up via the PCM or other computers attached to it.

Perhaps off topic, but I am inclined to disagree with the view that a motor vehicle that is not running during an EMP and has the battery out should survive the blast. Others claim it is impossible for the computer to cause the engine or transmission to seize up and fail completely.

Remember, an EMP pulse can propagate without the benefit of a physical medium such as a wire or other direct connection. If your vehicle is near a power line or anything else that can conduct electricity, the computer can be ruined by the EMP. The safe distance from the power line will depend on the magnitude of the EMP and the capacity of the conducting medium.

In essence, the stronger the EMP, the further away your vehicle will have to be from transmission sources to remain safe. Do some research on wireless power transmission, a technology envisioned by Tesla and on the verge of changing how we receive electricity from centralized sources.

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What Does the PCM Do in Your Specific Vehicle?

Depending on the age, make, and model of your vehicle, the PCM may do relatively little, or it may replace important parts that were once mainstays in motor vehicles. As a general rule of thumb, the newer your vehicle is, the more integrated the PCM will be.

For example, almost all vehicles on the market right now still have camshafts (these determine when valves open and close). It is entirely possible, however, to see camshaft free vehicles widely available to consumers in the next 5 – 10 years. Instead of a camshaft (which you can fix or replace as needed), these newer vehicles use hydraulic pumps that are, in turn, controlled by the engine control unit (aka ECU).

Before you decide to remove the PCM, look at the shop manual that should be available through the manufacturer. This book should tell you exactly what the PCM does in your vehicle, all the other computers it connects to, and the sensors involved in the chain of information.

If you are in the market for a new or used vehicle that you might want to retrofit to get rid of the computers, it will help to have a look at the manufacturer’s shop manual. As you read through the shop manual, flow charts including the following information:

  • The name of each sensor, the module it reports to, and what it reports.
  • Other information that is reported to the same module from other sensors.
  • Where the module reports next in the chain. Keep following this chain until it goes directly back to one of the major parts of the PCM. Also note any side chains that may report to another module elsewhere in the system.
  • Continue following each line of the flow chart until you reach an actual component that does tangible work in the vehicle. For example, you will know you have completed the trail when you hit something that instructs a motor to turn, a valve to open, or a hydraulic pump to work.
  • If there are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips or other ties not entirely related directly to engine performance, this is how you will find them.

Once you have made a complete chart of the sensors and modules within the vehicle, it will be easier to see how they all connect to each other. Bypassing one sensors may, in fact, entail bypassing several others so that the vehicle runs properly. If the PCM is highly integrated into the transmission and braking systems, you may have to do the entire overhaul at one time.

Alternatively, you may want to consult some open source vehicle retrofitting sites to see if there are workaround micro controllers that transmit information to the PCM even though the sensors and other parts no longer exist.

Make sure that your vehicle is safe to operate during the time period when one part of the PCM is present, but another is not. Fortunately, if your main concern is getting rid of automated remote shutoff RFIDs or other devices that can be used to control your vehicle remotely, bypassing them may not impact the overall functionality and safety of the vehicle.

Common Systems and Replacement Options

The Air to Fuel Ratio

If your vehicle has fuel injectors, then the air to fuel mixture will be controlled by some kind of computer. The only thing you can do, based on older technology, is to replace the fuel injectors with a carburetor.

If there is not enough space between the top of the engine and the hood, you may need to cut a hole in the hood to accommodate the added height of the carburetor.

Idle Speed

If you replace the fuel injector system, the carburetor will also control the idle speed. Unlike fuel injector systems, you will have full, easy control of the idle speed when using a carburetor. If the idle is too fast or too slow, just turn the idle adjustment screw.

In modern vehicles with PCMs, you cannot adjust the idle speed at all, and will have to take the vehicle to a mechanic that has the kind of computers onhand that can communicate with the PCM and make the necessary adjustments.

Ignition Timing

At the simplest, modern electronic ignition systems use sensors to monitor a magnet spinning on the distributor shaft. Transistors and other solid state devices (which you will recall are highly sensitive to EMPs) initiate high current flow through a coil, which then causes the spark plug to emit a spark. This whole process is controlled by the PCM or a related module.

You would need to install a mechanical based distributor in place of the electronic ignition system and then adjust the timing manually as needed. A mechanical distributor basically has a “cap and rotor” assembly on top of the distributor. The rotor has a piece of metal in the middle that accepts current from the distributor, and a small metal bit of metal on the outer edge. The cap has one metal bit for each spark plug that will be activated by the distributor.

As the rotor spins, the two pieces of metal meet and electricity from the distributor passes through the rotor, into the cap, down the spark plug wire, and into the spark plug. Once the metal on the rotor passes the metal point on the cap, no power is available for that spark plug until the metal on the rotor spins back into position.

Along with the distributor, you would also need to add a vacuum advance to the ignition system.

Firing Order

On a mechanical distributor system, the firing order is determined by the position of a gear which drives the distributor. This gear, in turn, is driven by the camshaft.

In order to avoid backfires or other symptoms of misfiring, the cables that connect the distributor to the spark plugs must be in the right order. If you do not have a repair manual that indicates the cylinder designations for each point on the distributor cap, and the firing order, you will have to find them manually.

Video first seen on  HOWSTUFFINMYCARWORKS.

Valve Timing

Modern camshaft systems use the ECU to control how much the exhaust and intake valves open as well as when they do so in the timing sequence.

Changing this system to remove the computer control will depend largely on how the camshaft is constructed and how the camshaft lobe is designed. Since different manufacturers use different methods for arriving at variable valve timing systems, you will need to look at the system for your car and take it from there.

ABS Braking

Basically, anti-lock braking systems use a sensor that detects when the wheel stops spinning, yet the vehicle itself keeps moving forward. Because locked wheels prevent steering, the first priority is to get the wheels turning again so that traction can be restored. Since most people slam the brakes when they feel the vehicle skid, they make the situation worse.

ABS systems automatically release the brakes and then re-apply them so that there is a balance between braking and traction control. You should be able to remove the sensors, and also the control module that connects to the pump that provides power assist while braking.

Just remember that you may need to do some additional work to restore full control between the brake pedal and the master cylinder.

Automatic Transmission Gear Switching

Even though you may remove the ECU, some parts of the TCU may still be looking for input from the ECU. As a result, you may also need to make some changes to the transmission so that it can run without input from a computer module. First, you can completely change the automatic transmission out for a manual one. This can be a difficult task, especially if you cannot find a compatible transmission.

Building one from the ground up would take access to metal working equipment, plus the experience required to build a fairly complicated system. Since you may also want to eliminate as many motors as possible in the vehicle, switching to a manual transmission may prove to be the best option.

Your other option may be to install an older style cable  that controls the transmission directly based on the position of the gas pedal.

Essentially, the transmission has a throttle valve that connects to the gas paddle via a cable. When you press on the gas, more pressure is exerted on the throttle valve. This, in turn, initiates changes in the hydraulic system within the transmission to engage or disengage different gears.

Electronic Windows

Have you ever shut the engine of your vehicle, and then realized that you needed to open or close the window?

If so, then you can readily understand what the rest of your vehicle will feel like when some part of the PCM is damaged or destroyed by an EMP. Without question, electronic windows are as dangerous as they are problematic to preppers that want a safe, reliable vehicle.

In order to change electronic windows for manual ones, you will need to find and install a window crank system that will fit inside the door compartment of your vehicle.

If the window system is deeply integrated into an anti-theft device which integrates with the PCM, you may have to disabled any number of sensors and auxiliary control modules so that the vehicle will start up and run properly.

Electronic Doors

You will more than likely need to change the lock on the door as well as install a manual lock system. This includes an internal door latch that will allow you to open the door from the inside.

Considering how dangerous electronic doors are if you happen to get locked inside, making this change should be a top priority even if you aren’t concerned about EMP proofing at this time. As with electronic windows, you may have to disable parts of the PCM or the BCM in order to get the vehicle to operate.

Steering System

Since most modern vehicles don’t have crash avoidance systems, the computer integration may be at about the same level as in the braking system. You may need to do without power steering, mainly because this is yet another motor that can be damaged by an EMP.

Are you going to let another year go by without doing something to EMP proof your car? In all probability, this will be the year I begin the process of rebuilding and retrofitting a more modern vehicle to one that will be EMP proof.

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Please comment in the section below on this topic so that we can all be encouraged to be better and more confident preppers in the arena of transportation!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


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6 Basics To Follow When Building Your Weapons

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Basics To Building Weapons

From self-defense to fighting terrorists, the question of how to build newer and better weapons will always be a challenge. Where to start from? What weapon is the most effective one? What features to have in mind? A lot of questions are to be asked, and finding the answers isn’t the easiest task.

The basics are always where you will return to solve problems as well as where you will go to explore new innovations and ideas.

So let’s start with the basics!

When it comes to the arena of personal defense, a good quality weapon must have at least six basic features. We’ll take them one by one in the following article.

Be Effective Within the Limited Scope of Self-defense

Consider a situation where you believe that a nuclear bomb is the most powerful weapon on the planet, and a ballpoint pen the weakest. Do you really need a nuclear bomb (as they exist in known modern technology) to take out a thug trying to get into your home?

While you may be enraged enough to lob a nuke, that doesn’t mean it is an effective weapon for your situation. Oddly enough, the ballpoint pen will actually make a better weapon against a single attacker. A modified ballpoint pen that can deliver poison or a dart will work even better.

Video first seen on ValvexFTW – ” How-to’s Weapons Inventions “

Put the Element of Surprise Back on Your Side

There is no question that an AK-47 or an AR-15 can be used to deter one person or several from harming you and your loved ones, but the size of these weapons makes them a bit hard to hide.

If you are out in public, carrying these weapons can alert more determined attackers to the fact that you are ready and able to defend yourself. This, in turn, takes away any element of surprise that might have bought you both leverage and a second or two of time.

Because there are limits to legal weapon ownership, but no limit to what criminals can obtain, this can put you at a serious disadvantage.

Perhaps we can even say never bring an “assault rifle” to a machine gun fight. In this situation, you might be better off carrying a concealed handgun because it won’t be noticed unless there is a need to use it. At that point, your attacker will have already underestimated you and followed through with an opening action that you have a better chance of defeating.

Even if you have a .45 caliber handgun, you may be overpowered after taking out just one adversary. This is just one area where being able to innovate and design better weapons will serve you well as a prepper. Being able to pack the power of a machine gun with the selectivity of a conventional rifle into something the size of a handgun would put you well ahead of any attacker.

Be Focused in Target Acquisition 

As far as small, effective weapons go, grenades are certainly easy to conceal and add plenty of surprise to a situation. Now let us look at a situation where someone pulls a gun on you, either in your own home or while you are in public. Let us also say that a family member, or even other innocent people are in the area.

No matter how carefully you aim the grenade, there is a chance that innocent bystanders will be hurt by the shrapnel. Unless you have a well-staged fire zone to throw the grenade into, and an ability to limit damage to bystanders, it won’t make for a good personal defense weapon.

In a world where terrorists are running rampant, it can be said that a weapon with too limited an impact has just as harmful an impact on bystanders as one that is too far reaching. For this scenario, let’s say you are out in public and a terrorist wearing a suicide bomb vest pulls a gun on you.

Even though a grenade won’t work in this scenario, a knife or a ballpoint pen won’t do much good either.

A rifle, on the other hand might be more suited to stopping this tragedy because it will be possible to shoot the terrorists while he/she is still further away from large numbers of people. This is yet another area where innovation in consumer level self-defense weapons might do far more good than you realize.

Be Free of Interference by Others

This includes free of the cost of ammunition, repair, and legal oversight.

Many people look to guns as classic self-defense weapons because they are effective, reliable, and efficient.

As effective as guns, tasers, and other projectile based systems may be, they also come with a number of prohibitive costs that include:

  • The actual cost of the weapon. A good quality handgun from a reputable manufacturer can cost several hundred dollars even before you add on better sights and suitable hand grips.
  • The cost of basic training and practice. If you weren’t raised in a community where gun ownership is part of the society, then it can be quite expensive to learn how to shoot, store, and manage a gun. In a similar way, if you live in a city or other restrictive area, honing and keeping your skills up can be quite expensive. Aside from paying for time at an indoor range, you may also have to pay for ammunition provided by the facility.
  • The cost of advanced courses and situation awareness training. The legal definition of a crime includes having making a specific, knowing decision to commit that act. As such, it should come as no surprise that someone intent on committing a crime will also be as well prepared as possible to carry it out.

If you are interested in self-defense, then you must also be prepared with as many skills and strategies as possible. Unless you are in law enforcement or in the military, the cost of that kind of training is very expensive.

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No matter whether you choose knives, bows and arrows, guns, tasers, or swords, the cost associated with advanced training and practice may well be beyond your budget.

  • Weapons, like any other machine, require maintenance and repairs. Contrary to popular belief, guns aren’t the only weapons on the market that come with a high repair and maintenance costs. Bows, knives, and swords can also cost several hundred dollars to repair or maintain over time.
  • The cost and availability of ammunition. If you remember the scandal surrounding the cost and lack of availability of .22LR ammo? No matter how you look at it, the cost of weapons that launch projectiles can be very expensive. To add insult to injury, ammo scarcity can act as a control point that may make it difficult, if not impossible to use the weapon you bought for self-defense.
  • The cost of permits and licenses. While terrorists and criminals who get away with murder and mayhem on a routine basis never worry about these costs, the average prepper has to deal with them along with every other expense on this list.

In these times, you might not always feel comfortable with learning how to make your own weapons and ammunition. At the very least, the basics may come in handy if a social collapse occurs and you wind up having to develop designs that go beyond a crudely fashioned spear made from a sapling and knapped stones.

Even something as simple as understanding what kind of blade shape will be most effective can make the difference between life and death.

Expand Your Strategy Options, Not Limit Them

In the arena of self-defense, it is very easy to have too many weapons that don’t work well at close range, or ones that don’t do enough damage to the target regardless of the distance. Avoiding both traps will require a good bit of trial and error. Before you even begin designing a new weapon, take time to study existing weapons and try them out.

While you are studying different weapons, pay careful attention to the basic parts and how they work. Think about how the weapon would work in a building, in a crowded area, or in very close quarters.

By the time you complete your study, you should have a list of weapons that will work well within arm’s length, some that will work several feet away, and others that will work up to or beyond 100 yards away.

No matter which one you plan to build, think about how existing devices limited defensive and offensive strategies, and think about how you can change the fundamental parts of the weapon to better suit your needs.

The Best Weapon is One You Have

Over the years, considerable controversy has emerged over the “Top 5” guns, knives, tasers, crossbows, swords, and other weapons. People in the military, law enforcement, or other walks of life are always more than happy to share their experiences with any given weapon.

For every testimonial shared, you are sure to find dozens that had a similar experience, and just as many others that had differing outcomes.

If you actually go out and try these different weapons, you will more than likely find yourself agreeing with some people, but not all of them. From that perspective, the best self-defense weapon isn’t one that you heard about, and should aim to acquire. Rather, it will have the following features:

  • It should be a weapon that you are comfortable using. Just because a .45 caliber semi-automatic has plenty of stopping power, that doesn’t mean you should give up a lower caliber revolver that you feel comfortable with. In a similar fashion, if you feel more comfortable wielding a knife at close ranges, it doesn’t make much sense to draw a gun just because you have it on hand.
  • Your personal defense weapons should fit your needs, budget, and comfort levels. In a stressful, life threatening encounter with a criminal or terrorist, a weapon that you are uncomfortable with can cause you to freeze up, miss the target, or lose complete control of the weapon and the situation.

A personal defense weapon should be something you feel comfortable carrying at all times. Remember, even a ballpoint pen can kill at close range in numerous ways. Never underestimate the simplicity of a device just because it looks harmless, or others don’t see it for what it is.

Within some limits, a weapon that you design yourself can truly be more effective and more efficient than anything you might buy based on the beliefs of others.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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How To Prepare Your Tractor For An EMP

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Tractor EMP Survival

If you are living on a homestead or farm, then I bet that a tractor will form a central part of your plans. As with other types of motor vehicles, tractors can also be destroyed by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

Invariably, if you have a newer tractor, or plan to buy one, you need to know which parts are most vulnerable, how to make repairs, and how to keep the tractor as safe as possible from EMP related damage.

Keep reading to get this knowledge. You will need it, for sure!

What About Buying an Older Model Tractor?

Many people concerned about EMPs ruining their automobile have decided to buy older cars that do not have computers in them. If you happen to be a fan of older cars and know their value and durability, then you may be led to believe that you can do the same thing with a tractor.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages you might encounter if you try to buy, and then fix up an older tractor.

  • Even though a tractor may not be used every day, the time that it is in operation puts a lot of wear and tear on the engine, transmission, and drive train. While some old tractors, may, in fact, run for several more decades without trouble, others may break down and require extensive repair at the worst possible moment. You may even find that restoring an older model tractor may cost as much as trying to convert a newer one for the sake of EMP proofing.
  • You will find it much harder to get spare or replacement parts. This problem may be offset if you have metal working tools and parts from compatible tractors built around the same time.
  • It will be very hard to obtain shop manuals and schematics that could be used to help you rebuild or maintain the tractor. Before a major crisis happens, you may need to do patent searches for individual parts and also see what kind of information the manufacturer is willing to give you.
  • On the positive side, if you find a tractor that runs well and has no computers or electronic parts in it, then you will have to do a lot less work to prepare it for an EMP. As long as you take the extra step of storing it safely, then it should run when most other motorized vehicles fail.

Video first seen on ACES – Fresh from the Field.

Get the Right Information, Skills, and Tools

Even though tractors are more rugged than most vehicles, they can still be ruined by improper maintenance or shoddy mechanical repair efforts. On the other side of the equation, if you are going to be truly self-sufficient, then being able to repair any tractor you own will be very important.

If you do not have the right skills, tools, or information, it is very likely that you won’t be able to use your tractor for very long after a major disaster let alone get restore it to working condition after an EMP.

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2 Vital Sources of Tractor Repair Information

  • The best source of information for making tractor repairs is the shop manual that should be available through the manufacturer of the tractor. The shop manual will list all the parts found in the tractor, as well as how to remove and replace them. It will also give you plenty of detailed diagrams so that you know how all the parts fit together. You may have to pay a bit extra for this manual, however it is well worth the cost.
  • Your next most important source of information is a notebook that you will keep that gives details about all maintenance, repairs, and changes you have made to the tractor. For example, if you decide to remove a particular computer system for the sake of EMP proofing, that information should be listed in the notebook.

You should also have detailed schematics and other notes so that you can make repairs to the revised system without causing problems. Never leave these details to memory. Even if you are a skilled mechanic, years, grease, time, and mechanical wear can change things to the point where you may no longer recognize what was done.

At the very least, detailed diagrams and notes about each changed system can help you retrace your steps and restore the tractor to working order.

Essential Tractor Repair and Maintenance Skills

Tractor engine Aside from being able to manage every system in the tractor, you will also need some additional skills if you are going to EMP proof the tractor and continue to use it in the revised form.

You will need the ability to search through patents in order to find older technologies that can be used to replace computer modules. You should also be able to look at different alternative designs and choose one that will meet your needs and still offer the best in terms of safety and efficiency.

Given the number of variations on tractor and automotive systems, you are sure to find dozens of designs that may work. Picking the best one, however, can take a good bit of skill.

Some computer systems may be difficult, if not impossible to replace with alternative technologies. As a result, you will need to have a good understanding of computerized automotive systems and how best to manage them. This includes knowing how to get to various sensors as well as how to replace any module that may require it.

Important Tools

Depending on the size of the tractor, you may be able to do some or all of the work using basic hand tools. This includes engine hoists and other equipment that will make it easier and safer to dismantle every part of the tractor.

There may also be some specialized tools that will be of immense use to you. Since many of these tools can be affected by an EMP, you should either focus on possible alternatives that run on water, or try to store them away in a Faraday Cage for later use.

  • Air driven tools. If you are working with an especially large tractor, these tools can make mechanical repair easier, safer, and faster. The air tank and hoses should all remain usable after an EMP attack. The compressor and associated gauges may not survive an EMP. You can try looking into trip hammer technologies as they were first invented in China to see if you can modify them to provide compressed air; and then use spring loaded levers and weights to help with determining air pressure within the tank.
  • Computer diagnostic systems. If you do not have the time or skills to convert key computer modules in the tractor to alternative forms, then you will need to make sure you can diagnose and replace computer parts that may be damaged by an EMP. Even if you can purchase a low cost hand held diagnostic unit, that may not be enough.

Consult the shop manual for your tractor to find out if any computer systems need to be reset by an external computer. If you find that an external computer is needed, see if you can find some way to obtain the necessary computer, or build something on your own that will do the job.

In this case, you can try Arduino controllers, and then make sure that you have the proper connectors and software languages required to communicate with the computers and sensors in the tractor.

Video first seen on Matthew Reimer

Know Which Parts are Most Vulnerable

Basically, anything on or in your tractor that conducts electricity can be damaged by an EMP. The amount of damage depends on:

  • the intensity of the pulse
  • how well or poorly the items conduct electricity
  • the ease of transmission from one point to another.

Even though your tractor may be located several miles away from an EMP strike site, power lines and other conductors may deliver the pulse to an area close enough to the tractor to do more damage than expected. Oddly enough, if the tractor is located further away from the power lines, it may be far less damaged.

That being said, the most vulnerable parts of the tractor are similar to the ones at most risk in any other automobile. The computers, wire harnesses, the alternator, motors, lights, and computer sensors can be ruined by even a relatively weak EMP.

Convert From Computers to Older Technologies

The ECU (Engine Control Unit) is one of the most important computers you will find in modern tractors and other automobiles. Basically, this computer alone controls:

  • the amount of air and fuel delivered to each cylinder
  • the speed at which the engine will idle while standing still. This part of the unit monitors the crankshaft position sensor, which plays a key role in setting other aspects of the engine’s timing.
  • spark timing
  • valve timing
  • adjustments to water flow through the engine based on whether it is cold or warm (this helps with fuel efficiency).

There are also other computer modules for controlling the transmission, braking systems, lights, and any safety features that the tractor might have. To some extent, all of these computers require at least some input from other computers in the system.

They are all connected by the CAN (Controller Area Network). Usually, this module does not have its own microprocessor. Rather, it simply allows all of the other processors and controllers to communicate with each other.

That being said, depending on the tractor model and computers involved, you may also need to do some additional work to modify the CAN before the tractor will work properly. If you start modifying one system, you can expect to have to bypass other systems or adjust the other computer so that it does not prevent the tractor from running.

Modern tractor computers come with programming that is very difficult to hack and alter. To add insult to injury, many of these programs are protected by copyright law. While these laws may not concern you much in the post crisis world, breaking them now can lead to criminal prosecution.

The whole issue of computerized control modules in modern tractors is a serious problem for people now, and will be an even bigger problem in the post crisis world.

Rather than focus on changing or adjusting the computers that come with the tractor, you can look for open source programs that will do the same job. At the very least, if there are some computer modules and sensors that you cannot do away with, you will still be able to use any spares you have after an EMP occurs.

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Is it Possible to Turn the Tractor into a Faraday Cage?

The answer to this question depends largely on:

  • how many electrically conducting attachments you have on the main body of the tractor
  • whether or not you can put a viable and sufficient insulator between these parts and the rest of the tractor. For example, if you have a grapple rake attached to the tractor, the connection points would have to be shielded in such a way that electricity cannot travel between the accessory and the rest of the tractor.

If the attachment is controlled in part by the tractor’s computer, you would also have to convert that system to a fully manual one. Preferably, these manual linkages would also need some kind of non-conductive spacer so that the EMP pulse does not travel into the rest of the tractor.

For the most part, it won’t be practical or possible to put the entire tractor in a Faraday Cage. On the other hand, you might be able to reduce the amount of modification needed by localizing all vulnerable parts to a shielded area of the tractor.

The most difficult parts will be the fuel line that extends from the engine to the fuel tank, and also the brake lines for each of the wheels. It may be possible to locate polymers that can be used as insulators, as well as other materials that can replace metal parts that would compromise the rest of the tractor.

Keep Spare Parts You Cannot Convert in a Faraday Cage

It is fair to say that if you have the time, money, and skills, you can more than likely convert any tractor so that it no longer uses any kind of computerized system. If you are on a budget or don’t have much time to complete so many tasks, this process can take months or even years to complete.

In the meantime, if society collapses or an EMP occurs, you will still need a functional tractor. At the very least, until you have fully EMP proofed the tractor, it makes sense to keep spare computer systems and diagnostic tools in a Faraday Cage. You should also keep extra wires, fuses, motors, and anything else that might be ruined easily by an EMP.

Video first seen on Big Family Homestead

These days, when people think of computers, lightweight tablets, cell phones, and other portable devices come to mind. By contrast, a combination of tractor computers, motors, wiring, tools, and other devices can easily weight several hundred pounds and take up quite a lot of space. This is actually one of the few places where I would recommend building a separate, building sized Faraday Cage to house all of the spare parts.

This building should be located underground and easy enough to get to from any underground bunker that you might decide to build. If you build the shelter more than 10 feet underground, there will also be some natural protection from the effects of an EMP.

As an added bonus, even a shallower depth will also protect you and the equipment from additional ground nuclear blasts that might follow a nuclear explosion that set off the EMP.

Use Cutting Edge Technology to Make Your Own Tractor Parts

Did you know that 3D printers are rapidly becoming very popular with people that want to build all kinds of devices? This includes motor housings, engine parts, and many other devices that would normally take complicated and expensive equipment.

If you do some research, you may be able to find a number of polymers and other compounds that can be turned into spare tractor parts using a 3D printer. If you are going to put other equipment in a Faraday Cage, this kind of printer and a computer to run it may be worth it.

Aside from making tractor parts, you may also be able to develop or purchase templates that can be used for other parts of your homestead.

Keep the Tractor in a Safe Location

Depending on where your farm or homestead is located, there is a good chance that you will not be using the tractor every single day. If you have winter seasons or other times when a tractor is not needed, the best thing to do is store it in a Faraday Cage.

An underground location would be ideal, however above ground shelters will also work as long as they are built correctly. Similar to other automobiles, it does not make much sense to keep a tractor if you can’t bring it out to the fields and use it for its intended purpose.

The best thing you can do is return the tractor to a safe location after you are done with it, and then hope that an EMP does not strike while you are using the tractor.

Simple Things that Might Minimize EMP Effects

In these difficult times, having a working tractor does not mean you have enough money or other resources to do everything needed for EMP proofing. If you cannot afford major modifications or a dedicated Faraday Cage for storage, here are some inexpensive things that might be of use:

  • Antennas tend to be some of the best and most overlooked conductors of an EMP pulse. Radios, remote control systems that feed into cell phone apps, and many other devices in the tractor may have antennas that will spell disaster during an EMP. Even if these antennas are tied to computer modules, it may be possible to remove the antennas without losing the basic functionality of the tractor. Without these devices, you may need to do more work manually, however it will be worth it if you can reduce the risk of the entire tractor being ruined by an EMP.
  • If you are near a power transmission substation, or very close to where the EMP struck, there isn’t much you can do to prevent damage to a tractor running in the field. That being said, if you are further away from the EMP, staying away from power lines or other large sized conductors might just reduce the amount of energy that gets to the tractor. In this scenario, it can mean the difference between computer parts being destroyed only, or those parts plus vital motors and wiring harnesses.
  • Always remove the battery and other sources of free flowing electricity from the tractor when you are done using it for the day. Do not just rely on shutting the engine because there may be any number of computer parts or systems that draw tiny amounts of current even when the tractor is off. Anything that draws power can also increase the risk of damage from an EMP.
  • If at all possible, it will also help to find out if any of the computers or sensors have power supplies that are independent of the main battery. These parts truly should be replaced at all cost because they present the most overlooked, and therefore greatest danger when it comes to prepping tractors for an EMP.
  • Pay attention to world news and global terror forecasts. When it comes right down to it, figuring out when or if a hostile group is going to launch an EMP attack is not an easy task. If you make a good guess and take the time to shield your tractor, then you will be ahead of the game.
  • Find, and follow a reliable space weather forecasting service. In all probability, an EMP may still more likely come from a solar flare or some other space related event. As such, a space weather forecasting service can be very valuable to you. If you hear that a large scale solar flare is expected to pass close to the Earth, this might be a good time to avoid running the tractor. Needless to say, if you want to minimize the number of times you disconnect the battery, these times might be suitable occasions.

Some New Technologies to Consider

Preppers aren’t the only people interested in finding as many useful and inexpensive ways as possible to reduce the effects of an EMP.

Here are some new technologies that may be of use at some point in the future.

Even if these specific materials cannot be used in a tractor application at this time, it may be possible for you and others to develop something that will shield tractors from EMPs.

  • Conductive Paints – Right now, these paints can be used in buildings to shield from all kinds of radio, microwave, and related electromagnetic frequencies. Work with an electrician that specializes in tractors or automobile electronics so that you can ground any kind of conductive paint safely. It is very important to realize that tractors and other vehicles are something like a huge circuit board. If you disrupt grounding points, it can cause shorts and other problems. At best, you may be lucky to come out of it with little more than some ruined parts. At worst, it can cost your life.
  • EMP Proof Concrete – If there is one innovation that promises to reduce or eliminate the risks posed by EMPs, a spray on form of concrete might just do the job. Although EMP Proof Concrete is not yet available to consumers, it is at the manufacturing stage and may become available in a few years.
  • Flexible Conductive Composites – these compounds are similar to the carbon and nickel layers used in paints and concretes. At some point in the near future, any one of these may make a viable spray coating that can be used to protect your tractor from an EMP blast.

No matter whether you purchase a new or used tractor, it is likely to be a large monetary investment.

If you are concerned about an EMP ruining your tractor, there are some things you can do to reduce the damage or prevent it. As with other automobiles, you will find that the best answers will also cost a bit of money and time.

At the very least, if you are determined to modify a newer tractor so that it does not have computer modules, take the time to learn everything you can about maintaining the tractor. This will help you to keep the tractor in good working order regardless of whether an EMP hits or society collapses for some other reason.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 


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17 Ways A Prepper Can Reuse Motor Oil

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Motor oil is commonly considered a waste material, but it may become something of value to people trying to put their lives back together in a post-crisis world. People will try to scavenge whatever may be of use, and it’s understandable since it will take some time for mechanization to re-emerge with new products.

You’ll also have to deal with what you have, so learn to speak multipurpose, and don’t skip motor oil from this equation. So here’s how to reuse motor oil regardless of whether there is a major crisis to deal with or not.

Where to Find Used Motor Oil

Right now, used motor oil is more of a nuisance than something else you might consider valuable in the post crisis world.

For the most part, mechanic shops and recycling facilities will be the first places to go for used motor oil, but you should also consider:

  • Abandoned cars – any car that has been abandoned may still have motor oil in the bottom pan. While you are scavenging, don’t forget to look for other things that may be of value such as wire, springs, and anything else that can be reused.
  • Abandoned home garages – even though many people take their car to a shop for basic maintenance, just about everyone has a quart or two of used motor oil hanging around in the garage.
  • Junk yards – no matter whether the junk yard caters to cars or other kinds of abandoned equipment, you are likely to find motor oil in many different places.  As with any other abandoned car, you are sure to find any number of useful items once you start looking around.
  • Trash piles, back yards, or rubbish storage sites – aside from looking for used motor oil stored in containers, be on the lookout for oil filters that appear to be intact.  If the filter does not have a hole punched through the top of the dome, there is a good chance that some motor oil can be found inside the filter.  To release, the oil, simply punch a hole in the top of the filter, and let the oil escape from the bottom into a clean container.

Read This BEFORE Reusing Motor Oil

While used motor oil is a common part of daily life, that does not mean it can be handled without precautions, and here are a few of them.

  • At a minimum, wear latex or rubber gloves. Aside from tiny bits of metal, reused motor oil also contains all kinds of chemicals that can cause rashes, dizziness, nausea, or other ailments if they get absorbed by your skin.  It is best to use oil resistant gloves, or ones that are rated for use with a wide range of toxic chemicals.
  • Oil resistant garments – any kind of spill can allow oil to get through your clothing and into contact with your skin. It does not matter if this contact occurs on your face, neck, hands, or other body parts. The toxins from the oil can still get past your skin and wreak havoc.
  • Oil resistant shoes or boots – make sure that the soles are also oil resistant.
  • If you don’t handle motor oil very often, it may not make much sense to wear a mask. On the other hand, if you are going to repurpose motor oil, then the amount of exposure might be enough to irritate or harm your lungs. Therefore, get a breathing mask or respirator that will filter out any harmful agents that might be found in the motor oil.

17 Uses to Keep in Mind

And finally, here’s how to use the motor oil instead of throwing it away.

1. Mix with Creosote to Weatherize Wood

Even though many people have used plain motor oil to preserve wood over the years, it is best to mix it with some creosote in order to avoid dry rot. You will also find that used motor oil can make a very slick surface.

While this may be ok for fence posts, it can pose problems for floors or other areas where you need some traction.

Video first seen on Anlex Garden Centre

2. Protect Wood From Insects and Animals

When people think about protecting wood from the elements, they are usually most concerned with water and dampness. Insects and animals can also wreak havoc on wood and cause it to be destroyed very quickly.

In particular, if you have a homestead or farm with horses or other large animals, they might want to chew on wooden posts or other objects.  Motor oil mixed into creosote will create a taste these animals do not like; and thus deter them from chewing on the wood.

3. Mix With Diesel to Make Penetrating Oil

If you are plagued by corroded or stuck bolts, screws, or other fasteners, then you may be well accustomed to using penetrating oil to try and loosen them up. While you may already have a few cans of good quality oil in your stockpile, the need for penetrating oil will never end as long as there are metal fasteners to contend with.

If you have some diesel and used motor oil, you can mix them together to make penetrating oil. Give this a try now to see how it works when compared to other formulas. Knowing when and how to use this replacement can help reduce the need to draw from your stockpile as well as enable you to innovate during an actual crisis.

4. Burn as Fuel

When you have nothing else for fuel, used motor oil can be burned to provide heat.

But used motor oil has many contaminants in it that can be toxic when burned and then released in the air. You will be better served by burning used motor oil outdoors.

Aside from reducing the smell of burning fumes in your home, tent, or other enclosure, you will also avoid deposits of toxins on the walls and ceilings.

5. Make a Torch

As plentiful as flashlights and batteries might be right now, that can all change faster than you realize. If you find yourself in a situation where you only have motor oil, some rags, and a wooden stick on hand, you can still make a torch that will produce light and heat.

Just remember to use the torch in a well ventilated area so that the fumes from it do not make you sick.

Video first seen on Jennies Garage

6. Prevent Attackers from Scaling a Wall

There is no question that many people wind up thinking about high tech or “modern” solutions when it comes to protecting their home from invaders. On the other hand, sometimes the simplest and cheapest answers may be found in items such as used motor oil.

For example, if you want to keep attackers from scaling a fence, or even climbing up to the roof of your home, just pour used motor oil on the walls.

If you are fortunate enough to have stone walls far enough away from your home, you can also set the oil on fire and make the invaders even more uncomfortable.

7. Fireballs for a Siege Engine

It is fair to say if you have a few acres of land, eventually you will become a target for roaming gangs of thugs and others that will want to take what you have. When it comes to military grade fortifications or weapons to strike attackers, you may find it difficult or impossible to get useful systems for your property.

Siege engines, on the other hand, have been used successfully for centuries as attack and perimeter defense devices. You can do some research on siege engines construction plans and make your own with relatively few problems.

If you need to stave off attackers, you can simply lob fireballs fueled by used motor oil at the attackers and have a reasonable chance of stopping them in their tracks.

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8. Kill Mange, Mites, and Fleas

If you have pets, then you have probably also encountered flea infestations. Chances are, you have also felt quite helpless when your pets developed allergies to modern flea medications, or worse yet, got very sick from them.  Surprisingly enough, motor oil can be used to get rid of fleas, mites, and mange.

Just be sure to wash it off thoroughly and use with caution.  Motor oil can be used both in a crisis and in these times if you have no other remedy available for these problems.

9. Keep Hand Tools Clean and Rust Free

Hand saws, drills, and many other hand tools require cleaning and oiling in order to keep them in the best possible condition. No matter how much lubricating oil you keep on hand, chances are your stock pile will run out long before your hand tools need to be discarded.

You can always try used motor oil to keep your tools free of dirt and rust.

10. Filter and Reuse as a Lubricant

Once motor oil is too dirty for use in an auto engine, there is no point to trying to filter it and reuse it for that purpose. There are still many other devices that build up less heat or have less stringent tolerances between parts that may still benefit from used motor oil as a lubricant.

Just be sure to filter out the oil so that you remove as much debris as possible.

When using discarded motor oil as a lubricant, it is also important to bear in mind that the oil itself may have broken down a good bit from heat generated by the engine.

Even if you filter the oil, it will not alleviate this problem.

You may need to change the oil more often, or pay more attention to device operation in order to avoid the kinds of damage that would normally be avoided by using oil as a lubricant.

11. Mix With Gas to Run Tractors

Unlike motor vehicles, older style tractors can run on a surprising number of different fuels without being damaged.  In this case, you can stretch fuel reserves for your tractor by adding some motor oil. You may be well served by filtering out the oil so that stray bits of metal or other contaminants do not damage the tractor engine.

Since every tractor is a bit different, you should start off with small amounts of oil and then see how the engine performs.  The last thing you will want to do is add too much oil and wind up with a seized engine.

12. Start a  Fire

Rainy weather, damp wood, and other conditions require something a bit more than a match to ignite.  A little bit of used motor oil can help you start and maintain a fire in just about any situation.

Video first seen on sixtyfiveford

13. Kill Mosquitoes in Stagnant Water

The vast majority of preppers already suspect that insects such as mosquitoes will multiply beyond belief when a social collapse occurs. While these insects do play a role in nature, they still spread enormous amounts of disease and wreak havoc among humans.

You can use discarded motor oil to seal off stagnant water and kill off mosquito eggs before they have a chance to hatch. When using motor oil for this purpose, remember that even small amounts can contaminate large amounts of water and the ground that the water seeps into.

If you must use motor oil on stagnant water, make sure that the water is fully contained and cannot get into the ground or some other source of water.

Do not be surprised if you find that it is easier to simply dump out or drain stagnant pools of water as opposed to trying to treat them with used motor oil.

14. Use With Steel Wool to Remove Rust

If you are scavenging for all kinds of metal items, you’re also very likely to find that possible replacements for needed items have a good bit of rust on them.

Rather than discard these items on sight, you can use motor oil and steel wool to clean the items up a bit. Needless to say, if you have items in your stockpile with rust on them, you can also use this method to remove the rust and restore them to good order.

15. Soften or Clean Leather Boots

Unless you have a stockpile full of shoes and boots made from synthetic materials, it is likely that you will need to use leather conditioners to keep footwear in good condition. You will also wind up making shoes from leather that must also be kept clean and soft.

Using discarded motor oil for this purpose will work well enough now as well as in a crisis situation.

16. Temper Steel

It is fair to say that the art and science of forging metals into knives and other useful items can be very complex. If you study metallurgy carefully, however you will find that the tools and materials required are not especially difficult to build and maintain.

In this case, if you want to temper or harden steel, you can dip the item in used motor oil to cool or “quench” it from the red hot stage down to black.

17. Attract Wild Hogs

Individuals that believe they can live off the land after a social collapse occurs are apt to find they need to expand their list of edible plants and animals. In this case, you can draw wild hogs to you by leaving some used motor oil around. As may be expected, you should be well prepared to kill the hogs and remain safe while you are attempting to take them for food.

Used motor oil is one of those materials that you may believe is useless now, and probably serves no purpose in a crisis situation. If you look at the basic properties of used motor oil, you will soon realize that it can be effectively used for heat, home defense, and even keeping tools in good condition.

Rather than throw away this valuable resource, go ahead and store some away for future use, or make a list of places where you can obtain used motor oil in time of need. And keep these tips in mind, they might save you one day!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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10 Problems That Kill Your Rural Survival

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Rural Survival

If you are a rural town dweller, or live on a farm or off-grid, you already have an expanded set of survival skills. Your isolation along with these skills are the keys to your survival, but you still must expect the unexpected.

Here are ten problems that you may not even give much thought but they still can cause a lot of troubles in turbulent times.

1. Lack of Key Supplements for Livestock

Modern farming methods can feed their livestock any number of things that might have been out of the question in the past. For example, today, many farmers think that it is safe to feed alfalfa to cattle because they also include a supplement in the feed.

Without this supplement, cattle and other sensitive animals will suffer from stomach bloat and die. You have a big pile of these supplements for now, but you will run out of them.

Therefore, be aware of the natural nutritional needs of all livestock in your care, and know exactly why you are giving various supplements to livestock.

Make it a point to see if you can replace these supplements with something you can make on your own or find out how to eliminate them altogether.

Adjust farming methods so that you no longer need antibiotics or other chemicals that won’t be available after a crisis hits.

Your animals will be healthier, and your body won’t be absorbing all those chemicals and toxins through animal based meat, milk, and eggs.

2. Insufficient Genetic Material for Plant and Animal Based Sources of Food

If you do some research, you will find that many animal based industries are already having problems with lack of sufficient genetic variation. For example pedigree dogs and thoroughbred horses are rapidly becoming a point of scandal and derision because of the serious genetic defects that lead to disease and early death.

