Live-Off-The-Land with These 7 Summer Survival Foods

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So, summer is here again, guys and gals.  What better time to practice your survival skills?  I have mentioned in articles past that it is a good idea to put away all the high-tech gizmos and get back to the basics of doing things to give your practice realism.  We’re going to do a few articles that broach that mindset, and this one is the first: how to make dinner when the SHTF…some not-so-obvious sources.

I’m not going to cover what has already been covered, such as methods of fishing and the types of fish to catch.  We’re going to utilize a hypothetical framework.  You are “under the gun” in a SHTF/the “Road” environment.  You can’t stand idly by with a fishing pole carved from a branch, seeking dinner in a relaxed, “On Golden Pond” manner.

While many would turn their nose up to these 7 survival food sources, in a dire emergency, where there is no food, you have to take it where you can get it. 

  1. The Crayfish: Let’s do it up, down and dirty, with the “mudbug,” as they’re called in New Orleans, as our first survival food. Yes, he is known by many names, including Crawdad, Crawfish, etc.  The crayfish will provide you with ready protein, and also for bait for night fishing later (this on trot lines).  Prepare them by boiling them.  Throw in some wild garlic or wild onions for a little flavor.  You’ll get some protein in the form of meat from the tail, and a little within the front claws.  You’ll have to round up a bunch to make a good meal.  Best method: find some large rocks in a shallow stream and slowly overturn them little by little.  As the cloudy/silty water clears, he’ll usually be sitting there, waiting.  One hand place behind him, and when the other is to his front, he’ll move back.  You can also use a small dip net if you don’t prefer my method.  The big ones lurk in the deeper pools.  Eat the meat right after you cook it in a pot.  The ones for bait at night keep in a separate container with water in it.
  2. The Frog: yes, those frog legs can be eaten.  They can be boiled and peeled, or roasted over a fire.  Protein is where you find it.
  3. The Grasshopper: Grasshoppers and other edible insects are packed with protein and can be dried out in the sun, or lightly roasted over a fire.
  4. Cattail roots: This survival food can be boiled and are similar in taste to potatoes, with a more starchy taste to them.  They’ll give you some carbs and sugars, to help round out the meal.
  5. Snakes: Yes, high protein in these guys!  Gut them, peel off their skin, and put them on a spit…a coat hanger (metal) works great…and then roast them.  If not, then slice it up and cook it over a fire.  Venomous snakes can be eaten in this manner, as well, but take care when obtaining them.  Decapitate the snake by cutting off the head and about 1” behind it.  Either bury or burn the head…you wouldn’t want to either step on it or sit on it and be bitten by a dead snake’s head!  The snake meat is a little greasy, but hey, you’re eating and he’s not, right?
  6. Trot lines: Set out fishing lines at night, and set them at intervals that enable them to be checked regularly during the night.
  7. Greens: Dandelions (the whole plant), shepherd’s purse, and wild berries you can garner for starters.  Make sure you can positively ID them!  Don’t survive the SHTF initial event only to poison yourself with something you didn’t recognize!  Pine needle tea will give you a supply of Vitamin C…boil it for about 20 minutes in a pot or canteen cup.

We’re going to go more in-depth in future articles but in a SHTF situation, you want to make sure you cook in a fire pit or on a shielded fire.  Don’t allow the flames to give you away either day or night.  This situation here follows a forage-cook-feed-move/hide method.  You’ll have to also take due diligence to clean up your mess so as not to allow others to trail you.  This is another reason the fire-pit method is good.  When it’s time to put out the fire, do so and then bury it.  Practice these skills now so that they will be second nature for you when the time comes that you need them.  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Train for a Worst-Case Disaster

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How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.


These true words are the basis for “High Suck Factor” training for you to follow.  What does this mean?  No, fear not: we’re not going to siphon gasoline or another volatile fluid with a hose!  No, this means that you need to train under the similar conditions (that “suck”) that you will be faced with in real life.  This is an all-inclusive concept that does not just refer to the weather or training in miserable outdoor conditions.  We will elaborate on what this means and how you can jump on this wagon to get the maximum, realistic effects out of your training time.

Firstly, anybody can disassemble a weapon on a clean, neat, dining-room table under a big light where there’s a cozy heater keeping your house nice and warm, with no distractions.  That is not realistic for what you’ll need.  Unless you’re on a range when you have a misfire and need to clear the weapon?  When rounds are whizzing by your ears and overhead, that is not the time to wave your palm out vertically before your face and call for a ceasefire.  You have to clear that weapon yesterday.  The bad guys don’t stop shooting at you or making noise.

Train under the most realistic conditions possible.  When you disassemble your weapon for time…practice until you can do it, first off.  Then practice it blindfolded, or with your eyes shut until you need to look.  Until you can do it completely blindfolded.  Why?  Because when an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) sings “Boom-Boom, Out Go the Lights,” you may not have any time when that jam occurs. 


Murphy’s Law: What can go wrong will go wrong at the most inopportune moment.


You need to learn to disassemble that weapon blindfolded…then with the loud music cranked up right next to you.  Then outside, when it’s raining, with no clean, “Holly-Hobbie” table to rest on.  Yes, it will suck!  The weather will suck!  But you will overcome it and learn to do it with a clear mind…never allow it to take you from your task.

Inclement weather, low-light levels, and noise.  These are all very good things to use.  Same for excursions in the field (or “camping” if you prefer).  Why just wait for that perfect two or three days that the smiling weatherman assures you of?  No, go out when it’s raining hard, or you’re threatened with alternating temperatures and weather.  That will test you: that will take you to your limits.  Anybody can walk all over the happy park with a GPS.  You need to practice with that Lensatic compass…day and night, in difficult terrain.

You need to prepare your meals over an open fire when it is pouring down rain to test yourself.  Learn!  You won’t die, and if you feel as if things are too much, “can” the exercise, regroup, assess yourself, and learn from your mistakes.  Then get back up on that bull and ride the next chance you can.  You need to challenge yourself and see what you can do.  If you don’t succeed, then go back to the drawing board and plan it out until you overcome it.  Pretty soon, you’ll have (if you keep training logs, which are very, very beneficial and I strongly advise you to) all kinds of successes.

You should take your weak points and make them strong points.  That is how we triumph as a species.  You’ll be amazed at what you will be able to do under pressure.  Break out those firecrackers, and on the 4th of July, instead of just sitting around blowing off M-80’s, turn it into a training event.  Set up a land navigation event complete with an “ambush” by a family member with the fireworks.  Of course, be safe, but use your imagination!  Try disassembling that weapon, identifying the parts groups, reassembling it, performing a functions check…all blindfolded.  Then fire at a target.  All of this while the firecrackers are going off all around you.

The more realistic you make your training, the more relaxed you’ll be when it all goes to pot when the SHTF.  You can make it real.  Just use the planning and organizational skills you have, and outline your tasks beforehand.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you overcome the obstacles and take your training to levels you had not previously imagined.  Only imagination limits us.  Keep in that good fight, and train to win.  The training may be simulated, but in the long-run, you will face the real thing someday.  Be ready when that day arrives.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Train for a Worst-Case Disaster

        


How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.


These true words are the basis for “High Suck Factor” training for you to follow.  What does this mean?  No, fear not: we’re not going to siphon gasoline or another volatile fluid with a hose!  No, this means that you need to train under the similar conditions (that “suck”) that you will be faced with in real life.  This is an all-inclusive concept that does not just refer to the weather or training in miserable outdoor conditions.  We will elaborate on what this means and how you can jump on this wagon to get the maximum, realistic effects out of your training time.

Firstly, anybody can disassemble a weapon on a clean, neat, dining-room table under a big light where there’s a cozy heater keeping your house nice and warm, with no distractions.  That is not realistic for what you’ll need.  Unless you’re on a range when you have a misfire and need to clear the weapon?  When rounds are whizzing by your ears and overhead, that is not the time to wave your palm out vertically before your face and call for a ceasefire.  You have to clear that weapon yesterday.  The bad guys don’t stop shooting at you or making noise.

Train under the most realistic conditions possible.  When you disassemble your weapon for time…practice until you can do it, first off.  Then practice it blindfolded, or with your eyes shut until you need to look.  Until you can do it completely blindfolded.  Why?  Because when an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) sings “Boom-Boom, Out Go the Lights,” you may not have any time when that jam occurs. 


Murphy’s Law: What can go wrong will go wrong at the most inopportune moment.


You need to learn to disassemble that weapon blindfolded…then with the loud music cranked up right next to you.  Then outside, when it’s raining, with no clean, “Holly-Hobbie” table to rest on.  Yes, it will suck!  The weather will suck!  But you will overcome it and learn to do it with a clear mind…never allow it to take you from your task.

Inclement weather, low-light levels, and noise.  These are all very good things to use.  Same for excursions in the field (or “camping” if you prefer).  Why just wait for that perfect two or three days that the smiling weatherman assures you of?  No, go out when it’s raining hard, or you’re threatened with alternating temperatures and weather.  That will test you: that will take you to your limits.  Anybody can walk all over the happy park with a GPS.  You need to practice with that Lensatic compass…day and night, in difficult terrain.

You need to prepare your meals over an open fire when it is pouring down rain to test yourself.  Learn!  You won’t die, and if you feel as if things are too much, “can” the exercise, regroup, assess yourself, and learn from your mistakes.  Then get back up on that bull and ride the next chance you can.  You need to challenge yourself and see what you can do.  If you don’t succeed, then go back to the drawing board and plan it out until you overcome it.  Pretty soon, you’ll have (if you keep training logs, which are very, very beneficial and I strongly advise you to) all kinds of successes.

You should take your weak points and make them strong points.  That is how we triumph as a species.  You’ll be amazed at what you will be able to do under pressure.  Break out those firecrackers, and on the 4th of July, instead of just sitting around blowing off M-80’s, turn it into a training event.  Set up a land navigation event complete with an “ambush” by a family member with the fireworks.  Of course, be safe, but use your imagination!  Try disassembling that weapon, identifying the parts groups, reassembling it, performing a functions check…all blindfolded.  Then fire at a target.  All of this while the firecrackers are going off all around you.

The more realistic you make your training, the more relaxed you’ll be when it all goes to pot when the SHTF.  You can make it real.  Just use the planning and organizational skills you have, and outline your tasks beforehand.  You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you overcome the obstacles and take your training to levels you had not previously imagined.  Only imagination limits us.  Keep in that good fight, and train to win.  The training may be simulated, but in the long-run, you will face the real thing someday.  Be ready when that day arrives.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Not Doing This Before Winter Could Endanger Your Home

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chimney sweepingNow that the temperatures have changed into cooler days and evenings, this is the best time to begin the process of winterizing your home. There are a few prepping musts that homeowners need do annually to ensure the home is prepped and ready for winter – one of those is ensuring your fireplace is in proper working order. Whether you make a choice to have a professional clean it or decide to go the DIY route, it should be done before you plan on lighting that first fire.

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To provide proper maintenance and preventing the release of toxic gasses in your home, chimneys should be maintained annually. If you are using wood that contains excessive amounts of sap, consider cleaning it twice. If you fail to do so has been known to cause house fires and or property damage.

One practical solution is to purchase a chimney sweep and clean the chimney yourself. In the video below, you will see how easy cleaning your chimney is.

Dangers of Not Cleaning Your Chimney

All wood creates creosote. Perhaps one of the most damaging byproducts of burning wood is the presence of creosote, a highly flammable and can lead to house fires. According to this website, always watch for signs of buildup including dark, smelly smoke or soot on the furniture. Smoke filling the home is another danger sign, as is internal temperatures below 300-degrees Fahrenheit for a wood stove. Clean your chimney at least once a year — more often for heavy use — to remove inevitable accumulation and burn pine and other wood safely.

Carbon monoxide is a risk. This poisonous gas is produced when fuels that contain carbon (such as coal, gasoline, wood, charcoal, kerosene and natural gas) do not burn completely. Breathing in carbon monoxide fumes damages your body, organs to shut down and inevitably cause death. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are as followed:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or any family members exhibit these symptoms, leave the area and seek medical attention. A way to circumvent this is to have carbon monoxide detectors placed strategically around the house and especially near the fireplace.

Soot is another toxic byproduct caused by fires and puts tiny particles of carbon in the air that will inevitably pollute the very air you breathe. It can travel deep into the lung, where the compounds it consists of can do some serious damage. Soot adheres to walls, furniture or any other surface that is cooler than the fire. To prevent soot buildup:

  • Always burn well-seasoned wood in your wood stove. Burning wood that hasn’t been well-seasoned can decrease the quality of your fire and cause it to be “smoky.” Smokier fires produce more soot build up on the glass.
  • Try burning harder woods like oak, cherry, or walnut, and avoid burning woods known for their higher sap content.
  • If your wood stove has a heat setting, try turning the heat controls up a few notches. Hotter fires will keep your glass cleaner.
  • Allow enough oxygen to vent into your wood stove. Many of the newer models are already built to help with air flow. Check the chimney/vent to make sure it’s clean and in a good position for air flow.
  • If you’re burning smaller fires, try adding some more wood to the wood stove. Smaller fires can’t always produce enough heat inside the wood stove for the soot to burn off the glass.
  • Position burning matter closer to the front glass on the wood stove. This will put the heat source closer to the glass.

Source

Many homesteaders and preparedness minded individuals have woodburning stoves in the home and rely on them to work properly – especially in off-grid situations. Like all preparedness tools, you need to keep these primed and ready to go.

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Preppers Can Use Music to Train for Emergencies


ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to discuss how the use of music can be beneficial to you as a training tool.  When we are talking about “training,” this is an all-encompassing category to include all of the tasks you need for proficient survival readiness.  Such tasks include (but are not limited to) exercise and weightlifting, hiking, meditation/relaxation, mental preparation before an event (such as a sporting competition), and while you’re writing or studying.

Music is proven to help increase focus and concentration, as well as improve your physical coordination, especially where you’re incorporating the music in the timing of your tasks.  For a good introduction to the different beneficial effects of music, I recommend visiting this website:  http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml.  Pay close attention to these different categories, especially #4, “Music helps to work more productively.”  This is the category that describes a great part of what you will need in terms of helping you accomplish physically demanding tasks.

You can increase your physiological and psychological ability to perform, as well as resist the drawbacks associated with pain, stress, and fatigue.  You’ve heard the term “psyching yourself up,” right?  The music will help you.  Select the type of music you need for the task at hand.

When I write, I like to listen to light classical, just as a slight “background” sound, to help me relax without taking my mind’s focus off of the task at hand.  When I lift it’s with something such as “AC/DC,” that kicks out a fast, strong pace with lots of energy and “pumps” me up mentally to do that extra set or that extra rep.  When I am going to do some kind of sporting event or a challenging exercise for time, such as a run or a road march, I always listen to stuff beforehand that gets me in the mood to perform, and something I can think of while I’m performing the exercise.

The way to quantify if this works for you is to see it work: to make gains, to feel better about yourself and what you’re doing.  There are times to relax and meditate, and you can accomplish this with light classical or instrumental music, or maybe even soft singing.  Sounds of nature can be an excellent thing to listen to if you live in an urban or suburban environment, but believe me, I do have those types of CD’s to use in the “off” season in the dead of winter and such.  It is just as important to learn how to relax and wind down as it is to work and train.

Find out for yourself what it is that works for you in these categories, and then set the music aside so that you will incorporate it into your routine and use it when you need it.  You will see good results (especially when you lift weights or exercise).  Music is a powerful tool in these areas.  Don’t neglect any tool that will help you to perform and train even better.  So, turn on those tunes as you fight that good fight, and find what works for you.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Preppers Can Use Music to Train for Emergencies

Click here to view the original post.


ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to discuss how the use of music can be beneficial to you as a training tool.  When we are talking about “training,” this is an all-encompassing category to include all of the tasks you need for proficient survival readiness.  Such tasks include (but are not limited to) exercise and weightlifting, hiking, meditation/relaxation, mental preparation before an event (such as a sporting competition), and while you’re writing or studying.

Music is proven to help increase focus and concentration, as well as improve your physical coordination, especially where you’re incorporating the music in the timing of your tasks.  For a good introduction to the different beneficial effects of music, I recommend visiting this website:  http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml.  Pay close attention to these different categories, especially #4, “Music helps to work more productively.”  This is the category that describes a great part of what you will need in terms of helping you accomplish physically demanding tasks.

You can increase your physiological and psychological ability to perform, as well as resist the drawbacks associated with pain, stress, and fatigue.  You’ve heard the term “psyching yourself up,” right?  The music will help you.  Select the type of music you need for the task at hand.

When I write, I like to listen to light classical, just as a slight “background” sound, to help me relax without taking my mind’s focus off of the task at hand.  When I lift it’s with something such as “AC/DC,” that kicks out a fast, strong pace with lots of energy and “pumps” me up mentally to do that extra set or that extra rep.  When I am going to do some kind of sporting event or a challenging exercise for time, such as a run or a road march, I always listen to stuff beforehand that gets me in the mood to perform, and something I can think of while I’m performing the exercise.

The way to quantify if this works for you is to see it work: to make gains, to feel better about yourself and what you’re doing.  There are times to relax and meditate, and you can accomplish this with light classical or instrumental music, or maybe even soft singing.  Sounds of nature can be an excellent thing to listen to if you live in an urban or suburban environment, but believe me, I do have those types of CD’s to use in the “off” season in the dead of winter and such.  It is just as important to learn how to relax and wind down as it is to work and train.

Find out for yourself what it is that works for you in these categories, and then set the music aside so that you will incorporate it into your routine and use it when you need it.  You will see good results (especially when you lift weights or exercise).  Music is a powerful tool in these areas.  Don’t neglect any tool that will help you to perform and train even better.  So, turn on those tunes as you fight that good fight, and find what works for you.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Fighting Free Radicals with Holistic Foods is Essential to Long-Term Health

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Free radicals refer to substances that affect the homeostasis of your body.  Homeostasis is where the body maintains balance and a normal working order.  The free radical is a grouping of atoms that can be influenced by certain forces (such as radiation or oxidation) that “wander” and then become attached to another molecule and alter the molecule’s makeup.

The molecule is then altered in function, as well.  Oxidation is the primary method that free radicals are brought into play.  Oxidation does occur normally in the human body.  Oxidation is a slow process that leads to cellular death.  Scientists believe that the overall effect of damage brought on by free radicals in combination with oxidation is what causes human beings to age.

Harry Pettit writing for Mailonline published an article on 3/23/17 entitled Would YOU choose to live forever?  Age-reversing pill that NASA wants to give to astronauts on Mars will begin human trials within six months.”  The article bears reading because it presents some interesting information on DNA instructions inherent within the body’s cells and how this experimental pill may be used to throw that into high gear.

Ozone, Carbon dioxide, Lead, Carbon monoxide, radiation…these toxins in the body cause the formation of these uncontrolled and dangerous free radicals that lead to oxidation and other problems with tissues and organs.

So, how do we fight free radicals?

With good nutrition, rest, and exercise for one.  Another way is with Ginseng and Vitamin E.  I wrote an article on the many benefits of using Ginseng, and we’re really being specific here.  There are two major types that have beneficial effects: Panax ginseng (the Asian ginseng found in China and Korea), and Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng: closely related with almost identical effects).

Both types of ginseng are adaptogens, meaning they have a broad range of beneficial effects physically and chemically in the human body while being nonspecific.  That last word means they are not for an ailment; however, they have wide-ranging effects that will help with virtually any malady in the human body.  Injuries, diseases, and stress are a few of the maladies that ginseng will help with.  Ginseng will help to reduce toxic effects on the body and return it to homeostasis.  Ginseng reduces oxidation and the formation of free radicals.

Vitamin E is the second wonder-food that fights those free radicals.  The cells contain mitochondria (the cell’s “powerhouse,” where the ATP, or Adenosine Triphosphate is manufactured), and organelles (structures that maintain the function and homeostasis of the cell).  These two areas/parts of the cell are where most oxidation takes place at the cellular level.  Guess what?  Vitamin E is bound up in the cellular membrane of the cells and is a natural antioxidant.  Vitamin E is also the chief antioxidant found in the body.  For a source, you need to find d-alpha tocopherol (that’s Vitamin E as supplied in food).

Be advised, you need d-alpha (the natural form of Vitamin E) and not dl-alpha tocopherol, as this latter is the synthetic form of it with only about 50% of the potency of naturally-derived Vitamin E.  Your dosage can be between 1,000 and 1,500 IU per day.  For the ginseng, it can be 1,000 to 2,000 mg, dependent on the type and the manufacturer.

Foods that are high in antioxidants can fight free radicals and should be incorporated into your diet. Whole foods, in particular, have been consistently found to be protective because of the bioactive compounds contained therein, which are linked to a reduction in the risk of major killers, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. The antioxidant and anticancer activity of plant foods is derived from the additive or synergistic effects of each of these compounds in combination.

So, there we have it: some holistic foods that may give you a whole new lease on things.  Use this material here as a primer, and check out Ginseng and the Vitamin E.  There are a lot of benefits to using both of them, and the fact that oxidation is being equated with aging means you can get a “head start” before that experimental pill comes out and perhaps slow down the aging process.  Do your research on each and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Green Beret’s Guide to Prepper Firearms

Click here to view the original post.

 ReadyNutrition Readers, the purpose of this article is to list the many reasons why it is important to own a firearm.  It is a choice that certainly is your right to exercise or not to exercise: to have a firearm in your home.  This piece is not to present a moral basis for ownership, but rather the practical reasons it is important to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights.  The moral questions are best answered in the privacy of your own home according to the way your family lives and worships.

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Your Right To Defend Yourself

That being said, the primary reason for ownership of a firearm is defense.  This used to be a requirement during the days of the American Revolution and upon the founding of the United States.  If you do your research, most of the State Constitutions for states that are “border states,” meaning upon the outer edges of the United States…these states had provisions that either required or requested the citizens residing in them to own a firearm.  Why?  Because the U.S. citizen is the cornerstone of the phrase “common defense” in the preamble of the Constitution.


The United States is a nation formed by citizen-soldiers who knew their first responsibility to the nation involved taking up arms on its behalf…for the good of all.  That hasn’t changed. 


The bottom line for the 2nd Amendment (equally as important) is that if our government ever “morphs” into a tyranny that attempts to subvert individual rights under the Constitution…the ability of citizens to bear arms is a recourse to that tyranny.

The average citizen has been conditioned for more than 100 years to place all faith in the government.  Soldiery nowadays is not generally viewed as an honorable profession, but rather as a “necessary evil” that you only do “when there are no other options available to you.”  We had a Secretary of State (John Kerry) that publicly expostulated that drivel.

Six Benefits Firearms Have for the Average Joe Prepper

Firearms ownership and knowledge of them have many benefits.  Let’s cover some of them, shall we?

  1. Hunting: In either a survival or non-survival scenario, you must put meat on the table. Hunting is the way to do it, and firearms make it easier. In recent articles I have recommended the Winchester ’94, an outstanding lever-action rifle in 30-30 caliber.
  2. Home Defense: This varies from state-to-state with gun ownership laws and what you can or cannot do, per the law, with the firearms. Some states (Montana being one of them) have the “castle” doctrine…where if a threat is perceived, the homeowner can take action.  Other states will practically sue you if you don’t offer the burglar/rapist a meal when he breaks in.  My personal rule is simple: it’s better to be judged by 7 than carried by 6.  A firearm can prevent Mr. Rapist from carrying out his plans. Some ladies carry around a Saturday Night Special to deter unwelcome advances or perhaps some of these firearm suggestions would do the trick.
  3. SHTF Collapse: Yes, either the EMP has struck or the economy has collapsed…or both. What then?  When the marauders are coming down the street, do you pick up a bullhorn and tell them to leave or you’ll call the police?  Do you think that “Brinks” sign on the front lawn will cause them to shiver and shudder and move away?  The answer to both questions is probably “No,” and I guarantee…that Mossberg 500-A 12 gauge pump will be the best. I’ve gone into a lot of detail on the subject in this article. As well, consider the .357, .45 ACP and these other post-collapse firearms.
  4. Barterable Skill Post SHTF: Yes, the ability to reload cartridges or repair firearms will be a barterable skill…and a skill you will need for yourself with a collapse. Consider diversifying your ammunition for this very reason.
  5. Legacy to your Family: Don’t those words sound great? What they mean is that with proper instruction on the use of, safety with, and care of your firearms, you’re giving your children an education in something that they can use the rest of their lives…it’s their birthright as American citizens to have the right to own and keep firearms.  Why not give them a head start and show them all the fundamentals?
  6. Sport: Yes, sport! You can develop your marksmanship skills on targets…paper targets and at different ranges and clubs.  You and/or the kids can all compete in matches.  Sometimes there are prizes in the form of money, equipment, etc., that can be won when competing.  There are no limits except the ones you set upon yourself.

Other Considerations

Preppers, I must stress how important it is to maintain your weapons, as well as to having as much support equipment for your firearm as possible.  A good cleaning kit with all the component parts for multiple calibers is essential. You can make your own cleaning kit with these items.  Another thing you need is a gunsmith’s tool kit.  They’re precisioned for the set-screws and special screws for mounts, scopes, and the firearm in general.  Along with other things, such as reloading kits and presses, optics, and other books and videos to make you a well-rounded marksman.

As well as basic maintenance, I must emphasize the important of practicing regularly with your firearms. It is one thing to be a fast shot, but it is more important to be an accurate one. Read more about tips to improve your marksmanship here.

To summarize, firearms have held their place above the mantelpiece and mounted on the wall in American homes since even before the days of the American Revolution.  Firearms are a part of your American citizenship heritage, and they can serve a multitude of needs and functions.  For further training, hook up with a veteran or a qualified NRA instructor, and get started on something that is your fundamental right under the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Keep that powder dry, and keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

If You’re Bugging Out, Avoid Fatigue and Have These in Your Supplies

Click here to view the original post.

ReadyNutrition fans, we’re going to talk about something that may seem simple, but it can make a big difference for you when the SHTF and the situation arise that you must bug out and be “on the move” without respite.  By “respite,” I don’t mean a half an hour break, or an hour to nap.  I’m speaking about when there is continuous activity for many hours (8-12) that may run up to a day or even longer.  If such a thing occurs, you’re going to need all the help that you can get.

Your Body Will Be Under a Tremendous Amount of Stress

There are several things that happen under stressful conditions from a physiological perspective.  As explained in earlier articles, your body burns off stores of glycogen (stored in the muscles) until it runs out.  Without replenishment, the body cannibalizes its muscle tissue and “manufactures” its glucose and glycogen requirements.  After “hitting the wall” (your body’s limit, usually reached within an hour or so), you burn off muscle tissue during this cannibalistic phase at a rate of 5 grams of muscle protein for every thirty minutes of prolonged effort.

With epinephrine and norepinephrine going haywire during your “fight or flight” metabolic reactions and with adrenaline pumping levels to the moon, your body will consume a tremendous amount of energy.  When there is any kind of a lag, the body kind of “sags” as it attempts to relax.  Notice how I wrote “attempts” here?  So, how do we solve this one?

Some kind of snack would be beneficial, and keeping in mind what we wrote earlier, you may not have the time for it.  Remember what I wrote for you a few articles back:

You need to ingest protein and carbohydrates within 20-30 minutes of a strenuous workout, and more if the workout is protracted.

That being mentioned, many people turn to things such as power bars to make up for the protein and carbs.  Those are OK, but make sure you have plenty of water when you eat them, or else they’ll pull water right out of your cells in order for your body to digest them…leading to dehydration.

If You’re Bugging Out, Make Sure You Have These Energy Enhancers

Even then, you may still be “lagging” for a while waiting for your body to extract what it needs.  In the meantime, try the caffeine.  Instant coffee can be consumed in an instant, just as the name implies.

While in the service, our MRE’s came with packets of coffee (Taster’s Choice, to be exact).  We “stocked” up on them and kept those packets handy for when we might need them besides just (if we could do it) the proverbial “morning cup of Joe.”  Be careful not to take in too much…but if you’re in a bind and don’t have a lot of time to restore your mental alertness, the caffeine in a helping of instant coffee (either in a happy manufactured packet or one you make up yourself) can do you some good.  I’m going to cite the PDR for Herbal Medicines, page 215, for Coffee for you:

“Quantities corresponding to as much as 500 mg of caffeine daily (5 cups of coffee) spread out over the day are toxicologically harmless for healthy adults accustomed to drinking coffee.”

The PDR goes on to state that dosages of 1,500 mg per day can lead to problems, but unless there are underlying health concerns such as arrhythmias, there is normally no real concern.  Consult with your friendly and happy family physician before using the coffee.

Many people extol the virtues of guarana, and if it works for you, that’s great.  Understand that guarana seeds (from which the energy drinks are made) main constituent to provide that energy is none other than caffeine, as well as theobromine and theophylline, two purines that are also stimulants.  Guarana is listed as a tonic for fatigue in the PDR.  Caffeine overall is also an appetite suppressant.

Keep this in mind: caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning that it works against ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) and increases the frequency of your urinations.  Care must be taken when using it so as to prevent dehydration.  Ensure you take in enough water to prevent it from occurring.

Please let me clarify one final time with all of this: I’m referring to a situation that you’re not going to get any real rest for a long period of time.  All of these items in the form of premade beverages, dried product, or tablets can be purchased in advance and stocked aside for the time you may need to rely on them.  Let’s hope that need never arises and still plan for it nonetheless.  Keep in that good fight, drink some coffee (just because it’s good!) and take care of one another!  JJ out!

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Everyday Items That Will Double as Defensive Weapons

So, ReadyNutrition Readers, in another article we presented some everyday items normally carried that can be converted into defensive weapons.  Let’s elaborate with some others that you might not readily think of as being able to be utilized in your defense.  Let’s jump right into it, as this is a time of uncertainty with civil unrest and rioting being the norm and not the exception.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

These Everyday Items Can Quickly Become Improvised Self-Defense Weapons

  1. The baseball bat.  For playing baseball, of course.  Throw a couple of gloves and a ball in a plastic grocery bag for that time you run into your buddies for a friendly game of ball.  And while you’re waiting…when a couple of hoodlums with knives come “sauntering” up to you, it might be a good idea to have that baseball bat handy.  My personal choice is a T-ball bat, made of aluminum, and it works.  Once again, you have to train with it, but I guarantee you’ll be just fine with some practice.  Do they want you with knives?  I assure you, the bat will deter them…one way or another.
  2. The cane. What a pleasant walking accouterment!  Something to lean on, and help you brace yourself as you walk uphill.  Oh, and remember those hoodlums we discussed in “number 1” here?  Once more, the proper training and practice will have you serving those knives up to them ala carte.  I prefer the ones made from aluminum to the wooden ones, although wood will work.  These are just pure canes, now, not “sword” canes or other specially-outfitted devices.
  3. The umbrella. This one is a little riskier, for the sole reason that it must be sturdy.  They make them, but you’ll have to do some searching for the really strong ones.  As a striking or a stabbing weapon, you’ll have something to work with.  If you wish to do some special work on them, just use your imagination.
  4. Walking stick. Different from a cane, due to the length.  This one (unless you’re in New York City where nothing is considered weird) you may have to be in a different setting to employ.  Nevertheless, that walking stick is really a staff, and there’s where real training will come in handy.  Get a good one that is sturdy and somewhat ornate/art-decorated.  This last feature will give you more of a cover, as unless you’re auditioning for a “shepherd” position or the lead role of “Moses” in the “Ten Commandments” remake, it’ll be hard to pass off your “staff” in an urban setting.
  5. The crowbar. This one will have to stay in the vehicle.  Be smart: make sure it’s not the only tool in the back seat.  Always think ahead in that regard.  If you’re in the trades, it’ll be a little simpler for you.

With all of these examples, the crowbar and the baseball bat are the ones you’ll have to leave in the car.  The rest you can carry with you with relative impunity, with the Walking Stick being the only one that may arouse attention in an urban or suburban setting.  Your objective is not to be a Ninja: it is to be a camouflaged citizen not looking for any trouble.  These suggested weapons are to allow you to have a “distance” weapon: a tool to be able to deal with someone who wishes to hurt you.

In the following video, pay attention to the strike zones and areas on the body that will inflict the most damage to your attacker. Accurately striking in the right areas on the body will drop your attacker and give you time to distance yourself.

Now, you should practice using these items, gripping your selected tool and taking the right swings. Practice in front of a mirror and then with a heavy bag.  Know your striking areas and how to deal with an attacker who has a weapon such as a knife or a club.  Practice with a family member.  I’m not advocating violence.  Nevertheless, I am advocating taking a stand when you cannot either diffuse the situation or avoid it by withdrawing.  Still, it is better to have an option than to offer them a smile and hope for their goodwill.  There is a time to fight.  Perhaps this piece will give you an idea when that is your only option.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading Material:

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Women Should Know

Disarmed? How to Create DIY Self-Defense Tools With Items in Your Home

Fight Like Jason Bourne: 7 Key Points to Surviving a Serious Fight

6 Non-Lethal Weapons to Carry Instead of a Gun

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Everyday Items That Will Double as Defensive Weapons

Click here to view the original post.

So, ReadyNutrition Readers, in another article we presented some everyday items normally carried that can be converted into defensive weapons.  Let’s elaborate with some others that you might not readily think of as being able to be utilized in your defense.  Let’s jump right into it, as this is a time of uncertainty with civil unrest and rioting being the norm and not the exception.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

These Everyday Items Can Quickly Become Improvised Self-Defense Weapons

  1. The baseball bat.  For playing baseball, of course.  Throw a couple of gloves and a ball in a plastic grocery bag for that time you run into your buddies for a friendly game of ball.  And while you’re waiting…when a couple of hoodlums with knives come “sauntering” up to you, it might be a good idea to have that baseball bat handy.  My personal choice is a T-ball bat, made of aluminum, and it works.  Once again, you have to train with it, but I guarantee you’ll be just fine with some practice.  Do they want you with knives?  I assure you, the bat will deter them…one way or another.
  2. The cane. What a pleasant walking accouterment!  Something to lean on, and help you brace yourself as you walk uphill.  Oh, and remember those hoodlums we discussed in “number 1” here?  Once more, the proper training and practice will have you serving those knives up to them ala carte.  I prefer the ones made from aluminum to the wooden ones, although wood will work.  These are just pure canes, now, not “sword” canes or other specially-outfitted devices.
  3. The umbrella. This one is a little riskier, for the sole reason that it must be sturdy.  They make them, but you’ll have to do some searching for the really strong ones.  As a striking or a stabbing weapon, you’ll have something to work with.  If you wish to do some special work on them, just use your imagination.
  4. Walking stick. Different from a cane, due to the length.  This one (unless you’re in New York City where nothing is considered weird) you may have to be in a different setting to employ.  Nevertheless, that walking stick is really a staff, and there’s where real training will come in handy.  Get a good one that is sturdy and somewhat ornate/art-decorated.  This last feature will give you more of a cover, as unless you’re auditioning for a “shepherd” position or the lead role of “Moses” in the “Ten Commandments” remake, it’ll be hard to pass off your “staff” in an urban setting.
  5. The crowbar. This one will have to stay in the vehicle.  Be smart: make sure it’s not the only tool in the back seat.  Always think ahead in that regard.  If you’re in the trades, it’ll be a little simpler for you.

With all of these examples, the crowbar and the baseball bat are the ones you’ll have to leave in the car.  The rest you can carry with you with relative impunity, with the Walking Stick being the only one that may arouse attention in an urban or suburban setting.  Your objective is not to be a Ninja: it is to be a camouflaged citizen not looking for any trouble.  These suggested weapons are to allow you to have a “distance” weapon: a tool to be able to deal with someone who wishes to hurt you.

In the following video, pay attention to the strike zones and areas on the body that will inflict the most damage to your attacker. Accurately striking in the right areas on the body will drop your attacker and give you time to distance yourself.

Now, you should practice using these items, gripping your selected tool and taking the right swings. Practice in front of a mirror and then with a heavy bag.  Know your striking areas and how to deal with an attacker who has a weapon such as a knife or a club.  Practice with a family member.  I’m not advocating violence.  Nevertheless, I am advocating taking a stand when you cannot either diffuse the situation or avoid it by withdrawing.  Still, it is better to have an option than to offer them a smile and hope for their goodwill.  There is a time to fight.  Perhaps this piece will give you an idea when that is your only option.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading Material:

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Women Should Know

Disarmed? How to Create DIY Self-Defense Tools With Items in Your Home

Fight Like Jason Bourne: 7 Key Points to Surviving a Serious Fight

6 Non-Lethal Weapons to Carry Instead of a Gun

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Sustainability: How to Observe and Monitor Local Game

Click here to view the original post.

I have written a few articles here and there on the benefits of hunting, as well as some firearms for you to consider.  There is a good reason for becoming proficient in hunting.  You must eat, and you must feed your family.  Sometimes it’s the small things…the small details that lead to success in the larger, bigger picture.  In order to be proficient with hunting, you need to learn about your quarry.

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Why is this important?  Because in a grid-down, SHTF situation, you’re going to need to eat, and you probably will not be able to grow everything you need or raise all the livestock you will use to support the family.  The blending of agriculture and animal husbandry is not complete until you have also learned to become a hunter-gatherer when need be.  Our Revolutionary forefathers supplemented the meat slaughtered at the happy butchers with meat they shot in the woods.

So, how do you learn about your quarry?  There are lots of different ways.  The library is replete with books and videos on every subject from deer to migratory birds, from field care and butchering wild game to the habits of game animals.  No, what I’m referring to here is to take the time and do a study of your immediate area and/or the closest woods to your home.

A notebook needs to be compiled with your observations.  It is not hunting season, and there are plenty of deer and other game animals to observe and learn about.  Finding the deer trails means finding where the deer go in the normal course of the day to forage and to drink.  Learning where the squirrels can be found, where the pheasants bed down for the night, and where aquatic birds such as ducks and geese can be found are some keys.  By observing them, you also have to maintain your silence and mask your scent…so you’re training while you’re observing them: you’re practicing your stealth and masking your presence.

You need to find out where your predators are: black bear, bobcat, and so forth.  Remember, when you hunt for game, you’re competing with them.  In a survival situation, you may also have to rely on them for a food source.  It would behoove you to map out your area.  Use existing maps and either trace them out and create a whole new map or make an overlay where you can mark important points where you find them.  When you see groups of deer, try to identify them as a unit and as individuals.  You may have “group 1” that has a couple of bucks and does, and two fawns.

This Group 1 may be identified because one of the bucks is missing one antler, or another has a limp.  This is all fieldcraft, and it can pay off because in a SHTF situation, you’re not the only one who’s going to be hunting the wild game.  Give yourself the edge of knowing what is in your area and their regular feeding and watering times.  It will take time, but you can practice a boatload of other tasks as well and boost your training.  Learn to document exactly where they are moving, what they are doing, and the times.

Soon you’ll have a collection of notes that you can rely upon to gauge the habits of these animals.  For birds: knowing their haunts can lead to learning about where they nest and where they bed down for the night.  This can yield eggs in addition to meat.  Where the ducks and geese are feeding, the chances are this is a good area for fishing, as well.  As you gather information, you will be painting a picture…similar to a documentary…on their habits and activities.  Supplement this with watching what they do.

Watch what they eat, and familiarize yourself with these local plants.  You’ll also want to be aware of how many people frequent these areas.  Other people will be your competition for hunting wild game in a collapse-scenario.  Use a compass and map, and have exact locations described in detail.  Why?  Here’s why.

The scenario: we suffer a collapse, and in the course of things, you develop an infection and are going to die.  You’re leaving behind a wife and two kids, boy and a girl.  “Standard fare,” right?  Now, if you don’t document where all of this wild game is, how are they going to hunt for themselves while you’re in the backyard under a headstone?  That journal with all the habits and haunts of that wild game can benefit them and give them a better chance.

So, Springtime is here.  Go out and get yourself some good training by hiking around and following the wild game and migratory birds.  Learn about your backyard, and it just may be that someday (if your notes are good) the information may benefit you or benefit others who rely on you if you’re not around.  Let’s hope that latter is not the case.  Keep in that good fight, and fight it to win.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Typewriter: A Post SHTF Printing Press

ReadyNutriton Guys and Gals, we have “gamed” a bunch of different scenarios for the S hitting the Fan, such as electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, a good nuclear war, or a natural ELE (Extinction-Level Event), such as a meteor impact or a solar flare Carrington event.  Loss of power in all of these is almost a foregone conclusion.  So, then what?  Do we run around akin to “Korg 70,000 B.C.” without the ability to use computers or send information via the phone or the Internet?  Yes and no.  Certainly, the electricity will not be there to spare to use computers (if they are either hardened or protected to see it through) other than for brief moments.  The typewriter, though, is another matter.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

A Post-SHTF Printing Press

Now is the time to pick one of those manual typewriters up.  If you have formed any type of intentional community/survivalist group you will need one of these.  It will be necessary to disseminate instructions, records, and messages to other communities.  Those old typewriters will then become “state of the art,” as it could be decades before there is (if ever) any community-type power or electrical supplies.

As a community, you’ll need to keep records…vital ones, such as births, marriages, and deaths.  You’ll need some talented writers to record the history that is happening.  The news is simply history that hasn’t played out yet and is happening now.  This may seem a small thing, but it’s really a big deal.  Unless you’re going to take the tedious time to write out everything clearly and legibly in print, that typewriter is your best bet.  I still have mine: a 1962 manual Olympia that I typed all of my papers in college with.  Still runs as good as new.

You will need several things for your typewriter, and they are as follows:

  1. Extra ribbon: believe it or not, they can still be ordered. If not, find a ribbon of comparable dimensions to the one you found, and unspool it onto the ribbon that fits your typewriter, securing both of the ends.  You can also re-ink the ribbon to stretch out the life expectancy even more.
  2. Ink: for what I just mentioned. There are also “roll-on” bottles available that you can fill with a metal or plastic “roller.”  Fill the bottle up with ink.  Make sure the roller is slightly wider than the ribbon you’re re-inking.  You’ll have to test it to come up with the optimal way and amount to spread on your ribbon.
  3. A small tool kit and oil: to maintain that typewriter. With mine, I find keeping it covered if it sits out, or in its case is the best thing possible.  A light dusting and a coating of oil down at the “roots” (where the keys connect with the actual typeset-arms) will help.
  4. Plenty of paper: use your own judgment, but you can never have enough. Go with plain white paper.
  5. White out and erasing supplies: most of the older manual types don’t have a correcting ribbon. You can also use “correction paper” that you just slip in between the key/ribbon and the paper, and just retype the letter you messed up on.
  6. Carbon paper: yes, good old carbon paper to make 3 or 4 copies at a time. Remember: You may now be the newspaperman/woman for your community!  Bulletins, flyers, and the like take time.  You can save some of that time with carbon paper.fo
  7. An instructional book on typing: yes, how to type. This valuable skill I learned in high school for one year…one of the best investments I ever made.  You will have kids in those communities, and those kids need to learn the art of typing.  Even taking a class in it (if you don’t know how) may benefit you down the road.

There are a lot of different places to look for typewriters.  Manual is what you want.

Manual is what I learned on, and electric became a snap.  Do kids today learn to type in school still?  We have keyboards on computers, after all.  Some of you parents drop me a line and let me know if they still teach it.

