Bicycle power can help you maintain self-sufficiency when SHTF

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One of the persistent myths about prepping is that it requires spending lots of cash on fancy survival gear. However, much of what may prove to be extremely useful in a big disaster/SHTF scenario might already be lying around the house. Those old bicycles collecting dust in your garage are the perfect example. Not only might a bicycle represent the ultimate stealth bug-out vehicle, pedal power can also be utilized in a number of other useful ways if and when the power grid goes down.

First, let’s consider the use of bicycles in a survival situation in terms of what they were originally designed for: transportation. When you consider that gasoline can only be stored for a few years at the most and that there likely won’t be any gas stations open after a societal collapse, the lowly bicycle becomes more and more attractive as a survival transportation solution.

Add to this the fact that bicycles are virtually indestructible if maintained properly and boast a potential lifespan of several decades, and you’ll begin to see the practical potential of bicycles in a long-term survival scenario. Bicycles are easily repaired and maintained, requiring only a few tools and a bit of technical knowledge along with some spare tires, chains, chain grease and oil to keep them functioning properly.

The stealth aspect is a huge advantage as well. Bicycles produce virtually no noise, which could be a lifesaving advantage if you need to travel undetected. Silence is also crucial if you’re out hunting game, and that brings us to another great advantage of bicycles: they can go many places other vehicles cannot. A solid mountain bike is capable of traversing some of the roughest terrain imaginable at quite respectable speeds.

If you’ve got deep pockets, there are several manufacturers making bikes designed specifically with survival scenarios in mind with lots of cool attachments and features such as camouflage paint, but a decent mountain bike can be customized at home for a lot less money. It is easy enough to add a rack that can carry a fair amount of extra gear or supplies, and if you want camouflage, just grab a couple of cans of the preferred colors of spray paint.

The potential of pedal power in a survival situation goes far beyond mere transportation. Bicycles can be converted to drive all sorts of machinery in situations when there is no electricity available from the grid. In fact, bicycles can be used to generate your own electricity. With the new, longer-term storage capacity battery technology now emerging, it is conceivable that pedal power could could supply all of the electricity you will ever really need when the SHTF.

Many of the devices that require an electric motor can be driven by human pedal power. A water pump, for example, can be relatively easily modified to be powered by a belt connected to a bicycle frame and pedals. The possibilities are quite broad; sewing machines, weaving looms, grain threshers, and wood and metal lathes can all be powered by pedals.

There are plenty of DIY plans available online for these types of uses of pedal power. I have included several links below, and once you understand how to convert a bicycle to drive one machine, you’ll have the basic knowledge to come up with your own ideas for harnessing this marvelous, non-polluting, highly efficient form of power generation.

Perhaps you’d like a pedal-powered ice cream maker, for example? Since you’ll be burning all those calories while making your own delicious post-apocalyptic homemade ice cream, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy eating it, free of guilt!

Source : www.naturalnews.com

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This common plant can be used as food, medicine and a survival tool

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This common plant can be used as food, medicine and a survival tool

Aside from the many easy-to-grow plants that can be used for food and medicine during a prolonged survival scenario, there are also many wild plants that can be used for similar purposes.

In particular, Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.) — a plant which grows wild throughout much of the United States and Canada — is especially beneficial as it has great value when preparing for the unforeseeable. It’s used for food, medicine and even for making candle wicks.

Milkweed is typically found on roadsides and in fields, and often grows as tall as six feet. Recognizing the plant is fairly easy as it has broad leaves, green pods and pink or purple flowers. The plant generally blooms from early summer to early fall.

Before getting into the many benefits of milkweed, the first thing you should know milkweed is the fact that the milky sap can cause irritation of the eyes, so care must be taken not to rub your eyes when handling the plant. Milkweed sap, if it gets on the skin, can also cause an allergic skin reaction in some people.

Milkweed as food

The seeds, seed pods, leaves, flowers and oil from the milkweed plant are all edible and can be eaten in many ways.

Asclepias_syriaca_7A_lgFor a flavor that is similar to brown sugar, boil the pods down and consume. If peas is more pleasing to you, then cook the unopened flower buds and eat. Craving asparagus? Consider eating the young shoots of milkweed as they have a similar flavor.

Its pods can also be used to enhance flavoring or act as a soup thickener.

Oil can even be pressed out of its seeds and the latex in its stems has been found to be a good substitute for chicle; it can even be made into chewing gum.

Milkweed as medicine


Milkweed also extends a multitude of health benefits, taking on several medicinal properties.

Its root, for example, is also considered to act as everything from a diuretic to an expectorant.

Furthermore, milkweed’s leaves can be infused to make a tea useful for treating coughs, fever and asthma. The infusion can also be used to help in passing kidney stones.

Additional uses for this popular plant

Milkweed has several practical uses aside from its nutritional and medicinal properties.

The inner bark of the stems can be dried and used to make twine, paper and cloth while milkweed oils can be used to make liquid soap.

The seed floss obtained from the pods can also be used for making candle wicks, stuffing pillows and in making cloth when mixed with other fibers. For instance, milkweed floss is amazingly buoyant — six times more than cork — and is sometimes used to make life jackets for that reason.

Milkweed is just one of many wild plants that can be used for a variety of purposes. A knowledge of wild plants and their uses can prove to be crucial to survival when the SHTF.

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Source : www.naturalnews.com

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