Now consider a situation where you have just one bull and 5 or 6 milk cows, and that the cows are from all different blood lines. Even though the bull may be different from them, within just a few generations the animals produced will be sicker and weaker.

No matter whether you are raising chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, cats, dogs, horses, or other animals, make sure that you have enough genetic variation in both the males and females.

While one gender may not be as valuable as the other in terms of producing meat or eggs, the genetic variance is truly far more important than the inconvenience of keeping a few extra animals for the sake of genetic diversity.

This is also very important to consider when growing plants for food. Always use heirloom seeds, and try to get them from as many different places as possible. As long as the species and strain are the same, you can keep the plants strong and genetically viable from one generation to the next.

The last thing you will want to do is be ten, or even twenty years into a survival scenario only to realize that major staple plants are less robust or becoming weaker despite proper care of the water and soil. Needless to say, you should also store away triple, or even quadruple the number of seeds that you plan to use during an active crisis scenario.

At the very least, if genetic viability proves to be a problem, you will still have some to start over with, and then look for resources in other locations. This may include studying wild plants in the local area and cultivating them on a larger scale if needed.

3, Inadvertent Hybridization of Key Food and Medicine Bearing Organisms

If you currently use hybrid seeds because they offer more disease resistant plants or other benefits, you may not be thinking about the long term consequences of hybridization.

A hybrid is defined as a cross between two species that are close enough to produce viable offspring, however the offspring usually cannot produce a viable next generation.

For example, if you have two fields of heirloom corn or plant two strains close together, hybridization will occur. From there, the next year’s crop may grow, however, the seeds for the third year may not even sprout let alone produce a mature plant.

When growing plants, be very careful about where you plant different strains as well as which pollinators can create hybrids without your knowing. This includes bees which can carry pollen for miles as well as the wind itself which can transmit pollen from one field to another.

If at all possible, only grow one strain of a plant per year. It is also very important to be aware of:

  • wild plants from a related species that might provide pollen
  • plants grown by other survivors in the area that may be of a different, but related strain

4. Loss of Soil Fertility

Together with soil erosion, loss of soil fertility is a huge problem and apt to get worse in a survival situation.

Many farmers today rely on a range of fertilizers to enhance the soil. While this may produce edible plants, the lack of micronutrients is showing up in poor health and increased risk for disease for consumers.

Since you will be using the same soil over and over again to grow foods, this problem may cause serious health problems sooner than expected.

Take the time now to know how the soil on you farm differs from undisturbed land nearby. Make sure that you know how it differs in key nutrients that you expect to absorb from the foods.

If you find lacking nutrients, then look for ways to naturally recondition the soil in order to restore those nutrients. Some options may include:

  • expand the types of plants used on composting to include wild plants and leaves from surrounding areas
  • find ways to add animal bones and other parts in order to create a natural fertilizer. For example, eggshells are an excellent soil conditioner that you can get from chickens being raised on the farm
  • research safe ways to compost human excrement. It should be noted that there is a good bit of controversy on this matter as human feces and urine carry diseases that have left your body. While animal excrement can also be very dangerous to your health, at least the pathogens are not already established and accustomed to the human immune system, and therefore readily able to evade it.


5. Loss of Key Species Due to Overhunting or Overfishing

Many people think that as long as they live in a country setting, all they will have to do is go out into the woods and shoot a deer or some other animal for food. Aside from the fact that larger populations of people will easily cause animal depletion, there are some other problems with this idea:

  • Overhunting and over fishing can also occur when injured animals get away. Not only is the meat from them lost, the hunter will more than likely go out and shoot at one or more animals until they catch one.

If the person in question is not a very good hunter, this means dozens of animals may be knocked out of the gene pool and also made unavailable to people that need the food from these animals. As the gene pool of target species becomes less diverse, illness and fewer offspring will result.

Just take a look at the changes in deer spot patterns and white deer that signal pending collapse of a herd.

  • Unknown stresses from social collapse may impact vital species. Consider a situation where you are in a rural area that is surrounded by mines or factories. Even though they may appear far enough away to prevent damage to the land in your area, they can still pose a hazard during a collapse.

In particular, waste from factories and mines can be carried for hundreds of miles down a river, or seep into the air and soil via other means. Once these toxins get into the deer, rabbits, and other animals of interest, these animals will die off and leave you with very few, if any to hunt.

In order to mitigate these problems, you must always be aware of how many animals are being taken from the land for food as well as make sure you know how many got away and were never found.

It is very important to keep security patrols going through hunt areas so that you can stop strangers and prevent them from interfering with the wild herds you depend on.

You should also have longer ranging scouts take periodic trips to factories, rivers, and other water features that may impact your local area.

At the very least, if you know that a mine or factory has released a dangerous toxin, you may just have enough time to drive animal herds to another area where they can continue to live and reproduce.

6. Loss of Key Habitats

Wood No matter whether you chop down trees to provide wood for fires or use a nearby pond for potable water and irrigating crops, your activities will change the land around you. This, in turn, can lead to the loss of forests and other key habitats that you depend on for raw survival materials.

As rural families expand or more people find their way out of the cities, this problem will get even worse. You have only to look at the mess of an inner city to see what becomes of areas that were once as filled with trees and other natural landmarks.

As with protecting wild animals used for food, you must also protect the trees and other natural resources that you rely on. Do your best to patrol areas where loggers or scavengers may be looking to cut trees and take them away. Make sure that you know who is coming into the local area and how to keep them away from valuable land so that it is not destroyed.

While you may be inclined to share some of your resources, remember that you can never truly own a tree or the land it grows on. Be careful with these resources so that they will be available to future generations.

Since clearing land is unavoidable, you must replace what was taken. For example, if you cleared some land for farming, look for abandoned areas nearby that no longer have trees or other plants. You can always take tree seeds or even hand started seedlings and plant them in these areas.

If the soil in these areas is toxic or has many contaminants, you can try growing carrots, certain mushrooms, and conifers to clean the soil as quickly as possible. Once the soil is cleared of heavy metals and other contaminants, then you can plant maple trees or other forest bearing trees that will be of use to you.

7. Inadequate Sewage and Sanitation Systems

If you currently have a septic tank and leach field, then you may not realize just how easily your sewage system can become useless in a crisis situation. Among other things, if you don’t have a pump system to clean out the tank, then backing up toilets, sinks, and tubs, can easily force you out of your home. Some things you can do to avoid these problems include:

  • keep a good supply of sludge destroying organisms on hand. These can eat way materials that do not go out into the leach lines and buy you at least a few years before the next cleaning is required.
  • Have an outhouse and other outdoor plumbing ready for use.
  • Know how to make slit trenches and other short term sanitation options.
  • Do some research on composting toilets and how best to use the materials from it.

8. Lack of Common Vaccines

As with people trying to survive in a city setting, you will also be faced with a lack of vital vaccines. This includes those used to fight off tetanus and diphtheria. Many people today are misinformed about vaccines and believe that all of them are bad.

While many vaccines use Thimerisol as a preservative (which contains Mercury), that does not mean every single person that gets the shots will be poisoned or rendered permanently disabled.

In fact, thousands of people (including members of the military) take dozens of vaccines at a time without many long term problems. On the other hand, if you contract tetanus, it will kill you despite access to the best modern medicine.

It is very important to make sure that tetanus, diphtheria and other critical vaccinations are kept up to date. Aside from that, if you are part of a survival community, or have a survival doctor as a friend, ask them to store away these vital vaccines for long term needs.

Even though these vaccines supplies will run out one day, they can still be very important. You can also do some research on how Jonas Salk and other early vaccine developers created their products.

Some of those methods may be within reach of local doctors that may be able to use them in a time of need.

9. Lack of Fuel for Farm Equipment or Other Vehicles

As a prepper, you are sure to be very aware of the problems associated with loss of gasoline and diesel supplies. On the other hand, if you have been putting off converting your farm equipment to run on natural gas or biodiesel, then you may not be as ready as you though you were.

It is also very important to note that biodiesel and natural gas options aren’t completely free of problems. This includes creating long lasting and viable storage solutions as well as making sure that you have enough plant matter to make fuel.

If you have been following the ethanol saga, then you may already know that the loss of arable farm land for the sake of making fuel can be a huge problem.

Aside from expanding the range of fuels that your farm equipment can use, it is very important to have alternative farm equipment on hand. This includes plows and other equipment that you can pull on your own or use a horse, donkey, or oxen to pull them.

Even if you never use these tools, they may still be of use to future generations that may not be able to produce farm equipment to replace machines that wear out or break down.

Here are some other things you can do to manage the lack of fuel problem as well as some others that are likely to come up over time:

  • Consider building either a hydroponics or aeroponics farming system. You can usually grow a good bit of food in a very small space without the need for complex farm equipment. Since water and air based growing systems require very little soil, you can also have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to worry about soil depletion. If you choose to use fish as the source of nutrition in the hydroponics system, then you can also use them for food once they become large enough to eat.

Video first seen on WeLikeShootingVideos.

  • Look for ways to reduce plantings only to plants that will be needed for making new seeds. Instead of allowing so many plants to reach full size, you can get a good bit of benefit from consuming micro plants. Not only will this make it easier to grow food indoors, you will also have access to more nutrients in a limited space.

10. Lack of a Bug Out Plan

Today, the vast majority of preppers tend to see forests, farms, and small towns as the ultimate bug out location. If you are already in this type of setting, then you may also feel that there is no place else to go.

If you do not have a viable bug out plan, then you may be at a bigger disadvantage than expected. No matter whether you need to navigate to another rural area, or to a smaller city that has little damage from a large scale crisis, you will have a lot of problems without a well designed bug out plan.

Here are some things that you should at least have on hand in case you need to leave your bug in location:

  • A bug out bag that includes a complete navigation kit.
  • Maps and other materials that can help you get from one place to another as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Some means of transport other than a motor vehicle and a cart for carrying your bug out supplies.
  • A radio and means of communication so that you can always know what is going on in the area you are about to enter. From military patrols to roving bands of thieves, you are best served by knowing where the highest risks are so that you can skirt around these areas instead of going through them.

Before a crisis hits, it is very important to have reliable sources of information. This goes well beyond how to carry out certain tasks or manage any given project. Rather, you will need real-time information from people in areas you intend to enter.

This includes information on the nature of the crisis in the area, how badly it is damaged, and what the biggest threats are. If you need to build a weapon or change your travel plans, it is best to have up to date information that will help you make the best decisions.

Invariably, there is nothing like trusted contacts in the location to tell you what is really going on.

There is no question that many people see a return to nature or homestead farming as the ultimate form of prepping.

On the other hand, a nuclear bomb in the right place, a hurricane, tornado, or even an earthquake can make all your hard work go to waste.

These are just a few reasons why you need to consider more than basic survival when planning for rural area bugging in.

At the very least, if you consider the ten points listed in this article, you will have a chance to avoid them, and also use them as a basis for looking into other parts of your bug in plan that might need some additional work.

To survive you need to learn the lost ways and skills that helped our forefathers survive during harsh times. Click the banner below and learn how to live without our modern days technologies and gadgets.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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Surviving Off-grid: 5 Ways to Manage Chimney Creosote

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Manage Chimney Creosote

The government is doing everything it can to deter people from burning wood, it still remains popular with home owners that don’t want to use oil or other more expensive fuels. Wood is also very popular with off gridders, preppers, and homesteaders because it can be harvested from natural resources or grown for this purpose.

Many people that burn wood are plagued by creosote that builds up in chimneys. As dangerous as this problem can become, preventing or reducing creosote buildup is not as hard as it seems to be.

Here are five ways you can reduce or prevent creosote buildup in your chimneys.

Do not forget to inspect your chimneys on a regular basis and clean them even if the creosote only looks like it is in the early stages of buildup.

How Does Creosote Form?

Have you ever blown on a mirror or piece of glass so that some of the water vapor from your lungs condenses on the glass? If so, then you may also know that condensation occurs because the glass is cooler than the air exiting your mouth.

In a similar way, when hot gas and smoke enter the chimney, they are hotter than the stove pipe. If the pipe is not hot enough, then creosote will condense out of the smoke and be deposited in the chimney.

Video first seen on Corey Binford.

The Three Degrees of Creosote Buildup

As with many other situations in life, creosote build up may not be especially dangerous at first. However, if it is left unchecked, or not taken care of soon enough, it can become a very expensive problem. As you review the three degrees of creosote buildup, bear in mind that simply cleaning up the mess is only part of the problem. You will still need to take active steps to prevent or at least slow down further creosote buildup.

1st Degree

Just about every chimney will build up layers of soft black material known as soot. If you can easily brush the black layer of material out of the chimney, chances are there is actually very little creosote in it.

Many people consider this a good sign because it means the fire is burning hot enough to reduce the amount of temperature difference between the smoke and the chimney. While this stage isn’t especially dangerous, you will still need to clean out the chimney on a routine basis in order to keep good air flow.

2nd Degree

At this level, you will start to see more creosote in the soot. There will be quite a few shiny black flakes of material that can still be removed if you put some effort into it. If you see this kind of soot, it is very important to increase the air flow in the burning area.

3rd Degree

This type of creosote buildup forms layers of a tar like coating on inner surfaces of the chimney. If you think about how cholesterol builds up in arteries, then you have a pretty good picture of what I mean.

3rd Degree creosote also contains a good bit of unburned fuel. As a result, when it does catch fire, it can be quite dangerous. The third degree of creosote buildup is caused by cool burning fires with inadequate ventilation, or by a flue that is too large.

Here are five ways to resolve this type of buildup. You may need a combination of answers in order to reduce the level of creosote buildup as much as possible.

1. Keep a Robust Airflow

Have you ever lit a candle, and then put it in a glass cup? If so, then you have also probably seen soot build up on the sides of the glass.

When a fire burns under any kind of restricted air flow, the soot from the fire will also concentrate and condense into smaller areas. Typically, fireplaces that have glass doors, or are otherwise closed off will have the most problems with airflow.

Here’s what you can do to remedy this problem:

  • Keep the ash bin and grate area as clean as possible. Open the damper so that more air gets into the fireplace.
  • If you cannot get enough air moving in the fireplace, try using a fan or blower to push more air in through the damper. Make sure that the fan is made of metal or some other non-flammable material. Aside from purchasing a new model, you may also find some old, or vintage blowers at a flea market for a much lower price. Never underestimate the power or durability of these old, but incredibly durable blowers and fans!
  • In some cases, downdrafts from the outside can also cause poor air circulation inside the stove. You can try adding a partial cover to the top of outer pipe. Alternatively, add an insert with an inward curve that will also reduce the amount of downdraft that can get down the chimney.

2. Keep the Fire Hot

Even though you may think of a piece of wood as a single object, it is actually made up of all kinds of molecules. This, in turn, means that some molecules will have a higher kindling point than others.

If the fire is not hot enough, some of the molecules that require a hotter temperature will escape into the chimney and form a layer of creosote if the conditions are right. Later on, if the temperature inside the chimney gets hot enough, these particles will catch fire and burn.

The hotter the fire is, the better chance there is of these molecules being reduced to heat and ash in the fireplace. In addition, the hotter the fire is, the hotter the chimney will be. When the chimney is hot enough, all the gunk that forms creosote cannot collect.

Here are some ways to increase the heat output from a wood fire:

  • add a few handfuls of coal to the wood fire. Coal burns at a higher temperature and will also last longer. Without a question, anyone that has used a coal fire on a freezing winter night can tell you just how delightful they are!
  • install heat retaining bricks in the fireplace. This will increase the temperature inside the burn area and help keep the temperature steadier.
  • insulate the chimney pipe with bricks. This is especially important if you are using a metal chimney, as they will always be cooler on the inner surface. The insulation will help, however it will not entirely solve the problem if it is caused by using a metal chimney.

3. Check the Size of the Flue

Consider a situation where you want to heat up a cup of coffee over a campfire. Chances are it will only take a few minutes to achieve this goal. Now let’s say you want to heat up a gallon of water over the exact same campfire.

Heating up a gallon of water will take longer than a cup because there are more atoms to deal with. In a similar way, when the flue is too large, there is simply too much material for the fire to contend with. A wood stove should not have a flue larger than six inches.

When you reduce the size of the flue, it allows less heat to escape. Some people have noticed a 20% or better increase in heat produced by fireplaces that have an optimally sized flue. Therefore, you will be reducing creosote problems and get more heat at the same time.

Depending on the construction of the stove and chimney system, you may not be able to simply rip the whole thing out and start over again. Your best option will be to insert a sleeve into the chimney so that it has a smaller internal diameter. Even though these sleeves are usually made of metal, the surrounding brick in the chimney should keep it warm enough to reduce the risk of creosote build up. If you still get too much creosote, focus on increasing the heat produced by the fire and the amount of air flow going up into the chimney.

  • Remember, the more air flow you have going up the chimney, the harder it will be for particles to stay still long enough to attach to inner surfaces.
  • You may also want to let the wood season longer than a few months, and choose some type of wood other than pine. Look for wood that has less resin or sap in it.
  • It is also very important to stay away from pellets or other types of pre-manufactured wood because they may be designed to burn at lower temperatures than what you will need to heat up an over sized chimney.

4. Make Sure the Wood is Fully Seasoned and Dry


Have you ever tried to start a fire during or after it rains? If you are camping, chances are you use a number of methods to dry the wood out as much as possible so that it produces more heat than smoke.

In a similar way, when wood is not fully seasoned and dried out, it will produce more creosote. Fires that produce a lot of smoke also have the following problems:

  • there is less airflow, which reduces the amount of oxygen available to the fire
  • the fire will burn cooler because water impedes combustion
  • smoke is also a sign that more fuel is escaping into the air than you would get from a cleaner burning fire.

There is no substitute for time when it comes to seasoning wood. You can try keeping logs closer to the fire place for a few days before you actually burn them. Just remember to rotate them often so that the log dries out more evenly.

Chopping the log into smaller pieces might help too. This will increase surface area, which in turn will speed up water evaporation. You will still need to rotate the wood around to ensure the fastest possible drying.

When it comes to seasoning wood, many people make the mistake of covering the wood with a waterproof, air tight tarp. The wood will release water vapor, however it will fall right back onto the wood and be absorbed all over again.

You will be better served by keeping the wood loosely covered and in a warm, sunny spot while it is drying. As with drying the wood out indoors, do not forget to rotate the woodpile every few days so that the pieces dry out as much and as evenly as possible.

If the weather is especially damp, humid, or rainy, it may be of some help to cut the wood into smaller pieces. No matter how you look at it, increasing surface area always speeds up evaporation. It may seem like a lot of extra work, however it will pay off when you have hotter fires during the winter months and fewer problems with creosote.

5. Do Not Overload the Stove With Wood

When you have had a long, hard day, it is tempting to load the stove with as much wood as possible so you won’t have to add more through the night. On the other side of the equation, when you put too much wood in the stove, it reduces air flow.

Aside from this, when fires burn, they also release some water vapor. When there is too much wood in the stove, some of that vapor may just land on the wood and increase its moisture level. No matter how well seasoned the wood is, that increased moisture will cause the fire to burn poorly.

Here are some ways to resolve this problem:

  • start off by adding just one piece at a time to the fire. If the fire burns well, try adding a second piece. Keep adding more pieces as long as the fire burns cleanly. Do not forget that you may not be able to add as many pieces at one time on rainy days or ones where it is impossible to prevent a downdraft from the chimney.
  • install an automatic wood feeder. Even thought a wood feeder can take up a good bit of space, it may be a better solution than trying to manually feed the stove.
  • Use coal and other materials that might burn longer during times when you won’t be available to feed the stove more wood.

Wherever you live in (an apartment or a house), chances are the building will have a chimney, and there will also be a stove available for burning wood. Getting started with wood burning is not especially difficult, but avoiding creosote buildup in the chimney can be challenge.

Be careful about the condition of the fire, the wood, and ventilation issues that may lead to creosote buildup. Once you find a way to reduce the speed of creosote buildup, do not forget to inspect the chimney on a regular basis.

A clean chimney is not just a safe one, it is a valuable asset that will help you burn wood efficiently and get the most from it.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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How To Choose The Best Batteries For Prepper Solar Systems

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Batteries For Solar Power

No matter what device you use to turn solar power into electricity, a storage system for the electricity is absolutely essential. Without batteries or some other form of storage, you will not be able to produce an even flow of current or span time gaps when the system produces too little power or none at all.

While there are many different kinds of batteries on the market that can be used with solar systems, they may not be best for preppers.

Here are some things you should keep in mind when buying pre-fabricated batteries.

Understand How the Batteries Will Be Used

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out your average household electric consumption, simply go back to your electric bills for one year. Pick the highest bill and look at the amount of electricity you used. Multiply that by about 30% to take into account higher energy drains for unusual weather patterns and you will have some good ideas about how much power the batteries will need to produce per year.

While power output is a very important part of understanding battery use, it is also important to keep the following factors in mind:

  • Aside from computing average yearly and daily use, it is also very important to know how deeply you can cycle the battery, (essentially how much you can let it drain to almost empty before recharging it) and how often you can do so without damage. Even though modern batteries are connected to systems that reduce the risk of overcharging, there is no way to prevent the battery from being cycled too deeply or too often other than to have more batteries in the system.
  • Make sure that the batteries can safely withstand charging and discharging at the same time. Do not just go by the battery type when making this assessment. Rather, look for testimonials and consumer reports on the actual models of interest to you. If you do not feel confident that the battery can truly handle this type of use, then create a system with two battery banks so that one can be used for powering your home while the other is charging back up again.
  • Aside from the amount of power being drawn from the battery, some devices draw it faster than others. When evaluating batteries for a solar system, make sure you know how quickly they can be discharged without causing damage. You may find cheaper batteries that cannot be drained as quickly, however you may have to switch between devices so that you do not ruin the batteries.

Long Warranties vs. Stockpiling

Right now, our nation and world are facing some very serious catastrophes. For the first time in decades, we have a candidate for president “playing chicken” with nuclear armed Russia to the point where Putin says war with the United State is inevitable.

If that isn’t bad enough, we’ve essentially got all four of the Biblical horsemen of the apocalypse in play:

  • Famine (in the form of crop failures caused by floods, bee shortages, and soil depletion)
  • Disease (super bugs on the rise, deadly vaccines that leave us vulnerable to cancer yet allergic to common foods such as peanut butter and dairy, and food borne illness that may be enhanced by “undocumented citizens” that tend to work in food production)
  • Warfare (terrorism aside, civil war might erupt right beneath our own feet)
  • A pervasive sense of some kind of death march that most don’t even recognize because they have been so heavily brainwashed and bound up into a system of lies, corruption, and greed.

With all of this going on, it is entirely too easy to disregard warranties because the companies that offer them may not be available to meet their end of the bargain once society collapses past a certain point.

That being said, neither we, nor these companies actually know when a major disaster will come along. It would be foolhardy, at best for a company to give a longer warranty on something that will fail much sooner, and then have to take  a loss on all those repairs.

As long as the company itself is in good financial health with a stable board of trustees and executives (you can research this through publically available business portfolios, SEC filing, and other materials designed to attract investors), then there is a good chance the confidence the company displays through the warranty is valid and worthy of consideration.

It is fair to say that many preppers who don’t believe in the value of warranties prefer to stockpile extra items so that they can replace broken or worn items with new ones.

In this case, if a battery has an average life of 5 years, some preppers might store way 3x the number of needed batteries thinking they will get 15 years out of them.

Sadly, as soon as batteries are assembled, they begin to break down inside. No matter how you try to rotate them in and out of service, store them, or baby them, they will all become useless at around the same time.

Overall, you will be better served by giving more weight to the manufacturer warranty for each battery instead of how many batteries you can store away for future use.

Video first seen on LDSreliance.

Batteries You can Choose From Today

In earlier articles, I discussed the main kinds of batteries that you can use with your solar power system, as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with each one.

Please use the following links for more details about some of the more common batteries on the market. Then, as now, I still have no particular favorite in this industry and feel that it is up to each person to weight their personal needs carefully in relation to each battery type.

Batteries that May be Available Soon

In the last year, some absolutely amazing batteries came one step closer to being available to consumers.

Here are my 5 favorites:

Gold Nanowire Batteries – these batteries make use of ultra thin gold wires suspended in an electrolyte gel. During testing, they were deep cycled several thousand times without being ruined or breaking down.  Of all the emerging batteries, this one has the potential to last for decades and beyond. Since they can also be scaled to a size suitable for automobiles, they may also be the perfect battery for preppers.

Video first seen on UPHIGH Productions.

Graphene batteries – basically, graphene batteries make use of carbon arranged into honeycomb like lattices to store energy. The are lighter in weight, last longer, and are much safer than lithium ion batteries.

At this time, you can purchase graphene batteries and give them a try. I recommend trying out the smaller ones for portable devices before moving on to larger ones to integrate with a solar power system.

It will also be of some help to keep an eye on emerging technologies that combine graphene batteries with super capacitors and other materials.  As innovative as graphene batteries are, there is still plenty of room for even better batteries to be developed in the next year or so.

Aluminum Air Battery – these fascinating batteries literally run on water and can deliver several times the power of a lithium ion battery. Current models will run for about 14 days before you have to top them off again with tap or salt water.

Some models of these batteries are supposed to be available in 2016, however it may be some time before you can buy ones large enough to power a household.

Titanium Dioxide Battery – instead of using carbon, these batteries make use of titanium dioxide. The NTU battery will charge up much faster than conventional batteries, and will last well over 10 years.

If these batteries come out in the next year or so, I would recommend them over current battery designs.  Since these batteries still don’t last as long as some other emerging designs, I’d call them an improvement, but would still keep some money aside for nanowire and other battery types.

Organic batteries – did you know that a molecule similar to the one found in rhubarb may hold the key to durable batteries that are safer, charge faster, and last longer? While organic batteries are very much in the early stages of development, they deserve some attention from preppers.

Aside from purchasing pre-made batteries, some of the ideas presented may lend themselves well to creating your own batteries from household or natural materials.

Without a  question, if there is a battery that appeals to preppers, this would be it because of the potential ability to make them at the consumer level.

While it may still be some time before these batteries are offered for home energy use, they have the capacity to work better and last longer than anything else on the market right now.


If you must buy batteries for an existing solar power system, then buy what you need to get running now. Just try to set some money and resources aside so that you can purchase these newer designs when they become available.

Other Ways to Produce Even Power Output

Today, batteries aren’t the only way to provide a steady flow of electricity. Because modern batteries charge slowly and cannot manage sudden spikes in power demands, they are often teamed up with ultra or super capacitors.

Aside from reducing demands on batteries, these capacitors can also recapture energy that would be lost. Regardless of the battery you choose for your solar power system, it will be well worth your effort to include super capacitors to increase efficiency and stability of power flow.

Just about all technologies today focus on using various materials to store electricity. But what if we could store heat from the sun, and then convert it to electricity on an “as needed” basis?

If you are interested in DIY power storage solutions, give some thought to storing heat instead of electricity.

You might also want to look into ways to store energy into springs or even use motion as a means to keep the energy readily available.

Take the time now to learn more about how different kinds of energy are translated from one form to another, and also how they can converted to electricity at any stage in the process.  Even though every system will lose energy as it converts from one form to another, that option may still be better than having no power storage options available at all.

Preparing for Social Collapse

Over the years, I have experienced a good bit of frustration as I have searched for answers to the thorny question of how to produce electricity, and then store it.

Each time I look at emerging technologies, I seek to test them to see if I will wind up relying on organizations that will charge a fortune for maintenance and equipment replacement.

Needless to say, I also find it quite vexing when I cannot find all the answers in one place, or one answer does not meet all my needs.

From that perspective, it seems best to not focus exclusively on just one battery or power storage technology. Here are some steps to take:

  • Try to obtain small versions of different battery types for testing purposes. Instead of using them with a conventional power charger, see how they respond to mini solar panels, body power systems, or anything else you may be working
  • Choose a battery type that seems to work best ,and purchase one or two units that would be suitable to integrate with your solar power system. If they work well, you can opt to purchase enough batteries to power your home, and then wait to see what else becomes available.
  • As newer battery types become available, try to obtain small versions so you can test them out. For example, right now you can purchase graphene batteries and connect them to any number of different systems.
  • If you happen to find a battery that works really well in the smaller sizes, then keep an eye out to see when larger ones become available.  Gradually, you can replace older technologies with newer ones and hopefully come out with a better system in the end.
  • For the best long term options, think for yourself and do what you can to explore power storage options that may not be as popular. If you can find something that you can build for yourself, you will be that much closer to the goal of complete and sustainable energy independence.

As you can see, purchasing batteries for a solar energy system as a prepper isn’t exactly the same as it is for homesteaders and off gridders. While these people still have an interest in good quality batteries that will be reliable and durable, preppers must always take into account what to do in the event of social collapse.

Therefore, when it comes to choosing the best batteries, you will always need to think past the current time frame and look to future technologies as well as developing your own innovations.

And be prepared to survive an EMP – an upcoming disaster which we can’t stop. Click the banner below and prepare yourself for this disaster.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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Moving Your Computer Off Grid

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Moving Your Computer Off-Grid

More than a few preppers feel that as long as they can provide food, shelter, water, and basic medical needs for themselves and their families, nothing more is required. Other preppers may feel that self defense, power generation, education, and machine repair are skills that will be required in the post crisis world.

Sadly, many preppers and also off-gridders tend to ignore or underestimate the need to have a computer that can be used to help make it easier to survive.

In all likelihood, these are also the people most likely to have serious problems in the post crisis world because they do not have a computer available to help meet a range of goals.

Computers and Prepping Can Get Along

A computer cannot hunt a deer for you, boil water, or make a pair of shoes, obviously. On the other hand, any computer with a connection to the internet can help you find out how to do these things and much more. When you find good information, it is also very easy to store those files on your computer so that you can read them and work with them whenever you want.

And if you are in a situation where internet access is still available, you can use your computer to contact friends and loved ones as well as people that might be able to help you get through a crisis. Then you can certainly relate to the quandary of many preppers that are finding out it is becoming impossible to make or obtain raw materials that would be needed in a major crisis scenario.

On the other side of the equation, many of the items you need for basic prepping can still be purchased online. All you really need is a prepaid debit card and an internet connection so that you can find websites where you can place your orders. Not only will you be able to get the supplies you need, you will also have a much wider selection of other goods to choose from.

Regardless of whether you are interested in the best quality gun cleaning kits, need a certain type of fishing reel, or need good quality vintage hand tools, you can find them all online. In fact, even if you are disabled, you may be able to find customized materials and tools that have been modified to meet your needs.

Most people don’t realize just how important it is to network with preppers from diverse geographic regions and make plans for bugging out that include those friends and connections. Consider what would happen if an earthquake or hurricane strikes your area.

If you only have friends and family in a local, or small area, chances are everyone will be affected. If you have friends in other states that might be able to offer temporary shelter or help you make a new start, then you will be well ahead of the game.

In these times and beyond, both money and barter systems are vital for exchanging needed goods and services. A computer is very important for expanding your trade and marketing options. It is also very important for securing alternative currencies that may play a vital role in remaining solvent in the face of currency collapse.

Most people would be truly amazed at how easy it is for the average consumer to secure foreign currencies, keep a good supply of them, and even use them as down and dirty form of currency trading or flipping.

The Tough Choice on the Best Device(s)

Off grid devices

Obsolete devices may still be very useful because certain older technologies are easier to work with and may be safer than newer devices that are routinely overclocked or are based on unstable hardware platforms.

If you are interested in newer devices, here are some categories, brands, and models that you can start off with for each category of device:


If you are primarily interested in a conventional desktop computer, my own experience leads me to believe the best option is to build the computer yourself so that you know exactly what parts are being used and how best to optimize the BIOS (this is where you can determine how fast the computer will run, whether or not the system can boot from a USB drive, and other aspects of basic operation) settings.

Since modern computer chips tend to run hot, it is very important to provide plenty of ventilation and cooling options inside the case. If your CPU and motherboard kit come with sub-par heat conducting gel, do not hesitate to find the best on the market.  It is also very useful to add extra fans and other cooling devices right inside the case.

Always remember, the cooler you can keep the chips during operation, the lower your chances of erratic freeze-ups or even ruining the chips.

Insofar as other vital parts such as hard drives, CD/DVD drives, and video cards, it truly depends on your personal tastes.

You will need a dedicated video card to gain access to these specialized chips that will reduce wear on the CPU and enhance computer performance at the same time. Be sure to study gamer forums and video editing forums to find out which video cards work best with specific CPU and motherboard combinations. A bad fit between these parts can truly be a disaster.

Memory cards (RAM) are yet another tricky, yet vital area of the computer that you will need to think about. This is also one area where only the best will do. It is better to go with the fastest cards that the motherboard will take, and also from the best rated vendor.


Unlike desktop computers, you will have far less control over what parts are found inside the case. Before purchasing a laptop, be sure to find out the model number of the CPU and motherboard. From there, you will need to look up the chipsets to find out what the optimal clock speeds are.

I have seen more than one laptop burn up at around the 1 year mark because a sub-part mother board with a slower timing chip was paired with a faster CPU. Since most buyers do not ask about the motherboard model, there was no way for them to find out that they basically had an overclocked system that was going to fail very quickly.

Overall, I can safely say that I don’t recommend spending 3 – 4 times as much money on a laptop when I can choose a much cheaper tablet and optimize it with less intensive apps. The only advantage a laptop might have over an off grid tablet is that it is easier to customize the programs.


An unlocked tablet will give you just about everything you need for basic document access and communicating with others. You can also choose apps that will enable you to create your own apps and carry out other more complex tasks.

Tablets also have the advantage of taking far less  power than a desktop or laptop computer. They can easily be recharged on a portable solar pack, and it is also fairly easy to bypass the battery.

Insofar as brand names, I tend to favor Lenovo, but have also found Alldaymall tablets to work well. The Alldaymall tablets are also a good bit cheaper, so you can purchase more of them and put them in your bug out bag as well as other locations.

Smart Phones

When it comes to a comfortable viewing experience combined with relatively low power usage, larger tablets will work much better than smart phones. That being said, in a “something is better than nothing” or a vital tool for your EDC, few things can rival a good quality unlocked smart phone.

While I recommend a 10” tablet for bug out gear, a 5” smart phone is truly  more than enough for EDC. Not only a phone this size fit easily into a purse or backpack, it is even easier to power than a larger tablet.

They also work well for reading a range of documents and will give you a good sized window for viewing videos. You can also hook up a folding keyboard and be able to carry out a number of tasks that would be difficult using the screen keyboard.

The Challenge on Providing a Steady Source of Power

Today, the vast majority of computers have sub par power supplies that make them more susceptible than ever to fluctuations in power coming into the system.

As our electric grid continues to crumble, rolling blackouts, brownouts, and line voltage fluctuations caused by excess usage during peak hours will shorten the life cycle of many computers. If you are generating your own power, it is just as important to make sure you know how to keep the current going into your computer as steady as possible.

There are some things you can do now, as well as consider when building a power system that will help you get the most out of every computer that you own. CLICK HERE to subscribe to Survivopedia’s newsletter and get the free report on how to take your computer off grid.

Understanding the Impact of Utilization

No discussion about preparing your computer hardware for off gridding would be complete without at least touching on the resource cost involved in each program that you run on the system. For example, if you have a simple word processor program with no fancy graphics, it will take up far less processor and memory resources than one that has funny critters dancing around all over the place.

Apps that automatically play videos or programs that automatically play music also shorten the hardware life of your computer. Therefore, when it comes to choosing the best computer for your off grid or prepping needs, it is always important to study benchmark tests and hardware longevity tests under certain loads.

Once again, you will find some of the best and most accurate information in the gaming forums.

Important Parts to Keep On hand

For each device in your EDC, bug out bag, or other location, there are some important parts that can help double or even triple the useful lifespan of your computer. Even if you lose some functionality, the main parts should still work for 2 – 3 decades on desktop units, and up to 10 years on laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

  • Start off by buying all of your devices brand new and with the maximum warranty available. If something breaks down during the warranty period, let the manufacturer or repair center take care of the problem.
  • Buy at least 3 to 5 non-functioning devices that are compatible with the make and model of each device. Usually, you can pick these units up for around 10 to 20% of the cost of a brand new device. You can choose different manufacturers as long as the parts are fully interchangeable with your device. You will use these devices to learn how to make repairs, and also for spare parts if something breaks down on your main device.
  • Since RAM chips take the most abuse on any computer system, keep a few spare ones on hand.
  • Have at least one extra power supply for desktop units. Unlike other parts of the system, you should never open up the case on the power supply unless you have a good bit of experience working with electronic devices. Never forget that the capacitors inside these power supplies may not be fully discharged, and that touching them or a live circuit can cause death or severe injury.
  • Keep at least 2 USB hubs handy that also have the capacity to power any device you hook up to them. When connecting devices to the USB ports on your computer, try to never at least one pair of ports.

What Happens When the Battery Dies?

If you have been thinking about using a smart phone or tablet as a place to store important survival information, you may hesitate because you know that the battery can easily be ruined by over charging, or that it will wear out sooner rather than later.

While some devices will continue to work while the battery is “charging”, others will not. If you have a device that will not work while charging, you will need to remove the battery and apply current directly to the device.

In this scenario, you must know how to keep the voltage and amperage as stable as possible before they reach the device. You can make your own controllers for this purpose then hook them up to solar panels or anything else that you will be using as a power source.

Just remember that you power controller may also need to go safely from AC to DC current as well as match the voltage and amperage needs of the device. If you aren’t sure how much power to provide for laptops, tablets, or smart phones, just go by what the battery is rated for.

Video first seen on PrepareForTheUnexpected.

Basic Toolkit

It will not be of much use to have plenty of parts on hand, and then no way to install them or make good use of them. Here are the most essential tools you will need for building computers or making repairs:

  • chip extractors for chips that are installed in sockets
  • high heat conducting gel
  • anti static grounding strap
  • precision and larger size screwdriver kit
  • magnifying glass
  • low wattage solder iron, solder, and flux suitable for computer parts
  • desoldering bulb
  • pliers and wrenches
  • wire cutters
  • anti-static bags and mats for placing boards on while you are working
  • multi meter, port testers, and digital logic probe

If you become especially proficient at scavenging and rebuilding electronics parts, it may be to your advantage to include a copper board etching kit. You can use these to make new circuit boards in a time of need.

Scavenging and Repair Skills

If you take good care of your devices, they may last for several years without need for repair. Once they break down, however, you will need to put your toolkit and stored parts to use. Here are some basic scavenging and repair skills that you can use to fix your own devices, or trade as service with others:

  • understand hardware part numbers so that you know which parts are compatible across different manufacturers
  • be able to solder and desolder chips or other parts without damaging the parts
  • know how to diagnose problems and figure out the best way to solve them
  • how to recognize which parts (example what a melted down chip looks like) need to be replaced or repaired
  • how to use software diagnostics, driver programs,  and BIOS programs to resolve problems
  • how to find viable parts in a junk yard or other locations where discarded electronics may be found.

Video first seen on The Off Grid Family.

Where to Get More Information and Training

Overall, you will find it easiest and cheapest to build and test your skills on desktop computers. If you go to a flea market or do some research online, you can easily pick up dozens of obsolete motherboards, CPUs, power supplies, and just about anything else for a few dollars.

Start off by trying to build a complete and functioning system. This will give you plenty of practice with identifying basic parts and help you overcome any hesitance you may have in working with computer parts.

While you are exploring these parts, take a course on basic electronics and then one on computer hardware. You can also find plenty of good books on this subject. In total, you should spend about 4 months on this part of your skill development.

Once you master desktop computers, you can go ahead and choose the parts for, and build your own system. If you do not want to build a desktop unit, then go ahead and start working on building your stockpile of laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

You can always practice your skills on non-working units as well as get to know more about working with smaller devices that require a good bit more patience and care.  If you develop a particular interest in these smaller devices, it will be to your advantage to take courses on how to repair them.

Without a question, the first time you bypass a battery during a major crisis or repair a failing laptop monitor you will see why these skills are every bit as important as anything else you may be learning and practicing for a time of need.


This Article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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10 Ways To Harness Wind Power

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10 Ways To Harness Wind Power

Even though our society may be on the verge of collapse, the increased interest in wind power has resulted in some amazing new designs. Rather than build a wind turbine using conventional blade patterns, you can take advantage of these designs and generate more electricity with less effort.

No matter whether you are going to remain in your current location, build a homestead, or bug out to a prepper community, each of these designs can be built by individuals and small groups.

Modify the Blade Shape to Reduce Drag

Many people choose wind power over solar because it is easier to build a functional wind turbine from junk materials. It is also easier to maintain wind turbines and replace parts as needed. As you may be aware, solar panels require rare earth metals, and have electronic circuitry that can wear and be ruined easily.

A number of studies also reveal that generating power from the wind is more efficient at both the consumer and commercial power generation levels.

On the other hand, if you use a conventional blade system, you may run into several problems that reduce efficiency and create a situation where you may not be able to generate enough electricity to meet your needs.

Just because the blades on a conventional turbine move when the wind blows, that does not mean they are working as efficiently as possible. Depending on the shape of the blade, one of three things can happen:

  • If the blade is shaped just right for the wind speed and direction, there will be minimal drag on the blades, and no wind will get past without being converted into lift. As a general rule of thumb, thin, curved blades work better than wider ones.
  • If the wind speed is too fast for the blade shape, too much drag will be created. The faster the blade spins, the more disruption in air current there will be around the blade. Essentially, a blade that may only be 2 feet across and 10 feet long will repel the wind as if the blade were 4 or 5 feet across and 15 – 20 feet longer.