Read “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” a science-fiction tale by Miller.  It shows a post-apocalyptic descent into the Dark Ages, followed by a rise, and then another fall.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Still, we make it from Dark Age to Dark Age by preserving our knowledge.  The typewriter may do just that for you in the years to come after the SHTF.  What you manage to put away now, your grandchildren will thank you for in the years to come.  Stay in that good fight, and keep your focus!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Typewriter: A Post SHTF Printing Press

Click here to view the original post.

ReadyNutriton Guys and Gals, we have “gamed” a bunch of different scenarios for the S hitting the Fan, such as electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, a good nuclear war, or a natural ELE (Extinction-Level Event), such as a meteor impact or a solar flare Carrington event.  Loss of power in all of these is almost a foregone conclusion.  So, then what?  Do we run around akin to “Korg 70,000 B.C.” without the ability to use computers or send information via the phone or the Internet?  Yes and no.  Certainly, the electricity will not be there to spare to use computers (if they are either hardened or protected to see it through) other than for brief moments.  The typewriter, though, is another matter.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

A Post-SHTF Printing Press

Now is the time to pick one of those manual typewriters up.  If you have formed any type of intentional community/survivalist group you will need one of these.  It will be necessary to disseminate instructions, records, and messages to other communities.  Those old typewriters will then become “state of the art,” as it could be decades before there is (if ever) any community-type power or electrical supplies.

As a community, you’ll need to keep records…vital ones, such as births, marriages, and deaths.  You’ll need some talented writers to record the history that is happening.  The news is simply history that hasn’t played out yet and is happening now.  This may seem a small thing, but it’s really a big deal.  Unless you’re going to take the tedious time to write out everything clearly and legibly in print, that typewriter is your best bet.  I still have mine: a 1962 manual Olympia that I typed all of my papers in college with.  Still runs as good as new.

You will need several things for your typewriter, and they are as follows:

  1. Extra ribbon: believe it or not, they can still be ordered. If not, find a ribbon of comparable dimensions to the one you found, and unspool it onto the ribbon that fits your typewriter, securing both of the ends.  You can also re-ink the ribbon to stretch out the life expectancy even more.
  2. Ink: for what I just mentioned. There are also “roll-on” bottles available that you can fill with a metal or plastic “roller.”  Fill the bottle up with ink.  Make sure the roller is slightly wider than the ribbon you’re re-inking.  You’ll have to test it to come up with the optimal way and amount to spread on your ribbon.
  3. A small tool kit and oil: to maintain that typewriter. With mine, I find keeping it covered if it sits out, or in its case is the best thing possible.  A light dusting and a coating of oil down at the “roots” (where the keys connect with the actual typeset-arms) will help.
  4. Plenty of paper: use your own judgment, but you can never have enough. Go with plain white paper.
  5. White out and erasing supplies: most of the older manual types don’t have a correcting ribbon. You can also use “correction paper” that you just slip in between the key/ribbon and the paper, and just retype the letter you messed up on.
  6. Carbon paper: yes, good old carbon paper to make 3 or 4 copies at a time. Remember: You may now be the newspaperman/woman for your community!  Bulletins, flyers, and the like take time.  You can save some of that time with carbon paper.fo
  7. An instructional book on typing: yes, how to type. This valuable skill I learned in high school for one year…one of the best investments I ever made.  You will have kids in those communities, and those kids need to learn the art of typing.  Even taking a class in it (if you don’t know how) may benefit you down the road.

There are a lot of different places to look for typewriters.  Manual is what you want.

Manual is what I learned on, and electric became a snap.  Do kids today learn to type in school still?  We have keyboards on computers, after all.  Some of you parents drop me a line and let me know if they still teach it.

Read “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” a science-fiction tale by Miller.  It shows a post-apocalyptic descent into the Dark Ages, followed by a rise, and then another fall.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Still, we make it from Dark Age to Dark Age by preserving our knowledge.  The typewriter may do just that for you in the years to come after the SHTF.  What you manage to put away now, your grandchildren will thank you for in the years to come.  Stay in that good fight, and keep your focus!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Family Preparedness Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Disaster

Click here to view the original post.

One of the most important characteristics of survivalists, preppers, and their ilk is the ability to concede that no matter how improbable it may be for a situation to arise, it is still possible.  With the current state of affairs of the world being the way they are, there is nothing in the news that can truly dissuade a prepper from this concept.  That being said, what if a nuclear war occurs?  No, really: what will you do, and what actions will you take when it begins?

Learn How Tactical Gas Masks Can Save Your Life

We have covered the topic of preparedness for a nuclear war before, but we have not discussed immediate actions to take within the first hours that such a nightmare becomes a reality.  First, let us mention again Cresson Kearney’s work Nuclear War Survival Skills,” and can also be downloaded from the internet.  It is the end-all, be-all for information on preparedness for a nuclear war.

Immediate Actions a Family Must Take to Survive Nuclear War

The topic for this article is immediate actions to be taken when nuclear war present itself; however, stress and emphasis must be made on preparations beforehand.  You want to garner all of the supplies possible beforehand and prepare a fallout shelter before the football game kicks off.  This will cut down on the scrambling when it all comes about.  There will be enough confusion in the works, and you don’t need to make any more for yourself through a lack of readiness by not having supplies you need in place.  Let’s cover some basics questions you need to answer for yourself and your family.

  1. A Plan: you need a plan to “kick into action” immediately, depending on where you are…at home, at work, or traveling. This plan needs to take into account what you’ll do if your engine dies (from the EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse), for example, and you’re still five miles from home.
  2. “Rounding Up the Tribe”: How will you gather your family together? Do they know the plan and are they both on board with it and prepared to act in accordance with it?  You need an ORP (Objective Rally Point), so to speak: a place to meet together in one location, if for the purpose of consolidating and traveling back home together.
  3. Assessing the Targeted Areas: this must be done beforehand, and if you are in a targeted area susceptible to attack, you better be prepared to move out of it.
  4. Personal Protection from Radiation: (in accordance with your assessment of how much radiation there will be) Do you have Geiger Counters (radiological survey meters), dosimeters, and a suit and mask to protect you from the radiation? If so, how will you get to them/into them when it occurs?
  5. [We’re using a “Shelter in the Home” Scenario]: OK, you made it home. Now, do you have backup measures in place for the loss of electricity that will occur?  Do you have a shelter where you can “hole up” for at least the next three weeks to a month?  Is it defensible?  Can you effect such a defense while radiation is still at a dangerous level?  Let’s review what needs to be in the shelter:
  6. Food and water supply for all members…at least six months’ worth
  7. Medical supplies and equipment
  8. Shielded electronic supplies (radio, night vision devices, etc., shielded until it is safe to expose them with no threat of EMP) in Faraday cages
  9. Weapons and ammunition to defend yourselves
  10. Tools and materials to repair or replace components of the shelter
  11. Equipment to monitor radiation levels inside and outside of the shelter
  12. Sanitation and hygiene measures (people don’t stop going to the bathroom or needing to clean themselves regularly)
  13. Books and reading material: survival oriented, and also for a diversion
  14. After the exchange has halted: What will you and your family do then?  Remain in place, or head for new ground?

Time is of the Essence

There won’t be a lot of time for action.  Hopefully, you’ll be at home, and able to take steps from there.  Such steps can include (but are not limited to): covering all of the basement windows with dirt, and if you have a basement or sub-basement shelter, securing all parts of it prior to relocating into it with your family.  You’ll already (hopefully) have your supplies ready and in position, but you can also run the water and fill up as many containers as possible to take down with you.  Same with food: any canned or dried goods that you can move from the upstairs into the shelter will be money in the bank for you later.

There’s never enough blankets and clothes: stock some of these down in your shelter.  Pets are a big consideration that we’ve covered in a previous article.  You’ll have to provide for them if you do indeed intend to save them.  Special needs members of your family, such as infants and toddlers, the elderly, and any family member with a medical condition…you need to provide for those needs well in advance.

Especially for them, you want to load up on whatever supplies you need to take care of them and move any equipment or supplies that you can manage for them into that shelter.  After the war commences, there won’t be any more deliveries of those necessities.  Research Cresson Kearney’s work and put these measures into place…stocking up on the supplies you need and coordinating all of your initial actions with your family prior to the arrival of that fateful day.  Hopefully, none of these measures will be needed, but if they are, it will give you a better chance if you determine them and implement them beforehand.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading on Nuclear Preparedness:

How to Survive When a Nuke Is Dropped

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

A Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing For Any Disaster

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

Mom, Could You Please Pass the Potassium Iodide?

How can I avoid radiation exposure?

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Take Action: How Immediate Action Drills Can Reduce Reaction Times in Emergencies

If you notice with many of my more-recent articles, I’m trying to give you guys and gals information without “spoon feeding” it to you.  I’m still attempting to follow the “crawl-walk-run” principle for those who have not heard of some of these subjects.  It is important to understand that my intentions for “upping” the pace and content of it are to match the pace that the threats of the outside world keep mustering on us.  The S can HTF at any time.  Although we will never be 100% prepared, you want the margin of actual preparedness to the desired percentage to be as thin as possible.  This is serious stuff: the survival of you and your family.  That being said, let’s cover immediate action drills.

The first thing you will have to do is examine all the different particulars of your daily activities.  Break down the times you go to work, the times you eat outside of the home, the commute times, and the time you spend at home.  By conducting a thorough examination of these areas and charting them out, you can best incorporate immediate action drills effectively.  What are these drills?  Here we go.

Immediate action drills are practice runs for when the SHTF at any given moment.  They are not “time sensitive,” but rather reaction sensitive according to the situation.  All these particulars I outlined for your daily routine?  They will be scenarios that place you in different areas with different resources, amounts of people in the area, and avenues of approach and departure.

What you must do is simulate an event happening when you are in each of these different arenas…working, commuting, eating lunch in the mall, or at home…and take immediate action accordingly.

Read more on critical emergency protocols for family preparedness

We’ve covered “bug-out” bags and equipment and all the different supplies we can pack with us.  Now it’s time to find out the mechanics behind the area you’re in (according to these different arenas) and fine tune them accordingly.  Let’s say you work in the city, on the 10th floor of a building, in a cubicle situated in a corner of your floor.  Here’s your test.  The event has happened: now you have to put your plan into effect and see the basic mechanics of how to get out of there quickly.

“Work!  You want me to drill while I’m at work?” you may be thinking.  Yes.  Yes, I do.  You need to “game” it, and make it happen.  Have a day off?  Go to work and chat with some people…simulate that you’re at work, and then put your plan into action.  Are you skeptical?  Hey, this will help you, not me, so bear with me.

Here are some preparedness items to have at the workplace

Measure off how many paces to the nearest exit.  Not akin to a robot, but at a brisk pace without drawing undue attention to yourself.  Figure it out, and note it down.  If the primary/optimal exit is blocked, do you have a secondary?  Return to your cubicle as if you forgot something, and then walk to your secondary, pacing it off and noting the number.  On separate occasions, take both exits…the stairs…down to the ground floor.  Where do you park?  Find your way to your vehicle.  If you park in a garage, you should always park as close to the exit as possible on the ground/bottom floor if possible.  Why?  When 10,000 people are trying to leave at once, there may be a problem driving out, that’s why.

Note how many paces from the stairwell to your vehicle.  Each day (if you have a different space) this will give you a different number, but eventually (after time) you’ll know all of the spots by heart.  Now find the quickest route out of the building, and take that route back to the house.  You want to take copious notes: places where you can drive on the shoulder, places where traffic jams may occur.  “Game” all of these actions in your mind, and then do a dry run.  You want to know all of your times, and the optimal routes.

Find out if there’s ever a “scheduled” fire drill for your building.  This would be a perfect time to test out your escape plans…especially if you can arrange to have off that day, and then go into work.  Then you can have an immediate action drill for yourself complete with a stampeding herd of people.

Immediate action drills also take the form of “if this occurs, then I do this” type of scenarios.  In essence, you’re gaming everything.  Why the paces and counting your steps from point A to point B?  Because you don’t know if the power will be off, and what kind of visibility you’ll have in the confusion, depending on what happens.  The more you practice this kind of stuff, the easier it will be for you to react in a calm and level-headed manner when everyone else is going nuts.  You’ll be able to assess where problem areas arise, and how to place yourself into a combat-ready, Johnny-on-the-spot stance at a moment’s notice.

The only thing more important than reaction time is reacting effectively, and not suffering from the “paralysis of analysis,” or staying rooted in place and doing nothing.  Practice what you are going to do in a life-threatening situation in each of these areas of your day.  It will maximize your mechanics of avoiding danger/trouble spots, and smooth your movements down to make it easier when the real thing occurs.  Notice I wrote “when” it occurs and not if.  How you train is how you fight, so incorporate these immediate action drills into your preps and smooth out your plan for when the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Take Action: How Immediate Action Drills Can Reduce Reaction Times in Emergencies

Click here to view the original post.

If you notice with many of my more-recent articles, I’m trying to give you guys and gals information without “spoon feeding” it to you.  I’m still attempting to follow the “crawl-walk-run” principle for those who have not heard of some of these subjects.  It is important to understand that my intentions for “upping” the pace and content of it are to match the pace that the threats of the outside world keep mustering on us.  The S can HTF at any time.  Although we will never be 100% prepared, you want the margin of actual preparedness to the desired percentage to be as thin as possible.  This is serious stuff: the survival of you and your family.  That being said, let’s cover immediate action drills.

The first thing you will have to do is examine all the different particulars of your daily activities.  Break down the times you go to work, the times you eat outside of the home, the commute times, and the time you spend at home.  By conducting a thorough examination of these areas and charting them out, you can best incorporate immediate action drills effectively.  What are these drills?  Here we go.

Immediate action drills are practice runs for when the SHTF at any given moment.  They are not “time sensitive,” but rather reaction sensitive according to the situation.  All these particulars I outlined for your daily routine?  They will be scenarios that place you in different areas with different resources, amounts of people in the area, and avenues of approach and departure.

What you must do is simulate an event happening when you are in each of these different arenas…working, commuting, eating lunch in the mall, or at home…and take immediate action accordingly.

Read more on critical emergency protocols for family preparedness

We’ve covered “bug-out” bags and equipment and all the different supplies we can pack with us.  Now it’s time to find out the mechanics behind the area you’re in (according to these different arenas) and fine tune them accordingly.  Let’s say you work in the city, on the 10th floor of a building, in a cubicle situated in a corner of your floor.  Here’s your test.  The event has happened: now you have to put your plan into effect and see the basic mechanics of how to get out of there quickly.

“Work!  You want me to drill while I’m at work?” you may be thinking.  Yes.  Yes, I do.  You need to “game” it, and make it happen.  Have a day off?  Go to work and chat with some people…simulate that you’re at work, and then put your plan into action.  Are you skeptical?  Hey, this will help you, not me, so bear with me.

Here are some preparedness items to have at the workplace

Measure off how many paces to the nearest exit.  Not akin to a robot, but at a brisk pace without drawing undue attention to yourself.  Figure it out, and note it down.  If the primary/optimal exit is blocked, do you have a secondary?  Return to your cubicle as if you forgot something, and then walk to your secondary, pacing it off and noting the number.  On separate occasions, take both exits…the stairs…down to the ground floor.  Where do you park?  Find your way to your vehicle.  If you park in a garage, you should always park as close to the exit as possible on the ground/bottom floor if possible.  Why?  When 10,000 people are trying to leave at once, there may be a problem driving out, that’s why.

Note how many paces from the stairwell to your vehicle.  Each day (if you have a different space) this will give you a different number, but eventually (after time) you’ll know all of the spots by heart.  Now find the quickest route out of the building, and take that route back to the house.  You want to take copious notes: places where you can drive on the shoulder, places where traffic jams may occur.  “Game” all of these actions in your mind, and then do a dry run.  You want to know all of your times, and the optimal routes.

Find out if there’s ever a “scheduled” fire drill for your building.  This would be a perfect time to test out your escape plans…especially if you can arrange to have off that day, and then go into work.  Then you can have an immediate action drill for yourself complete with a stampeding herd of people.

Immediate action drills also take the form of “if this occurs, then I do this” type of scenarios.  In essence, you’re gaming everything.  Why the paces and counting your steps from point A to point B?  Because you don’t know if the power will be off, and what kind of visibility you’ll have in the confusion, depending on what happens.  The more you practice this kind of stuff, the easier it will be for you to react in a calm and level-headed manner when everyone else is going nuts.  You’ll be able to assess where problem areas arise, and how to place yourself into a combat-ready, Johnny-on-the-spot stance at a moment’s notice.

The only thing more important than reaction time is reacting effectively, and not suffering from the “paralysis of analysis,” or staying rooted in place and doing nothing.  Practice what you are going to do in a life-threatening situation in each of these areas of your day.  It will maximize your mechanics of avoiding danger/trouble spots, and smooth your movements down to make it easier when the real thing occurs.  Notice I wrote “when” it occurs and not if.  How you train is how you fight, so incorporate these immediate action drills into your preps and smooth out your plan for when the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Firearm Training: How Draw Drills Will Sharpening your Handgun Combat Skills

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This article is going to give you some time-honored practical pointers to use regarding your handgun.  Besides just going to the range, there are some things you can do to perfect your speed, coordination, and muscle memory.  Draw drills are an inexpensive and simple way to accomplish this.  You can carry them out in the privacy of your own home.  Here’s how they work!

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I am not worried about the guy with the $3,000.00 rig…holster, weapon, and laser-sight with state-of-the-art attachments in a brand-new crisp outfit without a speck of dust and the ICP (International Combat Pistol)/NRA certification.  I worry about the man with a worn holster and a weapon with the bluing rubbed off with a determined look in his eye.  This man has used the weapon and has trained with it.  The other guy can be a threat and (if approaching you) may be considered as such, but in all likelihood, he’s probably a Cabela’s model or a firearms salesman.

Why You Need to Train

Draw drills are a way of training your hands and eyes to be coordinated and act in one fluid movement.  I do not ascribe to any philosophy of not aiming your weapon, or one of just “pointing it in a general direction.”  The first time you have a target shooting back at you, you will realize just how important it is to aim at your target and hit it accurately and effectively.  Paper targets don’t shoot back, so you have leeway with them.  All the certifications in the world are no substitute for the basic fundamentals of marksmanship and the ability to employ them.


The objective of marksmanship: clean, well-placed shots.  Anyone who served will tell you this and the importance of the fundamentals: aiming, breathing, and (proper) trigger squeeze.


Draw drills will help you to focus your point of aim, your proper hand positioning, and the fluid dynamics of drawing, aiming, firing, and reloading/changing your magazines.  First, take some index cards, and mark them with a magic marker, 1 through 10.  Laminate them.  When this is done, they won’t wear down or become grimy with use.  A few pieces of duct tape on each one, folded/rolled in on itself will allow them to affix.  Then place them about the room you intend to train in.

You will then practice drawing your weapon from your holster, taking a proper stance and grip (modified Weaver, etc.) and then aligning your weapon on that numbered, laminated “paster” target.  Use your imagination.  You can place them on anything: lamps, closet doors, pieces of furniture.  You can set them low or high.  You don’t have to go in order of 1 to 10.  In order to keep from being repetitive, go “even”, then “odd” numbers.

Magazine Changes

Next, you have to simulate changing your magazines.  If you fire (just for example) a 1911 model .45 ACP, you’ll (generally) have a seven-round magazine.  This means that after engaging target number “7” you’ll have to drop the mag, and reload another one.  Obviously, you’re not firing rounds: but after each “draw” upon a target…reholster the weapon and draw on the subsequent number.  Do a minimum of 100 of these per day.  Your hand and eye coordination will improve, as well as your “muscle memory” of movements you’ll need for firing and also to change mags/speed loaders.

You need to be able to do these tasks regarding mag changes:

  1. Don’t take your eyes off the next target…you have to simulate that it’s a “real” one and can “gank” you if you let it.
  2. Drop that mag in your palm and place it (the “empty”) in a cargo pocket [Note: I hate these Hollywood movies that show everyone dropping the mags on the ground and just forgetting about them or abandoning them completely… don’t you do it!]
  3. Take the new mag from your pouch/belt, and seat it in the magazine well without ever looking at it. Simulate loading a fresh round, and engage your target.
  4. If you are doing a 1 through 10 series, at the end of it? With a 7-round magazine, you will then have 4 rounds left…you must keep track of how many rounds you’ve fired!  This is as real-life as it gets in terms of training.

How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

Keep a record of your training.  You can (with time) substitute actual pictures/photos in place of your numbered targets.  You want to move fluidly: with fluid dynamics, and being able to carry out your actions without needing to take your eyes off your targets.  There are more advanced ways to draw drill that we’ll cover in future articles, but this one will get you started.

 

JJ

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What is the Best Location for a Cache On Your Property?

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ReadyNutrition Readers, recently I suggested 5 projects to undertake in the Spring to get a head start on preparing for emergencies.  As the title suggests, this article will outline several methods to hide your stuff underground.  Be advised: this means you’ll have to have some property at your disposal.

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Caches are the ultimate back up plan because everyone wants to hide their “stuff,” but hiding it effectively is a different matter.  Yes, everyone wants a set of diagrams and ideas, but you should have a plan before you implement your construction.  Let’s outline some basic principles and considerations first that it would do you good to keep in mind.

A Word to the Wise

Firstly, OPSEC (Operational Security) is paramount with any kind of project such as this.  You must keep everyone out of the loop: nosy, big-mouthed neighbors; prying relatives; overly curious co-workers; ad infinitum.  You can’t “advertise” what you’re doing and expect any measure of success.  What you place in what we’ll call your “storage room” is your business and your business alone.  The only ones in the loop with you should be ones you can rely on absolutely to keep their mouths shut.

The Perfect Location For Your Cache

You must take time to find the ideal location on your property for your storage room.  Be advised: there are local cops, the Sheriff’s department, the IRS, ad infinitum ad nauseam…an endless “conga” line of creeps who can metamorphose and metastasize almost instantly overnight with a full-blown tyranny.  They have everything at their disposal courtesy of your tax dollars: infrared scanners, metal detectors, drug and bomb-sniffing canines, etc.

That said, if you think you are going to be able to hide something from them right next to the house, you had better think again.  They’ll sweep the entire area with a fine-toothed comb…with you there or with you in matching silver bracelets, being “chauffeured” to jail.  You can optimally hide your supplies by doing two things:

1.Throw them a bone

They must pick up something and can’t leave empty handed…I’m not talking about anything illegal, mind you, such as drugs or bombs.  I’m talking about if they wish to confiscate your weapons, etc. when the government morphs into tyranny.  Throwing them a bone means you should give them a few things.  One or two rifles, per se, and a couple of pistols, along with some ammo.

For anyone who disagrees with this and recites the “when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers” line, go ahead…they will.  They’ll either do that or worse.  You won’t be able to face them and defeat them head on.  It’s better to lose a small part than to lose it all.

If you can’t part with your firearms, consider hiding some less innocuous items like tools, food and/or old clothing.

2.Have your storage room in the most unlikely place to find it that you can.

You know your own property.  It’s going to be up to you to know these unlikely places, and whether it is feasible to use them.  Let’s go over some ideas and general spots:

  • Near the septic tank: Yes, indeed, that septic tank can be a perfect cover for an “adjoining structure” in the form of a concrete tube or cubicle set into the ground right next to it. You can really make it look good by ensuring they both physically touch, and then throwing some cement in the “joint” to make it appear as if they’re one structure.
  • Farthest points on the property: The “four corners” and adjacent spots…the greater the distance between the storage room and the house, the better.
  • Surface running water camouflage: a small stream or creek flowing across your property? Stick that storage room under it.  You temporarily divert all or part of the creek…sink that storage room underground, and then allow the stream to return to its normal flow.  This method is best done with a “cache” rather than a walk-in storage room, for obvious reasons…you won’t be able to get to it rapidly.
  • Under something innocuous: A children’s swing set, or a decorative fountain/goldfish pond in your front yard.
  • Under/near a stone wall, panel partition, or fence: Not a “normative” place for the “normal” people to look.

There are several decisions you must make before you undertake all of this.  Most of them deal with structure and logistics.  How much stuff do you want to store, and what?  Are you going to close it off in the manner of a cache, or are you going to make it more accessible?  How much time and labor are you willing to put into it, along with money?  If someone else is building it…are they reliable in terms of keeping their mouths shut?  Even more: Will they take what you have if they are given the opportunity?  Or in a SHTF situation, might they “show up” on your doorstep to take what you have?

You can’t rule out any of these possibilities.  You may also want to screen off the area that is most visible while it is being built.  Part II we will have some diagrams for you to use and 3 different ideas for a storage vault/structure, modifiable by size and only limited by your imagination or the resources you can afford.  You’ll have to consider it all: the nosy neighbors, friends, and relatives, and the governmental “pests” in all their taxing and enforcing forms.  Until next time, keep your powder dry and well-hidden!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

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This piece is designed to provide you with a few ideas to stimulate your creative thought processes.  We’re all Constitution-loving, survival-oriented preppers who are always preparing for every emergency.  The problem is that emergencies are not able to be “compressed” into a format: they arise.  You plan the best you can, but there’s an age-old military adage that summarizes the whole situation, in a nutshell, “No battle plan ever survives the first five minutes of combat completely intact.”

This is true, and places emphasis on the quality that made man the dominant species on this planet and enabled him to survive as long as he has: adaptability.  In this light, there will be a time when you will need to defend yourself and do not have a weapon readily available.  When such a situation presents itself, you must follow the advice of “Gunny Highway”/Clint Eastwood in the movie “Heartbreak Ridge,” advice that holds brevity and clarity:           


“You improvise, you adapt, you overcome.”


That is eloquence swathed in simplicity.  Yes.  Two hoodlums, for example, are coming over to you at night in the parking lot after work.  You can’t avoid them and get into your car before they’re on you.  One clicks open a knife.  It’s time to act.  The action has to take place in a split second.  Let’s say you’re unarmed – no firearms or blades, and you can’t escape.  What now?

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

Common objects on your person may either be utilized or prepared beforehand and then utilized.  Let’s go through some of them you may have, and what to do with them:

  1. Keys: (this will take practice) – take three of them and slip them between your fingers with the keyed end (“blade”) facing out. Grip the rest in your fist and prepare to punch. An effective way to plan ahead for this encounter is if you attach a kubaton to your keychain.
  2. Pens: A good sturdy one made from metal is preferred; a plastic one may work, but you better strike effectively. Hold the pen one of two ways: gripped within your fist with the pen extruding from the bottom of your fist/hand, or with the pen between your middle and ring finger, the base on your palm and the point out from between the fingers.  “Method 1” is preferable because you can stab (a backhanded type of stab) with the pen, and still punch with the fist that holds it.  “Method 2” will take more precision as you strike for the vulnerable points.
  3. Belt: Use only if your pants won’t just fall down and they can stay on without the belt. Strip that belt off, and wrap it around your dominant hand and make a fist.  If you really know what you’re doing, you can wrap the knife hand of the attacker and disarm him.  You had better have practiced this unless you’re a really good athlete.
  4. Credit card/ATM card (handy): By “handy,” there’s no time to take it out of your wallet. You may keep a very rigid plastic card in your shirt pocket.  Hold the card tightly and the edge can be knife-like when striking an opponent…for a very effective strike.
  5. Jacket/windbreaker: Take it off and use it to shield you (in one hand as a shield) from the blade as you strike with the opposite hand. You can (if you’ve practiced) wrap up that blade-carrying hand of the opponent while you’re striking.
  6. Leatherman on that belt? Pull it out quickly, and in the manner of the pen (described in #2) hold it in the manner of “Method 1” where the pliers are extended past the bottom of your hand…to stab/strike in a backhanded method.
  7. Purse: Ladies, that handbag can be a lifesaver for you. Prep this beforehand: keep a 1-pound or ½ pound weight or little dumbbell in it.  Then no cop can get you for a concealed weapon.  You’ll even have a light workout during your day!  But when you swing that bag down and put a three-inch dent in your attacker’s head, you’ll be glad you put the weight in there.  Make sure your purse strap is strong enough to handle this action without losing your purse or snapping.

Now, of course, you should also look around (use your peripheral vision!  Don’t take your eyes off of or away from your attackers!) for boards, bricks, rocks, or anything else within your reach.  Do you have a car alarm?  Push that button and raise a ruckus.  I knew a woman once who was going to get jumped in this manner in the parking lot.  She didn’t have a car alarm, but she threw rocks at a couple of other cars before they closed on her and set off those car alarms.  Then she threw rocks at them and screamed, and others came to her aid.

The eyes and the face are your primary targets with the keys and pen.  Secondary are the sides of the neck and the throat: where the carotid and jugular are, and the airway respectively.  The face of the credit card: a slash maneuver. You’ll be surprised at how deeply into the flesh that card will slice.  Your objective is not to engage with them.  Your objective is to inflict the maximum amount of damage and pain on them and then break contact…get away…at the soonest possible moment.

Don’t let a pair “flank” you: if you must face one, try and step to his side so the other one is behind him…so your primary attacker is in between you and his buddy.  With these methods, you need to practice them to enable you to execute them.  It is different when the adrenaline is pumping and you’re faced with the threat.  Don’t be afraid to experiment; however, make sure your experiments and the “main event” are not the same thing.  The more practice, the more you will build your confidence and increase your chances for success should such a situation arise.  Hope it won’t, but if it does?  Go for the win.  JJ out.

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These Simple Training Techniques Will Prepare You For Emergency Hand-to-Hand Combat

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So, Guys and Gals out there in ReadyNutrition Land, why not another primer on a tool you can use to develop the combat skills?  Yes, I’m referring to the heavy bag, that large, cylindrical/tubular “punching” bag with a slew of different uses.  As the name suggests, it should be heavy.  Such weight provides resistance for the training you will follow after, and it also gives a better chance for the longevity and durability of your bag.

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Here’s What You’ll Need to Start Training

A good heavy bag, like this one, can be made out of leather or canvas.  Avoid vinyl/plastic if you can.  The reason for this is manifold: plastic is subjected to changes in temperature that do not affect the leather and canvas bags, as well as a tendency to split/develop a hole more readily.  The leather and canvas ones can develop a hole, but it’s a lot harder.  That leather lasts a long time, and the canvas is durable.  The main thing is to keep both leather or canvas clean and free of molds that can eat through them if left untreated.  Wipe them down after training, and clean up the sweat and moisture.

Secondly, invest in a good pair of bag gloves and a good pair of kicking pads for the instep of your feet.  These can be found readily in your secondhand and thrift stores.  For gloves, I prefer the ones with the small iron/metal bar sewn in around the first joint of the fingers beyond the knuckle.  If you wrap the wrists (and you should), you tuck into the bag glove and go to work.  The leather gloves (again) are the more durable.  Wraps can be purchased (Everlast is a brand), or made from strips of cotton or linen sheets about 1 ½” wide and about three to four feet long.

These wraps come with a loop for the middle finger if commercial, and ties on the other end, to wrap the knuckles and wrist, protecting from broken knuckles or fractures of the wrist by giving support.  A good bag workout should be broken down into “rounds,” such as (for starters) 1-minute rounds with 30 seconds’ rest in between.  Three of these for starters, and if you’ve never done it before, it will “smoke” you.  With time, increase the number of “rounds,” and eventually increase the time of the round.

Training for Hand-to-Hand Combat

With the bag, you can concentrate on the body dimensions of a human.  Another way to improve this is to take either plastic/electric tape (1/2” wide) and “outline” a human head on the bag, and the torso, as well.  You can use masking tape, but this will wear out faster.  Then you practice boxing your heavy-bag man.  Kicking is the same.  The pads will protect both your feet and the bag.  You don’t want to strike the bag either with your unprotected fist or foot.

Watch These Videos

Beginner Shadow Boxing

Heavy Bag for Beginners

Adavnced Heavy Bag Training

A good bag will weigh between 40-50 lbs. on average, and can be obtained for heavier.  It is also possible to “load” your bag with other materials, such as sawdust, lead, or concrete dust.  Make sure your swivel is well-attached and sturdy.  Don’t hang a swivel on the doorframe of a non-bearing partition wall.  Use an outdoor area, such as a porch or balcony, or the inside of a barn or shed.  You must mount the swivel securely and then attach that bad boy preferably with a chain/chains.  This will prevent the bag from striking back.

You can also practice your knife-fighting skills with the bag.  If you do, don’t use a real blade.  Either purchase a “rubber” training knife, or make one of your own from a piece of rubber or plastic, and wrap it up with duct tape.  You want to protect your bag at all times.  Using that edged tanto will just butcher your bag and take the smile off of the would-be samurai’s face.  Perfect your motions for improvised weapons by using the bag as a simulator.  The more realistic you make it, the more effective you’ll be in the field.

Finally, as I’ve stressed before, keep regular and accurate records of your training, so as to vary it in the future and also to chart progress.  Think as a professional and you’ll perform as one.  The heavy bag is not just a bag filled with junk: it is a valuable training tool that will give you the opportunity to learn new skills and reinforce old ones in your repertoire.  It will give you a full workout if you will approach it in this manner.  Stay in that good fight.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Pine Pollen Can Be Used as a Super Food

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ReadyNutriton Guys and Gals, this piece is designed to make you aware of the many benefits of pine pollen.  That’s right, it’s a superfood that can be put to many uses, and we’re actually coming up on the time that it can be harvested in the wild.  Raw pine pollen is good for a lot of different things, especially exercise and physical training.  Let’s outline some of the qualities of it and cite some references for your perusal.

Pine Pollen is a Powerhouse of Nutrients

Pine pollen is, technically, the male “sperm” cells of the pine tree, and is analogous to a plant-formulated testosterone.  Don’t smirk, ladies: in this form, it is very beneficial for you as well.  Studies prove that low testosterone levels in both genders (yes, women also have a minute quantity of it in their bodies) cause cholesterol levels (the “bad” form of it) to increase.  Low levels also cause losses of bone and tissue that translate into aging prematurely, and also significant weight gain (fat), sexual problems, and cardiovascular problems.

With men, in particular, low testosterone levels lead to a higher probability of cancer.  Pine pollen can fight all of these with its components of Phyto-androgens, which are the sexual hormones found in human beings but produced in plants.  This is really neat stuff because the pine pollen gives you androstenedione, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), and androsterone.  Sift through the archives and you’ll find some articles I wrote on DHEA and testosterone that go into detail.

Some of the ailments that raw pine pollen can fight off are high cholesterol, chronic fatigue, and diabetes.    These conditions have been dramatically improved by the regular addition of pine pollen to the diet.  Although these Phyto-androgens are almost identical to the ones produced by the human body, there is still a slight difference, and this is beneficial: the difference enables the body to continue producing its normal levels of the androgens without being affected by the addition of the pine pollen.

It can be taken in the form of powder or tincture, and with either case mixed with a beverage.  The tincture is the more easily-consumed out of the two forms.  Here are a few websites to help you in your quest for further information:

http://www.rawforestfoods.com/questions.html
http://rawfoodhealthwatch.com/pine-pollen/
http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Pine_Pollen…

The pine pollen is also made up of about 35% protein and contains 7 essential amino acids.  To refresh your memory from the articles I have written previously, essential amino acids are those necessary to the body that are not produced within the body, i.e., we must obtain them from food.  Here they are, with the 7 essentials being underlined:

  • Alanine 17mg
  • Arginine 30mg
  • Aspartic acid 33mg
  • Cysteine 3mg
  • Glutamic acid 47mg
  • Glycine 21mg
  • Histidine 6mg
  • Isoleucine 16mg
  • Leucine 25mg
  • Lysine 24mg
  • Phenylalanine 17mg
  • Proline 26mg
  • Serine 16mg
  • Threonine 15mg
  • Tryptophan 4mg
  • Tyrosine 11mg
  • Valine 19mg

The recommended amount to consume is ½ to 1 tsp per day.  Pine pollen is also chock full of vitamins and minerals, as well as acids and a ton of substances that normally we buy in bunches, such as resveratrol and MSM.  These substances are all right there in the pine pollen.  I have seen many places to order it online, and your finer health food stores will (at the bare minimum) be able to order it for you.  As with all things, consult with your physician prior to using any of the information or materials mentioned in this article.  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hardcore Prepper Blades: Gerber Mark II a Must-Have

Click here to view the original post.

ReadyNutrition Readers, I recently penned a piece about the Fairbairn-Sykes/OSS model fighting knife, my personal first-choice for fighting blades.  An offshoot of that style is available and it deserves mention of its own.  The Gerber Mark II is built along those lines and is both well-made and affordable.  It was designed and first manufactured in 1966 and has been famed for its reliability and outstanding durability.

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It was used in Vietnam by American soldiers, originally without the saw-teeth in the portion of the blade closest to the hilt.  The reason this was done: the military PX’s (Post Exchanges) stopped carrying it as they said it was “too brutal” a design.  This was the time that Vietnam was drawing down and all of the peaceniks were coming out of the woodwork.  Al Mar knives helped Gerber out by redesigning it with the saw teeth to market as a “survival knife,” and mollifying the liberals, it was once again stocked in the PX.

A Must-Have Survival Knife For the Prepper Collection

The double-edged blade measures 6 ½” in length with the saw tooth serrations taking up about 1/3 of the blade’s length.  It is well-balanced and the pommel is a blunted conical shape with the tip sliced off that makes an effective striker when needed.  The blade is 1 ½” shy of optimal minimum length for combat; nevertheless, it is well worth it.  The knife comes in a Cordura Nylon sheath, and the blade itself seats inside of a heavy-gauge plastic scabbard that is mounted within the nylon. You can order it at www.Amazon.com.

This last feature is a big “plus” as many times knives will tend to wear or abrade the sheath from the inside.  Another “biggie” for me is that it can be mounted vertically or horizontally.  Now I prefer a blade to be horizontal and attached on my belt in the back, interwoven between the beltloops.  The Mark II has two snap catches: One on the hilt at an angle, and the other one straight around the handle.

If you pick this baby up and then carry it the way I do, then you’ll have to make a couple of adjustments.  Firstly, pick up some black Gorilla tape and close up that top loop of the scabbard that would allow it to be a vertical carry.  Be careful to go around the handle’s snap catch strap.  Next, after it’s mounted to your belt, you’ll have to practice disengaging the two snap catches and then drawing your blade out of the sheath.

Your toughest challenge will be to guide the blade back into the sheath accurately.  This takes some practice.  The way I do it is with two hands: one to hold the handle and move the knife back into the sheath, while my other hand takes (carefully!) the tip of the blade and guides it into the sheath’s opening.  After you’ve done this about fifty to one-hundred times, it’s pretty simple.  Then practice re-snapping the straps so the blade is secured.

Also, the saw teeth don’t have extreme points as a shark’s tooth.  They’re sharp, but they’re flat-tipped and broad, akin to a tool.  They will go in and out of a ribcage smoothly, without becoming hung up.  Just remember: whatever you’re going to purpose the knife for is the purpose it needs to be used for.  If you want it as a survival knife (although I don’t advise it) then use it as such.  If it’s a combat knife for you, then only let it be used in the art of combat.

The Mark II has great balance and the handle feels really good in the hand.  It’s a really nice piece, and somewhat affordable (prices vary) as opposed to having a custom knife made.  Try it out, and don’t forget: find someone reliable to train you in its use.  Pay good money and receive good instruction.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Pets Should Have a Place in Your Emergency Planning

Click here to view the original post.

 

ReadyNutrition Readers, you’re well aware of the importance of family continuity after some kind of a disaster and event.  That’s what survival is all about in a nutshell.  Along the way, don’t forget about the pets in the family.  Some are going to pose a problem, such as the more exotic types that need special care.  Examples of these would be tropical fish, birds, and reptiles, as most of these need special types of water, temperature, and/or food to sustain them.  The specialty requirements for these types of pets are outside of the scope of this article’s abilities.

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The Prepared Dogs and Cats

Most of us have dogs and cats.  Let us cover their merits.  Dogs have been serving mankind for thousands of years, and for many different purposes.  I absolutely hated the movie, “The Day After,” where the farm family left the dog outside of the cellar to die.  I submit to you that this was a poor choice and absolutely unnecessary.  In the end, the farmer was shot by a “squatter” on his property, and if the dog had been around…well, bare minimum he could have alerted the man to the intruder.

Dogs will be useful for the family to help protect them, either as an early warning sentry or to directly intercede with an antagonist.  Here are some of the best dog breeds to have for a shtf disaster. Dogs are proven (as with most pets) to be very therapeutic and stress-relieving.  Cats, too, have a use besides just hunting down rodents.  In addition to relieving the stress, I tell you from experience: watch your cat and its reactions for an early-warning device.  They will hear, see, and smell something that approaches before you do.  Although they don’t bark, if you train yourself to watch them, you’ll be able to utilize their senses to your benefit.

Stock Up on Pet Food Today

Stock up on some good dog food for the dog, especially the dry food.  You should have many bins full of it.  Remember: barring a helminthic infestation (worms), his dung can be used for compost.  If we have any kind of nuclear war, it won’t seem quite as laughable when you’re trying to grow stuff in your basement.  Remember: cat stool cannot be used as compost, as they have toxoplasmosis; it needs a temperature of 165 F to kill it, and the compost pile doesn’t get that hot.  The disease is a bad one, and cats are the only animal known that excretes the eggs in their feces: it’s endemic to them.  Burn the stool to get rid of it.

They will need food too, and as much dried food as you can stock up the better.  You can supplement with occasional cans of fish.  You will be providing for them (dogs and cats) by foraging in the form of hunting and also scrounging for supplies post-collapse.  Along those lines, you can also make homemade dog and cat food using vittles, grains and vegetables.

Additional Supplies to Consider

Also, set some first aid supplies aside to care for bets. If they are protecting you, injuries could occur and they may require special wound care. As well, some vitamins (either liquid or pill form) to supplement will help them immensely, if you can stock up on it.  If they have any kind of health condition, stock up on any type of medicines you may need for them.

At Your Service

Post collapse they will eventually be back in demand, as dogs and cats are service-type animals, and man is known not for his altruism but for his deadly pragmatic utilitarianism.  It will be practical for you to continue to raise or breed animals.  You will eventually find others who were smart (akin to yourselves) who saved their animals rather than turning them into a few days’ food supply.  When that occurs, you will be able to breed them again.  Sound far-fetched?  No, that’s what “continuity” means, as the days of “Korg 70,000 B.C.” need to be left behind us.

Pick up things you know they’ll need eventually, such as flea collars and scrubs with Lindane (Kwell) for lice and other ectoparasites.  Pick up extras of everything: extra food-bowls, leashes, and small transporting kennels/carriers.  It will all pay off later.  It’s one thing to stay alive, and quite another to have a quality of life.  Supplement all of these measures with the literature you will need to treat and care for your four-legged friends.  They’re a part of your family, and if you think otherwise, you may want to reassess your position.  Take care of one another, and stay in that good fight.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Pets Should Have a Place in Your Emergency Planning

 

ReadyNutrition Readers, you’re well aware of the importance of family continuity after some kind of a disaster and event.  That’s what survival is all about in a nutshell.  Along the way, don’t forget about the pets in the family.  Some are going to pose a problem, such as the more exotic types that need special care.  Examples of these would be tropical fish, birds, and reptiles, as most of these need special types of water, temperature, and/or food to sustain them.  The specialty requirements for these types of pets are outside of the scope of this article’s abilities.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

The Prepared Dogs and Cats

Most of us have dogs and cats.  Let us cover their merits.  Dogs have been serving mankind for thousands of years, and for many different purposes.  I absolutely hated the movie, “The Day After,” where the farm family left the dog outside of the cellar to die.  I submit to you that this was a poor choice and absolutely unnecessary.  In the end, the farmer was shot by a “squatter” on his property, and if the dog had been around…well, bare minimum he could have alerted the man to the intruder.