By changing the curve of the blade to match faster wind speeds, the drag will be reduced so that more wind moves towards the blades.

  • If the wind speed is too slow, wind that could be used to turn the blades will simply pass through instead of being used. Typically, blades that are curved for high speed winds will not work well in lower speed winds because there are no disrupted wind currents or a blade to capture the wind and harness it to lift the blades.

Some of these problems can be reduced by making changes to the blade shape. For example, the “Whale Power” blade design was developed after observing that Humpback Whales also have a problem with managing drag and stalling depending on the angle they move their fins at.

In order to get better lift at more severe fin angles, humpback whales have small, rounded nodules, or tubercles on their fins that help reduce drag while providing more surface area at the same time.

The “Whale Power” blade design basically has a wavy edge on the blade that does the same thing. Wind tunnel tests reveal that these blades can be used at wind speeds up to 40% lower than conventional blades.

Considering the number of polymers and other lightweight materials on the market these days, it is entirely possible for preppers to make their own wavy blade systems rather than wait for them to become available for sale to consumers.

Needless to say, if you already have a wind turbine and can gain access to the blades. Cutting a few waves into the edge might make it more efficient. In the video bellow you will find an interesting comparison between a humpback whale and a wind turbine.

Video first seen on WIRED.

Wind Lenses Redirect Wind Back to Conventional Blade Designs

Of all the innovations in wind turbines, the Wind Lens from Japan is one of my favorites. Basically, the lens uses 3 to 5 narrow blades with a circular band that goes all the way around the blades. The band, or “lens” is oriented so that wind escaping from the blades gets directed back to them. It is estimated that this simple innovation leads to 3 times the power output.

Here are some other advantages to building a Wind Lens:

  • Smaller blade systems will produce power from lower wind speeds.
  • Conventional wind turbines can be very noisy. If you live near one, the noise can make you feel very sick. The Wind Lens produces much less sound, and therefore can be installed in cities or other areas where you may not be able to put up a conventional wind turbine.
  • Unlike conventional wind turbines, it is very easy to keep birds from flying into the blades. Just put a net or cage around the lens and the birds will not be able to reach it. Even if you are only building a small wind turbine for personal use on a homestead, protecting birds that are part of the food chain you rely on will be very important.
  • Since the wind lens is more efficient than conventional systems, you may be able to mount them on a smaller tower, or even a rooftop. While the wind lens may not work as well as some other systems at ground level, you can still utilize smaller lenses to capture weaker air flow at lower levels.

This is especially important to consider if you cannot climb extensively, or have concerns about maintaining wind turbines mounted on taller towers.

If you have a wind turbine in operation right now, or plan on building one, you may want to see about putting a lens around it to see if you also notice an improvement in efficiency. Here is an example.

Video first seen on metal01234567890.

Capture Wind From All Directions

Another problem with conventional wind turbines is that they only work at optimal levels when the wind hits them from a specific direction. If the wind turbine is caught in a downdraft, or the wind comes in gusts, the blades may turn slower, or not at all.

The QR5, or Quiet Revolution 5, makes use of helical blades that are mounted on a vertical axis. No matter what direction the wind is coming form, these ultra curved blades will capture it and cause the turbine to spin.

Even though the helical wind turbines have been around for some time, they are mostly still used for generating commercial electricity in the UK.

You can still study the basic shape and see about building the basic blade shape for home use. As with many new designs, you will probably find that polymers or light metals will be the most useful.

Video first seen on Rubén Gutiérrez

2 Vertical Turbine Designs

When you feel a breeze or wind moving through, you may be led to think that horizontal wind capture systems will work best. Unfortunately, the vast majority of horizontal systems present an “obstacle” to the wind instead of working with it to produce the greatest amount of power.

Even though vertical wind turbines still have some drag, they are far more efficient at capturing the wind and also making the most use of it. Here are 2 designs that you may want to consider for your power generating needs:

Windspire – unlike several other wind turbines discussed in this article, the Windspire is available for home use in the United States. It is an industry leader that is capturing attention because of it’s small size and capacity to generate electricity with wind speeds as low as 12 mph.

Aside from that, the Windspire is so quiet, it can be installed just about anywhere. No matter whether you live in a city, town, or miles away from other people, this wind turbine is quiet enough to put right next to buildings without causing health problems associated with excess sound.

The Windspire is basically a cylinder shaped turbine with two vertical rails connected to a central axis. Aerofoils connect from the axis to the two vertical rails, plus two circles at the top and bottom. If you purchase one directly from the manufacturer, it will be made of metal alloys and special coated surfaces.

Surprisingly, these turbines are must sturdier than they look. They can withstand wind speeds up to 105 miles per hour. Since they have already been installed in many different climates across the nation and around the world, it is also safe to say they can easily tolerate a wide range of temperature and moisture conditions.

If you are going to spend money on a pre-manufactured turbine, or get financing for one, you will find that the Windspire is efficient enough and tested enough to be worth the extra expense.

Video first seen on

WePower – This wind turbine looks a little like the Windspire in the sense that the system is mounted on a vertical axis. The main difference is that instead of narrow vertical bars and aerofoils extending from the axis, WePower has curved blades mounted between two disks. It is well suited to city and town settings, and can also be used in less populated settings.

WePower is quieter than many other wind turbines on the market, and it is also safe for birds and other flying creatures. As an added bonus, if you purchase a unit from the manufacturer, it comes set up with everything you need to connect it to the commercial energy grid.

If you are interested in making money on wind power by producing your own electricity, this system may be one of the best on the market for your needs.

Even though WePower is also growing in popularity with off gridders, do not forget that it is only guaranteed to last for 20 years (according to the manufacturer). If you are interested in long term disaster prepping, this system may work for some time, but you may have to replace it sooner than later.

That being said, if you take the time to learn how it works, then you may also find ways to make your own models or repair existing equipment.

Video first seen on WePOWER

Tesla Turbines

When I made my first Tesla Turbine, I found that it worked best with running water. With improvements in materials and inlet design, the Tesla Turbine also works very well with air. Here are a few advantages to using a Tesla Turbine as a wind turbine:

  • Virtually indestructible – unlike other turbines, the Tesla Turbine has very little internal friction that would wear out bearings and other parts.
  • You can build Tesla Turbines of all sizes from many different materials.
  • You will not need a motor for generating electricity. Just add some magnets to one disk and then put a coil of wire nearby. Aside from being cheaper, you will never need to worry about replacing a motor.
  • Depending on how you build the air inlet, the Tesla Turbine can be used in both high and low speed winds. Just remember that the inlet system will look something like a funnel in the sense that it will be larger in the capture area, and then get to a smaller size near the turbine in order to concentrate the wind as much as possible.
  • Of all the wind turbines listed in this article, the Tesla Turbine is one of two that can be used in an indoor setting. These turbines are very quiet and do not require poles for mounting. You can run them from drafts coming in from a window, or mount them on the roof much as you would an antenna. Because of their small size, capacity to be used at near ground level, and lack of noise, it should be possible to use them in cities as well as other areas where conventional wind turbines are not allowed.

Since the moving parts of the Tesla Turbine are housed in a casing, you will also never have to worry about birds or other animals getting sucked into the blades. Just be sure to put a screen over the wind collector so that animals don’t get sucked into it.

  • As you may recall, Tesla Turbines also release “exhaust” in the form of whatever propelled them (air or water) exiting the center region. You can easily build a tube to catch this exhaust and then feed it right back into the turbine intake for greater efficiency.
  • In most cases, people working with Tesla Turbines have too much spinning to deal with as opposed to too little!

Oscillating Membranes

It is fair to say that if you are going to generate enough electricity for a homestead, or even a conventional household, it will take some time and money to build or purchase large enough devices. Even if you decide to build Tesla Turbine units, it can take some time to get all the modules built.

That all being said, if you are in an emergency situation and need to scavenge in order to generate small amounts of power, a device that uses oscillating membranes, or Wind Belt may be of use.

Basically, the Wind Belt makes use of a thin strip of material mounted in such a way that the material will vibrate if a breeze passes it. As the material vibrates or “oscillates”, it pushes magnets up and down located on each side of the belt. These magnets pass through coils of magnets as they move, which generates electricity.

Systems like this are being used in third world countries to provide lighting and other basic needs in rural areas where other systems are not available. The Wind Belt will power LED lights, and can also be used to charge small batteries. They cost as little as $5.00 to build and will work with wind speeds as low as 10 mph.

You can build your own Wind Belt to see how they work, and then store away the materials to make more devices as needed.

If you have little more than a magnet, a few coils of wire, and an old VCR tape, you can make a Wind Belt. Thus, they are ideal for both short term and long term crisis situations for powering low drain devices. Since they can run on breezes from a window, and will not harm birds or other animals, they can be used just about anywhere. Unfortunately, larger sized devices may be a bit noisy.

You can easily build a Wind Belt, and also innovate on the design to produce more electricity. For example, you can try using a frame that will accommodate multiple strips, or membranes. From there, simply connect more magnets and coils, then combine their power.

You can also experiment with different membrane lengths to come up with more optimal sizes. Something that would be about the size of a small car radiator may just give you enough power to run small camping equipment gear.

Video first seen on Vic Aguilar aka UpBeatnik

Nautilus Shell Wind Turbines

There is no such thing as a device that generates absolutely no noise while it is running. Unfortunately, advancements in wind power have often been halted because conventional wind turbines make so much noise.

Even though there have been many innovations that reduce sound to a level where wind turbines can be used in cities and towns, few match the quietness of nautilus style shell turbines. These designs are also far more efficient than conventional turbines and easily match or exceed other designs listed in this article.

Nautilus style wind turbines were invented in Holland by a company called The Archimedes. As you may be aware, the common Nautilus shell creates a perfect spiral that is found in just about every part of nature.

When it comes to capturing wind power, this design has very little drag and will spin in even slight breezes. Regardless of where the wind is coming from, it moves easily along the curved blades and causes them to spin. The shell system can also be mounted in such a way that it will turn and bend in order to capture wind from every direction with ease.

Unlike other systems, this design does not require motors or computers to find the optimal direction. It moves much like a wind vane and easily finds the optimal direction for generating power.


Video first seen on Windvoordeel

Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbine

If you understand how a Dyson Vacuum Cleaner with a wind tunnel works, then you have the basics of how the Vortex Bladeless Wind Turbine works. Basically, this is a vertical wind turbine that captures wind that moves along a spiral path, or vortex until it reaches the bottom.

No matter what direction the wind comes in from, it is optimized by the spiral so that it is just right for spinning the motor at the bottom. Since the vortex column also tilts with the wind, the shaking motion helps optimize the wind power.

Even though this wind turbine works well as designed, you might want to try using it to drive a Tesla Turbine instead. This will give you all the advantages of concentrating and optimizing the wind flow and also the benefits of not needing a motor to generate electricity.

You may also want to use the vortex wind turbine with oscillating membranes or other devices that can replace the motor assembly.

Video first seen on Vortex Bladeless

Nano or Tiny Wind Turbine

Consider that tiny drops of rain in enough quantity can create a flood, while snowflakes can create blizzard and piles of snow that reach several feet in height. No matter how small some things may be, they can amount to huge things if assembled correctly. Nano Wind Turbines take that basic idea and apply it to capturing wind.

Basically the “Nano Vent Skin” is a fabric made up of tiny turbines that look similar to the QR 5. As these tiny turbines spin, they generate small amounts of electricity that can be pooled together to run all kinds of devices.

Perhaps best of all, a breeze from cars passing by, or just about anything else will set these tiny turbines in motion. The fabric can be mounted on window shades, building walls, or even to your own clothes. If you are interested in wind turbines that operate primarily at ground level, this design or modifications of it may be the ones you will be best served by focusing on.

As innovative as this design is, you will not find it available for sale to consumers. In addition, nano technologies are still very much in their infancy. That being said, if you study the orientation of the wind turbines and their axis carefully, you may be able to build a grid of 1” turbines that will generate electricity with ease.

Instead of using a QR5 helical design, you may also want to try the Nautilus shell design to see if it improves efficiency.

Video first seen on aotegui

A Note About Power Storage

It should be noted that no power generation system is truly complete unless you can store the power and produce an even flow of current. While these topics are beyond the scope of this article, do not forget to keep up to date on innovations such as the cotton battery and other systems that may work better and last longer than rechargeable batteries currently on the market.

If you can find a battery system that you can build for yourself from scavenged parts, or with a minimal amount of effort, you should also know how to integrate those batteries into a more conventional system.

If you have been thinking for using wind power for emergency and long term survival needs, you may also be spending most of your time learning how to optimize, build, and maintain conventional wind turbine systems.

As you can see, focusing on these old, outdated systems will more than likely require building systems that are at least twice the size, break down easier, and will not last as long as some of the newer innovations emerging in this field.

Take some time now to look at some of the vertical, helical, and shell designs to see which ones will best suit your needs. At the very least, you can try building small models to see if they offer an advantage to something you may have been planning to build or buy.

In an upcoming EMP disaster, knowledge is power. Click the banner bellow to find out more about how to build your own survival sources of electricity and much more!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 


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10 Ways You Can Make Money On Woodworking

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Do you remember the days when people could pursue a regents diploma and go on to college instead of getting certified in a trade that would lead to an immediate job? In these days, a lot of factory and office jobs alike have moved overseas, so it is more important than ever to pick a trade that you can build a business around.

Given the number of disasters that can strike, a useful trade such as woodworking can save your budget, or turn into a trade you can sell in time of need. Either way, woodworking is fairly easy to learn and adapt to a wide range of applications.

We found at least 10 ways woodworking can help you earn good money, or at least save some resources that otherwise would go to waste. Find them below, then start looking for the proper tools and practicing your skills to make your own money out of woodworking!

10 Ways to Make Money as a Wood Worker

There are tons of projects you may be asked to work on if you are skilled in woodworking, now or in a post-crisis world. Here are ten of them, and remember that you can easily specialize in just one of these categories or offer a wider range of service.

Start your business off as a sideline, and then expand from there. Even though most of your customers will be in the local area during a major crisis, you can still use the internet to market your products to a larger audience.

  1. Repairing Furniture

I’m not the only person that has nailed a wooden chair back together or carried out other “minor” furniture repairs. It’s no surprise that many people also think wooden furniture repair is the easiest of the woodworking trades to get into.

On the other side, even if the item is relatively intact, repairing the structure and then refinishing the surface can be incredibly complicated. In particular, if the repair is going to work, the wood moisture over time must match in the new pieces and the old ones. You will also find it quite a challenge to match the exact varnish color (especially if it has faded or changed over time) and surface quality.

  1. Make New Furniture

Overall, you may find it easier and less time consuming to make new furniture from scratch. Try to create trademark designs or other elements that will grab the interest of prospective clients.

If you choose to make custom furniture, your capacity to create clear, attractive plans will also be very important. You may want to invest in a drafting table and better measuring tools so that you can create good quality sketches that your prospective clients can relate to.

Having a diverse supply of good quality wood is also essential for a business focusing on custom furniture. As you gain experience, you will organize your wood inventory by moisture matching levels and fits so that you can save a good bit of time between the planning and production stages.

  1. Toys, Utensils, and Small Items

If you are going to make a profit on small items, you will usually have to produce larger numbers of items in a short period of time. Use the internet while you can so that you can sell to a larger audience.

Many people that focus on small household items also rent tables at local craft fairs and other venues where people interested in their products might show up. You will also find that interest in these items will vary with the seasons. For example, toys may sell best during the holiday season while wooden utensils may have more appeal in the spring and fall.

  1. Building Construction and Repair

Overall, no matter how skilled you may be in woodworking, this is not a business you will want to go into alone. It is best to work with a team that has both good work ethic and skill so that you can meet the needs of your clients and maintain both good quality and safety standards. Before and after a major crisis, you are likely to find your services in high demand.

  1. Replacing Plastic Items with Wood

If you look around your home right now, there may be all kinds of plastic trays, drawers, and tubs that you use for storage. Figure out now how to replace these times with wooden ones, and you might come up with a range of products that can be sold when plastic is no longer available.

Create your own trademark designs as this can give you a lucrative edge in the pre-crisis world as well as later on. No matter how bad a situation is, a business or products that becomes a household name will always be easier to sell than something from a relatively unknown source.

  1. What About EMP Proofing?

Even though wood is an insulator, it cannot disburse an EMP pulse. You can still offer wooden boxes that can be converted to Faraday cages.

  1. Boxes, Containers, and Storage

Aside from conventional boxes and containers, you can also create secret compartment boxes and furniture. You can make some very intricate designs from wood scraps and leftovers and still command a good price for the finished product. Of all the business options presented in this article, this is the easiest one.

  1. Prototypes

It is truly part of human nature to try and invent new things. From better mousetraps to new car designs, you would be amazed at the number of things that can be made with wooden prototypes. While it may take a bit of extra work and time, you will enjoy the variety and challenges presented in this business option.

  1. Weapons

If you do some research on indigenous weapons, you will find many uses for wood. In the post crisis world, the ability to make spears and other weapons is bound to be important as people move to use their time on other occupations.


  1. Using Sawdust and Chips

Even though these are byproducts of woodworking, you may be able to sell them to others for use as insulation or for other purposes.

What You Need to Make Money from Woodworking

First, you need some woodworking tools, but as you look at the list below, you will probably find out that you already have quite a few of them.

If you must buy new tools, or want to replace existing ones, try to improve the quality of your collection, even if you must search through used or vintage tools. Go with a brand name, such as Craftsman, that is recognized for producing durable, high quality tools.

Hand Tools

Most common tools that you might already have are block plane, chisels, hammer, hand saws (including coping saws which can be used to make curves) knives (X-actos and utility knives), level, saw horses, screwdrivers, tape measure, saw horse, goggles. You can add other essential hand tools to your collection, as the following:

  • Calipers – no matter whether you are building furniture, toys, or other wood items, being able to create exact tolerances between two pieces of wood is very important. If you already do some woodworking, but do not have calipers, you will notice a tremendous improvement when you use these tools.
  • Feather Board – used to finish off edges when cutting wood with power tools. I made my own from scrap wood, as do most other woodworkers.
  • Hand Drill – even though most people use power drills, a hand drill is essential if you are concerned about situations where no power is available. You can still purchase vintage hand drills that are still in reasonably good shape. Do not forget to include a bit that accommodates circular cutout tools.
  • Layout Square (metal) – A layout square is a perfect combination of a protractor and 90-degree angle. You should also try to find one that includes an adjustable bevel so that it will be easier to plot other angles. Always choose metal measuring tools because they will not warp as easily as others.
  • Moisture Meter – even though this is technically an electronic tool, it is still very important for wood working. When you do not know the moisture level of the wood and how it changes over the seasons, you will have a very hard time making wooden times that will be durable and useful. A moisture meter is also very helpful for testing wood out before you buy it.
  • Nail Set – used for driving nails to just below the surface of the wood. Unsightly prints from hammer blows may not make much difference to you, however your clients will expect pristine surfaces on furniture and other items.
  • Wood Clamps – there is no such thing as working with wood and not needing to keep various pieces stable while you work on them. Wood clamps will hold pieces of wood together without damaging the surfaces.

Power Tools

These tools can make wood working a lot easier, faster, and more precise, but they also require a good bit of power. Typically, you can achieve the same goals with hand tools as long as you develop your skills and have both the time and patience to apply those skills.

  • Bench Grinder – you can use bench grinders to remove large amounts of wood or create curved shapes. Coping saws and files will do the same job, albeit slower. If you have an especially thick chunk of wood, you can also use chisels and knives to remove the wood.
  • Circular Saw – there is nothing quite like a circular saw for cutting straight lines fast. If you have the time and want to include some muscle building in wood working, handsaws will work just as well.
  • Jig Saw – jig saws are usually best for cutting curves and circles, or working in tighter areas than recommended for a circular saw. Usually, coping saws will accomplish the same goal, but it will take a bit longer. You will also need to store away quite a few extra coping saw blades as they usually cannot be re-sharpened like traditional handsaw blades. When all else fails, you can also use files and knives to make curves on wood boards.
  • Lathe – quite honestly, the lathe is one of my favorite woodworking tools, however I do admit that it’s not a tool you can bug out with easily (unless you buy a smaller one that more than likely won’t work very well). Lathes are used to produce rounded items from wood blocks. Rounded table legs, and many decorative items are made with relative ease using a lathe. You can still make these items with chisels and saws, however it will take a lot more time, and it will be much harder to get precision pieces from item to item.
  • Metal Detector – if you are going to repair furniture of scavenge wood from other items, it is very important to make sure that power tools don’t run into hidden screws, nails, or even staples. Aside from damage to the equipment, some very bad injuries can occur when bits of metal fly at you from broken blades or the metal object that was hidden in the wood.
  • Rotary Tool – if you want a compact “one power tool does all”, a rotary tool is about the closest you will get when it comes to wood working. There are all kinds of attachments that will enable you to use a rotary tool as a sander, router, drill press, hand drill, and jig saw (of sorts). If you don’t need to cut through especially large or thick pieces of wood, a rotary tool can make the job go faster and give you a bit of extra accuracy in less time than if you were working exclusively by hand. Just remember that you can still do the same things with hand drills, hand saws, coping saw, files, and sand paper.
  • Router – a router is used to make grooves and other shapes that do not go all the way through the wood. You can make your own “hand” router out of a chisel and block of wood, or other tools on an as needed basis. You may also still be able to find vintage hand powered routers at flea markets or online.
  • Sander – typically, orbital sanders are recommended for wood working because they use a more random motion that reduces the risk of creating markings in the wood. Some of the finest surfaces you will ever find on furniture were made by hand sanding. Never overlook the simplicity of working by hand when it comes to sanding. A power sander may work faster, but there is never a replacement or substitute for skill and fine workmanship.
  • Table Saw – as with the circular saw, a table saw is best for cutting large quantities of wood. If you have to choose between a circular saw and a table saw, go with the circular saw. Aside from doing similar jobs, you can always mount the circular saw to a table and then make your own guides so that you have something similar to a table saw.

Basic Skills to Master for Woordworking

Whether you choose to work with power tools or hand tools, you need to master a few essential skills in order to make money as a wood worker. These skills are not difficult to acquire; but you will still need to practice. Start off with cheaper, softer cuts of wood or scrap, and then work your way up to better cuts and quality.

Some people do better starting off with larger sized projects, while others may be better served by working with smaller scale designs. I have personally found that both large and small pieces of wood can be quite challenging. It may not take as much strength or work to shape a smaller piece of wood, hand to eye coordination and precision are tested far more with smaller pieces.

Rather than concern yourself with the size of the wood, choose softer wood so that you can learn to control the tools more easily and develop good habits. So here are the more important skills that you need for woodworking:

1. Planning Projects

Let’s say you want to build a cabinet. The worst thing you can do is simply measure the space where the cabinet will go and then go to the lumber yard for a few pieces of plywood.

Most, if not all wood working projects fail when people do not make detailed design plans before getting into the material acquisition process. You should know the measure for each piece of wood, the tolerances at each joint, how you will join the pieces together, and what kind of finish you will use once the pieces are assembled.

Maybe you aren’t building something that can be taken apart again, you need to plan everything out as carefully as possible. Even if you are just replacing a leg on a chair, always have a solid plan of action so that you get the right materials and use the right tools.

2. Cutting Wood

It’s fair to say that you will be doing a lot of cutting, so practice both straight cuts and curves. Always make your pencil lines as sharp and precise as possible.

At the beginning, you may find it a bit hard to stay on the line, or within double lines. Just be patient and keep practicing. Eventually you will get the optimal motion for hand tools and learn how to adjust to the forward motion and proper pressure needed to keep power tools going exactly where you want them to.

If you are having an especially hard time, try to at least cut outside the line in the waste area. Later on, you can always file or sand the wood down to the exact size or shape that you need.

3. Carving or Whittling

This probably one of the most enjoyable parts of wood working. You can use knives or chisels to make just about anything of interest. Try your hand at hollowed structures as well as intricate interlocking, free moving designs.

As you work, think about how you can apply these skills to making jewelry, toys, tools/tool handles, or even special accents for furniture pieces.

4. Joining Wood Pieces

Cabinets, buildings, toys, and many other items will require joining pieces of wood together. The actual process of nailing pieces of wood together, using screws, pins, or even glue is not especially difficult.

On the other hand, choosing and preparing the wood can be quite complicated. Take care of how the wood shapes will change as moisture enters and leaves the wood. Even the best sealants will not prevent the wood from breathing and changing as the moisture levels in the environment change.

Judging wood moisture and predicting its effects is one of the most important skills for woodworking. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t something you can do from just one measure. Rather, it can take weeks, months, or even years to evaluate different pieces of wood before you can be certain they can be joined together for furniture and other intricate items.

5. Pins and Other Joining Methods

Right now, nails, screws, and glue are readily available, which is not the case in the post crisis world when you need to join pieces of wood together, but do not have these fasteners on-hand. Fortunately, there are some fascinating methods from around the world that you can practice and use whenever needed.

Learn how to make and use wood pins, box joints, bridle joints, and trench joints. Once you know how to make these, you can modify them to suit just about any application.

Where to Get the Wood From

If you expect to make money on wood working, your ability to obtain and store wood will be very important. Most of the wood you will need to master basic skill can come from free wood pallets. Just go to local stores in your area and ask if you can have their used pallets.

As you gain experience, you should also be able to store away better quality wood in a shed or other area where it will stay clean and dry. Sometimes you can find good quality wood in the form of discarded furniture at the dump, or other places where people get rid of furniture. Even if you have to strip varnish and other finishes off the wood, it can still be used in a range of applications and also give you practice with harder wood materials.

In these times, you can still get wood from a lumber yard, or order from a wholesaler, but these options are not likely to be available in a post-crisis world. More, simply trying to get wood from a nearby forest will put you in direct competition with others that want to use the wood for their own needs. In the long run, your best option is to create your own wood working orchard. Choose trees that will grow quickly, and still produce wood that will be suitable for a wide range of needs.

Grab your woodworking tools and start practicing yous kills! You can start a business focused on small wooden objects or hideaway containers. As you develop more skills or find a team to work with, you can also expand into making furniture or even building homes. Both now and in the post crisis world, woodworking is an important skill that you can profit from and use for your own needs at the same time.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Wilderness Survival: How To Catch Edible Frogs

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How To Catch Edible Frogd

Frogs are considered a delicacy or as a routine food in many parts of the world. Remember that fact when forced to survive in the wilderness and the idea of hunting frogs for eating gives you chills.

Even though many frogs are on the verge of extinction, there are others with so many members that they can serve as a food source in time of need. Read the following article to learn which frogs are safe for eating, and how to catch and turn them into a tasty meal.

Frogs to Avoid

As a rule, most of the frogs in the United States are safe to eat. That being said, as global weather patterns shift, it is entirely possible that poisonous frogs will move into areas where they don’t normally live.

Poison Frog

Here are some frog characteristics that may indicate they have poisonous skin or other body parts that make them unsuitable for eating:

  • Blue, red, yellow, orange, or other brightly colored frogs. As with many other animals in nature, one that is brightly colored tends to signal danger. They are not trying to hide or camouflage themselves because anything that may try to eat them will see the colors and leave them alone.
  • They tend to be active during day hours. Most frogs that are safe to eat will be out during dark hours when their predators are more likely to be asleep or would have a harder time seeing them.
  • They are observed eating prey that consume plants with high alkaline content.  For example, if there are poison ants in the area, and you see frogs consuming them, these particular frogs may be able to take the poison and store it in their skin. With the exception of one species of frog in South America, known poisonous frogs do not make their own poison. Instead, they consume plants with high alkaline content and then store the poison in their skin. It should be noted that the muscle meat from these frogs may still be safe to eat as long as you know how to get the skin and poison sacs off without contaminating the meat.
  • You should also be aware of the differences between frogs and toads, since toads can be poisonous without showing indicators that you would see in frogs. In order to tell the difference between frogs and toads, remember that frogs have smooth skin, while toads will have bumps on them. Frogs also have longer, narrower faces while toads have shorter, wider ones. If you watch a frog capturing its prey, you will notice that it has a sticky tongue that extends easily. By contrast, a toad will actually have to capture its prey in its mouth. Finally, if you watch their motions, frogs will only hop (they also have longer legs than toads) while toads can run and jump as well as hop.

Parts You Can Eat and Parts to Avoid

Typically, most people only eat the back legs of the frog because that is where you will find the most meat. If the frog is especially large, you might also try for the front legs. Even though frogs have a good bit of skin, it is best not to eat it for the following reasons:

  • If the frog is poisonous or going to cause you to get sick, the greatest concentration of poison will be in the skin.
  • Since frog skin is always moist, it is also a prime breeding ground for bacteria. You can easily come into contact with salmonella and several other diseases.  If you must eat frog skins and know that the species is safe, be sure to cook the skins at a high enough temperature.
  • Many people feel that frog skin is a bit strong tasting and a bit hard to swallow. Needless to say, if you are very hungry and very little food is available, you can find ways around these issues.

Insofar as the frog’s internal organs, remember that they consume all kinds of insects. You can be exposed to all kinds of poisons and diseases if you ingest the digestive and related organs. In addition, you will also find that frog organs aren’t very large. You are likely to be wasting more time and effort trying to consume the organs than it’s worth.

Testing to See if the Frog is Edible

Consider a situation where you are an experienced camper, have seen the world, and feel that you know just about all there is to know about living off the land. Perhaps you have eaten frog meat as a delicacy, and have even captured and eaten them on your outdoor adventures. To you, it may make perfect sense to consume frogs in the post crisis world, and it is likely that you will look to them as a valuable source  of nutrition. Now, let’s add one more point in your favor and even say that you know the local species of frogs quite well in many areas of the United States and feel confident that you know which ones are safe to eat and which ones aren’t.

Under these circumstances, you may feel that you don’t need to perform a modified Universal Edibility Test in order to determine if the meat is safe. You, and anyone that you are traveling with that trusts your judgment on these matters can become very sick or even wind up dead for the following reasons:

  • As with any other species on this Earth, offspring can be produced between species that may or may not produce offspring. In this case, as poisonous frogs move from one region to another, they may just produce poisonous offspring that aren’t as colorful or have traits that cause you to mistake them for safe frogs. If you do not run some kind of Universal Edibility Test, you will have no chance to find out the truth before consuming too much of the meat.
  • Nuclear attacks aside, there are many other sources of man made nuclear contamination in the environment. Aside from causing all kinds of mutations, the nuclear material may also have a large impact on insects and other food sources for the frogs you are planning to eat. Even if the frog is from a non-poisonous species, that does not mean it isn’t harboring increased levels of radiation that will pose a risk to your health.
  • Heavy metals, pesticide runoff, fertilizer runoff, and many other industrial poisons find their way into the water where frogs spend most of their lives. As a result, if you don’t pay careful attention to the area where the frogs are living, and the quality of the water, you may wind up consuming all kinds of hazardous materials that have nothing to do with the species of frog you are trying to consume.

When evaluating the safety of frogs (and many other kinds of game) it is best to do a modified form of the Universal Edibility Test that accounts for modern hazards. Bear in mind that there may still be other factors that you will need to consider and account for in adaptions to this basic method:

  • Start off by making sure that you know what region  you are in. Find out if there are nuclear facilities, industrial dumping grounds, old factories, or factory farms within 100 miles of the area where you plan to catch frogs. If any of these factors apply, then be extra careful when evaluating each animal that you are planning to consume.
  • Next, study look at the soil, water, grass, trees, insects, and animals in the area where the frogs are living. Does the water or soil have an unusual odor to it? Dig into the soil and see if there is an unnatural or chemical smell to it. Is the vegetation healthy, or does it show signs of plant tumors, unusual growth patterns, or sickly development? Are there a lot of dead birds, animals, or other insects around? Do you see signs of unusual growth, deformed limbs, erratic behavior, or anything else that might indicate chemical or nuclear poisoning?  If you see sick animals, insects, or plants in the area, you can rest assured the frogs are also contaminated.
  • Now study the frogs. Are they healthy and active during their normal hours of being awake? If so, then you may have a safe, viable source of frogs to hunt.
  • After capturing one frog that you believe safe to eat, study the bones, skin, flesh, and organs for signs of abnormal growth or poisoning. Make sure that you know enough about frog anatomy and diseases so that you can spot the kinds of illness that might indicate the animal and those in the surrounding area may have been exposed to heavy metals or other toxins that might be harmful to you and other survivors. If you see signs of these illnesses, do not capture any more frogs unless you intend to use them as bait.
  • Once you have determined the frog is safe from an environmental perspective, it does not hurt  to make sure you haven’t captured a frog that is a poisonous hybrid. For this, you can follow the more conventional points of the Universal Edibility Test. Carefully skin the frog and separate it into hind legs, front legs, organs, and skin.

If you only intend to eat the hind legs, then just use them fully cooked for the test. Just remember if you decide to try and eat frog organs or skins later on, you will need to the Universal Edibility Test all over again.

Where to Find Frogs

Almost all edible frogs will be found in or near a pond or other shallow bodies of fresh water.  If the body of water has a muddy bank, reeds, or logs dipping into the water, look in these spots first for frog hiding places.

If you are scouting an area at night, listen for the sound of something jumping into the water, as this is likely to be frogs. To draw frogs to your area, you can try making waves in the water to mimic insects or other prey that would be of interest to frogs.

3 Ways to Catch Frogs

With the exception of making a trap for frogs, the other two methods for capturing them usually have to be done at night when the animals are out and searching for prey of their own.

Method 1:  Catch Frogs By Hand

As surprising as it may sound, catching frogs by hand is actually the easiest of the three methods. Once you have spotted a frog, start moving towards it. As you approach the frog, move one hand in circles.

Keep moving your hand with a circular motion, and then simply grab the frog with the other hand when you are close enough. It is best for your catching hand to come from behind the frog since it won’t be able to see your hand that way. You can also aim a flashlight at the frog to stun it temporarily.

Just make sure that you act quickly to grab the frog or it will get away on you.  Once you have hold of the frog, be sure to hold it by the hips and let the rest of your hand support under its armpits. The frog will be unable to get out of your hands.

Method 2: Catch Frogs in a Net

After locating a frog of interest, you can use a flashlight or the circular hand motion to slow down the frog’s attempt to escape. Instead of putting your hands around the frog’s body, use the net to capture it instead.

As with catching frogs by hand, the net should come from behind the frog and swish under it. If the frog is on land, the hoop of the net should fully surround the frog. Try to get your hands onto the frog’s body as quickly as possible.

Do not forget that frogs are strong jumpers. If you have one captured in a net, it can jump around quite a bit and make its escape before you know what is happening.

When choosing a net for catching frogs, make sure that the holes in the net are small enough to prevent the frog from through it. It is also better to choose a net with a shorter handle because you will be less tempted to rely on the mesh of the net to hold the frog until you can a better hold of it.

Method 3: Make a Frog Trap  

Since you may need several frogs to make a good meal,  it is likely that you will want to use traps as well as hunt for them. There are many different ways to make frog traps.

One of the most common ways is to simply get them to fall into a pit or waiting tin that they cannot jump out of easily. In this case, you may set a bucket or something else into the mud bank of a pond, and then cover it over with twigs and leaves. When the frogs land on the twigs, they will fall through and be unable to get out of the pail.

You can also try making a frog trap similar to the way you would make a mosquito catcher. Simply take a plastic bottle, cut the top off, and then invert it into the bottle.  Set a cricket or some other suitable bait inside the bottle. Even though the frog will be able to squeeze into the bottle opening, it will not be able to get back out.

Video first seen on Amber Haines.

How to Prepare Frogs for Cooking

Unlike a fish out of water, a frog won’t simply suffocate and die in a matter of minutes. No matter whether you capture a frog by hand, in a net, or in a trap, you will have to kill the frog and then do a bit of work to make what little meat there is ready for eating.

Dispatching the Frog

As fragile as frogs may seem, they can actually be difficult to kill. The fastest and most humane method is to behead the frog. Some people prefer to pith the frog (basically stick something sharp through the brain case so that the brain is destroyed). Other people crush the frog’s skull by bashing it into something hard or using a hammer.

Skinning the Frog

Skinning a frog is actually much easier than it looks. Follow these steps:

  • Start off by taking a sharp pair of scissors and cut off the feet at the ankles.
  • Next, cut across the lower part of the frog’s belly. Continue cutting until you have made a line all the way around the frog. If you want, at this stage, you can also sever the spine and remove the legs. It is easiest to take them off in pairs so that you do not lose any of the valuable muscle meat. Set the legs aside so that you can check the internal organs for signs of disease.
  • Cut from the bottom of the abdomen up to the throat, and then across the shoulders. Open the flaps and observe the organs.  Do you see signs of tumors, abnormal swelling, or anything else that might indicate the frog had some kind of disease or exposure to hazardous chemicals?
  • If it seems that the frog was healthy, go back and look at the skin from the belly area on the part that is still attached to the legs. You should be able to see a clear color difference between the skin and the flesh beneath it. Take the sharp point of a knife, or even a scissor and gently pry between the flesh and the skin. It will loosen fairly easily. Keep prying until you find something like threads that hold the flesh and the skin together. They will pull apart easily, or snip them with the scissors.
  •  Once you have enough of the skin pulled away from the flesh, just go ahead and pull the skin straight down over the frog’s legs.  Even though frogs skin can be slimy and moist, you should be able to pull the skin with your bare hands. If you are having problems, go ahead and use a pair of pliers.
  • Before cooking the legs, you can cut between them. If there are any organs or other material besides bone and muscle, remove it before cooking.
  • Do not forget to wash the frog legs in clean water to remove bits of the organs or other unwanted residue that may have come from the skin or other parts of the frog.

Video first seen on Crawdaddy Kings

Basic Ways to Cook Frogs

You can cook frogs just as you would any other kind of meat. They can be fried in oil, boiled as for soup and stew, roasted, or baked. Do not forget that frogs also carry bacteria just like any other animal. Make sure that the flesh cooks thoroughly, especially in areas near the bone.

Does it Pay to Grow Edible Frogs?

If you have a homestead or are planning to raise smaller animals for meat, you may be very tempted to try raising frogs instead of fish. Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider:

  • Even though frogs are fairly easy to care for, it can take several years for them to grow large enough to eat.
  • Since frogs are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, you can purchase frogs that are specifically bred for human consumption. Depending on your needs, you may want to start off with about 6 or 7 pairs of frogs and then calculate how many you will need for routine nutritional needs.
  • If you have a homestead and outdoor ponds, you can keep edible frogs around to control the insect population. In fact, if you also have larger animals that tend to draw flies and other insects, a few frogs may be quite useful.
  • There are few, if any municipal codes that would prevent you from keeping frogs as pets. As such, you can more than likely keep several dozen of them indoors without may problems. Just remember that you will have to keep a fairly large number of if you expect to have a steady diet of frog legs.
  • When it comes to alternative meats, frogs taste like chicken.  Once they are skinned and cooked, they also don’t look all that different from conventional meat. As a result, adapting to frog meat may be easier and more palatable than trying to adjust to insects. You use them as a “gateway” alternative food if you already know that you will need to make the jump to indoor insect farming.

Right now, there are many species of frog that are plentiful to the point of being a nuisance in some areas. This, in turn, leads more than a few people to believe they will make a viable source of food in a crisis situation.

Even if you are an experienced hunter or camper, and have consumed frogs before, it is important to exercise caution. In these times, our society is not the only thing that is changing. There are subtle, and not so subtle changes happening to the climate and temperatures on this planet. Animals, including frogs, will adapt as quickly as they can. These adaptions may include mating with neighboring poisonous species that will make it harder to determine which frogs are safe to eat.

When consumed with care and awareness, frogs can make a valuable and nutritious meal that should not be overlooked. You may also want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of raising frogs so that you do not have to hunt them or be as concerned about consuming poisonous or diseased specimens by accident.

If I missed something in this post or you’ve tried this wild delicacy, leave a comment in the section bellow and share your experiences and tips with all the readers.

Our ancestors’ experiences serve as a great lesson for those planning to survive any hard times to come. Click on the banner bellow to discover more lost pioneer survival skills!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


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10 Secret Ways To Turn The Panic Room Into A Bunker

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Panic Room

Even if you travel to the ends of the Earth to reach the perfect bug out location, or you think you have everything accounted for in a bug in scenario, your survival may depend on  the contents and security  of a single room.

Some people feel panic rooms are useless, or that escaping is always a better option, but a panic room is really useful until immediate dangers pass.

When used with awareness of the pitfalls of panic rooms and within the context of a comprehensive survival plan, panic rooms can save your life. Here are the right answers  that will help you turn your panic room into the safest location on earth.

You Need Safe Entrances and Exits

Some preppers disregard the usefulness of panic rooms because once you go into the room, there is usually no other exit. If someone that intends to cause you harm finds the entrance or manages to break in through some other part of the room, you will have no way to escape.