Dogs will be useful for the family to help protect them, either as an early warning sentry or to directly intercede with an antagonist.  Here are some of the best dog breeds to have for a shtf disaster. Dogs are proven (as with most pets) to be very therapeutic and stress-relieving.  Cats, too, have a use besides just hunting down rodents.  In addition to relieving the stress, I tell you from experience: watch your cat and its reactions for an early-warning device.  They will hear, see, and smell something that approaches before you do.  Although they don’t bark, if you train yourself to watch them, you’ll be able to utilize their senses to your benefit.

Stock Up on Pet Food Today

Stock up on some good dog food for the dog, especially the dry food.  You should have many bins full of it.  Remember: barring a helminthic infestation (worms), his dung can be used for compost.  If we have any kind of nuclear war, it won’t seem quite as laughable when you’re trying to grow stuff in your basement.  Remember: cat stool cannot be used as compost, as they have toxoplasmosis; it needs a temperature of 165 F to kill it, and the compost pile doesn’t get that hot.  The disease is a bad one, and cats are the only animal known that excretes the eggs in their feces: it’s endemic to them.  Burn the stool to get rid of it.

They will need food too, and as much dried food as you can stock up the better.  You can supplement with occasional cans of fish.  You will be providing for them (dogs and cats) by foraging in the form of hunting and also scrounging for supplies post-collapse.  Along those lines, you can also make homemade dog and cat food using vittles, grains and vegetables.

Additional Supplies to Consider

Also, set some first aid supplies aside to care for bets. If they are protecting you, injuries could occur and they may require special wound care. As well, some vitamins (either liquid or pill form) to supplement will help them immensely, if you can stock up on it.  If they have any kind of health condition, stock up on any type of medicines you may need for them.

At Your Service

Post collapse they will eventually be back in demand, as dogs and cats are service-type animals, and man is known not for his altruism but for his deadly pragmatic utilitarianism.  It will be practical for you to continue to raise or breed animals.  You will eventually find others who were smart (akin to yourselves) who saved their animals rather than turning them into a few days’ food supply.  When that occurs, you will be able to breed them again.  Sound far-fetched?  No, that’s what “continuity” means, as the days of “Korg 70,000 B.C.” need to be left behind us.

Pick up things you know they’ll need eventually, such as flea collars and scrubs with Lindane (Kwell) for lice and other ectoparasites.  Pick up extras of everything: extra food-bowls, leashes, and small transporting kennels/carriers.  It will all pay off later.  It’s one thing to stay alive, and quite another to have a quality of life.  Supplement all of these measures with the literature you will need to treat and care for your four-legged friends.  They’re a part of your family, and if you think otherwise, you may want to reassess your position.  Take care of one another, and stay in that good fight.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What If Your Preparedness Plan Isn’t As Sound As You Think

Click here to view the original post.


Consider this a “coaching” segment and some advice on how to follow a Thomas Hardy “Far from the Madding Crowd” mindset.  Look at the world situation right now.  North Korea is rattling the saber as the U.S. naval armada sails toward the area.  We just gave Syria a foretaste of what is to come with the Tomahawk strike.  Relations with Russia just hit a low point, and the President is not backing down on Syria and North Korea.  Chances are good that we’ll be involved in a war very shortly.  The possibility also exists that it could become a world war.

What does that mean to you, the Reader?  It means that you’re going to have to assess yourself and correctly determine whether you’re prepared for the times to come.

Are You Appropriately Planning Your Preparations?

Part of that is to think outside of the box, to think differently in terms of planning and preparation.  Most everyone has the same type of mindset: “I’m going to acquire all kinds of supplies, practice hard, and when the time comes, I’ll be as ready as I can be.”

Did you ever stop and consider that everyone else has the same idea, to one degree or another?  Most people want to be “spoon-fed” everything, and the preparation is of the mindset that everything will be in place when disaster hits.  Most do not “war game” the situation realistically.  Everyone will have a rallying point of the closest park to hide.  The problem: everyone is thinking of that.  Everyone will take to the roads (Katrina was proof of that) if there’s advance warning.

The Art of Doing the Opposite of the Majority

In preparedness, you must “take the road less traveled by,” to paraphrase Frost.  When the IHM (Incredible Human Mob) is running in one direction, the odds are good that you should not be in their midst.  The art of doing the opposite of the majority is one of the things that will keep you alive and intact.  The mob all runs to an area where there are limited supplies, such as food and water.  What do you think will happen next?  A singing of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be and American” with Bic lighters aflame?  No, they’ll rip one another to shreds for the last bottles of water.

So, how do we compress thinking and acting differently from the majority into one short article?  In reality, we can’t.  What we can do here, however, are consider some possibilities.  Perhaps you and/or your family can sit down and brainstorm some other options for yourselves.  Let’s take it from a SHTF-scenario, shall we?

  1. Safe House: Occupied or Unoccupied – This will involve a retreat where you either can meet up with someone you trust (occupied) or go there with your family (unoccupied) and set up camp.  English Property Law does not necessarily apply.  Do you know of an abandoned barn or shed in a remote location?  Do you know of an abandoned cabin or a partially-ruined building somewhere?  If so, it might be good to preposition some supplies or even a cache there.  If you have someone who you can meet up with…well, you can assure a place for yourself to flee to, and promise that person more…and a share in what you bring.  That will be for you to gauge as to whether or not to trust someone this much, as anyone can go bad in an instant.
  2. Move when they are stationary; Be stationary when they’re on the move: this will be a shock to your circadian rhythm. This step is necessary, however, to cut down on the “new friends” you may not want to “meet” along the way.  You and your family need to sleep in a covered and/or concealed location and post a guard…in shifts.  When it’s night, that’s the time to move and forage for food or supplies.
  3. Attractive to you? Attractive to them, too: Do you see a nice lake with a stream feeding into it in front of you?  Maybe a nice waterfall dropping into it?  A nice cleared area with a bunch of rocks and dead timber strewed about?  If it’s pleasing to your eye, it’ll be pleasing to another person’s eyes as well.  “Attractive” and “High Traffic” areas are almost synonymous.  Avoid what looks perfect, or you’ll bed down and have “guests” when (and if) you wake up.
  4. What you need, they need: This is the reason for a change in time of activity. Did you find food?  Others will need it, and others will come.  You must bank on that.  Just because you’re “paranoid” does not mean that the world is not out to get you…or your supplies.  If you find a food supply and a water supply, you’ll have to either hide it in some way, share it, or defend it.  If you pick “option 2,” that doesn’t mean your altruistic qualities are held by those you share with.
  5. Path of Least Resistance: A happy trail right into the woods.  The part of the mountain without the boulders and stickers all over it to climb.  The open field to cross, as opposed to the woods filled with stickers and thorns.  Don’t you take that path, as others will take it also.

Most will not be thinking outside of the box.  Most will see you and yours in a grid down/SHTF situation as their opportunity.  They will see your belongings as theirs.  For the greatest example of this, see the movie “The Time of the Wolf.”  The first five minutes of the movie tells it all…what happens to the family that packed it all up in a disaster (unspecified) and went to their retreat…that scenario is the “real deal.”  The movie is in French with English subtitles…adding to the horror of the situation.

The bottom line: you can’t expect to survive the disaster…and the mob that makes it through the “first gate” after the initial pandemonium…unless you think and do things differently from them.  Make no mistake about it: the time to prep is far from over.  You cannot trust your future and the welfare of your family in the hands of those who can enmesh us into a world war, and then…on your taxpayer dime…be whisked away to a mountain fortress replete with food, supplies, and an army to defend them.  You only have your wits and the guts to use them.  Stay in that good fight by thinking outside of the box.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Dental Care: These Are the Supplies You Need To Survive a Post-Collapse Dental Emergency

As far as preppers are concerned, the majority of you guys and gals have already probably stored up about a half a pallet of toothbrushes and toothpaste for shtf dental emergencies.  Yes?  No?  Well, in any event we’re going to cover some field-expedient methods to clean up the teeth.  The reason for this is that it’s hard enough in a normal environment to keep those teeth cleaned and healthy.  In a grid down collapse, there will be no dentist and there are going to be a lot of problems that will affect the teeth and gums, so the more you know about oral hygiene now, the better.

Firstly, it is in your best interest to pick up the reference guide entitled, Where There is No Dentist,” by Murray Dickson.  It will be money well-spent, as it covers all of the different procedures to follow for abscesses, tooth extraction, and other “niceties” of oral care when you will not find a dentist, as the title suggests.  A manual such as this is just what your preparedness library needs.

Alternatives to Toothpaste

That being mentioned, what about things such as toothpaste and floss?  Well, many of your aromatic mints can be crushed up and used as toothpaste, such as spearmint and peppermint.  Follow this up with baking soda, and you’ll find a good clean set of teeth after brushing.  Charcoal powder is also an excellent dental cleanser, as well, a strong salt water solution will also be of use.  Cloves, in particular are good for swollen or abscessed gums, and clove oil itself can be used as a topical analgesic with excellent results and can easily be made.


To Make Clove Oil: Dried cloves can also be chopped up to be placed in a jar with 50% ethyl alcohol.  Make sure you cover over the pile of chopped cloves by about ¼ inch.  Tightly close the jar, and shake it vigorously several hundred times a day, once in the morning and once at night.


Keep the clove mixture in a cool, dark place, and after two weeks, you’ll have your solution.  Cloves contain eugenol, which is both an anesthetic and an antimicrobial.  Don’t drink it.  Use it as an oral rinse: a more effective one than most supermarket-brand mouthwashes.  It can also help to prevent and to aid with swollen gums.

Keep this rule in mind: The main causes for tooth problems are poor nutrition and then poor hygiene. 

This does pose a problem, and there are certain foods that can do a number on your teeth. This will be a challenge for you to be able to find not just food, but healthy and nutritious food after a collapse.  Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a disease of the gums that eventually leads to tooth loss if unchecked.  Protein deficiencies are also a big problem that can cause teeth to loosen and gums to rot.  Clean water is very important, not just for the care of the teeth, but also to prevent any microorganisms from entering an already unhealthy oral cavity post SHTF.  Boil the water for at least 3 to 5 minutes after you have strained and filtered it in every way that you can.

How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss

Toothbrushes can be fashioned out of sticks with the diameter of a pencil.  Notch the ends and then hammer the end, spreading out the wood and softening it somewhat.  With these you’ll have to be a little more careful, as there not your “Oral-B” store-bought toothbrushes.  Floss can be made from cotton or nylon thread that you can wax beforehand to strengthen it somewhat.  Just take the start of your thread and press your thumb on top of it, crushing/pressing it into the wax, and then just pull the thread through.  Do this several times to give it a light wax coating that smooths out the thread through the teeth and strengthens the fibers.

Above all else, make sure you have some post-collapse dental supplies. Anything that you can pick up before the disaster is a plus, and you may wish to practice with several of these techniques to find out which are the best for you personally.  The reason is that everyone’s mouth is different, and genetically many are predisposed to having either teeth without a long lifespan or other problems.  As well, have an understanding of how to mitigate dental pain should something arise in a disaster. Prior to taking any actions here, consult with your friendly, certified, government-approved dentist for his or her friendly approval.  Take care of those teeth, and stock up on stuff you need…before the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Dental Care: These Are the Supplies You Need To Survive a Post-Collapse Dental Emergency

Click here to view the original post.

As far as preppers are concerned, the majority of you guys and gals have already probably stored up about a half a pallet of toothbrushes and toothpaste for shtf dental emergencies.  Yes?  No?  Well, in any event we’re going to cover some field-expedient methods to clean up the teeth.  The reason for this is that it’s hard enough in a normal environment to keep those teeth cleaned and healthy.  In a grid down collapse, there will be no dentist and there are going to be a lot of problems that will affect the teeth and gums, so the more you know about oral hygiene now, the better.

Firstly, it is in your best interest to pick up the reference guide entitled, Where There is No Dentist,” by Murray Dickson.  It will be money well-spent, as it covers all of the different procedures to follow for abscesses, tooth extraction, and other “niceties” of oral care when you will not find a dentist, as the title suggests.  A manual such as this is just what your preparedness library needs.

Alternatives to Toothpaste

That being mentioned, what about things such as toothpaste and floss?  Well, many of your aromatic mints can be crushed up and used as toothpaste, such as spearmint and peppermint.  Follow this up with baking soda, and you’ll find a good clean set of teeth after brushing.  Charcoal powder is also an excellent dental cleanser, as well, a strong salt water solution will also be of use.  Cloves, in particular are good for swollen or abscessed gums, and clove oil itself can be used as a topical analgesic with excellent results and can easily be made.


To Make Clove Oil: Dried cloves can also be chopped up to be placed in a jar with 50% ethyl alcohol.  Make sure you cover over the pile of chopped cloves by about ¼ inch.  Tightly close the jar, and shake it vigorously several hundred times a day, once in the morning and once at night.


Keep the clove mixture in a cool, dark place, and after two weeks, you’ll have your solution.  Cloves contain eugenol, which is both an anesthetic and an antimicrobial.  Don’t drink it.  Use it as an oral rinse: a more effective one than most supermarket-brand mouthwashes.  It can also help to prevent and to aid with swollen gums.

Keep this rule in mind: The main causes for tooth problems are poor nutrition and then poor hygiene. 

This does pose a problem, and there are certain foods that can do a number on your teeth. This will be a challenge for you to be able to find not just food, but healthy and nutritious food after a collapse.  Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy, a disease of the gums that eventually leads to tooth loss if unchecked.  Protein deficiencies are also a big problem that can cause teeth to loosen and gums to rot.  Clean water is very important, not just for the care of the teeth, but also to prevent any microorganisms from entering an already unhealthy oral cavity post SHTF.  Boil the water for at least 3 to 5 minutes after you have strained and filtered it in every way that you can.

How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss

Toothbrushes can be fashioned out of sticks with the diameter of a pencil.  Notch the ends and then hammer the end, spreading out the wood and softening it somewhat.  With these you’ll have to be a little more careful, as there not your “Oral-B” store-bought toothbrushes.  Floss can be made from cotton or nylon thread that you can wax beforehand to strengthen it somewhat.  Just take the start of your thread and press your thumb on top of it, crushing/pressing it into the wax, and then just pull the thread through.  Do this several times to give it a light wax coating that smooths out the thread through the teeth and strengthens the fibers.

Above all else, make sure you have some post-collapse dental supplies. Anything that you can pick up before the disaster is a plus, and you may wish to practice with several of these techniques to find out which are the best for you personally.  The reason is that everyone’s mouth is different, and genetically many are predisposed to having either teeth without a long lifespan or other problems.  As well, have an understanding of how to mitigate dental pain should something arise in a disaster. Prior to taking any actions here, consult with your friendly, certified, government-approved dentist for his or her friendly approval.  Take care of those teeth, and stock up on stuff you need…before the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Shoot Like a Sniper: Simple Tips to Hone Your Marksmanship

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SNIPERReadyNutrition guys and gals, this article is presented in the hopes of giving you a method for being able to practice your marksmanship both on the cheap and (logistically) under “friendly” surroundings.  There are a host of different air rifles to choose from.  I must state there has been a marked deterioration in the quality of air-powered (or pneumatic, if you prefer) firearms over the past thirty to forty years.  No matter: you can still accomplish what you need with what is on the market today.

Fundamentals of Markmanship

Air rifles can be either powered by Carbon Dioxide (CO 2) cartridges, or with an internal pneumatic pump, either with multiple pumps for increasing power or a single pump (as with “break-barrel” models of rifles).  For the most part your standard air guns come in either .177 or .22 caliber models.  Beeman offers one that has interchangeable barrels in both calibers, with the velocity decreasing slightly as the caliber is larger.

There are many things you can do with an air rifle from a hunting and survival perspective.  You can hunt small game quietly without the need for a suppressor if you’re doing it on the q-t, and ammo for it is both affordable and (when the SHTF) able to be reproduced simply (refer to the recent article I wrote on how to build your own forge).

The air rifle or air pistol fires pellets and/or BB’s (little ball bearings) that can be reused repeatedly.  There are several “trap” targets like this one available with replaceable buffer materials on the inside.  These targets enable you to collect your air rifle ammo and use it again.  It is a simple thing to set up a range within your own basement or out in your backyard with an air rifle or air pistol.  Although the motion of the weapon in terms of recoil is reduced from that of a rifle, the fundamentals of marksmanship are the same.  Here they are:


Breathing: Before you pull that trigger, you need to control your breathing, and optimally should pull immediately after you have exhaled

Aim: Self-explanatory, but it involves you zeroing on your target to line up your sights with your eyes and enable you to hit that bullseye.

Trigger squeeze: Should be accomplished with the very tip/end of your index finger, and should be a smooth, non-jerky action akin to squeezing a lemon


This article is not intended to cover rifle marksmanship in general; however, you get the picture.  Hand-eye coordination and the employment of these three fundamentals can be accomplished effectively with the air rifle.  There are several European and Korean firms that manufacture air rifles in “big bore” calibers that can take down large game, if you wish to pursue air rifle marksmanship further.  For starters, you can take your pick from Daisy, Crossman, Beeman, Benjamin, even Ruger, among others in the two mentioned calibers.

Just remember to lay out your range in a professional and safe manner.  Treat your air rifle as a firearm at all times, as it is a type of firearm that can hurt someone severely, or worse if misused or used in an unsafe manner.  As a field-expedient trap, you can even make one out of telephone books/directories mounted in the front of a carboard box.  These work better for BB’s, as the pellets are usually made of lead and the strike tends to deform them.  Safety glasses or goggles are also recommended, as a ricochet can come straight back in your direction.

The air rifle or air pistol are great tools to introduce your kids to principles of firearms safety and train them in marksmanship.  It is quality time spent with them, in which they will learn how to do things the right way before they are old enough to fire that .22 rifle or that Winnie ’94 for the first time.  Affordable and effective, the air rifle is an excellent training tool that you never really outgrow, and can enable you to have your own indoor range during the winter months that is both safe and cost-effective.  Be safe, take care of one another, and happy shooting!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Preparedness: How to Mask Noise and Light Signitures

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This article is an introduction on how to mask the signatures of light and noise that are given off if not controlled.  We are talking primarily about a scenario taking place in the forest, but the techniques can also be applied to an urban setting.  The tougher one of the two to overcome is the noise; however, each poses a challenge that if not handled can lead to a problem when you wish to remain incognito in the field.

How to Diffuse Light in SHTF Environments

First let’s deal with light.  The reason light poses a problem is we need light to see optimally, but in using it at night, the light can be seen by others, giving our position away.  Flashlights and any kind of hand-held lantern, battery powered or otherwise are the main problems here.  There are a few simple ways to cut down on these signatures, and all of them take practice.

  1. No white lenses with movement: you need to obtain a red lens for your flashlight. This will not defeat NVD’s (night vision devices), but it will cut down on being compromised by the unwanted naked eye considerably.
  2. When using the flashlight, cover it up: preferably a poncho over top of yourself and the flashlight, to perform whatever task you need to accomplish when moving at night, such as checking your position on the map, or fooling with equipment of some kind. Keep that light covered.
  3. Adjust your eyes and learn to move in the dark without a flashlight: this will take some practice, and some people may not have the night vision abilities to perform it, especially those with eye problems. For everyone else, practice makes perfect.  Most nights have a little illumination and are not pitch dark (except for the New Moon and a day before and after).
  4. Smokers: you must hide the signature of the end of your cigarette. Through NVD’s it appears to be a flare going off from a distance.  Either cup it within your hands, or inside of an aluminum pouch, such as found with MRE’s (Meal Ready to Eat).  When you light that cigarette you also tend to give off a big signature.  Best thing I can tell you is to quit smoking and really nip it in the bud.  Not to mention the fact that you can smell a cigarette from several hundred feet away.

How to Minimize Noise Levels in Dangerous Situations

Noise is an entirely different animal.  We make noise as we walk.  We can’t help it.

What we can do, however, is control the amount of noise we make…and reduce the amount that would give away our position.  You must practice noise discipline in order to perfect it!  Looking where you walk and where you take your next step is key.  Be keenly observant of where you are moving and through what.  Are you facing a large area covered in dry leaves, with dry weather?  Are there dried branches and twigs strewn all over the place?

How about sticker bushes and nettles in the summertime?  If you’re not crushing them underfoot, how about if one of them whips you across the face?  Unless you are prepared to take the pain of it, you may yell, curse, or cry out.  You should practice moving through all of these different types of substances.  In addition, how about the noise made just as a consequence of your movement?

Many people carry so much stuff, such as keys, change in their pockets, etc., that they mimic a tambourine when they walk.  Let’s not forget our happy, singing, laughing, chirping tracking devices…our cell phones.  Your cell phones: I don’t use one.  You can believe when Uncle Ed tries to reach you or you get a call from Gram-gram, or some other family member, and you’re out in the woods?  The whole world (animal, vegetable, and human) will hear that ringtone.  Clattering gear that is rattling around, the sounds of trampled branches and vegetation, the occasional grunt in fatigue or pain…all of these will give you away.

Any and all of your rattling gear needs to be silenced.  Everything that is loose must be tied down and secured.  This is not just prudent: this is survival.  “What is the situation?” you may ask.

The situation is anything: our happy “Betty Crocker/Holly Hobby” society can change with the blink of an eye into “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.

Choose the situation.  The situation is unimportant.  What is important here is that you ensure noise and light discipline in order to avoid being obsequious and potentially to evade a pursuer.  Practice walking at night in the woods, and listen to yourself.  When you’re stationary, practice listening to the things that are around you.  If you’re patient and open your eyes, ears, and mind, the woods will come alive for you. Your senses will experience what your normal Western-Consumer marketing environment deadens them to.

Learn to pace yourself by the amount of noise you make and also practice leaving fewer tracks and/or a trail.  Practice negotiating close (thickly-vegetated) terrain and making as little noise as possible.  Skills need practice in order to master them.  Now that the weather is warming up, try some training that won’t cost you anything except time and effort to master these skills.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Primitive Skills Preppers Should Know for Survival

To acquire is good, to improvise is better, and to fabricate is the best of all. 

Fabrication is a survival skill you can practice each day.  You can practice it with your eyes and your hands.  First let’s go over a few of these primitive skills of fabrication that it would bode you good to learn.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

5 Primitive Skills for Preppers to Learn

  1. Cordage: Sounds simple…maybe even overly simple. It is rather intricate.  Cordage is the skill of making rope or string.  You can practice with braiding long stems of grass.  Three pieces, set parallel to one another.  Tie a knot/half-hitch in one end (Here are six survival knots you need to know). Of the three pieces, take the one on the Right end to the middle, the one on the left end to the middle, and the one right (now) to the middle…and repeat.  Simple enough, na?  This basic formula/method can be used with strips of leather, strips of cloth, long strips of inner bark.
  2. Stone tools: there are plenty of books out there on how to do this, as well as innumerable sources on the Internet. Knives, spear points, arrow heads, construction tools (hammers, punches), fish-scalers…all of these can be made out of stone.  Flint is preferable, but you can practice with what you have.
  3. Staffs and staff-tools: these would include spears, fishing poles, bows (both hunting and fire), walking/climbing sticks, clubs, and so forth. Farther on, you can make arrows (fletched for distance, non-fletched for close-in work or fishing).
  4. Fishhooks: Many are the ways to make good fishhooks. You can fashion them out of wood, bone, or stone.  You can also make them out of things easily converted to a fishhook, such as a safety pin.  Doing this, be sure and “notch” the end of the hook, so as to make a little barb.  This will prevent the fish from slipping off of it and escaping.
  5. Fire-starting kit: A fire-bow (with the string portion made of cordage for the optimal practice), a fire-drill, a “spindle handle” (this is what you hold onto when you’re twirling your fire drill to and fro), and a fire-block you can make in a short time. Practice starting fires with it!

Challenge Yourself with Field Training

Another challenge along these lines is to take existing stuff (such as tossed-away cans or fabric that has been thrown away) and “recycle” it into what you can use.  Take an old blanket, sew up the edges, and make a “sailor’s bag”/duffel bag for yourself.  Mind you: if you want to keep it, great.

This is not to make gear for yourself, unless you have no other option; this is to train yourself for a situation such as “The Road,” where (compared to that guy and his kid) you can do a whole lot more with a whole lot less.

Along with that challenge to recycle and repurpose materials is this one: an FTX (as we called it in the Army…a Field Training Exercise).  Yes, now that the weather is warming up…just take yourself out in the outdoors with no supplies except you and a firearm and some backup gear in case of emergency.  Pretend you don’t have the firearm or the backup gear, and keep your hands off them.

Now, have a training exercise.  Live off the land.  Fabricate fish hooks, fabricate fishing lines from cordage and a fishing pole from a sapling.  Forage and live off the land…taking notes as you go.  Don’t use any pages out of that notebook to start the fire!  Use a bow and drill.  Practice with the primitive.  Always use the primitive, and learn the skills of making these tools and weapons.

You’ll have some challenges that will be overcome and you’ll learn to overcome them on your own.  This will build your self-confidence.  These are all perishable skills.  I myself train in this manner frequently, regardless of the weather or the season.  Learn old, forgotten skills and make them new for you…and keep yourself current on them.  It’ll pay off in the end the first time you have to build a raft and you have nothing to build it with.  Nothing to build it with?  If you can make strong cordage and a hand-axe, you can build a raft even in a remote area with no Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, or Ace Hardware to be found.

Challenge yourself every day, and when the tough times come, you’ll handle them better.  Don’t stop the training!  How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war!  Stay in that good fight, drink a good cup of coffee, and keep up the good work!  JJ out!

 

Learn More Primitive Skills

How To Build a Survival Shelter. Your Life May Depend on It

Tips and Tricks for Priming Off-Grid Light Sources

The Number One Knife Skill for Wilderness Survival and Self-Reliance

How to Make a Smokeless Fire

The Prepper’s Blueprint

49 Outdoor Skills and Projects to Try When Camping

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Primitive Skills Preppers Should Know for Survival

Click here to view the original post.

To acquire is good, to improvise is better, and to fabricate is the best of all. 

Fabrication is a survival skill you can practice each day.  You can practice it with your eyes and your hands.  First let’s go over a few of these primitive skills of fabrication that it would bode you good to learn.

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

5 Primitive Skills for Preppers to Learn

  1. Cordage: Sounds simple…maybe even overly simple. It is rather intricate.  Cordage is the skill of making rope or string.  You can practice with braiding long stems of grass.  Three pieces, set parallel to one another.  Tie a knot/half-hitch in one end (Here are six survival knots you need to know). Of the three pieces, take the one on the Right end to the middle, the one on the left end to the middle, and the one right (now) to the middle…and repeat.  Simple enough, na?  This basic formula/method can be used with strips of leather, strips of cloth, long strips of inner bark.
  2. Stone tools: there are plenty of books out there on how to do this, as well as innumerable sources on the Internet. Knives, spear points, arrow heads, construction tools (hammers, punches), fish-scalers…all of these can be made out of stone.  Flint is preferable, but you can practice with what you have.
  3. Staffs and staff-tools: these would include spears, fishing poles, bows (both hunting and fire), walking/climbing sticks, clubs, and so forth. Farther on, you can make arrows (fletched for distance, non-fletched for close-in work or fishing).
  4. Fishhooks: Many are the ways to make good fishhooks. You can fashion them out of wood, bone, or stone.  You can also make them out of things easily converted to a fishhook, such as a safety pin.  Doing this, be sure and “notch” the end of the hook, so as to make a little barb.  This will prevent the fish from slipping off of it and escaping.
  5. Fire-starting kit: A fire-bow (with the string portion made of cordage for the optimal practice), a fire-drill, a “spindle handle” (this is what you hold onto when you’re twirling your fire drill to and fro), and a fire-block you can make in a short time. Practice starting fires with it!

Challenge Yourself with Field Training

Another challenge along these lines is to take existing stuff (such as tossed-away cans or fabric that has been thrown away) and “recycle” it into what you can use.  Take an old blanket, sew up the edges, and make a “sailor’s bag”/duffel bag for yourself.  Mind you: if you want to keep it, great.

This is not to make gear for yourself, unless you have no other option; this is to train yourself for a situation such as “The Road,” where (compared to that guy and his kid) you can do a whole lot more with a whole lot less.

Along with that challenge to recycle and repurpose materials is this one: an FTX (as we called it in the Army…a Field Training Exercise).  Yes, now that the weather is warming up…just take yourself out in the outdoors with no supplies except you and a firearm and some backup gear in case of emergency.  Pretend you don’t have the firearm or the backup gear, and keep your hands off them.

Now, have a training exercise.  Live off the land.  Fabricate fish hooks, fabricate fishing lines from cordage and a fishing pole from a sapling.  Forage and live off the land…taking notes as you go.  Don’t use any pages out of that notebook to start the fire!  Use a bow and drill.  Practice with the primitive.  Always use the primitive, and learn the skills of making these tools and weapons.

You’ll have some challenges that will be overcome and you’ll learn to overcome them on your own.  This will build your self-confidence.  These are all perishable skills.  I myself train in this manner frequently, regardless of the weather or the season.  Learn old, forgotten skills and make them new for you…and keep yourself current on them.  It’ll pay off in the end the first time you have to build a raft and you have nothing to build it with.  Nothing to build it with?  If you can make strong cordage and a hand-axe, you can build a raft even in a remote area with no Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, or Ace Hardware to be found.

Challenge yourself every day, and when the tough times come, you’ll handle them better.  Don’t stop the training!  How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war!  Stay in that good fight, drink a good cup of coffee, and keep up the good work!  JJ out!

 

Learn More Primitive Skills

How To Build a Survival Shelter. Your Life May Depend on It

Tips and Tricks for Priming Off-Grid Light Sources

The Number One Knife Skill for Wilderness Survival and Self-Reliance

How to Make a Smokeless Fire

The Prepper’s Blueprint

49 Outdoor Skills and Projects to Try When Camping

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

Click here to view the original post.

ReadyNutrition fans, this segment is going to cover five weapons in particular that you should familiarize yourself with and train up on.  You don’t necessarily have to buy these weapons or even know a private individual that has them, although either case would benefit you.  One of the suggestions I make will depend heavily on the state you reside in.  There are many gun shops and firearms ranges that will “rent” a weapon to you…even full-automatic weapons…for use in their range.  Let’s cover five weapons that it would behoove you to train on: two pistols, two rifles, and a shotgun.

5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

  1. AR-15: The mainstay of the U.S. Armed Forces (M-16, now the M-4) for the past fifty years. It’s not going to be mothballed anytime soon.  Those .223 rounds are about as common as they will ever be.  Everything in the military and law enforcement is geared around this system.  M16A4 and the M-4 carbine being the designators for the model carried by the U.S. Armed forces.  Cyclic Rate of Fire: 700 – 900 rpm (rounds per minute).  Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm.  Effective Range: 500 meters/550 yards.
  2. AK-47: Widely available in semiautomatic form, firing a 7.62 x 39 mm round. The Russian ammo is harder to come by now; the Chinese ammo is more readily available, and the rounds are coated, unlike the Russian rounds.  Winchester and Remington also make “boxer” primed rounds that can be reloaded.  The full-auto version can be found in your higher-end ranges and fired for a price.  Cyclic Rate of Fire: 600 rpm.  Effective Range: 300 meters/328 yards.  The availability, coupled with the fact that the upgraded versions are almost identical is the reason to train on such a weapon…a rifle that, if the “Red Dawn” scenario occurs, you will surely see again…and possibly need to employ.
  3. Beretta 9 mm Pistol: A semiautomatic pistol in service with the U.S. military for more than 30 years. Effective Range: 45 meters/50 yards.  Rate of Fire: Semiautomatic.  Caliber: 9 x 19 mm.  The U.S. military phased out the M1911 for “economics and accuracy,” only to find the stopping power is less than the .45, which is presently experiencing a resurgence and possible complete return.  Still, the 9mm Beretta is an excellent “starter pistol” to train with: it’s still in service in the military and law enforcement and is not disappearing anytime soon.
  4. M1911 Pistol: A semiautomatic pistol, arguably (and I follow the “pro” argument) one of the finest weapons ever produced. In service with the military more than half a century.    Effective Range: 45 meters/50 yards.  Rate of Fire: Semiautomatic.  Caliber: .45 ACP.  The U.S. military should have never let it go…for a good recap on the .45 cartridge, refer to my recent article at ReadyNutrition entitled The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan.”  Stopping power, ease of operation, and durability…you can’t do better.  The 1911 is making a comeback and is as plentiful as ever.
  5. Mossberg model 500-Series 12-gauge shotgun: As Rage Against the Machine so eloquently phrased it, “Pistol grip pump on my lap at all times!” Yes, indeed, the 500 series is the successor to the Remington 870 (another beauty that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it).  You can do no finer.  Stick with that pistol grip pump or leave that stock on the back if you feel more comfortable.  Many recommend the Bennelli Black Eagle, etc., in semiautomatic version, but the semis tend to jam in a manner that the pump shotgun does not.  Stagger your ammo with 12-gauge slugs and 000 (“triple-ought”) buckshot.  Effective range is about 25 meters (50 feet) unless you train with it frequently for longer distances.  In any event, what’s in front of you will go down.

By training with these weapons, you will be familiarizing yourself with firearms you will definitely see in one way, shape, or form in a SHTF scenario.  Learning how to operate these will stimulate you to develop skills and perhaps to purchase one or more in civilian/legal ownership form.  There are also plenty of qualified instructors to be found in these ranges, and a high-end range that is worth its salt will provide one for you to familiarize you with the weapon free of charge before you fire it.  Keep your powder dry, don’t stop the training, and try out these five…you won’t be disappointed.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepping This Item Before Winter Comes Could Save Your Life

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ReadyNutrition Readers, one of the things that always amazes me is the way people always wait until autumn sets in to begin cutting and storing up a supply of firewood.  I wanted to tell you guys and gals the way I do things here, and perhaps (quantity and geographic variances aside) you can see my overall intent.  As you well know, I live in Montana where it is usually bitterly cold with snow on the ground for anywhere from 7 to 9 months of the year.  I’m aware this is not the case in most of the U.S., however, there are some good reasons for laying in a firewood supply right now.

A year supply of wood for $20

Firstly, one of the really good things we have here in Montana is that the U.S. Forestry Service allows residents to pick up a permit (every April) to cut fallen dead and standing dead timber.  The permit runs $20 for four cords, and you can pay $60 and take up to twelve cords.  That’s a heck of a lot of wood, and dirt-cheap!  I’m not sure what it is in other states, however, I am certain that many of them have the same policy.

On this note, I’d love to hear from you and find out what the policy is in your home state: prices and amounts, and such.

The only regulations governing it are you must have a serviceable and up-to-date/inspected fire extinguisher with you if you use a chain saw.  In addition, there are certain times (and the USFS posts it) when the fire danger is high or greater.  In these periods, it is not permitted to run a chainsaw and harvest that dead timber.

But now is a great time for it!  All of the undergrowth has not yet emerged from its winter hibernation, so it is relatively clear to work.  I have much of it that I take where it is not permissible to take a vehicle and load up in the forest itself.  My way around that is to cut my wood, stack it up, and haul it out with a garden cart.  Sears make a pretty sturdy one that holds about 600 lbs, and it’ll run you just under $100 dollars.  It has some thick, tough-treaded wheels that can easily run the trails, and not have too much of a problem going over even fields.

The reason for the wood gathering is twofold.  Firstly (from a “normal” thought perspective) you’re laying in your supply for next winter.  The early bird gets the worm.  You’ll be able to pick up the best wood for yourself when most others are not even thinking about anything except their weekend trip to the beach.  Secondly (and also very important) from a prepper’s perspective, is the “What If?” reason.

What if that EMP attack comes from North Korea or China?  What if the economy collapses?  What should happen if there is civil war, or a war/invasion here in the U.S.?  Yes, your home will be warm already, but what about cooking?  What about hot water for laundry or personal hygiene.  How about some light when there’s no electricity?  And what about sterilizing instruments, boiling bandages, and running a home/field dispensary?

All of these, I hope you realize are good reasons to prepare and plan now, so that when the tough times arrive, it is not so great a hurt to deal with.  You have seen the news reports, and we’re just a step away from either a war or an EMP attack.  As with Aesop’s fable “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” although we in the survival community are hardly grasshoppers, if we’re ants it is best to be wise ants…covering all of the bases before the ball is hit to center field.

Now is the time to set up your wood-fueled “kitchen,” by investing in a good wood stove for heat and for cooking.  The wood stove also cuts down on the light signature at night…much better than a fireplace.  Along with the stove, start investing in cast iron cookware and utensils for cooking that can withstand rougher treatment than your standard dinner fare.

How much wood do you need?

If you have not done so already, now is a good time to estimate how much wood you will go through in the wintertime, and then estimate how much you would need to have a fire/woodstove burning 24 hours a day.  Typically, a cord of wood is 4 feet wide x 4 feet high x 8 feet long stacked and adds up to 128 cubic feet. As well, the cords may consist of whole logs or split logs. Here is some great information on how to estimate cords of wood from a standing tree. In the summertime it is significantly less, but take your winter consumption and double it, just to be on the safe side.

Invest in a good chain saw, with at least 5 extra chains, and plenty of rattail files to sharpen them when you need to.  Also in that equation, you’ll need a good bench vise to help you to sharpen them.  Stock up on oil and fuel for the saws.  Back all of it up with several good axes, and as many bow saws as you can find.  Remember: if you run out of fuel, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way.

So take some time to figure out your fuel needs to heat your home with wood and to fulfill the other functions I have just mentioned.  Now is the time to do it, and it can be a good team experience for the whole family.  Make sure you always pack a first aid kit in your excursions and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the operation of all your cutting and safety equipment.  Happy woodcutting!  We encourage your input and thoughts in these matters and hope to hear from you soon!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Seize the Moment: How Preppers Can Maximize Their Training Time

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Readers, many of you have been involved in prepping and survival activities for a long time.  The line from the Mel Gibson “The Patriot” Movie by Chris Cooper exemplifies the mindset we need: “Stay the course.”  Perhaps this is an oversimplification for a complex stance, however, sometimes in simplicity lies clarity…and when you’re clear and uncomplicated in your purpose?  It may help you to organize more effectively.  Your training is what we’re talking about in this article.  You are responsible for your training and the analysis of how effective it is.

There were a lot of things we did in the Army that (if mimicked or duplicated) would serve you well individually and as a family unit.  I did an article that emphasized how important it is to make every member of your family learn, and (eventually) perform as an instructor.  This piece is for an emphasis on you as an individual.  If you strengthen your abilities as an individual, then it makes it that much easier when you teach, lead, and train your family as a group.

We had a thing in the Army called “hip pocket training,” that (when as a group we had some down time, such as when we were all sitting around ready to go through a range, or an exercise) we would take that “down” time and try to fill it with something productive.  A lot of soldiers didn’t particularly like it, however, these were the ones who didn’t want to be proactive with their time or their military career.  During this down time, we would gather in small groups and study different subjects on the cusp…unprepared training…such as our Sergeants taking us through a 9-paragraph operations order from memory, or doing some practice disassembling and assembling weapons…blindfolded, and for time.

Maximize Your Training

The point: to make maximum and effective use of our time.  The ones who weren’t shortsighted could see that this contributed to battle readiness.

I have written this before, and I’ll mention it again: How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

What does this mean for you?  Well, to make maximum and effective use of your time.  This will involve some planning on your part.  What do you usually do on your “down time” during a workday?  Do you have the standard, ½ hour unpaid lunch break, or do you have an hour?  Do you set your own schedule and have (perhaps) some open or slow time in the morning that lasts an hour?  And then again in the afternoon?  How far do you live from work?  A long commute?

These are questions you can ask yourself to ascertain your free, or open spots that you can fill productively with some type of training.  We’re not talking about physical training or exercise…that is something entirely different, and your time with weightlifting or calisthenics needs to be a time that you concentrate only on that.  If you have a long commute to work (a drive of half an hour or more), why not put in an instructional cassette tape or CD with language lessons on it?  This is a good way to fill up that time and brush up on your Spanish or French.

So, that doesn’t seem like much?  Well, guess what?  If you have that half hour per morning…that would be 2 ½ hours per week.  With 52 weeks in a year, that would be 126 total hours, or 5 whole days of listening.  Do you know how much positive reinforcement that would yield?  Just listening passively to something such as that?  Can do you nothing but good.

Then on the return trip home, switch it off to something else equally productive.  Any subject under the sun…if it’s proactive and you’re learning something.  Maximum and effective use of your time is the goal…not to punch a clock, but to fill it with something that will benefit you.  Ben Franklin: “The best way to kill time is to work it to death.”

Those long lunch breaks?  Put your nose in a book for 15 minutes or so.  If you get a full hour, then even take one of those little portable DVD players with something instructional…it can be anything from gunsmithing to herbal remedies…first aid to land navigation.  Do this for four days on your lunch break.  Make that 5th day of lunch an “open” day…to fill it with either some type of reading, watching, or listening program, or to plan your training for the weekend and the coming week.

If you’re fortunate enough to work with a like-minded friend, well, get them involved. Why not?  “Iron sharpens iron,” we’re all so fond of saying.  How about living it?  Find a coworker with similar interests and bring up a thing to do for training for the pair of you.  Get him or her involved: get them to set up a time where they train you with something.

There are no limits to the scope of your training calendar except those you impose upon it.  That imposition can be through inactivity or procrastination.  Don’t do either.  Seize the moment, seize the day.  You can also give yourself 15 to 30 minutes each day before you go to work, and then again when you come home.  The bottom line: it really adds up to something in the end.  If you stick a dollar in a coffee can with the lid taped on through a slit in the top and don’t touch it for three years…if you do it every day…after three years, you’ll have over a thousand dollars.

Same principle here.  If you invest in yourself by filling your time with things that will fill you and improve you…then you’ll have something to show for it when you look at it down the road.  Training is important: to learn new things and to sharpen old skills and make them “current” again.  Let’s take a small scenario, say someone who lives in upstate New York.

Do you know French?  If you had to flee to Canada in the middle of the night, do you speak French well enough to get by?  Does your family…the wife and two teenage kids…do they speak French?  Do you know your route?  Ooops, an EMP just busted overhead, and New York City went dark, too…it became a glowing hole.  Did you stash stuff in Faraday cages?  Have your compass?  Are you guys ready to start that ’56 Ford pickup truck and roll out of there?

If you’ve trained and prepared for all that stuff, then it will make things easier (even if not less stressful) and give you an edge.  Take the time to make a definitive training plan that will allow you to maximize the amount of “free” time that you have…and then execute that plan.  The best plan in the world is of no use if you don’t use it when the time comes.  The time is now: time to formulate your training goals and implement them.  It has to do with your survival and the survival of your family.  Need it be emphasized any more than that?  So, buckle down, study and work hard, and implement that training plan, as the world is not becoming either any nicer or safer.  Stay the course, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Prepper’s DIY: Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

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ReadyNutrition Readers, there can never be enough emphasis placed on the importance of weapons cleaning and maintenance.  We had a piece recently on how to maintain your weapons during the wintertime.  Keep in mind: the game changes completely when you fire the firearm.  You cannot afford to allow that weapon to sit with carbon buildup after you’ve fired it.  The moisture will come into play, and neglected, the weapon will be in really bad shape in about a week’s period of time or less.  If you are taking the tips on a regularly-scheduled maintenance program seriously, then it should be no problem whatsoever to incorporate your cleaning sessions into it after you have fired.


Keep this in mind: If you’ll maintain your car, can you do any less for your weapon…a piece of equipment where cleanliness and function may mean life or death?


Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

So, how about a cleaning kit for your weapon?  Here’s what you need: One large “mothership” cleaning kit for general purpose and maintenance, and one cleaning kit that is portable, for what you carry or tote into the great outdoors.  There are plenty of different brands to choose from, and in the manner that fishing gear is more tailored to catch fishermen than fish, the same principle applies to cleaning kits.  You need some basics, and it is the basics we’ll cover.  First, your component parts:

  1. Cleaning rods: brass or steel is preferable; aluminum if there’s nothing else.  You want enough sections to be able to clean out your longest rifle barrel, and extra sections and handgrips for pistols and other rifles, as well.
  2. Bore Brushes: these are often stamped with the caliber (.22, .38, .45, etc.) on the base just past the threaded part you screw into the rod. They are also made for your chamber…to clean where the cartridge is actually seated when fired.  The ones stamped with the caliber are meant to pass through the entire length of the barrel. If you have multiple firearms, consider getting this bore brush kit.
  3. Patch-tips: have an “eye” hole at the end, and are threaded to screw onto your cleaning rod. The larger the eye, the bigger the patch it takes.
  4. Cleaning brushes: You will have some that are made with nylon bristles, akin to a toothbrush, and some with wire/metal bristles. This latter group is especially helpful with carbon buildups.
  5. Patches: can be 1” square, 2” square, and so forth; usually made of cotton or muslin fiber to clean the inside of the barrel and other locations with your firearm.
  6. Pipe cleaners: especially helpful for small holes and other locations that have interworking mechanisms, such as trigger or hammer assemblies. Very useful in cleaning out carbon from around springs, deep within the magazine well, and in front of your firing pins.
  7. Bore light devices: Once again, there are numerous types to choose from. I carry a small “mini Maglite” that uses one AAA battery; however, I recommend the little Plexiglas 90-degree angle “sticks” that are L-shaped.  You place one end into the end of your barrel, and the other end point toward a light source (a light bulb, the sun, etc.) and it will illuminate your barrel.
  8. Lubricant: Self-explanatory here. The function is to clean and also to coat with a light coating.  If you caught my other piece, then you may recall: I recommend 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic Motor Oil, available at about $7 to $8 per quart.  All the name-brand oils (Outers, etc.) sell for little 1 – 2 ounce bottles for about $3 to $4.  You do the math.  The Mobil Synthetic is a better oil, and far less expensive.
  9. Bore Solvent: On this one I don’t cut corners, because other solvents can leave a film…I pick up the brand-name stuff from Outers, RCBS, etc. A small bottle of it will last you a long time if you stretch it.  You need it to clean off hardcore powder fouling…the type coming from when you burn off more than a couple of hundred rounds in a weapon.  Search your catalogs, and you can find volume deals for a gallon at a time.
  10. Cleaning rags, pouches, and other accessories (magnifying glass, scraping tools, etc.)

Now as we mentioned in the beginning, what you can do for ease of simplicity is work from the “mothership” principle: consolidate the majority of your supplies in one box/chest, and “work” off of smaller, independent “kits” for individual firearms.

You want the ability to clean each weapon no matter where it is.  If they’re consolidated in one location?  Fine, but you want the ability to throw together a pouch with all of the supplies and materials listed above specific to any firearm.  Tote the kit with you along with the firearm when you leave home, away from the consolidated supplies (the mothership).  You will find that you can build numerous “kits,” or pouches for each firearm.  Keep them all together until the time you take the firearm away.

The rule of thumb: if the firearm is away from the home, the cleaning kit should be with it.  You will find military issue nylon pouches (they have three snaps) are exceptionally useful for these individual kits.  They hold all of the rods (broken down), your brushes, patches, and a small bottle for your oil.   This photo shows an issue kit you can order from www.amazon.com for $16.20 called a UTG Model 4/AR15 Cleaning Kit Complete with Pouch

Although specifically for an M-4 (AR-15), as it is a 5.56 mm/.223 caliber weapon, you will find it can be used for a variety of different weapons cleaning applications.  Use your imagination, as necessity is the mother of invention.  You want to keep your cleaning kits and supplies in a water-tight, sealable case that will prevent moisture and perhaps take a beating.  Supplement this kit with cleaning rags and a small tool kit.  Patches you can make from something such as a white or cream-colored bedsheet that has outlived its original use.

Use your creativity and your imagination to make what you want and tailor it to your use.  Bottom line: your weapon can’t take care of you unless it is properly taken care of.  You can be smart and use some of these tips to lessen the bite to your wallet.  Just don’t cut corners when it comes to maintenance.  When you’re done at the range, either take it down and clean it there, or take it home and clean it right away.  Practice hard, clean those firearms, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Could This Be the Most Versatile Firearm to Use in a SHTF Scenario?

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Well, ReadyNutrition firearms enthusiasts, we are following up our .45 ACP article with another piece on a superb cartridge…the .357 magnum round.  Invented by Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, the .357 magnum (hereafter referred to in this piece as the “.357”) is a very versatile and highly-dependable cartridge that has been around for almost one hundred years.  Introduced in 1935, it is an “evolution,” so to speak from the .38 caliber round.  It has an interesting history that should raise more than a few eyebrows.

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During the Depression Days and the Bootlegging Era, the .357 magnum was developed (one of the reasons) because of the gangsters and gang wars that were rampant during the days of Prohibition.  The round was needed to be able to “puncture” both bulletproof vests and automobiles during these skirmishes of cops and robbers.  The vests were defeating any bullets (at the time) of under 1,000 feet per second (fps), and the only round that was overcoming them was the Colt’s .38 Super Automatic.

Smith and Wesson came along and jumped on the bandwagon.  They wanted to expand the .38 cartridge that was in use by law enforcement.  After many failures, the .357 finally came about.  For those of you guys and gals that mentioned in e-mails and comments about the recoil (“kick”) of the .45 ACP, the .357 magnum has less recoil, and yet does not sacrifice stopping power to attain it.  Your bullet weights range (generally) from 125 grains (gr) to 158 gr.

The .357 is an excellent cartridge for home defense, as well as for hunting and for target-shooting.  It is the smallest size magnum cartridge that will have effect against large game, and if firing +P rounds (with a brand such as Buffalo Bore), can be used in self-defense against large predators.  Mind you, in Grizzly country you prefer the .44 Magnum round, but the .357 +P round has been effective in stopping these monsters.

There are plenty of handguns and rifles to choose from for your cartridge.  I highly recommend Ruger’s SP-101 series revolver, with a barrel length to your choosing.  Although a five-shot revolver, that .357 is a serious round…a magnum round…and will more than serve your needs if your marksmanship fundamentals are followed.  You can find lever-action rifles chambered in .357 magnum, such as the Marlin lever-action carbine.  One that I am interested in is the Rossi Ranch Hand, that boasts a greatly-enlarged finger-loop for use by cattlemen and cowboys.

The Ranch Hand can be kept in a side sheath on a horse and then withdrawn to fire from a moving gallop and reloaded (re-levered) with the enlarged finger loop.  My interest is to remove the loop and replace it with a more standard-sized finger loop such as is found in the Winnie ’94.  The reason is because it is really a short carbine.  I was thinking of doing this to stick in a sheath atop of my rucksack.  I’m still deliberating, because the Ranch Hand also comes in a .44 Magnum cartridge.  I like both rounds for bear and mountain lion country.

The .357 cartridge is easily acquired and simple to reload.  You are getting the accuracy of a 9mm cartridge with a stopping power on a level with a .45 ACP.  Your velocity of the rounds is approximately 1,300 fps.  Want another “Bennie” for this equation?  No, not Benzedrine…a Benefit!  If you have a firearm that will fire a .357 magnum round, you are (99% of the time) also able to fire a .38 round through it, such as a standard .38 Special round!  There’s a plus for you…as you’ll have a weapon that can fire multiple calibers without a barrel change.


Caution!  It doesn’t work in reverse: your .38 is NOT able to handle the extra chamber pressure from the .357 magnum round! 


I’m highlighting, underlining, and isolating that sentence just so that you keep it in mind for your safety.  The ammo is very reasonably-priced and can be obtained in your friendly Wal-Mart quite availably and affordably.  It’s a good piece for men or women and the round will serve your needs well.  The .357 magnum round is quite reliable and has been dependable for a long time.  Happy and safe shooting, and we’d love any questions or comments you may send us.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Hack: How Harvesting Snow Creates a Long-Term Water Supply

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ReadyNutrition Readers, I have written a few articles about water catchment systems for your home (via rainfall), and also how to purify water/set up a disinfecting station.  One of the problems faced by many over the last several years is that a number of states have put into place laws that forbid you to take the very rainwater from off of your roof.  So how to put into place a water catchment system with that kind of nonsense in place?  Well, that’s a tough call.

They didn’t say anything about the water that has already fallen, now, have they?

Run for the nearest feed store and/or hardware store to secure a few of those 45-55-gallon plastic drums that can be closed off at the top.  The kind that I have found that are really good are a brown barrel with a gasketed lid and an “O” ring that screws the lid in place, almost akin to a gigantic mason jar.  They’re brown, a dark color that will absorb the sun’s light.  You load these guys up with snow and let the warm weather do the rest.  As the snow melts, you periodically add more snow to the barrels.

Here, this is the age of techno-wizardry.  Most of the readers have cell-phones with cameras and other do-dads to record virtually everything that happens in life, no matter how truly insignificant.  Well, here’s a function that actually bears significance.  Take pictures of yourself loading up the barrels with snow.  They don’t have any laws in place that say anything about harvesting snow off of the ground: after all, look how much they spend of your money every winter for snow removal.

How to Assist the Snow to Melt

You can also help the melting process out by positioning these barrels in an area optimal to catching the sun.  You can use ice as well…gathering ice is actually even more productive than the snow in terms of yield.  It will be “shaky” for a little while, as the nighttime temperatures have not come up above freezing in much of the country; however, you’ll be able to get a jumpstart on things and have full containers long before that precious government-controlled rain starts to fall regularly in the spring.

Camouflage Your Water Supply

It is an “outside of the box” idea.  Sure, if you have a well, there is no problem with your water supply…as of yet.  It couldn’t hurt, though, to prep by storing about 150 to 200 gallons, courtesy of Frosty the Snowman if you’re able.  The big thing you want to do with a water point is to camouflage it.  This will protect you from incredible, snooping, malicious neighbors who may want to turn you in.  Remember: the same neighbor that would blow the whistle on you for having a water point against “neighborhood regulations” is the same one who would beg and cry at your door for water when the EMP strikes and takes out those electric water pumps.

Best thing to do is hide or shield them behind something, while yet figuring out how to do it without blocking the sun that enables them to melt.  You may not be able to fill up a whole barrel, but if you even get 4 barrels half full, then you can consolidate them into 2, and keep the remaining 2 in reserve for tough times to come.  You have to think outside of the box, and you have to protect your water supply from the snoopy Scooby’s in the ‘hood.  It’s part of your preps: you need to have a water supply that is not threatened with inability to use it because of loss of power.  You keep that powder dry, melt that snow for a water supply, and let G-men and neighbors just walk on by!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Post-Disaster Wellness: Why Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments Should Be Avoided

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  We are going to discuss how alcohol affects your physical training, and what physiological effects you must take into consideration.  Please understand: I am not “demonizing” alcohol or alcoholic beverages, and am not scoffing or scorning anyone who partakes in them in a normal, healthy manner.  Indeed, the scope of this article is not “moralistic,” nor am I a spokesperson for abstinence.  The intent is to explain how alcohol diminishes your recovery time and performance regarding your physical training.

You, the readers are a very demographically-diverse group from all walks of life and all ages, some with special health care needs.  I implore all of you to analyze your status and with your doctor come up with an exercise program for yourself.


Physical training and exercise are your best tools for preparation, along with proper study, diet, and rest.


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

That being said, why am I writing about alcohol affecting training?  I do so because the proverbial “two drinks,” as well as the “after dinner drink,” and the “after work drink” are pervasive in our society and culture.  The Super Bowl just finished up, with hardly anything in the ads for your physical training, but a barrage from Budweiser to drink beer.  Consider me a quiet voice on the sideline, little more than a whisper in your ear recommending the physical training.

Alcohol deposits fat in your midsection, and also has a wasting effect on the thigh and gluteal muscles.  There was a study in 2000 done published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found cortisol (a hormone we discussed in previous articles) rose 61% when alcohol was consumed after strenuous physical activity.  The reason for this significance: many people have physically-demanding jobs and wish to “wind down” with a beer or two, or a shot after work.

The cortisol (usually produced with stress) has an adverse effect on muscle maintenance and muscle growth.  See, alcohol has an effect that has gravitated man toward it throughout history: it holds similar effects to the drug Valium (or Diazepam, if you prefer) with calming, anxiety-relieving effects.  It also releases dopamine and endorphins within the first 20 minutes of consumption, substances that enhance pleasure when released by the brain…and in this effect, alcohol is almost akin to opium.

With low doses, alcohol increases stimulation in certain brain areas and the central nervous system, leading to feelings of euphoria.  So, with all of this, you may be thinking…shouldn’t I be taking an occasional drink of alcohol in conjunction with training?  The answer is an unequivocal “No!” on all counts.

Alcohol has the ability to severely depress brain function by interfering with the ion channels needed to fire neurons…that is, allow your brain to communicate to and with other important parts of your body…such as respiration, heart, motor control, and so forth.  Far from being a “sleep aid,” it can rob you of REM.  No, not the band from the late 80’s to early 90’s…but Rapid-Eye Movement sleep.  Alcohol can hurt your sleeping habits.  To say nothing of your love life.

Chronic consumption of alcohol is a libido-killer in both men and women.  It seriously lowers testosterone levels in men, and causes the testicles to shrink, as well as promoting impotence.  If you read the article I recently wrote for men on the importance of maintaining healthy levels of testosterone with weight and physical training, you’ll understand just how negative these alcohol-induced reductions are.

Alcohol increases the amount of recovery time that you need to heal and restore your muscles after hard physical labor or exercise.  Your liver works hard to excrete the alcohol and the toxins associated with it.  A substantial amount of energy is also needed to break down the molecules and process them.  If you work out for an hour in the gym and then go and have a beer or a glass of wine, you have just ruined or severely cramped the gains you may have experienced.

Tissue repair and the uptake of amino acids are also severely hampered by alcohol consumption.  Studies in the past have shown that a glass of wine will lower the triglycerides in the bloodstream and help prevent blood clotting.  This is true, but guess what?  So will a regular exercise program!  You can lower those triglycerides and build yourself up!  Alcohol also tends to reduce the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and calcium with long-term consumption.

Will it kill you or cripple you to have a drink every now and then, such as once a month?  Consult with your doctor first, but it probably will not harm you.  I still stand by the fact that you don’t really need it, and it can cause your training and physical fitness regimen to suffer.  I haven’t even mentioned the other negative effects that heavy drinking can cause, but you can figure them out if you haven’t experienced them yourself.

To summarize, alcohol has its uses and is not a “villain,” and neither are people who consume it responsibly villains.  Just keep in mind that this piece is not designed to “excoriate” alcohol, but to keep you informed of the negative effects it can have on your physical fitness training when it is consumed.  Feel stressed?  Put on the bag gloves and beat up the heavy bag for ten or fifteen minutes.  If you still feel that you need a drink, well, then down a big shake full of amino acids…that’ll serve you better!  Stay healthy, make gains, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Post-Disaster Wellness: Why Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments Should Be Avoided

Hey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  We are going to discuss how alcohol affects your physical training, and what physiological effects you must take into consideration.  Please understand: I am not “demonizing” alcohol or alcoholic beverages, and am not scoffing or scorning anyone who partakes in them in a normal, healthy manner.  Indeed, the scope of this article is not “moralistic,” nor am I a spokesperson for abstinence.  The intent is to explain how alcohol diminishes your recovery time and performance regarding your physical training.

You, the readers are a very demographically-diverse group from all walks of life and all ages, some with special health care needs.  I implore all of you to analyze your status and with your doctor come up with an exercise program for yourself.


Physical training and exercise are your best tools for preparation, along with proper study, diet, and rest.


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

That being said, why am I writing about alcohol affecting training?  I do so because the proverbial “two drinks,” as well as the “after dinner drink,” and the “after work drink” are pervasive in our society and culture.  The Super Bowl just finished up, with hardly anything in the ads for your physical training, but a barrage from Budweiser to drink beer.  Consider me a quiet voice on the sideline, little more than a whisper in your ear recommending the physical training.

Alcohol deposits fat in your midsection, and also has a wasting effect on the thigh and gluteal muscles.  There was a study in 2000 done published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found cortisol (a hormone we discussed in previous articles) rose 61% when alcohol was consumed after strenuous physical activity.  The reason for this significance: many people have physically-demanding jobs and wish to “wind down” with a beer or two, or a shot after work.

The cortisol (usually produced with stress) has an adverse effect on muscle maintenance and muscle growth.  See, alcohol has an effect that has gravitated man toward it throughout history: it holds similar effects to the drug Valium (or Diazepam, if you prefer) with calming, anxiety-relieving effects.  It also releases dopamine and endorphins within the first 20 minutes of consumption, substances that enhance pleasure when released by the brain…and in this effect, alcohol is almost akin to opium.

With low doses, alcohol increases stimulation in certain brain areas and the central nervous system, leading to feelings of euphoria.  So, with all of this, you may be thinking…shouldn’t I be taking an occasional drink of alcohol in conjunction with training?  The answer is an unequivocal “No!” on all counts.

Alcohol has the ability to severely depress brain function by interfering with the ion channels needed to fire neurons…that is, allow your brain to communicate to and with other important parts of your body…such as respiration, heart, motor control, and so forth.  Far from being a “sleep aid,” it can rob you of REM.  No, not the band from the late 80’s to early 90’s…but Rapid-Eye Movement sleep.  Alcohol can hurt your sleeping habits.  To say nothing of your love life.

Chronic consumption of alcohol is a libido-killer in both men and women.  It seriously lowers testosterone levels in men, and causes the testicles to shrink, as well as promoting impotence.  If you read the article I recently wrote for men on the importance of maintaining healthy levels of testosterone with weight and physical training, you’ll understand just how negative these alcohol-induced reductions are.

Alcohol increases the amount of recovery time that you need to heal and restore your muscles after hard physical labor or exercise.  Your liver works hard to excrete the alcohol and the toxins associated with it.  A substantial amount of energy is also needed to break down the molecules and process them.  If you work out for an hour in the gym and then go and have a beer or a glass of wine, you have just ruined or severely cramped the gains you may have experienced.

Tissue repair and the uptake of amino acids are also severely hampered by alcohol consumption.  Studies in the past have shown that a glass of wine will lower the triglycerides in the bloodstream and help prevent blood clotting.  This is true, but guess what?  So will a regular exercise program!  You can lower those triglycerides and build yourself up!  Alcohol also tends to reduce the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and calcium with long-term consumption.

Will it kill you or cripple you to have a drink every now and then, such as once a month?  Consult with your doctor first, but it probably will not harm you.  I still stand by the fact that you don’t really need it, and it can cause your training and physical fitness regimen to suffer.  I haven’t even mentioned the other negative effects that heavy drinking can cause, but you can figure them out if you haven’t experienced them yourself.

To summarize, alcohol has its uses and is not a “villain,” and neither are people who consume it responsibly villains.  Just keep in mind that this piece is not designed to “excoriate” alcohol, but to keep you informed of the negative effects it can have on your physical fitness training when it is consumed.  Feel stressed?  Put on the bag gloves and beat up the heavy bag for ten or fifteen minutes.  If you still feel that you need a drink, well, then down a big shake full of amino acids…that’ll serve you better!  Stay healthy, make gains, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Mental Preparedness: These Mental Gymnastics Will Sharpen the Mind

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this segment has to do with some simple things that you can do on a daily basis to keep your mind fresh and avoid the ravages of aging much better.  Naturally there is a lot to do with heredity and genes that go into such ailments as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that you cannot control.  You can do some things that will help to prevent these ailments from affecting you, and they are simple remedies that take up little time and cost almost nothing.

Numerous (almost innumerable) medical studies throughout the decades have revealed that the more active you keep your mind, the greater your mind will function in the years to come.  The mind isn’t a “muscle,” however, it is an organ that can be developed, conditioned, and exercised in order to carry out preventative maintenance.  Your risk factors for decreased cognitive function are improper diet, consumption of alcohol and/or legal or illegal drugs, inadequate sleep, overwork, and high stressors.

Meditation (as outlined in numerous articles at ReadyNutrition) is a way to help your mind overcome the stressors, and I had recommended it at least twice per day: once in the morning, and once in the evening.  Meditation can be in complete silence, or listening to quiet, soothing, relaxing music.  I may not have mentioned it before, so I will add regarding music that it should be instrumental in nature.  The music should be of a type that is soothing and relaxing without any words.  The reason for this is that lyrics and words tend to steer your mind toward something and make it think in a manner that is not necessarily relaxing.

When you listen to light or soft classical music, or musical instruments with soft tones and no singing, you free your mind from the human “word,” so to speak: you don’t introduce into your mind something that will cause it to focus upon or associate it with a concept embodied within the word or words.  Meditation is a time for your mind to escape from the confines of day-to-day activity and to relax, not be channeled into some form that limits it and perhaps even adds more stress by associating thoughts that are negative with a word that may happen to pop up in the song with lyrics.

So, that is what can be done to relax your mind.  Now let us discuss what you can do to strengthen it.  Some things may interest you, and some may not.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.  Reading is very beneficial to mental acumen.  When you get up in the morning, it can be a very productive stimulus toward beginning the day.  When you go to bed, reading just before going to sleep can help you to fall asleep more quickly and smoothly.  Before I go to sleep, I try not to read anything that can be classified as “current event” oriented, or day-to-day news/problematic.  I try to read short stories and light fare that enable my mind to rest.  Perhaps this will work for you.  Short stories by Jack London, or Ray Bradbury, or such are some ideas.

Next, we have exercises that we can perform mentally.  Crossword puzzles, word quiz books, mathematics problems, and word trivia books are excellent tools to use to fine-hone your mental “gymnastics” and practice “exercising” your brain.  Research this on your own, but it is proven that such things help to strengthen your thought processes and “work” your brain productively.  They stimulate mental activity.  The brain has billions of cells and neurons that in many ways “atrophy” from lack of use, misuse, or abuse, the latter especially when drugs or alcohol are introduced into your system.

It is part of your preparedness for your later years…not just right now, while you’re young and either resemble Payton Manning or Emily Blunt in youth and strength.  You’re doing these things to prepare for later, to keep your mind healthy later in life.  When you do these word challenges, keep a dictionary beside you and look up any word that you don’t know or understand.  In addition to strengthening your mind, you will be increasing your vocabulary and learning new things.

Just as a “matter of fact,” I tend to pick up the dictionary each day and look up words…either to confirm what I already know, or to find a new one that I haven’t heard or one that I’ve forgotten about.  Inadvertently, I always end up looking at multiple definitions and cross-referencing what I was originally searching for with other words in the dictionary.  A good dictionary has a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

Word games such as “Boggle” or “Scrabble” are games you can play with your family to work on the concept as a team.  It is a cheap but productive way to spend an evening, and translates into true quality family time.  In addition, you are all going to benefit from the increased vocabulary use (especially the kids), and the fun of challenging one another with the words.  In this last case, a “weird” word is attempted and you find out whether it is really a legitimate word or not by using the dictionary.  I stress it is not a way to “kill” time, but a way to invest your time in something that is worthwhile.

So, present challenges to yourself each day that are beneficial challenges with the development of your mental acumen.  Sharpen each other’s “iron,” and you’ll find that your mind will work better and more efficiently.  It is something that will benefit you both in the short term, and in the long run.  Take care of one another!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Prepared Home: 5 Prepper Projects to Start in the Spring

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, as many of you know, planning is an important aspect of emergency preparedness. Each year, you should make new plans and practice your new skills. I wrote an article a little while back about planning (and possibly starting) an icehouse/root cellar during the wintertime.  As of this writing, spring is just around the corner (officially), and the cold weather is starting to retreat bit by bit.  We’re going to cover a few ideas for you to pursue during the spring months for building projects around your property.  Let’s jump right into it, with a description of the projects and the reason for building them.

Here are 5 Prepper Projects You Can Start in the Spring

  1. The Icehouse: As mentioned in the earlier article.  If you plan on doing it, you may just have at least 2-3 weeks where you can obtain some freezing temperatures.  This would behoove you to act, if you rent out a small backhoe and dig your cellar/icehouse.  Remember to go below the frost-line!  Fill up bins with water and let them freeze.  When the icehouse is finished, fill it up with these huge blocks of ice.  Sawdust is an excellent insulator, as is pine mulch (brown needles, not green, if you use needles).
  2. The Greenhouse: If you don’t have one, well, now’s the time to put one into place just before it’s time to plant and sprout your seedlings. There are almost innumerable styles and sizes to choose from.  Once again, you have about a month to get that baby up and running. Here is one greenhouse project you can do for less than $300. As well, consider the convenience of cold frames to get a head start on your garden.
  3. Underground (hidden) vault/cache point: Now this one will take a little bit of explaining. Once again, going below the frost-line, the key here will be to make a little “room,” so to speak, under the ground.  Make a foundation of gravel after you’ve dug out a cubicle/rectangular chamber.  Position this away from the house, where some government clown with a metal detector will not tread.  All the same, you can pick up a precast concrete module, or make it out of a culvert pipe.  You want to cover it up in the end with about 6” of earth, so that it’s not too much that you can’t get through it in the wintertime.  If you’re interested and indicate so in the comments, I can give you a good plan that I know works in a future article.
  4. Storage shed: Yes, build your own, if you have the time and resources.  Those pre-made sheds for sale in the building supply big-box stores cost a fortune.  You can do better by stick-building it out of 4” x 4” s and 6” x 6” s with pressure-treated plywood.  Make sure all your lumber is pressure-treated.  When you’re done, make your roof out of corrugated steel instead of shingles…it’ll save you time and energy during the winter with snow removal.
  5. Smokehouse: Now’s the time to prep that smokehouse for meat…months (or many moons, if you prefer!) before hunting season comes around again. This will involve perhaps the emplacement of a wood stove or the creation of a barbecue pit-type structure.  There are plenty of plans and diagrams on the Internet that you can weigh and balance against your needs.

This is the time to lay out all of your plans and figure out what materials you will be using and the costs for all of them.  In our rigidly-controlled social structures, there may even be a friendly government permit man or inspection man to meet…to find out how much they will take out of you before you start building.  Factor all of this into consideration prior to actually building, as it will alleviate headaches later.  You may want to do some smaller projects, such as a place to store firewood, or a small toolshed or such.  Do not allow the 5 mentioned in this article to dissuade you from some kind of project in the good weather for building.

Hopefully the weather will warm up soon, but this is an excellent time to lay the groundwork for what you have been thinking of building during the winter months.  The only limit is your imagination and to actually take action on the project.  The best plans in the world are only plans until they’re executed.  Here’s hoping you have some good weather and start the ball rolling on whatever project you decide.  Let me know about that item #3 above, and you keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepping For Survival: Your Life May Depend on This Post-SHTF Skill

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is to introduce you to the importance of reloading, and how it can be a critical skill necessary to your survival in the times to come.  Before I continue, understand that you must have an FFL (Federal Firearms License) to be able to reload for anyone other than yourself.  That caveat being mentioned, why would you want to reload?  There are several good reasons besides just a post-SHTF skill that we will cover.  Let’s cover a few basics, now.

Most rifle and pistol cartridges and shotgun shells can be reloaded

primer

Your primer types for rifle and pistol are mainly “Boxer” type primers.  The primer is the small circle on the non-business end of your round that contains an explosive charge…a primer charge…to set off the powder in the cartridge and propel your bullet or pellets along the barrel.  Simple, huh?  The only cartridges you will have trouble with are “Berdan” primed cartridges.  These are mostly former Soviet and Com-bloc nations’ ammunitions (such as 7.62 x 39, or 7.62 x 54R for AK-47’s or M1894 Mosin-Nagants, respectively) with Berdan primings.  The primer has two holes that enter into the cartridge, and reloading is a challenge needing special tools and primers.

You will be able to save money on ammunition if you save your brass and/or acquire your brass to be cleaned, polished, and reloaded.  RCBS has the famous “Rock Chucker” reloading press good on rifles or pistols.  You also need a die and a decapping tool for each caliber.  You can order all of this stuff online at www.amazon.com, and outfit yourself a piece at a time.  Bullets can be bought, along with good guidebooks by Lyman and also by RCBS that give step-by-step instructions on how to reload each caliber.  The reloading manuals come with critical data, such as the amount of grains of powder you will use as per size and type of bullet, as well as chamber pressures and maximum loads.

Down the road, you’ll want to get into casting your own bullets and other “specialty skills” that go with gunsmithing.  You can really improve all of your knowledge by taking a course, either at one of the local colleges or online for gunsmithing.  Another good tool to have is the Lee Handloader, a small (tiny) handloading press that you can shove right into your backpack.  This little press comes in different calibers for what you would need, and it is also orderable online.

Major George C. Nonte put out an obscure but venerable work entitled, “The Homemade Guide to Cartridge Conversions,” for your advanced studies.  The more you reload, the more you will learn about firearms and their capabilities.  And if the SHTF?  You can bet that you will want the ability to reload!

One of the most frightening scenarios was in “The Road,” the novel by Cormac McCarthy.  The novel differed from the movie in this regard.  The father found boxes of .45 ACP cartridges in an underground bomb shelter/bunker, but could not use them in his pistol. If he had a knowledge of reloading, it would have been a simple task to take his spent shell casings and take the time to reload them using the .45 ACP cartridges he had found.

The acquisition of supplies is secondary to skills, especially in the areas of fabricating different pieces of equipment and tools.  Making things is what I’m referring to.  Reloading will teach you skills that you will be able to more readily adapt ammunition and supplies and tailor make it for your survival needs.  You don’t have enough ammo now: none of us do, myself included.  If not now, then how about the Day after Doomsday?  If it’s short now, what about then?  Every bullet will be worth many times its weight in gold.

Consider a good gunsmithing program with a worthwhile course/section in reloading.  If that option isn’t available, then study up and align yourself with others who reload. Offer to help them out if they will teach you their trade.  It is a skill you will be able to use for the rest of your life, and may even prolong it!  Study hard and gain a skill that will pay for itself.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Preppers – If You Aren’t Doing This Annually, You Won’t Be Disaster Ready

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Well, it may seem cliché to say that spring is right around the corner, as in most of the U.S. there’s still plenty of snow on the ground.  Winter still seems “deep” to some (especially Yours Truly, as I have almost 3’ of snow on the ground), and the cold weather has not broken.  Nevertheless, everyone out there in ReadyNutrition Land, the early bird gets the worm.  I’m referring to all your gear that you’ll be breaking out soon when the cold weather breaks.

Stay on top of your prepper gear 

Maintenance

Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now.  Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it.  It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function.  It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice to “rock and roll” with it…be out the door and on the moor!  You can’t do that unless it’s ready.  Let’s discuss it, shall we?

How’s that rucksack?  If you’re the way I am, you absolutely hate anything that can detract from your load-carrying capabilities.  Inspect that rucksack!  Has it been sitting out in the garage or in the basement, on the cement floor?  I hope not.  Are your straps in order, and are there any signs of dry-rot, mildew, or water damage?  You need to find that out now, and even more:


Preppers – The time to find out about deficiencies was yesterday, and there should be a “zero defects” policy regarding them.


What does this mean?  If you’re serious about survival and prepping, and you really want to survive a disaster/SHTF scenario when it happens (notice I wrote “when” and not “if”), then you’ll be on top of this…all the time.  The conditions for the rucksack I mentioned should never occur.  They won’t occur if you follow a regular schedule of checking it and correcting anything that surfaces.  For the nylon on your rucksack you can use a shoeshine brush or a medium to stiff bristle brush to clean off any dirt and dust.  Maintain the straps in the same way.

Dirt or mud, clean it off…if it’s not easy with the brush, then take some warm water on a clean towel or rag and “damp scrub” it off.  The nylon of the straps and the pack clean up well, but you don’t want to leave it too damp.  Always place the rucksack off the floor.  Don’t allow it to contact the floor surface.  Inspect the connecting points of the ruck, and inspect every piece that snaps or buckles.  Everything should be clean and working.  Canteens should be emptied and dried to prevent funk from going inside of them, or (as JJ does) if you’re going to store water in them the water needs to be changed periodically (say every month) to keep the “grand Funk railroad” from slipping in.

Familiarization

This may seem an oxymoron, however, unless you have a photographic memory you’re going to have a hard time remembering how you packed your gear…what is where.  One way to solve this (as I mentioned in other articles) is to keep an inventory sheet of everything, listed on an actual diagram of your rucksack.  This enables you to look at the diagram of the ruck and see how it’s made…where the pouches are, etc. …and know exactly what is in it.  Guess what?  It won’t be enough, because when you change seasons (in this case, Winter to Spring) you should have a full layout of all of your equipment you will tote.

Why?  For accountability (know that everything you think you have you actually have), and for serviceability (to know it is all in working order).  Along with that rucksack is that jungle hammock, that one-man tent and all of its accoutrements, flashlights, radios (don’t open that tube and find leaking batteries!), and all of your other gear and gadgets.

If it all comes to a halt, you don’t have the time to do all of this…and it’s on you…nobody else.

Tents have those “friction rods.”  How would you like to find out when you’re in the middle of a torrential downpour and setting up the dome that the friction rods are “ganked,” or broken?  Or you want to open up that poncho and string the bungees at the corners and top…a temporary shelter…and find that the vinyl is all eaten up from some kind of acid or rot, and there’s a giant hole in it?


Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


If you follow a regular schedule of inspection and maintenance, you won’t have a “can of snakes” spring open on you.  This seems overly simplistic, but it is the way of mankind to procrastinate…to move toward the path of least resistance.  It is the way of all of us…and what makes us win?  The ability to be able to fight that part of our natures and discipline ourselves…make ourselves do what it is that is right to do, although we don’t feel like doing it.  Your gear should be clean, serviceable, well-organized, and accounted for…in its place and you know exactly where it is.

I’ll fill you in on one of my techniques.  When I come across someone, I can assess them in an instant if they carry.  If I ask them to look at their weapon and it is rusted or dirty, or it has carbon on it, and is un-lubed?  Then I need know no more.  But if the bluing is worn-down where points of contact meet the holster…and it’s cleaned and oiled…and the holster appears a little worn, but clean and serviceable…I know that one “draws,” cleans the weapon…is one with it.  That individual I remember.

It’s a standard that I hold myself to every day.

In the 82nd Airborne, we had a saying (a mantra, if you prefer): “My weapon, my equipment, and me.”

Sound overly simplistic?  No, it’s ordered…I kept it with me in Special Forces…I keep it with me now.  My weapon’s continuity ensures that I can continue if under fire.  My equipment and gear enables me to live, to be sheltered, to carry food, medicine, and supplies.  These two taken care of, then I must take care of myself…eating, rest, and hygiene, along with physical conditioning.

See how much is in it when you take a really good look?  But I’m not trying to berate you, the Readers in any way.  I’m trying to give you of myself…in lessons paid for with time, experience, and much grief to learn them correctly.

Because iron sharpens iron, and in order to survive, you must be made of steel…you and your family.  Yes, President Trump is in, and we’re “riding the crest” of an upswing.  Remember: all is fleeting, and it can all change in the blink of an eye. Don’t blink for too long, or the moment will have passed.  You must prioritize.  Prep your equipment now, before the Spring hits, and follow a regular program of maintenance and inspection.  Be steel.  You can do it.  Fight that good fight, and fight it to win.  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Alert: Your Cell Phone is Spying on You! 4 Ways to Block Your Cell Phone and Prevent Being Monitored

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“We are all just prisoners here…of our own device…” – “Hotel California,” by The Eagles

 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is on the heels of an article released by RT News on 3/8/17, entitled “85% of World’s Smart Phones ‘Weaponized’ by CIA.”  The article is a very disturbing report; however, it isn’t something that just “surfaced” out of the zone of unpredictability.  The basis for the report stems from the recent WikiLeaks release of the CIA-documents and information that just occurred.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

 “Google’s Android operating system, used in 85 percent of the world’s smart phones, including Samsung and Sony, was found to have 24 ‘zero days’ – the code name used by the CIA to identify and exploit vulnerabilities for the purpose of secretly collecting data on individuals.  The techniques allow the CIA to access data from social messaging platforms, including WhatsApp, Weibo and Clockman before encryption, according to WikiLeaks.  Both audio and message data were vulnerable to the exploit through the CIA’s exploitation of gaps in the OS.”

Now mind you, Readers, this piece is not a “news article,” although this event was just reported on 3/8/17.  The purpose of this article is to serve as a “wake-up” call, in case you haven’t taken the measures already outlined in previous articles to protect yourself from your own devices tracking, recording, and (essentially) “spying” upon you.  You may research past articles on electronic security that you can do, and this piece is a “refresher” that will enable you to secure yourself…. from your own equipment.

4 Ways to Block Your Cell Phone and Prevent Being Monitored

As mentioned in times past, Mylar can be your best ally.  Mylar is simple to use, affordable, and it works at blocking the signals going to and from your happy cell-phone tracking and recording device.  Here are some inexpensive sources for the Mylar:

  1. Chip/Snack bags: An infinite variety of sizes are available, and you will have to gauge what size you use after taking the size of your phone/device into account.
  2. Mylar in the form of “ponchos” or “space blankets”: these are a little more expensive than the chips, but only slightly so. You will end up with more Mylar to use, and the pieces you cut will not need to be cleaned off of salt and other detritus as with the chip bags.
  3. Freezer bags: Also in a variety of sizes, such as ones that hold up to 30 lbs. of food/ice (for a laptop-sized device) or just a small 1’ x 1’ bag, such as a lunchbag-cooler size.
  4. Another thing to do is to place your device inside of an ammo can (military issue). In doing so, make sure the rubber gasket around the mouth seals efficiently for a tight seal.  There are other containers that can be used; however, you may have to reinforce the seams with something such as Aluminum HVAC duct tape (available for about $15 per roll from your local Home Depot), and cover them over.  With the ammo cans, the container is contiguous with only the lid needing that rubber gasket that works.

How to Test for Protection

There is a way to test it out with your phone to see if you have the protection.  Take your chip bag or bags.  If they’re small, be advised that you will need about three complete layers around the cell phone.  Also, place your phone in a plastic Ziploc bag before putting them into the chip bags.  This will keep them clean just in case you missed wiping all of the stuff out of them.  Wiping out the bags can best be accomplished with a dry paper towel: the oils, salts, and other filth will be caught up by the towel.  Just remember to cover/swipe the entire inside surface of the bag.

Then turn your phone on, and turn up the volume of its ring all the way.  Next, roll/wrap up your phone and fold it over in at least three complete layers of Mylar.  Then use your house phone/landline/etc. to dial your wrapped-up cell phone’s number, and hold the wrapped-up phone close to your ear.

If you did the job correctly, you will not hear a thing.  Also, make sure you only ring it 3 times.  Any more than that and it may go to a voice-mail/other function, that will send it stored to your cell phone after you unwrap it as a missed call.  This way it will not ring it, and the call will have been cancelled.

Remember what General David Petraeus mentioned about the “Internet of things?”  Well, those days are upon us.  So, what else?  You’ll have to figure out the best method for making your layers work and last a long time.  You can take the chip bags, cut them open with scissors, and make three premeasured layers.  Form a pouch, and cover them inside and out with duct tape.  Then you just slip in your phone, and secure the top (fold it over) with whatever type of clamp or clip works for you.

The continuous signal your cell phone sends out (every 4 seconds) will be interrupted.  Inconvenient?  No.  Coordinate with your family members when you will call and talk to them beforehand.  Emergency?  Pull the phone out of the pouch and use it.


Bottom line: It is a discipline that will have to be followed to enable your privacy…from your own device.


99% of all people carry that thing around with them everywhere.  They’re hooked to it more closely than a fetus to the umbilicus: they can’t function without it.  But the point I’m making is this: Do you own the phone, or does it own you?

You can accomplish the same thing with your laptops and other “smart” toys…your palm-pilots, blackberries, cameras, and all of the other damnable devices that have made you an unwitting prisoner to the powers and systems that set them in place…not for your “technological convenience,” but for the very purposes of control, dominion, and surveillance over you.

Ammo cans work.  The Mylar (when cleaned and fashioned properly) will work.  Now you just received confirmation that it is happening, and I’ve given you methods to use to stop it from happening to you.  The methods work.  I have tested and used them myself.  So, without further ado, figure out how much material you need and make one of these pouches for yourself.  Your privacy is guaranteed under the 4th Amendment from illegal searches and seizures by the government.  That right, however, needs to be exercised by action.  So, finish those Doritos, clean out that bag, and wrap that phone up!  We’d love to hear of any tips or improvements you have come to trust.  Keep fighting that good fight, and send us your comments!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

10 Awesome Tips You Never Knew About Using Wood Stoves That May Change Your Life

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, we’re having a heatwave out here in Montana…it’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit while I’m writing this.  I hope you guys and gals are nice and warm and you have a good wood stove in front of you keeping it so.  You recall I wrote one on wood stoves not too long ago, and I wanted to supplement this for a few more things you can do with yours.  Aside from using wood stoves to stay warm and cook food on, here are a few tips you never knew on how to get the most out of your wood stove.

10 Ways to Make the Most of a Wood Stove

Ashes

One of the things you should consider is the potash that comes from your stove.  Yes, all that wood turns into ashes that can be recycled and used.  One of the things that you can do is to store them in a container (preferably a metal one that has a tightly-fitting lid) and use them later for producing your own soap.  The ashes are boiled down in water (yes, this too can be done on your wood stove!), and combined with lye and other ingredients.

Your ashes can also be used for metal polishing, for the likes of metals such as brass and silver.  It works really well straight up, or mixed with just a few drops of water.  The ashes can also be combined with your compost piles and used as a form of fertilizer to replace many valuable minerals and nutrients that comes from carboniferous materials being burned.  Why do you suppose a new forest sprouts up in a few years after a forest fire?   All of that burned wood goes into the soil and enriches it.  You can turn it into your gardens when you’re planting in the springtime for the same effect.

Charcoal

Charcoal is another product that you can take from your wood stove.  Used for a variety of things besides just cooking, charcoal can also be finely-crushed and added to your ash supply to make soap.  It can be set aside for use as cooking material or a fire-starting ingredient and even used to clean teeth.  Charcoal can also be used to filter water (see previous articles on water purification).