Is there any way to solve this issue? I think there are some ways you can try to mitigate this problem and still have a panic room located close enough to where you live. Here’s what to do:

  • Have at least two entrances or exits to the panic room.  One should be well hidden in a wall or some other area where it will not be easily found.  The other entrance should lead underground or through some other route that would not be easy to follow.
  • Both entrances should be booby trapped so that they are destroyed once you pass through them (use the traps only if you want to prevent others from reaching you.) For example, if you have an entrance behind a closet in your home, set traps so that the building or parts of it near the entrance collapse. Even if someone enters the home looking for you, it may take a few hours, or even a few days before they are able to find the doorway or the panic room. If you must exit the panic room by the second doorway, make sure that no one can follow you by setting the entire room to collapse.
  • If you are escaping through an underground tunnel, or moving from tunnels, through crawlspaces, or other unusual routes, do not forget to booby trap them as well. Remember, you won’t be trying to go back along the way you came, but you may need to slow attackers down as they pursue you.
  • City dwellers and others that rely on building shafts or underground tunnels should travel through these areas at least 3 – 4 times a year. Make as many diverse routes and maps as possible, plus be aware of all risks associated with being or surfacing in certain areas.

Get Electronic and Manual Surveillance

If you are going to box yourself and your loved ones into a room, you still need to know what is going on in the world around you. Cameras and surveillance equipment may seem important, however, they can fail at the wrong moment, be tapped into by adversaries, or even alert others to the fact you may be hiding somewhere nearby.

That’why, before purchasing and setting up these devices, always make sure that you know what their vulnerabilities are, and whether or not you can get around them.

Rather than rely solely on electronic surveillance equipment, consider some manual methods that can be used regardless of the situation. When building your panic room, look into different natural acoustic systems that will enable you to pick up different sounds around you without revealing your presence.

Use these listening posts in combination with dogs, insects, or other animals that will either make noise, or stop making noise when someone else is around. You can also use mirrors set at different angles to see further into nearby rooms that are located near the entrance of your panic room.

Don’t Forget About Secure Communications

Great care must be taken when choosing communications equipment for the panic room. Not every situation will be one in which you don’t want others to find you.

For example, if there is a tornado or other natural disaster, you’ll need to be able to call out to rescue teams or anyone else that can get to you, so keep a cell phone with  you, and also a ham radio.

When setting up the panic room, make sure that you can get a signal out so that you can call for help. Or you can install phone lines and other communication lines in such a way that they won’t be destroyed in a disaster scenario.

Considering the way the world is going these days, there may be times when you need to reach out to other survivors without drawing attention from rioters or others that might harm you.

In these cases, cell phone, radio, and most other signals can lead attackers right to you, so you could try using trained carrier pigeons or other animals that can be relied on to deliver messages. It will take more time than you like, but it may be better than doing nothing at all.

Depending on  the distances involved, spark gap generators combined with unique codes similar to Morse Code may be of use.  If there are other survivors that may take to panic rooms in your local area, you can set up acoustic pathways between buildings or along underground paths that can be used to transmit tapping or banging sounds.

Trained animals may pick up these sounds at greater distances and be used to draw other survivors to a place where they can better hear the signals being sent.  Just remember that prospective attackers may also have trained animals available to pick up sounds. This is why working out a unique code that is only known to those you trust is very important.

How To Build A Panic Room

Basic Daily Living Need Supplies to Store

Food, water, hygiene products, medications, first aid kits, clothing, and other basic items are important to be stored in your panic room.  Since you may be staying in for days, weeks, or even months, there are some other things that could help you survive:

  • Blankets and other equipment that you can use to keep warm or cool off
  • Weapons for your defense
  • Verified safe mushroom starter kits for mushrooms that will mature in just a few days or weeks, and seeds for sprout gardens
  • Insect farms and necessary eggs for growing and maintaining successful colonies
  • Lighting and soil sufficient for growing key herbs that can be used to manage medical and first aid needs.
  • Zeer pots and ice/salt chests that can be used for refrigeration. You might be preparing most of your foods from fresh sources, and you’ll need at least some refrigeration onhand.
  • Printed reference or “how to” materials that can be used to help you manage different needs while in the panic room. Since modern computers and cell phones all contain tracking chips, keep them off and with the power source (including backup batteries) disconnected to protect your location. Rely on printed materials as opposed to looking them up on an electronic device.
  • Fire starting and other basic emergency gear that you can take with you if you have to leave the panic room.  Try to fit everything into a single “bug in” bag so that you can live mainly from that bag and travel at a moment’s notice.
  • Simple hand tools such as screw drivers, hammers, nails, wrenches, measuring tapes, sewing kits, wrenches, crowbar, ax, and saws, and maybe goggles, ear plugs, and dust masks. You probably won’t be doing much with these tools while you are in the panic room, but they might become useful if you have to plan your way out.

Is It Secure From Information Gathering Methods?

One of the most important things about a panic room is that it must be difficult, if not impossible to detect. Unfortunately, most people stop at sound proofing and do not consider other technologies that can be used to find panic rooms above and below ground. Since this technology is always changing, do you research to figure out how to best secure the room.

For example, not so long ago, an underground bunker or panic room was considered best because few things could detect the outline of the room or what was inside. Today, ground penetrating radars can easily reveal the location of a panic room and also the exact location of the exits.

If you decide to have the panic room above ground, be aware that there are now systems that can “see” inside houses and reveal the presence of guns, people, and anything else of interest. Make sure that the room will not reveal itself on thermal imaging sweeps as well as ones designed to pick up different kinds of objects within a location.

In just about every case, the way things are distributed through the room will be a key factor. For example, if you have water stored in the panic room, break up the locations so that the box-like shape of the cases doesn’t register. Always try to make everything either look like a natural formation (for the setting in question) or so small that a single item would be mistaken for some kind of debris or simply  seem to belong there.

Make the size and shape of the room as irregular as possible. For underground panic rooms, study how underground caves and caverns look. Think about how entrances, exits, and tunnels can be disguised so that even if they are detected with various kinds of equipment, they will be overlooked.

If the panic room is located in a wall or some other part of a building, make it look like a space that no person would be living or hiding in. If necessary, store your caches of equipment in different areas that you can get to easily enough. Make sure that all paths between caches are also protected from different kinds of surveillance equipment.

Choose Walls, Floors, Ceilings, and Doors that Cannot Be Breached

Do you fear the panic room won’t resist? Here are just a few things that the walls of a panic room must be able to withstand:

  • Bullets, grenades, or any other propelled munition –  sand bags, earth, and thick layers of cement may be your cheapest and best options.
  • Nuclear radiation – earth and water will be your two cheapest options.  While lead can also stop nuclear radiation, it takes very thick walls to be useful.
  • Electrical discharges or EMP waves – surround the room with a Faraday cage.  Contrary to popular belief, underground rooms can also be susceptible to electricity. When hunting for earthworms, all you have to do is stick electrodes in moist ground, and the electricity will cause them to surface.  If someone is determined to harm you or drive you from the panic room, consider that they may decide to use high voltage.
  • Flooding – in a natural disaster or some other situation, flooding may be the biggest threat to your safety. Make sure the room is waterproof and can also withstand large amounts of water flowing around it.
  • Mechanical force – no matter whether your panic room is in a building or underground, earthquakes, bombs, or other powerful mechanical forces can easily cause everything around you to crumble.  The panic room needs to be well fortified so that the walls, ceiling, and floors do not give way.  If at all possible, try to make the outer area of the room somewhat egg shaped and not tethered to anything around it.  At the very least, if something comes crashing down or around the panic room, it may be pushed out of the way instead of absorbing the entire crash. You can also use extended walls as energy absorbers much like the way crumple zones are used to absorb the force of a crash in modern cars.
  • Temperature fluctuations – when you are stuck in a room with no place to go, it may be harder than expected to control the temperature.  Choose materials that insulate well so that you need as little fuel as possible to change the temperature.  Together with that, at least the inner layers of the panic room walls, ceiling, and floors should be able to disperse humidity that gathers up in the room.  You may want to keep the humidity in the room and condense it to form water, or let it escape through an intermediary layer in the wall system.  Aside from being very uncomfortable, excess humidity can also lead to the buildup of mold, mildew, and algae.  Making sure the walls can vent properly is very important if you wish to stay healthy while in the panic room.

Capacity to Renew and Recycle

One of the most important, but overlooked part of panic rooms is the capacity to renew and recycle everything that is used or produced in the room. Water, food, and medicine usually run out sooner than later.

You must be able to grow your own foods, produce herbal medicines, and produce water. As icky as it may sound, that means you will need to be able to recycle urine and feces as opposed to simply looking for ways to dispose of it.

Learn about different composting systems and also water purification methods, which includes making sure that you know how to eliminate pathogens, and also work safely with waste materials. If at all possible, put an annex onto the panic room where you can take care of these matters.  Some other things you should be able to do in the panic room include:

  • create compost from cooking waste and scraps
  • make paper from scraps and bits
  • use tin cans, plastic bottles, or anything else found in the room to your advantage.

Power and Lighting

If you build your panic room to be as secure as possible, chances are there won’t be any windows, so you will need a secure and renewable source of lighting that does not include making fires.  Here are some things you can try:

  • Generate electricity using exercise equipment, body motion gear, and gravity fans.
  • Know how to use tin foil and other reflectors to concentrate light so that you can grow a larger range of plants.
  • Keep LED bulbs on hand and make sure that you have the proper sockets and power supply boards for them.
  • Make sure that everything in the room can run on 9 volts or less.  You should also know how to make earth batteries and other low-tech batteries

If you can make light and mirror tunnels, maybe you can get light from the outside into the panic room. Remember that even one small mirror or what looks like an air or access shaft can give away your presence or allow toxic fumes, pathogens, or other dangerous materials into the panic room.

No matter how secure you feel about your store of flashlights and batteries, make sure that you can improvise every single part of a lighting system from within the panic room.   Light is absolutely essential for plant growth, and also for carrying out many daily activities.

Along with electricity, you may need some other fuels for cooking and keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.

You Need Air Purification

No matter how large or small the room is, you must be able to renew oxygen levels in the room, otherwise you will suffocate.  Use multiple methods so that if one fails, you have another means to achieve this goal:

  • Choose plants that absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen regardless of whether it is day or night.
  • Use a combination of ventilation shafts and filters so that you can remove contaminants from air that will be released into the room.  You can study the filters used in biohazard, nuclear, chemical hazard, and dust respirators to see which materials to use in the air purification system.  Since many of these materials need to be replaced on a routine basis, you should either know how to recharge the materials or make replacements from scratch
  • Keep chemicals on hand that will release oxygen when mixed. This would be an emergency system that may give you a few extra hours while you repair other systems or prepare to exit the room.

Remember that oxygen concentrators do not produce oxygen. Rather, they take oxygen from the air and deliver it through narrow tubes so that more reaches the person in need of extra oxygen.  In an airtight panic room, an oxygen concentrator will not be of use unless it can actually produce more oxygen, and then release it into the room.

It Has to Be Defendable

The basic idea of a panic room is that you will be safe from anyone that might try to harm you.  On the other side of the equation, thousands of people that have hidden out in panic rooms have been captured or died because the location of the room was discovered.

As a last ditch resort, you should have some kind of weapons on hand so that you can stave off attackers long enough to escape, or take out as many as possible before they capture or kill you.  You will also need weapons that can be used once you leave the panic room. Here are some things that may be of use:

Since the panic room is going to be fairly tight and cramped, you will need to lead intruders to kill zones where you either have traps set up, or where you can attack with ease.

A low caliber handgun may be more useful than a rifle or other gun with more stopping power. Remember that if the walls, doors, ceiling, and roof are well fortified, bullets are also likely to ricochet off them.  You can try building in a bullet absorbing layer, however lower caliber rounds may still be your best option.

Have bullet proof helmets, vests, and other gear for you and everyone else in the room. If you do have to shoot, or you wind up being shot at, this gear may keep you from getting killed.  If you are hit while wearing bullet proof gear, you can expect bruises, broken bones, and other injuries.

Swords, knives, spears, bow and arrow, slingshots, monkey fists, axes, poison darts and other hand combat weapons may be of use.  Be sure to carefully study different kinds of bullet proof and weapon proofing gear so that you can get through any kind of armor with your weapons.

Depending on your outlook, you may also want to rig the panic room up so that it will blow up and take everyone with it.  As a last resort, if you cannot escape, and do not want to be captured, this may be your last and final option.

A number of things must be carefully considered when building a panic room, where you can recover, regroup, and gather strength after a major disaster.  A panic room can also be a serious liability if you do not prepare for all the problems that can occur. From mold build up on the walls to cell phone signals revealing your location, even the most minute details can spell disaster.

If you do decide to build a panic room, try living in it for hours, days, weeks, and months.  Once you know that you can live in the room for extended periods of time, and escape if needed, the room will truly be a key survival asset instead of just providing a false sense of security.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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10 Lessons From Venezuela’s Economic Collapse

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Do you remember the days when a vacation to Venezuela was one of the best prizes you could win on The Price Is Right? If so, you may be surprised that such a thriving nation could be brought to its knees almost overnight. Sadly, if the wrong combination of events line up, even the greatest […]

The post 10 Lessons From Venezuela’s Economic Collapse appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

10 Ways Preppers Can Easily Reuse Glass Bottles

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glass bottles

Even though plastic bottles are far more common that glass ones, being able to reuse the latter is also an important skill to learn. Even if plastic bottles become rare quickly in the post crisis world, the permanent and more durable nature of glass bottles means you may have better access to them.

No matter whether you dig around in a smaller junk pile or turn up glass bottles while plowing a field, these bottles can still be cleaned and reused for  many purposes.

By contrast, a plastic bottle in the same condition may not be of use at all.  As you learn more about the ways glass bottles can be reused, consider adding them to your stockpile, and using them now for your prepping needs.

Here are a few tools to have on hand when working with glass bottles:

  • Heavy work gloves – when scoring and breaking glass, heavy work gloves are extremely important.  Even one shard of glass can cut deep enough to sever smaller nerves in your fingers or leave an open wound that will get infected easily. Never forget that cutting glass can be both fun and productive, however it can also be very dangerous if you don’t use the proper safety precautions.
  • Goggles – if you though the risk to your fingers and hands was high, the damage to your eyes can be much worse.  As with a number of materials that you might need to work with as a prepper, glass is valuable but it can also cause many injuries that you weren’t planning or thinking about.
  • Glass bottle cutter – you can purchase a stationary cutter that will keep the bottle in place as it is being scored, or you can make one on your own.  If you decide to make one, be sure to choose a good quality cutter so that you can avoid replacing it as much as possible.
  • Handheld glass cutter – as you become better at cutting glass, there may be different shapes that you will want to cut into the glass.  A hand held glass cutter does take some practice to master, however it is well worth the effort.
  • Sanding blocks – glass is always going to have sharp, uneven edges along the scoring track.  Use a sanding block to smooth out these rough areas and other dangerous edges. Do not use sandpaper without a good sturdy block behind it because glass can splinter easily and find its way through the paper backing.
  • Wood for making scoring guides – even if you are an experienced glass cutter, a wooden guide can help  keep the score marks on a precise track and enable you to work faster.
  • Ruler ,paper, compass, protractor
  • Lightweight oil – in order to get the most out of the cutting wheels, use a little bit of oil on the glass so that the cutter does not wear as quickly.
  • A clean, perfectly smooth work surface – this is absolutely essential while you are cutting. Even a small bump or bit of debris can cause the glass to crack. Remember that glass is extremely brittle, and the scoring process will increase that problem.

Skills You Need to Master 

Creating Score Lines

Good score lines aren’t necessarily deep, but they must be consistent. You should hear a crackling sound as the glass cutter moves over the glass. If you see white dust building up along the sides of the cut, then you are putting too much pressure on the cutter.

Snapping the Glass

Breaking glass after creating the score line is truly a fine art. If you don’t it with just the right amount of pressure on both sides of the cut, then the glass may break in places other than on the score lines.

You can try tapping the glass along the score more mark prior to snapping the glass, however that will not make up for poor snapping technique. In some cases, if you tap too hard in order to get a break through the the thickness of the glass, it will go off track worse than if you just snapped the glass without trying to create even breaks along the score line.

When snapping glass, do not forget  to wear heavy gloves and goggles. As someone that has been cutting glass for many years, I can tell you that even the best will wind up with glass that breaks at or near the fingers or have shards fly into the air.

Video first seen on Shake the Future.

How to Reuse Glass Bottles

Here are a few ides for reusing glass bottles in the easiest way:

Fermentation Vessels

Not all reuses involving glass bottles involve cutting the bottle. In this case, you can ferment new wine easily enough in old wine bottles (gallon bottles work well). Just wash out the bottle, let it air dry, and then fill it up with the liquid when you are ready to separate it from the mash.

When you cap the bottle, leave it a bit loose so that air can escape. As the wine continues to ferment, white debris from the yeast will accumulate in the bottom of the bottle. This “debris” is Cream of Tartar, which is used as a leavening agent. It is especially useful in recipes that use eggs as a leavening agent because it stabilizes them better than flour (in cheesecakes, etc).

Video first seen on The One Minute Brewer.

Food Storage

Wide and narrow mouth glass bottles can be used for storing foods. You can store away dried herbs, soups, or just about anything else that can be poured out of the vessel. As with fermentation, you do not need to cut bottles in order to use them for food storage.

If the cap/lid is worn or does not seal well, just add a plastic bag over the mouth of the bottle and then put the cap on.

Smaller bottles can also be used as herb, salt, and pepper shakers. You can drill holes in the cap, and then use the bottle like any other shaker. Remember that if you are not going to use the herbs for some time, either replace the cap with holes with one that is solid, or place some plastic between the cap of the mouth of the bottle.

Plant Cutting Starters

There are several ways to use bottles as plant cutting starters. If the plant will  root in water, simply clean the bottle thoroughly and let it air dry. Next, just put some water in the bottle and place the cutting so that the cut end sits in the water.

Depending on the species of plant, the cuttings may start showing roots in a matter of days, or it can take a few weeks. Just make sure that you put the plants in soil before the root system gets too big to pull from the bottle without causing breakage.

Remember that when it comes to plant root systems, it is the fine hairs at the end of the roots that are vital for pulling water and nutrients into the plant. If you damage those or cause breakages up the line, it will increase the risk of root rot, transplant shock, and poor growth.

Soap Dispensers

Depending on the size and shape of the bottle, you may not need to cut it down in order to use it as a soap dispenser. All you need is a soap pump that has a tube long enough to reach to the bottom of the bottle.

You can cut a hole in the cap to fit the pump in, or make one from some other material. If you have to cut the bottle down in order to create a large enough open area for the pump, then you will need material other than the cap to make a platform.

Video first seen on Craft Innovations.

Candle Holders

If the bottle mouth is small enough, it can be used as is for tapers. For other candles, such as votives, tea lights, and pillars, you may need to cut the neck off the bottle so that there is enough room to place the candle in the bottom of the bottle.  If you are very good at cutting glass, you may also want to cut designs into the sides of the glass to create beautiful lighting effects.

Chimney style candle holders can also be constructed by cutting the bottom off the bottle. Put a fireproof tray under the candle, and then set the “chimney” over the tray and the candle.  Unfortunately, if soot develops on the sides of the “chimney” you may wind up disposing of the bottle if you are unable to remove these deposits.

Video first seen on Saeid Momtahan.

Lamp Bases

To use a glass bottle as an electric lamp base, you will need to cut a hole on the wall of the bottle near the bottom so that the wire can go through. Since incandescent lamp sockets can get quite hot, it is best to build a platform from wood that will cover the mouth of the bottle, and then use a metal riser to accommodate the wire.

The riser will add some space between the socket and the body of the lamp, which will help reduce problems with excess heat.

Video first seen on HouseholdHacker.

Alcohol and Oil Lamps

Many glass bottles can be used “as is” for alcohol and oil burning lamps. Cut the cap of the bottle so that the wick fits through it (but will not fall down into the bottle), and make sure there is enough wick to reach the bottom of the bottle. You can also add an alcohol or oil burner top to he lamp so that you have an easier time adjusting the wick.

Video first seen on jiujitsu2000.

Upside Down Planters

One of the most productive forms of gardening involves hanging plants upside down to grow. In particular, strawberries, tomatoes and vine plants can be grown in much smaller spaces if you use hanging baskets, or upside down planters. Narrow mouth glass bottles are perfect because they are sturdy enough to take the weight of the soil in the bottle and they will not deform in the way thin plastic bottles would.

To use glass bottles as upside down planters, it is best to cut the bottom off the bottle so that you can water the plants easily from the larger opening. I do not recommend drilling holes in the glass for hanging hooks. Instead, you can use anything form yarn to wire to create a suitable harness.

Make sure that the harness will not stretch or corrode/weaken  enough to allow the bottle to slip through as time goes by. When choosing a place to hang up these planters, remember that the water will drain through the mouth of the bottle. Keep a tray under the planter, but far enough away from the leaves so that you do not wind up with spilled water all over the place.

Bird Feeder

No matter whether you are feeding young chicks or want to attract other birds to your homestead, it can be very hard to prevent the seed from being wasted. There are several versions of the glass bottle bird feeder. You can choose from models that invert the bottle, or ones where you simply cut some holes near the bottom of the bottle for the food to escape through.

If you choose the latter versions, it will take some effort to get the knack of cutting holes in the bottle. You are better served by making DIY versions of a platform that will fit over the mouth of the bottle and then use the bottle in its upside down orientation.

Video first seen on UpcycledStuff.


When using glass bottles as greenhouses, you will use one bottle per plant.  Basically, all you need to do is cut the bottom of the bottle, and then place the bottle over the plant. These mini greenhouses are perfect for plants that require a bit of extra humidity.

In particular, glass bottle greenhouses are useful for rooting cuttings from woody stem plants that must be placed in soil. The glass bottle covering gives you an easy way to control moisture and temperature. As the cuttings begin to generate new leaves, you can slowly allow more air in through the top of the bottle, and then allow more air in through the bottom.

Glass bottles offer many advantages to preppers that want a versatile vessel that will remain durable for years on end. Unlike plastic, if a glass bottle becomes contaminated, you can easily disinfect it by boiling or adding other cleaners that would destroy plastic. Plastic is best used for short term, disposable applications, but glass bottles are the ones that will withstand the test of time.

Adding a few glass bottles to your stockpile is as easy as buying different foods stored in glass, and then making sure that you don’t throw the bottles out. While glass bottles may need a little extra care when being transported from one place to another, they are well worth the effort.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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5 Reasons Why Your Neighborhood Terrorist Loves Gun Control

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survivopedia 5 reasons terrorism

I must start off by saying that walking through the mind of a terrorist with my dainty little feet is no easy task. These individuals are some of the most perverted, disgusting, sad excuses for living beings that we will ever know in this world.

But, clearly, they are not stupid.

Nevertheless, if we are to put an end to their attempts to ruin our culture, we must understand what they see as our greatest weaknesses and extrapolate how they will move to exploit them. It is my sincere contention that gun control is something terrorists love because it creates a weakness they can exploit at every level of our personal and social existence.

I feel, if there is one pet rabid viper of terrorists that we have nursed to our bosom in this society, gun control with its gun grabbing fangs is it.

Gun Control Divides People

Even though there is no such thing as an issue that everyone agrees on, matters surrounding autonomy and self defense are of major interest to terrorists.

Since their goals usually include harming people and spreading fear, they absolutely laugh with glee when one group seeks to disarm another within the same society; especially when the people being disarmed (example veterans) are the ones terrorists want to murder.

“Divide and conquer” is one of the simplest and most effective strategies when it comes to spreading terror and winning wars. The insanity of gun control itself within the context of a homeland proven unsafe from terrorists is like a free lunch to them. Any terrorist worth his or her title can do any number of things to divide us even further:

  • they can sit back and wait for other carefully scripted media spins such as the ones surrounding Sandy Hook to take hold and drive a panic based wedge between gun owners and gun grabbers.
  • they can launch one or two terror attacks such as in San Bernadino just to remind everyone they are here and can successfully strike at any moment.
  • Terrorist will act to feed and encourage anti-gun movements. This may include eliciting sympathy from them – much as murderers and rapists gain sympathy from the same group of people that see them as “victims”. No doubt, if the anti-gunners have their way, they will welcome terrorists to our homeland in hopes that they can work out their psychotic aggression and then move on to become good wholesome members of society.
  • Terrorists may also observe that the anti-gun movement is also paired with anti-war and anti-law enforcement ideals and values. The wise terrorist would make donations to the bank accounts and campaign accounts of anti-gunners in order to speed up the disarmament of our nation’s citizens.
  • Above all, the terrorist will lie and deceive so as to spread as much chaos as possible before attacking physically.

Gun Control Puts Government in a Failing Position

Prohibition and the war on drugs offer ample evidence that there are some places where law, and the attempt to enforce them does more harm than good.

Quite frankly, if people want to own something, buy something, or do something, they are going to try and achieve their goal no matter who or what stands in the way. When a government such as ours seeks to regulate guns among a population accustomed to having them, it is a recipe for disaster.

Here is what terrorists see each time a gun control measure is put in place:

  • They see something that the government cannot enforce without shedding blood of American citizens, or taking other risks that hurt the very people terrorists want to kill. Just take a look at the number of lives lost in drug related killings over the years and how many lives are still lost because the government seeks to impose rules on a culture that is not ready or willing to accept them.
  • When governments seek to control something at the price of violence, terrorists know they are succeeding. Each dollar spent on gun control, each speech made against the gun culture, and each new law is one that tells terrorists that resources have been taken away from fighting radical Islamic terrorism. This, in turn tells them that our government would rather show its weakness and “kick the dog” represented by American gun owners instead of take bold and definite action against sleeper radical Islamic terror cells in this nation.
  • No matter how much money the government prints, there is a limit to what that money will buy. We simply cannot afford to squander money, energy, and talent on gun control when radical Islamic terrorist are here in the US; and may even be seeding their ideologies in Venezuela, Bolivia, and other South American countries that gave former Guantanamo Bay detainees refuge.

Gun Control Puts Money in Terrorist Bank Accounts

Nowhere on Earth do the laws of supply and demand work so well as in the black market. The more laws you make against guns, the more people are going to want them. Since terrorists are fully capable of making guns and smuggling them into the country, rest assured that they can, will, and do make a fortune on black market trade.

Just as an example, do we really know how many black market machine guns (I mean the real kind, not some glorified hunting rifle like the AR-15) are out there and in the hands of terrorist sleeper cells? We can never know that answer anymore than we can know how many tons of illegal drugs are on the streets at any given moment.

The fact of the matter is anti-gun laws are about as realistic as a spouse thinking his/her partner isn’t cheating just because of a marriage certificate. Just because statistics show one thing or another, that does not mean specific married people aren’t tom catting under cover! “Out of sight, out of mind” does not mean these weapons are truly gone.

They may well be in the hands of radical Islamic terrorists who are just waiting for the right moment to use them. Sadly, this problem does not exist just here in the United States, it exists in every single nation that has gun control.

Not only are criminals and terrorists manufacturing and selling weapons at a profit, they are doing so at an incredible profit that goes right back into advancing their disgusting plans.

As strange as it may sound, I feel there is also a second way that gun control puts money in terrorist bank accounts. Consider a situation where you are fed up with the level of incompetence that seems to be coming from the US government. Now let’s say you are a citizen of a foreign country where ISIS, Boko Haram, or some other terrorist group is taking over at an accelerated rate. If you are looking for safety and security, how can you trust in a foreign government that is moving to disarm its own people in the face of the same terrorist threat?

The fact of the matter is right now there are millions of innocent Muslims and Africans that were either kidnapped by terrorist groups or their towns and cities are occupied by radical Islamic terrorists.

Each and every one of those people knows they wound up in this situation because their own governments were successful in imposing gun control and confiscation. If you, as an individual are thinking about your own future, wouldn’t you see more advantages to turning against a government that seems to be turning against its own people and their right to self defense?

I feel this is precisely how gun control puts money in the bank accounts of terrorists. I also feel it explains why people in the Middle East seem both apathetic and hesitant to do what the United States asks them to do.

Gun Control Puts a Lower Price Tag on Human Life

If terrorists are to achieve their goals, they must do so in a way that maximizes profit and reduces risk. When the person or people you want to kill or injure are well armed, then you it will cost you more to achieve your goal. Should that person, such as a veteran or active member of the military also be trained well enough to use that gun to maximum advantage, the price associated with murder goes even higher. Now let’s have a look at how gun control is selectively lowering the price paid by terrorists that choose to attack veterans right here in the homeland:

  • Over 10% of all homeless people are veterans, fact commonly shared on social media in an effort to obtain donations for homeless veterans or raise awareness. Not only does this mean they are vulnerable because of poverty, it also means they are not likely to have guns because they cannot complete the background check required to own a gun. From that perspective, all a terrorist in this country has to do is visit any place where homeless people are known to gather. Not only is it likely they can murder 10 people with ease, there is every chance they will bag at least one veteran.
  • Gun control only serves to lower the monetary value of every other person that is unable to obtain a gun because the cost of killing, kidnapping, and injuring them is much lower. For example, many people today cannot understand why terrorists chose to attack those who worked in a school for the developmentally disabled in San Bernadino CA. Aside from being a gun free zone, the former employee that committed the massacre clearly knew that his co-workers would not be armed, and therefore it would cost substantially less to murder them.
  • Anti-gunners constantly talk about how they value the lives of children and (rightfully) say there is no amount of money that can replace a child. Nevertheless, each time a school goes without armed guards, or youths over the age of 7 are not allowed to carry and defend themselves, it sends a message to terrorists that it is costs much less to go after our children. Don’t forget these terrorists are not worried about facing “justice” or human law because they do not have any exit plan other than to die at the end of their rampage.

Gun Control Does not Solve the Real Cause of American Discontent

It would be tremendously ignorant and naive to say that US citizens are happier today than they were 8 years ago. Not only do we grapple with rising prices, rising taxes, and shrinking wages, but there is a definite sense of misery across the land.

Just take a look at pictures of yourself from 2007 and compare them to recent ones. Do you smile or laugh less when at parties or with friends? Did you wind up starting on anti-anxiety and anti-panic medications in the last 8 years?

Do you feel like you are trapped in an endless mire of debt, taxes, and obligation to others? If you answered yes to these questions, then you know exactly what I am talking about when I say the general feeling across our nation is “misery”. You also know that job losses, relationship failures, passing on of family members, and other sad events cannot wholly account for what you may be feeling inside and seeing in the faces and actions of others.

Now let me be clear here and say that for most people, there can be no joy in hearing about children, veterans, and others murdered with guns.

To say that NRA members (many of whom are doctors, nurses, veterans, and members of law enforcement) or other gun advocates do not feel these losses is beyond ignorant; especially when those truly enjoying the spectacle are radical Islamic terrorists and others determined to destroy our nation once the citizens are disarmed.

No matter how gut wrenching these deaths may be, it is time to stop preventing one group or another from having guns just because they “might” commit a massacre. It is time to do the opposite – it is time to arm more people so that terrorists and criminals alike have more enemies to contend with, and must pay a higher price for every life they take or try to take.

If there is one explanation for the rise of “radical” candidates such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, it is the general state of unhappiness in our daily lives. Instead of having real, meaningful conversations about how to bring joy back to our nation, we spend endless hours fighting over a few hunks of metal that just happen to be some of the best tools for self defense.

Historically speaking, terrorists have already seen how unhappy people seek to impose gun control, and then become easy targets for terror attacks. I feel this is very much what happened in Nigeria, and is ongoing as we speak in France, Germany, and right here in the United States.

In this election, the issue of gun rights is one that I feel every prepper should use as an absolute litmus test. We, as nation under attack by terrorists right on our own soil, should not be limited in gun ownership just because guns are used to commit mass murders or other crimes.

The fact remains that terrorists, like criminals will attack where it is cheapest and easiest to do so. In my opinion, the best way to drive radical Islamic terrorism (and other kinds) out of business is for every person to be well armed with guns, thus driving up the price every terrorist must pay to kill and spread mayhem.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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5 Real Solutions To Gun Violence

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Survivopedia 5 solutions

It is more than fair to say that the loudest anti-gunners don’t really want to solve any problems. All they want to do is pass a bunch of laws so that people think they can get things done.

As we have seen in other countries that were swayed by similar people, destruction and terrorism are sure to follow.

That all being said, each and every person reading this has a chance to actually help stop gun violence by reaching out and doing something useful. It does not matter if you are for or against gun rights, all that matters is that you have a sincere wish to stop a killing in a neighborhood or family near you.

Teach Children Gun Safety

Not so long ago, gun owners in this country passed hunting and other traditions down from one generation to another. While this is still true for many parts of the country, there are also many people that do not have the advantage of a robust upbringing on gun safety and use.

This factor combined with the fact that respect and gun safety are not taught in schools means that children have insufficient guidance on how to behave around guns.

When it comes to teaching children about guns, let’s start off by drawing an analogy to other important things that are learned around the same age when gun safety training should begin. As a parent, you probably used a very different approach when teaching your child to avoid a hot stove and how to handle matches.

In the former instance, you may have warned the child that certain things were not safe to touch. If they did not listen and touched a hot pot or pan, they learned quickly enough to pay attention to what you said and what to be wary of.

On the other hand, your parents probably took a different approach to teaching you how to handle matches. You may have been told to stay away from them until you were taught how to use them, and may have been punished if caught playing with them.

It is sad to say that many children today learn “gun safety” through violent cartoons, movies, video games, and even songs. If we truly want to stop gun violence and instill a sense that life is sacred, gun safety needs to be taught in a responsible way. Children that are not old enough to handle a gun or stay away from them as directed should not be allowed near them.

Any child that is not old enough or responsible enough to handle a gun should also not be allowed to read, view, or listen to media or entertainment venues that promote the wrong or careless use of guns.

Equalize Gun Ownership Across All Social Classes

As we have already seen, gun owners are some of the wealthiest in our nation, while those who need protection from guns are some of the poorest. If we are to have a safe and equal society, then everyone must be able to own guns regardless of income status.

From homeless people right on up to billionaires, each person should have a gun and sufficient ammo to use for personal needs. Training and practice areas should also be offered at taxpayer expense for anyone that cannot afford these services.

Consider that if we can spend millions to billions of dollars each year on crime and crime prevention, it is truly much better and cost effective to put the power of self-defense directly back into the hands of the people.

Putting guns in the hands of every citizen also has two other important functions:

  • Right now our society is heavily divided along many different lines. Our language is changing in ways that make us think we know what others are saying, when in fact we have no clue. Gun ownership and maintenance comes with a set of very precise terms and procedures that can act as point of agreement among diverse people. Since guns also symbolize respect, there is also a chance that people will be less inclined to lie, cheat, and behave in other ways that serve to undermine the fabric of our nation.
  • Right now we have an unknown number of people in this country that did not come in legally. While we may think many of them are from Mexico and South America, it is no secret that many people from the Middle East may be making their way through the same porous border to our south. Because of the nature of terrorism and the conditions in these countries, it is entirely possible that millions of sleeper cell terrorists and “lone wolves” may already be here. Our homeless citizens and poorest citizens are likely to be the first attacked. Those attacks will be successful and overwhelming if we do not make gun ownership equal and unfettered across all income brackets.

Reach Out to People at Risk

One of the saddest consequences of all these discussions aimed at pushing gun control is that over half of all gun deaths are actually suicides.

When people are lost in pain, illness, or other types of distress, it does no good to tell them that you want to take their guns away. This only makes people in need more inclined to hide the fact that they need help and also makes them feel less confident of their ability to manage their daily lives.

Instead of punishing people for being sick and threatening them with gun confiscation, it is time to reach out to these people and actively work to gain their trust. Anyone can hold a gun and lock it up for someone that feels like they are on the edge.

Anyone can be a friend, listen, and help another person in need get back on their feet mentally and emotionally. Unfortunately, the way gun control laws are written these days, the very people that may be trusted to hold a gun are the very ones prohibited from doing so.

This only leads to more deaths, more massacres and more fodder for anti-gunners hell bent on getting their way.

In some traditional gun owner families, including mine and my husband’s, it was not uncommon to hold a gun for a family member or close friend until they demonstrated that it was safe for them to have the guns back. This is distinctly different from making a law in which the guns are held by a stranger, or a whole host of red tape must be gone through to regain access to a gun.

People that know you best and trust are the ones you will go to instinctively; and they are also the ones that are best able to determine if it is the right time to give your guns back.

Situation Awareness and Common Sense

Anti-gunners are very fond of saying that gun rights advocates are paranoid for thinking there is a criminal or terrorist hiding under every rock. Nevertheless, the numbers prove them wrong. Have a look at your risk of being the victim of a violent crime, even without concerns of terrorism:

  • 1 out of every 10 women will be the victim of a rape. If you are a woman, remember that the next time you go shopping and stand on line with 9 other women. One of you may have, or will be the victim of rape. When you go to vote this year, remember that the Democrat rape crisis platform consists mainly of telling women to urinate on rapists in order to deter them, and then toddle on off to the hospital for a rape kit and an abortion.
  • 7 out of every 10 people will be the victim of home burglary. Anti-gunners run around saying that you should not need more than 10 bullets to protect your home and family. Nevertheless, in a panic situation, you may in fact need a magazine that holds 30 rounds, or more. Quite frankly, unless anti-gunners have actively been involved in home robberies and can prove they can do better than the police or the average home owner, they have no place judging what is, and what is not a “personal use” sized magazine. Bullet size, gun type, and many other factors make it unreasonable and dangerous to limit magazine size.
  • 4 out of every 10 people will be robbed. Elderly people, the disabled, and the homeless all run a greater risk of being robbed. Isn’t it better to empower these people with guns instead of leave them at the mercy of criminals that are probably using the black market to get what they want?

Aside from carrying a gun, it is also very important to be aware of everything going on around you. Without accurate assessment of the people around you, it becomes difficult to avoid crimes, and also increases the likelihood that you will need to use a gun to defend yourself or someone else.

Together with that, situation awareness is also very important in a nation where terrorists are actively planning and carrying out their disgusting acts.

When you start paying attention to what people are doing, and learn how to spot suspicious behavior, then you become empowered and able to help the society around you.

From active shooters to suicide bombers, having a gun will give you the chance to take action to resolve immediate threats, and quite possibly reduce the number of lives lost. As it stands, anti-gunners refuse to admit that armed people are harder to commit acts of terror and crime upon.

Terrorists and criminals, however, live in the real world and aren’t about to take the risk of trying to overcome armed citizens. They know they will lose, and for every victory they gain, the price will be far higher than they are willing to pay.

Repeal All Gun Control Laws

Gun free zones, background checks, and other gun control laws all look good on paper. All they have done here, and around the world is increase victimization against poor people and ensure that children are easier to kill in large numbers.

As getting rid of Prohibition normalized the use of alcohol in our society, getting rid of gun control will also restore guns to the level of normalcy they had at the time the Constitution was written.

Repealing gun laws in this country is only the beginning of what must be a global revolution. This revolution includes:

  • study the arguments used in favor of gun control. Understand how people are being brainwashed into going along with it. Educate about gun rights in a civil and polite way that does not cause brainwashed responses to take control of your audience.
  • refusing to vote for any leader that supports gun control
  • investigate all proponents of gun control to see who they get their money from. You may just uncover a massive scandal or some hidden criminal action that will get them removed from office.
  • recalling all leaders that attempt to impose gun control
  • immediately petition and seek to overturn gun control laws through legal challenges
  • form networks with pro-gun advocates throughout the world to ensure gun control is appealed in all nations
  • Learn about gun control in world governing organizations. Investigate and expose proponents of gun control and find out how to get them voted out.
  • Continue to educate people in the United States and in foreign countries about the benefits of unfettered gun ownership. Never forget that there are some people in this world that have been heavily brainwashed, have never been around guns, and do not know better than what they were taught. Be a patient teacher and a role model for all the best that is in our American gun culture.

There is no question that there is too much crime and terrorism in this world. Focusing on gun control as a “cure all” or “beginning point” is not a viable answer.

As we learned with alcohol, and continue to learn with drugs, actually resolving issues around material objects cannot be done by limiting those objects. Rather, we must sit down and look for ways to work among people in such a way that a major crisis can be averted.

For those at risk of committing suicide or killing others because of personal problems, we must build very personal and very tangible bonds of trust that can be used in time of need. For terrorists and criminals who may be beyond our mental and emotional reach, situational awareness combined with arms for every citizen remains the best and safest answer.

We, as a nation and world do not need ham handed, lame brained gun control laws to get in our way. We can do a better job without having to put aside a single gun.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


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10 Ways For Preppers To Use Old Newspapers

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Survivopedia newspapers

Even though you may not rely on newspapers as much as before, they are still an excellent material to store away and use during a crisis scenario.

No matter whether you store away regular daily newspapers, sales flyers, or even magazines, all of them can be converted into valuable survival aides.

Today, some preppers think of newspapers as obsolete and may even feel that plastic is a better material because it is stronger and lighter.

While there are some places where plastic and old newspapers overlap, there are also some key areas where plastic would do more harm than good.

Unlike plastic or Styrofoam, which does not breathe well, newspaper is porous enough to be used in more applications that expected.

Here are just a few ways to use newspapers now and during a major crisis scenario.

The Best Newspapers to Use Are…

First, a few tips for choosing the best newspapers.

As you may be aware, there are many different kinds of paper available in stores, as well as many different kinds of inks. In general, newspaper with only black ink on it can be used for  all projects listed in this article.

If you have regular newspaper with color ink, do not use it for applications involving food, potable water, or weed control.  Color inks can leave behind a number of toxins that you would not want in your food or in the soil used to grow plants for food.