Soot

There’s also soot from the chimney (although you’ll probably have to wait until springtime to obtain it when you brush your chimney pipe).  Soot is the black substance formed by the combustion of your wood in the stove.  This is fine particulate matter that adheres to your pipe walls, and is blackened, consisting mainly of carbon that has not been completely burned. Soot is responsible for many chimney fires.  Soot can be mixed (in small quantities as needed) with a little bit of vegetable oil and some water to make your own ink.  A type of soot is called lampblack, and is used in enamels, paints, and inks from a commercial perspective.

That soot also has a great deal of unburned oils and resins in it (especially if you burn a lot of pine…don’t scoff…if you live in the Rockies, you will burn pine unless your last name is Rockefeller, believe me).  The oils, resins, and unburned carbon are excellent to mix with things such as sawdust and lint, with some wax for fire starters for the wood stove or camping and backpacking.

Dehydrate Food

The top of the stove is great for dehydrating food as well.  You have recipes from ReadyNutrition for pemmican and jerky.  You can make your own on top of the stove with small-aperture wire racks…of the type to cool off hot sandwiches and the like.  Lay your meat on top of the wood stove top on the racks and allow that heat to dry them right out.

We’d love to hear any suggestions of things that you have found to do with your wood stoves (along with heating your home and cooking, of course).  It is all part of your preps and homesteading and learning to economize and obtain the maximum use for all of the materials you have at your disposal.  Explore some of these and let us know what you think, as well as things you have discovered on your own.  Keep up that good fight, drink a good cup of coffee, and stay warm!

 

JJ

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan

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45 acp[Editor’sNote: Simply put, things can to hell in a hand basket very quickly following a disaster. The widespread breakdown of the social order leads to looting in disaster prone areas which leads to the importance of being able to defend one’s home, family and their preps during a disaster breakdown. Because home defense is such an important consideration, it is important to familiarize yourself with the best firearms and ammunition choices out there. Jeremiah Johnson has been relentless in writing information on this subject and brings up another well informed article on this ammunition choice.]

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, over the past weeks, we have gone into great detail on firearms, caring and maintaining firearms, and why preppers should diversify their ammunition supplies. This week, we are focusing on the .45 ACP – a worthy cartridge with a long and unique history, and it is also worth your consideration with regard to home defense and survival, for a number of reasons we’ll outline here today.  So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

The History of the .45 ACP Cartridge

I want to discuss the .45 ACP cartridge.  This information is worthwhile and the cartridge itself has a great deal of history behind it.  In 1898 the Spanish-American War (characterized by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders) came to a close, but the Philippine insurrection did not.  The Moros (Philippine islanders) were able to take a hit from the .38 handguns and the .30 Krag rifle the Army had in service…and keep coming.  They could not, however, “soak up” the .45 Long Colts and the 12-gauge buckshot used from personally-owned Colts and Winchesters.  Yes, back then, many could carry their own choice of weapons.

Two officers were crucial in determining the choice back in 1904.  At the behest of Brigadier General William Crozier (appointed Chief of Army Ordnance in 1901, a new position created by President Theodore Roosevelt), a board was formed comprised of two men.  Colonel John T. Thompson (Ordnance) and Colonel Louis A. LaGarde (Medical Corps) were tasked with finding the optimal sized cartridge for the U.S. Military.  LaGarde’s report contained the following summary:


“The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45[caliber].”

                Shotgun News, November 1, 2011, p. 13; article:

                 “High Standard M1911A1,” by Peter G. Kokalis


There we have the first glimmerings of the beginnings of the .45 ACP, and I must mention the author of the article referenced, Peter G. Kokalis was the Senior Editor for Shotgun News with a lifetime of experience in shooting and reloading, as well as being a combat veteran.  Kokalis summarized the .45 ACP cartridge’s capabilities most eloquently.  In essence, he clears up a lot of misconceptions relating to kinetic energy of a round.  Most people equate high velocity with knockdown power.  For long-range shooting, this holds to be true in many cases.

Short-Range Combat

What we’re dealing with here is short-range combat…where you (the homeowner) are protecting your house and family from a break-in at close ranges.  In such ranges, you will need stopping power.  Here are some terms you need to keep in mind:

  1. Wound Track – the path of the bullet through the body, also referred to as the “permanent cavity.” Three factors influence this wound track:
  2. Yaw – the way the bullet tumbles through the body after impact
  3. Expansion – of the bullet itself, also referred to as “mushrooming”
  4. Fragmentation – the way the bullet disintegrates in the body after impact as it moves through the tissue
  5. Temporary cavitation – the path opened up as the bullet travels through the vital organs…a path that “rebounds,” or bounces back into original position, though not without damage to certain organs

Depth of penetration is the most important factor, as Kokalis outlines here, in this excerpted segment of his article:


“Most important of all, is the fact that penetration is without doubt the single most important parameter in the wound ballistics equation.  It has been determined that in law enforcement and self-defense scenarios, a minimum of 12 inches, and up to 18 inches of penetration will produce the most effective results – required to reach the body’s vital organs.  Once we’ve obtained the necessary penetration, the bullet that makes the biggest hole will do the most damage.

 As a result of the above, there is only one possible conclusion.  The .45 ACP cartridge is the most effective handgun round – among those commonly available – that you can use in a gunfight.  Even anecdotal evidence over the last 100 years has proven this to be so countless times.”


Kokalis went on to explain that a 230-grain JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) expands (on average) from .45 (that is .45 of an inch) to .65 with approximately 15.5 inches of penetration.  I must add his final words in the article, as they should drive the point home:


“This can be summarized in one sentence: use the largest caliber with the heaviest bullet, propelled at moderate velocity.  In other words, deploy with a handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge.”


To clarify what he meant by “moderate velocity” is that other, faster bullets tend to go right through the target at close distances, whereas the .45 ACP (considered a low-velocity round at – on average – 930 feet per second) has both the penetration power and will “open up” for greater internal damage to the target.

To add my own words to Mr. Kokalis’, I have used other calibers, such as 9mm Luger, .38, and .45 Long Colt.  The .45 ACP is an excellent round that is also multipurpose when using different types of ammunition.  The +P rounds (in brands such as Buffalo Bore) turn your cartridge into a super-penetrator that can and will defeat body armor.  It is also a good round to protect against large and ferocious predators.  You can pick up the standard FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) rounds at 230 grains for under $40.00 for a box of 100 at your friendly Wal-Mart for target shooting.

A Frugal Ammunition Choice

They’re easy to reload, and economical: the .45 ACP will not bankrupt your savings while giving you that large caliber round with the stopping power you need.  As to the piece you wish to throw it out of, take your pick.  The 1911 is tried and true (in my humble opinion one of the finest handguns ever made), and has served our military nobly throughout its existence.  So, .45 ACP?  Try it, you’ll like it: the round will serve your needs well, and at a price you can afford.  Keep that powder dry and don’t store it with your primers!  JJ out!

 

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Sustainable Ways to Repurpose Newspapers

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newspaper sustainableHey, all of you Readers out there in ReadyNutrition Land!

Some of the you are looking to make more sustainable choices for your home. No doubt many of you have read articles on how the trash in our homes can serve other purposes.  Learning how to get creative and make do with what you have around you is the core of being self-reliant – and what many of us are trying to achieve.

Small Changes Make Big Impacts

One way we can all minimize the amount of trash that comes into our homes is simply to reuse it. Newspapers seem to accumulate the most in homes and knowing its many uses can serve you in a more sustainable manner. Here are give interesting ways you can utilize all of those old newspapers lying around.

1. Fuel

Let’s forget about the news portion, shall we, and concentrate on some uses for that old Sunday paper.  Firstly, there’s fuel, and as we’ve been doing a lot of articles on woodstoves and winter preps, what could be more in line?  Fire starting material for your winter fires is one thing.  Another is (during the summertime) making bricks out of torn, soaked newspapers that are place into a press and then compacted.

log maker

This Single Paper Log Maker is a great investment for making paper logs. It’s a very simple design.  I have one myself.  You shred your newspaper, wet it (a plastic bin is best for this), and then form it into bricks by pressing it with the bars of the press you see above.  The water squirts out all over the place (do it in your backyard…there’s no room in the bathtub), and you come out with a “brick” that you can allow to dry by setting in the sun.  It takes several days to dry, and making these bricks is one heck of a workout!  You may be able to make about a dozen of them in a couple of hours. They are compacted, and the burn time varies, although they’ll go for at least 45 min. to an hour.

Newspaper can also be cut into 3” strips, rolled up tightly, and soaked in paraffin for fire-starting material.  These guys can be kept in small cans, akin to tuna fish cans after they’re rolled…the tuna fish cans give you about a 2” roll.  Then place a wick in them…a real wick…and use them for a candle.

2. Insulation Material

Remember that article I wrote about the importance of having a thermos in the wintertime and in the extreme cold weather?  Well, guess what?  You can take those coolers and cardboard boxes and further insulate that thermos by: 1. Rolling the thermos up in several layers of newspaper, and 2. “Balling,” or “crunching” up a whole bunch of the newspaper, and then “nesting” your thermos in the middle of your box…to provide further insulation and some “loft” in between the walls of the container and your thermos.

3. Make Your Own Paper

If you are interested in making paper, now is your time to start recycling the newspaper.  There are plenty of books and videos that show how to do it.  In addition, you can take natural materials such as leaves, grass, dried plant stalks, etc., macerate (chop) them and then add to the shredded-up newspaper.  Be careful in this case to use the black and white, and not the colored newspaper, as the colors will leach and make it more difficult for you to blend.

A good supply of newspapers can be stacked and stored within bins.  Ensure there are no dripping flammable liquids around, or anything that can potentially ignite them, and store them in a cool, dry place.  Store them as they come: flat and compressed as they are when they’re brand new.

4. Emergency Insulation

Newspaper can be used for extra insulation when it is needed, and your vehicle should have a small box/bin with a short stack.  You never know when you’ll have to have a fire such as if there’s an accident, or a breakdown that leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

5. Transport Meat and Fish

You can also use it as a field-expedient way to wrap up fish or meat if you need to transport them…as I mentioned, it is not the preferred method, but it is a method.  During the winter, it can keep a layer of insulation between the cold and the meat and keep the exterior from freezing.  In the summer, it will keep flies and other pests from laying eggs in the meat.

So, these are a few for starters.  What uses have you found for newspaper?  Any ideas, “recipes,” or useful projects we would love to hear about, so drop us your comments and let us know what things you guys and gals do with yours!  Oh, and I almost forgot…what could be more quaint than taking a really-expensive or high-quality gift and wrapping it up in newspaper?  A big surprise there that will surely earn a laugh!  Keep in that good fight!

JJ

 

Here are some other great ways to use newspaper:

Learn how to simplify your life using what you have around you

Make your own seed tape

Make paper pots for growing plants

Stash some newspapers aside for pets during emergencies

 

 

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Prepare an Herb Garden in Winter

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imageWho’s itching to get outside and start gardening? This article has to do with some things you can start preparing in your herbal gardens for the spring…but prepare now.  Yes, now, while the snow and ice and the Yeti are all around… well, probably not (and hopefully not) the Yeti.  But just because that snow and ice are still on the ground does not mean you cannot start taking the steps to give you an advantage and a “step ahead” of the pack come springtime.

Having a successful garden is all about timing. Make sure you prep your starter soil, pots and the area where you plan to grow. If you don’t live in an area where there is heavy snow, begin cleaning and preparing your growing area. Here are some tips to get started.

Planting Conditions

So, what kind of herbs are we talking about here?  Chives, Cilantro, and Parsley, for starters, are perfect herbs for starting in the late winter.  You’re going to start these guys indoors: seeds in general don’t germinate unless the mean temperature is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  In addition, you’re going to have to utilize as much of that sunlit side of your house as possible.  When you throw these guys into pots (containers) and leave them in your windows?  Give them some “setback” from the glass, as the cool air will linger up to about 1 to 1 ½ inches away from the glass.

Sunlight

You’ll need the sunlight, but not the cold up against the glass.  You will have to be more inventive if you have closed off your windows with plastic, as this will stop some of the sunlight from reaching your sills.  Your herbs will need at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight (morning is preferable), and some indirect in the afternoon if it can be provided.

Naturally, if you have your greenhouse, then much of this becomes a moot point as long as allowance for sunlight and temperature are taken into consideration.  You may need to heat the greenhouse, and this can be done in several ways: with electric heat/heat lighting, with manure/peat that generates organic heated “gassing,” or with a small wood stove.  With this last option (as I’ve mentioned in past articles), it is very important to throw a teakettle (a noiseless one!) or a pot of water on the top of the woodstove.  This will allow for some moisture and humidity, and your plants will appreciate this even more than you!


The factors to control are your water, your soil, and your drainage.  An excess or inadequacy of any of these can lead to ruined herbs, whether you’re germinating your own seeds or whether you’re using cuttings.


Potted windowsills or potted greenhouses, take your pick and stick with it.  Another thing you can do is in March, set up low-tunnels, with hoops made of plastic or aluminum and covered with plastic sheeting.  These will enable maximum amounts of sunlight, and keep your cuttings or seedlings close to the ground.

Prepare the Garden Area Before Planting

Make sure you clear out an area for them that is sufficient.  When the weather warms up so that your herbs (the hardier ones) can handle a frost, it’ll be time to transplant them into boxes.  Anything on the ground should not be touching the ground directly, to prevent frost from entering.  You mulched your perennials in the fall, and soon it will be time to start tending to them, such as garlic, for example.

All in all, potting your seedlings and/or cuttings is the way to go, either in the windows or in the greenhouses.  Best thing to do is research your herbs prior to exposing them to the cold, as some herbs like basil cannot handle cold weather and fall over when the cold hits them.  Plan according to the herb, and the zone in which you live, all of which can be determined either online or in your county extension office.  So, start your herbs and planning for the spring…a few are “early risers” (such as the ones mentioned) that you can begin in the wintertime.  Spring will be here before you know it, so get those green thumbs moving!  We’d love to hear those “green thumb” comments about what you do, as they are valued by us and all of the other readers as well.  Thumbs up, and happy winter herb gardening!

 

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Preppers Should Focus on Diversifying Firearm Calibers

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Ready Nutrition Readers, as you may have deduced from the title, this piece is a recommendation to acquire firearms of diverse calibers.  Let us discuss some of the calibers and the reasons why it is prudent to prepare in such a manner.  I’m not recommending any particular firearm, per se, except in one instance here that I’ll cover later for a reason that will be self-explanatory.

Firstly, forget about what will happen in the SHTF event.  Whatever it is, the reason for preparing by obtaining diversities among firearms calibers is to ensure you can obtain ammo for it.  This is not detracting from reloading whatsoever.  I guarantee, however, that situations will arise in which you have to load a firearm and don’t have time to sit around with your RCBS “Rock Chucker” press or your Lee Handloader.  You have a need to employ a firearm at the moment, and time is of the essence.

Common calibers ensure that you will usually have ammo for the weapon no matter where you go.  This is one of the reasons it is advantageous to own an AR-15.  Personally, I hate ‘em, because after 200 rounds or so, you have to clean the carbon off of them.  The AR-15 is so finely-tuned with so little leeway between moving parts such as the bolt group and bolt carrier that any severe carbon buildup is almost intolerable to firing the weapon.  That being said, we have had more than 5 decades of dealing with .223/5.56 mm ammo.  The military, law enforcement (state and local) all rely on the AR-15 family; therefore, ammo is obtainable.

The phrase “What if?” however, is your watchword.  If you have either a .308, or a 7.62 x 39 mm (AK), then you’ll also be in pretty good shape.  Law enforcement is switching back to .45 ACP, but there are still plenty of 9mm rounds to go around.  The .45 ACP round is a great round that is widespread.  Your .357 magnum and .40 Smith and Wesson rounds are not as common but are commonplace.  In essence, yeah, you need each of these.

One piece that I’ll finally mention is really unique.  It’s the P-320 Compact by Sig Sauer.  They have a system called the Grip Shell system.  This Grip Shell is the basis for the weapon, that accepts full size magazines and full length slide assemblies.  What’s so big about this?  You can switch out 9 mm, .357 sig., .40 S&W, and .45 ACP on the same frame: the frame will hold all four of those calibers.  Nifty, huh?  Not only that, but it is a “redefinition” of BATFE rules.

The Grip Shell is a modular frame that is a trigger group and receiver with a serial number.  Guess what?  It is this frame that has the serial number, and not each of the individual barrels that you can change out on it.  Ahh, I feel the gleam of many eyes reading these words now.  Isn’t that neat?  You can buy four calibers, but only one receiver is your serialized piece.  You run with the ball from there: imagination is the only limitation.

If you want prices, you’ll have to check with a gun dealer.  The basic piece will run about $700 more or less, and additional barrels will be more.  It’s all up to what you want, but you can pretty much cover the bases with it, as you’ll be sure to find something to fire through it no matter how short ammo may be in supply.  To take that “kit” and pack it up with you…well, that would be prudence and providence prepared by your own hand.  Just make sure to pick up a box of ammo initially for each caliber you decide upon.

For anything you shoot, you should also be able to reload, and I recommend a good stationary press akin to the one I mentioned before, as well as a Lee handloading kit with dies and accessories.  The latter you can pack in your rucksack, as you never know when you might need it.  So hopefully you’ll take some advice to stock up and “plow the field” on different calibers.  If you run across a supply that won’t feed your main piece, it would be good to have a backup piece that can fire what you find until your “lead sled dog” is “fed” and up and running again.  Keep that powder dry, no matter what the caliber, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Four Current Events that Prove Preppers Need to Stay Vigilant

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top news on a newspaper page
[Editor’s Note: Many preppers are being lulled by a sense of comfort and have stopped fortifying their homes and preparing because they think times are easier. In times of calm is precisely when we should be prepping or continuing on. The world is a very precarious place right now and we need to continue focusing our attention on the horizon and remember a disaster is always looming in the distance.]

With the election has been behind us, we must ask ourselves where do things stand right now?  The world situation isn’t improving all that much, and there are several hot spots to mention that have had some changes since last we covered them.

Four Current Events that Prove Preppers Need to Stay Vigilant

  1.  North Korea: As it would appear, Kim Jung-Un’s half-brother was just recently assassinated in Malaysia the other week.  The regime is in an uproar because they suspect U.S. backing and/or involvement.  In addition, there exists the possibility that someone will make a play to bump off Un as well.  Un has already declared that such an attempt (if discovered beforehand) will be considered an act of war.  It has already been established that North Korea is well along to development of ICBM’s (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) that can reach the U.S. West Coast.
  2. Iran: Far from “over,” Iran is reaching out its influence in the Persian Gulf and conducting exercises both on land and in the Straits of Hormuz, the choke-point for vast shipments of the world’s oil supply.  Iran just “gained” more than a billion and a half dollars (courtesy of Obama before he left office) that will be employed in the further development of their nuclear capabilities.
  3. China: The “reset” being conducted by President Trump and the “housecleaning” he is conducting regarding both the Washington, D.C. “Beltway” establishment and the removal of “remnants” of the Obama administration…all of these actions are displeasing to the Chinese.  The President also acknowledged Taiwan, and reaffirmed his commitment to our allies in the Far East that the U.S. will not stand by idly while Communist China vies for territory.  A “Cold War” with the Chinese is now in its formative stage as China sees the inroads the U.S. is making with Russia and with fixing the relations that Obama had ruined miserably.
  4. Ukraine: Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president is trying to goad the U.S. into more of a commitment to helping Ukraine to stamp down the uprising by Eastern Ukrainians of Russian extraction who are separatists and wish to join Russia.  President Trump must deal with the backlash from four years of misery for Ukraine.  Obama directed these actions, initiated by Victoria Nuland, former State Department employee, and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham with the U.S.-sponsored coup d’état that ousted Yanukovych and inserted Arseny Yatsenuk.  This coup led to the eventual incursion and annexation of Crimea by Russia for the purpose of preserving their Black Sea Fleet and naval base located at Sevastopol.  Obama and the Congress committed to sending military supplies, and the tensions have resurfaced between the U.S. and Russia, who backs the separatists against the U.S.-installed Kiev government of Poroshenko.

There are several other smaller flash points as well, worth mentioning but not outlining in detail.  Syria, the Senkaku Islands (dispute between China and Japan), and the illegal alien problem in Western Europe are ongoing.  In addition to all of this, the President is beset from within his administration by the likes of Reince Priebus and others who have been leaking defamatory statements to the press, as well as causing general consternation within the White House.

In past articles, here at ReadyNutrition, we have emphasized the need to keep up with the current events, and I reiterate this precept.  The winter months are good months to plan on things upcoming for the spring and summer.  Plan ahead by a couple of months at least for the activities and training that you are going to pursue.  Plan out how you are going to build that rainwater catchment system, and how you’re going to lay out that root cellar in the spring.

Knowledge is Key

Research all of your courses available in both your county extension/agricultural offices, and your local community colleges.  The knowledge is there for you and just needs to be found and taken ahold of.  This is part of preparation.  Study to show yourself approved…the workman worthy of his craft, right?

And the most important prep of all…you!  You must physically and mentally prepare your body and your mind.  Physical fitness will open doors for you that may have been closed for a while or maybe you have never walked through before.  I am amazed (and disgusted) whenever I visit a health food store and see the clientele.  The customers appear (and appearances are usually true in this regard) to be the most sickly, malnourished, and out of shape individuals I have seen anywhere.

Your exercise and proper, balanced nutrition are keys to improving yourself and being in a continuous state of readiness and preparedness.  In these winter months, don’t just acquire supplies.  Acquire a good set of weights and exercise equipment, and use them to improve yourself physically.  You have to remember that governments and countries can go “ballistic” (and I’m not even referring to ICBM’s) at any given time.  Where you are (in terms of overall readiness) is where you will be when the SHTF…you won’t have much time to make improvements.

So, keep prepping, keep planning, and keep praying that nothing happens.  It’s far better to be prepared and not to have something happen than to be caught off guard.  Keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Never Drop Your Guard: 7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness

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  This article you should not only save, but also burn it into your memory for the finer points mentioned.  As you Guys and Gals out there in ReadyNutrition Land have deduced from the title, situational awareness is a topic covered before in many different articles and it is important all the time.

You must blend that situational awareness with actions to take immediately upon the perception that a situation has arrived.  Notice I said “perception” and not confirmation.  Know why? Because you need to react accordingly with the perception: the confirmation may be too late.

Scoffers are already picking this one apart, thinking “OK, well, you react…what if you overreact and nothing was really wrong?”  Guess what?  I wrote “accordingly with the perception,” meaning that if you are acting accordingly, you’re not overreacting and therefore not responding/taking action with more than what is necessary.

React accordingly, and after you’re in the clear, then you can assess everything that has happened.

Here’s the reason I’m writing this article:

The other day I parked my vehicle and was getting ready to walk into an establishment.  Just as I left the vehicle, two state troopers pulled up: one in front of my vehicle (head to head) and another slightly off to the first vehicle’s left, but facing mine as well.  A trooper left each vehicle, and although they had sunglasses on their attention was riveted to me.  They watched me and began to follow me as I walked toward the establishment.

Having nothing to worry about, I continued toward the building; however, my logic is that the time to worry is when there is nothing to worry about.  This is a day and age when cops shoot first and ask questions later.  Mistaken identity doesn’t bring a person back from the dead, and it’s better to err on the side of caution.  As I walked toward the building, I angled my approach and immediately placed both of them in enfilade.

This means as I stepped in the front of one of them, both were lined up (in a “line,” if you will) before me.  Neither had drawn a weapon, but the motion I made is instinctive…or “muscle memory” if you wish to label it.  Both were, if it became necessary, in my line of fire, and the first one (closest to me) was masking the fire of the second if they wanted to play.  “Masking” means to block another’s line of fire by (stupidly/unknowingly) placing yourself in between his fire and a potential enemy/target.

Now, obviously these two thought they “had something,” and from their movements and actions, it was also obvious that they soon realized I was not their quarry.  Dismissing it and them (while keeping an eye on them), I entered the building.  One of them poked his head inside the door, and the manager/proprietor looked at him.

“Don’t worry, what we’re looking for is not in here,” he said, and then left.

There was no incident, but I stress this to you: this was a situation.

For those who love law and order, do not take this as an indictment against those state troopers, but keep this in mind: the days of “Officer Friendly” are over.  Sometimes warranted by fear (in the case of city cops constantly attacked by gangs and other miscreants), and sometimes unwarranted, many times they’ll pull the trigger and not mete out the force that is commensurate with the perceived threat.  My thoughts?  I’m not bothering anybody, but if I’m in the ground because of their mistake, I’m the one who really pays for that mistake, right?

It’s better to face a jury of 7 than to be carried by 6.

The situational awareness will help you to avoid complications.  Be aware of your surroundings, and who is in those surroundings.  My wife and I gassing up her vehicle, and as I pulled up to the pump, there were two young men and a young woman just acting stupidly…right in front of the door to the convenience store/gas station.  My wife was going to go in and pay while I pumped the gas.  I motioned for her to stay put while I both paid for and pumped the gas.

The men were carrying beer and the woman carousing with both while all played the fools.  No matter.  I kept my eye on them and paid for the gas, then came out and pumped it as they moved off (“staggered off” being a better term) across the parking lot.

Situational awareness.  I didn’t have to say anything.  I avoided a situation.  Most of the times avoidance is the best answer.  Move out of the area and away from the potential situation before it escalates.  It will all be forgotten in no time.  It is important in the moment for the threat it potentially poses, however, in the long term it is not even worth the time of day.


Situations accomplish nothing if they’re allowed to escalate: avoid them as much as possible.


7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness

Let’s cover some simple basics that you can use all the time.

  1. As with “Driver’s Education,” Get the big picture: see everything that is happening around you and take in the full view.
  2. Watch what people are doing, and what state they are in: whether they’re mad, inebriated, overly friendly…watch them and pay attention to their actions.
  3. Watch what people have in their hands or on their person (such as a knife strapped to their belt, etc.)
  4. Know where you are. Are you up against the wall as two men are approaching you from two different directions?  Do you have a narrow alley to walk through and a gang of thugs just took notice of you and they’re in motion?  Are you in the back corner of a dimly-lit diner, and in came the Hell’s Angels and they’re staring at you?
  5. Know what your escape routes are. In #4 above, do you have alternate routes to take?  Do the Hell’s Angels know about that small fire exit door beyond the restrooms?  Have a backup route to employ…in all things you do…whether walking, driving, or just sitting having a cup of coffee.
  6. Have a plan in place. If you’re attacked, how will you defend yourself?  Having a plan in place and knowing how you’ll execute that plan…rehearsing it in your mind…this will keep you from being completely unprepared.
  7. Avoid a situation by not allowing it to happen. You can leave the area.  If your bargaining skills/people skills are good, you may be able to talk your way out of it and defuse it before it occurs

Take it seriously.  Take each thing seriously, and remember that even the most harmless looking scenario can turn into a full-blown problem at any moment.  Think outside of the box.  Remember: lawbreakers aren’t worried about breaking the laws…the ones you are upholding.  You’ll have to assess the situation as it arises, and you must also assess it as it changes.  Take care of business when it occurs, and take care of one another.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Off-Grid Refrigeration: Creating an Icehouse in Winter

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icehouseThose who plan to create ways for off-grid refrigeration usually plan to build when the snow thaws, but I’m doing something a little different – I’m planning on building one now.  The main problem for me right now is that I have four feet of snow on the ground, and it’s a little hard to do a layout or any kind of excavating for it.  But what of it?  That doesn’t mean I can’t plan now, nor undertake it before the winter months disappear.

Off-Grid Refrigeration

Icehouses were used extensively in the U.S., especially in “pioneer days,” where they would be the main way of keeping meats and vegetables cool and “refrigerated” in a manner to not require canning, smoking, or drying them.  These icehouses were combined with root cellars/canning cellars to be structures heavily-insulated with earth to keep everything cool and from spoiling in the spring and summer months.  I also mentioned an “icebox,” meaning a refrigerator that was not dependent upon electricity, but had a large block of ice inside of an insulated “box” that kept the food inside cool and from spoiling prematurely.

For those without enough property or in an urban/suburban area, an icebox might be a good thing to have, at least as a backup for the refrigerator.  If you have a little bit of ground, then you may be able to build an icehouse.  I plan on beginning mine about the end of March to the beginning of April.  See, living in Montana, where there are no building codes in rural areas, I’m not hindered by the need for permits or the usual parade of bloodsuckers from local or state governments or neighborhood (incarceration-hood, is more appropriate) associations.  Thus, the benefit of living in a remote state, I can build whatever I want and nobody can say anything to me.

Use This Easy Method to Make Large Blocks of Ice

If you don’t have this, then you’ll have to negotiate around whatever “primates” are blocking your path and secure whatever permits you believe necessary if you want it done.  I’m going to wait until the time I mentioned and then clear out the ground and the snow, use a “C” to dig (a miniature backhoe) the icehouse out, and then build it during the winter months.  The reason is that I will make about a dozen and a half “molds” to fill with water for my ice-blocks, using large bins.  When the water freezes and huge blocks of ice are made, I will then place them inside of my icehouse and cover them up with lots and lots of sawdust.  Each block will have about 20 gallons of water, and this will be (at 7.6 lbs. per gallon) about 150 lbs. apiece.  A lot easier to let the winter freeze up those blocks!

Building an Icehouse

I plan on placing in a drain into the floor (PVC drain tile) with a small slope, and then tamping the earth back into place.  Then I’ll separate the main chamber for the canned goodies from the ice chamber in the rear and slightly lower than the main room.  Stacking the blocks up and then covering them all with sawdust, it will adhere to the time-honored principle of the frontier days…it will keep all spring and summer, and have to be replaced in the fall (it’s below freezing here in September…we only have about 3 to 4 months without ice and snow).

I’m going to use the earth and rocks excavated and then mound it up, as most of the efficient designs I have seen are with rounded or semi-rounded forms/tops.  The only true modern “accoutrements” I plan on having are a good door and door-frame that is sturdy, and I’m considering some kind of interior flooring system.  Any suggestions or personal experiences?  We’d love to hear them, and perhaps you’ll be able to float me some information I can use.  I have a few not-so-near neighbors that are diabetics and use insulin…what could be better than being able to preserve their insulin for them in my icehouse if the SHTF and they lose electricity?

An icehouse or icebox for you and your family may be a good thing to do to enable that your refrigeration lasts…beyond the lifetime of the power plants and power stations…. if the SHTF.  Bottom line: do what you can with what you have.  Better to get into the batter’s box and take a swing then not to take a chance.  Keep fighting that good fight!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Training: This is How to Prepare Your Body to Escape the Big City on Foot

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bugging out on footReadyNutrition Readers, this piece covers some of the basic fundamentals on road marching.  Yes, this is a typical military exercise, but it has several applications for you in terms of preparations and in training.  Road marches can be both physically demanding and challenging.  They should not be attempted without proper preparation, and if you have any underlying health conditions, consult with your doctor prior to doing them.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I prefer the large-frame Alice Pack of the US Army, the one I have been using for many decades, now.  It is both sturdy and affordable, and can meet a person’s needs from a training and a survival perspective.  That mentioned, it is up to you to find one that feels both comfortable and offers you the support you need to be able to move on the road or cross-country with weight on your back.

Don’t road march cold: you need to take the time to do some light calisthenics to warm your muscles up prior to the physical exertion.  The weight you will tote with you will vary according to your abilities and physical condition, as well as the needs of the exercise.  It is a training event: you need to keep it as such and hold it in that regard.  You need proper footgear and comfortable clothing, as well as a water supply.  You need to prepare for it the night before, with a good meal and plenty of rest and fluids prior to your start.

Your stretches can include (but not be limited to) the side-straddle hop (referred to as “jumping jacks,”) as well as half-squats, squats, hamstring and calf stretches, and so forth.  I prefer boots to support my ankles, although I have seen many people using tennis shoes and hiking shoes.  Whatever your preference, as long as it gives your arch the support it needs.

Start out small, with a lighter amount of weight.  That will be on you to gauge.  Start by doing a mile, and then work your way up.  A good conservative plan for a road marching “schedule” can be one per week with lighter weights and shorter distances.  As you “work your way up” you’ll want to make the road marches less frequent.  The reason being is you don’t want to damage yourself with a potential stress fracture or a hairline fracture from continuously pounding the pavement with your feet and heavy weight on the shoulders.  Shin splints are a common occurrence over time, as well.

Medically, they’re referred to as MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome), and are pains within the connective muscle and tissue surrounding your knee and the outside of your tibia.  It is a chronic “dull” aching feeling that arises in about 15 to 20% of people who run, walk, or (in this case) march long distances.  Ice packs and rest can enable you to recover in a short period of time.  For any question of it, consult with your physician if the problem persists.

The road marches will strengthen your legs and back, and also develop your cardiovascular capabilities.  You should time every one of them, and attempt gains each time you undertake a march.  Gains would take the form of quicker times, or more weight carried.  You have to do it gradually.  Eventually, your end goal is to carry what you normally would in a rucksack if the SHTF and you were out in the woods.  Cross-country is markedly different from doing it on the side of the road due to the uneven terrain as well as other factors, such as water, thick vegetation, an abundance of rocks, etc.

Weather is also a factor, and in the warmer months great care must be taken to ensure you don’t dehydrate yourself.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration, and means you’re already depleted when you feel thirsty.  It would also be good to undertake these marches with a partner, so that if an emergency arises you have someone with you to rely upon for first aid or to go for help.

Your endurance will improve with time, and it also takes adjustment for your feet to become accustomed to both your pace and the work.  It is an excellent lower-body exercise that still manages to work your upper body.  It requires discipline, determination, and preparation to accomplish.  Eventually you will see results, and can road march 2 to 4 times per month successfully as part of your physical regimen.

Remember to take account of the water you will carry when you initially weigh your rucksack.  You can pick up a good fishing and game scale that will enable you to find out exactly how much you tote.  Try it out.  It is cost effective and will give you some good results.  Happy rucking!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Big Brother Could Be Spying on You Through Your Prescriptions

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bigbrother 

Prescription meds are a way that the Big Brother state can maintain control over your medical supplies and monitor you as an individual.

In mid-January, an article came out entitled Feds force Doctors and Pharmacists to Spy on 60% of Americans,” and deals with the PMP, the Prescription Monitoring Program, and 48 states have adopted it.  The federal government keeps track of all your sensitive information (birth date, address, etc., and demographics on you) in the “interests of combating drug abuse.”

That reason is nothing more than a front to be able to monitor you and using the prescriptions as a “back door.”  It is the usual government mantra: “For the good of the whole,” “for the public safety,” ad infinitum ad nauseam.  The problem is that they utilize these existent programs to justify more and more control measures that eventually encompass everything you do.  A case in point is the hormone androstenedione.  This is a precursor hormone to testosterone, and the last “gate” before reaching testosterone on the metabolic pathway.

In 1997, it was a completely legal and obtainable as a supplement.  The East German Olympic athletes had a lot of success with it boosting testosterone (thus performance).  Later it was banned by the Olympic committee, and then the torch was taken up by the American sports agencies, then the FDA, and so on.  Now you cannot obtain it.  In many countries (especially in Europe) you cannot even have amino acids without a prescription.  In the last eight years, this country has followed suit in a lot of the practices of Europe.

How to ‘Opt-Out’ of Prescription Monitoring

  1. Stock up on as many nutritional supplements as you can, in the form of herbs, tinctures, and naturopathic aids such as vitamins and anything you can use
  2. Obtain as many long-shelf-life antibiotics for your fish and pets for as long as you can
  3. Learn how to replace medicines that may not be readily available by supplementing with herbal foods and natural food aids (you can’t call any of them “medicine,” by the way)
  4. Get yourself in shape (yes, this is why JJ writes so many articles dealing with physical training and conditioning), as this will prevent you from being ill and/or visiting with these Doctors…. Dr. Doolittle, or Dr. Do-Nothing. YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST HEALTH CARE PROVIDER THROUGH PREVENTATIVE MEANS
  5. By following these instructions, it’ll keep you out from under the magnifying glass of feds or anyone else “lingering” from the Dark Ages of Obama’s reign.
  6. Practice OPSEC (Operational Security): don’t be a “Chatty Kathy” doll, to paraphrase Steve Martin…tell those worth telling, and only so they can emulate your actions…not to be the center of attention. Don’t let anyone know what you have or what you’re doing!

The last sentence of #6 is very important.  Such is not just to keep the government from prying in on you, but to prevent your nosy neighbors from knowing what you have surrounding a SHTF situation.  Today’s “Madge” from the Palmolive ad is tomorrow’s Marauder with a pickaxe hammering at your front door to get to your supplies.  We have a President who is taking action on behalf of the American people, but we’re not out of the woods yet.  Just because it’s sunlight outside doesn’t mean there are not plenty of vampires snoozing in coffins, just waiting for the opportunity to strike.  If they do, the best “wooden stake” you can use on them is to be prepared beforehand, and not expose yourself to them in the night.  May the sun always warm your back and light a path for your feet!  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Emergency Wound Care: When All You Have is in Your Pantry

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 Without access to hospitals and emergency medical care during off-grid emergencies, a simply infection from wounds can become life-threatening. Having knowledge of alternative medical treatments using natural wound therapies could save a life.

 

Years ago, the Mrs. and I made a major move.  We had a specific timetable to adhere to, and as we were moving ourselves, efficiency was the word that exemplified our overall goals.  About an hour before we were going to batten down the hatches and hit the road, she slipped and slammed her shin on the edge of the moving van’s bumper: a combination of a laceration and abrasion, as well as potential for a broken bone.

What to do on something such as this?  Well, we certainly had enough antibiotics and (if it was broken) the hospital was close by.  She/we decided on some ice, a bandage, and (so as not to go into our antibiotics) herbal aids.  Oregano is one of the best herbs to have on hand for natural medicine and an astringent can  be made from oregano tincture to wipe down the abrasion.


Oregano Tincture

  • Add handfuls of oregano flower and leaves to a pint-size jar and cover them with 80-proof alcohol, such as vodka.
  • Allow the jar to sit for 3-6 weeks out of sunlight.
  • Strain the mixture and transfer to a tincture bottle, or proceed to make a double-strength infusion.

For oral dosage: The standard adult dose is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day, as needed. Children usually get 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult dose.

To make astringent: Add 1 tablespoon oregano tincture to 1 cup of distilled water.

Learn more ways to disinfect wounds using pantry staples


Wound Care Made with Sugar and Honey

Once we applied the astringent to the wound, we made up a sugar formula that was common during the Napoleonic era:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Mix sugar and honey together and pack the laceration with it, spreading it liberally upon the abrasion and dressing it.

Monitor and change dressing daily.


Why Sugar and Honey Is Great For Natural Wound Care

We’re talking about plain white sugar, here: the same kind vilified for the diet is actually very beneficial with regard to wound therapy.  The sugar promotes tissue repair, while fostering an antimicrobial, anaerobic environment regarding the wound.  The sugar can be mixed with honey or glycerin (honey is cheaper and easier to get a hold of).  On some kind of laceration, you can pack it with the mixture after cleaning out the laceration with clean water and/or a mild astringent (such as the one I first mentioned).

The dressing needs to be changed once every day, and the packed laceration monitored for signs of swelling and tenderness.  Also, put fresh mixture to cover the overall wound, and then redress it with a fresh dressing and bandage.  The sugar will also reduce the amount of scarring and enable the wound to heal at a faster rate.

Sugar can also be used as an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), in combination with table salt.  Take a one-quart bottle (remember how I advised to save those empty Gatorade and Power-Ade bottles, the 32-ouncers?  This is why.), and fill it up with water, leaving a little space.  Put ½ cup of your sugar into it, and about ½ tsp of salt.  Voila!  You have effectively made your own field-expedient “Gatorade,” minus the potassium.  The reason this is good is that the sugar will provide quick sugar to the bloodstream, while the salt will help to replace what you have either lost from sweating or from trauma.

Your sugars and honeys (yes, honey is a form of sugar) can be used to sweeten up a tincture that you might have to take in water.  If you have ever had Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), it is one of the worst-tasting substances you can imagine.  We adults can grin and bear it, but when you’re administering a tincture to a kid, it is a big help to make it taste not quite so bad.

Honey For Wound Care

Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed.  For the wound-packing mixture I advised above?  Honey is the medium that keeps the sugar from falling out of the wound and congeals it to keep the dressing viable longer.

The reason these should be kept in mind: when the SHTF they are easily found.  You’re much more likely to find either of these two (sugar and/or honey) in a gas station or convenience store out in the middle of nowhere than a Cephalosporin such as Keflex (Cephalexin, if you prefer) for a soft tissue injury.  That’s what this is all about: winning with the weapons you have and tailor-making things you can rely on.  Practice with them sometime for something minor.  You’ll see results and build confidence in what you do.  That’s the way!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Importance of Firearms Maintenance in the Wintertime

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winterfirearmMany guys and gals may wonder, “Why do we have to maintain firearms in the wintertime, since we’re not using them as much?” Well, there are different conditions to deal with in the wintertime that may affect your firearms adversely.  Many will just wrap them up in plastic after coating them with Cosmoline or some other lubricant-preservative.  This does not necessarily protect them from changing conditions during the wintertime that may go unnoticed.

First, I stress that you should clean and inspect your weapons at a minimum of once per week.  If it is done less frequently, then you must take several factors into consideration: temperature, change in temperature, humidity, sunlight, and location your firearms are kept/stored.  If you happen to have a temperature/climate-controlled gun storage safe or the equivalent, then you can “whittle” your time down for disassembly and inspection of your firearm.  For the rest of us (myself included), a regular maintenance program is essential.

Depending on where in your house you store your firearm and how you store it (in a gun safe, or a moisture-controlled case, for example) will dictate the challenges you’ll face.  Alternating temperatures cause some problems.  If you have a home that (when you’re inside of it) the temperature is kept at 70 degrees F or such, if the temperature drops to say 50 or 60, you may have problems with moisture.  The weather (and the relative humidity) will also be a factor.


Metal tends to “sweat” with a change in temperature, that is for condensation to build up, especially when the change is drastic or sudden.


You’ve been outside all day hunting that deer with your Winnie ’94 30-30.  You just came into the house, and after kicking off your boots you hung your Winnie ’94 up on the gun rack.  Guess what?  In about ten to fifteen minutes, even if you were as dry as dust coming through the door…the weapon will have condensation all over it from the sudden change in temperature.

Another scenario is that you must vent out the house a bit: your woodstove has been on “overdrive” and you need to air out the place just a tad.  It’s raining outside and humid.  When that cold air and moisture wafts inside, guess where it’ll go?  Yep, right onto the barrel and mechanism of that trusty rifle you have hanging over the mantelpiece.

Another one is that you have a rack in your bedroom, and you opened the drapes to allow a little sunlight into the room…and it just happened to hit your rifle on the rack.  The rifle gains about 20 degrees from the sun, and then when it leaves, the coolness of the room and the weapon’s proximity to the window causes the sweating.