Glossy magazine or flyer paper with colored ink has very limited uses. At most, use it for drawer liners, work area coverings, and anyplace else where you do not have to worry about toxins from the ink getting into food, soil, or the air.

The inks in these papers also make them largely unsuitable for burnable logs because of the heavy metals and other toxins found in the ink. If you must use them in a pinch, do so; but make sure you are in a well ventilated area, or better yet, outdoors and far away from soil and water that may be used for growing food and obtaining potable water.

10 Ideas on Repuporsing Newspapres

Let’s see a few projects that you can develop using newspapers.

Burnable Logs

There are several ways to make burnable logs.  The easiest way to make them is to simply roll them up, tie them with some twine, and throw them into the fire. Rolls of newspaper will take longer to burn and produce more heat.

If you want to get the most heat from newspaper, you need to compress it as much as possible.  Since newspaper turns softens and compacts well in water, you can make burnable logs or bricks using little more than bucket of water and a strainer. Here is a Survivopedia article about making paper logs if you want to know more about this project.

Burnable logs can be stored away for some time, or they can be used immediately.  When storing away these logs, make sure they remain in a cool dry place in order to prevent moisture from creating mold and mildew on them.

Depending on the form  you choose, it is possible to make different sized logs. While smaller logs will not last as long, they may form an excellent starter material that will help with drying out fire wood or starting a coal fire.

Video first seen on David The Good.


As porous as newspaper may be, it also offers a viable barrier to drafts and cold temperatures.  Here are just a few ways you can use newspaper as insulation:

  • to stay warm in cold temperatures, line your clothes with newspaper.  Your body temperature will not rise as fast when using newspaper, and you will also reduce the risk of excess sweat buildup.
  • If you are out in the elements and cannot build a shelter in time, line your sleeping bag or blankets with newspapers.
  • You can also tape newspapers to the walls of your home and around window casings to reduce drafts coming in from these areas.  When folding newspaper to use as an insulator, remember that the open end should always face where the draft is coming from.  You can think of the paper as being like a cup that catches the draft and does not let it through.
  • Drafts from doors can also be reduced by simply folding up some newspaper and placing it between the door and its frame.

Accelerate Food Ripening

Tomatoes, bananas, apples, and many other foods release gasses that accelerate the ripening process. Needless to say, if you are growing food outdoors in a time of disaster, more than a few people will be looking to steal from you as soon as the foods are ripe enough to consume.  You can harvest several days early if you know how to ripen foods without the benefit of the plant doing the job for you.

To ripen foods, wrap them up in newspaper and let them sit for a day or two.  The newspaper covering allows ripening gases to build up without causing it to rot. Once the foods are ripe enough to consume, you can place them in a refrigerator or consume them.

Paper Mache

If you enjoy arts and crafts, then you may already know about paper mache and how much fun it can be to work with.  As a prepper, you may also need an inexpensive and easy way to make several important items:

  • Decoys or other objects used to lure prey, scare away predators, or for staging purposes.
  • Making casts for broken limbs
  • Paper mache can also be used much like plaster for many other applications. You can turn it into a clay like substance or simply use it as layers of sheets.  Even though paper mache may not be as strong as plaster, it is much lighter in weight and can be made easily enough at a moment’s notice.
  • Paper mache is also perfect for making bowls, cups, and other containers. For example, if you need to run water through a number of filtration media, you can use a paper mache container sealed with pine pitch instead of a plastic bottle.  Since paper mache techniques can also be applied to dry leaves, you will have a natural, and steady source of cups, bowls, and other containers once the newspapers are no longer available.

Instead of buying conventional paper mache material, you can cut newspaper into strips and use it instead.   To get the most from paper mache:

  • Use wire, plastic, or cardboard frames that will allow you to build up layers of newspaper
  • Use diluted white glue, pine pitch, or anything sticky enough to glue the pieces of newspaper to the object you are creating. If you are going to use paper mache as a body casting material, make sure that the glue will dissolve easily in water.
  • If you happen to make areas that are too thick or need to reduce the shape for some other reason, you can cut the area down with a knife, or sand it for a smoother surface.
  • Once the object is dry, you can paint it, stick feathers on it, or do whatever else you need to add texture, color, or anything else required for your purposes. This includes using waterproof sealants so that the finished object can be immersed in water.

Video first seen on Howcast.

Weed Barriers

As a prepper, you may be giving a lot of though to how you will disguise edible plants on your property, in the woods, or at some other location. Inevitably, keeping your secret gardens safe will entail avoiding visiting those locations as much as possible.  But a few heavy rains, sunny days, and good growing temperatures can cause unwanted plants to grow faster than those you seek to use for food or medicine.

Since much of the battle between plants occurs below the soil, it is in your best interest to include weed barriers around plants of interest to you.  Newspapers unfolded and arranged on the ground around important plants will prevent other plants from invading the space that your plants need for good growth.

As an added bonus, since the newspapers will be located below the surface, it is one gardening trick you can use easily enough without others realizing what they are looking at.

Video first seen on AnOregonCottage.

Drawer and Cabinet Lining

There is no such thing as a drawer or cabinet that stays perfectly clean.  As time goes by, grease, debris from various objects, spills, and many other things can make shelves and drawer bottoms look like a mess.  Lining shelves and drawers with newspaper will ensure they stay clean.

Even if you do not change the newspapers very often, don’t forget to take note of drawer or cabinet areas that may be damp or prone to moisture buildup.  Newspaper is an ideal growth medium for mold and mildew.  If you do not change the newspapers in time, these organisms will go on to attack wood or anything else they can grow on.

Wrapping Fragile Objects

At first glance, wrapping fragile objects in newspaper may seem very easy.  That being said, if you wrap too tightly or do not take proper precautions with certain areas, then the object will still break apart. Here are some basic things to keep in mind:

  • if you are wrapping something that is hollow, start off by balling up newspaper and lightly packing the hollow area.
  • Next, if the object has handles or other outcroppings, very loosely ball up some more newspaper and place them on both sides of the handle until it no longer looks like an outcropping.
  • Take another sheet of paper and cover over the entire object.
  • Add more layers of paper as needed to form a soft, but firm cushion.
  • Never wrap more than one object in the same piece of newspaper or fold the items over on themselves as you roll the paper around the object.
  • Never wrap the object too tightly.  Remember, the paper is there to absorb shock.  If the paper is too tight, it cannot achieve that goal.
  • Use tape as needed to hold the newspaper in place.

Work Area Coverings and Cleaning

As long as you aren’t working with anything flammable, you can use newspaper to cover a work area.

While you cannot use newspaper alone to protect surfaces from paint, water, or other liquid spills, it can be used to help with cleaning them up.  Newspaper may not be as absorbent as paper towels or old rags, however, it still works well in a pinch and will reduce the need to use other supplies that may be put to better use elsewhere.

Shoe Deodorant

Stinky, damp shoes may seem like more of an inconvenience than a serious problem in the pre-crisis world. What happens when you don’t have powders to dry them out, or the luxury of a second pair of shoes to help with conquering dampness in your shoes?

No matter how strong and active you may be, shoes that are damp and stinky will inevitably lead to infections that can be hard to treat in a crisis situation.  You can help alleviate this problem by putting newspaper in the bottom of your shoes.  The paper will absorb the moisture, which will keep the shoes drier overall.  Simply remove the paper, and replace it with fresh, dry sheets.

Protect Plants from Frost

If you don’t have plastic or other more permanent coverings, you can use newspapers to protect plants from frost.  Take a few sheets of paper and form a “hat” for each plant so that it is insulated as much as possible.  You can also create  support system and drape the newspapers over that in order to cover multiple plants.  Here are some basic tips for making sure you get the most out of using newspapers to cover plants:

  • if you know that frost is expected, cover plants from the afternoon beforehand. Your goal is to trap in as much warmth as possible so that the temperature in side the paper tent remains warmer through the night hours.
  • Use more layers of paper if the temperature is expected to get colder. This is not for the sake of keeping frost off the plants (which can be done with just one or two sheets), but to try and insulate the plants as much as possible.
  • Remove the paper covering in the morning as soon as the frost is gone. The plants still need sun and airflow in order to grow, and avoid diseases.

Newspapers are still readily available, and may still be coming to your mailbox for free on a regular basis. Why not use them as part of your prepping supplies?  From improving gardens to keeping valuable work area surfaces safe, there are many ways to use newspapers in the pre and post crisis world.

Storing away a few pounds of them in your stockpile can be a lifesaver, especially if you need to bridge gaps between supplies on hand and items that you may have to make from other materials.

Do you know other uses of newspapers for your homestead? Share them in the comment section below!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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10 Ways You Can Recycle Plastic Food Bottles

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Survivopedia plastic bottles

Have you ever noticed that you seem to buy, and then throw out endless numbers of plastic food and beverage bottles?

From ketchup and mayonnaise to soda and water, plastic bottles are truly one of the most common sources of rubbish. Did you know the plastic bottle are also some of the most versatile things you can have for managing all kinds of prepping needs?

Have a look at just a few simple things you can do with plastic bottles to make your life easier now and navigate through a major crisis. You’ll start stockpiling plastic bottles when you’ll see these projects, so that you have a large reserve of them in time of need.

Tools to Have On Hand

Even though plastic bottles are exceptionally easy to work with, a few basic tools are very important to have onhand.

  • Scissors
  • Pointed objects such as knitting needles, awls, nails, etc
  • Knife
  • Paper punch
  • Stapler
  • Ruler, Paper, Compass, Protractor – for designing items that you will be making from the bottles.  A paper pattern is especially useful because you can always use it to make new items as old ones wear out.
  • Candle – for some projects, you will need to melt the plastic in order to create a perfect fit or to make a new form altogether.   When used with care, a candle can provide enough heat to soften or melt the plastic.
  • Non-flammable work surface –  molten, and even very soft plastic can stick to all kinds of surfaces and be difficult to remove.  Aluminum foil or other non-flammable materials can help you reduce the risk of starting an unwanted fire and also make clean up much easier.  Don’t forget that plastic can also generate sparks that can easily land on curtains or other flammable material.  Work in an area where you do not have to worry about sparks starting fires hours or even days after you completed your task.
  • Source of readily available water or fire extinguisher – if you are planning to heat plastic for any reason, keep water or a fire extinguisher on hand in case the fire gets out of control.

And here are the DIY projects to develop using plastic bottles:

1. Sieve/Strainer

Removing debris from water, cooking, and even watering houseplants all require some kind of sieve or strainer. Despite that, when your life turns upside down because of a short term or long term disaster, sieves and strainers may be the last things on your mind. Fortunately, you can make a good strainer by poking a few holes in a plastic bottle.

To make strainers with the most precise patterns and holes, start off by adding water to the bottle and letting it freeze. Do not put the cap back on the bottle or overfill it as this can cause the bottle to split from the expansion that occurs as water converts to ice.

Once you have a solidly frozen bottle to work with, use clamps or a vice to secure the bottle to your work table.  Now all you have to do is punch holes in the bottle with a nail or awl and then let the ice melt. After you empty the water out, you will have a perfectly good strainer for food, water, and anything else that will not interact with the plastic.

2. Water Purification and Filtration

There are at least three ways you can use plastic drinking bottles for water purification:

  • First, if you have a clear bottle, simply fill it with water and set it in the sun for a few hours. The UV rays from the sun will go right through the plastic and kill off any bacteria in the water. Just make sure that you do not let the water get too hot because this will cause the water to take on a plastic taste.  In addition, if the water gets hot enough to make steam, it can cause the bottle to burst.
  • Second – you can cut the bottle open and use it to layer various kinds of filtration medium. Charcoal, sand, and just about anything else can be layered in the bottle. Be sure to have a clean cup or some container ready and in position to catch the water after it drains through the filtration media.
  • Third – if you plan on using hydroponics for growing food and raising fish, it is very important to keep the water well filtered. You can make an aquarium filter of just about any size using old plastic drinking bottles. Even if you use simple media like charcoal and fiber floss, your aquaponics system will work better than if you have no form of filtration and aeration.

Video first seen on desertsun02.

3. Bug Catcher

Have you ever noticed that mosquitoes, horse flies and other noxious flying insects seem to show up when you have the least amount of time or energy to deal with them? If so, then you probably already know that these insects will probably appear in droves during a crisis situation.

To make matters even worse, the Zika virus and many other dangerous diseases can be transmitted by these insects. In times when sanitation and waste removal systems will be either overtaxed or unavailable, it is more important than ever to know how to get rid of flying insects using non-chemical means.

You can use plastic bottles to make inexpensive, easy to maintain bug catchers that will work no matter where you put them. In fact, if you have a problem with insects right now, you can use these bug catchers to solve your problems. Click on the picture below to read our article on how to build this bug catcher!


4. Build Shelters

Surprisingly enough, there are dozens, if not more ways to use plastic bottles to build shelters.  You can fill them with sand or other materials that would normally be of little use, and then make a mud cement to form walls.

Some people also fill the bottles with water or other materials that make it easier to use passive heating or cooling methods. You can also use plastic bottles filled with water and bleach to create a basic light that will brighten up an interior room.

Plastic bottles can also be cut apart for roof materials and siding, or you can melt the plastic down and form it into more suitable tiles.

Video first seen on Florence Naluyimba.

5. Leak Sealant

If you think insects are going to be a nuisance in the post crisis world, then you may be caught off guard by how many problems can be caused by leaks. When it comes to overlooked areas of prepping, you may not even be thinking about storing away extra PVC pipe or other items that may spring a leak at just the wrong moment.

As long as the pipes in question will not reach high temperatures, then you can fix these leaks easily enough with plastic bottles.  All you need to do is:

  • Cut a large enough patch from the plastic bottle to cover the area that is leaking.
  • Use a candle to presoften the patch as much as possible.
  • Wear heat protecting while you fit the plastic patch to the area that is leaking.
  • Carefully use the candle to heat the plastic patch until it fully adheres to the item that needs to be patched.  Be careful not to melt or burn the item that is being patched.
  • If you have any kind of crazy glue or other sealant that will bond the plastic to the leaking object, you can use that instead of heating up the plastic.

6. Container Garden Planters

As with building a shelter, there are endless ways to use plastic bottles for growing plants.  Here are just a few that every prepper should know about:

  • Vertical garden planters – use bottles in combination with walls and ladders to create gardens in just about any area.
  • Vertical garden wall planters – if you are already building a shelter out of plastic bottles, then you might just want to incorporate these solutions for creating a garden and also disguising your home. Who would think that a house lurks beneath a mess of wild grape vines, raspberry stickers, or even poison ivy?  Even better, you can combine these vertical plant walls with an internal layer of sand bags to make your carefully hidden home bullet proof.
  • Vertical Garden Towers – one of the best ways to grow herbs, onions, and garlic revolves around having many plants arranged in layers.  This is easy to achieve when you make some large holes in a soda bottle to that the plants can grow from holes at different levels in the container. If you have very limited space for growing indoors, a vertical garden tower may be the best way to go.
  • Self – Watering Planters – for carefree gardens indoors and outdoors.
  • Plastic Bottle Greenhouse – If you are more interested in conventional growing methods and need a greenhouse, you can use this design.  For improved temperature control, seal some of the  bottle pairs with heat from a candle so that the bottles will hold water.  Since water absorbs more heat than air, and lets it go more slowly, you can extend the growing season quite a bit using this design.

7. Drawer and Counter Organizers

Since plastic bottles come in all shapes and sizes, it is very easy to cut them down and use them as drawer and counter organizers.  If you want something a bit fancier, you can also make vertical storage trays for lightweight items.

For example, the tray system featured in the link below is perfect for storing paper clips, thumb tacks, and a number of other desktop items. This includes sticky notes and other reminders that need to be in a prominent place without taking covering up other important things.

If you need to store heavier items in each tray, it may help to use heavier washers at the bottom of each bottle.  For improved durability, it may also help to use cement in the base to reduce the risk of the stand tipping over.

Or, better yet, you can turn the base into something of a coin bank and let the weight of the coins act as an anchor for the stand.

Video first seen on MORENA DIY.

8. Life Jacket

Life jackets and other important swimming gear are the kinds of “leisure” items that you may also forget during a crisis. Since plastic bottles float well, they also make excellent life vests.  Just make sure that you leave the caps on and do not poke holes in them.

There are many ways to join the bottles together to make a suitable vest.  In general, the more bottles you can join together, the more weight they will be able to float.  If you do not have rope available, you can use vines or anything else that will not fall apart in the water.

Video first seen on Joshua Guinto.

9. Boats and Rafts

Unless you have a large homestead with a private pond large enough for boating, chances are you do not have access to a boat that can be launched easily.

No matter whether you pay for docking at a local marina, or you must transport the boat on a trailer, it will be very difficult to manage all of this during a major disaster. Nevertheless, if you must travel across water, you won’t get very far without a boat or raft. You can build a boat or raft with plastic bottles and glue.

There are also many other materials you can incorporate into the frame in order to take advantage of the best of the materials you have on hand.

When making a boat or raft, you should be very careful about the kind of glue that you use. While many waterproof glues and epoxies will work fine in freshwater, they may not work well at all in marine or brackish water. It will also be to your advantage to use a rope or net system as part of the boat’s form so that the bottles have a better chance of staying together even if the glue fails.

Video first seen on Gabriel Dubois.


Video first seen on Ezequiel Oliveira.

This fascinating version can even be driven with a motor and oars!

Video first seen on eroneus1.

10. Air Blowers and Vacuum Cleaners

In a world where electricity will be at a premium, you may still need air blowers or suction to accomplish some basic tasks. While you can still sweep the floor and get rid of cobwebs with a broom, there may still be times when a vacuum cleaner or air blower will be of immense benefit.

Here are some simple guides for making vacuum cleaners. The amount of suction produced will depend largely on the strength of the motor.

Video first seen on Yuri Ostr.

Video first seen on GOODTECH – Creativity and Science.

Or build a 90 psi air tank:

Video first seen on johnnyq90.

And here’s an air blower

Video first seen on Navin Khambhala # crazyNK.

Before you throw out an empty beverage or food plastic bottle, take a look at your survival goals and the kinds of things you would like toe have onhand. From boats and vacuum cleaners to organizing tools, you can do far more than expected with plastic bottles.

Never underestimate the power of these simple “rubbish” items in situations where your life, and the lives of your loved ones depend on successfully innovating with whatever items you may have onhand. Give some of these ideas a try and you are sure to find plenty of cost efficient, effective ways to pursue prepping goals and perhaps even make your life in the pre-crisis world a bit easier.

And if you want more DIY ideas, here’s something that will boost your creativity. Click on the banner below to find out more!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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10 Ways Preppers Can Reuse Plastic Shopping Bags

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44975318 - disposable plastic bags

Do you already reuse plastic shopping bags as trash liners?  If you don’t use them for much else, than chances are  you have hundreds of these bags laying around and relatively few ideas about how to use them for prepping.

As with many other forms of packaging that we “throw away” in our society, plastic bags have many purposes that make them very useful in an emergency. 

When caught in a riot, a major natural disaster, or some other scenario, plastic bags can make surviving a bit easier. Instead of throwing all those bags away, or trying to give them away to friends and neighbors, start using plastic shopping bags in other ways.

Tools/Materials to Have On Hand

  • Scissors
  • Source of Heat – a steady, controllable source of heat can be used to shrink the plastic or make it easier to form fit over just about any surface.  Hairdryers set on high, candles, and irons each have a purpose when reusing plastic bags.  Ideally, you should have at least one of each onhand.
  • Needle and Thread –  use primarily if you decide to build up plastic bags into thicker layers, or you don’t have glue or duct tape onhand.  A needle and thread are also some of the most versatile multi-purpose tools you can find.
  • Duct Tape
  • Crazy Glue – some glues that adhere to plastic may not work with plastic shopping bags. Be sure to test the glue out before using it in a project.
  • Permanent Marker
  • Ruler

How to Reuse Plastic Bags


Even though you may know that rope is a staple survival tool, there may be times when you don’t have enough on hand. If you do not have access to vines or plants with suitable fibers, you can make rope from plastic bags. Aside  from being durable, plastic bag rope is also waterproof.

When making plastic bag rope, make sure that you know how to join the bags together, and also how to braid for the maximum amount of strength. As with other kinds of rope, remember that it friction will cause it to wear each time you use it. These ropes can also break unexpectedly because the plastic itself will wear and become weaker with each usage.

Video first seen on Kate Guray.

Braided Mats for Shelters

There are at least four ways to bake braided mats from plastic bags that can be turned into shelters.

  • Take plastic bags and weave them into a flat surface much as you would a wide friendship bracelet
  • Braid the plastic bags into rope, and then glue, tape, or use heat to hold the rope in a mat form.
  • Use basic weaving techniques to create a mat.  For added strength, you can also braid the plastic bags into rope, and the weave with the ropes.

Video first seen on Thomas Dambo.

  • Use a crochet hook or knitting needles much as you would for regular yarn. You will need fairly thick knitting needles, or a crochet hook with a large enough hook on the end.  Bone, wood, and other natural materials can be used for these tools,or you can try to buy jumbo sized tools at a craft store.

Video first seen on David Jones.

Waterproofing Important Items

Have you ever had to carry paperwork around, only to find yourself in the middle of a rainstorm? Chances are, you used a plastic bag to cover your papers and prevent them from being ruined.  Plastic bags can be used as all kinds of liners from trash pails, to drawers, to just about any other place where you need to keep moisture out or prevent it from escaping.

When heat is applied to plastic bags, it will soften the plastic and also cause some shrinkage. Consider a situation where you make a wooden rack, but do not have polyurethane or other sealants to protect the wood from moisture. As long as the wood will not be near a source of heat, you can use plastic bags to make a watertight sealant. Just lay the bags flat over the surface of the wood and use a hair dryer to melt the plastic.

If you do not have airtight and water tight containers for emergency supplies, you can also use this method to seal them in. Even though the plastic wrapping will be ruined when you open the supplies, it will still prevent moisture related damage before the items are opened.

To get the most out of using plastic bags this way, try to seal items in such a way that you only seal up enough in each packet for one time use.

Body and Building Insulation

It takes very little in the way of effort to use plastic bags for insulation.  If you are stuck in a blizzard or freezing weather, you can just ball up the bags and place them between your body and an outer jacket.  Plastic bags also work well a shoe liners if the shoes have holes in the soles or you are in especially cold weather. In the latter scenario, do not forget to let your feet breathe from time to time in order to get rid of the moisture buildup.

You can also insulate tents, building walls, and other shelters with plastic bags.  When using plastic bags for insulation, always remember to allow adequate ventilation.   Moisture can build up faster than you realize because the plastic will cut off all airflow.

Condensation from all that water can easily rot wood or collect in other places where it can cause all kinds of problems.  For example, if you decide to insulate the walls of your house with plastic bags, they will do a fine job of reducing the effects of hot and cold temperatures. On the other hand, as condensation builds up in the walls, it can easily build up on electric cables and cause them to corrode.

Make Plastic “Fabric”

There are bound to be many times and places in the pre and post crisis world where you will find plastic “fabric” very useful. While plastic bags can make a good temporary covering, plastic fabric can go much further because the the layers create a thicker material that will be more durable.  In addition, when you make plastic “fabric” you will no longer be limited by the size of an individual bag.

Here are a few things you can do with plastic fabric:

  • If you build up enough layers, you will have a material thick enough to use in the formation of a frame for a gas mask. Even though most people use plastic bottles, you can still use bags and create a perfect fitting mask. Custom masks can make it easier to use DIY masks with different cartridge types, and also make it much easier to create a custom fit for children or others that are difficult to get good quality gas masks for.
  • Plastic fabric can be used for blankets and tents.
  • If you are planning to start a new garden, use thicker plastic fabric to choke out weeds before turning the soil over.
  • You can also use plastic fabric for making clothes, but bear in mind that moisture from sweat will build up and cause problems unless you account for ventilation.

Video first seen on Needlepointers.

Plastic Bricks

Many people that have homes now may suddenly find them burned to the ground or rendered unlivable  for some other reason. At the same time, getting wood from other parts of the country, or preparing it for building a new home will either be impossible or take a lot of time.

If you have plenty of plastic bags around and some sand, you can melt the plastic and make durable bricks. These bricks can also be used to create all kinds of platforms, walkways, or other structures.

Video first seen on New China TV.

Plastic can also be melted down and poured into molds for many other purposes. Basically, you would cast with plastic in much the same way that you would cast metal. For example, you can create a wax model for the object you wish to make, and then place it in wet sand. Next, simply pour the hot plastic into the sand.

As the wax melts and burns off, the plastic will fill in the cavity left behind.  The wet sand will keep the form left by the model until the plastic dries.  You can also use plaster molds for more intricate pieces.

Packing Material

From mason jars to eggs, plastic bags make excellent packing material.  You can use them to absorb shock and also use them to prevent objects from rattling around in a box.

Aside from simply crumpling up plastic bags for packing material, you can also cut off the handles, blow some air into them, and then use duct tape to seal the bag so no air will escape. This is an ideal way to take up a good bit of space and still get the most protection from the bags.


You can make a greenhouse of just about any shape or size using plastic bags.  The simplest way to use plastic bags for this purpose is to start off by making plastic fabric.  Once you have enough fabric on hand, create a frame and then affix the fabric to the frame.  Do not forget to leave areas of clear plastic so that plenty of light gets into to the greenhouse.

Smaller, table sized “greenhouses” are also ideal for indoor settings where you need to provide extra humidity for specific plant types.  Unlike glass or plastic bottle greenhouses, you can make the greenhouse as large as you need and house multiple plants together.

If you are planting in the early spring,  late fall, or started other crops too late, plastic bags can also be used as temporary covers to prevent frost from getting onto the plants.

Bag Planters

When you have to bug out, there is a chance that you may wind up leaving a good bit of  your stockpile behind. In these instances, containers suitable for plants and seedlings can easily be left behind in favor of food stores or other supplies.

If you have even one plastic bag on hand, you can still plant in it and start a “bag garden”.  No matter whether you are in the woods, or even an inner city apartment building, just get some soil, put it in the bag, plant the seeds, and water as needed.

It should be noted that some plants will respond better to bag planters than others.  In particular, plants that require good drainage may not do as well because water will tend to build up in the bag and drown the roots.  If you have the bag planters in an outdoor setting, then go ahead and poke holes in the bottom of the bag to allow for good drainage.  This can eliminate the need to turn over soil for a garden and cut back on the amount of time and effort required for pulling weeds and tending to other gardening matters.

Water Gathering Aide

No matter where you are or what is going on, plastic bags can be used to gather water.  The easiest method entails simply digging a hole in the soil and putting a cup or other vessel in the hole.  Place the plastic bag over the hole and put a rock or some other heavy object in the center of the plastic so that the bag bows down in the center.  This water gathering aide will collect condensation as the temperature of the soil changes and releases water particles.

To get more water during daylight hours, take green leaves (from edible plant or tree sources) and add them to the hole.  As the leaves wither, they will also release water which will then be trapped by the plastic.

If you happen to be in a rainstorm, plastic bags can be used directly to capture water.  You can also unfold plastic fabric and suspend it high enough off the ground so that you can fit a larger container under the center.

Similar to collecting condensation from the ground, make sure that the center of the plastic is caved in.  Add a few holes near the very center so that water can drain into the container.  In this instance, the plastic fabric will act as a funnel and gather up any water that hits the area covered by it.

The next time you become annoyed because you have so many plastic shopping bags laying around, think about how useful they are for prepping and long term survival goals.

Start from now to learn how to fashion these bags into different tools and materials and you will be one cheap, and very useful step closer to being ready to survive just about any crisis scenario.

the lost ways cover

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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5 Things Anti-Gunners Get Wrong About Gun Rights

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Survivopedia 5 things about gun control

Of all the memes floating around on the internet, few match those presented by anti-gunners when talking about gun rights advocates.

No matter where you look, fake statistics are used to advocate for gun control even as millions of innocent women and children are being wiped off the face of the Earth by criminals and terrorists.

It should come as no surprise that a movement funded by millionaires and promoted by former anti-war activists fails miserably when it comes to the most fundamental truths about gun ownership, the American gun culture, and why it is so very important for as many people as possible in our nation and world to have unfettered and unrestricted access to all kinds of guns.

Guns Protect Liberty and Move the World Forward

If you look at the relationship between the United States and England today, you would never guess that our founding fathers would have been called terrorists and worse by citizens and supporters of Britain in the colonies.

When people strive for liberty and disagree, sometimes the only answer is to thrash it out until both sides come to terms with each other. Despite the memes of anti-gunners educated with Common Core history, we have seen tragedies worldwide when liberty is not protected and defended with guns owned and used by the common people:

  • Strict gun control in Syria created a situation where only the military, the police, and ISIS had guns. This left the people of Syria helpless as terrorists took over city by city, and forces them to leave their homeland instead of stay and defend it. In a situation like this, ISIS and other terror groups have insufficient resistance from the people they seek to dominate. As such, there is no reason for them to stop their violent actions. If you can understand that a dog digs in the garbage because it can, then you also understand that terrorists take over unarmed people because they can.
  • Hitler and his infamous Nazis were very particular about disarming Jews and others that they intended to wipe off the face of the Earth. Perhaps if the Jews in Germany had guns, Hitler would never have been able to carry out the holocaust let alone invade other nations. From this, I feel we learn that there is no such thing as disarming a population for a “higher social good” without secretly considering taking other actions that will lead that populations oblivion.
  • China is another country notorious for gun control. Even though very little media gets out from this communist nation, we did see what happened in Tienanmen Square. That kind of suppression along with such a brutal massacre should be enough to convince anyone that liberty for the people cannot exist when citizens are disarmed or denied access to any kind of gun they wish to have.

It’s About Guns as Much as the Person Behind the Gun

As a general rule, anti-gunners look only at the harm caused when guns are used by people in ways that we find to be wrong.

Nevertheless, if they bothered to cull reports from local news stations around the nation, they would see that for every child murdered in Sandy Hook, hundreds may have been saved that day by armed parents. Dozens to hundreds of innocent men, women, and children are saved by guns every single day because “good people with guns stop bad people with guns”.

Now, some anti-gunners run around saying that approximately half of ex-cons admit that they don’t get guns because there is a law stopping them. Only a person seriously ignorant about the state of crime and the legal system these days would consider this statistic as a valid argument for gun control.

To the point, almost 50% of all homicides alone go unsolved. To add insult to injury, almost 5% of people on death row were exonerated based on new evidence. These numbers do not take into account the number of people that chose to go to prison in order to cover for someone else. Now, let’s do the math to show what’s really happening with this statement about ex-cons.

  • Let’s start off by saying that out of 100 murders, 50 people went to prison, and 50 escaped.
  • Through additional testing ,we found out that 5 people put in prison were, in fact, innocent.
  • Of the 50 people that went to prison, 25 of them say they would not buy a gun because it is illegal. That means only 25% of all murderers avoid gun ownership because of a law, while a whopping 75% will go on with business as usual.
  • Of the 25 people that said they would not own a gun because it is illegal to do so, it is likely that 5 of them were innocent to begin with. That leaves just a 20% compliance rate with gun control laws.

With that kind of abysmal failure, it is no wonder that mass murders happen most in gun free zones, section 8 housing, and other areas where people cannot get access to guns. These statistics alone prove that criminals simply don’t care about the laws, they will get guns, and they will use them.

gun free zones

Gun Rights are About Self Defense in a World of Changing Threats

Some anti-gunners claim that the US Constitution should be narrowly interpreted when it comes to gun types. According to them, the only guns citizens should have are black powder muskets and other weapons that were commonly available around the time the Constitution was written.

If we are to go by those standards, perhaps these very same people should consider giving up on a number of wider interpretations of the Constitution including:

  • the creation of the social security system (retirement plans didn’t exist in the 1700’s)
  • Obamacare (health insurance didn’t exist back then)
  • federal oversight of medical doctors (back then just about anyone could be considered a medical practitioner, including faith healers)
  • the entire automobile regulation system (perhaps we should all go back to horse and buggy as the ultimate means to stop all those nasty accidents).

When it comes right down to it, the Constitution wasn’t directly meant to cover a lot of things that we now consider part of our modern society. The fact of the matter is our founding fathers were some of the wisest, most forward looking people that ever walked this Earth. They knew all kinds of technologies were coming to fruit in terms of weapons. If they only meant citizens to have certain kinds, it is for certain they would have said so.

The decision to allow unfettered access to guns was one of the best things our founding fathers could have done. Today, we live in a different world with threats that may have a different appearance, but still come down to predator vs. prey.

From trucks crashing into crowds of people to suicide bombers, all modern forms of attack on citizens can still be stopped with a gun. No matter how anti-gunners try to wheedle out of this fact, they must eventually admit that law enforcement and military alike use guns to bring an end to active terror situations.

But hey will always resist admitting this, because then they must also admit that when citizens on the scene are armed, it takes less time for them to respond than it does for the police to get there and then get to the attacker.

murder rate

Gun Ownership Can be a Matter of Duty

In several articles I have written about the fact that criminals and terrorists are the ultimate opportunists. If they see a chance to steal, rape, or murder, they will do so as long as they gain more than they risk.

An unarmed person is always going to be a tempting target because these criminals have the advantage of surprise at the moment of attack, and they may also have guns of their own. If they know that their intended victim is armed, they know there is a chance they will lose.

So what happens when people do not carry guns or take other measures that leave them too vulnerable to criminals and terrorists?

  • One possibility is that as criminals and terrorists walk among us, they will seek out these targets and confine their activities to vulnerable populations. These populations, in turn, will demand protection in the form of police and militaries. For each person that cannot or will not defend themselves, someone else may have to die for them. Each person without a gun becomes both a target and inspiration for those intent on committing harm.
  • Criminals and terrorists accustomed to preying on those who are unarmed will amass money and more weapons. At some point, they will see large groups of people as suitable targets for their disgusting plans. As they go from success to success, their attacks will increase and become more devastating. Armed citizens can stop this process, however gun free zones prevent us from seeing this in action. In a world where citizens are armed with guns, breakthrough of crime against groups would be minimal, and put down very quickly.
  • Next, criminals and terrorists will move on to the most obviously armed people in our society – law enforcement officers. They will study their actions, look for weak points, and devise plans that ensure maximum damage to their targets. We are seeing this right now in our own nation, yet fail to understand that they themselves are the exact kind of weak link that embolden criminals and terrorists.
  • Eventually, as we saw in Nigeria, terrorists and more organized bands of thugs will overthrow military bases and wipe entire towns off the map. Even this situation can and could be stopped when every citizen is armed with guns.

Statistics do not Predict or Work at the Individual Level

Have you ever been diagnosed with a serious illness? If so, then you may also have been told what chance you have of overcoming the illness and living beyond a predicted period of time.

Chances are, one of the first challenges you had to overcome was throwing out all the preconceived notions from friends, family, and medical providers. Probably, one of the first things you did was say “I am not a number”.

All too often in these debates on guns, we hear about statistics as if they absolutely predict the future or as if they must be the control of our lives. Nevertheless, we are not consigned to predestiny because one of God’s greatest gift to us is free will.

That all being said, here are the main reasons why statistics related to gun violence are used to create circular and patently false arguments by gun control and gun grabber advocates:

  • Statistics gathered in the past do not account for changes in factors underlying those statistics. Let’s say that 50 to 20 years ago, a glass of milk contained 30% of the USRDA of Vitamin D. Now let’s say that from 19 years ago to present, Vitamin D is down to just 15% per glass. If we are act on statistics generated on data from 20+ years ago, we might still believe that milk is the best source of Vitamin D. Even though the statistics say “drink one glass a day”, the reality is we must drink 2 glasses. In a similar fashion, arguments against gun rights do not account for the rise of terrorism as a global problem. No matter how many times they point to gun control in England and Australia, the fact remains Nigeria, France, and Germany are awash in terrorist events that require arming the general population.
  • Statistics that are based on too small a population or are not gathered for long enough also present a serious problem. Gun control has not been tested long enough in countries that have it, especially considering the way global threats are changing. When 1 out of every 5 nations on this planet is under attack by terrorists, it is a clear signal that we cannot and should not disarm.
  • As in the cases of illness, winning the lottery, or even getting safely from one place to another, statistics cannot reveal the outcome of any given event before it happens. The only thing we know for sure, 100% of the time is that it takes a good person with a gun to stop criminals and terrorists, regardless of the weapon they choose.

In our society, doctors, lawyers, nurses, police officers, members of the military, computer programmers, politicians (including anti-gunners and gun grabbers) and scientists are the kinds of highly educated people that likely make up over 50% of all gun owners.

When anti-gunners cannot grasp the five most fundamental things about gun rights, they do no service to the real problems facing our nation and world. We cannot allow these fundamental errors in judgment to go on shaping policy and laws in our nation and abroad.

Remember, this election to make gun rights your litmus test. Vote, recall, and petition!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.



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10 Ways For Preppers To Use Egg Crates

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egg crates agains mosquitoes

Do you think of egg crates as useless junk that only a hoarder would save?  Surprisingly enough, both Styrofoam and cardboard versions can be of immense value to preppers.

While you may not need to store away thousands of egg crates, they should definitely be part of your stockpile. You can also use them now as you test out different parts of your survival plans rather than buy more expensive items that are usually marketed for certain purposes.

Why Sterilizing Egg Crates?

Before you set egg crates away in your stockpile, make sure that you only keep ones that are already as clean as possible. Do not  use crates that show signs of dirt, fluid from cracked eggs, or moisture that leaves a ring around the bottom of the carton. Each of these issues can spell an increased risk for coming into contact with salmonella and several other dangerous bacteria.

Once you have a set of what appear to be clean egg crates, your next step should be to sterilize them. Since commercial eggs in the United States are notorious for carrying salmonella and other diseases, you need to sterilize the crates before using them.

Here are some methods you can try:

  • quickly dip the tray (use this for cardboard only, NOT Styrofoam)  into bleach and then hang it up to dry.   When the smell of bleach is gone, then you know it is no longer active.   For Styrofoam, use a weak solution of bleach and wipe down the trays with a very small amount, then let them air dry.  Never use full strength bleach or other solvents directly on Styrofoam, or it can result in melting, or worse.
  • Try using hot (near boiling) water and soap to clean styrofoam egg crates.
  • In small amounts,  can also burn cardboard egg crates and then  add the ashes to the compost pile.
  • It should be noted that, unlike water (which offers no place for germs to hide), egg crates cannot be sterilized by placing them in the sunlight.   This includes Styrofoam crates, since they will more than likely melt in the temperatures required to kill off bacteria commonly found in egg crates.

1. Seed Starting

seedlingsStyrofoam and cardboard egg crates can both be used as seed starting trays, just make sure that they are clean and dry before planting.

To prepare each cell in the egg crate, punch one or two holes in the bottom so that water can escape.

Since Styrofoam tends to insulate better than cardboard, it may work better during colder months.

Usually, you will add just one seed to each cell. If the seeds tend to be poor germinators or the species is known to produce poor seedlings, then you may want to plant as  many as 4 seeds to each tray.

Just remember that you will have to thin the seedlings to one per cup in order to avoid overcrowding. Alternatively, you can use thin cardboard strips or hard plastic to make a four mini-cells  that will make separating the plants a bit easier later on.

When soil, time, and/or seeds are at a premium, this solution requires some extra work, but may still be well worth exploring.

Egg crates make even better seed starting trays when you add an egg shell to each cell. Without the egg shell, you would have to pull the cardboard or Styrofoam away from the soil before planting.  When you use eggshells, all you need to do is crack the shell a bit and set it and the seedling into the ground. As the roots grow, they will get extra calcium from the shell, and also some protection from burrowing insects that will get cut apart by the sharp edges of the shells.

2. Mini-buoys

If you plan to fish, monitor pond or river water levels, or keep track of nets and fish traps, then you will always need buoys to help mark locations.  Styrofoam egg crates offer a perfect way to make inexpensive buoys that can be used for this and other purposes.  To use the egg crates as mini-buoys:

  • Start by cutting each cell away from the others.   In a dozen egg crate, you should have 12 cells when you are done.  If you happen to have two Styrofoam egg crates, then you can also use the tops for larger buoys.
  • Poke one hole in the bottom of each cell.  The hole should only be large enough to allow the string or rope to pass through.  (if you are planning to make larger buoys, you can poke holes in the sides of lid if those orientations will work better for your needs.
  • Run the string  or other material through the two cells so that the open end of each cell faces the other cell.  (For making larger buoys with the cover of the egg crates, the open ends would still be facing each other.)
  • Position the two cells so that they will be where you want them on the string or net.
  • Use pine pitch or some other glue to seal the two halves together, and then make sure that the area around the strings is also sealed.  This should keep the buoy in the desired location and also prevent it from becoming water logged.

3. Compost

Since cardboard egg crates come from trees, they are the perfect organic material addition to the compost pile. To use them for this purpose, tear them up into small pieces and mix them in with other contents of the pile. Try not to put inked outer casings into the compost pile as these dyes can be toxic.

Most people do not sterilize egg cartons before adding them to the compost pile. Even though you will not be using these egg crates directly for food or raising food, it is my contention they should still be sterilized so that you do not risk contaminating your compost pile with dangerous bacteria.

Remember that bacteria arriving on the crates from commercial farms have already been exposed to many kinds of antibiotics. As such, they may well survive in places where you would not expect them to, such as in your compost pile and garden. This is especially important if you are planning to grow raw edibles such as spinach, lettuce, or anything else that will not be well cooked before consumption.

4. Nesting and Shelter for Edible Insects

In many parts of the world edible insects are considered as much a delicacy as they are staple food filled with important nutrients. When you are stuck in one room, or you must rely on prolific, compact food sources, edible insects may wind up on  your survival menu.

Unfortunately, if you were thinking about hunting for edible insects on an “as needed” basis, you could wind up getting very sick because of all the pesticides and toxins that may be found in them.  Even if you are in the woods or other natural settings, normally edible insects may be contaminated with poisons. Growing your own insects for survival is practical, and can also help you improve your health while lowering your food bills well before a major food shortage occurs.

Crickets and many other edible insects can be housed in cardboard egg crates, or used as food for them.  For example, even one egg crate can sustain several hundred crickets, and offer plenty of nutrient rich food.  Since you will be consuming the insects, remember to avoid using the dyed or inked parts of the crates.  These chemicals can easily build up in an insect’s body just as easily as pesticides and other toxins.

5. Fire Starters

You can pack just about anything into cardboard egg creates to make fire starters that will work in most situations.  In general, you should choose materials that will act as tinder and last long enough to dry out secondary tinder materials before igniting them.

Video first seen on Loon Island Outdoors.

After separating the cells, consider the following packing materials:

  • cotton balls soaked in Vaseline
  • a tea light surrounded by appropriate tinder material (remove the tea light from the metal shell)
  • tinder cloth that will be ignited using a mirror or other means
  • drier lint soaked in wax (for this one, leave the carton intact until you have filled each cell.)
  • sawdust saturated in wax
  • instead of using wax, you can also try using vegetable shortening or animal fat.

6. Candle Molds

If you decide to use egg crates as candle molds, you will produce a candle that is about twice the size of a regular tea light. It is best to use Styrofoam egg crates for this purpose because there is less chance of the wax absorbing into the pores of the mold. Since Styrofoam may be melted by hot wax, you should position the wick, and then repeatedly fill and pour out the wax until the mold is filled.

As with other DIY candle molds, you should also put a hole in the bottom of each egg crate cell and then allow the “bottom” of the cell to be the top of the candle. This method also gives you a narrower top and wider base, which reduces the risk of the candle tipping over as it burns.


7. Sort and Store Small Objects

There are literally hundreds of ways to use egg crates to sort and store small objects.  You can arrange the trays in platforms and label each cell, or simply spread them out to suit your needs.  Depending on the size of the items, you may be able to simply close the lid and store the box away until you need the items in it. If the items inside are very small, you will have to seal off each cell so that they do not got jumbled up again when the box is shaken or moved.  To seal off the cells, attach clear plastic to the edges of each cell using tape or glue.

8. Ice Cube Trays

Styrofoam trays make good sized ice cubes that can be used for many purposes other than adding to drinks.  For example, if you do not have a freezer, simply add some ice to the salt in a chest and then bury anything that needs to be remain frozen in the mixture.  Make sure that all items placed in the chest are double wrapped so there is no risk of contamination.

9. Packing Material

You can use egg crates in the bottom and sides of boxes to take up extra space, or cut up the cells to create more shock absorbers within the box. Remember that even though you may not be packing away food supplies or other sensitive items, it is still best to sterilize the crates before use. You could also seal the objects in airtight plastic so that you can avoid bacterial contamination as much as possible.

10. Yarn Organizers

When it comes to durable, stylish, comfortable clothing, garments made from yarn are some of the best you can find. In a similar way, rugs, wall hangings that act as insulators, blankets, and many other staples are best made from yarn. No matter whether you are in a crisis situation or not, there is always a desire to create patterns using multi-colored yarns or multiple strands to produce different textures and patterns.

As someone that has spent many hours weaving, knitting, crocheting, and braiding, I can tell you that keeping yarn organized can be a difficult task.  Egg crates are ideal for this purpose because you can easily keep up to twelve strands of yarn sorted out using just one carton.

All you need to do is poke holes in the bottom of each cell in the egg crate. Do not separate the cells.  Next, position the ball or skein of yarn so that the yarn feeds into the cup part of each cell.  Use one strand of yarn per cell.  Now all you have to do is start working on your project. The egg crate will keep the strands sorted out so that they do not get knotted up.

More than a few people feel that egg crates can only be used for disposable craft products or other projects that have little tangible survival. Others only see egg crates as a disease vector that should be discarded as quickly as possible.

Even if you do not want to use egg crates for prepping at this time, keep the suggestions listed in this article in mind. You will know a little bit about how to reduce the risk of having problems with them, and how best to use them.

Do you know other uses for egg crates? Share them into comment section below!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Children Murdering Children: The Enduring Legacy of Gun Control

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20003767 - road sign stating gun free zone

20003767 – road sign stating gun free zone

Of all the groups of people harmed most by gun control, none are as obvious as children. Not only are children senselessly murdered in gun free zones, kidnapped and tortured, the anti-gun movement hides behind the innocence of children and uses them as emotional triggers.

If we are ever to liberate our nation and the world from the waste and horror caused by gun control, we must have clear understandings about how these laws hurt children, and how we must change not just our government, but global governing bodies as well.

Gun Free Zones are Deadly to Children

Did you know that the very first modern day massacre of children happened in a gun free zone and was carried out by a child?

In less than a year from the passage of the amended Gun Free School Zone Act, Barry Loukaitis murdered two classmates and one teacher. Barry was just 14 years old, but he ushered in the era of children murdering children with the blessing of the federal laws and other gun control laws across the nation.

This and other cases of children (under age 21) murdering children in gun free zones right here in the US include:

  • Evan Ramsey (age 16) murdered one student and a principal on 2/19/1997 in Bethel Alaska
  • Luke Woodham (age 16) murdered 2 fellow students on 10/1/1997 in Pearl Mississippi.
  • Michael Carneal (age 14) murdered 3 fellow students attending a prayer circle at Heath High School, a gun free zone, on 12/1/1997 in West Paducah, Kentucky.
  • Mitchell Johnson (13), and Andrew Golden (11), murdered 4 students and 1 teacher on 3/24/1998 at Westside Middle Highschool, a gun free zone, in Jonesboro, Arkansas
  • Kip Kinkel (15) murdered 2 students on 5/21/1998 at Thurston High School, a gun free zone in Springfield Oregon.
  • Eric Harris (18) and Dylan Klebold (17) murdered 12 students and one teacher on 4/20/1999 at Columbine High School, a gun free zone located in Littleton, CO
  • Victor Cordova (12) murdered one student on 11/19/1999 at Denning Middle School, a gun free zone in Deming, New Mexico
  • Charles Andrew Williams (15) murdered two students on March 5, 2001 at Santana High School, a gun free zone in Santee, California.
  • Donald R. Burt Jr, (17), murdered one student on 3/30/2001 at Lew Wallace High School, a gun free zone in Gary, Indiana
  • John Jason McLaughlin (15) murdered 2 students on 9/24/2003 at Rocori High School, a gun free zone located in Cold Springs, Minnesota.
  • Adam Lanza (20), murdered 20 children on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a gun free zone in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • Jaylen Ray Fryberg (15) murdered 2 students on 10/24/14 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, a gun free zone in Marysville, Washington.

Aside from every one of these murders happening in a federally mandated gun free zone, let us not forget that, according to federal law, in almost all cases, it was also illegal for these children to have guns. No matter whether children murder children, or adults murder children, the fact remains that one law, two laws, hundreds of laws will not stop that tragedy from happening.

The fact that there was no one on the premises of these schools with a gun created more bloodshed, more ruin, and more horror.  In every case, it required police, who had to get to the school, and then to the suspect before the rampage could be stopped WITH A GUN.

It is a universally known fact that the person on the scene first is going to be the one most likely to accomplish their agenda. When murderers want to be the first on the scene so that they can carry out their sick acts, it is patently obvious that they have picked, and will continue to pick gun free zones.

We Don’t Need Studies to Tell Us About the Children Murdered Because of Gun Control

If you think the loss of innocent lives in schools and other gun free zones is a horrific nightmare, then you may not realize much worse may be going on right in your back yard or up the street.

You see, while your children sleep, eat, and play in a home secured by loving, armed, and vigilant parents, other children are not so fortunate. These children are at the mercy of a system that doesn’t allow the parents to have guns because they are living in Section 8 housing, or some other law was passed to disarm people group by group.

And, as you may well know, many of these parents are poor to begin with because the very same people that promote gun control are also the ones  driving our jobs overseas and taxing our nation to death.

If that’s not a disgusting way of using money to disarm the nation and violate our Second Amendment rights, I don’t know what is!

Video first seen on Indiana State Police Information Channel.

Gun Control Doesn’t Limit Itself to Killing America’s Children

Since 2007, a whopping 22% of recognized countries in this world have experienced one or more terrorist attacks at the hand of radical Islamic terrorists, and most of those countries had more than one attack in any given year. To make a list of all the children murdered  in these attacks and point out all of the places with strict gun control is a heartbreaking exercise.

For the moment, let’s focus on 3 of the worst terrorist tragedies overseas involving children slaughtered in gun free zones or nations with strict gun control.


Two of the worst massacres of children at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists occurred in Nigeria.  The first occurred on December 13, 2014, and was carried out by Boko Haram.  At least 35 people were murdered, and almost 200 women and children are missing to this day.  According to the country page for Nigeria at, this country is listed as “permissive” insofar as gun rights.

Unfortunately for the anti-gunners, anyone with half a brain that clicks on the citation for that will see that the article quoted was published in 1969.  If you scroll down and look a the  more modern information, you will see that Nigeria is a textbook example of what gun grabbers want to do to this country.

When gun control was imposed on Nigeria in 1990, it became illegal for citizens to own machine guns, hand guns, and “military rifles”. This situation shows so clearly how gun laws only serve to limit non-criminals such as the innocent men, women, and children that were left at the mercy of well armed terrorists.  

To add insult to injury, not one father, not one mother of these missing children has a gun with which to defend themselves from future attacks. It is no wonder that Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations are sitting back laughing as they rape these girls and torture them. Not only did they get away with it, but they know they can get away with it over and over again in every country and area where gun control makes it impossible for people to defend themselves.

Nigeria. Again

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Boko Haram, did, in fact, strike twice at the children of Nigeria. This time, they didn’t just “hit and run”.  Beginning on January 3, 2015, and ending on January 7th, Boko Haram once again thumbed their noses at gun control after overrunning a military base. Once the only viable guns in the area were neutralized, Boko Haram slaughtered thousands, including innocent women and children.

No matter how much the governments try to reduce the numbers with conflicting fatality reports, the fact remains that 17 towns are gone, and thousands of people remain missing. Clearly, if the people of these villages had guns, we would have far more terrorists laying around dead. When it comes to the harmful impact of gun control on children, Nigeria is one of the best cases because it clearly shows the opportunistic nature of terrorists and how they will strike again and again at any area they see as weak.


An elementary school was attacked on December 16, 2014, resulting in the murder of 132 children.  In order to stop the bloodshed, the Pakistani military had to intervene in order to save almost 1000 more lives.

According to the country page for Pakistan at, once, Pakistan is also  listed as “permissive” insofar as gun rights. On the surface, civilians are allowed to own just about any kind of gun, however, all guns must be registered with the government. Unfortunately, this link fails to show the truth about how gun control helped murder those 132 children.

You see, in Pakistan, schools are gun free zones, just as they are here in the United States. As with every other nation on Earth, terrorists will attack and kill in any building or location where they know law abiding people won’t be carrying guns, because they know they can get away with it. Even though Pakistani forces eventually caught the terrorists that attacked the school, there is no bringing those children back, and every terrorist planning an attack knows gun free zones are the best places of all to spread terror and fear.

So What Do We Do About “Gun Violence”?

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that the murder of innocent children must stop. I would certainly love to believe that a law restricting guns could fix all of this, however the test of time and case after case proves that laws will not solve this problem.

If children aren’t slaughtered with guns, they will be slaughtered with trucks full of fertilizer, poison gas, and anything else that terrorists can get their hands on. From that perspective, I feel the answer cannot be found in limiting the rights of citizens. Rather, the answer is found in expanding them.  Here’s what I feel would reduce “gun violence” and the slaughter of children here and around the world:

  • Get rid of all public gun free zones.
  • Citizens and businesses that do not own guns should have themselves, their home, and place of business taken off the list of people and  addresses for law enforcement to respond to in the event of a crime or act of terrorism; unless they can prove that they have alternative adequate means to defend property and body. Since anti-gunners are notorious for pointing out the evils of law enforcement right along with guns, there is no reason why our tax dollar should be paying for the very safety they seek to take from the rest of us.
  • Set up a federal program whereby all people can get at least one free gun plus training on how to use it. People that cannot afford guns should also have all fees waived for permits,etc.
  • Speaking of permits, it is also time to do away with all government hindrances on gun ownership and how people choose to carry them.
  • Children should be taught gun safety and marksmanship as soon as they enter the pre-school and elementary school system.
  • At least one  gun range and ammo source, paid for by the federal government, should be available for the poor and needy so that they can practice their skills.

Far to many people today have been brainwashed into believing that guns are only of use in a gunfight. Nevertheless, even in the recent terror attack in Nice, France, the police had to use guns to stop the slaughter of innocent people.

Guns can, and are used to stop terror attacks and crime sprees of every kind, regardless of the weapons used by the attacker. When guns are only in the hands of the police and military, it is the children that suffer.

As we have seen in the US, France, Germany, Pakistan, Nigeria, and every other nation on Earth, guns aren’t going to magically disappear because laws are made against them. The only thing that disappears is personal safety and the safety of our children.

In this election season, Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate willing to give even a slight inkling of how dangerous the “gun controlled” world is. He is also the only candidate willing to get rid of “gun free zones” and admit that they are worse than a failure. Even if you disagree with Trump on everything else, this one issue is the most important litmus test of all.

No nation can be free of crime and terror when citizens are disarmed. No child can be safe in a school not guarded by guns. Shameful as it may be, this is the condition of the nation and world we live in today. To deny that for the sake of gun control, I feel, is the kind of ignorance and selfishness that lead to the destruction of us all.

Each time you hear different, just look at the growing list of terror attacks throughout the world and their magnitude and let your own eyes be the judge of just how serious these problems are.



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Offgrid Survival: 12  Ways To Move Heavy Weights

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archimedes-148273_640From ancient times to now, people have always been looking for ways to lift heavy objects. While we may not know how structures like Stonehenge and the menhirs were built, there are still a number of simple devices that can make life as a prepper much easier.

Have you ever tried to move furniture around your home, or during a move from one place to another? If so, then you may also be very familiar with what can happen if you use poor form while lifting, or you do not use the proper equipment.

As a prepper, avoiding sprains, muscle tears, and other injuries will be very important. In addition, if it is not feasible for you to lift heavy items without help, and you cannot build up to a suitable level, you need to know about devices that can make lifting heavy loads easier. Throughout time, scholars, historians, and scientists have labored with these questions and have come up with a number of useful, and simple devices.

The following devices work on the most simple laws of physics and can be used by anyone that needs to lift heavy objects. If you learn how to build these devices and keep them in your stockpile, you will find it much easier to manage your stores and move faster from one area to another if needed.

Friction Reducing Slides

When you want to move a couch from one side of a room to another, aside from being very heavy, the legs of the couch may either dig into a solid floor or catch on the surface of the carpet. When rough surfaces encounter each other while in motion, drag or “friction”, it takes more energy to move the objects.

Friction reducing slides have two basic parts. The upper part sticks to the bottom of the object while the bottom part facing the floor is very smooth. No matter whether the objects is being moved across linoleum, a deep pile carpet, or some other surface, the slider will reduce friction and make it much easier to move the object. Even though friction reducing slides will not reduce drag as much as wheels, they help moving furniture or other heavy items around a smaller area.

For example, if you place several food buckets on a wooden palette in your store room or cellar, placing casters underneath the palette will make it much easier to move around. You will find these coasters much cheaper than heavy wheeled utility carts or other wheeled systems that can also be used for moving items around a single room.

Friction reducing slides are also very useful for furniture that you may want to move in a hurry in order to get to a hidden trap door or supplies hidden within a wall. Since the coasters are usually not very high off the ground, no one would realize that the furniture is very easy to move or that there might be something hidden behind it. In addition, these coasters are also very common in many homes, so they may also escape attention because it is not unusual to move furniture around from time to time.

Wheel and Axle

From automobiles and wheelbarrows to bicycles, wheel and axle systems are some of the most popular simple machines used to move heavy objects from one place to another.

When building your own wheel and axle system, consider the following:

  • The axle material must be durable enough to support the load placed on it, yet lightweight enough to reduce the load on the wheels. Metal and wood can be used to make axles, but also study some of the newer polymer compounds on the market. Some of those are extremely lightweight, yet they are more durable than wooden axles.
  • When choosing wheel size, bear in mind that larger wheels will be harder to push, but they will travel further for each revolution of the axle.
  • Always know the ratio between the radius of the axle and the radius of the wheel. The smaller the ratio is between these two sizes, the less efficient the wheel and axle will be.
  • Be careful about the material used and the construction of the wheel. Since you are looking to reduce friction and drag, you need the smoothest wheels possible.  Preventing skidding, stopping the wheels from moving forward, and being able to make curves are also very important, and all these require at least some drag on the wheels. As you will note from automobile and bicycle tires, tread design and depth are very important for generating just enough friction to keep the vehicle under control as it moves forward. Even if you make wooden wheels or spoked wheels from metal, make sure that you can fit some kind of rubber or other material with treads over the wheels. This surface protects the rest of the wheel from damage, and will be easier to replace than the part of the wheel that attaches to the axle.

To get the most out of wheel and axle systems, I recommend having a number of different wheel sizes that can all fit on one axle. If you need to use less force for a heavier load, use the smaller wheels on the axle. If the load is lighter, put on the larger wheels so that more ground is covered for each rotation of the axle.

If you build a two axle cart or some other system (small model Pinewood Derby Cars are excellent to experiment with), load the vehicle with heavier items towards the back of the cart. Make the front axle narrower than the back one so that the front of the vehicle is narrower. This will reduce surface area in the front and make the vehicle less resistant to forward  motion.

Making the front end lower and keeping all edges as rounded as possible will also reduce air friction and drag while the vehicle is in motion. Anyone that has ever driven a Volkswagen Beetle vs. more conventionally designed vehicles can certainly relate to how the difference in weight positioning and aerodynamics affect the way the vehicle handles!  Use those same principles when building a wheel and axle system for moving heavy items from one place to another.


Pulleys are used to lift heavy weights vertically.  A basic pulley system requires rope, a wheel with a groove in it for the rope to sit in, and an area to suspend the pulley wheel from. The raised area must be higher up than the total height the object must be raised. Depending on the weight of the object, you can use multiple wheels and ropes.

The basic rules for creating a pulley system are:

  • The raised area must be strong enough so that it will not crash when the object relies fully on it for support. For example, if you attach a pulley wheel to a weak old wooden beam, it will probably crash to the ground if you try to hoist 2 ton object. Even if the pulley wheel and ropes are strong enough to bear the weight, the suspension frame must also be strong enough.
  • If you use multiple ropes and wheels, less weight will be applied to each rope. You still cannot exceed the capacity of the ropes and wheels and expect the system to work safely.
  • For each wheel and rope that you add, you will have to pull double the amount of rope to raise the object the same height as you would with one rope.  As a trade-off, you will need half the amount of energy to hoist the object. If you want to hoist 100 pounds with one rope and wheel, for every foot of rope that you pull, the object will raise 1 foot off the ground. Now let’s say you add two wheels and two ropes: you will find it much easier to pull the rope however for each foot of rope that you pull, the object will only move ½ foot off the ground. Depending on the weight of the object and the amount of strength you can apply to the job, you may have to try different numbers of wheels and ropes to get the best outcome.

In physics, many things come down to the size ratios between one object and another. You’ve already seen this in action in wheel and axle systems. With regard to pulleys, you may want to explore using double rope systems in conjunction with larger and smaller wheels. For example, you can try using a smaller wheel at the top of the system that turns faster in comparison to a larger wheel located near the object to be lifted. This may reduce the amount of energy you need to expend while pulling on the rope and also require less rope to raise the object to the desired height.

There are many times when you might need to raise an object or pull it along an incline. You can try arranging the wheels horizontally in relation to each other and also make use of belts within the system to increase the ratio between larger and smaller wheels.

When you attach a pulley to an axle, there is nothing to stop you from using the shaft of a motor as the “axle”. As long as the amount of force required to lift the object does not exceed the motor’s capacity, you can lift all kinds of objects. If you have a weaker  motor, then you can still use more wheels in the system to reduce the amount of energy required at any given moment.


330px-Helical_GearsAs far as building blocks for simple machines that can be used in many weight lifting applications, gears are truly my favorite because they are incredibly versatile and can be easily integrated into other systems.

Even though pulleys are much easier to make, gears have a distinct advantage because they will not slip while you are pulling on the rope.

On the other hand, if the wheel in a pulley system is very worn, gets stuck, or does not turn as freely as it should, you will wind up exerting much more effort than needed.

Essentially a gear is a flat round object (cog) with teeth on it. As long as the teeth of the gear match the  same pattern as the teeth on another gear, the rest of the gear can be any diameter or thickness.

As in pulley systems and wheel and axle systems, the radius of each gear in relation to other gears it is meshed with determine how much force is delivered by the system.  In the case of gears, larger ones spin slower than smaller ones in the system.

In order to use gears, each one used in the system must be attached to a shaft.  Even if you only turn one gear or apply a motor to one gear, they must all still be able to turn on a shaft in order to build force. You can use a single shaft for multiple gears, however you will still need a separate shaft for each gear that must mesh with another gear.

If you’ve ever overloaded a paper shredder or some other gear driven system, then you may already know how frustrating it is when the teeth break on a gear. In a survival situation, there are bound to be times when you make a decision to overload weight lifting equipment or fail to take proper care of it. As versatile is gears are, once they break, there is simply no way to replace the teeth and expect them to mesh properly.

During the process of building simple devices to lift weights using gears, you should focus on using “cage gears” because you will be able to make them as needed, and may also be able to repair them. Basically, a cage gear has two flat disks with spokes between them that function as the teeth.  If you make a cage gear from wood, metal,or plastic, you can try replacing the spokes that broke.  Even though these gears will take up more space, they offer an important advantage in the sense that they can be repaired to some extent.

It should also be noted that most cage gears on the market mimic spur gear designs.  Look into fiberglass and other polymers that may be useful in constructing curved spokes that will replicate other gear types.  If you happen to be able to forge metal, there is also a chance that you can still use metal for the gears and fit them into the cage design.


Levers are some of the most simple lifting aides that you can devise.  You can use anything from a branch and a rock to a metal rod and a part of a cinder block.

In order to use the lever, all you have to do is place the fulcrum (a rock or some other object) under the branch or rod, and then make sure the end of the rod is sitting directly under what needs to be pushed out of the way.  To move the heavier object, simply push down on the opposite end of the rod.

In the modern world, there are many examples of levers and ways that they can be used. When constructing lever, the position of the weight in relation to the fulcrum and the length of the rod determines how much work will be required to lift the load.  There are three “classes” of levers that you should know about. Depending on the weight of the object, you can use different tools based on each class of lever to lift loads.


Historically and in modern times, ramps are some of the most common devices used to move heavy objects from a lower point to a higher one. In fact, it is speculated that even the Great Pyramid of Egypt was constructed in about 20 years using little more than ramps and rollers to lift blocks that weigh thousands of pounds.

Today, we also see ramps used to push heavy objects onto trucks, or even make it easier for the disabled to access any number of facilities. Aside from making it easier to lift objects from one level to another, ramps can also be used to move objects more easily down a decline.

For example, if you have to move items down a marrow staircase, you can cover part of the staircase with a board and let the objects slide down the board. Just make sure that no one is standing in the area where the object may land, and you can control the speed of descent so that damage does not occur to the object.

As with other simple machines, ramps are easy to construct, however they must still fall within certain laws of physics. In this case:

  • The material used for the ramp must still be strong enough to bear the weight of the object moving over it. For example, if you are trying to move a 500 pound barrel over a ramp, that ramp must be able to hold that amount of weight. If the support beams for the ramp or the boards that make up the surface cannot bear 500 pounds, then the ramp will collapse.
  • When you build a ramp on land, several points are likely to be resting on the ground.  As with a house or any other building, a ramp needs to have a firm foundation. Even if you only put a ramp up for temporary purposes, the foundation needs to be solid enough to bear the combined weight of the ramp and the load being pushed across it.  If you need to build a foundation, do not forget that it may need to extend beyond the size of the visible portions of the ramp so that the ground beneath the the foundation does not give way beneath ramp.
  • As you may be aware, gangplanks and other ramps used on ships do not have solid anchor points on the ground for support. When constructing and using these ramps, you may need to tie the ramp to areas deeper in the ship or use as many solid areas along the start and finish points to make sure the ramp is secure.
  • The greater the distance between the starting height and finishing height, the longer the ramp needs to be. A gentler incline will be easier to push objects along than a steeper one.
  • You can reduce resistance of objects moving along a ramp by choosing materials that produce less friction.
  • When pushing an object up a ramp, you must apply constant force on the object. If you get tired or slip, the object will roll backwards and can crush you.
  • If you are going to move a lot of stuff from one area to another, it makes sense to have at least one ramp that you can use to move objects from the ground into a vehicle.   Even if your vehicle is not already fitted with one of these ramps, you may be able to find a portable, commercial model that will meet your needs.


The screw is one of the most fascinating machines because it is the only one that can be used to raise liquids from one area to another without enclosing them in a separate container. While an “Archimedes Screw” is traditionally used to generate electricity, it can also be used to lift water from a lower level to a higher one.

To construct an Archimedes Screw, you only need to take a core with a spiral on it, and then enclose that in a column large enough to let water into the apparatus.  Next, attach a crank or some other means to turn the screw so that the water will lift as you turn the crank.

In some ways, you can think of a screw as little more than a ramp that has been curled around a core so that the threads are aligned at an angle in relation to the core.  In order to lit an object, simply twist the core and the ridges on the screw will either raise or lower the object.   You can use pulleys, motors, and  gears to turn the screw.  When deciding what angle to use for the threads of the screw bear in mind that:

  • Gentler angles (thread angles with a  lesser incline when viewed from the top to bottom of the screw) will require less effort on each turn to lift the object.
  • The larger the crank used to turn the screw, the faster it will turn, and the faster the object will raise. Just bear in mind that it takes more work to produce a large circular motion than a small one.

Gas Springs

Have you ever had to lift a heavy objects several feet off the ground and found yourself wishing that the object could just bounce from the ground to where it needed to go? If so, then you may have also thought about using springs or coils for lifting heavy objects. Even though it is true that you can get a good bit of power from compressed metal springs, gas springs are easier to work with and more reliable for lifting heavy weights.

Basically, a gas spring uses a piston and a cylinder filled with compressed gas (nitrogen) and oil to provide upward lift. You cannot make this type of spring using DIY methods, you can still scavenge gas springs from a number of locations. For example, most office chairs that have an adjustable height use gas springs. If the chair is rated for 200 or 300 pounds of weight, there is a chance that the spring can also be used to lift and support that weight. Gas pistons are also used in automobile struts, car doors, and on each side of the trunk door. 

Here are some advantages and disadvantages associated with using gas springs:

  • Depending on what the springs were used in, they may not be able to lift a load very high. For example, most office chairs will only lift 18 – 24 inches before the end of the piston is reached. On the other hand, if you are fortunate enough to find gas pistons used to raise automobile hatch backs, they may extend a bit longer and also be able to lift heavier weights.
  • Gas springs usually lock in place as soon as you stop putting pressure on them.  For example, when you raise or lower an office chair, it stay at the same height as long as the weight placed on the chair does not exceed the capacity of the gas spring.
  • Gas springs are ideal for applications where the items must be lifted gently and slowly.  They also make good shock absorbers for boxes filled with fragile objects such as glassware.
  • Gas springs can be used on vertical alignments as well as horizontal ones.
  • You can create a number of “power assist” devices for very short ranges for people who are disabled.  These power assist devices may help you do everything from lift plates or heavy buckets to carry out other household tasks.

The Chinese Windlass

When you pull on a rope to turn a pulley, that motion will work, but it is far less efficient than using a circular motion. The windlass is basically a crank that you can attach to a pulley system that makes it even easier to lift heavy objects. Wishing wells, fishing reels, and many other devices use a windlass to lift heavy objects.

Video first seen on mrpete222.

The most basic windlass utilizes a crank attached to a shaft that is mounted on posts or some other form of support. As the crank is turned, rope winds around the shaft so that the object can be raised. While this system is far more efficient when combined with pulleys or even gears, the object will drop unless you lock the rope into place. If you are going to use a windlass system for lifting objects, you are best served by adapting it to a Chinese Windlass or Differential Windlass:

  • Instead of a shaft that has the same thickness across the entire length, the Chinese Windlass is thicker on the side located further away from the crank.
  • The rope used to lift the object is wound onto the shaft in such a way that it winds onto the thicker area as it is feeding off the narrower part of the shaft.  If you turn the crank in the opposite direction, the rope will wind back onto the narrower part of the shaft as the object is lowered.
  • In most cases the difference in size between the two ends of the shaft is very small. Nevertheless, the power required to turn the crank is much less even for the tiny difference in ratios.

Conveyor Belt Ramps

There are bound to be many times when you aren’t going to be interested in lifting objects vertically as much as you will transporting them over somewhat short distances vertically. When you do not have a a vehicle or cart, you will still need some way to push or pull the object from one place to another. If you have ever used a manual treadmill for exercise, then you will already have a good idea about how to make and use a conveyor belt ramp system.

Let’s say you want to move an 800 pound object a distance of several yards. Here are just a few things you will need to consider for the sake of safety and practicality:

  • You must be able to control the speed of the load as it moves along from Point A to Point B. This includes making sure that you can stop the forward motion of the load and also prevent backwards motion.
  • The object must remain in proper alignment with the mechanism

Now let’s say you originally planned to simply left the object with a pulley system and then use something like a crane arm to pull the suspended object to a location where you want to set it down.  While this method may be efficient and relatively safe, it may not be feasible in a situation where you do not have metal, motors, and other resources to build a proper crane.

By contrast, a conveyor belt ramp system may take longer to build and require more work, it will still get the job done using simple resources such as wooden logs and plastic sheeting.

Unlike a traditional ramp, a conveyor belt ramp will have a belt with two distinctly different surfaces on it.  The lower surface should produce as little friction as possible as the belt is dragged over the ramp and logs (that act more or less as pulleys) at each end of the conveyor.  The upper surface of the belt should adhere firmly to the object being moved so that it does not slip or fall off.

Depending on how you build the incline, you may also want to add a windlass system so that it takes less effort to move the belt and the object along from one position to the other.  If you have to go over longer distances, you will also benefit from making a series of mobile ramps so that you can fit them together as you go along.

Twisted Strings or Ropes

If you take two pieces of rope and continue to twist them around each other, they will get shorter. If you tie one end of the ropes to a crank, and the other end to a heavy object, the object will be pulled forward when you turn the crank in a way that causes the ropes to twist tightly. You can easily see this in action if you have ever used a yo-yo. As the string becomes more tightly wound around the axle of the yo-yo, the distance for the yo-yo to travel is also much shorter.

At first glance, simply taking two ropes and twisting them around each other may not seem like a very glamorous or useful way to move heavy objects.   Here are some advantages to consider:

  • Twisting ropes can be much longer and are much easier to assemble than conveyor belts and ramp systems.
  • You can use twisting ropes to lift objects vertically or drag them along a horizontal surface.
  • Newer materials such as fishing line give you far more power and shortening capacity than older materials.

As useful and low tech as twisting ropes may be, they have one very critical drawback. You must be very careful about the materials you use for twisting. Most, if not all ropes will degrade and lose their strength very quickly if they are twisted in a way that causes excess friction on the inner core of the rope.

If you do decide to store away rope for this purpose, make sure that you choose rope that is braided and has a suitable core. If you choose to use nylon line or other synthetic materials, make sure they will be able to bear heavy weight loads even if they are twisted to half or less of their original size.

Magnetic Levitron

Every machine or tool used to lift and move heavy objects must overcome the Earth’s gravity and inertia (essentially a body at rest tends to stay at rest) before anything useful can happen. With the exception of magnetic rails, just about every other device featured in this article requires mechanical force to overcome gravity and inertia.

Magnetic rails take a vastly different approach. Instead of using physical force to move objects, these systems use the capacity of magnets to attract and repel each other.  For example, magnetic levitation trains weighing thousands of tons glide effortlessly over tracks at speeds faster than obtained by trains that utilize conventional engines.

At the current time, “magnetic levitation” is in its infancy insofar as consumers being able to use the power of magnetic levitation to lift heavy objects. The Levitron is one of the best studied devices that may be modified to lift heavy objects. This particular devices basically has a base that generates vibrations (oscillating field) and a copper plate sandwiched between a non-moving magnet and a floating “top” magnet. The upper magnet spins as the vibrations from the base create changes in the magnetic fields of the system.

You can also purchase kits that allow you to build small levitation device models, or you can build your own using a few basic ideas:

  • Use magnets oriented in such a way that like poles are always pointed towards each other.
  • Since magnetism can be induced by passing electric current through a wire, try combining that with magnets to push and pull a floating object within the generated fields. You can use opposing as well as attracting orientations just by adjusting the flow of electricity at different locations.
  • Orient the magnets in such a way that opposite poles are facing each other. This will cause the magnets to move closer together, and drag any object connected to them along as well.

As you study these devices, consider keeping the raw materials to build them in your stockpile. You can also build smaller models and test them on lighter loads before committing yourself to building or using these machines for lifting heavier objects. Since heavy objects are dangerous to be around while in motion, look for ways to include backup systems that will prevent serious injury if ropes fail or something else breaks at just the wrong moment.  

When it comes to the most successful survival tactics – practice and hands on experience will always do more for you than simply reading and trying to file information away hoping that it will be of use later on.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


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So Many Ways For Preppers To Use Old Medicine Bottles

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pill bottleMedicine bottles seem to be another one of those things that you have around, have no secondary use for, and always need to get rid of. When you throw away these bottles, you may just be throwing away one of the most valuable prepping materials in your home.

Unlike many other materials, you need very little in the way of tools because medicine bottles can be reused exactly as they are. Just wash them out, let them dry, and they are ready to be used!

Have a look at these simple ways to reuse medicine bottles and see how you can use them to make reaching your preparedness goals cheaper and easier than ever.

Ensuring Medicine Bottles Will Work for Your Needs

Many applications for used medicine bottles require them to be air tight and water tight. Unfortunately, most medicine bottles will take on water and ruin anything inside. You will need to seal them up in Ziploc bags or some other water and air proof container.

Here are some other things to be aware of:

  • Not all medicine bottles will work well for prepper needs. Some bottles will crack in cold weather while others will have problems in hotter temperatures.
  • Some bottles are also very fragile and can be crushed easily.
  • Using the “child proof” side of medicine bottle caps will not improve their ability to keep out water and air.

Bug Out Bag Organizers

I don’t know about you, but as a prepper, I go through some definite stages. There are times when I focus more on larger, stationary items that would be very difficult to move to another location. At other times, I despair because there never seem to be enough “mini” kits or multi-purpose “mini” tools to fit into my pockets.  When it comes to bug out bags and mini kits, medicine bottles have an endless number of advantages.

If you use medicine as bug out bag organizers, you can make it very easy to find small items and keep them clean and relatively safe.  Medicine bottles also make the perfect place to store away all those “mini” kits that you might want to put in an EDC bag.  Here are just a few mini medicine bottle kits that you can build with stuff from around the house:

  • first aid kit – band aids, pain killers, alcohol swabs, and many other items can be stored in a medicine bottle and kept onhand at all times.  Make a kit for your backpack, car ,and even your pockets.
  • sewing kit – a needle, some thread, and good quality pair of foldable scissors will go a long way for repairing clothes or even assembling fishing gear.
  • fishing kit – be sure to include monofilament line, paper clips (for hooks), and a small knife in this kit.)
  • seed kit – store away seeds for the most important herbs and crops that you might need at a new location.  Even if you only store away 5 – 10 seeds from each plant, you can easily have enough room for several dozen species of plants in a single bottle.  Just put each variety of seed in mini  zipper bags (you can usually find them in the craft department) and label them so that you know what is in each bag.
  • screwdriver, hex, socket, and star wrench bits)
  • religious needs kit (you might store away special jewelry, holy water, or other small symbols associated with  your faith.)
  • electronics parts kit  (this would include basics such as resistors, transistors, diodes, and wire).
  • Field electronics kit (this would include items such as graphite, metal foil, wax paper, magnets, and a razor blade).
  • Alkaline,  acid tablets, chlorine, and iodine tablets that are safe to store in medicine bottles.
  • water purification kit
  • fire starter kit (you can store matches inside the bottle, and then tape a strike board on the outside.  To keep this kit waterproof, it is best to encase a smaller bottle in a larger one so that the strike board remains dry.)
  • Batteries – use one bottle for each battery size that you intend to have onhand.   The medicine bottle will keep the terminals from coming into contact with each other.
  • Custom all purpose kit – this kit should be small enough to fit into your pocket and take anywhere.  My personal favorites include: a very small mirror (you can get square and round shaped ones at the craft store), paper clips, monofilament line, small knife, razor blades, foldable scissors, thread, needles, aluminum foil, wax paper, graphite, 3 fold top plastic sandwich bags,  matches, a few pre-1970 pennies, a quarter,  a sterling silver medallion, small magnets, alcohol swabs, aspirin, and screwdriver bits.

Video first seen on kipkay.

Fire Starters

Smaller sized plastic medicine bottles also make perfect fire starters.  All you need to do is pack them with cotton balls soaked in Vaseline.

If you are dealing with rainy weather, or damp conditions, just start the fire right in the  medicine bottle. The plastic will fuel a hotter fire that will be better able to burn through wet or damp materials.

Seed Savers

Chances are, you already know that heirloom seeds and the ability to store seeds is a must for all preppers. If you are looking for cheap, compact seed savers, medicine bottles will suit your needs.  All you need to do is put seeds in a clean medicine bottle and then label the bottle with the seed type and date you stored them away.

Medicine bottles are also perfect for storing wild seeds that you happen to know will be of use. For example, during the spring months, you can always pick up dandelion and other seeds and keep them ready.

When gathering seeds, make sure that the area has not been treated with insecticide or GMO based herbicides. Even though the GMO agents are not supposed to cross over to other plant species, you never really know what scientists overlook in their quest to make money with little consideration for the long term consequences.

Needless to say, if you find a patch of several plants with seeds, you may want to harvest from a few of the healthiest plants so that you have added genetic diversity.

Essential Oil Storage

If you are serious about being healthy and living well in the post crisis world, there is a chance that you will wind up making and using essential oils. It is best to use glass medicine bottles with tight lids on them. You can also use these bottles to store away infusions that are already at therapeutic strength. While some oils may be safe to store in plastic bottles, others may corrode the plastic. When in doubt, use glass.

Candle Molds

Candles are going to be a mainstay early on in a disaster scenario and well into the future.  While tea light molds can easily be refilled, they also only give you four hours of light or heat. If you have medicine bottles, you can make taller and wider candles that will last a bit longer. When using medicine bottles as candle molds, use only enough heat to melt the wax.

Depending on the plastic used to construct the medicine bottle, it may still melt before the candle cools completely. Instead of pouring all the wax in at once and leaving it in place, pour the wax back out.  Continue to do this until a series of shells builds up, and then fill in the center of the candle.

You will also need to drill a small hole at the bottom of the medicine bottle so the wick will fit through it. Remember, since wax always shrinks, you actually need to cast candles upside down so that the wick has a suitable placement.

Once the candle is cool, it should fall right out of the mold when you tap it. If the candle does not come out, set it in ice or a refrigerator so that the wax will shrink faster and pull away from the sides and bottom of the medicine bottle.

Child Proofing

As much as you may hate tamper resistant caps on medicine bottles, they are necessary if you have children in the survival group.  Bottles that contain sharp objects, medications, fire starters, or chemicals should all be sealed with childproof caps.

Never forget that hundreds of children die each year because they get into chemicals or drugs that should have had childproof caps on them.

In a survival situation, you are already going to be focusing on many things that may take your attention away from what children are doing.  This is truly the perfect time for them to get into things that would normally be left alone.  At the very least, if child proof caps are in the way, it will give you time to find out what is going on and put a stop to it before something worse happens.

Sharp Items Disposal

Bits of sharp glass, diabetes testing lancets, and many other sharp objects can wreak havoc at the worst possible moment. An empty medicine bottle can be used to store these items until you can dispose of them properly.  Consider a situation where you are faced with the need to walk out of a major city and escape to a more rural area.

Now let’s also say that you must check your blood sugar levels on a daily basis. If you are concerned that someone may be following you, the last thing you will want to do is provide a “trash trail”.

In this case, you can keep the lancets in the medicine bottle until you reach a safe enough location.  Why get your fingers stuck when digging around in your bug out bag when placing them in a medicine bottle will prevent the problem?

Parts for Outdoor Projects

Video first seen on RealtreeOutdoors.

Ink and Dye Dauber

In the early days of a disaster and during the recovery period, you may have some unexpected need for ink and dyes.  For example, you may need to alter some of your garments so that they are harder to spot in a woods or other setting.