During the wintertime, it isn’t enough just to pack it all up and wait until the springtime.  As far as things are with me, the only time I would ever pack one up is if I’m transporting it somewhere and it needs to be encased and protected for a few days to a week.  Other than that, I stick to my regular maintenance schedule.  First thing you do, is wipe off any excess moisture on the weapon.  Then completely disassemble it and carry out an inspection of all your parts.  You are looking for any debris and any buildup of ferrous oxide (that’s rust!) from excessive moisture.  There shouldn’t be any.

The reason there shouldn’t be is that there will not be…if you carry out a regular program of maintenance.  You haven’t fired it; however, you can still run patches through the bore with a light coating of lube on them.  Clean off any rust and oil all your parts.  It protects from rust or moisture.

Also, want to save a little money?  You don’t have to bankrupt yourself on those stingy little bottles of lube/gun oil…a 3 or 4-ounce bottle…for 7 or 8 dollars.  Go buy yourself a quart of 5W/30 Mobil Synthetic oil.  We used to use it in the service, and I still use it now.  Does the job just as good and (most of the time) better than those cheap, thin, junk oils such as Hoppe’s or Remington’s or the like.  A quart will last you a long time, and then you just refill the small bottles that you normally use with it.

Same for patches.  Take an old t-shirt, sheet, or pillowcase.  Cut out your squares on your own, and also cut yourself some 1’ squares for general purpose weapons cleaning rags.  These can be washed and then reused a couple of times.  Use a bristle brush of some kind and brush the oil vigorously all over your working parts, and then wipe off any carbon and/or rust you have.  Then give it a fresh coat (thin), and reassemble the weapon.  Voila!  Your weapon is good to go.  Make sure that when you reassemble it that you perform a functions check on it, and ensure that it has been reassembled properly without any glitches.

One thing you can also do is to “shroud” your weapons.  This is merely covering them as they are on a rack with a sheet of some kind.  Try to match the surrounding colors of the room.  If you have a white wall, then a white sheet would be a good thing.  This keeps dust from settling on the weapon, and any ash/soot from the woodstove, as well.  It also keeps your weapons out of sight for when some “snoopy” human comes over to the front door, such as the ever-present, never-reliable neighbors, or some door-to-door sales clown, or some other pest.  The less they see the better.

Minimum of once per week per firearm.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as Ben Franklin once said.  Protect them within a case for when you’re traveling, and remember to give them a good wiping down and a thorough lube when you reach your destination.  Maintain that firearm at all times, and it’ll see you through, whether you’re hunting deer or stopping someone from breaking into your home.  Keep that powder dry and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Forge Ahead: This Unique Post-Collapse Skill Will Help You Fabricate and Repair Essential Items

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 OK, ReadyNutrition Readers, we’re going to forge ahead with those self-reliant skill sets and I’m going to tell you how to make your own forge.  Try not to become too excited!  Seriously, you’re not going to put US Steel out of business, nor do any of the refineries in Pittsburgh feel threatened.  No, this is a simple furnace that you can make on your own in your spare time.  If you follow the instructions and do it right, you won’t burn your house down or set fire to the neighborhood.  Seriously, there are plenty of applications you can use for this, and (in the end) it’s up to you.

So, what is a forge, (or furnace, if you prefer)?  Just a modified oven that can be defined as an enclosed oven for the express purpose of containing and raising the temperature of the fuels burned.  The forge-label usually denotes fabrication, primarily from metals within that fiery furnace.  This simple list of materials will give you what you need to build your own forge.

  1. Steel 5-gallon bucket (cylindrical, akin to contractor-grade)
  2. 2-3-gallon galvanized bucket
  3. 20 lbs. of sand or cat litter
  4. “stand” fashioned out of heavy-gauge wire fencing
  5. 6-10 bricks or several large bricks/masonry tiles
  6. Charcoal briquettes (about 20-lbs)
  7. Hair dryer
  8. Tongs/long-handled pliers
  9. Water pan (approx. 1 square foot L, and 3-4” deep)
  10. Fire extinguisher
  11. Heavy gloves, and goggles

Why These Materials, J.J.?

With these materials, you’ll be able to make a forge for yourself.  Why?  So you can fabricate items made of metal, repair things, and obtain heat where a higher heat than just a standard fire is required.  The charcoal briquettes enable you to have an even fire that can be super-oxygenated with the aid of the hair dryer.  If you want to pick up an old-fashioned bellows, then knock yourself out.  Using a hair dryer on the “cold” setting enables you to oxygenate the fire without burning out the hair dryer’s heating element.

The wire stand on the inside of the interior bucket is to enable the briquettes to heat your crucible, which is a container/vessel used to melt materials at high temperatures.  You can have a welder fabricate one of these out of steel piping, preferably 5-6 inches in diameter and about 1 foot in length.  The bottom of the steel pipe needs to be covered over with about a ¼ inch piece of steel slightly larger than the steel pipe’s diameter and welded to it.  This can be done for a reasonable price.

The tongs you’ll need to remove the crucible from when you heat it up, and the goggles and gloves for your own safety.  How many times do we throw away old cans and scrap metal?  Well, a while back, I did a piece on keeping metal bins for use as salvaging metals.  Here’s your chance to use that metal with your forge.

Furnace-Forge

Instructions For Making a Forge

  1. Set your 5-gallon bucket on the bricks or brick tile, away from flammable surfaces, such as wood.  The ground is better.  You will want to be close enough to an outlet to plug in the hair dryer.
  2. Next pour in the sand or litter until the bottom of the galvanized bucket sits firmly on it.  You’ll want to make a funnel out of cardboard or paper to fill in around to the top of the bucket with sand/litter if the bucket is angled.  If it’s a cylinder, no problem…go up to about ½” from the bucket’s top.  Make sure the top of your interior, galvanized bucket is about 1-2” below the 5-gallon bucket’s top lip.
  3. Construct your heavy-duty wire fencing stand as a rack to hold your crucible within the galvanized bucket.  The sand/cat litter insulates the outer vessel from the tremendous heat your forge will produce.  You want the crucible off the bottom of the bucket, with space in between it and the charcoal briquettes, for the promotion of airflow, steady burning, and to prevent the crucible from putting out the fire.  Your first firing is to get the briquettes up to (but no higher than) the top level of the stand the crucible is sitting on.
  4. Using the hair dryer on “cool/cold” setting, you can evenly oxygenate the briquettes until they are glowing evenly and hotter than a regular fire.  It is going to take time and practice to perfect this.
  5. Then (being safe) you will manipulate your crucible with the tongs.  You can also place a big metal can full of cat litter with a hollow in it to set the crucible to cool, and use the pan of water after it is no longer glowing hot.  Be sure to have an updated and serviceable fire extinguisher handy in case the operation is not all going along with your plan.
  6. Research your metals you wish to melt.  Perhaps bars or ingots can be made for later use.  You may want to fabricate parts for different tools and machinery.  This is beyond the scope of this article; however, remember that a part can be duplicated if you can make an impression of that part in a suitable material to take a pouring.  There are plenty of websites and resources out there to pursue an interest in metallurgy if you take the time.

Be safe, and be sure before you attempt any of this.  Don’t heat up anything inside of your garage or on your porch, and never in an enclosed area because of carbon monoxide fumes that can kill you.  Study and learn as much as you can before operating your forge.  Whatever you intend to build, have all your steps written down before you go about building it.  Be safe, be professional, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Green Beret’s Guide To Building an Emergency Winter Shelter

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we covered a few items on winter camouflage and winter preparedness training.  I’m going to throw out to you the concept of the winter shelter.  Most are self-explanatory.  Going into the basics, we need something to keep the snow from falling on our heads, as well as something to insulate us from the cold and the wind.  If you have no tent available, then it’s up to you to build something if the emergency arises.  Undoubtedly someone will comment about sleeping in the car, but circumstances may arise that may prevent that, such as a bad accident with leaking gas or combustible fluids.

The Simplest Survival Shelters

One answer for you is the lean-to, which is simply a couple of vertical poles jammed into the ground and a cross-pole (or cross-beam, if you will) lashed to the top across the two vertical poles.  Then you “lean” other branches across the top edge of your cross-pole, building a triangular shelter for yourself as you create this roof.  Ideally the rear can be on the slope of a hill or mountain without any runoff, leaving you a “front” to sit in at the edge of the lean to.

Tree-pit ShelterIn areas where heavy snows accumulate, you can also make a tree-pit shelter.  Excavate around the trunk of a pine tree with low boughs (a tree with thick branches and the boughs close to the ground).  If you have about two to three feet to dig, all the better in this case.  You’ll excavate about a 6-7’ diameter “hole” around the tree, and with the snow you remove, stack it up and pack it on the edges of the hole, building it up until you reach those bottom boughs.  You can also reinforce the construction by using boughs and dead branches to set the snow on top of.  Be creative, and use your imagination to make the situation fit your needs.  You want to make a front “gap” for yourself to squeeze through, and maybe a “door” out of pine boughs to close the gap off.


The principle being to create walls of snow that extend to the thick tree-boughs.  The tree will be your insulation topside, and the walls of snow akin to a semi “igloo” that will protect you on the sides. 


Reinforce those walls by placing branches on the inside vertically, stuck into the ground, or use a foam pad to run around the walls of the pit (Army issue ones work well).  Pack the top of the wall before putting branches and snow on the sides to build it up.  Don’t build a fire in the thing, unless you want to risk the fate of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” character and risk bringing stuff down on top of you to smother you.  Also, don’t pick a tree heavily laden with a billion pounds of snow.

Why These Shelters Are Ideal

The principle is to crawl in this thing, taking support against the tree (lean against it to rest and sleep).  Even if you were buried, the tree itself will protect you and create an air pocket when you lean against it.  This type of shelter will buy you some time until you can build something a little more permanent.  If you did what I advised many moons ago, and packed your “A-bag”/bug-out happy-camper-survivor bag the way I advised, it’s packed per the season, and you should have a poncho and poncho liner in it.  The poncho can either be stretched out on the ground for a ground-cover, or used to solidify a lean-to and make it more waterproof.

The tree-pit shelter is for when you need to get out of the elements quickly.  If that can’t be done, you can dig a snow-cave for yourself.  With the poncho and/or a ground pad, you can insulate yourself from the ground and “hole up” in this snow cave (nothing more than a “spider hole” to protect you from the bite of the elements) and allow your body heat to warm up the hole.  It is the same principle that sled dogs use when they dig holes in the snow and bury themselves.  The principle is sound and can work for you as well.

Also for the tree-pit shelter: try not to pick a tree that is growing on the side of a mountain or hill.  You don’t need an avalanche to ruin your day on this one.  The lean to you can get out of.  Let the tree-pit shelter be on fairly-level ground, if you can make it so, and check it out thoroughly beforehand.  Be prudent and carry your pack with you should you have to leave the vehicle.  Practice building these shelters and familiarize yourself with them when you have the time, prior to an emergency occurring.  Stay warm, drink coffee, and take care of one another!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winter Survival: Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

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 We’re deep into the winter, Readers out there in ReadyNutrition Land, as you well know.  Now, here’s a challenge for you: while the season is here, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Why?  Well, because you can practice doing a few things in a (semi) controlled environment.  This will enable you to gauge your weaknesses and strengths and iron out your problems, either for another “go” at it or for lessons learned to hone in the off season.

Essential Winter Gear

  1. Proper and effective dress: We have covered the importance of layering in previous articles. Everyone has their preferences; however, a good set of polypro thermals that wick off moisture and a good set of Gore-Tex upper and lower garments are a start.
  2. Backpack: I prefer the large Alice pack of the Army; however, what you need is to be comfortable with your gear, and for your gear to work. You need food, a source of heat, fire making equipment, a blanket/sleeping bag, a water supply that will not readily be frozen, extra clothing as needed, and the likes.  For a sleeping bag, I prefer the insulated issue bag with a Gore-Tex cover.  Don’t forget a ground pad of some type.
  3. Tools: A hatchet (preferably one with a hammer-head and a hatchet blade with one continuous piece incorporated into the handle; a good hunting knife, and a good utility knife (Swiss Army knife, or a multipurpose tool will fit the bill).
  4. Sheltering equipment: I prefer the Army issue poncho (that has grommets) and five (5) bungee cords for the four corners and the top (hood portion tied off) for an expedient shelter.  You can take a pup or dome tent, but be sure of how to put it up before you go out in the woods.
  5. Must-haves: these are things on your person when you venture forth – lighter, compass, thermometer (or device to compute temperature, such as wrist thermometer, etc.), flashlight, map of area for exercise. Use your judgement as to what other things you need.

Critical Tasks for Training in Winter

Let’s identify some critical tasks that you need to be able to perform in the wintertime.  These tasks pertain also to requirements you need to fulfill to be able to operate in the outdoors.

  1. For the first one, plan on just doing an “overnighter” or such, if you’ve never been outside overnight in a winter environment.  As with physical exercise: train, don’t strain.  Same principle here.  You want to see how well your skills work and what you need to improve upon.  It’s also a good way to test your equipment and yourself.  You are trying to learn by experience and not hurt yourself, so don’t push it beyond your limits this first time.
  2. For your water-carrying containers: use whatever you have that is insulated to a high degree, and if it is going to freeze?  You should leave about ¼ unfilled to keep your container from splitting.  Then, what do you do with it?  For wintertime, I have “special” one quart canteens, the older issue ones made from metal, with a screw on cap lined with cork.  The canteen carrier helps to insulate the canteens, but if they freeze…plop one on top of a small folding stove or at the edge of a fire and it’ll thaw that water out in no time.  In addition, the canteen nests in the canteen cup and you can thaw snow or ice to make water for yourself.
  3. Bivouac in an area that is close to home.  In an emergency, you can get home readily.  Now you can practice with that “safety net” if you need it.  Practice everything: making fires in the snow, making lean-to’s and igloos, and tree-pit shelters.  Practice your navigation with a compass.  This is where the military issue compass comes in handy, as it’s not liquid filled and not subject to freezing.  You should write down your experiences in some kind of a logbook or journal to use for improving later.
  4. Practice tracking your non-hibernating animals.  Learn the difference between a dog’s track in the morning, and in the afternoon when the sun melts the edges of the impression and expands the track, making it look bigger.  You’ve brought the ground covering mat and the poncho with you.  Alright.  Now, knowing you have that in reserve, practice clearing snow away from a patch of ground and using fallen pine boughs as ground cover.  Fashion a lean-to for yourself from the surrounding fallen timber.
  5. At night, practice building your fire and building a fire-reflecting wall.  Take constant notes on the things you observe: what you see, hear, feel, and smell.  Practice land navigation and orienteering in the daytime, and (until you’re comfortable) for short distances at night.  Learn to use the stars if they’re visible, as mentioned in previous articles.  If the S ever HTF, you’ll be way ahead of the power curve regarding living in the field and the boonies in a winter environment.

Mind you, these are all basics for you to try.  These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself and your skills.  Winter weather and a cold environment with snow and ice on the ground presents challenges, but they can be overcome and mastered with practice.  Stay warm, be safe, and keep up the good work!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Protein Source is a Must for the Frugal Prepper’s Shopping List

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ground beef as food storage[Editor’s Note: Having a storable protein source for your emergency supplies is paramount to your survival. In The Prepper’s Cookbook, I stress the importance of having a pantry stocked with nutritious, life-saving meals. Finding deals at the grocery store (especially on meat) is a great way to bulk up your emergency supplies. One such frugal food is the humble package of ground beef.  It can be dehydrated, canned and frozen. As Jeremiah will touch on, this versatile meat source is a must for every prepper pantry. Chances are, you can find some great deals if keep an eye out.]

ReadyNutrition Readers, as you’ve undoubtedly read in some of my previous articles, protein is a major consideration in any undertaking that you have.  As a matter of fact, it is critical to your survival.  We have discussed its importance before, and I wanted to give you guys and gals some methods for utilizing ground beef to keep that protein flowing into your systems.  Remember this: almost every food can be effectively blended in a blender.  The smaller and more pulverized the better!

Ground Beef is a Frugal SHTF Meat Source

Seriously, guys and gals, ground beef is really great.  Firstly, the taste is such that it (as a meat, and a protein) provides satiety, that is a sense of being filled/sated.  When you combine that with an 85% lean or higher regarding fat, and make it organic, grass-fed beef…you’re taking in some nutritious protein.


Per the tables in Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (17th Ed.), 3 ounces of lean ground beef contains 21 grams of protein.  Most people can eat between ¼ and ½ lb. at a sitting, so we’re looking at 28 to 56 grams of protein right there.


A Few Nifty Ways To Have Ground Beef Ready To Go!

Now, let me tell you what I do.  I’ll take about 10 lbs. at a time, and make really lean hamburgers out of about 5 lbs. of it in about ¼ lb. patties.  I chop up onions, garlic, parsley, and the like, and throw that in.  The other 5 lbs. I brown it on the stove, drain it, and then add ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil and the aforementioned herbs and seasonings.  I’ll keep it in 1 lb. Ziploc bags and freeze about three pounds of it.  The other two I’ll keep in the fridge.

Adding this ground beef ¼ lb. at a time to other things, I boost the protein content quite a bit.  If you read that article I wrote on the uses of the thermos, you’ll find that I’m a big vitamin-R guy…that’s “Ramen” …for a light lunch/snack and a quick pick-me-up.  With a sandwich bag holding my browned ground beef, I turn the 8 grams of protein in the Ramen to 36 g in the blink of an eye.

See, if you pack up these little sandwich bags with about ¼ lb. of the ground beef, you can add it into whatever you like.  Tomato soup is nothing…but you can go somewhere and have a bowl and throw the ground beef into it and there’s your protein.  Same as if you pick up a salad, the bag of ground beef.  Why not?  Whatever your dressing is, throw in the ground beef and mix it all in well.  Why not add some delicious protein to your salad that makes you feel fuller?  Even something such as a bowl of macaroni and cheese…add your ground beef, and go from about 16 g of protein to the cup to a full 44 g.

I have mentioned all of this to give you some ideas if you’re on the go and used to buying your food when you’re at work or such.  Know what else you can do, after you’ve cooked it up?  Dehydrate it!  Yes, indeedy!  That is with a food dehydrator (the time will vary for the number of trays you intend to do) or with your oven.  For the oven, you should throw it on about 150 degrees F for about 8 to 10 hours if you already browned it (for about 5 lbs.).  When it’s done, allow it to cool off, then wrap it up and refrigerate it.  This is especially good in soups, and to figure out what the protein content is you’ll have to do a weight by proportion. Note: Meats with high fat content tend to produce beads of oil as it dehydrates and should be blotted off during the dehydration process. Look for meat that has less than 15% fat content.

If you browned about 5 lbs., and then dried it in the oven, you may have about 2 lbs. left over.  Calculate your original pre-cooked weight into 4 ounce increments (that would be 4 per pound…and 5 lbs. makes twenty total, right?).  Then divide your 2 lbs. by 20, and each increment would hold a normally-cooked amount’s worth of protein…so each increment would be 28 grams of protein worth…minus the water.  Just as an example so you can figure out how to do your own.  Incidentally, the Taber’s I mentioned doesn’t have the food tables in editions after the 17th, and the tables list every food known to man within reason.

You can also take that ground beef and make pemmican out of it using my recipe with just minor adjustments in terms of fat incorporated into the recipe.  As I mentioned before, all of this depends upon the fat content of the ground beef you use.  Put in into anything that you have in your diet.  I even make mashed potatoes and mix the ground beef in with it.  Works good, and tastes pretty good, too.  Try out some of these ideas, and you’ll find it really helps you with your workouts and training when protein is your main requirement.  Eat heartily, and take care of yourselves!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Dudes – “Your Testosterone Has Everything To Do With Preparedness and Survival”

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prepper dudes 

ReadyNutrition Readers, I once did a piece a while back on firearms for the ladies, and in that light, it’s time to do one that pertains to the guys.  This one is on the importance of testosterone, a substance that is very important in areas besides procreation and family life.  Testosterone is a “building block” upon which many complex bodily functions in men is dependent.  It is also the key regarding weightlifting and physical training.

Firstly, I highly recommend picking up the following book, one that I have mentioned in other articles regarding physical training.  Entitled, The Testosterone Advantage Plan,” this book is really the end-all, be-all in terms of weight training for men.  It has a ton of information besides the subject of testosterone from the glycemic index and charts to the workings of fatty acid glycolysis.  We’re sticking to the subject of testosterone in this article.

Testosterone is produced by cholesterol, a precursor hormone, and relies on fat to form.  Fat comes in several forms which we have outlined in previous articles on Ready Nutrition.  Testosterone is an androgen, a hormone produced in the bodies of males.  Some functions (in addition to sexual and reproductive tasks) are bone density, increase in oxygen-carrying capacity, musculature, and the mobilization of fat for energy.

The higher the levels of testosterone in the male body, the less prone a man is to muscular fatigue when exercising and lifting weights.  Testosterone also ensures better neuromuscular efficiency, and enables a tougher workout for more of a duration.  There is also an inverse relationship between testosterone and cardiac risk: higher levels of testosterone lower your risk of heart disease.  This is because testosterone has a dilating effect on the coronary arteries.  These arteries are the ones that supply the heart with blood.  The relaxing effect enables a blood flow increase of up to 17%.

The optimal level of testosterone (standard) is 800 ng (nanograms)/dl (deciliter) in the blood; this ratio will need the assistance of the doctor and a laboratory to discover.  Now, returning to cholesterol, the normal amount the body needs is equivalent to 300 mg per day.  We have approximately 0.2% in our body weight.  It is a precursor to hormones such as testosterone and the adrenal corticoids.  Too much of it in the body can cause problems; however, it is (for the most part) not a problem except for those with sedentary lifestyles or with existing heart problems or conditions.

Stress can lower testosterone levels.  This stress is both physical stress, such as working out too much or too long, and emotional stress, such as caused by daily stressors at work, at home, and as a man ages.  One of the problems with stress of either kind is the production of cortisol, a hormone released when stress occurs.  Cortisol is the biggest “enemy” of testosterone production, as it promotes the storage of fat in the body (the “fuel” that makes testosterone and also keeps you slim when testosterone “burns” it off).  Cortisol also sends the body an “instruction” to burn off muscle tissue for energy in the form of protein, a form of “cannibalism” detailed in previous articles.

The amount of cortisol released under normal conditions can be prevented from being counterproductive to testosterone levels with a well-managed, well-crafted program of weightlifting.  Such will suppress the release of cortisol.  Testosterone functions during the anabolic (building) phase of exercise, and cortisol functions during the catabolic phase, which is where the muscles that are broken down need to be prevented from being so depleted that they turn themselves into energy (cannibalism).  Right after working out, you need to take in protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of exercise completion or sooner…and the sooner the better.

You can stick to all-natural ways to boost your level of testosterone.  There is an article that lists 16 different foods that all directly or indirectly (the latter meaning affects the body in a way to stimulate its efficiency) boost testosterone levels.  The article can be found at www.anabolicmen.com/foods-that-boost-testosterone-naturally.  The details can be taken from the other article; however, I’m going to list the foods here to give you a good start to supplement the research in the article with your own.  Here are the 16 foods, in the order they appear: Potatoes, Macadamia nuts, coffee, Brazil nuts, Extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, ginger, raw cacao/cocoa, eggs, baking soda, probiotics, grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, garlic with vitamin C in combination, and onions.

By utilizing testosterone as produced within your body, you can generate gains for yourself in your physical training.  Some may ask, “What does this have to do with survival and preparedness?”  It has everything to do with it.  In order to perform your best under a stressful situation, such as beating the daylights out of a marauder in hand-to-hand combat, or lifting a heavy object pinning down a family member…you have to be at your best to do it.  Guys, your greatest weapons are your mind, and a body that you work on each day to train to maximum potential.  This is part of it: a part of who and what you are.  Testosterone is a tool within yourself that can help you meet your goals if you develop it and use it to its potential.  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Your Home Security Plan Is At Risk Without This Essential Prep

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is on some of the parameters and importance on keeping things safe…inside of a safe, or a “safe space” where they won’t be compromised.  The compromise that I speak of means from fires, thieves, floods, or mayhem in general.  Every family should consider some kind of safe, as well as a safe/hidden spot to keep the safe in.  You have valuable (either financially or holding value due to their nature) possessions and documents that need safeguarding.

All Could Be Lost Without This Home Security Prep

Let’s start by saying it would behoove you to have 2 types of safe: one for larger items, and another one for portable, smaller items, especially in the way of documents.  Such documents can include (but certainly aren’t limited to) passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, land deeds, vehicle titles, corporate stock and/or documents, to name a few.  A smaller, more portable type of safe would do in this case, such as those made by Sentry to lock with a key and a recessed handle.


You may want to pick up a fireproof type of safe or box for your ammo, to store in the vicinity of any safe that has firearms, but do not store the ammo in the safe with the firearm.


safe

These small safes can hold your documents and certifications, usually protecting them from fire up to about 1,500 degrees F, as well as being water-tight to protect them from flooding and water damage.  Now, the whole point of having this type of safe is to make your documents portable.  The fire rating may help you if you’re not able to get to them, and must recover them later, or if they suffer “light” exposure to flame and you are able to grab them…and they’ll be protected.

The other type – a larger, heavier kind may have to wait for you to return after a fire or flood.  Sentry makes these guys, too, and I prefer the tumbler kind to the electric.  Firstly, if there’s any kind of solar flare or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse), you may not be able to get into the safe.  Secondly, the battery is going to run down eventually.  You’re much better off with a “click and tumbler” type of combination lock on the front.  The larger safe will also hold documents, but you can also store things such as jewelry, extra cash, a firearm or two, precious/valuable coins and metals…the list is endless.

safe2

This type of safe will usually be good up to about 2,000 degrees F, and can be bolted to the floor.  This latter detail precludes being able to just lift it up and take it away.  This type of safe should be hidden.  The possibilities include (but aren’t limited to) a piece of furniture either bought (premade specifically to hide it) or specially made for the occasion, a recessed wall or floor, or a hidden room that only you and your family know about.

This last point is especially if you have paperwork or documents in the safe.  You don’t want to “cook off” the ammo with excessive heat inside of the safe and start a fire internally.  Another thing to consider hiding the safe in plain sight by installing it inside of a wall.  This can be done with masonry or with timber and drywall.  The key being you need as much space for the safe as is minimally possible, and it (the space) needs to blend with its surroundings.  It is better to go with the ground floor for such a location, as if you have it on the second floor and the house burns down, it’ll probably end up being in the basement after a considerable fall, and this after being weakened by the fire.

Keep a copy of the combination in a place where it won’t be lost if the house goes down and in a manner that will not allow it to be affected by the elements.  An index card or portion of one with the combination on it and laminated with heavy-gauge laminate is your best bet in this regard.  Make sure your family members (if they’re trustworthy, mind you) know the combination to the safe and where to find it.  In an age where safety deposit boxes in banks are no longer inviolate to the IRS or the Federal Government, the home safes may assure you both of security and privacy.

Always learn the fire-rating beforehand, and buy them new, not used.  You do not know what the previous owners may have either went through or subjected the safe to prior to you owning it.  In this manner, you have quality backed by some type of warranty.  There are plenty of websites available with plans and ideas of where in your house to recess one should you wish to do so.  Consider one or two for your home.  It is a not-so-costly investment that will keep your stuff safe and pay for itself the first time it’s needed.  Keep your things safe, and be safe in all you do.  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Snow Camo: 12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors

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winter camo1I wanted to touch a little on winter camo and how to go about doing some things on both a budgetary and a practical side.  Firstly, it would not seem that winter camo would be all that important, and after all, I just did a piece recently on the Army issue winter camo top.

I also emphasized something that I wish to reiterate: you need synthetics on your exteriors, and cotton on your interiors.  You also need for the gear to be as close to white as possible.  This may necessitate cleaning it and bleaching it really well if that is possible.  It is worth it in the long run, especially if you’re in the role of a shooter.

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for Mock Winter Camo

Here’s some basics for you to pick up, if you’re not ready to go out and spend more than a grand as in the movie “Shooter” with Mark Wahlberg.  All whites, remember:

  1. Thick sweat-top, preferably with a hood
  2. Baseball-type hat with a brim (not a meshed one, mind you, but solid cloth
  3. Winter pullover cap
  4. White scarf or wraparound for the face
  5. Gloves (go to Murdoch’s for the leather gloves at about $15, extra -large, and then the packages of cotton inserts (3) pairs for about $4.00). On this you want the leather and not synthetic, because if you are changing a mag, messing with a bolt carrier or a charging handle, or touching a hot barrel, they won’t melt and dissolve.)
  6. Already mentioned the Army white camo overtop in a previous article
  7. Army white camo bottoms run about $20 to $30 in the surplus stores, or you can pick up either extra large scrubs or karate pants at the thrift stores
  8. Synthetic “veil” for overtop of you, your weapon…shower curtains (the mesh thin kind work best), or drapes are good for this
  9. Unless you can find “Mickey Mouse” Army issue white Vib (inflatable) boots? Pick yourself up a pair of Army Issue rubber overshoes (they’re green, with 3 loops per boot) and spray paint them…make sure it’s with white paint that takes to rubber and plastic
  10. A mat to lay on…and you can wrap a sheet (synthetic, mind you) around it to whiten it
  11. A white gym bag/backpack-type bag
  12. Long Johns – make sure these are white

There’s a set of duds for you.  All of your stuff such as tops and pants should fit overtop of whatever you’re wearing.  On pieces of equipment to throw in that bag, you need the following: a rangefinder, a good set of binoculars or a scope, and a method to measure temperature, humidity, wind speed, and elevation, like this.  Now I have an old West German (yeah, it’s that old!) barometer, and a really good thermometer that is also old, made out of glass, and as durable as rhinoceros hide.  I have an anemometer with the cups that actually checks the wind speed.

Remember: your low-tech stuff was made much better (more durable) than your high-tech stuff today.  Bring that wrist-compass/barometer/thermometer/toaster oven with you, but be advised: one EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) either from a weapon, or a solar flare will turn it into a non-working “fashion” bracelet in the blink of an eye.  Also, remember your issue Tritium compass, as you won’t have problems with the cold temperatures and it doesn’t require batteries.

Snowshoes are important and should be light and durable, like these.  They should be able to hold your weight and at least another 50 lbs. (including a pack, water, and a weapon).  Don’t forget your protective eyewear!  I prefer UV protective goggles, as these guys don’t fog up and they cling to your face better than regular sunglasses.  The eyes can’t be protected enough in the winter snow, as a lot of UV comes off of the snow in the form of reflected light.  Also, make sure you have enough veil to cover up your backpack, as you don’t want to appear to be a snowdrift with legs carrying around a green rucksack.

I’m sure there will be all kinds of suggestions.  Let us know what you have found that works as a suggestion for your fellow readers and for all of us.  We always value your productive comments and advice.  Stay frosty, and keep up that good fight in the winter wonderland!  JJ out.

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Preppers Should Learn to Survive Without Brand Name Equipment

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living without survival toolsReadyNutrition Readers, this article is a “trumpet call” to continue your preparations, or to commence with them if you have not done so already.  We don’t know what the inauguration is going to bring, if indeed it does occur peaceably.  For one thing, everyone and their brother on the Left has threated everything possible, such as mass demonstrations, mass disruptions, and physical violence against the incoming president.  The bottom line: we don’t know what will happen, and it is best to remain in a state of readiness and preparation.

I’m also going to explain something of my own mindset regarding matters toward preparation.  With some of the pieces I have written, there have been a good deal of disparaging comments, especially directed toward pieces with recommendations for tools, equipment, food, and on-the-spot preps from bargain sources and Dollar stores.

The reason I have suggested things such as small tool kits and “piecemeal” equipment from thrift shops or the Dollar Trees is that there are tremendous numbers of readers that are either just starting out prepping or are on a limited budget…so limited that they can do it no other way.

I fully understand there are some people who cannot afford laser rangefinders, Gerber Multi-tools, or Fat Max Stanley tape measures.  I suggest alternatives for them.  Know what?  Here’s the bottom line on that:


None of us are going to be completely prepared when the bottom drops out.  Knowledge and skills should be desirous over materials, because with these you can either acquire what is needed or improvise out of what can be fabricated into something useful.


Obama just recently signed Executive Order 12333 into play.  This one removes the restrictions over the intelligence-gathering agencies regarding the sharing of information pertaining to terrorist suspects, ad infinitum.  There is also mention of procedures that reinforce previous NDAA policies of taking any and all actions necessary against terrorists, whether they are actual or potential.  In essence, the EO hands over the unchecked power to snoop into the hands of soon-to-be president Donald Trump.

Recall that in 2009, Bush Jr. gave the incoming Obama a manila envelope marked “from #43 to #44.”  As can be seen, the Patriot Act and the 2006 Warner Defense Acts already were in place when Obama assumed the throne.  Please do not think that things cannot continue to deteriorate just because Trump is assuming the office.  That is why we must continue to prepare and plan for an eventuality.  What is that eventuality?  It is not an event as it is a concept: eventually the United States will face a crisis of a magnitude that cannot be either easily overcome or (should the crisis occur) recover from.

This is why the advice is the way it has been.  Let the readers obtain what they can.  You guys and gals are intelligent.  You know the difference between a “Survival Knife” that runs $15 and is made in Pakistan to a BMF Gerber made in the US that runs ten times that price.

The point is to win with the tools and pieces of equipment you have available until you can make improvements to them.

Productive advice is always useful, but let’s keep it in the context of what it’s meant for.  There are many people who write to me and ask me what to pick up at least temporarily until they can replace it with something better.  Not everyone can afford a Cannondale, and some must be content with a Huffy…bought used…for a bicycle to pack in the back of their pickup truck.  The point of ReadyNutrition is not just for everyone to buy the same manufactured things akin to a bunch of clones, but to improvise and make do with what they have and back those materials up with knowledge and skills.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that everything is just going to improve as soon as Obama leaves.  You must be prepared for all manner of disasters that can bring the SHTF to your backdoor at any given moment.  The final point I wish to make is this: I have a survey meter, but I also have a Kearney Fallout meter that I made with my own hands.  I can also repair and recalibrate my survey meter, and make more Kearney meters in addition to the one I already made.  Obtain it, or make it, and then become an expert with it and with repairing it.  This holds true for all of your supplies.

To encourage those who may need it: whatever tools you rely on, make sure they’re maintained and that you can use them.  It may be that your screwdriver set or hacksaw from the Dollar Tree are all you can afford, but take heart and make do: you’re at least doing something.  When it all boils down to it, if you have to cut one lock on a chained-up alleyway or unscrew one hasp to make a getaway…the dollar tools will have paid for themselves.

So: take these words of encouragement, and keep them close to heart.  You can find a way to succeed with what you prepare that works within your budget and abilities.  Whatever equipment you choose, know it through and through: let the equipment be an extension of yourself.  Do the best you can, win with the weapons at hand, and take care of your family.  Especially that last part: that will see you through.  Keep in that good fight.  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Prepared Workplace: Lifesaving Supplies You Need Before the Emergency

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prepared workplace[Editor’s Note: On average, we spend over 50 hours a week away from our homes. Chances are, if a sudden disaster occurs at your workplace and you are forced to shelter in place for a given time, many coworkers (including yourself) could be unprepared. Would you have enough food and water to wait an emergency out at work? A disaster plan is only as good as your Plan A, B and C.]

So, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, have you made a big batch of pemmican for yourselves yet?  If so, then I commend you.  If not, then get on the stick!  The beef stick, that is, because pemmican is one of the foods that is perfect to carry around.  I know, I know, between bug-out bags, micro-tools, thermoses, and the likes of which I have been writing about recently…you need to be an octopus to be able to carry all of it.  It is better to have, as you well know, than not to have something.  Let’s talk about food in this regard.

The Secret to Survival is Prior Planning

Undoubtedly you have laid up a supply for yourselves and your families in your home and have some packed in your “go” bags.  We’ll now touch on a few other areas: in your workplace and on your person. Some preparedness and emergency items for the entire office are:

Talk to your supervisor about the existing emergency plan and find ways of improving it. You could even create a preparedness month where each coworker donates money to get the office prepped!

Ultimately, It’s About You!

If your workplace shrugs off your attempts to get them prepped, that shouldn’t stop you from getting some extra food and provisions for yourself in your workplace (and also carry a little on you at all times). Keep in mind, this is about giving yourself an “edge” and perhaps buying you some time in a sticky situation.

If you have a workplace locker (the best are those that lock), a basket/cubby space, or a shelf for your things, you can stock up a few cans of food and some essentials.  Why?  Because that is what preparation is all about: the “what-if’s” that may arise.  What if you cannot go outside to your vehicle to get your “go” bag?  There could be any number of reasons: severe flooding, rioting, extreme cold weather, among others.  You may have to make do with what you have on your person or in your workplace.

As well, make sure you have some clean athletic socks and walking shoes stored on you. As well, have some extra change on hand in case you need to get items from the vending machines (items like water, nuts, crackers, etc., will run out quickly in an emergency).

Your Personal Workplace Prepper Pantry

Even if you just have a bag that you stash under a table or in a back room, you can throw extra canned goods in there.  Here’s a sample of what to place in your bag or locker (with a locker, remember, you can probably put some more food in there):

  • (4) cans of food (preferably heat-and-eat prepared dinner-ravioli, soups, etc.)
  • (2) 20-ounce or 32-ounce bottle of water
  • (1) Ziploc sandwich bag of a snack (trail mix, pretzels, dried fruit, etc.)
  • (1) Ziploc bag of hard candies
  • (1) small bag of dried meat (jerky, pemmican, beef sticks, etc.)

That will get you started, but you don’t have to stop there. There are many types of disasters that could occur while you are at work. What happens if there is a fire and you need to escape? Or, in a worst case scenario, hazardous material has leaked into the air. Why not have a gas mask on hand? There are many gas masks that are compact and can fit inside your desk.

Remember, these items are for your personal space/storage space in your workplace.  If you have an office and a desk, all the better.  If the desk has any drawers that lock, then it’s optimal.  Remember this rule:

If it’s a time of trouble or scarcity, whatever you need will also be needed by others.

Sesame Street rules aside, you do not need to advertise that you have a stash of extra food in your office drawer or wall locker.  Keep your supplies in a nondescript gym bag or other non-transparent/non-translucent carrier.

Their need is not a justification for your sharing, nor their shortsightedness for your “help” regarding preparations. 

One way to circumvent this is to get coworkers involved in getting the workplace prepared for these types of emergencies and have them create their own personal workplace pantries.

So, we’ve addressed the workplace, and now how about on your person?  Why?  Because it gives you an edge.  I have written articles in the past on the value of cargo pants with cargo pockets.  Here I am, recommending them again.  I carry a small bag of peanut butter-filled pretzels in my cargo pocket, as well as a bag of jerky, and about half a dozen hard candies (I like those Jolly Rancher ones).  There’s a good reason for it.

What if you’re trapped in an elevator?  Or (as mentioned before) something goes wrong, such as a power outage that leaves you trapped for a while.  What then?  It is a proven fact that the intake of simple sugars helps the human body during times of stress or crisis.  In addition, it is a psychological support you’ll give to yourself to help you deal with all of it.  The protein in the jerky and the peanut butter is important; the necessity to replace protein can never be understated.

The hard candies give you some simple sugar to throw into your bloodstream, and keep the mouth from drying out.  As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, if you can’t drink, then do not eat anything.  You will deplete yourself further; you must drink in order to digest your food.  The difficulty this presents is obvious, because if you don’t tote around a water bottle all the time, you’ll have trouble finding water when the need arises.  So, tote it around!  Everybody walks around all the time with coffee cups and soda bottles, so it won’t look out of place for you to tote around a 20-ounce PowerAde bottle with water in it.

These are akin to “tiers” of response levels: 1st is what you have on you, 2nd in your work area/locker, and 3rd in your vehicle.

One more key point: All the stuff not on you becomes a cache point if you can’t reach it, and you can go for the stuff later on.

You may have to forgo getting food out of your locked desk drawer because 10 other people may see it.  Who’s going to think of going into your desk drawer for food unless you make them aware it’s there.  Practice OPSEC, and re-read the article I wrote on the Nosy Neighbors…the ones who will eat your food and maybe you along with it if their needs call for it.  Keep it to yourself.  It’s better to wait until everybody is out of the area, and then obtain your supplies from your locked and unknown (to your “buddies” at work) location.  Ounce of prevention, pound of cure.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

When Seconds Count: 5 Items for Quick-Action Response

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1FIRST RESPONSE KITS

Picture This:

  1. You just hit a deer on the road about halfway between work and home on your 30-mile one-way commute. As you tried to avoid him, you swerved and hit a patch of ice and went off of an embankment.  Ramming a tree, you went unconscious.  You came to only to find a large laceration about 4” long running across your forehead
  1. You are just about to leave work when suddenly the entire building shakes. You’re up on the fifth floor, and a ceiling joist gives way, and half of the 6th floor of your workplace is now also on the fifth floor.  Even worse: you’re pinned under a beam and a big piece of jagged wood has gone right into your thigh.
  1. You’re in a very packed and congested shopping mall and suddenly, two guys with masks turn the corner with AK-47’s yelling in Arabic, firing their weapons in all directions. One of the bullets ricochets and hit you in the calf.

ReadyNutrition Readers, hopefully you are never in one of the examples…and really hopefully, not the same guy or gal in all three of them (that would really be bad luck, wouldn’t it?).  The point is that weird things, such as auto accidents, earthquakes, or terrorist Jihadists assaulting Chic-fil-A happen virtually all the time, now.  You may be just the innocent bystander or unwilling participant mentioned in one of these tragedies.  We hope that isn’t the case.

But if it is?  You had better be as ready as you can.  Let’s talk about some things that could give you a winning edge that you may be able to tote around on your person, either in your pockets or in a small bag.  We’re going to address some common problems that these unlucky individuals are facing in each of these scenarios.

Bad wounds – laceration, impaled wood, and a bullet.  All are serious, and each of them will require immediate medical attention.  The problem is you may not have the time to wait until trained personnel reach you, and (in the case of a SHTF event) they may never reach you.  But maybe you have these, for starters:

  1. Outdoor Wound Care Kit: with Celox, made by Total Resources, Int’l, accessible via totalresourcesintl.com.  The Celox clots the blood within 60 seconds.  The whole kit is about $8.00 at Wal-Mart.  Great for bullet wounds and lacerations…. think “Stop Gap,” and stop that bleeding, while you’re sealing up the gaps.
  2. The Army Field Dressing: Seriously, this one is a good one that you really need to pick up.  It’s listed as Dressing, First Aid, Field, Camouflaged, 4” x 6 ¼ to 7 ¼ inches NSN 6510-00-159-4883.  It has its own “tails” to tie it off and bind up that wound.
  3.  Fish Mox Forte: Fish Amoxicillin, comes in 500 mg capsules of 100 per bottle at about $40 per bottle. Good to throw a course of antibiotics on immediately when faced with a dirty wound.
  4. Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak: This electrolyte made by Trace Minerals Research is a type of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) that you mix with about 6 ounces of water. Provides all of your electrolytes, such as Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium.  If you’re conscious, you can drink fluids with any of the above examples, and if so, these packets will give you a super-helping of electrolytes, as well as other essential minerals you need.
  5. St. John’s Wort: available at Wal-Mart under Spring Valley Brand, 300 mg capsules with 150 capsules per bottle, at about $8.00 apiece. St. John’s Wort is great for dealing with depression and stress.  It is also a powerful antibiotic that is effective against bacteria and viruses.  Take some according to the directions on the package.

To summarize, these are a few things you can tote around with you in a jacket or cargo pocket that will give you an immediate edge when a situation arises that calls for you to work on it immediately.  Spread it out and make kits as such for your family.  Remember: when something happens to them and you’re working on the problem, use their stuff…your stuff is for you, and if you “go down,” they can go to it and treat your problem…with your supplies.  Stay ready and rock steady!

A little bit of that prep beforehand goes a long way.  Familiarize yourself with it and all of the capabilities at your disposal.  A pile of supplies that you don’t know how to use is just a pile of supplies.  Keep fighting that good fight, drink coffee, make pemmican with my recipe, and have a good one!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Popular Hollywood Hallucinogenic Plant Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

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hollywood-drugReadyNutrition Readers, this article holds some important information and advice for anyone considering using naturopathic or holistic supplements in their diet.  As a certified Master Herbalist, in no way, shape, or form do I wish my words to be construed as “knocking” herbs and herbal supplements.  There is an article that recently surfaced, however, that bears mentioning, as it presents a substance in a light that is not objective.  The article is entitled Hallucinogenic Plant Ayahuasca Gains Foothold in the U.S.,” by Veronique Dupont of AFP, released on 12/25/16.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a constituent of the plant, and it is illegal in the U.S., which makes study of it very difficult.  It is said to produce euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, and is claimed to have therapeutic use in helping addiction, trauma, and depression.  Scientists have looked upon it with wariness, as the South American herb has negative effects when mixed with other medications or when used by people with preexisting medical conditions.  The herb is, however, gaining popularity, and people are trying to use it under the protective blanket of its use in “religious rituals and ceremony.”  Here is an excerpt from the article; please take note of the “distinguished” individuals who (according to the article) recommend using Ayahuasca:

“Thousands are flocking to sample the elixir and swear by its therapeutic properties, despite warnings from scientists and users that ayahuasca can be dangerous and even prove fatal, especially when mixed with other drugs.  Ayahuasca’s proponents, who include celebrities such as Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Lindsey Lohan, say the plant offers a spiritual experience like no other. Many also say it has allowed them to overcome traumas that no other conventional therapy can tackle.”

Really, guys and gals, Lindsey Lohan?  Sting?  The point that I am making (and I am a trained Master Herbalist) is that scientific research and good laboratory work provide true and useful information that should not be ignored just for the sake of bucking the “Big Pharma” train.  Seriously, if you want good information, weigh any herbal supplement against lab data and scientific research provided for you.  In the past, I have mentioned such reference materials as Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman (a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine), as well as the PDR for Herbal Medicine,” a compendium gathered by hundreds of Medical Doctors and Herbalists.  I have also mentioned traditional medical references, such as Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

These reference materials in no way detract from the principles of herbalism and naturopathic aids: rather, they reinforce them with research, study, and in-depth chemical analyses that are possible only in a laboratory setting.  They give dosages, contraindications, and specifics about the herbs that enable a person to arm themselves with knowledge that could prevent an illness or injury.  Part of your survival supplies is the knowledge to employ them.  Nothing could hold more true than with herbs and herbal supplements.

Most laypersons aren’t particularly fond of scientists and chemists; however, these people studied hard to win approval in their profession…with real and valuable information in their curriculums.  It is my firm belief that traditional medicine and herbalism need to support and complement one another, as they are interrelated, with the latter discipline being the older of the two.  Although there are plenty of laws that are not good, they are not the majority: there is common sense in stopping at a red light, common sense in being required to put a tarp over a dump truck loaded with gravel, and common sense with keeping a snarling dog on a leash and maybe muzzled.  Common sense and the observance of it help keep people safe.  If they “forget,” then the law is their guideline.  Without laws people really would eat one another.

In this light, many times some of these exotic herbs have been used for innocuous or innocent purposes with well-meaning, and through no fault of their own, people have gotten hurt or worse.  The reason for this is they didn’t really know the herb or know what they were doing in the first place.  The scientific research on lesser-known substances should be trusted and further researched before attempting to utilize these herbs, as well as consent and approval of a physician…an individual trained in chemistry and biology with years of practical experience in medicine and (we hope) a professional who places patient care first and foremost.

So, to summarize, learn about herbs and herbalism as much as you can when an obscure or “new” thing comes to light.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your prevention lies within your references and the professionals you have at your disposal to question regarding your supplements.  There is no shame in asking questions, and it is just as important to know about your supplements and how to use them as it is to have a full supply.  Be safe, and have a Happy New Year!

 

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winter Survival: Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep

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thermosReadyNutrition Readers, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Polar Vortex has done a shift, and the incredibly cold weather expected for the Pacific Northwest has been shifted toward the East and slightly lower in latitude.  The effect has been extremely cold temperatures in the Great Lakes region, throughout the Ohio River Valley and into the Northeastern states.  Above-average levels of snowfalls have been experienced, as well as plummeting temperatures.

Here in Montana for the last several days we have a blast of subzero temperature emanating from the Arctic and Siberia, where the average has been about -5 to -10 degrees F at night, and only about 5 to 10 F during the day.  “OK, JJ, it’s cold: So where are we going with this?” may be your question.

Here’s the answer: “Old Man Winter” is kicking in; now, what happens if a “monkey-wrench” is thrown into the equation and you’re caught out in it?

I have written articles in the past about different things to do to prep for the cold weather, as well as for emergencies.  I want to focus on something that I do that may help you if you find yourself stranded in an accident or in a snowstorm where you may be unable to go anywhere for at least several hours or even overnight.  This piece can be used by anyone in a rural area (just the manner that I do use it), however, it is specifically tailored for those in an urban setting.

The reason being: urban residents don’t necessarily have the luxury of pulling away from their stranded vehicle 20 or 30 feet and making a fire for themselves.  With hundreds or even thousands of cars and only the macadam of the freeway, such activities would be “frowned upon” by the friendly authorities at a bare minimum.  So, what are you to do?  Try these measures for starters; I promise you, during the winter months, I take these steps every day.

Prep for the basics

Firstly, I prep the food I’m going to need.  I always have a bag of frozen carrots and peas in the freezer, and if I’m low or out, I dice up some carrots really small and add some fresh pea-pods after slicing them down into small strips.  These veggies go into a Ziploc bag.  Next I take about ½ pound of meat (whatever I have in the fridge, such as pot roast, brisket, or chicken) and dice it up into small pieces or even cubes.  I stick this into another Ziploc bag.  A third bag holds some dried onions.

Now I always travel with “Vitamin R,” as we used to call it in the Army.  Yes, there are some of you who are nodding your heads in recognition….as “R” is for “Ramen,” the mainstay of the “grunt” (infantryman) in the field.  I always have about half a dozen in the vehicle with me (winter or summer, for that matter), replacing them each day as I use them.  The Ramen is nothing more than a “base,” and you’ll understand in a second.

The key here are the Thermoses…and the good ones, mind you.  Not the ones with glass inserts or the insulated plastic ones.  You need the ones with a steel bottle for a core that is insulated, such as the Aladdin or an equivalent.  This is where the time comes into play.  You must boil water to bring up the temperature of the core of the thermos, allowing it to sit for at least 5 to 10 minutes, while an equivalent amount is being boiled on the stove.  This is a good moment for that second cup of coffee in the morning (I told you I prefer instant), as your water to heat up the core is poured out, and you replace it with boiling water anew…the water you will tote with you when you leave the house.

Lickety-split! How to Keep Thermoses Warm

Cap that thermos up!  Be sure to dry off any water on the threads and the neck, so they won’t have a chance to freeze.  Now, you do this for two thermoses.  I have a big one, and a smaller one made by Sharper Image (it probably ran about $30 originally, but the Thrift Store sold it to me for $1.50, a true bargain).  When you “nest” these thermoses together?  Believe it or not, they keep one another warmer.  I take these guys and a 20-ounce bottle of water, and wrap them up in an old, thick sweatshirt.

I take care to keep them tightly together, as I fold over the top and bottom of the sweatshirt, and then wrap from the sides.  Then this whole “package” I place into my Igloo Playmate cooler (it’s about 2’ x 1 ½’ x 1 ½’), where it fits on an angle.  A couple of packages of Ramen go in with it, as well as any instant coffee I take with me.  The food?  At 5 degrees F during the day, it’ll freeze up just sitting in the front seat of my vehicle.  So be it: refrigeration au natural.  The Igloo cooler gives just that added “boost” to insulate the thermoses.

Yes, there are times that I don’t use either of them, and they’re still warm 24 hours later.  Now, when it’s time, what I do is break out my meat and veggies, and place them on the bottom of a Tupperware container I use for a bowl.  I add my dried onions.  Then I crush/smash/break up my Ramen and pour it on top.  Taking the big thermos, I pour my hot water over top of my meal, covering the food about ¼” beyond.  Then I cap up my thermos and stick the top on the Tupperware, letting it sit for about five minutes.  I add the seasoning packet after that, and mix it in.  Voila!

I just made a meal for myself for pennies on the dollar.  For me, the big thermos is for the meals, and the little one is for the drinks, such as coffee or green tea.  So, here’s your “deal” for the whole thing:

In a bad situation, you’re going to have hot water for 24 hours and the ability to make yourself a meal or a core-warming drink.  At bare minimum, you’re going to have fresh water to drink (albeit warm) that won’t freeze up on you while you’re awaiting the storm to blow over.

How much is that worth when the bottom drops out of things?  For me it’s just something I always do.  Even in the summer, I take the small thermos with me (either for coffee or just some soup…not so much for survival or a problem).  But let’s say it’s not a survival situation.  How much is your time worth to you?  And your money?  By having that prepped and ready, you can eliminate having to go somewhere to eat, exposing yourself to crowds and potential colds and flus, and wasting time to pay for some overpriced meal.  You can enjoy a nice hot meal: what you’ve made with your own hands, clean and simple with no one to bother you.

It takes about 20 minutes out of your day each day, but the first time there is the need for it…the time pays for itself.  Let’s not forget that anything else can factor into it, such as a nice EMP that leaves you stranded in the wintertime by the side of the road.  Remember: it’s better to be prepared and wrong 1,000 times than to be unprepared and right just once.  So, pack up those thermoses, insulate ‘em, and set aside the ingredients for your soup with some “Vitamin R” or some precooked pasta and a bouillon cube if you just can’t stand the Ramen!  Take the time to prepare, and you’ll be waiting out the storm with soup, coffee, and water that’s not frozen if things go south!  JJ out!

 

More Winter Advice from JJ:

Hardcore Survival: What to Wear in the Harshest Conditions

This Winter Prep Could be the Most Essential Tool in Your Arsenal

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Winter Wilderness Survival: Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase.

Eye-Protection in the Winter Wilderness

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

Winter Survival: How to Blend into a Winter Environment

How to Procure Protein Sources During Winter

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Frugal Prepping: 12 Survival Tools You Need in Your Bug Out Bag

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survival tools for the bug out bagReaders, I’m not so much into gadgets and gizmos as many people, but one of the things that I have done is to amass what I call a “micro” toolbox.  When you’re in a bind, you may have only what is on your belt or in your pockets to rely on.  But what about things you may need in a pinch that may require tools…except you can’t drag around a giant toolbox with you?  This may just foot the bill for you and give you some food for thought.

Although I live an “Uncle Cave-man” type of lifestyle, the fact that I am writing this article to you on a computer and use the internet should prove to you that I still need a certain number of things to carry out tasks besides a bow saw and a stone axe.  Let’s go down a list of some things you can “miniaturize” and take with you in a small tool kit for your needs in a possible 72-hour emergency.  Many of these are low cost and can be picked up in the Dollar Tree/Dollar store.  Remember: You’re not going to stick-build trusses or frame a house – just make a small tool kit you’ll be able to use in a pinch that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Learn how to build the ultimate bug out bag

12 Essential Tools You Need For Your Bug Out Bag

  1. Hammer: no, not the 30-oz Estwing, but a small hammer, just enough to tack in some nails and build a small lean-to or shelter [Pack some nails in a variety of sizes in a small container…don’t forget them]
  2. Screwdriver: once again, your dollar stores have the ones that have “bits” for different screwdriver heads, such as standard or Philips.
  3. Drywall saw: yes, the small one with a triangular-thin blade and big teeth…excellent for small branches, and can be used for game you shoot, as well
  4. Exacto/razor knife: the one with break-off, disposable blades
  5. Allen wrench: you never need one until you need one…and when you do, nothing in the world will work except the Allen wrench…also at the Dollar Tree
  6. Star-nose bits for the screwdriver: once again, you’ll never need them until you do…and your life will be horrible if you don’t have one and the need arises…make sure they fit in your multipurpose screwdriver (#2); you can get them at the hardware store for a couple dollars
  7. Pen Torch with Butane: I recommend Benz-o-matic’s ST-200. It is about 6” long, and it can hot-blow, solder, and be used as a torch with a flame more than 2,000 degrees F!  It runs about $23, and the butane (use Benz-o-matic to keep it from gunking up) about $4-5 per can.  If you need to “unfreeze” something in a heartbeat, such as a lock or a moving part, or if you must solder something together to repair it…there’s your racehorse.
  8. Tape measure: get a good one, a 12 foot one for your minimum size, and use the ones by Stanley, not the generic junk…in this case the adage “cheap you buy, cheap you get” applies. Use Stanley’s “Fat Max” brand that is wider with more visible numbers, unlike the others where even an eagle or an owl couldn’t see the numbers and markings.
  9. A small pry bar: the type that is either rounded or hexagonal. You can pick up one of these at the Dollar Tree, but if you’re going to put a lot of force on it, you may want one of the more expensive ones at Home Depot or Lowe’s.  You never know when you need to lever something in a small space.
  10. Eating utensils and accessories: yes, a fork, knife, and spoon, and a small hand-held can opener. [Note: if you’re out in the wintertime, and a can of food has frozen, you can poke a couple of hole in it with the can opener and thaw it out on a fire]
  11. Small power tools: Cordless Dremel with bits, a cordless screwdriver (that can double as a drill if it’s a good one) and bits…these are your “primaries” with your “Uncle Cave-man” manual tools to back them up if needed. The Dremel, especially, has drills, sanders, and cutting wheels that can really help in a bind.
  12. A set of micro/precision screwdrivers: once again, the Dollar Tree is your best bet.

There are many reasons to pack yourself up a small tool kit such as this one.

Firstly, you do not know when or where you are going to run into a situation that you need these tools in a hurry.  Many of you may say that you already have a big Sears craftsman toolbox in the back of your truck or the trunk of your car.  That’s fine, and guess what?  So do I.  But in addition to this full-sized toolbox, I have the smaller one, for the “What if’s” that always arise.

What if you have an accident and you need to get away from the vehicle to seek shelter?  What if you’re compromised, in some way, and must abandon your vehicle completely?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have that small tool kit that can be made to attach to your happy bug-out backpack?  You can potentially grunt it out and lug the full-sized toolbox with you, but if that’s not an option, your backup will be this compact bag or box of tools…micro-tools, if you will…to help you out as you are in motion.

With these tools at your disposal, you can solder, fix, fabricate, and build what you need in a pinch.  Survival is more than living with an entire arsenal of weapons and a warehouse full of tools and supplies. It is also about living “on the cusp” and being able to be “Johnny-on-the-spot,” to either make or fix what you need when the situation calls for it.  Such is adaptability, and along with good coffee, it is the factor that has enabled us to survive as a species.  Invest in that small tool kit and tailor make it for your needs, both immediate and the ones you forecast for the future.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Everyday Activities Creates a Complete Workout

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snow-shovelingReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, it’s a new year and there’s still work to be done!  Yes indeed, speaking for myself here in Montana, I’ve been shoveling snow every day for the past week.  Doing this helps me to do things, such as pull my vehicle out of the driveway, different structures on my property to not collapse or be buried…little things such as that.  Some days it has been dumping almost a foot of snow on me, and most I see about 4 to 6 inches.  What a pain!  But it’s not all complaints in this department, as it serves a purpose that perhaps you, too, can “latch” onto to make your own.

I’m referring to your daily activities for use as exercise.  When I shovel (I don’t like snow-blowers, and prefer the shovel…grid down, I still can remove snow), that counts as a workout.  Especially if it’s between 1-2 hours per day.  That’s just simple maintenance; however, I take it as a workout.  You can too!  This is not to say that I don’t lift weights on these days, but as a workout, my “yard work” supplements (or complements) the lifting.

Shoveling snow works the shoulder muscles (the deltoids), and the neck muscles (the trapezius), as well as the biceps and triceps in the arms.  It also works your legs: your quadriceps for when you squat and drive your shovel into the snow.  Your lumbar and lower back gets quite a workout for when you turn and throw the snow.  Oh yes, when you’re running “full tilt,” you work up quite a sweat. [Remember to stay hydrated!]

Before I shovel, I tend to stretch out for about 5 minutes with some deep knee bends (squat thrusts) and arm circles, as well as stretching out my chest, arms, and shoulders.  The snow-shoveling forces you to use your hip flexor muscles, as well as accessory muscles of breathing, such as interior and external obliques and transverse abdominus muscles, all located on and near the stomach.  In the gym, it would be hard to duplicate some of the motions you pursue in the mechanics of the shoveling.

I estimate with a damp, “wet” snow, each shovel I fill up weighs about 15 lbs. or so.  After you have done that several thousand times, you can see the point.  You also work on regulating your breathing.  I have a pattern of filling up and moving ten shovelfuls, and then taking a breath for a few seconds…assessing my work remaining.  It is good for the cardiovascular, as well.

To digress, the same runs for cutting and chopping wood.  Splitting wood is good for your arms, shoulders, and back.  You also practice some hand-eye coordination, and I’m here to tell you…you split a quarter or a half a cord with an axe?  You’ll get a good workout, believe me.

You should log all activities in your workout book.  I’m a believer in workout notes, because you can see what gains you make, what problems you face, and you can perfect your activities and training program, changing it to suit your needs.  With your woodcutting and snow-shoveling, note down the time you worked and the amount you moved (an estimate: it doesn’t have to be down to the pound).  It is also important to factor in a recovery, and here’s a rule that doesn’t require supplements.

You should consume some protein and carbohydrates within ½ hour of finishing strenuous activity.

The reason for this is twofold.  After a workout, your body breaks down tissues that will immediately scream for protein to repair them.  In addition, you need to infuse some carbohydrates into your system, because if your body doesn’t have the energy to begin the conduct of repairs, it will break down muscle tissue in order to secure that energy supply.  This article is not for the purpose of covering anabolism and catabolism or the glycogen cycle; however, you need to follow that guideline after your workout is complete.

And what if you don’t live in the Rocky Mountains?  And what of it?  You can still figure out what you do during the course of a day that is a “natural” form of exercise.  Are you a waitress or a health care professional?  Secure a pedometer and use it to figure out how many miles a day you walk.  Tie this in with your functions.  Many professions require a person to sit behind a desk all day.  Do you live within walking distance?  Well, this needs to be factored in, and you can figure out whether or not it gives you some of the exercise that you need.

Bicycling to and from work may be another method, if you live too far to walk and have a profession that requires more cerebral than physical activity.  Those in lines of work that require a lot of physical activity tend not to regulate them (in thought); nevertheless, they reap the benefits of consistent physical activity, such as construction men and bricklayers, as well as steelworkers or dockworkers.  Look at how those guys (and gals) are built, and tell me they’re not benefiting from the physical labor.

When you’re home and have yard work of any kind, incorporate the task and turn it into physical training for yourself.  In a SHTF scenario, you will probably not be able to visit HappyFitness Gym, but you still have a need to exercise.  It lowers the triglyceride levels of the bloodstream and builds up the muscles and stamina.  Exercise is a life-long function that needs to be pursued.  Consult your doctor on all routines you’re considering.  So, Happy New Year, and I hope this year brings you success in your physical training programs…one that you can potentially fill with your everyday work.  In the meantime, I have about three inches of snow to shovel, now, so I’ll catch you later!  JJ out!

Here are some other at-home workouts you could pursue:

4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit

The Wild Woodsman Workout

See How You Stack Up Against The WW2 Fitness Test

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make Pemmican: A Step-By-Step Guide

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dried-beefWe’re going to do an introduction on making pemmican, a survival and backpacking food that can be used all year round as well as prepared anytime.  It is a lot simpler to make than most people realize, and does not take up a whole lot of resources or too much time.  Pemmican can be stored for long periods of time and can give you a ready source of protein when you don’t have the time to cook up a large meal.  Sure, you can buy a whole pallet of it at a time from Costco, but when your supply runs out, how do you replenish it after the SHTF?  Well, this piece gives you the basics of how to do that.

Pemmican is the Original Superfood

Pemmican is similar to jerky, but it isn’t: it’s a little different.  It is actually the original processed meat, “invented” if you will, by the Indian tribes to provide a way to preserve the meat from their wild game.  Now, as I mentioned to you in previous articles, man needs fats in his diet and vitamins as well that are not able to be furbished completely by wild game.  Here is where it becomes tricky: the Indians had to supplement their meat with fish, vegetables, herbs, and fruits both wild-crafted and raised to well-round their diets.  Pemmican well-rounded the Indians diet by adding some fats as well as some vitamins and minerals to the protein.

Pemmican is the result of drying the meat in thin strips, grinding it and pulverizing it into powder, adding liquefied fat and seasonings, and re-drying it to form the finished product.  That’s it!  The Indians had deer, elk, buffalo (bison), and antelope to use.  Most pemmican these days is made of beef and comes in a family-friendly, happy plastic bag with food grade desiccant.  This method I’m going to give to you is bare bones to make your pemmican.  Here it is:

Jeremiah’s Pemmican Recipe

What You Will Need:

  • 4 cups of extra lean meat…this is about a pound/a pound and a half…pick your meat
  • 4 cups of dried fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries, or even raisins
  • 2 cups of fat (after rendering), or about ½ pound of weight
  • Seasonings: I prefer dried onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
  • Sweeteners: You can also use some molasses or honey if you wish

The Process:

  1. Slice up your meat in long, thin slices (as thin as possible).  One way to slice it thin is to have regular pieces of meat, and harden it in the freezer.  Don’t freeze it!  You just want the meat to be “sliceable”, but more “solid” than just barely-refrigerated meat or meat at room temperature.  Then you can add your seasonings.  Rub it in with your hands, spreading it evenly over the sliced pieces.

2. Next set that meat on the rack of your oven, and keep the temperature as low as you can go…around 135 to 150 degrees F.  Permit the oven door to be gapped/cracked during the process, as this will cut down on the humidity and water building up from the drying.  Do this for 12-16 hours, until your meat is dried out and akin to a potato chip…brittle, or crisped.

3. Pulverize this meat in any way that you wish (mortar and pestle, hammer, food processor…whatever works).  Pulverize your dried fruits (you may have to dry them even further than when you first get them).  Next comes the liquefied fat to add…first you must liquefy it.  This is called “rendering,” and you can do it in a saucepan or in a crock pot, after you cut up the fat into pieces that will easily dissolve.  Beef tallow is the best…you can pick this up from a butcher shop.  You can use pork lard; however, I don’t recommend it because it doesn’t keep as long or as well as the beef fat.

4. All of your chopped-up beef and fruit can be placed in a large pan…such as a baking or casserole pan for the addition of the fat.  Do not use the fat until it has been liquefied completely, and you’ll have to remove the solid portions of any bits floating in it…use a small sieve/strainer to scoop these pieces out by hand.  For the sweeteners (such as molasses or honey) I like to take about a quarter cup and mix it into the meat prior to the addition of the liquefied fat.

5. Then carefully pour your hot rendered fat all over the meat, allowing the fat to be absorbed by your powdered mixture.  You need to take your time with this step, and then smooth/pat the fat into place with your hands to further enable the even distribution of the fat into the meat.  A good cook uses his or her hands.  A great cook washes their hands before using them to cook!

6. When this congeals and hardens, you can cut it into strips or whatever shapes your heart desires.  I personally like to use a pair of scissors (a pair I only use for food and cooking), and cut them into elongated strips about 1” in width and 6” in length.  The reason I make them this size is that they’re easier to pull out and eat.  So many times, with store-bought pemmican you have to rip it all to pieces just to cram it into your awaiting maw.  “Not I,” said the little red hen!  I want to eat leisurely and not waste effort or energy ripping my food into bite-sized pieces. You can store this best either in plastic or in wax paper (I prefer the latter) and then flatten it out, and throw it into Ziploc bags.  Keep it in a cool place free of light and moisture, and it’ll be good for a long, long time.

So basically, that’s it!  Simple enough, right?  Now you have the information and all you need to do now is employ it!  Just think: there’s still time to make yourself a batch before New Year comes about.  Oh, what a delightful crowd-pleaser it will be to make up some and have everyone eat it all up right in front of your eyes!  Partygoers and piranhas have one difference: both eat everything until they’re filled up, but the piranhas don’t also grab some extra to take home with them!  You make up a batch of jerky and (if they haven’t eaten it all) they’ll take it!  Just make sure to keep some set aside for yourself so that you can enjoy what you made.  Happy New Year to all!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Winchester ’94: Take Your Hunt to the Next Level

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deer-huntReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we wrote one not long ago on basics of hunting, and now I’m going to recommend to you an excellent rifle.  The Winchester Model 1894 (called the Winnie ’94) is an outstanding lever-action rifle in 30-30 caliber.  It is compact (technically a carbine, which is a rifle with an 18 – 20-inch barrel), and is, in this author’s opinion the finest brush gun for stalking deer.  The rifle was designed by none other than John M. Browning and (as its name suggests) began to be produced in 1894.  Browning is famous for designing the .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) model 1911.

hunting-rifleWinchester ceased production of them when the New Haven, CT plant closed down; however, they are still readily available throughout the U.S.  The Winnie ’94 is a very nice weapon, and other firms also make lever-action models in the 30-30 caliber, such as Marlin, Savage, and Sako.  I prefer the Winnie ’94 over all of the rest, and it has (in my experience) only one drawback: as it ejects spent casings from the top, a scope must be side-tapped to be mounted.  Marlins eject from the right side and can be mounted on top with a scope.

The 30-30 round is a pretty powerful round, and is more than enough muscle to put down a large deer.  The bullets come in 150 grains jacketed round-noses, as well as the larger 170 grain jacketed flat tips that have a lot of stopping power, and are sufficient for whitetail and mule deer, as well as elk and antelope.  The 150 grain bullets have a velocity on average of about 2,000 fps (feet per second), and the 170 grain bullets run about 1,875 fps on average…a tad bit slower, as it is a heavier round.

From a ballistics perspective, a high-velocity round is not the answer to all of your challenges.  Flat-tip bullets tend to spread out and increase the diameter of the round upon impact, whereas round-tips are better for deeper penetration.  The shot also has a large bearing on it, as your primary target is either the head or low and just behind the shoulder.

The rifle has a tubular magazine that holds up to eight rounds.  The finger lever (that “loop” on the lever) has a safety that must be squeezed in order to fire, and a pop-in safety is located up by the trigger mechanism that will prevent the hammer from making contact with the primer.  As I mentioned earlier, the rifle is excellent for stalking and walking through brush, as being shorter (a carbine) it is easier to manage in areas with heavy sapling and ground cover, as well as thorns and other niceties that impede travel.

I prefer iron sights, as you are usually going to have a shot within 50 feet if you’re busting brush.  This is not to say it cannot be used in a stand, but it is optimal if you’re walking game trails or negotiating terrain with any kind of underbrush.  The 30-30 cartridge is quoted by Lyman’s reloading manual in the following glowing terms:

 “Probably no other cartridge in North America has put as much venison on the table as the venerable old “thirty-thirty.”

The cartridges can be reloaded simply and at an affordable price.  The Winnie ’94 doesn’t kick excessively and is not prone to jamming or any kind of feeding problems.  Most do not come tapped for a sling, so you may have to mount your swivels or have it done.  You can also pick up a nice elastic-type of cartridge holder that will slide snugly onto the stock for extra rounds as you hunt.  It is a really nice piece and a pleasure to shoot.  Another tip: although there are lighter rounds you can target shoot with, be sure to target shoot with the actual sized rounds you plan on hunting with.  In this manner, you’ll be able to iron out any variables that may come with your switching ammo types.  So, try out that Winchester Mod. ‘94, and I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how nice it fires and how dependable it is for a hunting rifle.  Keep your powder dry and be safe at all times!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

You’re Wasting Millions of Gallons of Water Each Year and This is How You Can Change It

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water conservationReadyNutrition Readers, we covered a few basics on the importance of taking in enough water during the winter months.  We’re going to take it a step further and talk about the importance of supply and conservation.  Many of the western states, California and Nevada being a couple of examples have been experiencing droughts over the past summers.  With a lowered amount of precipitation during the winter and spring months, aquifers have declined, as well as several rivers that supply tremendous segments of the country.  A prime example is the mighty Colorado River, which generates power and provides drinking water for tens of millions of people.

Fresh water is no longer able to be considered as a simple natural resource that is infinite in nature.  Only three percent (3%) of the world’s water supply is fresh, and 2/3 of this amount is to be found tied up in glacial ice (the North and South poles).  The world’s animals and plants are therefore dependent on 1% of the world’s water supply.  In drought years, this can present a problem.

The average American family uses approximately 170 gallons of water per person each day.

The bathroom is responsible for ¾ of this amount: every time the toilet is flushed, 5 gallons of water is lost on average.  When you stop to consider there are about 315 million people in the United States who flush that toilet about 2-3 times per day, the amount of water is staggering.  To be sure, this water isn’t “destroyed,” but it is difficult to recover and render drinkable again.

Pollutants are introduced into our water supplies by industry and farming, and these pollutants seep into the groundwater to contaminate the water supplies and the crops that are raised upon them.  It is estimated that 338 billion gallons per day are drawn from surface and subsurface water resources.  90 billion gallons are for people, livestock, and crops.  The remainder?  It goes to industry, mining, and hydroelectric/nuclear power plants.

So, what can we do?  A good deal, actually.  There will be differences with you, the Readers as a percentage of you use your own wells, and others use a municipal water supply.  The conservation can be done by both groups, however, as conservation starts at your front door.  The reasons are not so much as being part of a “green” movement as they are of preserving resources for your own family’s use.  If you are responsible for your own resources, it benefits a community as a whole.  Self-responsibility (not legislated responsibility) is the method for conserving your resources and supplies…this is part of preparation.  There are a number of methods.

Firstly, be aware of information and resources that can help you.  Contact the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in Washington, D.C., for information pertaining to water usage and ways to control it.  Yes, they’re a government agency, however, it is your tax dollars that fund them…you may as well pick up some useful information they have garnered…that you already paid for.  It is free to obtain, but you paid for it to be researched: use it!

If you decrease your time in the shower by just 1 minute per day…this will save 700 gallons of water per month.  By estimating how long you shower, you can add to this water savings drastically by planning your showering time.  VICTORIA AMAT CVRAM.  “Victory loves Preparation,” as the saying runs.  Most toilets have water-conserving features that affect the water flow.  Placing a half brick or a brick in your toilet tank does not interfere with the toilet’s function, but can enable you to save anywhere from 8-20 gallons of water per person, per day.  That is quite a bit of water, if you’re unable to compost your waste products.

Composting brings up another valuable point.  There are plenty of composting toilets available, if it is within your ability to do effectively.  Obviously if you live in a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan, you’re not going to be able to employ a composting toilet in your unit.  There will be a difference if you live in a remote area and on your own property with no zoning/neighborhood requirements limiting what you can do.  Research what will work for your area.  Also, refer to the articles I wrote previously on rain-collection for a water supply, and different measures for establishing water points and water storage for your home and family.

There is also information on water purification methods in these articles that details how to go about making your water drinkable.  I also suggest free resources such as www.howtopedia.com for downloadable, free plans on water collection points and storage methods, as well as how to obtain water from different sources.  The conservation is not a mere “greening” but an exercise in supply and logistics…stretching your resources to the maximum of their conservation and employment.  In this way, you are continuously preparing and honing a survival skill that will come in handy on a daily basis, and when the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Plans to Evac Trump out of Manhattan? Clue to Keep Prepping!

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, if you recall, I have continued to write articles that ask for you to maintain your readiness posture and continue to prepare. Christmas is winding down, and the next hurdle to come is the New Year, followed by the Inauguration.  If you’ve been “out of the loop,” then get back into it and do not allow anything to sidetrack you.  A serious development happened this past week to substantiate my pleadings with you.

Prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller

Less than two weeks ago, a mysterious flight of a C-130 Hercules American military aircraft was conducted over Manhattan, with several circling laps and passes.  This flight was seen by a tremendous amount of people.  According to the article, “Mysterious Military Flyover Above Manhattan Was A Trump ‘Emergency Relocation’ Drill,” Zero Hedge suggest this is significant.

“According to DNAinfo, the military airplane and two helicopters doing loops over Midtown last week were conducting an “emergency relocation” planning mission in case they needed to extract President-elect Donald Trump during an emergency or attack.

Citing sources, DNAInfo said that the flyovers were part of an “emergency relocation drill” designed to identify locations, primarily in Central Park, where a chopper could touch down near Trump’s home inside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, and safely evacuate Trump and others from the city.

“It was the military doing their homework,” one source said. “They were making plans how to remove him, mapping plans and strategizing,” added a second source.

In the event of an emergency, the president would be whisked by the Secret Service north to the park, and then flown in a helicopter to the nation’s capital or a secret government site in Virginia or West Virginia, sources said. The aircraft models spotted during the exercise can fly long distances without refueling and can also refuel in mid-air if necessary, sources said.

Surprisingly, the NYPD was given only short notice about the flyovers, and were never informed that the military would be using a plane as large a C-130 with its 130-foot wing span. “They should have told people they were doing recon, and going to fly at low altitudes, instead of keeping it a secret,” a law enforcement source said. “People were scared, and rightly so.”

 Readers, this is serious.  Never before in the history of the United States have such measures been initiated for a president-elect.  What does this tell you?  Well firstly, it informs you that the world situation is not as picture-perfect as the positivist media would lead you to believe.  It also tells you that the election may be over, but Trump is not in the Oval Office yet, and there are still dangers he could face in the course of the next month.

An EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack and a nuclear conflict would almost certainly see New York City as a primary target.  Donald Trump still lives in New York City.  Certainly, these measures are practical; however, when have you ever seen them before…for a presidential-elect prior to taking office?  And of this magnitude?

Bottom line: If we’re so “safe” in the U.S., then why the extra precautions, and what do the powers-that-be know that we don’t?

In the blink of an eye, the world can change.  Do not lose your focus, and focus also on the “big picture” both nationally and internationally of what is happening around you.  I gave you a “caveat” before, and I stand behind it.  Here it is:

The next world war will be initiated by an EMP attack upon the continental United States, followed by a limited nuclear exchange and conventional warfare.

Remember this: the men and women who initiate such a war will all be in deep underground bunkers with their families, heavily-guarded, with years of supplies and equipment…all paid for by you and I, the taxpayers…while the rest of the world is ravaged by war and apocalyptic cataclysm.  Do not lose sight of these facts and that the world can change in the blink of an eye.  Continue to garner the necessities while you still can: long-term food supplies, medicine, defensive equipment, water purification materials…do not stop.

Also, keep in mind that if there is a national catastrophe (natural or man-made) that takes out New York City, such as a war, the Inauguration will be postponed indefinitely, Obama will declare Martial Law and implement plans for COG (Continuity of Government), and will remain in “office” for an indefinite period of time…such as forever.  There is still almost a month before the transition occurs.  Do not relax your efforts, and keep an eye on what is happening.  Keep fighting that good fight, stay frosty (meaning “alert,” not akin to the snowman), and take care of one another!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Your Sleep Needs Change With the Seasons

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, the holidays are in full swing.  As such, there is a mountain of tasks to be accomplished: the ever-present workday, the kids going to school, doctor’s appointments, travel plans, and continuous shopping and planning for the holidays.  As most of you are well aware, we’re in the winter months where the days and the daylight periods are shorter.  December 25 is the shortest day of the year, and for the most part we have darkness for about 14 hours or more.  Whether we realize it or not, this affects us in an extremely negative manner that sometimes calls for a little bit of naturopathic help to get us through it.

Bodies Slow Down in Winter

In the winter months (as is the case for most mammals, of which human beings are classified), the metabolism slows down.  In man’s past, the summer and fall were the times to gather in the winter supplies, such as food and fuel.  Even though man does not hibernate, with the advent of increasing periods of darkness he does slow down.  The amount of work (especially outdoors) that can be accomplished during the wintertime is significantly lessened or abated completely.

In addition to this, man still requires a high caloric intake and a greater need to stay warm during the winter.  We were designed to not continue so frenetically through the winter months.  Yet in these modern times we do.  We are continuously bathed in artificial light and follow after man-made patterns and rhythms, not the natural circadian rhythms that have governed man’s existence for millennia.  In this artificial environment, it is small wonder that people have a hard time keeping up the pace of their existence.

What happens is that with the advent of darkness, your body naturally produces chemical messengers that tell it that the time to rest approaches.  The problem is that most people work a 9 to 12 -hour workday, and now (in the winter months) they leave the house when it is dark and return home when it is dark.  The tasks do not stop.  The treadmill is ever-present and we seem to never be able to leave it.  As a consequence of the pressures of work and holiday requirements, many people are operating with a disturbed rhythm and (this time of the year) experience sleeplessness and/or difficulty in getting a good night’s rest.  There are some natural foods available to help you in this time of the year.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep with Natural Remedies

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is a really great herb that helps you to relax and obtain the rest that you need.  It is classified as a nervine in herbalism; that is, it directly affects the nerves and helps a person to relax.  It isn’t an herb that “puts” you to sleep; rather, it enables you to rest and enter your sleep-period more effectively.  It is extremely affordable: a bottle of it is available in Wal-Mart for about $5.  The brand I suggest is Spring Valley, with 100 capsules, a serving being 3 capsules that give you 500 mg of the Valerian.

There are no contraindications, except is will make you drowsy. Also, if you are using any kind of tranquilizers, sedatives, or anything that is considered a depressant (remember, cold medicines have alcohol in them a lot of times), the Valerian can potentiate it, adding to its effects.  It should not be taken by pregnant women or nursing mothers. It is best taken about half an hour before bedtime; don’t take it if you have to drive anywhere: make sure you’re home first.

Another aid is Melatonin, which is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the human body.  It is a hormone that functions as a sedative and is used to treat sleep disorders and other things such as jet lag.  Melatonin is also available at Wal-Mart in 5 mg tablets with 120 tablets per bottle that costs about $6 on average.  It is contraindicated with both pregnant women and nursing mothers, and should not be taken by anyone with autoimmune disorders or depression.  Once again, you don’t want to be driving or operating any kind of machinery or heavy equipment, as it will bring on drowsiness.  Melatonin needs about an hour to kick in before you retire for the evening.

I’m recommending these two because it may not be as convenient to wait for Chamomile tea (which is not as strong as either Valerian or Melatonin) to steep, as you may not have the time for it.  Before you start using either one of them, consult with your family physician and ask for his or her approval.  Pleasant dreams!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What You Need to Know About Nuclear Attacks

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nuclearReadyNutrition Readers, as you have exciting fun during this holiday season – meals, Christmas presents, family dinners, and such – let’s not lose focus on the volatility of the world situation.  Just because Donald Trump won does not mean that the battle to restore the United States to a constitutional republic is over.  There are still enemies outside of the country and enemies within; do not lose sight of these facts.

The Nonsense Begins Around This Time

Usually, this time of the year is “great” timing for either an attack or some kind of military action.  Operation Just Cause in Panama (1989) was kicked off right around Christmastime.  Same for both Desert Shield and Desert Storm (’90 and ’91).  The nonsense always starts around this time of the year.  There are reasons for it.  The harvests are in, and there’s not a lot a civilian population can do during the winter to counter an invasion without great cost or discomfort.

Complacency is also a big reason.  While the U.S. invaded Panama in 1989, most people were out doing their shopping, eating in different restaurants in between shopping, and settling down in the house to watch football, eat, and relax.  While we in the U.S. (and most of Europe) are relaxing, the Chinese and North Koreans are not.  The Russians (while celebrating the season) do not relax.  I repeat my caveat from articles past:

The next world war will be initiated by an EMP device/weapon detonated over the continental U.S., followed by a limited nuclear exchange and war with conventional forces.

I stand by it because it is better to be either “wrong” or “late” in a prognostication 1,000 times than to be right (and unprepared) just 1 time.

In this regard, here are the basics for preppers and survivors out there who understand that vigilance is not paranoia.  Here are the basics concerning a nuclear attack.

The Three Effects of a Nuclear Bomb

  1. Heat (Thermal Effects) – The severity of the thermal effects will depend on your location. If you are at ground zero of the blast or within a mile of it?  It was nice knowing you.  2-5 miles of it, and you’ll probably be subjected to an intense fire wave and not survive it.  5-10 miles out, a lot of buildings and trees will be on fire, and you can receive burns on exposed skin, as well as retinal damage from the initial explosion’s excessive flash (flash burns can be either temporary or permanent).
  2. The Blast – Once again, proximity will be the factor that determines whether you survive. The blast has two parts:
  3. Overpressure – a large increase in air pressure far above what is considered normal.
  4. Dynamic pressure – akin to an extremely powerful blast of wind, outward from the center of the explosion

Within six to seven miles of the explosion, the “wind” speed can be between 90 to 120 miles per hour when the dynamic pressure component of the blast wave hits.  It would not be good to be out in the open, and you would also be exposed to things picked up by this wind and hurled at you.  Light damage would be sustained by buildings and structures about 15 to 20 miles from the blast.

5. Radiation – all the radiation is produced within the first minute of the explosion. An unprotected person within a couple of miles would be exposed to radiation in amounts that he or she could not live for long if initially surviving the heat and blast effects.  Then it takes about 24 hours for the remaining fallout to come back down to the earth.  Fallout is particulate matter (such as dust and dirt particles) sucked up into the fireball that “fall” back down to earth.  This applies in a ground-burst weapon, as airburst explosions detonate above a city and are the most “efficient” method to take it out, leaving a minimal amount of fallout.  With radiation, other factors such as weather and wind patterns must be taken into account to find the pattern of drift.  Usually, 3 weeks to a month in a shelter will enable the majority of the particles to deteriorate to livable levels.

Radiation comes in several different types.  Alpha particles are larger and attach themselves to debris.  They can be shielded against by clothing and brushed off, posing a danger only if they are inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin such as in a cut or a burn.  Beta particles are also able to be kept off with thick clothing.  If Beta particles touch the skin, they will burn you, and can penetrate the skin.  Beta particles also can pose a problem if inhaled, ingested, or with entry through a wound or burn.  Gamma rays are very dangerous.  They go right through you and into you without protection from shielding.

Signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning are as follows: nausea and vomiting, malaise (overall weakness and sickness), blisters/ulcers of the skin, excessive visual disturbances, dizziness and vertigo, and excessive bleeding from minor and major wounds.  Also, keep in mind that radiation received is cumulative: a fatal dosage usually runs about 300 rads/roentgens or higher, but if you receive 200 at one exposure, you’re not safe with another exposure of 200, as it adds up to 400.  You need a survey meter (Geiger Counter) and a dosimeter to keep track of such exposures and the radiation received with them.