If you know how to make green, brown, and black dyes from local materials, then you can also use them to create crude camo prints.  To get a more precise pattern to match your area, make an ink or dye dauber from a medicine bottle.

Later on, if you decide to make your own clothes, you can also use these daubers to mark fabrics with brighter or more interesting colors.

Desk and Drawer Organizers

If you thought medicine bottles were useful for organizing your bug out bag, then you won’t be surprised to see what they can do for organizing your desk and drawers.   This includes organizing materials used for desk type weapons such as pen guns, clothespin guns, and other small weapons. BB,  tooth picks, mini darts, and several other objects will fit perfectly in medicine bottles and be easy to reach at all times.

As you go through different junk drawers and assorted catchers, you are bound to find many items that can be grouped together for survival purposes. If you think you can use these items as customized mini kits, then go ahead and label those bottles and keep them in a separate container.  No matter whether you store this kit in your car, or in a backpack, it will be right there when you need it.

During a crisis, it is entirely normal to remember that you have some item or other, but forget where you put it.  If these objects happen to be very small, the medicine bottle organizer system can be a true lifesaver.

Plastic Patch Material

Leaks in PVC pipe or other plastic containers can truly spell disaster, especially when you cannot get a hold of replacements.  In these situations, you will need to be able to patch the container and continue using it.  Some medicine bottles are  made of softer plastic and can easily be cut into useful shapes.

These softer plastics can also be melted with heat from a candle or hairdryer. To use the plastic as a patch, just set it in place and then use heat to melt the plastic and form a seal.  You can also try melting the plastic in a separate container and apply it to the container that needs fixing.  If you happen to have glue on hand, then you can also use that as a bonding agent.

When some preppers hear that medicine bottles are not airtight and water tight, they tend to overlook all the other ways these bottles can be used. If you are looking for inexpensive organizers, patch material, or ways to house mini-kits, medicine bottles are cheap, easy to obtain, and durable.

For situations where you want something a bit heavier or with other features, you can always buy dedicated containers that match some of your other concerns. At the very least, you can get started with assembling kits and move on with your prepping goals instead of putting “lack of containers” on your list of reasons to delay in certain prepping areas.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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10 Ways Preppers Can Reuse Old Light Bulbs

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Survivopedia repurpose light bulbs

Even though many countries are looking to end production of incandescent light bulbs, they are very useful to preppers. They act as ideal sources of heat, light, and can even function as resistors in an electronic circuit.

If you have light bulbs in your stockpile, or still use them around the house, you may be wondering if they are of any value when they burn out. Here are easy ways to repurpose light bulbs and advance your prepping goals at the same time.

Preparing the Light Bulb for Reuse

Most of the things you can make with light bulbs require getting into the bulb itself and pulling out the parts that used to glow. If you have frosted or white light bulbs, you will also have to remove the coating in order to get the most from some of these ideas.

In order to take out the insides of a light bulb, follow these steps. Be sure to wear heavy work gloves and goggles. Cover your work area with newspaper or something else that can be easily discarded once you are done.

Never forget that light bulbs are made of thin glass, and as such can be very fragile. The last thing you will need now or in a survival situation is to wind up with slivers of glass in your hands, or worse yet your eyes. While these steps are very easy to follow, never underestimate the need for safety precautions.

  • Use a pair of pliers to twist the solder contact in the bottom center of the bulb. Once the contact is loose enough, pull it out of the bulb. While you are pulling and twisting on the contacts, do not put pressure on the glass parts of the bulb. You can grip the metal part of the bulb, or better yet, put it in a vice. Just don’t clamp the vice too hard or you might break the glass part of the bulb that seals to them metal.
  • Use a screwdriver to break the glass insulator and other parts inside the bulb. You will have to remove them in small pieces. Everything should come out of the bulb, including the tungsten element.
  • Fill the bulb with water and empty it several times in order to remove any white powder from inside the bulb.
  • Either let the inside of the bulb air dry, or use a screwdriver covered with a paper towel to dry it out.


Light Diffuser

Aside from housing gas that keeps the tungsten element from burning up, light bulbs are also designed to diffuse light so that larger areas can be illuminated. You can use old, hollowed out light bulbs as light diffusers in chandeliers, or even as a means to increase illumination from LED arrays.

No matter how you arrange the light bulbs, they will provide a steady glow that works better than just the original light source by itself. For example, you can take one bulb that actually works, and then surround it with five or six bulbs that are burned out and cleaned.

You can also use the light diffuser properties of burned out bulbs to increase illumination from candles, oil lamps, and many other sources. Just make sure that when you join the light bulbs together, you do not use flammable materials. Stick to metal wire or anything else that will not start an unwanted fire.

Candles, oil lamps, and any other flame will always carry with it the risk of making sparks. It is not worth the risk to use rope or other more “visually attractive” accents for the diffuser.

Build an Electroscope

An electroscope is used to detect static electricity, and can also be used to detect the presence of nuclear, or ionized radiation. Even though the most optimized Kearny Fallout Meters are made from other simple materials, you can still use a light bulb in an emergency.

There are two ways to construct the inner part of the electroscope:

  • You can use the traditional design which calls for two gold foil (or aluminum) attached to an electrical conductor. The insulative properties of the glass will help maintain the static charge, which serves to keep the thin metal leaves separated. (If ionizing radiation is present, the leaves will droop or come closer together.) Since UV light can also act as ionizing radiation, you may want to keep the meter in a dark place, or put a black coating on the bulb. Just make sure you leave a peek hole so that you can see in and observe the metal leaves.

Video first seen on RimstarOrg.

  • A spinning electroscope tends to be more sensitive than a metal leaf design. This type of electroscope may not need charging as often, and it may also detect more subtle levels of radiation.

When operating a nuclear fallout electroscope, remember that you will have to “charge up” the device periodically with static electricity. This does not necessarily mean that ionizing radiation is, or was present. That being said, if you charge the device up and the leaves droop very quickly in a darkened room, then you may tentatively conclude that high levels of ionic radiation are present

Spice Dispensers

Salt, pepper, sugar, flour, and other spice shakers may seem to last forever. On the other hand if you are bugging out, must evacuate, or these dispensers get broken, you may have a harder time than expected replacing them. Simply make a new cap with holes in it for the light bulb, and you will have an ideal spice shaker. If you want the shaker to stand upright, just put it on a platform or suspend from a wire hanger system.

You can also use light bulbs to store herbs on a longer term basis. They can also be easily assembled to sit on spice racks or even on counter stands. If you do decide to use light bulbs to store herbs, remember that they will not be completely air tight, and that you should always make sure the spices are stored in a cool, dry location for optimal shelf life.

Video first seen on HomesGuides.

Housing for Edible Insects

If you are successful in surviving a major crisis, there is every chance that one of your primary food sources will wind up being edible insects. You may also wind up in in a situation where you have to evacuate quickly, and there will neither be time nor room to move larger insect farms.

Rather than lose all of your hard work, you can keep a miniature bug farm for each insect stocked with enough reproducing insects so that you can start over again in a new location. Light bulbs are ideal because they are easy to keep clean and you can put several of them in a small box for transport.

Molds for Cement

Light bulbs that fit in a conventional lamp tend to be very easy to grip and hold onto. As such, the bulb itself makes an excellent mold for cement and other materials that can be used to make a number of useful objects. This includes:

  • Nail and screw type wall hooks. While the cement is wet, just leave some of the sharp end of the nail or screw sticking out of the cement. Once the cement is dry, you can leave the glass in place or break it away from the cement. These hooks can be used as clothes pegs, hanging container gardens, and many other purposes. Just make sure that they are nailed or screwed into wall studs so that there is enough support for the hook and anything you may decide to suspend from it.

Video first seen on American Hacker.

  • Doorknobs and other items can also be made from cement or other materials that can be poured into molds. Just make sure that you add the appropriate hardware before the item dries out.
  • Try filling two empty light bulbs with cement, and then stick the ends of rope or chain into the cement while it is still wet. You can create everything from hobbles to weapons using this construction method.
  • For simple, lightweight anchors, you can use one or many cement filled bulbs to anchor rope or other items into the water or into the ground.


When it comes to hunting gear, there are more than a few places where decoys can be used to draw a predatory animal to a desired location, or even encourage it to move into a waiting trap. There may also be times when you want to ensure that an animal will avoid a predator and move into your territory instead.

Even though it may take some work to add feathers and other materials to light bulbs, they cans still act as excellent decoys. If you look into crafty ways to decorate light bulbs, you are sure to find many useful ideas.

Fishing Flotation Devices

If you do not have plastic bobs or other flotation devices, a sealed up light bulb may suit your needs. You can use light bulbs on individual fishing lines, fish nets, and any other area where buoyance is needed. Just remember that a glass bulb is not as sturdy as a plastic bottle, so try to limit the weight load as much as possible.

Infusora Hatchery

Well prepared survivors will more than likely look to cultivate animal, plant, and fish resources. No matter whether you grow your own fish in an aquaponics system or start with pairs captured in the wild, it is very important to make sure that you can raise successive generations of fish. In most cases, egg laying fish will eat their own eggs after fertilization, or they will do nothing whatsoever to take care of the fry after they hatch.

Typically, newly hatched fry feed on infusora (tiny micro organisms that grow on rotting organic matter suspended in water). A light bulb can be used in an emergency to house infusorans and also get them to propagate. If you must use a larger container to get them started, the smaller light bulb can still be used as an emergency vessel that can be transported from one location to another.

Video first seen on Kailey Francis.

Fish Egg Hatchery

Contrary to popular belief, a light bulb will never meet the water quality and space needs of a fish. Even if you have to transport fish during a bug out or evacuation proceeding, use some other container that has a wide mouth and will also allow for the operation of an air stone.

Remember that when fish are stressed, they will release huge amounts of ammonia. Even a single fish will be dead in a matter of hours if you try to house or transport it in a clean, hollowed out light bulb.

Light bulbs can, however, can be used as temporary nurseries for newly fertilize fish eggs. If you happen to be dealing with a species of fish that consume the eggs after spawning, simply remove the eggs and let them hatch in a light bulb nursery. Just remember that the fry will need to stay in the nursery for at least 2 or 3 days while they consume the yolk sack after hatching. Once they are ready to eat infusora, you can move them into a bigger container and start feeding them.

A light bulb makes in ideal hatching container because it is much easier to keep track of the eggs and watch them hatch. If you are not sure if the fry are alive, do not tap the bulb or make loud noises. Even newly hatched fry will respond to light from a flashlight and will move around immediately if they can.

Vases and Micro Planters

light planterDuring the process of expanding on your survival skills, it is likely that you will develop an interest in wild herbs and their cultivation.

Empty light bulbs can be used for cutting vases, and also as covers that will increase humidity for small plants.

This is especially important if you need to root cuttings in soil, and need to preserve a good bit of moisture so that the plant can take it in through the leaves.

Light bulbs offer a perfect reusable solution that will last for years on end.

If you have very limited amounts of space to work with, light bulb vases can easily be suspended from wire tree frames, from walls, and even overhead ceiling hangers.

While you can also use simple stands to keep the bulbs from tipping over, the hanging options can help you take advantage of window lighting with ease.

Many people view burned out light bulbs as completely useless. It should come as no surprise that they make up a significant portion of landfill waste, and are often viewed as useless even in those industries. On the other hand, as a prepper, there are many ways that you can use burned out light bulbs to your advantage in an emergency situation.

Learn how to hollow them out, clean them, and work with them safely. No doubt, once you start using burned out light bulbs in prepper applications, you will come up with all kinds of useful and creative options.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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4 Ways The Anti-Gun Movement Supply Crime And Terrorism

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As I write this, three more police officers in Baton Rouge, LA are dead, and three more have been wounded. Even as these officers lay in a pool of blood, the left wing stubbornly refers to this as a “racial matter” and offers “gun control” as the miracle cure for the whole mess.

But even as these people demand disarmament, their very own rhetoric creates more innocent victims in our schools, in our movie theaters, among people of color, and among our civil servants.

Unfortunately, when anti-gunners write and speak, I feel, they have a tendency to use their words in ways that justify things that no humane being would ever agree to. In this election season, let’s have a look at the dark side of the anti-gun movement so that it becomes easier to see how it contributes to crime and terrorism.

Anti-Gunners Deny Human Equality as it Applies to Self Defense

I know some people are going to say that the 2nd Amendment is “subject to interpretation”. Let us not forget that the Constitution was written by military commanders and soldiers. As with any other soldier or veteran across time, they were every bit as aware of the difference between civilians and military personnel. Surely, if they had not meant for the common people to have guns, they would have made that absolutely clear.

Not only did the founders of our nation mean for us to have guns, it is my contention they meant for us to have unfettered access to anything we want regardless of how technology changes over time.  It is clear to me, that “equal under the law” applies to guns for every citizen in this nation.

Weird as it may be, when liberals talk about “equal rights” for the elderly, veterans,  minorities, LGBT, the disabled, the mentally disturbed, ex cons, and women, they never admit to the Constitutionally guaranteed equal right to self defense with a gun.   Instead, they appear far more interested in  deep throating our children with Common Core sex ed, and then say equal under the law only goes so far as men and women using the same bathroom!

Nevertheless, for every group whose rights they pretend to defend, they consistently seek to use the “reward” of recognition of other “rights” in order to prevent these people from speaking out about the right to keep and bear arms. Have a look at some of the disgusting things anti-gunners say to people that should be armed, but instead become victims of criminals and terrorists for want of a gun:

  • The elderly, disabled, and mentally disturbed, via the Social Security Administration, are being disarmed if they cannot manage their own money. Since when does asking someone to write you checks for you suddenly mean you don’t have a right to a gun in order to protect yourself from robbers and others that target the elderly? To add insult to injury, statistics show that these are the very people most likely to be the victims of crimes, not the ones carrying them out.
  • Veterans with PTSD and other disorders are being told they can’t carry guns in the homeland even though foreign terrorists have ordered them to be murdered. As I said in another article, don’t our veterans deserve a right to protect and defend themselves regardless of the condition they come home to us in?
  • The poor and minorities of all races living in Section 8 housing are told that they cannot have a gun for self defense, yet they are the ones most likely to be robbed, mugged, raped, and murdered, in part, because there are not enough police to patrol these areas. Why should where you live determine whether or not you  have a right to defend yourself by any and all means?
  • As for the LGBT –  just look at that “gun free zone” night club in Orlando where dozens were killed and injured by one gunman while waiting for police to arrive and take him out USING GUNS. Nuff said?  If you can’t protect yourself with a gun while you are out on a date, what makes you think you can protect yourself at any other time just because a “law” says you are protected?
  • Ex cons are another group that liberal anti-gunners seek to garner support from, yet they don’t want to admit that they, too, can easily become the victims of terrorists. Quite frankly – I feel –  people that have paid their dues to society just don’t deserve that, no matter what they did in the past. The right to self defense does not go away, and neither should the right to keep and bear arms.
  • And then, the anti-gunners brainwash women into believing they aren’t strong enough or smart enough to carry guns. So how is it a woman can “safely” spread her legs for everyone in the town courtesy of Planned Parenthood, get drafted, and “do everything a man can do”, but she can’t own and use a gun? Since I wrote about this in another article, I’ll just leave it to you, dear reader, to go on over and read about the egregious harm caused to women by the anti-gun movement.

As you can see, in case after case, anti-gunners deny every group of special interests the right to keep and bear arms even though this is the one right that serves as the lynch pin for every other right.

As we have seen in Syria, Nazi Germany, the former USSR, and many other places in the world, when the people do not have guns or the absolute equal right to self defense, they wind up having no rights at all. No matter whether a terrorist attacks you in a night club, a serial killer attacks you in a parking lot, or someone else attempts to harm you, the fact remains, in that moment, guns are the only remedy that create even some degree of equality between predator and prey.

Without Guns There are Insufficient Consequences for Committing Crime

In the arena of nuclear weapons, there is something called “M.A.D.” or Mutually Assured Destruction that is said to keep nuclear nations from blowing each other out of existence. As among politicians, perhaps it is also so among average citizens. Our human race must still contend with everything from the wiles of nature to disaster of our own making.

Guns are precisely the kind of weapon that make people think twice about attacking each other. This is especially true of criminals that see risk differently than law abiding members of society. Never forget that criminals are classic opportunists that only look at the tangible capacity to take in the “here and now”.

Laws don’t matter when the opportunity to take what they want is open and available. When criminals know that people are armed and ready to defend themselves, they move on to easier targets.  From that perspective, anti-gunners reduce the immediate consequences of criminal acts, and therefore invite those acts against to be carried out against children and other innocents.

Without Guns, There are Also Insufficient Consequences for Terrorism

For the sake of this article, I make a distinction between terrorists and other criminals because, in acts of terror, there is a stated desire to disrupt and change society in a harmful fashion. By contrast, your garden variety criminal – even a serial killer – is more focused on how the event relates to him/her, and not the impact on society.

As such, I believe the risk assessment for a terrorists is a bit different than for other crimes. A murderer might be deterred by someone carrying any kind of gun, but a terrorist will pay more attention to the type of gun and the (for lack of a better term) machismo of the carrier. Terrorists want to know if they can generate fear in their victims and the larger society, not whether they can escape with their lives.   This is why all civilians need unfettered access to any and all forms of weapons, including military grade equipment (aka big stick = big… well you get the picture).  If a terrorist knows they will be outnumbered and unable to create fear in the crowd, they get no satisfaction, so they will not waste their time.

Sadly, we are seeing just how much fun ISIS is having slaughtering millions of unarmed people all over the Middle East and Europe because these people don’t have the power of a gun with which to do the necessary. To my thinking, the problem is as much unarmed citizens as it is the very nature of ISIS and other “terror groups”.

Anti-Gunners Promote Race Riots and Cop Killings

Criminals and terrorists are not stupid – they will always pick on gun free zones. People that go to these places are telling the world they are disarmed, and, therefore, vulnerable. These are the places where anti-gunners endanger people most by calling gun carriers paranoid and attempting to intimidate others into not carrying a gun.

Far too many naive, unsuspecting people these days practically advertise the fact that they want to be raped, robbed, kidnapped or worse by virtue of  being unarmed. To a criminal looking for easy pickings, anyone brainwashed by anti-gun rhetoric is good enough target for all their sick agendas.

Today, this disgusting outcome has evolved into a situation that is also increasing the risk to our police officers. Every time a citizen cannot defend themselves from a criminal, that means a police officer must do the job for them. Now here’s how that leads to the murder of both innocent people of color and the police:

  • Let’s start off with a situation where a “gun free” store that has video surveillance cameras is robbed by someone with a gun. Since the store worker has no gun, the criminal gets away.
  • Next, the police arrive, but the only trace of the perpetrator is on the surveillance camera. And there, in the grainy image, they see a man of color.
  • And so the pictures go out, and the police roam around trying to look for this one criminal on top of stop other crimes in progress.
  • Then one fine day, a cop thinks he has found the “suspect”. Maybe the officer has been told someone suspicious is around, maybe something else has got his/her attention.
  • The suspect may reach for a gun, or maybe he’s been conditioned by a behavioral scientist via the media to freak out at the sight of a gun. Either way, it ends with a dead suspect and a police officer left holding the smoking gun.
  • And then… as is the way of human nature, efforts are made to retaliate. This costs more lives, and drives us closer to the kind of civil war that no gun law, and no martial law will ever be able to control or stop.

It should be obvious that when elected officials do not support the equal right of self defense of the nation’s police, soldiers, and citizens, it sends a message of encouragement to our enemies.  I feel right now anti-gunners are saying loud and clear that our citizens are “too crazy” or “too weak” to have guns, and  that our police are too incompetent to send out without cameras on their shoulders.

In my opinion, when anti-gun politicians bemoan how horrible it is that our citizens have guns, that also sends a dangerous message to terrorists.

Stop and think about it. If you were ISIS, would you want to hear that the nation you plan to attack is filled with people that can handle guns and are have the full support of the government behind them? Would you be encouraged to attack  if you heard that soldiers and guns are a normal part of society?

Of course you wouldn’t!  Common sense alone dictates you would move on to weaker cultures that don’t have guns, and therefore are easily driven to the kind of fear where retaliation is impossible and domination is guaranteed.

While the anti-gunners run around saying they only want to “keep the public” safe, their actions and the way those actions are read by our enemies send the opposite message. If it is an embarrassment and a disgrace to discriminate against people based on gender, sexual orientation, color, mental condition, age, or religion, then it is also just as disgraceful to say that a person’s right to self defense with a gun can be limited by others.

This election season, we have a choice to make, not just about how our country runs, but on how our friends and enemies see us. Are we going to stand with the police, the people of color, the poor, the veterans, and the disabled and uphold our collective right to keep and bear arms?

Or, are we going to throw them to the mercy of terrorists and criminals just as we threw the children of Sandy Hook and every other massacre to misguided freaks that made such horrific use of gun free zones and other gun control laws?


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Gun Control: A Holocaust Against Our Soldiers And Veterans

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Survivopedia gun control

Even as our nation celebrates unparalleled freedom purchased with the blood and guns of our soldiers and veterans, a massive attack on our troops is underway.

While liberal, left wing media paints gun control as a matter of public safety, the fact is the entire agenda amounts to a holocaust on our soldiers and veterans. When people who have been trained to defend our nation with guns are called incompetent to own and use guns on our own soil, this amounts to mental and emotional abuse by those who sent them off to war. 

We as a nation must stand up and say no to gun control and demand a full repeal of all restrictions on access to guns and ammunition.  Read on to find out just how dirty and ugly the gun control agenda is in light of issues related to our veterans and soldiers.

Isn’t Anti-War a Good Thing?

Anyone that lived through the ’60’s knows that the anti-war movement was anything but a “peaceful” movement. Soldiers returning home were beaten, harassed and murdered by “activists” that wanted to make a statement. Even though the outwardly violent side of this movement seems to have died down over the years, the fact remains that many of these anti-war protesters may still harbor a hatred for our soldiers and veterans.

It should come as no surprise that leaders in that age group are more than eager to take away gun rights and refer to gun owners as ignorant, crazy, or socially unfit because, in my opinion, it represents a secret way to demonize, humiliate, and make veterans feel like they do not belong in our society. Let us not forget that every veteran carried a gun at one time,  and many still do.

Ironically, the proof of anti-war hatred hiding behind the gun control agenda can be found in the very language and  weapons that anti-gunners seek to ban and confiscate. Have you noticed that they wrongly call  AK and AR weapons “assault rifles” when they are, in fact, little more than glorified hunting/sporting  rifles that are nothing like a true machine gun?

The very term “assault rifle” calls to mind warfare and the anti-war hatred aimed at the soldiers that used weapons significantly different from the AR and AK platforms. Thus, in a very sneaky and unethical fashion, the anti-gun leaders are, in effect, inciting hate against US veterans because their insistence on using incorrect, war related terms triggers emotional responses in truly ignorant people that haven’t quite let go of their radical past.

For the sake of simplicity, truth, and clarity:

  • AK and AR rifles are no different from other hunting and sporting rifles in the sense that they can have adjustable or fixed stocks.  An adjustable stock will not make a the gun fire faster or fire without pulling the trigger.
  • AK and AR platforms require you to pull the trigger each time a bullet is to be fired.  This is no different from any other gun on the civilian market.
  • The AR uses a measly .22 caliber round and some ” wildcat cartridges” that have a similar effect to a .30 caliber round.   By law,  a minimum of .24 to .30 caliber is required for animal hunting.   The bottom line is the AR is no more deadly than any other rifle used for hunting and sports.
  • The rounds commonly used in the AK-47 also barely meet the requirements for hunting animals, let alone humans.  The AK-74 fires a .22 caliber bullet designed to hunt woodchucks and other 4 legged, non-human varmint hunting.
  • Although AK and AR rifles “look like” battlefield rifles, they simply aren’t.
  • Are these “assault rifles” in the same way as an M-16’s commonly carried by our soldiers? I think not, yet anti-gunners constantly and (I feel) maliciously use battlefield terms to create a war that simply did not exist before they took their anti-war, anti-soldier rhetoric and transferred it to guns.

This is not to say that anti-war is a bad thing. The vast majority of people in this world (including me) would love to be free of warfare and violence. The desire to live a happy, full life in harmony is precisely why our veterans went to war, and it remains their goal to  go on with their lives and raise their families.

Without fail, anti-gun agenda with is radical anti-war roots veers too often into irrational emotionalism that only serves to harm our veterans and undermine the security of our nation. If the anti-war protesters that spawned the anti-gun movement believe so strongly in their cause, they would be much better off telling enemies of our nation to disarm instead of picking on our veterans from behind the shield of “gun control”.

But then again, such a move would represent real, hard, tangible work, and it is much easier to “kick the dog” and push those who are struggling to put their lives back together further into oblivion.

This, I feel is the cowardice and true ugly face of anti-gunner and gun grabber movements. Now let’s have a look at the psychology put into play here, and how it now affects not just our veterans, but now also our police officers.

Obama’s Executive Order 13707 and Why it Matters

According to selected excerpts  Executive Order 13707,  (note – admittedly the text of this executive order does not once mention guns or gun control, however the pattern of Obama’s speeches suggest it can be used for, and abused for the sake of  the purposes outlined in this article.  Furthermore,  incompetent vetting will make it even easier to push the public into unnatural and dangerous stances against veterans, guns, and the police.)

“…behavioral science insights can support a range of national priorities…”

Behavioral science is defined as: “A scientific discipline, such as sociology, anthropology, or psychology, in which the actions and reactions of humans and animals are studied through observational and experimental methods.”. Note the study of Psychology, whose four purposes are defined as: “The purpose of psychology is to accurately describe, explain, predict, and change human behavior and mental processes. It strives to achieve these goals within all spheres of human activity.”

With these universally recognized definitions in mind, its is very clear that this executive order essentially aims to change the behavior of people in order to fit “national priorities”.  But what are those priorities, and are they always for the good of the people?  For example, according to Fox News, in 2013, Obama clearly labeled passing gun control laws as one of his top priorities.

Now let’s have a look at some other “top priorities” by other leaders that have done enormous harm. Within the last 100 years alone, we have seen Assad in Syria, Nazi Germany, life behind the former Iron Curtain, North Korea, and, lest our own government be left behind, the evils of “scientific research” paid for and carried out by our own government.

From this perspective alone, we cannot say that “national priorities” are always in line with what is best for groups (including veterans and soldiers) and citizens under the government’s control.  In this case, anti-gun agendas have already caused an endless number of deaths, and, this very moment are fueling the murder of police officers, the instigation of racial violence, and, ultimately, act as a destructive force against our veterans and soldiers.

The human mind, spirit, and emotions are every bit as important as the body. When you rob someone of their mental wellness, or seek to manipulate them emotionally and mentally – that’s abuse no matter who does it or what justification they claim. In my opinion, using “behavioral science” to further some vague set of not precisely defined “national priorities”  is every bit as predatory as the other “scientific experiments” that wreaked havoc on innocent human bodies. The ends do not justify the means associated with the long term psychological damage that can be wreaked upon our nation, and in particular, to our veterans.

“(iii) recruit behavioral science experts to join the Federal Government as necessary…”

Remember Little Albert? If not, let me tell you about his interactions with one of those “behavioral science experts” named John B. Watson. While in the  midst of a kinky extramarital love affair with his assistant, Rosalie Rayner, Watson decided to test out his theories about classical conditioning on an innocent 9 month old baby.  Here is the basic design of the experiment:

  • Little Albert was allowed to play with a mouse, dog, monkey, a rabbit, and other furry objects in order to make sure he had no fear of anything with fur on it.
  • Next, Little Albert was allowed to play with the mouse. Each time he touched the mouse, a loud sound was made that caused him to startle and cry.
  • The next time Little Albert was presented with the mouse, he cried and tried to escape as if the sound had also been made.
  • Upon showing little Albert other furry objects and animals, he reacted with the same fear.

Even though this experiment is considered an unethical little naughty frowned upon by modern psychology, it is very clear that Obama’s executive order allows psychological experimentation on unsuspecting citizens for the purpose of achieving “national priorities” such as gun control.

In that atmosphere, the only ones who will get to perform these experiments on the public are ones that seek to push the gun control and gun confiscation agendas.  These people may already think nothing of performing live autopsies on animals, and think nothing of electrocuting people for the purpose of “treatment” just to get a paycheck.  What is to stop these people from using staged traumatic events to manipulate the public into accepting gun control, and give up God knows how many other rights?

Not only that, but it seems these “experts” are just as cloaked in secrecy as those who make decisions about how medical care is delivered under Obamacare (if I’m not mistaken, Sarah Palin referred to this part of the act as allowing for the formation of  “death panels”.)

In short, our nation, and our 2nd Amendment rights are no longer properly guarded and protected by our elected officials. They, and our veterans may well be at the mercy of a bunch of nameless and faceless “behavior  science experts”  that may have hidden anti-soldier turned to anti-gun agendas. Let’s just say this would not be the first time that government vetting for various purposes (like several debacles in relation to security clearances) resulted in utter chaos and destruction!

So, now, here’s  how I feel Little Albert applies to gun control, and why the anti-gun agenda is anti-soldier. And as we have learned recently, the anti-gun movement  is spiraling like a hurricane into a nationwide movement that will ultimately lead to murdering and maiming police officers regardless of their color.

  • Before Obama made gun control a top priority, people paid little, if any attention to guns, even though we have all been exposed to them one way or another.
  • Each time a shooting occurs, we see people crying on TV (who can’t empathize with someone that is crying or upset?), and all sorts of frightening images and sounds paired with the sight of a gun.  It would not surprise me if the way these stories are presented  is dictated by “behavior science experts” in their efforts to carry out Executive Order 13707.
  • A growing movement amongst anti-gunners is to actually panic and become completely irrational at the sight of a gun. Well… when people are driven out of their minds with psychobabble, they do crazy, but predictable things – just like Little Albert. In this case, the anti-gunners have transferred the conditioned hysteria over guns to anyone that carries them – including the police. And, from the place of fear, these people are reacting by murdering.
  • From that perspective, the pairing of race baiting morphing into the murder of police officers is entirely expected. The fear of guns becomes generalized or transferred to a fear of the police who wear guns openly. Fear begets violence.  And, as you know, once the police are no longer able to provide security to the citizens, martial law is around the corner. But before that happens, the anti-gun agenda will continue to look for ways to destroy our soldiers emotionally and mentally, because these are the people that took a lifelong oath, trained, and sacrificed in order to protect and defend our society and our nation.

“(ii) improve how information is presented to [individuals], whether as directly conveyed by the agency, or in setting standards for the presentation of information…”

“(iv) …  [A]gencies shall consider how the timing, frequency, presentation, and labeling of … incentives can more effectively and efficiently promote those actions…  Particular attention should be paid to opportunities to use nonfinancial incentives.”

With all the groundwork established above, it should be easy enough to see how this amounts to unethical … and more than likely illegal experimentation on the citizens of our nation.    In my opinion, when an executive order such as this exists within the context of a society that is against gun control (this has been proven time and again via numerous statistics), it amounts to psychological warfare from within our own nation.  It is also my contention, based on the background and ideologies of the majority of anti-gunners, they are not only against guns, but I feel they seek to harm race relations, our soldiers, and our police.

Our Veterans Are Not Safe in the Homeland

ISIS and other terrorist groups have called for the murder of US soldiers right in our own homeland.  They have even gone so far as to publish the names and address of soldiers that they want murdered by anyone that has a chance to do so.

Given that these terrorists have already shot up a few schools and other “gun free zones” it is obvious that disarming our veterans and soldiers turns them into walking “gun free zones”. To add insult to injury, terrorist groups are likely to be emboldened as  the police that are supposed to defend civilian society are being hunted down and murdered by anti-gun, anti-cop extremists possibly fueled by “behavioral science experts” with hidden agendas.

Right now, anyone disarmed for any reason is a “soft” target for extremists that slip through our borders just as easily as Hillary  Clinton’s aides  and Edward Snowden got  Top Secret  security clearances.

  • No soldier or veteran should have to endure threats from foreign sources while being told they are mentally incompetent or too “defective” to carry a gun, especially when those laws and demands are being made by people that used to scream “baby killer”  at our returning soldiers.
  •  No soldier of our nation, no  veteran, no citizen, should be deprived of the right to unfettered access to any and all types of guns, especially by people willing to use mental and emotional abuse for the sake of advancing vague or hidden “national priorities”.

Right now, there are anti-gun governors, members of the Congress, and members of the Senate that are not up for election this time around. Each and every one of them is still fully subject to recall or impeachment.

There are also plenty of leaders currently running for office that are willing to protect our 2nd Amendment rights. Make voting for them a priority and perhaps our nation will change for the better instead of being destroyed  by “scientific” arrogance and ignorance.

If you can’t vote pro 2A for yourself, then do it for a soldier, do it for a veteran, and do it for law enforcement officers that have their lives on the line.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


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This Is How To Use Aluminum Cans For Survival

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survivopedia tin cansFrom hurricanes and flash floods to major disasters, chances are you will have at least a few tin or aluminum cans of food set aside for a time of need. Are you wondering if they can be put to good use?

Here are 10 ways that every prepper can use aluminum and tin cans for direct survival needs. From simple, “bare bones” essential vital devices to more decorative options, you can truly use aluminum cans in more ways than expected.

Basic Tools

If you expect to use aluminum and tin cans to their fullest potential, you need a few simple tools on-hand, and some of them are mandatory to get the job done. Without these tools and the skill to use them, you will either fail to finish your project, or you can get hurt if you don’t know how to handle and dispose of sharp metal edges and can remains.

  • Metal cutting scissors
  • Hand drill and drill bits capable of cutting through metal.
  • Sand paper, files, or sanding blocks suitable for metal working
  • Heavy, fireproof gloves – no matter whether you cut into a a large food can or a “thin” soda can, the edges  of the metal are more than sharp enough to cut into your skin. Always wear heavy gloves when working with metal. No matter how hard you try to avoid all those sharp edges, it only takes one cut to create a wound that can take a long time to heal or become easily infected.
  • Tarp or other coverings to cover the work surface and work area – working with metal cans is one of those things that makes more little snips of stuff than you might expect. Unlike paper or fabric, these little bits of metal splinters  can get embedded in your feet or hands and wreak havoc. Keeping the work area and floor covered makes it easier to simply pick up the whole mess and discard it.
  • A magnet – if you are working with metals that are drawn to magnets, you can use the magnet to retrieve shavings or other sharp bits of metal that are hard to find.
  • Goggles – when you are cutting metal, there is always a chance that pieces will snap off, fly into the air, and land right in your eyes. If you decide to use power tools for drilling holes, the risk of flying debris will be even higher. Even in the best of times, eye injuries are some of the most tedious and difficult to deal with.
  • Permanent markers – for drawing out patterns and creating cutting guides
  • Rulers, compasses, paper, and cardboard – there are few things sloppier and more wasteful than going into a building project without a solid plan and patterns for each part of the object being built. Always start your designs on paper using rulers, compasses ,and protractors so that you get precise parts and sizing.   You will also always be well served by building cardboard models so that you can recheck measurements and make sure that most, if not all the parts are accounted for.
  • Vices and clamps – No matter whether you are using power tools or hand tools to cut or drill into metal, keeping the work piece stationary makes it much easier to make precise cuts and also reduces the risk of injury and damage to the item you are working on.
  • Brazing torch – a torch that can fuse metals together is very important. Choose brazing equipment that runs on propane as opposed to one that runs on electricity. Try to get at least one pen sized torch and also a nozzle/valve system that will fit on a propane cylinder. If you know that you are going to have to work with metal in the post crisis world, now is truly the best time to learn how to solder and braze. Even if you do not have access to a welder or do not know how to weld, brazing is still a valuable survival skill that you can use for your own needs or barter in exchange for other goods and services.

Skills to Master

Along with the proper tools, you must also know how to use them. Here are some things you should practice so that you have a better chance of completing your tasks with minimal problems:

  • how to cut metal accurately into straight lines and curves without warping the metal or creating sharp, rough points where each snip ends
  • how to use files and sanding blocks to remove imperfections created while cutting and drilling
  • how to use sand paper to build up sharp edges for blades and other needs
  • how to bend metal for fan blades or other uses that require a bow shaped object.

DIY Projects to Recycle Your Aluminium Cans

Solar Heater

A solar can heater is the easiest and most inexpensive way to heat individual rooms now and in a crisis situation.

Video first seen on RICH ALLEN.

The basic solar heater design will not heat up water, however you can amend it by simply running copper or other metal pipes through the core area for each can. Aside from giving you a medium that holds heat longer, it is much easier to pump water through radiators located in other rooms.

You will also find it more efficient to pump water in through a pipe than trying to vent hot air into a window.

Video first seen on Nik The Cat’s Travels.

For a final innovation, make your solar heater cells portable or build smaller units that take advantage of sunlight from different areas during the day.

Video first seen on tensleep.

Tin Can Rocket Stove

If you have two tin cans, you can make a stove that will burn paper, small bits of wood, and just about anything else. You can also modify the basic design to burn rubbing alcohol or other liquid flammable materials.

Video first seen on LDSPrepper.

Before a crisis hits, you would be well served to make a few stoves of different sizes.  Since the cans will fit easily enough into each other, you can carry four or even five stoves if you need to evacuate or bug out to another area.  At the very least, you should have one rocket stove for wood and solid materials, and one for liquid flammables in your bug out bag at all times.

Video first seen on tetkoba’s Alcohol Stove Addict.

Candle Holder

In a world without electricity, you can rest assured that candles will be primary source of light. Tin and aluminum soda cans can both be cut to size for most candles.

You can also get creative with these cans and make different slit designs for the light to go through, as well as bend the metal to make legs,  or for purely decorative purposes.

Video first seen on fixitsamo.

Metal Forge

When there are few sources of flat metal available, you will need a source of heat so that you can flatten available metals into blades and other important items. A tin can forge is easy to make and can be used to flatten out everything from  iron to drill bits.

While you will still need some other tools to repurpose different metals into other shapes, having a metal forge is still an excellent start.

Video first seen on clkindred.


As wonderful as light bulbs are, they still require a fire proof enclosure for safe operation. Tin and aluminum are prefect for creating lamp cases and light socket holders.

You can also make shields for the light bulb in case you are going to use the lamp as a utility light.  For an added bit of innovation, bend some metal into a hook so that you can suspend the lamp from beams, nails, or anything else that suits your needs and safety concerns.

Fan Blades

Video first seen on Indian LifeHacker : Science, Art & Magic.

If you love camping, hiking, and hunting, you may be led to believe that there is very little use for fan blades in a pure survival scenario. On the other hand, if you need to generate power, dry off damp areas, cool down electrical equipment, or even repair the fan blade attached to an automobile radiator, being able to make fan blades from tin cans is a very important skill.

Here’s an example on how you can reuse aluminium cans and turn them into fan blades for a water pump:

Video first seen on Milan Vitéz.

Even though you may be able to use lighter weight, plastic fan blades for some applications, remember that you will still need to use metal for high heat areas or others where a plastic blade simply isn’t good enough.


Even in these “relatively safe” times, there is increasing interest in figuring out how to survive a live shooting situation. This includes scenarios where bullets from a surrounding area may find their way into your home.

On the other side of the equation, the average citizen that truly needs bulletproofing  is denied access to the best in terms of quality and efficiency. You can still make bullet proof armor from tin cans. The secret to your success will not be so much in the cans themselves, but what you put in the cans.

For example, if you want to bullet proof your home, six inches of sand will stop most bullets. If you cannot afford to build a fortification all at once, then just start with a few cans at a time. You can even choose to build eight inch fortification walls or more and enjoy the insulative properties of the fortified wall at the same time.

Automobile Repairs

When the warranty runs out on your vehicle, most car dealers figure that you will buy a new car rather than try to deal with all the expenses associated with repairing an older vehicle.

To add insult to injury, if you are a dedicated prepper, then you may already know that the older vehicles are sturdier, easier to fix, and better for survival situations because there is no way for computers to shut down your vehicle from a remote location.

But what happens when a radiator blows or something else springs a leak?  If you have a few tin cans, you can cut the metal to cover the leaking area, and then braze the tin to cover the leak. Even though some parts may not hold up very long after being patched this way, others may remain in good working order for years on end.

Video first seen on Richard Lloyd.

Fire Starters

There are at least two ways to use tin and aluminum cans as fire starters:

  • Take the shiniest portion of the can and use it to concentrate sunlight onto dry tinder. This process is helped immensely with tinder cloth as well as other materials that catch fire easily. If you do not have a shiny or smooth enough surface, you can also try fitting tin foil over the can to make it shinier.
  • When combined with suitable tinder such as pine cones, dry grass, or tinder cloth, candles always make an excellent fuel.  If you out in the rain, or all the materials around you are very damp, you can use a tin can as the foundation for a fire starter.  The can will build up heat faster and it will also give an easy way to hold tinder in place if the breezes are too strong.

Video first seen on ROBwithaB.


Container gardens are very nice and useful for prepping, however the cost of commercial planters can be prohibitive when you survive on a budget.

Also, most planters that you buy aren’t suited for vertical gardening or other situations where space and water may both be at a premium. By contrast, metal cans can be used to grow plants on just about any surface. Just be sure to paint the cans on the outside to make sure they do not rust. When choosing the paint color, you can also make the planters more suitable for different temperatures:

  • For hot weather and cooler weather loving plants, paint the planters white so that they reflect heat outward.  This will keep the roots cooler and also help reduce moisture evaporation. If you are concerned about white being easy to see by other people, try using very pale greens, blues, or even tans. There are many pastel shades that can still mimic dried grass or other natural materials if you paint them as camouflage patterns.
  • If you are planting in the fall or cooler weather, paint the cans black so that they absorb more heat from the sun.  You may get several weeks of additional growing time for outdoor vertical gardens simply by changing the paint color and also covering the plants with plastic.   Since can based vertical planters are much smaller than a whole garden, you can use anything from clear freezer bags to clear vinyl scraps to cover each planter.

Aside from acting as a valuable storage vessel for emergency and daily use foods, metal cans can also be used for many other things. If you are serious about being ready for as many disaster situation types as possible, master the use of tin cans and make sure that you can build and operate some basic equipment made from metal cans.

While some of these ideas may seem redundant to other equipment that you may have on-hand, remember that physical possessions can be lost, stolen, or ruined at any moment. When all you have is are a few tin cans and other used materials, knowing how to turn crap into something useful is one skill no one can ever take from you.


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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10 Essential Medical Resources You Can Get From Nature

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leechesJust because there is a currency collapse, martial law, or a natural disaster, that does not mean you can ignore medical needs. What will you do when there are no bandages, no medications, and no way to get help?

Even if there is only “weeds”, trees, and moss around, you may have a number of useful medicinal aids at your disposal.

Learning how to recognize natures medical resources is a very important part of preparing for a crisis. Aside from simply reading a few books and going on a few field trips, take the time now to make sure you know how to prepare specific treatments in a range of situations.

How to Use Nature’s Medicines

As someone with a keen interest in herbal remedies and natural medicines, I concluded long ago that it is truly difficult to remember all the incredible healing resources in nature. It is truly to your advantage to gain hands on experience and keep a well organized journal that contains detailed information on both the resources and how to use them. This journal should be treated with as much care as other sources of information such as maps and anything else that you consider indispensable to long term survival.

If you choose to keep a copy on your computer, do not forget that it may no longer be accessible if you do not have access to electricity.  A good medical journal may span several hundred pages and may also be quite thick from pressed specimens, however it is well worth its weight.

In time of need, you would truly be amazed at how confusing a sketch or even a photo may look when compared to a specimen that you can see and touch for a closer comparison.


Taking courses in how to use natural medicines is critical if you expect to know what you are doing in time of need and be successful. No matter whether you study online or actually attend wilderness medical excursions, do not simply put the materials aside once you are done with the courses. Always make the information part of your personal wilderness medicine journal and try to practice making medicines and equipment as much as possible.

Herbal Remedies for Chronic Illnesses

Most preppers already know that good quality medical care is essential for preserving health, managing injuries, and ensuring that the next generation of humans can be born and grow to maturity.

Many people also realize that in a major crisis or social collapse, medical care will be unavailable. Critical medications such as antibiotics and other drugs will be even more important in the post-collapse world. Even though you, and others may already know about herbal remedies and may also know how to grow and prepare them, that does not mean your work is done.

Consider a situation where you have been growing garlic, ginger, turmeric, and other herbs that can be used as herbal antibiotics. Perhaps you have even made oils from these herbs or dried them out for later use. Now let’s say  a major crisis occurs and you cannot get home for several days in order to retrieve your stash of herbs, or worse yet, your stash gets ruined while bugging out. In these situations, not knowing about the local wild plants in your area can spell disaster.

Here are some things you can do right now to ensure you will always be able to find and prepare the wild herbs in your local area for medicinal needs:

  • Get a field guide that features pictures and descriptions of medicinal herbs in your local area. The guide should give you full details about where they grow and also how to recognize them. The guide should also give you a listing of plants that are commonly mistaken for the plants you will need for medicinal purposes.
  • Make a list of all herbs that may be of interest to you. Do not list herbs that are from rare species or ones that are listed as endangered.
  • Go to sites where you can find the plants you identified as useful for your needs. Once you find a good sized patch of herbs to work with, take samples of leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and any fruit the plants may bear. These small samples should be done for all four seasons and folded into your journal.  You can also take pictures of the leaves and other parts of the plant, print them out, and keep them with the actual samples. In your journal, also make note of the spot where they are growing and the basic characteristics of the area.
  • Find a local herbal specialist or Cooperative extension and ask an expert to confirm that you have all the plants labeled correctly.
  • Once you have confirmed that your listings are all correct, you can begin looking for other places where these herbs grow well, and also start learning how to prepare them for medicinal needs. If at all possible, try to gather seeds from the wild plants. If you have to bug out or move to another area, you can try planting these seeds indoors and see if you can get them to grow.

In a major crisis, it is entirely possible that you will wind up traveling hundreds of miles as part of a massive evacuation form a dangerous area. Since there is no telling where you will wind up, you will need to use some additional methods for spotting medicinal herbs. You can try keeping field guides on hand.

One way to expedite the process of finding medicinal herbs in foreign locations is to see if you can find ones related to herbs that you already know about.  Herbs that grow in other regions may be more or less potent than the ones you are used to. Make sure that you know how to test herbal potencies for your own safety and well being.

Non-Herbal Remedies for Skin and Wound Management

No matter whether you are trying to find your way out of the city, navigate through a woods, or move objects from one place to another, injuries are bound to happen. During a major crisis, you can also expect infectious diseases to increase because of poor sanitation and increased risk of exposure to infected individuals.

In many cases, wounds that you would normally pay little attention to may become infected and require direct application of antibiotics.  If you are moving through unfamiliar areas, you can also expect increased problems with wounds because your immune system may not be as well adapted to the exact strains of pathogens in the area.

Here are some natural remedies that you can apply directly to skin and wounds:

1. Honey – even though honey has a sweet taste and seems very mild, it is one of the most powerful antibacterials you can find.  It has been used successfully on both oral and skin wounds for centuries without major side effects or other problems.  If you are able to find a beehive, be very careful when gathering the honey.  Since while honeybees are at very high risk for extinction, try to take only as much honey as you need, and try to avoid breaking apart the entire hive.  You should also do your best to subdue the bees with smoke instead of killing them.

2. Sphagnum Moss – Since sphagnum moss contains iodine, it will work well as an antibiotic. You can usually find this moss in bogs or other marshy areas.

3. Salt Water – If you are near an ocean coastline or other source of salt water, you can spray salt water onto wounds as a form of antibacterial. Do not rub the wounds with the salt water. Instead, try to run the salt water over the wounds similar to taking a shower.  Before using salt water, you should also filter it and boil it to make sure it is as clean as possible.

salt water

4. Tannic Acid – If you have rashes, blister, sores, boils, or other skin ailments, tannic acid may be of use.  You can obtain this acid from boiling acorns, and also from nutgalls that form on oak trees.

Splints and Bandages

To make bandages, non-poisonous leaves can be used to put pressure on the cut, and also to protect it from the elements. The best leaves to use are from the Plantain plant. If you chew on the leaves to release liquid from within the leaves, you will also have a natural antibiotic in the form of mashed leaves to put on the wound. From there, just use a second leaf to wrap around the crushed Plantain and the wound.bandage

Some fungus that grow on oak and silver birch trees may also be safe to use for bandaging.  Since it is notoriously difficult to tell safe fungus from poisonous ones, be sure to ask a local expert on mushrooms, molds, and mosses so that you know what to look for. As with locating and identifying useful herbal remedies in a woods or field, be sure to take samples and photos for your journal of useful organisms as well as ones that it may be confused with.

Splints for broken bones and injuries can be made from just about any tree branch.  To keep the splint in place, make rope from yucca leaves or any other leaf that has strong, straight fibers in the leaf.

If these plants are not available, tree bark from smooth bark trees can also be used. In order to avoid friction burns and abrasions, use mullein leaves (or any other non-toxic leaf) as a cushion between the splint and the the body part being immobilized.

In order to make a splint from a branch:

  • Choose a branch that is long enough and wide enough to support the area that needs to be immobilized.  The finished splint should also be long enough so that the joint above and below the injured area will also be immobilized.
  • The branch should be as straight as possible and of even thickness for the required length.  You can use a branch that is bent or curved, but try to use the straightest area parallel to the injured area.
  • Try to avoid branches that show signs of fungal growth, insect damage, or anything else that might increase the risk of developing an infection.
  • If you have sharp enough knife, try to smooth out the rough areas of the branch so that it is as smooth as possible.  You may also want to flatten out the splint so that there is a wider surface area.  Just make sure that all areas that you cut are covered so that your skin does not come in contact with the unseasoned wood.
  • When placing a splint, make sure that the rope or cord is not too tight or too loose.  A wrapping that is too tight can cut off blood circulation and lead to further problems.  If the wrapping is too loose, the splint will move around and cause more abrasions.  A loose splint will also fail to support the injured area and keep it properly immobilized.
  • Remember that if you have a broken bone or a dislocated joint, splinting the injured area is only a temporary fix.  You will still need to find a competent medical professional to move the bone or joints back into place.  Unless you have taken courses and practiced bone and joint setting, it is best to leave these matters to a doctor.  A broken bone or dislocated joint can still be near blood vessels or nerves that are still intact.  The last thing  you will want to do is try to manipulate the broken or dislocated areas and wind up causing damage to other tissue in the area.

Tourniquets and Wound Packing Materials

When you have a deep wound, or one that is bleeding heavily, you may need to use several different methods to stop the bleeding and then make sure the wound is protected.  Once you address the most immediate problem, you may still need other items from nature to ensure that the wound is managed as well as possible.

1. Tourniquets –  When blood is spurting or pouring form a wound limb, there is no time to prepare a bandage let alone a wound filler. Your first job may well be to cut off the blood flow as quickly as possible using a tourniquet.  Just about anything that can be wrapped tightly between the wound and the heart can be used.

For example, if you are in a meadow or field, tall grass or straw can be twisted together quickly and wrapped above the wound.  Anything that is pliable enough to wrap, and then twist will work to form a tourniquet.

Remember that you must be able to loosen and tighten the tourniquet every few minutes in order to avoid gangrene.  If you only have straw or other relatively weak stalks or even tree bark to work with, you may need  to make several tourniquets to manage the injury.

2. Pressure Bandages – If you have an abdominal wound, or some other wound that cannot be isolated using a tourniquet, you will need to make a pressure bandage. Once again, just about anything will do as long as you can apply pressure without completely stopping blood flow. You can try taking several leaves from safe plants and roll them up to form a pad large enough to cover the wound.

If soft, absorbent leaves such as mullein are available, use them close to the wound, and then stiffer ones on the outer layer. From there, use your hands, or even a flat rock to hold the leaves in place and apply additional pressure.  Remember that as with a tourniquet, it can take several minutes for pressure and blood clotting factors to finally stop the bleeding.  Try to make additional bandages from leaves so that you can apply new ones as needed.

3. Cauterizing Agents –  If you are bleeding from a major artery, then it is possible you will need to burn the wound so that it stops bleeding.  While cauterizing carries many risks, those problems can be dealt with later on. If you are bleeding heavily, stopping it needs to be your first priority. Even though you may not have access to metal in the woods, you can still build a fire and heat up rocks (after you remove soil and debris from them)  that can be applied to the wound. Be very careful about the rocks you choose, as they can explode when heated, or just as bad, have poisonous chemicals that will get into the wound.

In a sense, choosing rocks for cauterizing, and other medical needs is not so different from choosing herbs.  You will need to know a good bit about the geology of the area and the chemical makeup of rocks and their inclusions.  For example, if you found a nice, flat piece of gray shale, that does not mean the entire rock has the same chemical composition.  It may have some hidden parts that have toxic chemicals that will move out of porous areas of the rock when it is heated.

As with herbal remedies, try to obtain a comprehensive field guide that gives you detailed information about rocks in the local area and how they are most inclined to form and mix together.  Next, go out and collect as many samples as you can. Bring your samples to a local geologist and ask him/her about which rocks can be safely heated up and used for medicinal needs such as cauterizing.  If you can find a geologist or rock hound that has a special interest in hiking or natural medicine, then he/she may be a more viable source of information.

4. Wound Fillers – After you stop a wound from bleeding, there may still be large holes that need packing in order to prevent further damage.  Here are three substances that you can use. While some require more preparation than others, at least you will have some options to choose from based on the materials available.

  • Pine Sap – warm up the sap so that it is soft and sticky.  Aside from having antibacterial properties, pine sap will protect the wound and will also stop the bleeding.
  • Calcium Alginate – if you happen to be near a bed of kelp, or brown algae, you can extract calcium alginate from the leaves.  When applied to a large or open wound, the moisture from the wound will cause the calcium alginate to form a protective gel.  As with cauterizing, you still run the risk of developing a serious infection of the wound is not managed properly or if the  calcium alginate does not all form up into a gel.  That being said, this substance can also help stop blood flow, and may be of value if you have the time to prepare it.
  • Sphagnum Moss, Leaves, and Other Soft Materials – Non-toxic mosses, leaves, and even grass can be used to pack wounds and keep them from reopening.  If you must use leaves, try to find herbs to mix in that also have antibacterial properties.

Makeshift Syringes

Chances are, if you are working with herbs or other natural medicines, there may not be much need to inject substances into the bloodstream.  Nevertheless, it may still be necessary to isolate insulin from animal sources  to treat diabetes, or other injectables that require some kind of syringe or needle.  If you think about the basic parts of a syringe, you may be surprised to find that there are quite a few ways to make a makeshift version from natural materials.

  • The Needle – to work effectively as a makeshift syringe needle, the material used must be very thin, strong enough to resist breaking when puncturing the skin, and hollow.  Some possible sources of needles include wasp and hornet stingers (do not use bee stingers because they are barbed), fine porcupine quills, and very thin reeds.  If you are going to use insect stingers, make sure that the all of the venom is removed from the stinger.
  • The Barrel – this is where the medicine will be held until injected into the bloodstream.  Just about any rigid, hollow stem from a non-toxic plant will do.  Thicker reeds, bamboo stem, and other dried, durable stems can be used for this purpose.  To attach the needle to the barrel, you may need to set the needle at an angle so that there is less chance of breaking it.  Next, you can seal off the space between the needle and the barrel with pine pitch or some other natural glue like substance.
  • The Plunger – anything from a well trimmed tight fitting small branch to a solid, rigid plant stem can be used for the plunger.  Just bear in mind that the plunger must fit snugly inside the barrel so that the medicine is pushed through the needle instead of squirting out the back end.

Some problems that you may encounter when using a makeshift syringe:

1. It will be very hard to make exact dosage measurements.  If you have a way to determine how much material is ejected from the needle, then you can try making notches in the barrel and the plunger so that you can make  a reasonable estimate.  Before you go into a crisis situation and run out of syringes, make it a point to know exactly how much liquid should be discharged with each dose. You can do that with a measured syringe now, and then make a circle representing that amount in your journal.  If possible, try also allowing one single dose to stain the page so that you can observe the size of the liquid stain on a known paper source.  Make sure that you have an additional blank page so that you can make comparisons in the field.  Do not forget to make these comparisons for herbal or animal based injectables that you may need to prepare from scratch.

2. Even though you may be able to get medicine to move through the needle, you may not be able to create enough of a vacuum to pull medicine into it.  You will be best served by creating a simple leaf funnel or using some other means to pour the medication into the syringe.

Once you are able to make needles in a wilderness setting, do not overlook applications other than injecting medicines.

Solid needles can be used to stitch wounds (using animal sinew, fibers from plants) and also for acupuncture. Today, even conventional medicine includes acupuncture as  valid treatment for pain and other ailments.

As long as you know how to sterilize the makeshift needles and where to apply them, there are plenty of ways you can use this remedy as part of your wilderness survival kit.

Crutches and Carriers

When it comes to making improvised medical supplies, crutches are probably some of the easiest to make.  If you are in a wooded area, simply pick a branch or tree limb that has a fork at one end.  Try to pick one with the widest angle possible in the fork so that your armpit has a larger surface to rest on.

Next, use leave and vines/makeshift cordage to create a cushion that will fit under your arm.  If possible, add an absorbent top layer of leaves so that the padding does not all become soaked with sweat.  You may need to change the pad often for the sake of comfort and to avoid infections.   When cutting the wood for the crutch, make sure that it fits comfortably.

If you are in a group, those who are injured may slow down the entire group.  Rather than leave people behind or take a risk on not getting where you need to go, try making a litter or other form of carrier.  Adults and children can be dragged along far easier than they can be carried.  You can make a simple carrier using the following basic instructions:

  • Take 2 saplings or branches that are about 1/3 longer than the height of the person who needs help being transported.   Next, take 2 more saplings that are a little longer than the shoulder length of the individual.   If the person is very heavy, or you do not have durable materials to make a mat with, then collect 2 or 3 more of the shorter branches.
  • Use vines, bark rope, or other cordage to tie together the saplings.  The longest saplings should be parallel to each other.  Set one of the shorter branches at one end of the longer branches, but leave a few inches so that the bottom of the longer branches is the only thing that will be touching the ground.
  • Set the second shorter branch at the opposite end.  There should be just enough room between the top and bottom for the person to lay down without his/her feet or head flopping over the frame.  You should also have enough room at the top of the litter to pick up the longer branches and drag them along.
  • Add the remaining branches between the top and bottom ones. Try to make them  equal distances apart.  When you are done, the frame of the litter should look something like a ladder with the longer sides extending  out further than the “steps”.  Alternatively, you can also have the longer branches aligned so that they cross in front of the area where you will be standing.  You may need longer branches for this method.
  • Next you will need to add padding to the litter.  Moss, leaves, and anything soft can be used for this purpose.  You can also use vines to tie the materials down and make a more compact bedding. You can also used animal hides as long as they are well scraped and have been drying for at least a few days.  Choose leaves and other materials that are as dry and clean as possible.
  • If you have enough materials to make additional cordage, create a belly band or harness that attaches to the handles of the litter.  You can use the harness to drag the litter and keep your hands free or pull along with your hands if you so choose.
  • Unfortunately, in nature, there are not many ways to reduce friction on the bottom of the litter where it can catch on rocks, stumps, and many other things that will make it harder to drag along. You can try attaching very smooth, flat rocks to the impact areas.

Animal Based Remedies

Many people do not study animal based medicines because they think that plants are more diverse, easier to find, and easier to harvest.  On the other hand, some of the most powerful and useful medicines are harbored within “dangerous” animals that you may already be hunting for food.

Study  Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to learn how to prepare medicines from these animals. It should be noted that there are a number of newer drugs based on compounds found within these animals, however it may be difficult to find out how the important molecules are isolated. Given that the Chinese traditional healers, Indian practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine, and Native American medicine people may have been using these animals to reliably treat illness, they are your best source of information on this matter.

Here are a few animals you can ask about as long as they are relevant to the local area for you and the practitioner has direct knowledge of the species of animals in the area:

  • Frogs – produce natural antibiotics on their skin.  Some frogs also produce neurotoxins and other poisons that may work in lower doses as painkillers and muscle relaxants.
  • Pit Vipers – aside from carrying compounds in their venom that work as ACE Inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure), snake venom may also be used as an anti-coagulant,  to treat heart failure and preserve kidney function in diabetics.  While venoms vary from one species of viper to another, local and indigenous medicine people may still know which animals can best suit your needs as well as how to safely milk the vipers of venom without killing them.
  • Gila Monster – if you happen to be in the desert and need a stimulant to produce insulin, venom from these lizards may be of some use.
  • Spider Venom – some species of spiders and tarantulas produce venom that can treat cancer, reduce pain,and relax muscles.
  • Spider webs – as fragile as spider webs look, they can act as a strong, gentle network that allows flesh to grow back into place.
  • Cone snail – if you are near a body of saltwater or near the ocean, cone snail venom may be an option for treating pain, managing heart disease and preventing epileptic seizures.
  • Horseshoe Crab – if you aren’t sure if a bacterial infection is present, expose water, food, or other materials to the blood from a horseshoe crab. If the blood becomes thick and coagulates, then you know a dangerous infection is present.
  • Centipedes – centipede venom can be used as a painkiller.
  • Scorpion Venom – this venom can be used to treat cancer and also as a painkiller.

Poison Antidotes

Chances are, you already know that activated charcoal is one of the best antidotes for swallowed poisons. As long as you have trees and a fire, you can make charcoal as a form of poison antidote.  To get the most out of the charcoal, crush it up and mix with water.

While some people recommend mixing tannic acid with charcoal, researchers have found that the tannic acid is actually absorbed by the charcoal, thus making less room available to remove the poison.  If you need to draw poison from a wound, you can try using a charcoal poultice.  Mud poultices and some herbal poultices may also draw poisons out of a wound.

Some modern research suggests that honey badgers, squirrels, and opossums have molecules in their blood that can neutralize venom from snakes, spiders, and other venomous animals that you might encounter. As with other animal remedies, try asking indigenous people in the area about how they treat venomous bites, and if they use preparations from these animals.

If you already know how to hunt these animals and use them for food, then you may already be on your way to an important natural  remedy for venomous bites.

Worldwide, thousands of people die each year from consuming poisonous plants or mushrooms, getting bitten by venomous animals, or ingesting poison from some other source.   While activated charcoal can help in some cases, there is very little else in nature that can act as an antidote.

You can still try to mitigate the effects of some poisons if you know what you came in contact with and how it affects your body. Once again, you should never experiment  with these ideas.  Take them to a certified herbalist or other practitioner of Chinese or Ayurvedic medicine to see if they already have experience with these methods.

For example, if you know that you have been bitten by a snake whose venom acts as an anti-coagulant, it may be possible to wash the site with some herb that has the opposite effect, but will not interact in ways that multiply the effects of other parts of the venom.

If you need to induce vomiting, warm salt water can be used for that purpose. Try to avoid herbs (unless you know they are safe to take with the poison in question)  that induce vomiting because they can also interact with the poison and make it more dangerous. As a means of last resort, you can still try and focus on herbal or animal based remedies that counter the effects of the poison.

Fire Cupping

In ancient Chinese medicine, Fire Cupping was often use for pain relief.  This particular treatment basically relied on creating suction by heating a round, hollow object, and placing it on the skin.

fire cupIf you can generate heat and suction as in fire cupping, then you may be able to create a makeshift venom removal kit. Some things you might try using for the “cup” include hollowed bones, or mud that has been shaped into a bowl with a narrow opening and fired. Needless to say, if you have, or find  a small glass bottle or a cup, then you can use that to for suction purposes.

When choosing natural materials to make a fire cup, choose items that:

  • Can easily be fashioned into a small, round cup with a narrow neck.  If you cannot create a rounded cup, a longer, narrower form will do as long as the neck is still narrower than the body.
  • The cup should be able to retain heat well.  If the material loses heat easily, it will not generate sufficient suction.  The material should be able to retain the heat for at least 3 – 5 minutes.
  • If you are going to keep an open flame on the cup while in use, it should be non-flammable.
  • You can try boiling a wooden cup, however it may not work as well as other materials.

Rocks for Generating Steam

From winter colds to spring allergies, and other respiratory ailments, inhaling steam or herbs mixed with steam is often the best remedy.   While this may seem like a novel idea,  generating steam for these purposes is possible using natural resources. As with heating rocks to cauterize wounds, you need to be very careful about which rocks you use and how you use them.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • When rocks are heated, they can crack or break apart causing sharp projectiles to fly all over the place.  Porous rocks are usually the most problematic because water from rain, dew, and other sources seeps into the rock.  Once the rock is heated by a fire, the water turning into steam will create pressure that causes the rock to break apart.
  • Heated rocks can also emit gasses that are poisonous.  It does not matter if the rock is porous or not, since even surface contaminants can emit poisons when heated.
  • When you pour water onto hot rocks, the sudden changes in temperature can also cause the rock to fracture or explode.
  • As hot water seeps into the rock, it can mix with other chemicals hidden deep in the pores. These chemicals will escape with the steam and can be poisonous if you inhale them.
  • Because rocks very so much in composition and formation, you need to work with a reputable geologist in your local area in order to help reduce the risk of choosing rocks that can cause more harm than good.
  • When creating a steam bath, many people try to keep the steam in an enclosed area.  Never put yourself in a position where the materials used does not allow adequate ventilation.  For example, never use plastics or any kind of tarp that does not allow air to flow through it.  It is better and safer to take the time to create a leaf or bark mat then wind up suffocating in a steam bath.  When choosing plants to make the covering, make sure that you wash and dry them thoroughly so that you do not pick up stray chemicals that can be harmful if inhaled with the steam. Only work with plants that you know to be safe and non-toxic for this purpose.
  • Never use steam sweats unless someone else remains outside the steam area and can monitor you for signs of trouble.  This includes making sure that you exit the steam area every few minutes so that you do not dehydrate or suffer from heat stroke/exhaustion.

Leeches and Maggots

When science was in the process of overtaking religion for control of the masses, the use of leeches and maggots was dismissed as quackery.  Today, modern doctors have had to substantially revise their opinion on the use of these animals as part of sound medical treatment.

Here is how you can use leeches and maggots in time of need:

  • Leeches can be used to suck blood from serious injuries. Basically, if you had to sew up a limb that was amputated or almost amputated, or some other injury that caused damage to the blood vessels, the blood will pool and slow down healing.  If you apply leaches for a few hours each day, they will absorb the blood pool and allow the veins to heal.
  • Historically speaking, leeches were often used in “bloodletting” for colds, and many other diseases.  At this time, it is believed these therapies do more harm than good.  That being said, if you need to stimulate blood production, sucking out small amounts may actually do more harm than good.
  • Maggots are used to manage deep infections where the flesh is rotting or is very close to that stage.  To use maggots for this purpose, simply let flies rest on the wound.  Once the eggs from the flies hatch, they will become maggots that eat up the rotted flesh. Once you see blood an feel pain from the wound, then you know it is clean. Wash out the maggots and let the wound continue to heal.

In these times, we are often led to believe that there are very few, if any alternatives to modern medicine.  Throughout the world, indigenous people have been using medicines for thousands of years from items found in nature.  While herbal remedies are the most commonly discussed treatments, there are truly many other medicinal wonders that nature has to offer.

As a prepper, you should learn all you can about wilderness medicine and how to use it in a time of need. Aside from courses aimed at basic treatments, also consider studying indigenous methods so that you can expand your skill sets even further and utilize more materials in different geographic settings.

NewSMDCover3This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Guns, Blood and Hypocrisy: The Largest Dealer Pushes For Gun Control

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Survivopedia gun control

Were you relieved to hear that the US Senate shot down all four gun control measures presented by the Democrats on June 20th? I was, but I was also just as disturbed to see that SCOTUS refused to hear the case against assault weapons bans.

No doubt Hillary and her merry band aren’t going to stop pushing for gun confiscation here in the United States.

So why is it that the Obama administration allowed Hillary to make so many deals that practically sold our military assets to countries that have a record for serious human rights violations?

How is it that these countries, plus one or more companies that sold these weapons through Hillary also contributed massive amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation and/or to her political campaign?

When Sam Jacob at sent me this infographic, my first thought was “this is incredibly disturbing because terrorists will be coming through our leaky sieve of an immigration system with guns that Hillary sold to them even as she moves to disarm our innocent citizens.”

If you, or anyone else needs a good answer for why our citizens need to own an “assault weapon” here in the United States – quite frankly – the way things went down in Syria and this infographic says it all!

Guns, Blood and HypocrisyWorldwide Weapons1


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


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Paleo Diet: 5 Basic Recipes You Need To Know

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Survivopedia 5 paleo diet recipes

Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers long before they began farming.  They also rarely made use of cooked or processed foods. Many people today feel it is best to go back to the kind of diet our ancestors consumed, and choose to follow the Paleo diet.

The Paleo diet is meant to mimic the kinds of foods that our ancestors were able to find and eat with relative ease. This means consuming foods that are readily available in nature, and ones that require a minimal amount of preparation.

Just about any type of wild game or fish might be found in a Paleo diet, but you would eat very little milk or cheese. Berries, roots, and fruits tend to be favored over beans and grains that require special preparation.

Here are some common foods you might find in a Paleo diet.  This includes foods that may not be readily available on supermarket shelves, but can be found easily enough in nature, or raised in aquaponic systems.

Recommended Meats

Meat is an essential part of the Paleo diet. Keeping a good supply of meat may be very difficult to some people, because you need to know key breeding seasons and the food requirements of targeted animals.

As you consider this list of healthy paleo meat sources, select a few of interest and see if you can raise them. Finding the best way to prepare alternative meats will also help you and your family in the quest of living a healthy life.

The conventional animal meats are chicken, pork, fish, beef, turkey, lamb, lobster, shrimp, goat, goose, quail, oysters, clams, scallops, crab, and bison. Other healthy Paleo meat sources  are rabbits, rodents, young hedgehogs, termites, earthworms, grasshoppers, grubs, beetles, ants, snails,  caterpillars (non-butterfly), deer, bear, buffalo, freshwater fish, clams, oysters, kangaroo, turtle, snake, and birds.

Recommended Dairy

Since dairy products require a good bit of preparation, they should be avoided as much as possible. Raw goat or cow milk may be permitted, but nut and vegetable blends are preferred. For example, you can use almond or rice milk, but should not use soy milk because it is made from legumes.

Eggs are allowed in the Paleo diet even though they are listed in the dairy food group. If chicken or goose eggs are not available, you can eat eggs from other bird species. Make sure you know when the breeding season starts for different bird species so that you do not destroy eggs with developing embryos.

Recommended Fruits, Herbs, and Vegetables

In the modern world, it becomes all too easy to believe that the vast majority of plants will flourish regardless of climate and seasonal constraints.

When it comes to adapting the Paleo diet to your needs, find out which plants are available in your area. At the very least, even if it takes time to raise crops, you can still make use of local plants to meet your nutritional needs.

  • Conventional (Non-GMO) Fruits, Herbs, and Vegetables – Berries, apples, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, spearmint, echinachea, turmeric, sage, paprika, citrus, brussel sprouts, avocados, mango, plum, peaches, pumpkin, sunflower, melons, bananas, papaya, lettuce, figs, carrot, celery, spinach, broccoli, squash, cabbage, pepper, tomato, onion, eggplant, cauliflower, and artichoke.
  • Healthy Paleo Fruits, Herbs, and Vegetables – Wild berries, dandelion, cat tail tubers, apples, lettuce, pumpkin, carrot, onion, broccoli, squash, pepper, tomato, onion, cauliflower, artichoke, seaweed, mushrooms, moss, basil, parsley, thyme, sage, spearmint, Echinacea, rosemary, paprika, and lichen.

paleo food

Plant Based Foods to Avoid

As you look at the list of plants most suitable for a Paleo diet, you may be wondering why rice, wheat, beans, peas, potatoes, and peanuts do not appear on the list. While these foods were all derived from wild sources, it is believed that our ancient ancestors did not make use of them until they began growing things in domestic settings. They are considered less healthy than other foods that were easily obtained in nature.

The Recipes

Rather than follow precise recipes, you are best served by memorizing proportions of some basic staples, and then work with them based on the foods available at hand.

1. Baked Meat with Stuffed Peppers or Tomatoes

  • 3 – 6 bell peppers or tomatoes
  • 1 pound of beef, pork, or lamb
  • 1/2 cups of broccoli or cauliflower (flower portion only)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 pound of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
  • basil and parsley for seasoning.

Remove tops and seeds from peppers or tomatoes so that only outer shell of flesh remains. Cut into bottom until shell sits straight in baking pan. Partially brown beef, pork, or lamb in animal lard or vegetable oil. Chop broccoli or cauliflower until it is grain sized. Stir in with meat and finish to brown.

Combine meat, vegetables, and tomato sauce in mixing bowl. Keep some tomato sauce aside for basting. Fill peppers or tomatoes with mix. Top off with basil, parsley, or other seasoning as desired. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour, or until pepper or tomato shells are soft. They will need to be basted 2 -3 times to prevent burning.

2. Basic Omelettes

  • 2 eggs or egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/4 cup pepper
  • 6 ounces of pork or chicken
  • 1/4 cup tomato
  • season with parsley, rosemary, thyme or basil

Sear chicken or pork in hot oil until surface is light brown. This seals in juices and also gives a better flavor to the omelette. Dice onions and peppers. Fry lightly in hot oil and set aside. Scramble eggs or prepare egg substitute and pour into hot frying pan. Fold meat, onions, peppers, and seasoning into the omelette. Add tomatoes last to keep them as crispy and fresh as possible.

There is also a baked version for this recipe: after frying meat, mix all ingredients together and pour into an 8 ounce baking dish.  Cook at 350 degrees until center is cooked through, but before edges burn.

3. Vegetable Pancakes

  • 2 eggs or egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup chunk tomato, pepper, or onion
  • 1 tbsp powdered onion, rosemary, or thyme
  • 1/2 cups ground roasted pumpkin or squash seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Prepare ground seeds as noted in flour substitute table above. Chunk tomato, pepper, or onion.  While you can also boil and mash vegetables for addition in pancakes, they taste better when left in chunks.

Prepare egg substitute or scramble eggs. Add ground seeds to water and stir until smooth. Fold in vegetables, salt, eggs and seasonings. Add a tablespoon of oil to griddle or pan and allow to heat up. Pour a few drops of batter onto hot griddle, and remove when drops are evenly browned.

Proceed to pour enough batter into pan to make individual 4 inch sized pancakes. Flip pancakes when bottom side is golden brown and remove from skillet when both sides are cooked and inside has sponge like consistency.

paleo meal plan

4. Protein Cookies

  • 1 cup of boiled, mashed pumpkin or squash
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup boiled, ground dandelion leaves (can be bitter; so add to suit)
  • 3 1/2 cups ground and roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of shredded chicken

Combine mashed pumpkin, ground dandelion leaves, and ground seeds. Mix in salt and shredded chicken. If dough is too moist, add more ground pumpkin seeds. Flatten out dough on cutting board and cut into 1 x 2 inch squares. Place dough on non-stick cookie pan. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Remove cookies from sheet and place on cooling rack as soon as possible.

5. Conventional Vegetable Chips

  • 1 eggplant,
  • 2 tomatoes,
  • 2 peppers,
  • 3 onions, or separated cabbage leaves
  • 1/2 cup powdered dry basil, parsley and thyme

Slice eggplant, tomatoes, or peppers into 1/8 inch slices. For onions, slice into 1/8 thick slices and then separate rings. For cabbage leaves, remove from head one at a time, and try to keep them as whole as possible.

Arrange vegetable slices on a cookie sheet so that they do not overlap and brush with water. Sprinkle with powdered seasoning, but not more than will be absorbed by the water. Bake at 325 for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from oven when chips are dry and start turning up at edges. Let cool and store in airtight container.

If done correctly, these vegetable chips will have a bit more texture from the cauliflower and broccoli bits.

The Paleo diet’s high energy foods and simplicity also make it ideal for living a healthy life.  No matter how difficult times are, the Paleo diet will help you remain strong and healthy.

Remember that you need to stay healthy to be among the fittest who survive, and click on the banner below to find out more about the way our ancestors lived!


This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Quick Guide For A Comfortable Shelter

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Do you remember when people were stuck in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina?

Aside from problems with waste disposal, there were also many people that developed severe psychological problems because too many people were packed in together.

This is one very good example of what shelter means for your survival, right? But this is not enough: clothing and bedding meet the most personal needs for shelter from the climate, so we have to take them into account as well while prepping.

Do You Have Enough Space?

No matter whether you are claustrophobic or not, you need to determine how much room each person in your survival group needs in order to remain healthy at all levels. Since a disaster can lead to years of social disruption, do not be misled into thinking that you can pack everyone into a small space and hope for the best.

As with food and water ratios, you can use online calculators and estimators to find out much room each person will need. And remember that almost all situations will require increased living space in order to deal with a different range of stresses.

There is no question that mp3 players, tablets, and cell phones can ease some of the stress caused by living in extremely close quarters. When all of these devices become inoperable, there may be people in your survival group that will require more living space than they do now. As a result, when you are planning out your homestead, it makes sense to create multiple shelters as well as look for other ways to help people have more space.

If you are paying for room in a survival community, it is very important to find out how much shelter space is allocated for each person. You should also find out if people will be crammed together in emergencies as well as what kind of support system is in place to help people adjust to the post crisis world. Never forget that the images we have of social collapse survivors are largely ones painted by movies and TV.

There is no telling precisely who will survive or why. No matter how each person may try to prepare, the elements of luck and chance may still allow someone who will break under pressure into a survival community. Under those situations, shelter arrangements can easily become a serious problem.

In order to prepare for this issue, you should at least know how to build your own temporary and permanent shelters away from the main group. There should also be clear understandings between you and community leaders about your capacity to move into a different region based on your own needs and preferences.

Today, many people will tell you that their home or apartment is way too small for comfort. These people will escape to stores, supermarkets, or the woods just to get away from those stifling walls, hated furniture, and other knaggy issues.

While you may find yourself thankful for what you have during and after a crisis, that does not change the fact that being cut off from the world in terms of communications and electronics devices can make the situation much worse.

If possible, try to find some way to increase your living space now, getting rid of unwanted furniture and reducing clutter. Invariably, the more comfortable you are living in your bug in location, the better chance you will have of making good use of the available space. For example, if you have an entire room cleaned out and empty, you can use it for purifying water or engaging in other activities related to survival needs.


What About Clothing?

No matter whether you are bugging out or bugging in, you will need to have some different kinds of garments on hand. While the clothes you are wearing or have stored in your closet won’t be damaged by an EMP, you will still need a range of garments and protective gear in order to survive with as little injury as possible.

Here are some critical things that you should have on hand if you are planning to survive a major social collapse.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots that will keep your feet cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. If you cannot find one pair of boots to achieve both objectives, then purchase two different pair of boots. Do not try to compromise and purchase a “mid-range” boot. Typically, this will only create a situation where you aren’t prepared for either extreme.

Even though you may feel that you know your geographic region and its temperatures, never forget that you may be forced to move a fairly large distance or face severe weather conditions that weren’t accounted for in your original plans.

Thinsulate and Heavy Socks

You can use thermal and cooling Thinsulate socks to help regulate the temperature of your feet. It is also very important to keep heavier socks available in case you need additional padding.

When choosing the best socks, do not forget to take into account how much circulation the socks will cut off around the ankles and calves. If you choose long socks, always bear in mind that they can become very restrictive and troublesome. At the very least, keep a few pairs of ankle and even heel length socks available.

Nylon Based Overshirts and Pants

You can find good quality, durable nylon garments in most sporting goods stores. These clothes will help you stay warm in cold weather or help move heat away from your body faster during summer months or other conditions where it will be harder to cool off.

Sufficient clothing to create layers. If you cannot afford good quality nylon garments, then use layers to help stay warmer or cooler. Just remember that black garments will absorb heat while white and light colors will reflect it away from you.

Protective Eyewear

No matter whether you have to move through the streets or plan to stay in one building, a massive EMP can generate all kinds of fires and other hazards. These in turn, will emit all kinds of smoke, silt, and dust that can easily get into your eyes. In addition, if a window breaks, a tree falls, or some other debris comes your way, protective eyewear can help save your eyes.

You should choose good quality goggles as opposed to glasses. While goggles may not be very attractive, they will still protect your eyes from a range of injuries.

You can purchase high quality goggles at just about any hardware store. Make sure you choose a pair that will protect your eyes from dust as well as objects flying at your face.

Together with goggles, you may also want to consider purchasing a welding helmet. This type of helmet comes with a shield that will protect your eyes from excessive heat and light. While they may not be very useful during night hours, they can reduce the chances of you being driven blind by any number of light and heat sources during the day hours.

Since night vision goggles rely on IC chips, it does not make much sense to keep them on hand. Rather, you are better off honing your natural eyesight and learning how to preserve it during dark hours.

For example, instead of relying on a flashlight, learn how to use the ambient light to meet your needs. While you may not be aware of it, even looking at a bright light for less than second can rob you of vital night vision for at least 10 – 15 minutes.

Protective Ear Muffs

Chances are you have no idea what it sounds like when a transformer explodes. By the time you take into account these noises, sounds from riots, percussion grenades, LRADS, and other percussion equipment, failure to have protective ear muffs on hand can spell severe injury or even death.

It should be noted that simply wearing ear plugs can be just as dangerous as not wearing ear protection at all. In some cases, shock or percussion blasts can easily push these plugs deeper into the ear canal and even rupture your ear drums. Anyone that wears hearing aids should seriously consider opting for devices that do not lodge in the ear canal.

Heavy Gloves and Hardhats

After an initial EMP, there are bound to be all kinds of explosions and fires that will result in all kinds of debris flying around. Never assume that you will be safe in your apartment or any other place just because you survived the initial blast.

As hours and days go by, debris will continue to build up and may well endanger your life if you do not have a hardhat and gloves to protect your hands as you try to move heavy objects from one place to another.

Waterproof and Chemical Proof Suit

No matter whether you need to get out of a city or a small town, chances are you will encounter raw sewage and many other toxins. If you cannot afford a basic contamination suit, you can try to make your own using vinyl tarp or heavy plastic.

As may be expected, you will need to use epoxy glues instead of a needle and thread to join parts of the suit together. Always be mindful of the fact that even a small hole can let dangerous toxins into the suit.

Overall, most preppers know that a post crisis world is going to be filled with trauma and chaos. In many cases, these people tend to try and hold onto the idea that if they have enough tangible resources to meet daily and long term needs, then they get through the crisis with far less difficulty.

Ease your survival by prepping properly, and finding ways to make your shelter safe and comfortable at the same time.



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