There are numerous sites and resources available to you on the Internet that will provide tables of thicknesses and degrees of protection for the various components of your shelter, whether field-expedient or planned.  The general rule is that the denser the material (such as steel and concrete, as opposed to soil, or wood) the better a protective factor it will render.  Mass and density are the two factors that will help to shield you from radiation.  The third is time, as radiation does decay rapidly with the exception of isotopes such as Strontium-90 or Uranium-238.

Your best protection is (of course) distance from the bomb…as much as possible, as well as shielding in a shelter with supplies and necessities gathered within that shelter beforehand.  To cover all the information you will need is beyond the scope of this article, the intent of which is to give you “food for thought” if you haven’t already taken such a thing into consideration.

To summarize, a nuclear attack can ruin your day if you haven’t prepared for it in advance.  When you look outside your living room window and find that the snowman has melted, the wicker furniture on the porch is on fire, and the chestnuts on the tree are roasted, along with the tree itself…that is a little too late.  As with any disaster natural or man-made, the time to prepare is before it happens and keeping in mind that complacency can kill you.  The disasters strike just when you think they will not, or at a time when everyone is at the dinner table having a grand time.  Be prepared with your supplies and in your mind and heart.  Keep fighting that good fight, and take care of one another.  JJ out!

 

More Reading:

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

How to Survive When a Nuke is Dropped

The One Nuclear Threat That Most People Aren’t Aware Of

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Storm Coming: Preppers Must Stay Vigilant in 2017

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 [Editor’s Note: While many believe the shift in government leaders in 2017 will bring us back to better times, one can never be too sure. As my father always said, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” These are still uncertain times, and as Jeremiah Johnson emphasizes in this article – with that uncertainty, we must continue to be ever vigilant in our preparedness endeavors.]

ReadyNutrition Fans, this piece is an important exhortation to you – a sort of plea, if you will – to not lose your focus in preparations and your readiness-stance during these times.  With the Dow-Jones Industrial skyrocketing, the Christmas Holidays in full gear, Donald J. Trump about to be inaugurated, and the glow of a new patriotic dawn, everything seems OK, right?  Wrong.  This is not alarmist, but pragmatic.  We cannot allow a burst of patriotic positive fervor to dull the perception of the last 8 years.

Losing our focus is what allowed those 8 years in the first place.

The Unemployment Rate

The welcoming of a new President brings renewed hope in our government system; however, there is a lot of road to travel before the country is fixed. While many preppers feel relieved and are slowing their preparedness endeavors down, many preparedness experts are stressing the importance of not giving up. As preppers, we must keep an eye on indicators like the economy and unemployment. Bear in mind that unemployment is deliberately under-reported.  The economy is in bad shape.  Everyone is focusing on the happy times of Christmas cheer and family festivities.  I adjure to your intellects: do not relent in your focus or your activities to prepare for what is still around the corner.

They’re not celebrating festive, happy shopper days in Venezuela, where women are cutting off their own hair and selling it just to buy loaves of bread, or where a whole shopping bag full of Venezuelan Bolivars will not even buy a few days’ worth of essential supplies.

These 7 Indicators Can Help You Forecast an Economic Collapse

The Economy

The economy of the United States will take quite some time to recover.  You can continue in the true economy that you have started: the acquisition of supplies, materials, and resources that always hold their worth and have an intrinsic value.  Gold, silver, and precious metals…in physical form…these have worth and lasting, intrinsic value.  For an excellent analysis of just where the United States is economically, I highly recommend an article written by Shaun Bradley on December 8, 2016 entitled Cash is No Longer King: The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun,” and downloadable for your files.

Another article worth mentioning was written by Susan Duclos of All News Pipeline, entitled We are Facing the Most Important Battle of All at the Most Dangerous Moment in History,” released on December 10, 2016.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

We at ANP are noting a lot of optimism from investors with stocks soaring,  to economic confidence reaching new highs, to small business owners, to household spending and even prepping has hit a “multi-year low,” all the articles I am reading are crediting the election of Donald Trump as reason for all this optimism, but as much as I hate to rain on everyone’s parade… now is the most dangerous time in history, not a time to assume just because one man was elected, all the wrongs will be made right, the failing economy will automatically just magically fix itself.”

These timely and sagacious words show that the battle is not over yet.  In this vein, do not lose focus!  Don’t allow the holiday cheer and festive atmosphere to leave you blindsided and thinking that the battle is over!  Other blogsites have reported that sales of emergency equipment and supplies have been drastically on the decline since the election was finished.  Remember: North Korea, Russia, and China still pose a viable threat in several areas of the world, the world economy is quite bad, and the U.S. has by no means recovered from the nightmare of two consecutive Obama terms.

Stay the Course for 2017!

Stay focused.  Gear your shopping and holiday activities to always take a back seat to awareness of the overall situation.  Stock up on your precious metals and long-term food supplies and water procurement capabilities.  Continue to locate and obtain the tools, medicines, and equipment you and your family will need.  Just because the “Captains” are about to change does not mean that the ship will change its course…the one taking it toward a wreck on the reefs.  Don’t let that reef loom up and blindside you to take you unawares.  Enjoy your holidays, but do so with one eye on the festivities and another one on the horizon…aware of what is going on around you.  Do not stop the preparations for even one minute.  Happy holidays, and keep up that good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

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winter-water
“Water, water, everywhere,” wrote Coleridge, in application to the ancient mariner of his prose.  The big difference, though, is his water was not potable, as it was the ocean.  The water I’m referring to in this piece is the water that is all around you in the winter, and the importance of consuming the proper amount of water to prevent dehydration.  Be advised: your needs for water do not decrease; rather, they increase due to stressors that are different on the human body.

The tendency is to not drink as much when the weather is cold.  This is a natural thing, as people usually (even when thirsty during the winter) do not wish to drink cold beverages.  Conversely, they prefer warm beverages that are (usually) caffeinated, such as coffee or tea.  As a die-hard coffee drinker, I know from experience that you must offset the caffeine consumption (to a degree) with an increased intake of water.  At the end of this article, I’ll mention more on this.

How the Body Loses Water During Winter Months

With increased activity, there are many ways that a person loses water.  Diaphoresis (sweating/perspiration) is one way, and insensible water loss is also increased, examples being water lost from the eyeballs and from respiration.  People breathe out 1-2 glasses of water per day.  Urination is another way that water is lost, the composition of urine being about 95% water and 5% miscellaneous solids.  The needs (on average) of water consumption in humans is about a gallon per day, with kids needing a little less except when they’re extremely active.

Water is Fuel

During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself.  Remember what is happening in the cold weather.  Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue.  This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level.  Water is fuel: never forget that.  With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm.  Food intake is critical, and so is water.

As mentioned earlier, you may (due to the cold and a desire to not drink that accompanies it) take in more food than water.  This, too, is not good for you.  I don’t want to get into proponents of eating your food and drinking sparingly to allow hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest more efficiently.  That may be, but more importantly, you need liquid to consume your food.  Remember, if you do not drink, your body will rob what water is in and between the cells (that is, inter, and intracellular fluid, respectively) to digest the food.  We learned it thoroughly in SERE school: Thou shalt not eat until thou canst drink.  You must be able to drink in for your body not to take from itself to digest the food.  If you do not drink, then you’re dehydrating yourself when you eat.

The appearance of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration.  Dark yellow urine means you need water.  Your body excretes the waste it must excrete on a regular basis; nevertheless, the body will reabsorb as much water as possible to conserve it.  The urine will be thicker with more solutes (dissolved substances, such as sodium) in it.  This brings us to the secondary problem: your body needs to excrete wastes but you’ll be losing electrolytes.  Your food replaces the electrolytes, but if you have no food readily available, you want to supplement and not just drink excessive quantities of water.  Too much water can flush out your electrolytes.

Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  In a survival situation, do not eat snow.  The eating of snow robs your body of calories (as explained earlier) to enable itself to melt the snow into water, and in addition, lowers your body temperature.  You can melt it over a fire, in which case it is worth it.  I highly recommend a small folding stove with hexamine tablets.  Each tablet burns for about 9 minutes…plenty of time to melt some snow, ice, or icicles for your water.  As mentioned in times past, the U.S. Army issue canteen cup is a great thing to have, made of steel.  It can take a beating and be set on a campfire or on a little portable stove with good results.

It is very difficult to keep water on hand when you’re dealing with subzero temperatures.  Most urban and suburban residents are always able to duck into a store and purchase whatever they want…for now.  People in more remote or less dense areas may have a bit of a problem.  Living where I do, I have a real problem. What I do is pack two thermoses (Aladdin’s) with hot water, and then wrap the outside with towels to further insulate them.  This ensures that I have a supply of drinkable water when I leave the house for up to 24 hours without freezing.

I also tote electrolyte packets and bouillon cubes with me, as well as my ever-present jar of instant coffee.  Returning to my earlier note, whatever you drink as far as coffee and tea are concerned?  Don’t deviate from that, and your body will compensate for the caffeine consumption so that it will not affect you in the same manner as if you were drinking that amount for the first time.  I usually have five cups a day, and my coffee is very strong.  Most people would shake akin to a leaf and be hitting the restroom all day long.

But perhaps you get the gist of the article: you need to maintain your consumption of water, even during the wintertime.  You should also have access to fire-starting materials and things such as hand warmers/chemical heat producers.  You don’t know when the need will arise for you to melt some water.  If you can keep a Camelback handy and keep the water pouch near your body heat to keep it from freezing, all the better.  Just have a source of water, and a means to replenish that source when it runs out.  During the winter, you don’t want to be dehydrated.  And if the SHTF, or if there’s a winter emergency?  These measures can mean the difference between life and death.  Stay hydrated, stay safe, and bundle up…the winter’s just starting!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Winter Prep Could be the Most Essential Tool in Your Arsenal

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, do you have woodstoves in your homes?  This article is a primer on some of the things you can do with your woodstove, as well as an invite for you to share your stories and experiences with us about what you do with yours.  You may provide food for thought for one another.

I also have a question that perhaps you can help me out with.  I saw an article in a magazine several years back that had a camper with a woodstove.  The stove had a “closed” system of a hot water heater that heated the water on the top of the woodstove and sent it through copper coils wrapped around the stovepipe into the receptacle for the hot water heater.

If anyone has any further information about a system such as this, I would really appreciate it.  You can share it here in the comments section, or write to me at: jj [at] shtfplan.com with some details on it.

That being mentioned, your model of wood stove is not as important as your desire to use it for what you will.  Mine measures about 3’ x 2-1/2’ x 2-1/2’ and has a flat top without holes for pots.  I have cleaned the surface immaculately, and if I so desire I can make eggs, pancakes, or toast right on top of it.  The latter I do all of the time.  Usually, I set my cast iron cookware on the top, and make myself eggs and coffee with toast in the morning.

I have a large 2-1/2 gallon pot that I use for soups.  If I put sliced onions, carrots, and diced potatoes (sometimes I shave them down with a cheese/carrot grater), and some water on, along with seasonings, I have my base in no time.  Then I can pull some meat out of the freezer and throw it in, and voila!  In about two to three hours, the soup is on!

The woodstove (also called a wood burner out here in the West) is great for heating the whole house, and that’s without using an electric blower.  I have a cabin; therefore, it isn’t as difficult.  Don’t let the size of my stove deceive you: once it’s fired up, you can bank one log on one that it left to embers and keep that fire going for about 2 hours per log.  The trick with your woodstove (if you’re new to it) is to find out how much wood you will consume in the course of a day, and what the minimum amount is that you need to heat the house and cook all your meals with.

Essential Winter Prepping Tools

When you have the woodstove heating your home, you should always keep a large cast iron pot of water on top of it.  This will provide some steam (a primitive humidifier, if you will) that will put some moisture into the air so the woodstove will not dry out all of the air in the house and potentially mummify a sleeping family member or pet.  Then if you’re an instant coffee lover (the way JJ is), it is a simple task to pour yourself a nice hot cup of Joe whenever you wish.

I also advise good stoneware as an accessory, to place your meal on top of your stove and
keep it heated while you’re situating yourself prior to eating.  Another good one to have are those cast-iron plates with a separate wooden “base” or support dish, like these.  These are great to eat from and keep from burning yourself from the metal plates while keeping your food nice and hot for a longer time.  To rewarm, just take some tongs and set the iron part on top of the stove.

I have a huge stainless steel pot (5-gallon) useful for soups, but more importantly, if the SHTF and/or the power goes out, I can melt snow and ice on top of the woodstove for hot water, if needed.  As with anything else, it’s important to find as many uses for a thing as you can for when times become tough, or just to be as self-sufficient and independent as you can.

fireplace tool setAccessories for the woodstove are your fire tools, such as poker, brush, and shovel.  The latter two are useful for saving the ash, as you can use it to make soap, and to shine/polish metals, such as silver.  One thing that I must stress is you must clean out your stovepipe a minimum of once per year, preferably before the fall.  The brush you can pick up in a hardware store, along with the rods for as long as your pipe measures.  Brush it straight down and then sweep up all the creosote and blackened soot that lands in your stove into a can for disposal.  Remember it can be extremely flammable, so take precautions.  If you do it this way, you’ll save a lot of money rather than hiring someone to do it for you, and the rods and brush run about 30-40 dollars.

In summary, a woodstove will make your home more self-sufficient than you might ever have imagined.  There’s plenty of information out there on them: it’s a matter of “rewiring” your modern life with old skills already learned.  That’s the whole point of returning to the basics, to enable you to be self-sufficient and ready for things when it hits the fan.  Stay warm, split wood, and warm up your place with a wood stove…believe me, it is worth the effort and gives you another asset that may really save you when the chips are down.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What’s the Best Survival Knife?

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to give some info and recommendations on knives.  There are about as many uses for knives as you can imagine: knives for skinning, filleting, fighting, and all-around survival.  There are a ton of different companies that manufacture knives, and not as many of them in the United States as there used to be.  There is a resurgence in small forges and private knifemakers currently throughout the U.S., and in a future article, I will cover this subject in more detail.  For now, we’re going to stick with the well-known firms, of which I have both preference and experience with for different reasons.

Carry Blade

My “carry” blade for defense is a Spyderco H-1 Jumpmaster model, made in Seki City, Japan.  I’ve been “into” Spyderco for a good while; when I was in the service I carried a Spyderco Police model stainless steel folder.  This Jumpmaster model is actually designed by jumpmasters of the U.S. Army.  The blade is sharp – beyond belief and can be sharpened on a Tri-Angle Sharpmaker, also made by Spyderco.

The jumpmaster’s blade is straight, serrated, non-rust steel with a single piece running continuously from blade to handle, a fixed blade with a plastic handle.  The blade measures approximately 4-1/4 inches of special steel that does not corrode.  I mention again, it is for defensive purposes and I know how to use it, although ideally, a fighting knife should have a blade of approximately 8 inches or greater to be most effective.

I also carry a Buck 181 folder for all-purpose and utility that is about 3 inches long.  This model has an oval-shaped “pinch” ring within the blade, and a clip that enables you to pinch the ring, draw out the blade, and flick it open in the locked position.  The Spyderco Police model I mentioned earlier is the same configuration as this Buck folder.  It can be used for cutting, slicing, and (if necessary) small skinning jobs if the need arose.

General Purpose Knife

As far as a good general purpose survival knife is concerned, I really love what Gerber puts out (or rather, the older models), with the Gerber BMF series being really great.  As far as newer models run, I have a Gerber Mark 11, a two-edged blade similar to the Fairbairn-Sykes Commando model used by the OSS in World War II.  The knife was made in the U.S., and the sheath was made in China.  Guess we can’t win ‘em all.  The blade is approximately 7 inches in length with 2 inches of the blade on both sides being serrated before the final 1 inch connects with the handle/hilt.

Throwing Knives

Hibben (in my assessment) makes the best throwing knives.  When you pick up throwing knives, you should pick up 2 sets of the same model: one to practice with, and the other for use when needed.  In this manner, you’ll be able to sink that knife into a target from 15-20 feet away with no problem, and the quality/sharpness will not be a factor when you face a real-world situation.

If you wish to watch an excellent movie that will give you pointers as an introduction to combat with knives, pick up Hunted,” starring Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones.  They go “deep,” but the depiction of the U.S. military’s courses on knives, knifemaking, and actual combat techniques is very accurate.

Your folder you want for a good all-around utility knife.  For small cutting, just invest in a little folding pocketknife so as not to dull your blades continuously.  Although 8” is the preferred minimum length for combat, do not underestimate what you can do with a smaller blade when the need arises.  You want your knives to be maintained and as sharp as possible at all times.  I don’t really wish to cover skinning and filleting knives, simply because there are so many on the market that you can use.  I covered these because when push comes to shove, your combat blade can be used to skin game if need be.  Just as all cooks in the Army can become infantry when needed.

My preference is for the blade to be either black (subdued), or non-reflective/non-high sheen.  My personal preference (although for some specialty blades such as my jumpmaster model you need a specialty sharpener) is the old-fashioned stone and oil method.  It takes time, but it’s worth it.  Other methods (non-specialty) put a “quick” edge on it that doesn’t last too long, but the honing stones take a longer amount of time and deliver in the end.

Regarding a blade, do not sacrifice quality for price.  For fixed knives, they should be a continuous piece.  Buying from a reputable firm gives you a worthy blade.  Remember: you may depend on this blade to survive, be that to cut yourself out of a seatbelt if your car takes a dive, or to skin wild game in the dead of winter.  Cheap you buy, cheap you receive.  There’s a guy who is a builder who cruises around in his little pickup truck in town.  He has a saying on his truck that runs [I paraphrase], “Those who buy a lower quality at a cheaper price will later find the money they saved doesn’t make up for the inferior product, and they will come to regret both decisions.”

Yeah, it’s a long statement, but it’s the truth.  Knives can be very crucial tools when the need arises, sometimes being critical to stay alive.  Look up those models that I recommend, and you’ll find without exception that they’re expensive.  The thing is, they work, and when the chips are down, I can depend on them far better than some cheap piece of junk from China or Pakistan made of pot-metal and Elmer’s glue.  Take your time to find which model works the best for your needs, but never sacrifice quality for price.  Keep your powder dry and your knife oiled and sharp!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Procure Protein Sources During Winter

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  ReadyNutrition Readers, we already kicked off the first segment of this two-part series on protein and its importance in a day-to-day, as well as a survival scenario.  Now we’re going to cover a little more on protein from a survival perspective.  This will include wild game, of which we must give you a short note to keep in mind.  A person needs fats in his diet that wild game will not provide, as the meat is very lean.  For this reason, one cannot subsist solely on wild game and must supplement that food with other foods that provide fats as well as other nutrients.

That being said, there is still an abundant amount of protein out there in the wilds you can take advantage of.  Concentrating first on the animal protein, let’s make a list of what you can obtain during the winter months.

  • Fowl:  Ducks, Geese, Turkey (No!  Not more turkey!), Grouse, Dove.
  • Fish: Trout, Bass, Bluegill/Crappie, Pike.
  • Game: Deer, Antelope (primarily the Western States), Sheep, Mountain Goat, Elk, Rabbit/Hare.
  • Other Game: Black bear, Wild Boar.

In a survival situation, beggars can’t be choosers.  It’s wintertime now, so we’re going to concentrate on what you’ll find (and face) in the wintertime.  Black Bear are semi-hibernators; that is, they slumber for extended lengths of time during the winter and emerge periodically to feed.  They do possess more than the average needed to supply humans with the essential fats.  Bear meat is very tough.  If you can, roast and/or smoke the meat, chop it up well or cube it, and then throw it in a Dutch oven.

Over the coals with a good amount of moisture and the meat will tenderize quite a bit more than just cooking it over a fire.  Supplement this protein with cattail roots.  When you dig them up (their presence is indicated by the dead reeds at the edges of frozen lakes and ponds), take the roots and boil them.  They are very similar to potatoes.  Acorns can also be gathered and pulverized into powder for a flour, but be advised: acorns are high in tannic acid. This can be leached out of the acorns by soaking them in water for a few hours, and then allowing them to dry out before making the flour.

Now be advised that many trappers (according to reports from the Hudson Bay Company in the 18th and 19th centuries) died from only eating rabbit.  As mentioned before, wild game (especially rabbit) does not contain enough fats and nutrients to keep a person alive. As the company reported, many trappers starved to death by not rounding off their diets.  The human body leaches minerals and vitamins from within itself in order to digest the rabbit, and these are passed out in the stool.  The trappers literally ate themselves to death, when if they had supplemented their game with some vegetables, their protein uptake would have been assured without depleting themselves.

Pine needle tea provides enough Vitamin C when steeped in boiling water (about 1-2 cups of needles per quart of water.  Beneath the snows can be shoots of different edible plants; use a guidebook for your geographical area to determine what you have available.  Also, your trees such as spruce and willows, as well as lichens can provide you with nutrients to balance your needs for protein with a well-rounded diet that supplies you with vitamins and minerals.  Remember, the goal is to take in more than just lean protein that will steal nutrients from your body, although protein is very, very important.

Fish and waterfowl contain more fat and while providing the protein you need are more well-rounded in terms of fats and carbohydrates.  In the wintertime, the feeding activities of fish decrease, however, you will still be able to get them if you’re diligent.  As worms and insects are mostly unavailable during the wintertime, you will need to use either artificial lures or you may use offal/meat from game that you have trapped or shot.  With ice fishing, you’ll probably need an ice augur to open a hole in a lake.  There are many rivers and streams that do not freeze totally, and it is here that you will still be able to find and catch trout.

Just 3 ounces of trout yields 21 grams of protein, along with 9 grams of fat, plus calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium.  You pull in a good-sized brookie or a rainbow trout, and you’re looking at about an 8-10 lb. fish.  Brown trout can reach about 30-40 lbs.  You can do the math: that’s a lot of protein per fish!  In addition, you can smoke and salt the daylights out of it to preserve it and carry with you.  The Northern Pike (also known as Chain Pickerel) is also a good-to-eat fish.  Be advised that from the beginning of January to about the beginning of February, they lose teeth and will not be able to strike as much.  Be careful with them when you land them, or they can bite off a finger if they’re big enough, and their teeth are very sharp.

Be advised, especially in the Western States.  Salmon are also available, but as a fisherman, you have some competition: the bears, especially Grizzly Bears.  The salmon are one of their principal food sources before they hibernate, and between September and sleepy time, they eat everything and anything they can sink their teeth into, including us.  Black bear will also fish for salmon and trout.  If it’s a survival situation, you be the judge, but for either of those two you had better be armed.  You also (regarding the Grizzly) better have the ability to prove to a court of law that it really was a survival situation, and not that your car just broke down and you would have had to walk 5 miles to get to McDonald’s.  The survival situation better be real in this case.

To back up a bit, ducks and geese have high protein, and high amounts of fat…they’re a waterfowl and need that fat to insulate them from the cold of the water and in flight.  Render the fat and save it in a jar in a survival situation; you can use it to supplement the wild game you take on land that is low in fat.  Those two also have tremendous amounts of minerals to help balance your diet.  Turkey is leaner, as it is a “ground” bird, with less fat, although it too does contain vitamins and minerals.

Also, be advised to read up on things such as Tularemia, as well as intestinal and liver flukes and parasites.  All of the mentioned types of land game can have them, the former being in rabbits and the latter found especially in deer/venison, and wild pig.  Cook all meat thoroughly, making sure to keep from contaminating the meat when you’re dressing it out and preparing it for the spit.  Better safe than sorry, so ensure that it is cooked through and through to avoid such pitfalls.

To summarize, there are many methods to prepare your protein that you garner in the outdoors.  Such is beyond the scope of this article, the point of which was to make you well aware of your options in the outdoors, especially in a survival situation.  Winter is not a “dead” time of the year; it is merely dormant, with different pitfalls and challenges to face.  Use your greatest resource – your mind – to learn about your geographical vicinity and the game and vegetation that you can subsist upon.  I also highly recommend a good book on scats and tracks to be able to identify the game that moves about in your locale.  Keep fighting that good fight, cook all your wild game until it’s well done, and be safe!  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Beginners Guide to Hunting

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this is kind of a sensitive subject: hunting for food.  The article is designed to help those who either actively hunt and/or for those who would hunt if it was necessary to survive.  Part of pioneer spirit and resourcefulness is to consider all avenues to a thing to succeed, and our forefathers certainly hunted for their food.  Even though many of the colonists were farmers and ranchers, game was hunted to provide for their tables.

I do want to give you my own personal viewpoints on hunting, as simple as they are:

  1. I do not “trophy” hunt: it’s only for meat, and only when my freezer is about emptied.
  2. I use the whole animal: as much of it as I can, without wasting any of it…I don’t feel I have the right to waste any of it.
  3. I hunt for food and do not derive any pleasure or satisfaction whatsoever in killing the animal I’ve hunted.
  4. I am 100% responsible for the safety of those around me when I hunt: those who I see and those who I do not see…who may be within the range of my firearm?
  5. Every bullet that leaves the muzzle is placed exactly where I want it, and it must be that way – no exceptions. Read more about the 10 commandments of handling firearms.

Setting Hunting Objectives and Standards

These things being mentioned, it is important to define for yourself objectives and goals, as well as standards prior to your hunting excursions.  What game are you hunting?  Ground-dwelling animals, or birds, and if the latter, are they waterfowl?  These considerations are important for your selection of a firearm, as well as the technique you will employ when using it.  If you haven’t hunted before, you’ll find there’s a lot more to it than you imagined.  Hunting is not a “singular” skill but blends many different skills in the pursuit of an objective.

You must learn to identify tracks and how to track (there’s a difference).  You must learn how to forecast weather and how to hunt with in it.  You need some basics on ballistics and firearms, and when you finally arrive on a selection of your firearm?  You must know it akin to the back of your hand: everything about that rifle relevant to function, cleaning, and positive/negative factors needs to be known by you.

You must learn first aid: for yourself and others.  Remember: it is not just a matter of you shooting someone by mistake, may God forbid it.  You may be stalking a deer in the brush and slip on rocks, hurting yourself badly.  Then it morphs from a simple hunting excursion into a grim battle for survival.  You must know how to dress out, cure, skin, and butcher the game that you shoot.

Two guys who had never hunted went out and bagged a deer.  They dragged the deer by the hind legs, and the antlers were getting caught in the underbrush.  After about a half a mile of this, one said, “Hey, why don’t we pull him from the other side?”  The two men nodded at one another and commenced to drag the deer by the antlers.  The second man said, “Yeah, good idea.  Dragging him this way is a lot easier.”  The first man said, “Yeah, it is, but…we’re getting further and further away from the car!”

This is homesteading.  This is survival.

You must know the habits and ways of the animals or birds you’re hunting.  There are a lot of big advantages to hunting that are mutually beneficial to the hunter and the environment.  During the wintertime, many deer (especially here in Montana) have a terrible time with browsing and foraging for food, and many do indeed starve to death.  The population of deer is not in a decline.  Hunting does “thin out” the herds and enable the animals to have more resources than if the herds were to be left unchecked.

The forestry service does (at least here in Montana) a tremendous amount in terms of conservation.  The whole thing is more than just “hunter and hunted,” but is an actual symbiosis where (with the proper checks and balances) humans can secure more than enough meat to eat, at the same time keeping the herds from growing unmanaged.  If you know anything about deer, you know that in the spring when you’ve planted your garden that they will eat it all up as soon as the shoots poke out of the ground.

When you hunt, you can secure a large quantity of meat to throw some in the freezer, to smoke some of it, and to home-can the rest.  This is prepping.  This is homesteading.  This is survival.  There is a way to maintain a balance with nature: the respect for the animal and the utilization of all that he has, for the purpose of eliminating/reducing any waste.  This is conservation, because you and your family have the right to provide for yourselves, as well.  Read Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nationto remove any obstacles of thought that may allow a person to feel “cleaner” or “better” when they’re munching on that Double Quarter Pounder with extra cheese, extra onion.  The book, not the movie; the movie was nothing compared to the book.

Hunting is not a step backward: it is a big step back toward reclaiming the heritage that is ours – yours and mine – of when Americans were not only socially conscious but self-sufficient.  Soon we will cover some different types of firearms and recommend certain calibers and models for different types of game.  Until then, do some research and homework on what types of game you have in your area, and how you would plan on hunting it for your table and your supplies.  Be safe, take care of one another, and keep up the good fight!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These are the Building Blocks of Survival

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amino-acidReadyNutrition Readers, we are going to cover a few tips and pointers you can use in your preparedness stance.  I word it in that manner because you are never truly done with preparedness.  Even if you had every supply known to man, you still must work on yourself, on other perishable skills (shooting, first-aid, etc.), and on your procedures (SOP’s if you will).  As a survivalist and preparedness adherent, you must always keep this in mind: you’re a work in progress, and neither the work nor the progress ever stops.

We’re going to mention protein and amino acids because they are both so important for you.  When I had surgery about 6 years ago, my recovery time was cut in half from the doctor’s original prognostication because of my intake of protein supplements and amino acids.  When you have traumatic injury, surgery, exercise, or conditions of physical and emotional stress and trauma, the supplements will aid your recovery and ability to weather the storm.

I’m not going to delve into categories of vegan discipline, gluten free diets, or non-GMO foods.  Such is not within the basic scope of this article and would require attentions that would detract from the main message: how to obtain and use protein and supplements effectively.  You will face (in a SHTF scenario) a great deal of difficulty in obtaining protein that you have not already stocked up beforehand.

Proteins themselves are essential in the formation of cellular tissue and virtually every hormonal and endocrine function in the human body.  Proteins degrade, and this means that they wear out, or fall apart over a certain period of time, dependent upon the particular tissue in the body.  Protein turnover is how they break down and then are recycled to form new protein structures.  The average protein lifespan in our cells is 1-2 days; the protein is constantly being broken down and then replenished.

In order to maintain itself, the body must also take in protein, and amino acids are the basic structures that are needed to manufacture proteins.  There are nine amino acids that are considered essential.  By this term essential, these amino acids cannot be synthesized (or manufactured) within the human body, but must be taken in through food/diet.  These nine are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.

The highest sources of amino acids in food include watercress and spirulina (which even exceed meat), pumpkin, leafy greens, hemp seeds, chia seeds, soybeans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and sunflower butter, almonds, avocados, figs, raisins, quinoa, and wheat.

In addition to these nine are six conditional amino acids: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, proline, and tyrosine.  This means their synthesis (production by the human body) is limited by physical condition and/or environmental condition (to include diet and trauma).

Then there are BCAA’s (branched-chain amino acids) and these are, in particular, the proteinogenic BCAA’s…and there are three of them: isoleucine, leucine, and valine.

These three are very important, because as you may have noted, they are also three of the nine essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body as mentioned earlier.

When it comes to weight training and bodybuilding, these BCAA’s are essential to help with tissue repair and (eventually) muscle growth.  Many doctors discount them as not having the effects that weightlifters claim.  I can personally shoot that down, as I bench press 4 sets of 6 with 350 lbs. and max over 400 lbs.  I’m doing seated behind-the-neck military presses 4 sets of 6 with 225 lbs.  If the learned doctor prefers to “teach” me how the BCAA’s are not of use, let’s see if his physical training regimen stacks up to mine.

All of the theories in the world are worthless unless they can be placed into practice.

Protein works, both for your physical training intake and for tissue repair following a workout scenario, or a traumatic event/series of events.  I am recommending what I use.  I supplement my meals with 2-3 “shakes” of milk and protein powder.  I prefer Target’s brands of Market Pantry whey powder with 25 grams of protein per serving.  These have all of the amino acids I need.  I also use Rapid Drive Amino Series BCAA 5000, the 12.32 oz. size with 50 servings, running about $30 a can.  This gives the three BCAA’s that are also essential; I mix it with water and drink it post-workout and one before bed on days I lift.

The protein requirements are different for men and women and differ also by physical condition and needs.  Average daily requirements can be looked up in with differing numbers in just about every text.  I have found that as a man weighing about 200 lbs., I need between 200-300 grams of protein per day.  Not all of this is meat, and as I said, I supplement with the shakes which give me about 40 grams per shake when I add milk and peanut butter.  The time to store up your supplements is now, along with high-protein foods: canned meats and fish, peanut butter, canned chicken.  Believe me, under adverse conditions of physical and emotional stress, your needs per day shoot up akin to a rocket.

You will need to work up an exercise and dietary regimen in order to prepare yourself for situations in the days to come.  Consult with your doctor on any exercise program or fitness regimen, as they have the legal authority to advise on health treatment in our Soviet-style society.  Keep in mind that these guys do have investments in companies whose business it is to make sure you’re “well,” such as drug companies and other “prescribed” remedial treatments.

I’m here to tell you, it’s important to keep in shape, have supplies of proteins and supplements, and plan a fitness and exercise program that will properly sustain and maintain your body’s physical needs.  Keep up the good fight and don’t stop the training!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Old-Fashioned Ways to Predict the Weather

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weather-forecastingReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to cover the weather in this article: how important it is to forecast for bugging out, for your retreat location, and for your operations in a survival scenario.  There is no foolproof method to determine the weather, as it is constantly changing with the introduction of many variables.  You can, however, utilize certain clues in your surroundings as well as arm yourself with knowledge of how the weather works and how to determine changes that are significant for you.

In some of these cases, depending on your locale, determining the weather can be a matter of life or death.  Here in the Rocky Mountains, you need to know when the snowstorms are coming in, as well as the arctic storms and the serious drops in temperature.  If you’re in the outdoors or at home here, you are subject to the temperature and the amount of precipitation and must adjust accordingly either with protective clothing, cessation of travel, or increased measures to protect and heat your home.

Firstly, pick yourself up some kind of reference material on the weather.  Keep it simple and perhaps pocket-sized.  I really like the old “Zim” guides by Herbert S. Zim on a multitude of subjects ranging from weather to fossils.  They’re pocket guides that you can slip into a Ziploc bag to protect that give you information at your fingertips.  Always work from low-tech to high-tech.  Your Garmin or your Internet-connected Cell Phone are paperweights without power or if they are smashed.

6 Old-Fashioned Ways to Forecast the Weather

Cloud reading

This is a great way to determine the changing weather patterns that help you forecast ahead of time.  Usually, you can figure out what is going on about 12-18 hours out, or longer.  When clouds clump, the weather will dump.  An increase in cloud size and thickness usually mean the weather is heading south.  Know your types of clouds, as follows:

Cirrus: long, high swirls, usually indicators of fairly good weather.

Cumulus:  these are the puffed-up “cotton-ball” types of clouds.  These when gray (especially in the morning) usually herald a rainstorm.  When they form an “anvil” with a flattened bottom, they have changed/denigrated into cumulonimbus clouds, and this means heavy rain with electrical discharges (lightning), and sometimes hail.

Stratus: these have no true top or base, and are unformed layers.  These clouds are usually precursors to activity within 24-48 hours, with their graying and massing being late indicators that they are ready to dump some rain or precipitation on you.

The faster the cloud movements across the sky, the greater the change in the wind velocity, usually followed by a change in barometric pressure.  Factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind are heavily affected and influenced by the sun.  Air rises in the mornings and falls at night.  The ground is heated up, and the heat rises, as the cooler air stays closer to the earth when the sun departs.  Terrain is a major part of this, as mountains will block or impede air flow, and valleys will hold on to moisture and cold air a lot more readily.  Elevation is another big factor, as the temperature of the air decreases by 5.5 degrees for every thousand feet of elevation.

There are some tools you can pick up to help you.  An anemometer measures wind speed.  It is a four-tined device shaped akin to an “x” with equal parts with cups attached to the ends.  As the wind blows, the anemometer measures the speed of the wind.  The person recording should continuously note steady wind speed as opposed to gusts, that occur less frequently.

Another good tool is a barometer, that measures the change in air pressure.  You may have to search a little to find a good one that is not computerized.  Mine was made in West Germany (yeah, it’s that old!) with a little needle you can adjust to mark where the air pressure is, and then (with time’s passage) to see whether the pressure is rising or falling.  I stress once again, pick up a model with glass and brass and the needles…no batteries required.

A good sturdy thermometer is also a useful tool to have.  Most are “El Cheapo” Chinese-made pieces of junk.  There are good ones to be found in scientific supply companies.  Anything made by the Germans or Japanese are usually top-flight.  Compact, sturdy, and legible are the qualities you’re looking for.

Let’s also explore some other methods to forecast what will occur that are indicators of the natural world.  Here’s a few:

Mosquitoes, No-see-um’s, and Black Flies

These guys really bug you, no pun intended, to their maximum potential about 12 hours before a major storm…and they’ll hightail about an hour before the storm hits.  Yes, it works.  You don’t know when it’s coming, but they do, and by watching them…you’ll know.

The Cricket

Yes, they’re a pain in the backside when you’re trying to sleep, but you can determine the temperature from them.  The number of chirps by a cricket over 14 seconds, you add the number 40 to it.  Say the cricket chirps 40 times in 14 seconds, then add 40 to that, and the temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is accurate to within 1-2 degrees most of the time.

Your Campfire

If the campfire’s smoke is sort of akin to a fog…close to the ground and oozing away toward the rest of the woods?  This indicates the potential for rain, because there is a low-pressure system in your area.  If the smoke rises straight into the air, it’s high-pressure that is in your area, and the weather will most likely be good.

Frogs

In the spring and summertime, the increased sounds of frogs singing indicates an increased humidity…just prior to the weather heading south.  As the low-pressure system moves in, the humidity in the air increases and allows these guys to stay out of the water longer (they breathe through their skin).

Animals and Birds

Sense the approach of storms and (with the former) usually seek shelter out of open areas, or (with the latter) fly to a safer position, such as a tree branch or a niche in the rocks or cliffs.

We haven’t delved into the tactical considerations for knowing the weather.  That will be covered in a future article, as it is beyond the scope of what you need for an introduction.  Wind, temperature, humidity, and altitude are the factors for consideration when you’re shooting, specifically, when distance shooting for accuracy.  All of these factors influence, or are influenced by the weather.

So, in conclusion, we have covered some basics to start you with weather forecasting.  Whether you’re in a field environment in a backpacking or camping mode, or just trying to figure out whether you can repair the shingles on your barn before the rain hits, it is important to gauge what you see and compare it to what will be.  All comments and information you may wish to share are welcomed and encouraged.

JJ

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Get Free Maps For Your Prepping Supplies

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maps-for-preppingReadyNutrition Readers, undoubtedly most of you are working on whittling down that turkey, and preparing for the extremely scary times of the Christmas holidays.  Let us digress a bit from all the festive cheer and commercial drudgery to return to the business at hand.  This article is going to cover some information about maps, indispensable tools for you to thrive in a post-collapse environment.  There are several different sources for these maps on the free or on the cheap, and it’s good for you to be aware of them to prepare your supply of them for the times to come.

Firstly, let us not discount your telephone book.  Yes, the telephone directory holds quite a bit in local maps that you might want to take advantage of.  Usually in the front of the phone book are (for whatever your metropolitan area) maps of small towns and suburbs.  These maps are accurate and give the streets, place names, and points of interest.  Here’s what you do.

Take a hobby knife and cut out the map and the key for your immediate area, and another page that covers your local vicinity.  Trim them off with scissors and then lightly apply a glue stick to the back of each.  You want the two different maps to be back-to-back.  When the glue dries, you can mount them.  There are laminating sheets you can pick up at your local, friendly Wal-Mart that run about $10 for ten sheets.  They peel back for you to insert the maps and line them up, and then just close the top sheet after you remove the non-stick backing paper.  Press them firmly and evenly together, and there you are.

You now have an accurate map for local use on the cheap.  Dry erase comes off too easily, but pick up a grease pencil and you can mark things on the front of it when you’re in the middle of a leg of traveling.  It would behoove you to make several of them: phone books are either free or a dime a dozen.  In this manner, your family members can have a map for themselves in their vehicle.  Store these in some kind of binder or folder with pockets to give you easy access.

You need the maps because your electronic devices such as your Garmin GPS or your MapQuest attachment on the dashboard might just suddenly go “defunct,” courtesy of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) or other similar, natural anomaly such as a solar flare.

            Keep your high-tech, but always have your low-tech aids for backup.

Next is your chamber of commerce.  These guys have about a thousand brochures and maps for your use.  Some of them are pretty good and fairly detailed.  Of particular note are the brochures on parks, forests, and happy-family recreational sites.  Guess what?  That state park may be a fallback area for you if you are on the run.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a map entailing all of the terrain features and manmade features of such a place?

Don’t forget the rest stops usually found in the welcome centers as you cross from one state to another.  These places have the same brochures and maps as the chambers of commerce, and a free state map for you to grab.  Remember: good intel is not merely found, it’s made.  Talk to the people who work at these welcome centers and chambers of commerce.  They can point you in other directions or give you information that may not be immediately visible.  Your “cover” is tourism, vacation, etc.  As “facilitators of information” the state governments pay them with your tax dollars to lure you into their beautiful state and generate more taxable income for all of them.  Make these guys earn their money.

You can often find that many of these parks and tourist sites have maps that also include a little bit of the surrounding area.  Use your judgement, and many of these maps can also be laminated in the manner outlined above.  Do not forget about the Forestry Service in your area.  Here in Montana, they release every year or every two years updates to the national forest trails in the form of maps and guides for free.  Other states have the same.  Don’t forget your county extension office for a plethora of different documents and maps.  Once again, they’ll be happy to help if you just speak to them in a friendly manner.

Don’t discount older or out-of-print maps that you may find in your travels and searches.  They may not be updated, but they may have information on them that is accurate but for whatever reason was not included in the more recent revisions.  Old abandoned tunnels and mine operations are prime examples of things found in older maps and not included in the new maps.  Same for abandoned buildings or abandoned construction projects.  All of these things you may find useful to know…especially when the majority of people have forgotten about them.

Thrift stores and used book stores usually have maps and atlases floating around.  With older maps, what you do (besides the “special” locations just mentioned) is find the main highways and byways that are similar and accurate and cut out these pages to use for an overlay for yourself or an adjunct to a local map you may have laminated.

Do your homework.  On your maps, you want to include as much relevant information as you may need.  Addresses, phone numbers, locations of utilities such as water and power facilities, and places usable for a refuge if you’re out and about and the SHTF.  Place index cards with these extra notes in with the map before you laminate them.  Also, ensure that you mark a compass rose on your map with North and the other three cardinal directions.  Ensure that it is oriented in the correct direction: North needs to actually point north, not just be affixed to the map.

Naturally there are more sources than these.  Your good sporting goods stores usually have a supply of maps either from the Forestry Service or even military maps from the Defense Mapping Agency, the latter of which are golden.  They’re not nearly as expensive as if you order them online.  Want a good idea?  Get yourself a piece of 3-4″ diameter PVC pipe, and cut down two pieces of this that are about 3′ long.  Pick up some end caps that fit snugly, and you have yourself a map case…you can roll up your maps and stow them in there to protect them.

One final word, for your local maps you want to drive around and check them out yourself.  You want to perform a thorough reconnaissance of different routes and ensure they are viable prior to your utilization of said routes.  You don’t want to find out that a bridge that is on your map is actually “out” and unable to be crossed when you’re on the move.  In this light, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Garner your maps before your Garmin goes out as a part of your preps that truly will help you move in the right direction.  Keep fighting that good fight, finish off that turkey, and take care of each other!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition