News You Can Trust and Some Alternative News Options?!?

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In our fast paced world, news and information can come at you very quickly.  The problem that many people are encountering, is that they have to wade through the spin that the news agency puts on it.  For many conservative and patriotic citizens, Fox News has been the go to place.  But many have even started to question some of their commentaries.  Actually, commentary shouldn’t factor in news, except for op-ed pieces. (But that is another topic altogether.)  Alternative news sources are the option that many are gravitating towards.

As a result of not trusting the mainstream media, I have tended to rely on alternative news. That is one reason I created the Alt. News Hub on Prepper Website.  It is a page of feeds on Prepper Website from some of the best Alt. News sources out there.  It is the most viewed page on Prepper Website besides the front page!

I’ve also mentioned that I only follow news accounts on Twitter.  This is purposeful so I can keep up to date on what is happening, many times as it happens.  I follow all types of news accounts and just remember that they might not spin the news the way I see it.  “Know thine enemy” and all that!

Another important source that I’ve recently talked about on The Prepper Website Podcast is the APP from Suspicious Observers.

I don’t watch too much TV.  But recently, a friend turned me onto the One America News Network.  From what I have experienced, they do a good job of just sharing the news without all the commentary.

One America News Network is owned by Herring Networks, Inc. Herring Networks, Inc. is a family owned and operated, independent media company focused on providing high quality national television programming to consumers via its national cable networks. The for-profit company was established in 2004 and has its primary production operations in California and Washington, DC.  SOURCE

 

You can check this page to see if you can get One America News where you live.

There might not be a “PERFECT” news source out there.  But it is important to stay aware of what is going on.  Things that happen in one part of the country will eventually affect things happening in your part of the country!  Don’t be blind!

Are there any news sources that you listen to or watch?  Share them in the comment section below to help those looking for a new source!

Peace,
Todd

Protected: This is Why We Prep! This is Why We Stay Aware!

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Controlling the Prepper Image

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This is another guest post by Janet M.

It’s no secret that a good number of people think of preppers as nut cases, whackos, weirdos, alarmists, pessimists, or just plain dangerous people. I learned lately that some agents of a certain governmental agency tasked with protecting the homeland view preppers as cultists. Why is that? Does it have anything to do with how preppers present themselves?

Categories of the Unprepared

It’s been reported that only about ten percent of the American population is prepared for any kind of national emergency or catastrophe. Some won’t look at the possibility of anything bad happening because they think that if they ignore it, it won’t happen. They’re just too scared to face it.

Another category of unprepared people is the group that suffers from normalcy bias. (Fill in the blank) has never happened, so it won’t happen in the future. They can’t imagine their neighborhood in flames, a collapse of the economy, buildings completely leveled by an earthquake, no electrical power, or no water coming out of the faucet.

Some think the government is going to take care of them in the event of a SHTF emergency. They can’t imagine that a critical national emergency might overwhelm emergency services, like what happened after the localized disaster of Hurricane Katrina. They don’t see that emergency workers might understandably be so concerned for their own families that they wouldn’t come help them.

Others don’t want to spend the time and money on prepping for something that might not ever happen.

Then, there are the people who think preppers are so weird that they don’t want anything to do with us. They can’t get beyond the idea that someone might think of them as just as weird as the preppers if they jump over the barrier and join the ranks of the prepared.

There are undoubtedly more categories of the unprepared, but the question remains: Why does ninety percent of the population not prepare?

What We Can Do About the Prepper Image

We preppers can’t control what people think. It would be so much better for us if more people were prepared since we’d have fewer needy people coming to us for help in an emergency or those who might try to take what we have by force. We might not be putting so much thought into how to protect what we have or whether or not we’d share stored food. The question of whether or not we’d shoot someone who tried to take our stuff wouldn’t be such a troubling and often-considered question. More prepared people would mean less stress for us.

Since we can’t control what the unprepared think, is there anything we can do that we haven’t thought of before to encourage others to prepare?

Perhaps working on changing the image of the prepper would help. Maybe if people looked at us differently, more of them would be willing to join our ranks. Most of us are driven to persuade others to prepare by our concern for them. But, maybe we could do a better job of expressing it.

But, how would we do that? The prepper community includes the survivalist who’s armed to the teeth with a 40-pound, tricked-out assault rifle and says he’ll head to the forest and blow away anyone who comes close to him. Then, we have the 80-year-old grandmother who quietly buys a few extra cans of beans when they’re on sale so she can feed her grandchildren when the ship hits the sand. There’s a wide chasm between the two, occupied by preppers of all sorts. And, “Doomsday Preppers” didn’t help the situation at all. I could never tell when watching episodes if the producers wanted people to think that the featured preppers were geniuses or if they had gone way out past where the buses run. Maybe people were supposed to draw their own conclusions, which they certainly would have done, based on their already-formed prejudices.

People form their opinions of others based on what they say and do, plus their own past experiences and attitudes. A lot of damage has already been done to the prepper image because of what many of us have said and done.

Is It Time?

Maybe it’s time for each of us think about how we’re representing the prepper image. Maybe statements like “I’m going to blow away anyone who comes onto my front porch” or “I have enough food and water to hunker down for two years, and I’m not sharing with anyone” should be eliminated from our conversations. Maybe the militant tone of voice that some of us use when talking about prepping should be softened. Maybe the sometimes aggressive speech we use on people should be replaced with silence or more carefully thought-out messages.

This is a personal issue that we all might need to consider. We all have the power to improve the prepper image among those who haven’t yet joined our ranks. Then, maybe more of them would want to join us.

Peace,
Todd

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (7/9/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 7/1/17 – 7/8/17

Peace,
Todd

A Prepper’s Friend – Ways to Use Plastic Buckets

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This is a guest post.

Buckets: Cheap and Sturdy Storage

 

Most modern packaging is made of cardboard or lightweight plastics that work well for reducing shipping costs, but won’t hold up for long term storage. Specialized storage vessels that are sturdy enough to protect their contents against moisture, oxidation, or animals are harder to find, but you may already have one type of versatile storage container in your garage or basement. Plastic buckets for Preppers is a great find!

Plastic buckets arrive in our homes holding paint, cleaning solutions, and food, but with a little knowledge and planning, they can be used for so much more than just storing their original contents. A quality plastic bucket is impact-resistant, temperature resistant, and with the right lid, can create an airtight seal. If you want to find quality buckets without having to clean the original contents out of them, check out Affordable American Containers.

Read more to find the perfect buckets for your needs and learn four unexpected ways you can use plastic buckets to protect your belongings and prepare for emergencies.

Identify food-safe buckets

 

If you’re planning a bucket storage project that doesn’t involve food or potable water, any sturdy plastic bucket will work. It’s helpful to know, however, when your bucket is food-grade. Buckets that are not food-safe can leach chemicals into the items they store, so should only be used for non-edible items.

Food-grade plastic can be identified by the recycling number on the bottom. Any item labeled with a 1, 2, 4 or 5 is technically food-grade, but you also need to check to see if they are “food-safe”. Food-grade plastics are made of high-density polyethylene that is very stable and won’t degrade in sunlight or extreme temperatures, but they may have been treated with a dye that compromises the bucket and could leach into your stored food or water. Or, it may have been originally used for materials like cleaning liquid that compromise food safety.

In addition to the numbers, look for the label “food-safe” or an image of a fork and cup, microwave lines, or a freezer-safe snowflake. Any one or combination of those indicators mean a bucket should be safe to store edible materials.

4 Versatile Ways to Use Plastic Buckets

 

1. Emergency Water Filter
In an emergency situation, access to clean water can be the difference between life and death. With four 5-gallon food-safe buckets and some easy to obtain supplies, you can build a large water filter to provide clean drinking water for your family without electricity or chemicals.

For this project, each bucket works as a filter chamber, with each chamber trapping smaller sets of impurities as gravity pulls water into the bottom bucket. The bottom bucket will catch and store
water that is safe to drink even when you don’t have access to power to boil water.

To build the filter system, drill 1″ holes in the bottom of three buckets, and 2″ holes through the lids. Cover the holes with a few layers of window screening and glue it in place with a strong epoxy, then glue a ceramic wall tile over the screening, shiny side up.

Prepare each bucket with a different grade of filter material: the top is gravel, the middle is sand, and the bottom or last filter bucket is filled with activated charcoal. Stack your buckets in a tower with the last empty bucket on the bottom to catch the clean water. When you pour water in the top, it will slowly filter through the increasingly smaller gradients, getting progressively cleaner. The first few rounds may come out cloudy as some loose dirt from your gravel drains away. Soon enough, the water will appear in the bottom bucket clean enough to drink. For more see the Hillbilly Water Filter.

Editor’s Note: This video below is not the exact build as described above, but it is the same concept.

 

2. Bucket Garden
Many people use pots to grow plants, but buckets take container planting to a new level. Bucket gardens allow you to grow food even if you don’t have a large yard, and unlike pots, big buckets are ideal for vegetables with large root systems. Keeping plants isolated in buckets even decreases pest problems and lets you control crop watering more precisely to maximize your garden’s yield. Using buckets to grow vegetables gives you more options to save money on food, and is a great way to prepare for a food shortage. Bucket planting means your garden is portable, too! You can bring plants in during harmful storms or shift them to just the right sunny spot.

Start your bucket garden with 5-gallon food-grade buckets. You don’t want any nasty chemicals leeching out of the plastic into the veggies you will eventually eat. Make small drainage holes in the bottom using a drill or hammer and nail. Layer the bottom with small rocks or gravel to help prevent root-rot and top off with organic planting soil mixed with homemade compost. Water whenever the soil feels dry or your plants look droopy.

Some plants grow better in buckets than others. Try these bucket-loving plants for a vibrant portable garden:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Small melons
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Bush beans

For More  see the Gardening Link Bomb

3. Preserve sensitive materials
Storing delicate items in plastic buckets is ideal because food-grade plastics are designed to protect against the same conditions that damage paper. If you use a well-fitted lid to create an airtight seal and include oxygen absorber packets in your bucket, you can cheaply and effectively keep light, moisture and oxygen from damaging items like photos, electronics, newspapers and even receipts!

Prepare your items for storage by cleaning them. Wipe electronics with a microfiber cloth, and try to handle photos with gloves or tweezers. Many photo albums or storage sleeves are made of plastic that degrades in heat or with age, releasing harmful chemicals that can damage your items. Take any paper or photographs out of storage cases and remove any ordinary plastic, tape, paper clips or cardboard covering or frames, unless are labeled “acid-free”.

Before you seal your items into the storage bucket, you need to include a desiccant to maintain a stable environment inside the seal by absorbing moisture. You can buy desiccants online or collect them from food and goods like medicine or leather shoes. These tiny packets absorb moisture that normally damages paper or electronics over time. The amount of moisture in the container will determine the amount of desiccants or silica gel packs you need, so look at the size of your bucket and how much empty space you’ll leave inside. 

4. Bucket shower or sprinkler
Buckets are great at holding water. Exploit this natural strength and upgrade your bucket into a water dispenser for places where you can’t use plumbing. Modify any clean 5-gallon bucket by drilling a 2” hole on the side, near the bottom. Use a hose bib attachment that screws through the hole to create a multi-purpose spigot on your bucket.

Need to bathe outside or without power? Just attach a standard shower head to the hose bib. Hang the bucket from the ceiling or a high tree branch using a rope and two pulleys to offset the weight of the water. Simply fill your bucket with a mix of cold and boiling water, then hoist the bucket and turn on the spigot for a warm, gravity-powered shower. You can also create a sprinkler system. Instead of a shower head, attach a hose. When your bucket is raised and the spigot is open, gravity will pull water from the bucket and allow you to use the hose.

See my outdoor sink build – click here!

Brilliant Buckets

 

With just a modest plastic bucket, you can save money and decrease your need for electricity. I the case of an emergency, having plenty of food-grade and food-safe plastic buckets can provide you with clean water, homegrown food, safe storage, and even a morning shower.

 

Aaron Chakraborty is a contributing writer and media specialist for the Affordable American Containers. He regularly produces content for a variety of emergency prepping and safe storage blogs, based around educating people on life-saving prep techniques and producing sustainable emergency food.

 

Peace,
Todd

 

Are You Prepped For A Kill Shot?

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This Could Have Been Bad – Solar Kill Shot

I sent this Solar Flare information out to email subscribers Monday morning. If you are interested in receiving future email from Prepper Website, you can register here.

I noticed a curious title on Suspicious Observers latest video and took a few minutes to watch it.

Ben mentioned that the Sun let off an X class solar flare that was “Titanic” and if it was pointed towards Earth, would have been a kill shot.  He said, “it would have had me sending you to the store for supplies if it had come this way.” 

 

It had me thinking about how I would respond if the solar flare would have been pointed our way.  What would you do?

For more see – Prepper Lessons From The Movies: “Where Have All The People Gone?” 1974

 

Not Doom Porn

 

The thing with Ben and Suspicious Observers is that he is not a doom porn seller.  He is not sensational.  In fact, when I see articles and reports about big space weather or natural disasters, I usually head over to his Youtube channel.  Like recently when people were worried about all the earthquakes around Yellowstone.  Instead of panicking, I headed over to his channel because I knew he would tell it like it is.

Suspicious Observers does have an APP that I highly recommend.  The Disaster Prediction APP (for Android, for iOS), sends out alerts.  So if the big one comes, you’ll know ahead of time!  It is only $2.99.  You should buy it! Below is a video on how to use the APP.

 

 

I’ve also shared out alerts from SO on the Prepper Website Facebook Group.  If you’re not a member, request to join.  I hope to keep it a “cordial” place where we can talk about preparedness and self-reliance and learn from each other.

It’s not in the scope of this article to get you prepped for a solar flare.  All preparedness should begin with a plan.  If you don’t have one, start with a book that lays it out for you.  One book that is HUGE and covers many of the topics you need to consider is the Prepper’s Blueprint by Tess Pennington. If you haven’t looked into that one, I recommend you do

 

For more see – Blackout: Cripple a Nation!

For those of you interested in Biblical Prophecy, keep reading…

If not, have a great week! Stay Prepped and Aware!
Peace,
Todd

 

Since We’re Talking About TEOTWAKI Stuff!

 

Many of you know that I am a Christian and a pastor.  It has been said that prophecy makes up anywhere from 21 – 27% of the Bible.  It is a significant amount and something we should pay attention to.

One thing that I try to stay aware of is what is happening in the Middle East, especially Israel.  Many people don’t know that riots have been going on there.  I’ve only seen it on Twitter. One of my church members said he has also heard it on NPR.  But what is going on there is lacking coverage from the mainstream media, of course!

 

One person I know who is always going to talk about Israel is John Haller.  His weekly Prophecy Updates discuss a lot of stuff that is currently relevant.  I used to always link to his videos on Prepper Church, but I was just getting too busy to try to maintain all of it.  But I do listen to his updates every week.  This week, he discusses Jerusalem and what is going on in greater detail.  I think it is significant enough to link here. 

 

 

Ironically enough, in the first 2 minutes, he discusses an article in WIRED magazine that discusses the risk of Cyberwar and our electrical grid going down.  I tracked down the article, because I usually don’t read WIRED, and linked it here for you.

The world is crazy!  I don’t understand people who don’t see the need to prep, now more so than ever.  

Have a great week!

Stay Prepped and Aware!
Peace,
Todd

 

 

The Best Deal on Sun Oven Around!!!

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I received special permission from Paul Munsen, over at Sun Oven Intl., to pass a long the link to the free webinar we recorded on July 18, 2017, and also the SPECIAL offer he has extended to Prepper Website readers.

Here is the link and the special offer!

If you have any questions, please let me know.

 

You get a lot of value in this Sun Oven Offer!

A close up! Comes with pots, racks, dehydrating racks, turkey rack, wapi for water pasteurization, CD of recipes with award winning software, bread pans, and a stove and fuel discs for rainy days!

Sun Ovens fold together and have a handle for easy carrying and moving around.

Sun Ovens are built in the USA!!!!

 

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (7/1/17)

Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 6/25/17 – 7/1/17

 

Peace,
Todd

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Your EDC Must Have – A Belt for the End of the World?

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I’m a big guy. I wear out clothes like nobody’s business. One article of clothing that I seem to destroy is belts. Because I’m a big guy and I like wider belts, I tend to purchase a few at a time when I find a good deal. But regardless of the brand, stitching, and price, the end result is usually the same. I destroy the belt sooner than I would like.

This seems to have changed!

I was sent the Indestructibelt to review. I really didn’t have much hope for it. But it is one piece of gear or article of clothing that has really surprised me! In fact, I liked it so much that I purchased a brown belt!

I’ve been wearing the belt now for over nine weeks, usually 6 days a week. I haven’t experienced any breakdown of the belt, stretching or any other wear. The only belt that I can compare it to is a leather belt that I purchased at a gun show a while back. That belt was made to be thick and rigid enough to handle the weight of concealed carry. It cost double the price of the Indestructibelt and I could see wear on it not long after I purchased it.

The Indestructibelt features:

  • 100% made in the USA by US Workers
  • High-strength, high-tech, tested and proven, leather-like textured polymer with an internal integrated nylon webbing with pull test strengths up to 4500 psi
  • Resists water, oil, dirt, chemicals, and harsh outdoor environments
  • Resistance to salt water (sweat) stress cracking
  • Has a lifetime warranty against defects
  • Cleans up with soapy water
  • Solid heavy duty stainless steel buckle
  • Belt is held together with screw fasteners for ultra-strong holding power

Can you conceal carry with it? Yes!  It is rigid enough and will hold up to the weight of your pistol.  This is something that I remember the late Paul Gomez discussing, early in my preparedness, when he talked about it in his EDC video.

To purchase an Indestructibelt, visit — CLICK HERE.

See the PIC Review Below… You can see the value and sturdiness of this belt…

The Indestructibelt comes in a nice belt and packaging.

This is a view of both belts I mentioned above. The Indestructibelt is on the bottom.

This is a close-up view. Notice the wear on the top, more expensive, belt.

This is a close-up of the bottom of the belt. Again, notice the wear.

Both belts, utilize a screw fastener.

This is the Indestructibelt with a brown version sold by Daltech Force, a sister company to Indestructibelt.  It is not made of the same material as the Indestructibelt, but it is just as solid and rigid and at a very fair price!

Purchasing the Indestructibelt is a smart purchase!  You’ll be glad you did!

Peace,
Todd

Stealth Cooking When the SHTF!

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The sun was starting to set and the air became cooler as Nick continued pushing himself forward step by step.  He lost track of the days, but he knew that it had been more than he wanted to count since the grid went down and he was left stranded at the airport 670 miles from home.

He recalled how he was standing at the United Airlines ticket counter to check-in when the lights went out.  Emergency lights kicked on, but the light from the big windows helped tremendously.  At first, the terminal personnel kept people calm, brought out snacks and blankets and assured everyone that the electricity would come back on in the terminal and their flights would resume.

Half-way through the next day, Nick observed the airline and terminal workers talking really fast and acting suspiciously.  Nick walked over to an older terminal employee and asked what was going on.  The employee was staring off into space and Nick had to ask him twice.  “Hey, buddy.  Are you OK?” he asked.

Without looking at him, the employee said, “It’s the apocalypse.  The lights are off everywhere.”

“What do you mean everywhere,” Nick said.

“All over the US,” the employee replied.

“What? How? Is it coming back on?” Nick was starting to get a little frazzled.

The employee finally turned to him, “I don’t know much. One of the guys in the tower has a HAM radio.  He tied it into one of the antennas and is getting reports from all over.  It started on the West Coast and cascaded towards the East really quickly.  Government channels are asking HAM operators to tell people to stay calm,” he said.

“That means that it is bad,” Nick whispered to himself.  “Yeah, real bad,” the employee responded in a similar whisper.

As Nick tried to take in this new information, he noticed that the airline employees started to thin out.  Where once there were many employees trying to meet the needs of passengers, now there were only a few handfuls.  “They know the lights aren’t coming back on and they are leaving to go home,” he thought to himself.  “I need to get home too! I don’t even know how far away from home I am or in which direction I really need to travel.”

He opened up his backpack, removed some business files and grabbed some snacks and water bottles that were still left over from the snacks provided by the terminal.  He turned to the older employee that had provided the information before and asked if he was going to leave the terminal.  “I’m waiting for my grandson to pick me up, if he ever comes,” he said.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed one of the United Airlines ticket counter employees emerge from the backroom with her purse.  He rushed over to her and asked her if she was leaving.  She tried to avoid him, but he was persistent.

“Look, I need to get home to my kids,” she said.  “I understand me too.  Can I get a ride with you as far as you’re going?  I don’t even know where I am,” he said.  “I don’t think so,” the woman responded with a lowered voice.  “Look, I just need a lift as far as you are going.  I won’t be any trouble.  But if you don’t let me go, I’ll make a big scene here,” he replied.  “Fine, come on. But you better not give me any trouble.  I have mace,” she said.

Jennifer didn’t say much in the car.  She looked very worried.

Nick noticed that although the lights were out, people were still driving their vehicles. “I guess people will drive to they run out of gas,” he thought to himself.

Jennifer exited the freeway and stopped at a convenience store.  “Look, I held up my end of the bargain, now please get out without giving me any trouble,” she asked.  Nick grabbed his backpack, looked her in the eye and said, “thank you.”  Jennifer looked back sheepishly and responded, “good luck getting back home.”

From where he stood, Nick could see a truck stop on the other side of the freeway.  He walked over there and noticed a big rig that was idling with the driver deep in thought as he studied a map.

Nick jumped up on the rig and asked the driver where he was going and if he could get a lift.  He didn’t mean to, but when he did that, he scared the driver and made him throw the map in the air. “I apologize for startling you,” Nick said.  “I’m just trying to get home to my family.”

The driver seemed to look him over for a few moments and reasoned that he wasn’t a threat. He then said, “Go ahead and get in.  It will be safer with two of us traveling.  I’m trying to get home to my family too. My name is Ed.  What is your name,” he asked.  “My name is Nick,” he responded.

Nick listened as Ed recounted what he knew from truck drivers sharing information over the CB radio.  Many drivers were abandoning their routes and heading back home.  Not knowing if diesel would be available, they didn’t want to be left stranded somewhere.

Ed decided to take some back roads as a shortcut.  After taking a curve in the road, he was forced to come to an immediate stop as a trailer was blocking the whole road.  “What the heck is this,” Ed asked out loud.  Just then, four individuals came out from the surrounding trees. Two had military looking rifles and two held up pistols.

One of the men with a pistol jumped up on the driver’s side and pointed the pistol at Ed’s head. He said through the window, “We don’t want to hurt you.  We just need your diesel.  We’re trying to get home to our families.”

“We are trying to get to our families too,” Ed responded.  “Why don’t you guys jump in and we can help each other out.”

The man with the pistol became agitated, “I don’t think so.  Get out now or I’ll start shooting.”

Ed looked at Nick.  “I guess we don’t have a choice. Those rifles will go right through this cab,” he said.

Ed opened the door and started getting out.  Nick grabbed his backpack and the map that was on the dashboard while the other man with the pistol opened his door for him.

One man with a pistol held them on the side of the road while the others moved the trailer. They then got in the truck and started down the road.

“I’m sorry about your truck Ed,” said Nick.  “If people are that desperate now, society has the potential for really going downhill fast,” Ed replied.

They started walking.

The next day, Ed complained about not feeling well.  They stopped under the shade of a tree to rest.  Nick gave him a drink from a water bottle that he had in his backpack.  But Ed just threw it up.  A few minutes later he complained about a pain in his left arm.  He started grabbing his chest. He started breathing heavy. He reached out for Nick’s hand and then collapsed.

“Ed! Ed!,” Nick yelled.  Ed was unresponsive.  In fact, it looked like he wasn’t breathing.  Nick took his pulse.  There wasn’t a heartbeat.  Nick laid Ed down flat and started CPR. He continued for what seemed to be an eternity, with no response from Ed’s body. Nick was fatigued.  Very fatigued.

Nick looked around.  What was he going to do with Ed’s body?  He was out in the middle of nowhere.  He hadn’t seen anyone on this back road in a day and he had nothing to dig with.  There weren’t even any rocks that he could pile over his body.

Nick was tired, frustrated, sad and at his wits end.  He wanted to close his eyes and wake up from the nightmare.  He decided to close his eyes for a few minutes.  He woke up hours later. Coming out of his deep sleep, he jumped when he saw Ed’s body laying next to him. In the heat, the body was already showing signs of decomposition.

Nick got up quickly and started walking again.  

That was all days ago.

Now, he was really tired.  His feet ached.  He was thirsty and the hunger pains in his stomach were something he had never experienced.

He was about to stop and rest when the smell of something wonderful reached his nostrils.  “What is that smell,” he thought to himself.  “It smells like a BBQ!” His eyes widened as he started to look around to see if he could pinpoint where the smell was coming from.

Tired, desperate and hungry, Nick was going to eat no matter what or who stood in his way!

Is It Just Fiction?

Forgive me.  I don’t want to be a fear monger.  But I do want to try and portray the human condition when men become desperate and hungry.

One facet of surviving the SHTF is keeping a low profile and maintaining OPSEC, including cooking.  But it’s hard to cook and not give off the aroma of what you’re cooking.

One way around this is to use a solar oven.

There are so many advantages to a solar oven.  Did you know you can’t burn food?  Did you know that you could cook almost anything in a solar oven? Did you know that you could set the solar oven to cook and then leave it, accomplishing other chores and jobs around your home?

And the only disadvantage of the solar oven is that you need the sun!

The solar oven will even work in Winter…as long as you have the sun!

But a solar oven can do so much more!

The good news is that there is some really good education on what solar ovens can do.

I’m proud to partner with Sun Oven to bring an educational class to you free of charge.  In this class you will learn:

  • 13 ways the sun can be used year around to give you the peace of mind of knowing you are better prepared for an emergency.
  • The fundamentals of how to reap the maximum benefit of this amazing free resource.
  • How to use the sun to hard boil freshly laid eggs and make them easy to peel.
  • Why food cooked with the sun does not burn or dry out.
  • Ways to dry herbs that increase the nutrients without breaking down the essential oils and vitamins.
  • Ways to use a SUN OVEN that go way beyond just cooking, like pasteurizing water, dehydrating, and sterilizing potting soil.

Date: Tuesday, July 18th
Time: 7:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time, (8 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. MDT / 5 p.m. PDT
Duration: 60 minutes plus live Q&A
Cost: There is no cost for the class but advance registration is required.

To register for the class – CLICK HERE.

I’ll be in the class too!  I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Peace,
Todd

 

Stealth Cooking When the SHTF!

The sun was starting to set and the air became cooler as Nick continued pushing himself forward step by step.  He lost track of the days, but he knew that it had been more than he wanted to count since the grid went down and he was left stranded at the airport 670 miles from home.

He recalled how he was standing at the United Airlines ticket counter to check-in when the lights went out.  Emergency lights kicked on, but the light from the big windows helped tremendously.  At first, the terminal personnel kept people calm, brought out snacks and blankets and assured everyone that the electricity would come back on in the terminal and their flights would resume.

Half-way through the next day, Nick observed the airline and terminal workers talking really fast and acting suspiciously.  Nick walked over to an older terminal employee and asked what was going on.  The employee was staring off into space and Nick had to ask him twice.  “Hey, buddy.  Are you OK?” he asked.

Without looking at him, the employee said, “It’s the apocalypse.  The lights are off everywhere.”

“What do you mean everywhere,” Nick said.

“All over the US,” the employee replied.

“What? How? Is it coming back on?” Nick was starting to get a little frazzled.

The employee finally turned to him, “I don’t know much. One of the guys in the tower has a HAM radio.  He tied it into one of the antennas and is getting reports from all over.  It started on the West Coast and cascaded towards the East really quickly.  Government channels are asking HAM operators to tell people to stay calm,” he said.

“That means that it is bad,” Nick whispered to himself.  “Yeah, real bad,” the employee responded in a similar whisper.

As Nick tried to take in this new information, he noticed that the airline employees started to thin out.  Where once there were many employees trying to meet the needs of passengers, now there were only a few handfuls.  “They know the lights aren’t coming back on and they are leaving to go home,” he thought to himself.  “I need to get home too! I don’t even know how far away from home I am or in which direction I really need to travel.”

He opened up his backpack, removed some business files and grabbed some snacks and water bottles that were still left over from the snacks provided by the terminal.  He turned to the older employee that had provided the information before and asked if he was going to leave the terminal.  “I’m waiting for my grandson to pick me up, if he ever comes,” he said.

Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed one of the United Airlines ticket counter employees emerge from the backroom with her purse.  He rushed over to her and asked her if she was leaving.  She tried to avoid him, but he was persistent.

“Look, I need to get home to my kids,” she said.  “I understand me too.  Can I get a ride with you as far as you’re going?  I don’t even know where I am,” he said.  “I don’t think so,” the woman responded with a lowered voice.  “Look, I just need a lift as far as you are going.  I won’t be any trouble.  But if you don’t let me go, I’ll make a big scene here,” he replied.  “Fine, come on. But you better not give me any trouble.  I have mace,” she said.

Jennifer didn’t say much in the car.  She looked very worried.

Nick noticed that although the lights were out, people were still driving their vehicles. “I guess people will drive to they run out of gas,” he thought to himself.

Jennifer exited the freeway and stopped at a convenience store.  “Look, I held up my end of the bargain, now please get out without giving me any trouble,” she asked.  Nick grabbed his backpack, looked her in the eye and said, “thank you.”  Jennifer looked back sheepishly and responded, “good luck getting back home.”

From where he stood, Nick could see a truck stop on the other side of the freeway.  He walked over there and noticed a big rig that was idling with the driver deep in thought as he studied a map.

Nick jumped up on the rig and asked the driver where he was going and if he could get a lift.  He didn’t mean to, but when he did that, he scared the driver and made him throw the map in the air. “I apologize for startling you,” Nick said.  “I’m just trying to get home to my family.”

The driver seemed to look him over for a few moments and reasoned that he wasn’t a threat. He then said, “Go ahead and get in.  It will be safer with two of us traveling.  I’m trying to get home to my family too. My name is Ed.  What is your name,” he asked.  “My name is Nick,” he responded.

Nick listened as Ed recounted what he knew from truck drivers sharing information over the CB radio.  Many drivers were abandoning their routes and heading back home.  Not knowing if diesel would be available, they didn’t want to be left stranded somewhere.

Ed decided to take some back roads as a shortcut.  After taking a curve in the road, he was forced to come to an immediate stop as a trailer was blocking the whole road.  “What the heck is this,” Ed asked out loud.  Just then, four individuals came out from the surrounding trees. Two had military looking rifles and two held up pistols.

One of the men with a pistol jumped up on the driver’s side and pointed the pistol at Ed’s head. He said through the window, “We don’t want to hurt you.  We just need your diesel.  We’re trying to get home to our families.”

“We are trying to get to our families too,” Ed responded.  “Why don’t you guys jump in and we can help each other out.”

The man with the pistol became agitated, “I don’t think so.  Get out now or I’ll start shooting.”

Ed looked at Nick.  “I guess we don’t have a choice. Those rifles will go right through this cab,” he said.

Ed opened the door and started getting out.  Nick grabbed his backpack and the map that was on the dashboard while the other man with the pistol opened his door for him.

One man with a pistol held them on the side of the road while the others moved the trailer. They then got in the truck and started down the road.

“I’m sorry about your truck Ed,” said Nick.  “If people are that desperate now, society has the potential for really going downhill fast,” Ed replied.

They started walking.

The next day, Ed complained about not feeling well.  They stopped under the shade of a tree to rest.  Nick gave him a drink from a water bottle that he had in his backpack.  But Ed just threw it up.  A few minutes later he complained about a pain in his left arm.  He started grabbing his chest. He started breathing heavy. He reached out for Nick’s hand and then collapsed.

“Ed! Ed!,” Nick yelled.  Ed was unresponsive.  In fact, it looked like he wasn’t breathing.  Nick took his pulse.  There wasn’t a heartbeat.  Nick laid Ed down flat and started CPR. He continued for what seemed to be an eternity, with no response from Ed’s body. Nick was fatigued.  Very fatigued.

Nick looked around.  What was he going to do with Ed’s body?  He was out in the middle of nowhere.  He hadn’t seen anyone on this back road in a day and he had nothing to dig with.  There weren’t even any rocks that he could pile over his body.

Nick was tired, frustrated, sad and at his wits end.  He wanted to close his eyes and wake up from the nightmare.  He decided to close his eyes for a few minutes.  He woke up hours later. Coming out of his deep sleep, he jumped when he saw Ed’s body laying next to him. In the heat, the body was already showing signs of decomposition.

Nick got up quickly and started walking again.  

That was all days ago.

Now, he was really tired.  His feet ached.  He was thirsty and the hunger pains in his stomach were something he had never experienced.

He was about to stop and rest when the smell of something wonderful reached his nostrils.  “What is that smell,” he thought to himself.  “It smells like a BBQ!” His eyes widened as he started to look around to see if he could pinpoint where the smell was coming from.

Tired, desperate and hungry, Nick was going to eat no matter what or who stood in his way!

Is It Just Fiction?

Forgive me.  I don’t want to be a fear monger.  But I do want to try and portray the human condition when men become desperate and hungry.

One facet of surviving the SHTF is keeping a low profile and maintaining OPSEC, including cooking.  But it’s hard to cook and not give off the aroma of what you’re cooking.

One way around this is to use a solar oven.

There are so many advantages to a solar oven.  Did you know you can’t burn food?  Did you know that you could cook almost anything in a solar oven? Did you know that you could set the solar oven to cook and then leave it, accomplishing other chores and jobs around your home?

And the only disadvantage of the solar oven is that you need the sun!

The solar oven will even work in Winter…as long as you have the sun!

But a solar oven can do so much more!

The good news is that there is some really good education on what solar ovens can do.

I’m proud to partner with Sun Oven to bring an educational class to you free of charge.  In this class you will learn:

  • 13 ways the sun can be used year around to give you the peace of mind of knowing you are better prepared for an emergency.
  • The fundamentals of how to reap the maximum benefit of this amazing free resource.
  • How to use the sun to hard boil freshly laid eggs and make them easy to peel.
  • Why food cooked with the sun does not burn or dry out.
  • Ways to dry herbs that increase the nutrients without breaking down the essential oils and vitamins.
  • Ways to use a SUN OVEN that go way beyond just cooking, like pasteurizing water, dehydrating, and sterilizing potting soil.

Date: Tuesday, July 18th
Time: 7:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time, (8 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. MDT / 5 p.m. PDT
Duration: 60 minutes plus live Q&A
Cost: There is no cost for the class but advance registration is required.

To register for the class – CLICK HERE.

I’ll be in the class too!  I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Peace,
Todd

 

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (6/18/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 6/18/17 – 6/24/17

Peace,
Todd

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The Wild Plum – The Wild Edible You Want to Know When the SHTF!

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This is a guest post.

One staple wild edible every smart prepper should be privy to

Two hundred!

That’s the response if the question is “What % RDA of Vitamin A is in a handful of wild plums?”

(*RDA – Recommended Daily Allowance, handful – approximately 7 oz, used for the purposes of this article)

If that fact alone doesn’t dilate your pupils and keep you engaged to learn more about the widely overseen abundance of wild bumper crops that’s all around us, I don’t know what would.

Today, we take a look at one specific Nature’s gift – wild plums (Prunus Americana)

Sure, wild plums are not as sexy to talk about as that new gaudy “Zombie Killer” throwing ax that comes in 15 colors, I’ll give you that.

But this is the point that separates men from the boys, a smart prepper clear on his priorities sincerely looking to prepare for whatever the future holds and a tire-kicking “prepper” (with air quotes) who’s all about being cool.

Now that we got that out of the way (and probably offended a few people in the process) let’s get down to business.

Am I cherry-picking (pun intended) pieces of information for effect?

I’ve heard this one before when I talk about wild edibles…comments like, “Sure, but you can find that kind of sensationalistic bit of info and run with it to get people’s attention…”

So let’s see if I’m doing it here.

Head to head – wild plum vs. a “superfood”

Just for reference, let’s compare the wild plums to the wildly praised “superfood” – broccoli. BTW, I hate the term “superfood.” It means nothing and just leaves you guessing what’s in it that’s so super.

Let us see how the “superfood” fares against the simple wild plum in some of the most essential nutrients.

We’ve put together the tables below to compare the nutrients in 7 oz. of wild plums and the same amount of raw broccoli.

The numbers are based on the needs of 200-pound, 40-year-old, moderately active man. 

  • Naturally, broccoli doesn’t even come close in terms of energy it provides (67 kCal vs. 180 kCal), but that’s beside the point since we know it’s not a calorie-dense food.
  • Potassium to Sodium ratio – an average adult needs about 3500-4000 mg of Potassium per day – a handful of wild plums provides about 1/5th of that. The same amount of broccoli gives you about 10 % less.

Again, that’s not the main forte of wild plums if we’re talking potassium – it’s the Potassium to Sodium ratio.

In wild plums, the ratio is approximately 100 to 1 (milligrams) while the ratio in broccoli is 10:1.

We’re not making the case here that you can overdose on Sodium by eating broccoli – the point is that the ratio in wild plums is at the “sweet spot”, and you don’t have to worry about sodium – it’s as simple as that.

  • Vitamin C – a handful of wild plums gives you about 1/4th of the Vitamin C you need per day. As you can see in the table – it’s the only nutrient where broccoli significantly bests wild plums by giving you 200 % of what you need.

Two thinking points

  1. Think about where you’d find broccoli in a survival situation
  2. Less importantly, but still food for thought – think about how much 7 oz of broccoli is in terms of volume. It takes a plate to get that much of broccoli. With wild plums, it takes about 10 seconds to pick a handful and about 30 seconds to eat it.

 

  • Vitamin A – almost 6 times more Vitamin A in 7 oz. of wild plums than in broccoli. To make my point here – I’d ask you to Google “foods rich in Vitamin A”. I’d bet you a nice red zombie-skull-splitting ax that almost every site you look at will list broccoli among the TOP 10 sources of the vitamin. Take a moment to let that thought sink in.

Why is this important?

Unless you stumble upon a field of pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and carrots or a tree that grows eggs and whole milk, sources of Vitamin A in a survival situation would be scarce.

Wild plums are among the few naturally-occurring foods that are this is rich in a vitamin that’s crucial for all of the below:

  1. Eyesight – It’s a precursor for Retinal, Retinol and Retinoic acid – all paramount for your eyes (precursor means that your body “takes” the vitamin and makes the chemicals it needs to feed the eyes).
  2. The immune system – necessary for white cell activation to fight off infections
  3. Red blood cell production – it’s the vitamin that allows iron to be built into hemoglobin. To put it simply – it facilitates oxygen to be carried around your body.
  4. Sleep – getting proper sleep is not just about getting the hours, it’s about balanced sleep phases and optimal Circadian Rhythm (the 24-cycle of our body).

 

The body of evidence about just how important Vitamin A is for proper sleep has been growing ever since the 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

You don’t need to know the scientific nitty-gritty

If you are bored reading about the chemical mumbo-jumbo, let me tell you, it’s not a fizz writing about it either.

The takeaway from we said above shouldn’t be numbers – it should be the simple idea about the abundant Nature’s gift that is the Wild Plum.

Enough with the broccoli – we get it!

I know, I know…I probably overdid it with the broccoli thing – it was just to make a few points.

Now that we have the basics down let’s move and bite into the “meat” of this article – the actionable part – where the plum grows, how to spot it and discern it from toxic shrubs and whether it can be bad for you.

Where it grows

This is the part where we’ll lose some of you since, as the natural distribution map below shows, Prunus Americana don’t grow throughout the US.

 

Its natural habitat ranges from North Dakota and parts of Minnesota in the North down to parts of Alabama and Georgia in the South, and from parts of South Dakota, Nebraska Kansas and Oklahoma in the West to Virginia and Carolinas in the East.

Not as common as in the states above, it’s also “sprinkled” in some areas of Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and even New Mexico (see the map below).

How the tree looks

The wild plum grows like a small tree or a high-shrub, and it reaches up to 15 feet in height. The crown of the tree is broad with thorny branches and rich white flowers when blooming.

It blooms in mid-spring and its growth is most active and fruitful in the late spring and through the summer.

14346833 – fruit garden concept. freshly harvested wild plum on old wooden background

 

All the blooming trees 

What the fruit looks like
We won’t be getting in all the species and sub-species here – they all belong to the same family and have similar nutritional value.  A ripe wild plum is about the size of a cherry, and the color can be anywhere from the bright yellow to dark purple.

One of the “features” that stands out is the waxy coating of dust-like yeast that covers the fruit. The white coating is similar to that of a domestic plum, and it serves a very specific purpose – it’s a protective layer of natural wax. It keeps the moisture in and protects the fruit from drying out.

When broken, the tough skin has what can be described as a crispy texture.

The taste

If you’ve ever tasted a wild plum, you’re not likely to mistake it for anything else.

The taste is distinctively tart and mouth-puckering, especially if it’s not fully ripe. As it ripens, it becomes sweeter and not as tart.

The Plum-Bum

If I say that there’s a term “plum-bum”, you can probably anticipate what risks are involved with eating too much of it.

How much it too much?

It depends on your digestive system. What I did to come to my “plum-bum-red-line” is gather some and test my stomach in the safety of my home.

In my case, the red-line is about 15 ounces…anything more than that in one sitting is too much for my bowels.

Can it be toxic?

Wild plums are not toxic for people.

Whether it’s relevant to the reader I can’t know but me mentioned it just as well – while the dried or fresh leaves are not toxic, DRYING leaves are, especially for small animals.

When I say “drying”, I’m referring to the leaves of a branch that’s been broken off and is parching.

Always give back

If you do get to a nice ripe bundle of wild plums before a murder of crow does, return the Nature’s favor by throwing the kernels around as you go. Out of the 10 you throw, one will take.

Little things like this do make a difference in the big picture.

This was the first part of the series of article about the wild bumper crops you should know about – in the next chapter we’ll like into the more exotic and, perhaps, more surprising “friend” we have out there – a Nature’s version of a multi-practice – the Cattail.

Until then, stay safe and smart

James G.M.

 

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Houston Prepper Meetup

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I’ve been talking about this on the podcast.  I’m trying to get a small meetup together for Preppers in the Houston area.  I’m looking at the dates – Thursday, July 6 or Thursday, July 13, around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m.

If you are interested, send me an email – todd.sepulveda [at] prepperwebsite [dot] com.

Looking forward to it!

Peace,
Todd

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Are You Training? A Firearm Training Option!

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I have linked to many firearm articles on Prepper Website throughout the years.  Almost every article suggests getting some training to effectively use your firearm.  There are all types of training out there from shooting paper targets at the range to spending a whole weekend with a group going through real “live fire” tactical training.  

The issue for many is that the more you move away from target practice, the more expensive it gets.  Ammo, traveling, lodging, etc.. costs $.  One option and experience was recently shared with me by Jesse.  Read his experience and thoughts below.  


I have something I want to share with you that my wife surprised me with this weekend. My wife took me to a virtual shooting range. You use real guns, a full sized Glock and a standard run of the mill AR15. They have been converted over to run on CO2 so it could cycle the bolt for a feeling of recoil. The screen was similar to a golf simulator. You pointed the gun at the screen and shot then you could see your point of impact. Starting out we did some gimmicky things like shooting fun targets and zombies for the 1st half hour but it took a serious turn for the 2nd half hour. We started the police simulator where you were the 1st responder in an active killer situation at a school, an office, and store. There were some CCW type situations as well. They made you react to the situation as it unfolded in front of you and you had to deliver accurate shots to stop the threat in real time.

If you treat this like a training session and reflect on your decisions and shot placement and how your grip and all that lined up with what you believe your skill level is. It was a reality check but also confirmed that some of my techniques were good. All In all,  for 50 bucks for my wife and I for a 1-hour session… well worth it. We are going back for sure. Hope you can find something like this near you and maybe you can share this with our community.

The place we visited is Virtual Marksman in North Canton, OH.

I remembered I watched this video a while ago and I found it again. This is almost the exact thing we did. Our guns were a little different. We didn’t have the round count stopper we just ran the guns till they were out of CO2.  The computer program in the video is the same one I used and I did see a scenario that I actually did. There over 400 different scenarios you can do where you could be in a shoot or a non-shoot. Aaron Cowan explains it far better than I could.

 

 

Thanks for your time and God bless.

-Jesse


If you are interested in looking into TI Virtual Training, click this link and add your city to the Google Search to see if you have one close to you.

Peace,
Todd

Check out these articles:

 

 

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (6/3/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 5/28/17 – 6/3/17

Peace,
Todd

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Your Food Storage Might Not Last 25 Years! Extending Food Storage Life in Hot Climates!

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This is a guest post by Janet M.

Everyone who buys emergency food would like to think that it would last “up to 25 years,” as it says on the side of the can. As we all know, “up to” can technically mean anytime from the moment the product is bought to, well, 25 years.

In the last few years, a number of articles have been published that have questioned the probability that food would actually stay viable and nutritious for 25 years, or 30, as some claim. Recently we’ve finally seen some packaging labels change from “up to 25 years” to “up to 25 years if stored between 50 and 70 degrees” or “if stored under ideal conditions,” whatever that means. The addition of such a phrase injects a higher degree of honesty into the food-storage picture.

Emergency Essentials used to include in its sales catalog a helpful chart that shows how long stored food would last at different temperatures. The chart showed that if food is stored in the summer in a garage in a place like Phoenix where I live, I should just walk over to the trash bin, dump the food, and wheel the bin out to the sidewalk on trash pick-up day. At such high temperatures, the shelf life of stored food is months, not years.

When stored food is kept at high temperatures, the food is damaged. Proteins break down, and some vitamins are destroyed. Color, flavor, and odor of some foods may also be affected. Therefore, food should NEVER be stored in a garage or attic in hot weather.

So, where should we keep food in hot climates? If no underground bunker is available, which is the case for most of us, inside the house is the only answer. But, are there places in the house that are better than others? If I store my food in a closet, is it safe? Is there anything I can do to ensure that the food is kept in the coolest conditions possible?

Summer electric bills in Phoenix and other places like Las Vegas, Bakersfield, El Paso, and Tucson can be nauseating. Setting the thermostat is a matter of personal choice. If you can afford to run your air conditioning at 68 degrees, that would really help to extend the life of stored food. If you can’t afford that and don’t want to replace your AC compressor every few years, even a few degrees below the usual setting to which you’ve been accustomed would be helpful. It’s a personal decision. Do I protect my stored food, worth perhaps thousands of dollars, and thereby extending its viability, or do I lower my electric bills and extend the life of the compressor? It’s a tough choice, either of which will cost money.

IDEAS TO LOWER FOOD STORAGE AREA TEMPS

There are a couple of things that will help to lower the temperature of food-storage areas by a few to several degrees. First, in the summertime, keep the closet doors open a few inches where food is stored. That will allow the refrigerated air to reach the interior of the closets. Keeping the doors closed, while it looks neater, blocks off a closet from the cooler air. Conversely, in the wintertime, keep the closet doors closed to block the heated air from reaching the interior of the closet. I was quite surprised to open one of my food storage closets last winter to find how much cooler it was inside. Every few degrees make a difference.

Second, be mindful of how high up in closets or on shelving units you place stored food. Everyone who was paying attention in 5th grade Science class knows that heat rises. Climb up on a tall ladder in the summer inside your house, stick your arm up as high as you can, and see how hot it is up there. I was painting my family room one summer and climbed the ladder to paint the tallest wall in my house, which has a 12-foot vaulted ceiling. It was unpleasantly and surprisingly hot up there. Store food in the lowest parts of your house. The floors of closets and under beds are cooler places than the top shelves of closets or shelving units. Put the toilet paper and extra camping equipment on the top shelves, and bring the food down. Toilet paper doesn’t mind being warm; dehydrated chicken does. Better yet, put the toilet paper in the garage, and save your indoor shelf space for food.

Adjusting the temperature just a few degrees, whether by lowering the thermostat, opening or closing closet doors, or preferential shelf placement, will undoubtedly help to prolong the life of your expensive stored food. Then, maybe we’ll be closer to that 25-year-shelf-life ideal.

Analysis: What Civil War 2.0 Looks Like

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This article was reprinted with permission from Drew Pooters.

When you have to look at what is the most reasonable to happen, you have to face it – you cannot run from it.

In starting this simulation, I had to take a number of factors involved:
  • Population of cities right up to states.
  • Percentage of Red versus Blue from local to state (the voting tabulations of 2016 were an invaluable resource).
  • Which areas have higher crime rates versus those who do not.
  • Which areas have stricter gun laws versus areas that do not.
  • Which areas have the most drug trafficking/crime.
  • Which areas have the most to the least educated people (sites that highlight school districts for people moving there were an invaluable resource) .
  • Availability of police forces.
  • Military dispositions of both active duty and Guard/Reserve forces.
  • Where what bases have in terms of equipment and their locations (this plays into the political climate of the area as well).
  • The political groups involved and their goals, numerical strengths, organization strengths and weaknesses.
  • And finally (but not all) worldwide situations from adjacent borders to where the American presence is military and political.

Yes, this took time. LOTS of time – but a few months ago, when I was watching Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” – a number of elements struck me as being prevalent here today, in both quote and action. Hence this thought to see how it would potentially play out today.

The short version? It’ll be a helluva mess; it’ll make World War Two look like a barn dance.

The first actions, just like in the case of South Carolina, will be in California. In any search to find the people who want war the most, look for the place with the most nuts who would commit it, and view it a second “American Revolution” – albeit a Marxist one. Funny how the Southern slave owners wanted domination over others, just like these modern slave owners do and it’s an idea whose time needs to end, especially here. Just like in 1860, these folks love to silence, intimidate, assault, and if need be, murder to assert control over others. Representatives in Congress were physically attacked then and have been now. They blame the election of the president for it, like they did Lincoln, but just as Lincoln made it clear, so long as the Union stayed together, he would keep slavery (as he told Horace Greely) if need be. Here it’s almost the same thing: here Trump wants economic freedom for all, so that “all boats rise with a high tide” versus those who would use taxation and Marxist centralized control to both indoctrinate and keep a firm grip on people. Unless met with force, such an evil will not stop – evil never does until good finally has to use the same methods (war) to stop evil.

In my simulations of the forces involved in a Second American Civil War, most of the liberal cities would be blockaded and cut off from supply, turning them into “Little Beirut” all over, with factions fighting for what is left until there is nothing left. Most of the military would side with the President, and most of the “Deep State” would go into hiding rather quickly. The left will let loose their refugees and their minions to do mischief, but it won’t last long as regular civilians formed into militias and would reduce the impact of those rogue groups. Millennials from both red and blue would be fighting each other, and the 17 million vets would be quickly training average citizens who realize that their life is on the line into combat trained members. Of course, Mexico and the U.N. will try to take advantage of this situation, but the pent up anger at both by average Americans will eventually be their undoing; families will have great rifts, just as the first one, but unlike the those that hold fast to the traditional values, the liberal ones will for the most part, have no stomach for a fight – but I do expect some massacres of them as the fields of battle progress, just as they would commit cowardly ones of our own people (when the Waffen SS murdered unarmed prisoners during the Battle of the Bulge, our own troops made sure that those SS they captured did not live very long. I see that same thing happening here) – I’ll write more as it develops, but you can bet the death toll will be in the millions. When it was suggested that it was dumb to look into the effects of an internal Second Civil War, I felt the need to point out something that make some people uncomfortable, but as young Ben Shapiro has said, “facts don’t care about your feelings”: “While it may be “dumb” it is still a serious possibility, being pushed by both the left and the media. It’s time they know what they are asking for in whole. They only see their own myoptic hate, nothing more, like Southern “fire eaters” and Northern “radical abolitionists” did in 1860. The first thing is that everyone must accept that we are not immune from history repeating itself, and take it from there, which I have done. My simulation was based upon populations, military and National Guard allocations, “who has how many and of what”, trade and traffic routes, and places where particular groups operate. The military does the same simulations (of which the software is out there, by the way) to determine where one has weakness and one has strength, and overall outcomes that have a high probability of happening. You know, in the first part of the Civil War, they force retired General Sherman for insanity when he said it was going to be a long, drawn out, costly war of attrition taking years; events proved him right and the once-optimistic Federals brought him back. The very same elements then are present now, and should not be ignored for their impact.”

Did I take into account, for my simulations that a third actor would to take advantage of the situation of a second civil war? Yes. As it stood, with America effectively paralyzed and Balknanized, China would move against Taiwan, North Korea would move against South Korea, and depending upon how long it lasts, both would move against Japan. Over here we would see a mass migration from Mexico stretching from El Paso to San Diego (and maybe even more) the Antifa groups were wiped out by the La Raza groups with support from the Mexican cartels and military. It later ended up in serious house to house fighting. like Aleppo in Syria. Upon the Canadian border, it would be packed with liberal/socialistic refugees ejected from their enclaves (IF they survived the gang warfare and groups that demanded “compensation” for past ills that did not exist) and fairly well starved, as their inner city food supplies had been shut down for a time – resulting the Canadian government closing its borders to stop the flood – but unable to do so. Cuba would have its eye on Florida, but the Conservative alliance and the anti-Castro forces would keep them from making any successful landing, but they would take Puerto Rico.

Judson Phillips has some insights, like most people who delve into history, as to where things stand:

Since the election of 2016, the left has gone crazy. Their version of the tea party is called Resistance, and the spearhead of that is a loosely formed terrorist group called Antifa. Antifa is short for Anti-Fascist. The irony of their name is not lost on those who actually know history, as their tactics are straight from the fascist playbook. In the past few months, these groups have repeatedly disrupted peaceful pro-Trump rallies. They have called for and used violence against people who support the president or disagree with them and even against members of the media who will report things Antifa doesn’t want reported.

Just a few days ago, a woman associated with Antifa attacked a police horse, using a flagpole with nails extending from it. At the same incident in Pennsylvania, other Antifa terrorists had sharpened bamboo poles and baseball bats. Conservatives and those perceived to be conservatives have been attacked. The weapons have included glitter-filled gel, urine bombs, chains, bicycle locks and baseball bats. As their violence becomes more intense, it is now only a question of when, not if, someone will be killed.

Violence is not limited to pro-Trump rallies. The same Antifa group has made college campuses virtually no-go zones for conservatives. Noted conservatives such as Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro cannot go onto many college campuses to speak without having their events disrupted to the point where they cannot go on. If this violence continues, the choices are not good. The left-wing academic establishment has quickly surrendered to these groups. They are allowed to riot on campus and even given relief from homework and exams so they can riot. Is there a solution short of a real, violent civil war in America?

California and Hawaii have recently announced that they would sign agreements with other nations so they could join the Paris climate change accord. Liberal states have this amazing ability to find things in the U.S. Constitution that people haven’t been able to find for over 200 years, but they ignore the plain language of the document that organizes the United States of America. At this point, is there any way that America can hold together as a single, united country?

When states are wanting to sign their own treaties with other nations and when one-half of the political spectrum in this nation wants to strip the other half of its rights and engage in violence against them, survival seems improbable. After Donald Trump was elected as president, the hashtag #Calexit started trending on social media. Members of the radical left pushed the idea of California leaving the United States. That idea was tried once before with less-than-great results, but maybe it is time for a peaceful solution that would allow California to leave the Union. There was a time when Americans, despite their differences, clearly identified as Americans above all else. That time has now passed.”

It’s an ugly truth we must now face and embrace – we have no choice, or were as bad as those liberals out there whose world is not based upon reality. Also, let us look at the bigger picture that will emerge as the United States become dissolved and are in conflict with each other:

1. There are always power plays exercised by the lesser nations who have been held in check by the major powers… Once the major powers are fully occupied, and then those minor ones will create their own invasion of whatever neighboring territories they can grab and hold.

2. The hard truth is that the Left doesn’t believe in the Founding tenets of this nation. They believe in Marxist tenets and will use ‘any means necessary’ to replace the Constitution as we know it. The ideologies are irreconcilable. The time has now passed for them to achieve their aims by peaceful means and they know it. Their anger and hate spurs In-your-face sedition, intimidation and incitement to violence on a daily basis. Traditional America will never knuckle under to Leftist tactics. And, so the battle is joined. It’s been a long time in making and from the early going it looks like it’s going to be one hell of a fight.

3. As far as Europe, our withdrawal of forces allowed the “migrant invasion” to turn into a full-fledged jihad; a badly run NATO would be hard pressed to be dropping bombs on itself. Turkey would move against Greece, and most of central Europe went Muslim via North Africa – elements (Christian, and any others who survived the onslaught) forced out moved East to Poland and Hungary, where they were aligned with the Russians for defense. Ukraine will become part of Russia yet again, as the U.S. supported government loses that support.

4. With our not being focused on the Middle East, Russia would take advantage of the power vacuum and take, by force, the Ukraine, solidify Syria by rather ruthless scorched earth policies, and Israel would align itself with Russia to keep the radical groups at bay (let’s face it, both hate the Muslims), and Saudi Arabia and Iran would go at each other, potentially with nuclear weapons. With both superpowers preoccupied with their own issues, it had a 77.9% chance of happening.

5. What about heavy military equipment? I took that into account – how much would be taken by the liberals and liberal military types, and it would be damn little. Anything left would be sabotaged or destroyed. Infrastructures destroyed by retreating or advancing forces would have a hard time being repaired, but Mike Rowe gives us a hint as to who would have the upper hand: the people who would repair the infrastructure to keep us in power and gas would be the ones who have trades and don’t burn American flags. With power outages all over, the liberals would have a hard time pumping gas, wouldn’t they? I take everyone’s own agenda into account, and the human nature to take advantage of a situation to get some benefits for themselves. That’s why the variables take hours to calculate. But so long as there might be truth to it, it must be reckoned with.

6. The urban areas that depend on rural areas would be the first to succumb. The chaos in densely populated areas will witness massive carnage and destruction. Food will be in short supply very quickly; there would also be extreme denial in many folks – just as the speed in which the improbable became the concrete existence in 1861, it’ll happen just as fast. But given how many conservatives realize the danger, the denial would be more on the liberal side, which denies reality in its total existence. In short, without the internet, snapchat, or Google – they will not meld into a coherent force very quickly. But how many can actively mobilize as a “force majure” … we will have NO communications, no network as they would be under attack. People who look to police forces are in for a rude awakening: by that time, most police would be looking out for themselves in such a crisis, and many of us do note that our forefathers did not have even the slightest of our organization – we would improvise, adapt and overcome, as most of the ex-military would be running the show; Seventeen million vets is a hard number to ignore, if the VA wasn’t so hell bent on killing all of them.

7. Most of the conservative thinking people would rally in various places, establish security and martial law rather quickly, and no doubt eliminate the criminal element that has been enabled for many years; the other side would recruit them.

8. The Eastern Seaboard will see the heaviest action right off the bat; with enclaves from Virginia on up, the southern states, fed up with the North, shall indeed rise yet again. New York is really very red outside of NYC – but that can be blockaded until it is starved into submission rather easily. Maryland and Delaware will see mass riots, and “ethnic cleansing” on a large scale until forces roll in and restore order, no doubt with martial law and many a quick summary execution of riot leaders.

9. The Western seaboard will be a long haul, as most of it does have ports for resupply and food production; with Oregon and Washington States the most vulnerable, a direct move through Washington to make a flanking attack on California will ensue and push down until it hits the northern part of California, where it is more conservative than liberal. Watch as the state gets split into two, like West Virginia was during the Civil war.

10. The Southwest will take the longest to reclaim; that’s just based upon numbers, and the fact that we are not willing to use nukes on our own soil in that regard. Swift armor tactics will help in some cases, like the breakout in Operation Cobra, but we don’t have really too many Patton’s out there.

11. Oh, and troubles from any ethnic groups that want to establish dominance over others will be dispatched over a one year period of time. They may cause as much as 3 to 1 casualty rates at first, but in the end, camps will be used to contain them and then deport them.

12. The time elapsed for this whole thing: five years, 3-9 months. However, in the end, we would be back to where George Washington wanted us to be in the first place – out of foreign affairs, tending home and binding the wounds, no doubt adding to the Constitution those things that people have wanted: no income tax, term limits, strengthening of the Second Amendment, and no doubt those items which enables the left to buy votes in the first place. Of course, many will refuse to sign an oath to pledge loyalty to the United States, unlike their Confederate ancestors, and will no doubt have to be deported if not jailed for expressing violent intents.

But as with all things, truth via facts and freedom will eventually reign – it’s a hallmark of history.

Todd adds: As you consider the above analysis, what would it mean for you?  Are you stuck in one of these “liberal” cities?  If you make it out, could you garden and raise your own food?  Can you defend yourself? Do you have the skills you might need?  Are you prepared?

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (5/26/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 5/20/17 – 5/26/17

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (5/26/17)

Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 5/20/17 – 5/26/17

Peace,
Todd

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The Prepper Schema: Getting the Knowledge You Need to Prep

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Sam was looking forward to the evening.  Earlier he had spent time cleaning up the backyard and setting out the new fire pit.  His friends were coming over to sit around the new fire pit, share some adult beverages and reminisce about old times.  Sam even had all the ingredients to make smores if the evening permitted.

John and Pam arrived just in time and everyone went out back, coolers in tow, to sit around the fire and enjoy the cool crisp evening. Karen, Sam’s wife, shared her excitement about having a fire pit that they could sit around on evenings like this.

The nice stack of wood sitting close to the fire pit ensured that they could keep the fire going well into the evening.  Sam arranged the big pieces of wood, placed a firelog in the middle and lit both ends.

Sam’s excitement quickly eased as he realized the firelog wasn’t going to catch the bigger logs on fire.  John, being the nice, quiet friend, just stood back to see what would happen.

“This firelog is a dud,” exclaimed Sam.  “I can’t believe this!  I don’t have any gas or charcoal starter to get these big logs started,” he said.

Noticing his friend’s frustration, John spoke up.  “You need to start your fire off with smaller pieces,” he said.  “Big logs will sustain the fire for a long time, but you need smaller pieces to get it started. Do you have a knife or a small ax,” he added.

Sam retrieved a hatchet from the garage.  “This used to be my dad’s.  I’ve never used before” he mentioned.

John took the hatchet and felt the edge.  “It will do for tonight.  But you’ll have to sharpen it,” he mentioned.

John took the hatchet and stood a small log on its end.  He placed the hatchet on the top end and then used another log to hit the hatchet. The hatchet started to split the bigger log into two pieces.  John repeated this over and over until he had various sized pieces.

John gathered the pieces together in different sized stacks.  He had a stack of pieces the thickness of toothpicks, the thickness of pencils and the thickness of his thumb.  He also had a few bigger pieces than that, but these were starting to resemble big pieces of wood, Sam thought to himself.

John asked Sam if he had a cotton ball and some Petroleum Jelly. Sam hurried into the house and came back with a package of cotton balls and a big tub of Petroleum Jelly.  “Smear some Petroleum Jelly all over a cotton ball really good John,” Sam said.  John complied.

Sam laid down two big logs in the center of the fire pit.  He placed the cotton ball on top, in the center.  He then started stacking the stacks of wood on top of the cotton ball from the smallest thickness to the biggest.  He left a small opening where a match could get in. Sam realized he was making a teepee type structure with the wood.  After laying some bigger pieces onto the teepee, John asked Sam to light the cotton ball with a match.

Sam struck a match and ignited the cotton ball.  The cotton ball caught the smaller pieces of wood on fire, which caught the bigger pieces of wood and in no time, the fire pit was roaring!

“Where did you learn to build a fire like that,” asked Sam.  “My grandfather used to take me camping when I was younger.  We used to build fires like that all the time,” John responded.

“I guess you’re never too old to learn new tricks, especially how to make fire,” Sam said.  “Yeah, no more wasting money on those firelogs for you,” John laughed.

Knowledge is Important!

Although many of you reading this article know the process described above in making a fire, you can bet that something like this scenario gets played out often.  Many people out there just don’t know how to build something as simple as a fire.

But in all fairness to the “Sam’s” out there, everyone needs to learn at some time.  Whether that is when you’re young with a parent on a camping trip or older trying to get your first fire pit fire going, the basics of fire craft need to be learned.

And that’s the way it is with everything in preparedness!  We all need to start somewhere!  We all need to have a basic understanding of the theory, concepts, and basics of preparedness. This is why learning and obtaining knowledge is so important.

Build On What You Know

For example, there is a reason you don’t start off doing Calculus in elementary school. Elementary school is the place where students learn the basics.  They start building their schema (knowledge).  They work on math skills all the way through their education, adding to their schema in elementary and middle school.  Their prep time in learning the basics of Math gets them ready to finally take Calculus sometime in high school.

If you don’t have a basis of understanding of preparedness, it’s harder to make the jumps in realizing what you really need and how you need to prepare to be there for yourself and your family.  Without some knowledge, you will make mistakes, waste time and money getting prepared.

Although many in the preparedness community will warn you about sitting in front of the computer all day vegging out on preparedness and survival information, there are some steps you can take to obtain the knowledge you need.

Three Awesome Ways to Gain Preparedness Knowledge

Save Stuff from the Internet – In the article, Your ePreparedness Binder – Saving Stuff from the Internet for SHTF, I share how to save PDF’s and videos to a flash drive or external hard drive. There is so much information out there!  As you visit websites and Youtube, what if you created a bank of preparedness materials that you could access at any time, even if the internet goes down.  How valuable would PDF’s and videos be in that case?

Include ebooks in your  Digital Library – Preparedness authors write some great stuff! Prepper Fiction is something that most are familiar with.  But there are many preparedness authors writing very helpful books on preparedness in a multitude of categories.  One way to obtain many ebooks for a great price is to take advantage of the Prepper Bundle when it goes on sale.  Currently, you can get 27 ebooks and 3 e-courses from preparedness authors from around the internet.  It is a $300 value for only $29.97.  But it only comes out twice a year for a limited time.  You have to purchase it while it is out.  The current Prepper Bundle is available until Monday, June 12, 2017.

Download Free Content – There are many “out of print” books that have been made available digitally.  There are also websites that have a TON of materials already curated for you.  One such website is Pole Shift.  It has over 14 gigs of materials.  Another website where you can download materials is Preppers Info. AND, if you’re looking for some old Boy Scout Handbooks, check these out!

The Warning

Now the warning…  Get knowledge, learn, grow…  But don’t neglect to practice the skills!  We prepare because of an uncertain future.  When that uncertain future happens, we need to be ready to act!  It definitely won’t be the time to stop and consult PDF’s, videos and ebooks!

Set a plan to learn and practice one new skill a month.  For example, one month, work on various ways to start a fire.  You might use something like the cotton ball and Petroleum Jelly, but you might try to do it with just what you find in nature.  Then, go on from there.  Learn multiple ways to purify and filter water.  Then practice canning.  Then… You can always take a few hours on the weekend to increase your skill level in preparedness!

Do you know of any great resources to share to build knowledge and skills?  Share them below in the comments.

Peace,
Todd

Your Own Prepper Website! 8 Ways You Can Make Your Mark in the Preparedness Community!

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Starting Prepper Website was one of the best decisions I  ever made.  I saw a need in the Preparedness Community and I acted to do something about it. Prepper Website has been a real blessing to me and my family in so many ways.  I am truly grateful for everyone who has supported Prepper Website and my other sites throughout the years.

Like I’ve said before since I scan hundreds of articles a day to find the best to post on Prepper Website, I’ve noticed many great websites come and go.  The sad thing is all their great content seems to disappear off the internet.  I recently wrote an article, Do Dead Preppers Tell Tales, to address how someone who is interested in finding an article from the TAG Cloud that “seems” to not be there, can find it.  But, that requires a link.  There are so many articles out there that go to Prepper Heaven because no one has their links.

The fact is that new preparedness websites need to come in and take their place.  This opens up a great opportunity for those who want to start their own Prepper Website!  I want to share some of these great benefits with you in this article!

REASONS TO START YOUR OWN PREPPER WEBSITE

You Learn More When You Teach (write) – When someone “wakes up” and realizes how fragile our world is, they start to learn as much as they can to prepare for an uncertain future.  There is a lot of content out there to learn, but nothing will ever take the place of someone able to learn a skill and then teach it.  In fact, this is a teaching strategy that good teachers employ.  They know if their students can learn something, and then teach it to someone else, that they will really learn and own that content.  When you research, experiment, and write your own articles, you tend to learn that content or skill better than just reading it on a blog somewhere.

You Build A Tribe – As you build your audience, you’ll also build a tribe or followers who will stay with you.  Preparedness can sometimes be a lonely endeavor.  In a recent Prepper Website poll, 47 percent said that when it comes to their preparedness, “It’s just me and my immediate family – spouse, kids.”

Preppers are always looking for ways to connect.  Some of the preparedness sites out there really take the time to engage with their readers through the comment section.  Sites like The Survivalist Blog, Ask A Prepper and American Preppers Online have a great following.  Having a tribe helps others not feel so isolated as they prep for the future.

You Can Earn Money – Now I want to be careful here.  Having a website doesn’t mean you automatically start earning money.  You need to build readership.  And as your website becomes more popular, you will be able to make money in affiliate sales and advertisements.

Affiliates – An affiliate is a group or organization you partner with to sell a product or products.  As you do, you earn a percentage of everything that is sold.  The best affiliate, in my opinion, is Amazon.  When someone reads an article that has a product from  Amazon linked to it, then they go to  Amazon and purchase it, you get a small percentage.  It doesn’t cost the reader anymore.  The percentage that you receive is already averaged into the price of the product. The beauty of it is that if someone goes to Amazon off of your affiliate link, but purchases another item, you still get credit for that purchase. NOTE: A word of caution.  You don’t want to fill up your articles with affiliate links.  In fact, I often skip over articles that look like all they have done is insert affiliate links on every line.  You don’t want to have one big linkfest article.

Advertisements – You can also earn money when someone with a business or product approaches you to place their ad on your site, or you approach them to get their advertisements on your site.  In order to have this, you have to have a website that is bringing in traffic.  Advertisement money is something that can be a consistent monthly income for you.

STARTING YOUR OWN PREPAREDNESS WEBSITE

Get a Domain Name and Hosting – There are some free options for hosting, but if you’re going to be serious about this, you need to have your own domain name and hosting. Take some time to think about your name.  You’ll want to make sure that you can get your domain name and the same or very similar name on social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The hosting company that you go with is important.  When I started out, I chose GoDaddy because they were a big company and they had very good prices.  But, you get what you pay for.  GoDaddy’s support sucks and they rarely admit they have done anything wrong.  I recently switched Ed that Matters over to EMWD (affiliate link).  This hosting provider starts you off with a free domain name and hosting for a little more than $100/year.  There are some big advantages here.  First, the support is great.  They answer support tickets pretty quickly.  But more importantly, they offer free SSL certificates on all their hosting.  That means that your address will be HTTPS instead of just HTTP.  HTTPS is more secure (notice the green SECURE lock at the left of the address bar).  Google has said that they are going to start penalizing sites that don’t have the HTTPS in their search rankings.  Like I said, I moved Ed that Matters about two months ago and I plan on moving Prepper Website later this month.  Prepper Website is bigger so I need all hands on deck when this one is transferred.

You Need a Website Platform – After you have your domain name and hosting setup, you’ll need a website platform.  I use WordPress.  Wordpress is so easy to use and there is tons of help online, including websites, Youtube videos, and Facebook groups.  With WordPress, you have access to free themes and a whole host of plugins that can be configured to do what you want.  It truly is a great platform to use!  If you choose to go with EMWD, they will install WordPress for you after you submit a simple ticket.  They make it so simple!

Start Writing Content – This is important.  What I have found is that preppers will gravitate to sites with great content!  This usually means that you will go a little deeper than surface type articles.  The best articles, the ones that are most valuable to preppers, are those that actually describe how to do something.  General overview information is good.  Preparedness theory is good.  Opinions are good.  But what preppers really want to know is how to do something.  One site that does this very well is Survival Sherpa.  Todd’s site is not the only site, but it is one that just immediately comes to mind. Sites like Survival Sherpa will make you want to get out there and try “it” for yourself!

Like I mentioned earlier, when I started Prepper Website, I saw a need and filled it with one site that would link to the best content out there.  If you notice a need and start to fill it, it will benefit you too.  Two needs that I currently see in the preparedness community are websites that cater to older preppers and websites that focus on wilderness survival/bushcraft.

The demographic research that I have done is that a great number of preppers are older.  They see the writing on the wall and desire to be prepared just like everyone else.  But they are dealing with barriers that younger people won’t have to deal with.  If a few sites would start to target these older preppers, I feel that it would be a great blessing to them and the preparedness community.

There used to be a bigger emphasis on wilderness survival in the past.  It’s not as prevalent anymore.  Yes, you can find an article here or a Youtube there, but I feel a site that is dedicated to just wilderness survival and bushcraft skills would be very popular.

GET NOTICED

Write for Others – One of the things I did when I started Prepper Website is to start writing articles for other sites.  This would seem counterproductive, but it does work.  When you do this, you are providing a great article for another site to use and you are linking to your own articles and websites within that article.  It is a win-win.

Now with that said, I will say that many people are starting to do this.  It is a backlink strategy.  The problem is that there is a bunch of CRAP out there!  I usually delete 4-5 offers a week of people who want to write guest posts for me.  I have become so disenchanted with these types of emails that I delete them without even reading them.  They are usually all the same, a form email.  When I do respond, it is usually met with disappointment because I get an article with no real depth.  It is usually a 500-word article with no real content.  A 13-year-old could do better!

So I’m writing this to tell you to not offer CRAP!  If you do offer content to another site, write an AWESOME article!  That will get you more respect and traffic than you realize.

Get on Prepper Website – Another way to get noticed is to start showing up on Prepper Website.  There are two ways to do this.  The first is to let me know that you have started your site.  I will grab your RSS Feed and start monitoring your feed for great articles to link to on Prepper Website. The second way is to ask me to display your article in one of the categories on the bottom of Prepper Website.  For example, if you are a Preparedness website, I would put your website listing under Preparedness.  And if you choose to link to Prepper Website or place the PW graphic on your site, I will place asterisks beside your listing, moving you up in the category.  Here is more information about that – CLICK HERE.

Get on The Prepper Website Podcast – Yet another way that I try to help Preparedness websites is to read their articles on The Prepper Website Podcast.  Allowing me to read your articles brings attention to your website.  I always mention your website and link to your site from the show notes.  If I use your article, I will tag your Twitter and Facebook social media accounts when I push out the episode on my social media accounts.  For more information – CLICK HERE.

Get on Top Prepper Websites – Another way that I want to bless the Preparedness community and where you can promote your website is through the Voting Website – Top Prepper Websites.  This site is a place where the Preparedness Community can vote for your site and rank you up higher.  But the other side of it is that preppers visit TPW and then usually link to other sites, even the newer, smaller ones.  You can register your site by clicking on one of the empty fields at the bottom of the page.  If there are no empty spots, send me an email.  Sometimes websites register because they want the traffic, but they don’t follow the rules and don’t place the voting link on their site.  In that case, I delete them.  I try to do a good job of catching everyone, but some get by or remove their links later.  Again, I have no problem deleting them when they don’t follow the rules.  😉

Get Involved with Other Preparedness Bloggers – There are groups out there that can help provide advice and help with link sharing.  Many of these preparedness bloggers are just like you and want to help others learn while they learn themselves.  Every niche has these groups, but you’ll want to get with a group of preparedness bloggers and website owners for sure!

Learn to Make Graphics – You don’t NEED to do this, but it helps.  When you post your articles on social media, you will want to be able to display a nice looking graphic.  There are FREE websites online that will help you to do this.  Websites like Canva, PIXLR Express, and PicMonkey are easy to use.  If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop but don’t own it, you can use a FREE site called PIXLR Editor.  And if you are looking for FREE high-quality graphics to use, you can get them at Pixabay.

FINAL WORD

If you are preparing for an uncertain future, if you are planning and trying to help yourself and your family prep, then you have something to offer to the Preparedness Community.  You are learning and growing as a prepper.  You have ideas and opinions that are beneficial.  Let the Preparedness Community know what you have to offer.  You never know how doing this will wind up being a blessing for you, your family and others.

Peace,
Todd

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (5/20/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 5/14/17 – 5/20/17

Peace,
Todd

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Do Dead Preppers Tell Tales?

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Life is fragile!  We are born, try to live life to the fullest and then somewhere along the line, we give up the ghost.  You might think I’m talking about human life here.  I’m not!  I’m talking about the life of Prepper, Survival, Homesteading, Bushcraft, You Name It…websites.

In the years I’ve run Prepper Website, I have seen many good and great websites close their doors.  This is not something new.  I wrote about it way back in August 2014 in The SAD Way of Preparedness Websites – Possibly An Analogy of the Preparedness Life!  

The truly sad things about seeing a site close their doors is that all the great content that they created, the articles, videos, graphics are lost!  For many, this might not be so evident.  But for someone who follows a lot of websites, it is!  AND, it is even more apparent when someone goes to the Prepper Website Tag Cloud to research or look up a certain topic, clicks on a link and finds that the website is gone!  Yes, it is truly sad when a website closes their doors and lets their content go to the happy prepping hunting ground in the big sky above!  Or…is it?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, there is a website called The Way Back Machine.  It archives websites from the internet.  I recently used TWBM to link to an article that was on my Gardening Link Bomb article.  The article was from the Farm Dreams website and about Natural and Organic Pest Control.  I needed some help in my garden, so I desperately wanted to reread this information.  A simple search on TWBM’s website and there it was!  I was able to link to TWBM’s version of it so others could benefit from it too!

Instead of trying to walk you through how to do this in written form, I created a short video to show you how to utilize TWBM and the Tag Cloud on Prepper Website.  Check it out!

 

Peace,
Todd

 

 

Food Storage with Confidence – Expert Advice!

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Having food storage that you can rely on when the chips are down will be one of the most important things you can have!

I recently partnered with Melissa K. Norris to offer a free webinar on how preppers can safely utilize canning for their food storage.  Melissa did an excellent job of methodically providing insight to what shouldn’t be canned, what should be canned, how to do it safely and why it is so valuable to make it a part of your preparedness. She also shared new tips and dismissed some old dangerous tips that have been around for a long time.

Melissa recorded her webinar and I thought that it was so beneficial, that I asked her for permission to share it out so the rest of Prepper Website readers could benefit from it.

At the end of the webinar, Melissa offers Prepper Website readers a very generous discount to webinar participants.  She has allowed me to pass this offer along as well.  The course is filled with step by step training on how to can.  This is a very thorough course and you will feel confident that you can store and provide healthy, nutritious, safe food for your family.

 

Check out Melissa’s Canning Course – CLICK HERE!

 

Peace,
Todd

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Food Storage with Confidence – Expert Advice!

Having food storage that you can rely on when the chips are down will be one of the most important things you can have!

I recently partnered with Melissa K. Norris to offer a free webinar on how preppers can safely utilize canning for their food storage.  Melissa did an excellent job of methodically providing insight to what shouldn’t be canned, what should be canned, how to do it safely and why it is so valuable to make it a part of your preparedness. She also shared new tips and dismissed some old dangerous tips that have been around for a long time.

Melissa recorded her webinar and I thought that it was so beneficial, that I asked her for permission to share it out so the rest of Prepper Website readers could benefit from it.

At the end of the webinar, Melissa offers Prepper Website readers a very generous discount to webinar participants.  She has allowed me to pass this offer along as well.  The course is filled with step by step training on how to can.  This is a very thorough course and you will feel confident that you can store and provide healthy, nutritious, safe food for your family.

 

Check out Melissa’s Canning Course – CLICK HERE!

 

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (5/13/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 5/7/17 – 5/13/17

 

Peace,
Todd

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The Simple Things Could Mean the Difference Between Life and Death: A Real Life Scenario

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It’s the simple things, the know-how and the skill to actually do it, that can mean the difference between life and death. This truth didn’t become more real than just recently when a father and son were lost in Australia and were thought to be dead. It was a crude shelter they built that kept them alive!

John Ward, 42 and his son Stephen, 13, decided to spend some time bonding and went on a day hike in the Tasmanian wilderness, Nine Mile Creek, Arthurs Plains to be exact. They mistakenly started a multi-day hike, thinking it was just a day hike trail.

“It nearly turned to tragedy but left them unscathed, apart from Mr Ward’s mild hypothermia. As well as being inexperienced, they were underprepared for the punishing conditions.

With snow falling on nearby mountains, their chances of survival were rated 0 to 5 percent by some searchers on Thursday morning, after a third night in the open.”
Source

Rescuer’s credited the father and son’s survival on one big factor, the ability to make a shelter.

“They’ve built a small shelter (from vegetation) … they’ve been able to protect themselves somewhat from the elements, from the heavy rain we had,” Sergeant Williams said. “That’s most likely saved their lives. They’ve had the smarts to build something like that and keep themselves out of the weather.”  Source

Some other things that helped in their survival and rescue were they were able to find a food depot that was left for other Bushwalkers. They were able to eat and maintain their energy throughout the three days they were exposed.

On the day they were found, they walked to higher ground, but left clues for searchers and even used “something reflect­ive to signal, as well as yelling.” Source

Real life survival stories help us understand how quickly a situation that we are in can go south. It also helps us understand or be reminded that there are some things that we can do and lessons to be learned so we don’t make the same mistakes.

Lessons to Learn

Kit Up! – Regardless if you are going on a day hike or not, if you are traveling somewhere, carry a survival kit with you! Putting some supplies inside a small backpack would have made a big difference in this scenario. A knife, a fire kit, some cordage, a means to filter water, some snacks and first aid supplies should be the minimum. You just never know! What would it have been like if this father and son had a fire kit and knew how to make a fire? They would have stayed a lot warmer and could have signaled rescuers more easily.

My suggestion – If you are not comfortable in your fire craft skills yet, please purchase some wet fire to go in your kit. Having this will help ensure you have a way to start a fire in harsh conditions. And, at the very minimum, make yourself a robust Altoids Tin Kit that you can slip in your pocket in a moments notice.  Check out these easy DIY fire starters. They are all very easy to make.

 

Get Familiar with the Lay of the Land Before You Go Out! – The Tasmanian Wilderness is beautiful but can be deadly. In researching this story, I came across another situation where a Forest guide tripped and broke her ankle. She spent two days out in the wilderness in cold temperatures. So if even guides can have a hard time out there, we should do everything we can to make sure our memories are all good ones. Source

The Tasmanian Wildlife Service has a nice PDF with plenty of info. (The pics alone are worth a peek) (Source) Many places that have hiking trails have something similar. But, you should also have a trail map and a compass and know how to use it! Just don’t go out without doing some research on where you’re going!

My suggestion – Watch this video on how to use a compass and practice in your neighborhood or local park. Teach your kids how to do this too!  Also, if this guide would have been carrying around a whistle, it would have helped others locate her more easily.  I purchased this whistle for my wife (for safety reasons). It is supposed to be the loudest made whistle available.

 

Get Some Book Knowledge?!? – Book knowledge will never replace actual skills! Let me say that again so you make sure you read it… Book knowledge will never replace actual skills! But, it is in reading and studying where we get ideas and a foundation for building on our current knowledge.

My suggestion – Create a list of survival skills you would like to learn: fire craft, filtering water, building a shelter, making cordage, etc… Then devote a few hours on the weekend to practicing one until you feel comfortable enough to mark it off your list. Also, purchase a copy of Mors Kochanski’s classic book, Bushcraft. This is a must have book if you are going to be spending time in the wilderness!

Let Other’s Know Where You’re Going – I understand…sometimes you just want to get away! But it is just being responsible to let others know where you are going. There are people that will be worried and scared that something terrible has happened to you. In the father and son situation, the wife was frantic. Could you imagine losing your husband and son at the same time? They might not have been able to let someone at the campsite know where they were going, but they could have left a message in their tent or even in their vehicle. Something like, “It’s Friday, 1 p.m., we are taking a day hiking trip down trail such and such. I agree that this would be a pain and something else to do, but you just never know! Even if you think you are experienced, it is a good practice.

For another example, in the above situation with the female trial guide, if she would have let other’s know where she was going or left a message, they would have found her so much more easily.

My suggestion – Get into the habit of letting those close to you know where you are going. It’s a hassle, but better safe than sorry!

Think Worst Case Scenario – Some will take this as pessimistic, but I don’t. I like to think about what is the worst case scenario, and then put things in place to help mitigate that possibility. It’s an attitude that doesn’t come from a point of fear, but instead a place of strength. You have the strength to change things, make adjustments, prepare before you are stuck in a terrible situation! If this father would have thought worst case scenario, he might have realized that they could get lost or even hurt on the trail. He could have then taken measures to mitigate that possibility, like kit-up and leave a message about their route on the trail!

My suggestion – If you are going to spend time in the deep wilderness or even on the ocean, get a Personal Beacon Device. These devices will connect with satellites and send your coordinates to rescuers. They are pricey for something you might not ever use ($260), but if you needed it…what is your life worth?

Concluding Thought

We get put in situations every single day that can go south. Just getting in your car and driving to the corner can change your life forever. And although spending some time outside is a goal for many of us, we should be eve more careful and wise about how we prepare and prep when we are out in the wilderness, whatever that looks like for you. Be smart and don’t add more grief to your life – yours or anyone you love!

Peace,
Todd

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (5/6/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 4/30/17 – 5/6/17

Peace,
Todd

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Eating Well When the SHTF! The Legacy Food Mega Sampler Pack – Over 41,000 Calories Total!

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Many of us know how fragile our economy and transportation systems are.  One hiccup can leave an area without food deliveries for a while.  Then, throw in there all the “other” stuff that comes with a crisis: do you bug in or bug out? Is everyone safe?  Are people acting civil or like animals “out there?”  Can this crisis get further out of control?  What would that look like? There are a bunch of things to consider.  That’s why we prep!

In a crisis, food is going to be important!  Being able to make quick meals, getting the right amount of calories, having food that you can bug out with if you need to, not having to depend on the government…all these are important things to consider when storing food.  That’s why food storage is one of the big topics that comes up in preparedness and survival talk.

Preppers all agree that you should store what you eat and eat what you store.  Your food storage should be made up of what you have in your pantry, canned foods and long term food storage, like #10 cans and buckets of food staples you can make on your own with mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and 5-gallon buckets.  But many agree that you should have some freeze-dried food as well.

I was recently sent the Legacy Mega Sample Pack.  This food bucket is filled with 183 servings of long term food storage.  Legacy foods are different in that they provide 1 1/2 – 2 cups per serving.  When you’re hungry, that will make a big difference!  Each serving is an average of 227 calories.  The total number of calories of the Mega Pack is 41,600.  In an average 2,000 calorie day, the bucket will provide one person with 20 days worth of food.

“The 183 Serving MEGA Sample Pack from Legacy Premium includes 4 different breakfasts (16 servings total), 19 different entrees (76 servings total), 6 side dishes (24 servings total), 2 drink mixes (32 servings total), and coffee (35 servings total).” SOURCE

So How Does It Taste?

I chose to cook the Alfredo Pasta for the taste test.  I was impressed!  I’m not quite sure what I was expecting.  Probably something that was edible, but more “survival” food.  The food could actually be served for a regular family meal.

It’s important to know that Legacy food doesn’t only taste good, but is gluten free and vegetarian.

The Legacy Mega Sampler Pack has 76 Five Star ratings on the Legacy Page and a total of 4.5 Stars on Amazon.  The pack breaks down to $10.95 per pound of food.  This food will last 25 years if kept in a controlled environment.  If you are looking to add some freeze-dried food to your long term food storage or you want some to be a part of your BOB or 72-hour kit, you should really consider the Legacy Mega Sampler Pack.  Get even more info. here!

Pic Review

This sucker is huge! Check out the 5 gallon Home Depot bucket for comparison!

View inside the bucket!

Entrees!

Breakfast!

Sides!

Drinks!

 

Cooking it up!

Pour and Whisk baby!

Boiling! Just about time!

Finished product!

Peace,
Todd

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (4/29/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 4/23/17 – 4/29/17

Peace,
Todd

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Gear vs. DIY Gear: Swedish Torch Solutions for Pennies!

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Who hasn’t seen that cool piece of gear advertised and just thought, “I would like to have that?” Thanks to Youtube and social media outlets like Facebook, videos are shared that make gear look very attractive.

I recently took the bait and watched a video for the Sportes MITI-001 Lightweight Swedish Fire Torch Log Grill.  Although I can’t find the exact video anymore (see VID at the end for the MITI-001 in action), I remember that I thought the concept was interesting and so I went to Amazon to see if they carried it.  They did!  But the price was $71.00!  I thought that was way too crazy a price for something like this.

I then thought about the possibility of making something that worked on the same concept, that kept the logs together, but WAY cheaper and lighter…something someone could put in their bug-out bag.  I remember seeing that one video where someone used a chain and stretch band to cut firewood. I thought a chain around a Swedish Torch could work!

As I was thinking about how heavy a chain would be needed, I decided to look for a video and low and behold….it’s been done before.

 

 

You can even do a Swedish Torch with small logs and a vine to tie it all together.  Like in this video.

 

 

I know the concept of the Sportes MITI-001 is to provide a grill-like surface, but you really have to think about if the price is worth it.  I mean, if you are in the woods every weekend, maybe.  But if not, a chain would work.  The important thing is to keep the wood upright long enough to cook your food.

If you’re building a Swedish Fire Torch for backyard fun, this video might inspire you to split some wood easily.

 

Sportes video

 

Do you use any “tricks” or have you see any online that you would like to share? Drop them in the comment section.

Peace,
Todd

 

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (4/22/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 4/16/17 – 4/22/17

Peace,
Todd

 

 

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What You Need to Know About Arrowheads for Your Survival Bow: Types, Care & Advice

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Editor’s Note: Although you might see many articles on archery, building a bow for survival or hunting, you rarely see articles on the various types of arrowheads.  A short walk through the archery section in any sporting goods store will show you that there are many types to select from.  Not only are there many to choose from, but there are care and maintenance considerations too.  I hope this article will shed some light on the subject and spur more dialogue on something that is rarely discussed on preparedness websites. To enhance this article, I added videos to elaborate on the specific topics discussed.. This is a guest post.

 


Choosing the correct arrowhead

Before making the decision to purchase arrowheads it is a very good idea to know how you are going to be using them. This may be your first time buying them or perhaps you may be trying to decide if a different type will work better for you. In either case, it is beneficial to understand the three basic categories.  

Target

These are typically the beginner’s choice as well as a good pick for those who want to get in some extra practice without the added expense of more sophisticated arrowheads. The tips of this type are constructed with a straight shaft and no barbs. The reason for this is that they are much easier to remove from a target and are typically strong enough for multiple shots. This doesn’t mean they are without risk. Target arrowheads can range from flat (blunt) tips to fine bullet points. In any case, they can cause injury or death when shot from a bow.

Blunt

Similar in some respects to flat tipped target arrowheads, blunt tips used for purposes other than hunting have a very different configuration. The purpose of this type is not necessarily to enter their intended target, but rather to hit with a force strong enough to cause enough trama to cause paralysis or even death depending on the size and location of the hit. One of the most popular of these is the JUDO point which has several spring loaded arms located just behind the tip. The advantage to the JUDO is that unlike other tip types, the arms stop the arrow from digging into grass or leaves. This makes the arrow better able to be recovered. Blunt heads are for the most part used in hunting small game.

Broadhead

There are many varieties of the broadhead, but each of them stems from a basic design idea. The characteristic shared by tips in this category are several razor-sharp blades that extend outward from the shaft center. The obvious purpose of this configuration is deep penetration and internal lacerations. The back end of the broadheads is typically pointed backward, or barbed so that it is less likely to fall out of an animal once it hits. There are specialized broadheads whose blades are retracted before shooting them, but once they are loosed from a high rated bow, the blades extend outward. In either case, broadheads are the tip of choice (and often required) for hunting large game animals.

 

Equipping for Survival

When in a survival situation, broadheads are typically going to be the best type to carry, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to also equip yourself with a small number of blunt heads. If you find yourself in need of meat and the only game you can find are small squirrels or the like, broadheads may simply be over the top. Besides, broadheads can be somewhat fragile and the chances are greater of missing a small target and thus ruining your broadhead. This characteristic of broadheads is particularly important to remember in that the blades can separate once they hit their target. This will leave razor-sharp pieces of shrapnel inside the body cavity so take great care when dressing out your game until you are absolutely sure you have found every piece of the arrowhead.

On the other hand, while target and blunt tips can theoretically take down small game, they will only cause minor injury to large game and you will undoubtedly lose your kill. Just make sure that when you carry this type of arrowhead that you keep them in a closed container. Broadheads that are ready to be used for hunting are extremely sharp.

Sharpening Arrowheads

It may come as a surprise, but even some of the best broadheads are not sold razor-sharp. The main reason for this is safety in shipping and handling, not because manufacturers are lazy. Razor sharp blades would create a considerable hazard to those responsible for getting them from the maker to the retail store.

Like sharpening knives, being able to repeatedly ensure razor sharp edges on broadheads takes considerable practice. There are many techniques to choose from, but the simple process of hand sharpening with what is known as a bastard file would be an excellent skill to master. While many modern hunters enjoy the convenience of bench grinders or other power tools to sharpen their arrowheads, if you find yourself without power, those tools become essentially useless.

 

Filling your quiver

Once you have decided which tip or tips will work best for your application, the next question to answer is how many arrows to carry when you are in the field. There is no standard or official answer to this kind of question and the best teacher is, of course, practical experience. Some hunters find they need to carry only two arrows while others may carry much more than that. Perhaps the best advice is to take more than you think you may need on your first few hunts and work your way down to the number you typically use on a regular basis. The mixture of arrowhead tips on these arrows is also dependent upon the type of game being hunted as well as experience.

Make sure that you also consider the type of arrows you will carry. Just as there is a variety of arrowheads available, arrows come in their own varieties of material such as wood, aluminum, and carbon. The carbon arrow is likely the most popular choice among hunters because it is strong, durable, and lightweight. Even so, some of the best carbon arrows are susceptible to damage over time.

Always make sure to inspect all your arrows long before you decide to use them. Arrows with splinters and cracks can be very dangerous because they can split or even shatter. The idea is to fire a strong, safe arrow at your target, not to injure yourself or others in the process.

Editor’s Note: I added this video because it is just cool to watch! 🙂

 

Author Bio:

Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at www.deerhuntingfield.com

 

 

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (4/15/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 4/9/17 – 4/15/17

Peace,
Todd

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Being Resourceful When Necessary – A Self-Reliant Value To Live By! Re-purposing Old Hangers!

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In choosing to live a life that is more self-reliant, one should value being a good steward of their resources and learn how to reuse or recycle items to serve other purposes.  If we are in a downward economic spiral, like many believe, we will need to learn how to do more with less, to be frugal, value DIY and become resourceful.

I tried to put some “walk to my talk” a few weekends back when I reused old hangers as landscaping staples.

After the demise of my two backyard chickens, my coop started to fall into disrepair.  Since I didn’t want to raise chickens anymore (although we all loved the eggs), I put the coop up on Craigslist and eventually gave it to a family that was homesteading.  As you would expect, the chickens tore up the ground, including ripping up the weed blocker that was WAY below their coop.  As the coop laid empty, weeds started popping up everywhere.  Since we have a pool and people come over often, I wanted to get it ready for Summertime pool parties and such.

I knew when the local Boy Scout troop came around selling bags of mulch for a fundraiser, that I was in luck.  I would have normally purchased bulk mulch, had it dropped into the bed of my truck and then spend the time carrying it from the truck bed to the backyard.  But, by supporting the local Boy Scout troop, I was able to get the mulch delivered and dropped off right in my backyard!

I had weed blocker left over from previous years, so that wasn’t an expense.  I didn’t have the landscaping staples to hold the weed blocker down in the ground, and in all honesty, my experience with them is that they are not very useful anyway.  They are usually too short and start to pop-up.

I have a ton of wire hangers from getting my clothes laundered at the cleaners.  I know it is an expense, but it is worth it to me.  I used to spend a lot of time ironing my clothes in the morning, this way, I get to spend more time in prayer and reading my Bible.  So, it’s worth it to me!

In the past, I have come across various articles that give tips on how to reuse wire hangers for various purposes.  I usually take loads of wire hangers up to the country to have them up there for whenever we might need some wire.  But, I decided to use about nine to make some super long landscape staples to hold the weed blocker down while I spread the mulch.

The only tools I used were some pliers and snips.  I really didn’t even need the pliers!

See the pics below.

I started by cutting off the hanger’s hook.

I then cut the long piece even with one of the shorter ends, and did the same to the other side. This left me a small 2″ piece to throw away.  I straightened out the “hanger” staples a little before inserting them into the weed blocker.

Weed blocker before the DIY Landscaping Staples.

Because the DIY Landscaping Staples are so much longer than regular landscaping staples, they really stuck into the ground, even when I was walking all over the weed blocker.

The Boy Scouts made this easy…

Finished area.

Conclusion

This isn’t groundbreaking, earthshattering preparedness here.  But, it does speak to reusing items to benefit your quality of life. I see many people give their hangers back to the cleaners when they pick up their clothes.  I’m ok with that.  That is their version of recycling.  However, I figure that the hangers are part of my payment for the cleaning, so I want to use them for something that I can benefit from.

This little project didn’t take me anytime.  But I know that the hanger staples will stay much better than landscaping staples I could have purchased from Home Depot or Amazon.

 

What other ways have you used hangers?

Peace,
Todd

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (4/8/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 4/1/17 – 4/8/17

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (4/8/17)

Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 4/1/17 – 4/8/17

Peace,
Todd

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PIC REVIEW – KRAV MAGA – Tactical Survival – Personal Safety in Action

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There are many situations in which you could find yourself without a means to defend yourself.  In those situations, knowing something like Krav Maga would be invaluable.  The best training would be one on one with an expert.  However, if you can’t afford training or live in an area where you can’t access a gym, a book might be the next best thing.

In Krav Maga, Tactical Survival, Personal Safety in Action, Gershon Ben Keren writes, “Rather than simply present an encyclopedia of techniques, I have tried to demonstrate what real-world violence looks like and how Krav Maga can be used to deal with it.  This is not a book about techniques, but about solutions to violence – which may be non-physical as well as physical.”

Getting the pictures for this review was a little frustrating.  The pages are so glossy that every camera angle that I tried reflected back the glare (see below).  The pages are also thick, making the book heavy.  All of these things are not negatives.  They speak to the quality materials the publisher used to put this book together.

Krav Maga, Tactical Survival, Personal Safety in Action can be found at Amazon.  It has 44 reviews and a full five stars.

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (4/1/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 3/26/17 – 4/1/17

 

Peace,
Todd

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It Can Happen Just Like That – Real World Survival Story

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You can be placed in a real world survival situation in a flash!  And that’s why we prep!

I’ve been talking about gardening on the podcast, but I also know that many of my listeners are up North and are still dealing with cold and snow.  The cold and snow can be very unforgiving. An 85-year-old grandmother found that out just recently when she took a wrong turn and found herself stranded in her car on an old back road for 5 days!

Ruby Stein was on her way back home to Akron after visiting family on March 21 when she took a wrong turn near Gypsum, 50 miles west of Denver, and got stuck in mud and snow.

 

‘I was keeping myself very, very calm,’ she told the Denver Post. ‘I knew I either had to or it was over with. I have too many great-grandkids and grandkids. I didn’t want it to be over with.’

Source: Daily Mail

This little old grandmother found herself in a survival situation she wasn’t really prepared for. The good news is that she made it through.  There are a few lessons we can learn from Ruby Stein’s real life survival story!

Something to Live For

Ruby mentioned that she had great-grandkids and grandkids.  She didn’t want it to be over. She still had memories to make and kids to love.

Many people underestimate having a purpose to live for.  When you have a purpose, even if it is perceived purpose, you will push through and make an extra effort to not give up!  This is one common denominator in many survival stories.

Don’t Panic!

Ruby made an extra effort to not panic!  Panicking never does any good.  It causes people to make bad decisions and potentially get themselves killed.  What if Ruby started to panic and started walking down the mountain?  The cold and snow would have killed her and her granddaughter would be burying her instead of celebrating with her today.

It’s important to learn, NOTICE I SAID LEARN, to react in a calm manner during serious situations.  Learning breathing exercises can help.  Stopping and sitting for 10 minutes before making a decision can help.  Having skills and knowledge can help to take the fear and panic out of the equation too!

Be Resourceful

Ruby was resourceful!  She used safety pins to make a blanket for herself.  She was so layered when rescuers showed up, that they thought the car was abandoned.  It took a while to get to her.

Ruby was lucky to have clothes for donation in her car.  Her situation could have ended a lot differently if she wouldn’t have had all that extra clothes with her.  But nevertheless, she did have the clothes and she used them to stay warm!

Ruby also used snow to stay hydrated.  Many survival articles will tell you not to eat snow because it causes your body to lose its heat and work overtime as your body heat is used to melt the snow in your mouth.  But, we don’t know if Ruby allowed the snow to melt in the car or not?  Either way, she was probably pretty warm because of all the layers of clothes in her backseat.

Missing Preparedness

In this situation, a little preparedness would have gone a long way!  Some bottled water, granola bars (Datrex), a blanket and a little heater, made from a toilet paper roll, a tin can soaked with alcohol or even a few candles for heat would have been very helpful.

Here is a cheap heater that can be made and stored in your car using two tin cans, dirt, cotton balls and alcohol.

 

Take-Aways

One thing those of us who are prepared can do to help our loved ones who are not prepared is to ask them “what if” questions.  For example, “Grandma, would what you do if your car got stranded in a snow storm?”  Or, “Son, what would you do if your vehicle broke down in the middle of the dessert in the middle of Summer?”

Asking questions like these aren’t necessarily “prepper” or “survival” questions.  They are questions from one loved one to another.  They are questions that show you care and are concerned.  And hopefully, they would get the other person to think throuigh that specific scenario.

One last thing you can do is to provide a small survival kit for loved ones to place in their vehicle.  Of course, any kit needs to be tailored to the climate and season.  But a small kit, like the one I mentioned above, wouldn’t take up any room.

Final Thought

We never know when we are going to be in a survival situation.  We never know when our loved ones are going to be in a survival situation.  Things can turn in a flash.  That’s why we prep!

Peace,
Todd

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (3/25/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 3/19/17 – 3/25/17

Peace,
Todd

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How to Hunt Squirrel with a Slingshot for Survival!

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Who really wants to waste ammo killing a squirrel when you can use a slingshot? Whatever your age, you’ve probably had the urge to kill a squirrel using a slingshot. However, in a real survival situation, you will need to be at your best to kill small game like a squirrel. Carrying a slingshot will give you a reliable hunting weapon that you can use to hunt food provided you’re able to use it.

To most people, a slingshot is nothing more than a kid’s toy. Only real survivalist can recognize and understand a slingshot as a formidable hunting tool. However, when in a survival situation, a slingshot will always come in handy. It is a much easier and convenient option in your pocket rather than a firearm that is heavier.

Slingshots are light and can be hung on your neck or placed in your pocket without weighing you down. They are an ideal weapon when hiking or doing something rigorous that does not require some extra weight on you.

Hunting a squirrel with a slingshot for survival

Slingshots are the best weapons when hunting squirrels that tend to get scared by the slightest of noises. They are stealthier and quiet than guns allowing you to shoot games nearby without scaring them. Squirrels are easy to spot as they raise their heads to scout the area. Here are simple steps on how to hunt squirrels with a slingshot.

Practice

While practicing with a primitive weapon might sound weird to some people, most preppers will tell you it is always important to practice with any weapon. Squirrels are wary, small and fast, something that makes hunting them quite challenging. Choose the best hunting slingshot and practice with cans in your backyard. Practicing to hit a squirrel with the first shot is always important as they will always run away if they think they are in danger. This leads to our next step of where to hit a squirrel and kill it instantly.

Shooting with your slingshot might look easy when practicing, but remember you will be shooting very small game in a stealth condition. The slingshot pouch should always be held lightly in the lower grip. However, most beginners tend to hold the pouch too tightly and too high ending up shooting the ammo everywhere.

For best results, the slingshot should be held horizontally with the pouch of the slingshot being pulled all the way back to the cheek. Release it at the same time you breathe out. The shape of slingshots never changes, and you should always aim at the center of the slingshot. This means the squirrel head must be in between the center of the slingshot.

Always aim for the head

Squirrels despite their small size have some of the toughest skins. You need to know where to hit them to kill them instantly. A nice shot to the body can cause potential damage, but most squirrels will run away. The experience is not a good one as you will leave the squirrel in pain and also miss out on a chance for delicious meat. Aiming the slingshot at the squirrel is not that simple as you would have imagined. You have still need to aim at the head if the squirrel is to die instantly.

You don’t want to be stranded in the wilderness tracking an injured squirrel when you had the chance to kill it instantly. The opportunity to hunt down a squirrel can disappear as fast as it presents itself.

Choose a big producing tree and be patient

There are high chances of squirrels coming to a big producing trees like oak and conifers in the wild than any other place. Your instinct should tell you to hunt for squirrels in certain places, but most expert hunters recommended a big producing oak tree. It is important to know where you can find squirrels. Tree squirrels love trees and hunt during the day unlike other rodents making them the perfect small game to kill with a slingshot.

Squirrels like the Gray Squirrel love acorns found on oak trees. Choose a spot that gives you a good view of the oak tree but also keeps you hidden. You will need to be patient and wait for your hunt. As long as it is not hot, squirrels will always look for food in oak trees. Most squirrels are active at dawn. If you get a good spot some minutes before dawn, then you stand a better chance of getting a kill. You will need to be still and quiet. Squirrels are not the smartest rodents and will always pass by even if they see you.

Best time to hunt squirrels

You have to know the best time to get the squirrels searching for food. Early morning and late evening are best times when you’re most likely to find the squirrels. Squirrels are mammals and enjoy nice temperatures just like humans. You can easily find them when the temperature is cool.

Try and bait your squirrel

Baiting might not be allowed in some states, so make sure to check before going ahead and setting bait. By setting bait, it doesn’t mean getting the squirrel caught up in some bait but being attracted to a position of which you can have a precise kill. Do you have some peanut butter with you? Squirrels love this and will always want to have a lick. This will attract them to a good shooting position from which you can have a precise shot on the head.

Final Verdict

There you go with your squirrel hunting skills. Squirrels do look simple but are quite difficult to hunt with a slingshot. However, you can’t be wasting precious ammo on squirrels when a precise shot on the head by a slingshot can kill it instantly. Slingshot hunting is quite fun, interesting and challenging. However, with a good understanding of how to use a slingshot, you can always be assured of a meal when stuck in the wilderness.

Editor’s NoteI love to watch Lonnie from Far North Bushcraft & Survival.  I chose to share his video here because he mentioned that he had only been at “it” (slingshot) for a few weeks.

 

About Author:
Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

 

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How Valuable Would A “TRUE” Solar Charger Be In An Emergency? The Kogalla Solar Storage Bank Review!

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Prepping just makes life easier!  We don’t only prep for the major SHTF situations.  Being prepared ALL events, no matter how big or small is a major advantage for us.  We prep and it is a way of life.

I recently wrote an article about why using cellphones are one of the most important EDC items you can carry with you daily.  The only problem with cellphones or smartphones is that they run on batteries.  And depending on how heavily you use your phone, it can run down rather quickly.

But, preppers are prepared and this is usually not a problem.  This is not a problem because we have backup battery charges to charge our phones.  I have several and I have given them to my family as well, so they will always have a usable cell phone in an emergency.

Smartphones for the Apocalypse?

Now, let me walk down the road of no return for a minute.  Let’s say we eventually go through a collapse scenario where everything grinds to a halt and everything we have ever known changes.  Let’s say that eventually the grid fails and we don’t have a way to charge our smartphones and electronic devices.  Barring an EMP, everyone will agree that smartphones have apps, can carry ebooks, music and other things that are pretty valuable.  If you had a charger that could charge your smartphone if the grid went down, wouldn’t you want one?

Yes, eventually electronic devices would fail.  But I’ve had a smartphone, that is 10 years old now, that up until recently, I used frequently to listen to podcasts.  It still works, connects to my wireless network and holds ebooks, pictures and even PDF’s that would be valuable to me if I didn’t have my laptop available.  With a backup battery and a solar battery charger to charge it, I would have this powerful tool until it eventually died!

This is why I believe in having external, mobile battery chargers, but more importantly, solar battery chargers as a redundancy in case…well you know!

But be careful which solar charge you depend on!  Some battery chargers that pass themselves off as solar chargers are not really efficient.  For example, I have purchased and recommend the GRDE 15000mAh Solar Panel External Battery.  It is a good external battery for the price, but it is not really meant to be charged with solar power.  It is “possible” to charge it using the sun “in case of an emergency,” but it will take too long of a time to get a good charge.  I still recommend it as an external battery charger, and I like to have the ability to charge the external battery with the sun “in case of an emergency” but I won’t depend on it.  I would rather depend on something specifically built to charge with solar.

The Kogalla Solar Storage Bank

This is why I’m glad I was sent the Kogalla Solar Storage Bank for review.  This battery bank is a beast.  It is the size of a 7″ tablet, but packs a powerful punch.  The Kogalla SSB is all integrated.  It was built so that the 22w solar panel array works together with the 10,000 mAh storage bank. Because the panels and battery bank are matched, the charging cycle won’t shut down if there isn’t enough sun.  It will charge even in low sun!  It rapidly tops-off the battery bank in 3-4 hours of full sun.

If you are using this in a home/business setting, the Kogalla SSB can be charged via a USB connection from your laptop or computer.

The Kogalla SSB comes with two USB cords.  One fits an Android device and one fits an Iphone.  It also comes with a USB light.

The Kogalla SSB runs $199.95.  It is not cheap.  But you get what you pay for!  Check out the specifications below the pics.  To visit the Kogalla website – CLICK HERE.

Kogalla – In the box!

Close up of controls and information.

Close up of USB and light indicators.  Blue light indicators tell how much charge the bank is holding.

Close up of USB and light indicators.  The red light indicator tells you that it is charging using the sun.

USB and indicator info.

And it’s weather resistant!

Fully extended on the ground.

Fully extended on the hood of my truck.

Solar charging on a tree!

Fast Facts

  • Integrated storage with 10,000 mAh battery.
  • 22 W solar panel provides fast charging in full sunlight.
  • Matching panels to storage bank provides optimal energy harvesting even in low light.
  • Storage bank can also be charged through micro-USB.
  • Dual USB-A power ports (12 W) powers lights and charges any USB device.
  • Whenever the red Solar LED is on you know the unit is charging from the solar panels.
  • The four blue Charge Status LEDs indicate storage bank charge status like a fuel gauge.
  • Accessory pouch includes USB light, micro-USB cable and lightening cable.
  • The plastic case and waterproof material protect device from minor water exposure.

Specifications

  • Solar Panel Output: 5.5V / 4A / 22W
  • Battery Type: 2 x 5,000mAh Li-Polymer
  • Battery Capacity: 3.7V / 10,000mAh / 37Wh
  • Input Power: 5V / up to 2.1A / 10.5W
  • Charging Time (Solar): 3-4 hours in direct sunlight
  • Charging Time (USB): 4 hours with 2A charger
  • Output 1 Power: 5V / 2.4A / 12W
  • Output 2 Power: 5V / 2.4A / 12W
  • Operating Temperature: Charge: 0°C to 45°C
  • Discharge: -20°C to 60°C
  • Battery Protection: Over-charge, over-discharge, short circuit, over-current
  • Case Material: Waterproof fabric, ABS
  • Dimensions (folded): 1.1” x 9.6” x 6.3”
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 0.4” x 9.6” x 33.9”
  • Net Weight: 1 lb 12 oz

Peace,
Todd

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EDC for Regular People and Then Some! The One Item You’ll Go Back Home For!

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John started off Tuesday like every other day.  He dropped to the floor and knocked off 20 push-ups.  He turned on the shower, so it would get hot and then went to the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot.  Showered, shaved and dressed, John filled his Yeti and headed off to work.  His thoughts were on the big presentation that he and his colleague were in charge of.  This presentation could make or break his career.

Entering the freeway, John reached into his pocket to retrieve his smartphone and connect it to his car’s Bluetooth speakers.  A wave of panic hit him as he went from his front pockets to his back pockets looking for his phone.  He thought for a moment that he should turn back, but he was already on the freeway and he didn’t want to be late.

Seven minutes down the freeway, traffic came to a standstill.  He couldn’t see what was causing the hold-up, but he knew he was completely dead in the water.  He instinctively grabbed for his phone, but then remembered he left it at home.  With no traffic app, he turned on talk radio to try and get a traffic report.

After 20 minutes, traffic had inched its way to the next off ramp.  John decided to exit and take a different route.  He turned down one road and encountered a ton more traffic.  It seemed like everyone who wasn’t on the freeway was on this one road.  He quickly decided to turn on the next road.  After about a mile, the road filled with construction.  Two miles in, John received the notification that his front right tire was loosing pressure.  He screamed!  He didn’t have time for a flat tire.

He desperately looked for a place to pull over while he kept an eye on his instrument panel.  He finally found a flat driveway that would allow him room to change his tire.  He stepped out of his vehicle and straight into a puddle of water.  Feeling the water squish between his toes and socks, he punched the air and yelled, “What more?”

He walked over to the front right tire and noticed a huge nail sticking into the side of the tire.  He opened his trunk and pulled up the carpet to get to his jack and spare tire.  After unscrewing the placement nut, John’s heart sank as he felt the air in the spare tire.  It was flat!

He slammed the trunk down and again instinctively reached for his cell phone.  He hung his head as he remembered he forgot it at home.  He locked up his car and started down the road to find a convenience store, wet shoe and all!  He just hoped he didn’t miss one of the most important presentations of his career.

The fictional scenario above isn’t too far fetched.  When it rains, it pours!  But when it pours, you want to make sure you have one of the most important EDC (everyday carry) items in modern history, your smartphone.  A smartphone would have come in very handy in many instances in the scenario above.  From checking the traffic, finding the fastest alternative route, to calling for assistance, a smartphone would have helped this character out in so many different ways!

When preppers think about EDC, our minds go to the sexy stuff: knife, flashlight, firearm, ferro rod, paracord bracelet, etc…  But preppers are practical, commonsense people.  We like the sexy stuff, but understand that it is important to always be prepared.  And in this modern time, having a smartphone is really a no brainer.

APPS Galore

The beauty of the smartphone are all the APPS that are available.  You can find an APP for almost anything imaginable.  I don’t want this article to be about APPS you can download.  There have been plenty of those.  Recently, UrbanSurvivalsite did a good article on Survival APPS that I read on EP.9 of The Prepper Website Podcast.  But I’ve also linked to many other articles throughout the years on Prepper Website.  You can find them in the Tag Cloud – here, here and here.

Dont’ Be Afraid!

What I do want to suggest, is not to be afraid of using your cell phone.  Many preppers, because of our natural mistrust of prying eyes AND ears, tend to shy away from helpful aspects of having a smartphone.

For example, in the above scenario, if John would have had his smartphone on him with the location on, he would have received an alert telling him that the freeway was backed up.  Likewise, when he exited the freeway, if he would have had a map app and location on, he would have learned the best and fastest route to take.

“BUT, BUT, BIG BROTHER!”  I’ll get to that in a moment.

I don’t keep my location, bluetooth or wireless functions on my smartphone at all times.  I turn them on and off as I need them.  But I have had experiences, with like the MAP APP, that showed me the best route to take and it worked!  There were times that I thought I was smarter and knew better, and found myself in standstill traffic because I didn’t follow the Map APP.  I’ve learned not to be hardheaded!

Big Brother and Stuff

Yes, there are some who will rally against having a smartphone, APPS and all because “BIG BROTHER” is watching…and listening.  But I have continued to say, since the beginning of my time in preparedness, that the only real way of not leaving any digital footprint is to completely be offline!  That is almost impossible nowadays!  However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be SMART about using your smartphone.

One way to be “SMART” is to be the “gray man” while using your phone.  A gray man is someone who doesn’t stand out in the crowd.  He or she looks like the crowd and just blends in. You can say the same for your smartphone use.

This means that you aren’t looking up “FEMA camps” on your phone.  This means that you are not visiting militia websites.  This means that you use your smartphone for regular everyday purposes like everyone else.  But then again, if you are doing those things on your home computer, there is already a record of it somewhere!

Someone might say that you can be tracked by your phone number.  I will say, if they wanted to really track you, they would do it regardless of your smartphone use!  Again, you don’t make it easier.  Be smart!

Stay Powered!

One of the things that I don’t understand, is when someone lets their smartphone battery run out.  They have this great tool in their possession, but it is basically a brick since it doesn’t have power.  This happens often if smartphone users are playing games and listening to music.  I recommend everyone carry around a battery pack to power their smartphone.  A battery charger that I recommend is the GRDE 15000mAh Solar Panel External Battery.  It holds a lot of power and is about the size of a smartphone.  You could easily carry your smartphone in your back pocket, the GRDE in your other back pocket and your cord in your front pocket and not really feel weighted down.  The battery is under $18 and is rated at 4 STARS with over 500 reviews on Amazon.  I don’t use the solar aspect of it.  However, it is good to know that it can be charged (rather slowly) using solar power if needed.

Final Thoughts

Smartphones are powerful tools that everyone should carry every day.  Not only are they a means to communicate and entertain, but they provide helpful preparedness and survival information through many APPS that can be downloaded free.  The important thing is to have it on you and ready to use at all times.

Peace,
Todd

 

The Prepared Bloggers present - Everyday Carry Bag. What will you find in ours?

The Prepared Bloggers are at it again!

Everyday carry, or EDC for short, refers to items that are carried on a regular basis to help you deal with the normal everyday needs of modern western society and possible emergency situations.

Some of the most common EDC items are knives, flashlights, multitools, wallets, smartphones, notebooks, and pens. Because people are different, the type and quantity of items will vary widely. If you have far to travel for work or have young children, your EDC could be huge!

But, even if you’re just setting out for a walk around the neighborhood, taking your essential items with you in a pair of cargo pants with large pockets, may be all you need to be prepared.

Follow the links to see what a few of the Prepared Bloggers always carry in their EDC. Would you feel safer with these items close at hand?

Shelle at PreparednessMama always carries cash, find out why and how much she recommends.

John at 1776 Patriot USA tell us the 5 reasons he thinks his pistol is the essential item to have.

LeAnn at Homestead Dreamer won’t be caught without her handy water filter.

Justin at Sheep Dog Man has suggestions for the best flashlights to carry every day.

Bernie at Apartment Prepper always carries two knives with her, find out what she recommends.

Nettie at Preppers Survive has a cool way to carry duct tape that you can duplicate.

Todd at Ed That Matters tells us about the one item you’ll always go back for…your cell phone

Erica at Living Life in Rural Iowa knows how important her whistle can be when you want to be safe.

Todd at Survival Sherpa always carries 3 essential fire starters wherever he goes.

Angela at Food Storage and Survival loves her Mini MultiTool, it’s gotten her out of a few scrapes!

 

 

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (3/18/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 3/12/17 – 3/18/17

Peace,
Todd

 

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (3/11/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 3/5/17 – 3/11/17

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (3/11/17)

Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 3/5/17 – 3/11/17

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (3/4/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 2/27/17 – 3/4/17

Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (2/26/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 2/20/17 – 2/26/17

 

Peace,
Todd

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Prepper Podcasts for the Preparedness Community!

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When I started prepping, listening to podcasts was a means to gain a lot of information.  I tried out a lot of different podcasts and then settled on a few that I felt were great.  I have a category over at Prepper Website where you can find a bunch of podcasts.  But just like so many websites, some aren’t around any longer.  So, I decided to put together a list of podcasts that I have set on my APP to help anyone looking for an excellent podcast.

Preparedness Podcasts

The Survival Podcast – If you listen to only one Prepper Podcast, you will probably want to listen to Jack Spirko and The Survival Podcast.  TSP is the most popular and has been around for a long time!  His podcast comes out every weekday so that you can listen to a new podcast Monday through Friday.  Jack covers a broad range of topics.

Doom and Bloom – Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy were probably the first prepper podcast I every listened to.  I think medical preparedness is one of the most critical needs.  Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are retired medical professionals, so they know what they are talking about.  But they also cover gardening and other preparedness information.  If you don’t have their Medical Survival Handbook, you need to get it!  It is a must for every prepper library!  You can check out their OTHER podcast here.

SurvivalistPrepper – Dale and his wife Lisa do a great job of providing great prepper podcasts. They cover a broad range of topics.  SurvivalistPrepper comes out once a week.

PrepperRecon – Mark discusses preparedness from economic, current events and spiritual perspectives.  He releases two podcasts a week.  He has also written several popular fictional prepper book series.

The Prepper Website Podcast – Yes, a shameless plug for Yours Truly!  The Prepper Website Podcast is a little different than other prepper podcasts.  Instead of taking the time to discuss prepping topics, the podcast provides audible versions of articles that have been linked on Prepper Website.  I also provide some commentary when appropriate.  The podcast is a weekday podcast!

Other Podcasts that I Listen To

I don’t only listen to prepper podcasts.  I listen to podcasts of all sorts.

Entre Leadership – Dave Ramsey’s Leadership Podcast.

Ancient Jewish Wisdom – This is actual a video cast with Rabbi Daniel Lapin.

Duct Tape Marketing

The Brooklyn Tabernacle – I try never to miss a message by Pastor Jim Cymbala.

Rainer on Leadership – A church leadership podcast.

Understanding the Times – Olive Tree Ministries w/ Jan Markell.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Radical Together – Messages by David Platt.

Prager University – 5-minute podcasts that pack a punch!

5 Minutes in Church History

The Christian History Podcast

I don’t always listen to every podcast on my device.  I tend to look at the description of the episode and decide from there.  I can say that instead of just listening to talk radio, which says the same thing over and over again, or just music, I learn a lot from all of these podcasts.

If you’re not listening to podcasts, you’re missing out.  With the advance in APPS and smartphones, we have a lot of useful information right in our hands!

Peace,
Todd

 

 

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It! (2/19/17)

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 2/13/17 – 2/19/17

Peace,
Todd

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Solavore Solar Oven – Pic Review

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One of the big topics that has been consistent in preparedness over the years that I have run Prepper Website, is food.  People know how important it is to eat!  A few days of going hungry and you start to really lose energy and even the ability to focus and think straight.  Couple that with stress and expended energy to deal with your situation, eating isn’t a want, it is a need!

When it comes to preparedness cooking, you need options!  There might be times when you don’t have time to build and maintain a fire.  There might be time when you need to conserve your fuel.  There might be time when an open flame gives away your activities and your position.

One option for preppers is a solar oven. Until recently, I had only read about them and seen videos.  However, I now have some experience using the Solavore Sport Solar Oven.

The Solavore Sport Oven was shipped neatly packaged with clear instructions for setup.  Make sure you do read the instructions carefully and just don’t go to town removing the film on the lid that kind of looks like an anti-scratch plastic for shipping! It’s there for a reason. I almost made the mistake of ripping it off!  The solar oven comes with the solar box, clear lid, reflectors, two black pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

My main concern and real trial was if the solar oven would cook the “usual” stockpile of food that preppers would store.  For me, that would include rice and beans.

My first attempt failed!  I waited for a sunny day, according to weather.com.  I started early in the morning and set everything up.  However, I lost the sun halfway through the day.  So, this is something that needs to be kept in mind if you’re cooking during an emergency situation.  You will need a backup plan to possibly finish cooking your food if you lose the sun behind clouds.

My second attempt worked!  Again, I waited for a sunny day. I set the Solavore Sport out before I left for work.  The cool thing is that I didn’t get back home till after 7 p.m.  The sun was already setting and the box was cool (January in Houston, TX).  The temperature gauge didn’t even register!  I thought I had another fail on my hands.  When I lifted the lid, I could smell the rice and beans.  I brought the pots inside and took a bite!  Everything was done to my satisfaction.  I made a bowl of rice and beans, added a little  Tony’s to it and popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up.

Solar ovens don’t burn food.  So, you can leave your food in your solar oven all day and not worry about it burning.  There are so many things that you can cook with a solar oven. Solavore has recipes you can try – savory and sweet.

My advice is that you experiment and try cooking with your solar oven when you don’t need it, so you will know how it works when you do need it!  The beauty of the Solavore is that it is so lightweight and sturdy.  You can use this all year long, just as long as you have sun.  And, you don’t have to wait for an emergency!

You can purchase the Solavore Sports Solar Oven on the Solavore site.

Check out my pics below as well as videos that I have linked to by my blogging friend, Anegela @ Food Storage and Survival.  Especially pay attention to her video on the WAPI.  I think this is a BIG selling point for solar ovens.

This is a pic from my first attempt. You can see I had a ton of sun, but I lost it 1/2 way through the day. I also think I put in a little too much water. You’re supposed to put in 25% less water than you normally use in a recipe.  I didn’t read that part during my first attempt!

Second attempt. Setting up the rice and beans.  A lot less water!

Pic of the Solavore Sport Solar Oven. This pic was taken early in the morning before I left for work.

Already cool because the sun was setting when I took the pots out of the oven, however, the rice and beans were fully cooked!

A little Tony’s! I was just missing some cornbread!

The Solavore Sports Oven comes with the oven and lid, reflectors, two pots, a temperature gauge and a WAPI.

WAPI = Water Pasteurization Indicator. If you haven’t seen one of these in action, check out the video below.

 

 

Do you have any experience with a solar oven?  What is it?  Would you consider purchasing one for your preps?

 

Peace,
Todd

One Socket to Rule Them All! Tools for the Apocalypse!

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I’m of the belief that when the poop hits the fan, tangibles are going to be very important. The money in the bank will be worthless.  But if you have something in your hands that is of value, well, you will be in a much better spot!

As a prepper, I believe you should have food, water, medical supplies, a means to defend yourself, etc…  You should have an emergency fund.  And, if you are able, having some precious metals is good too!

But one other thing that I think is important is having good tools, specifically non-power tools. Think about it.  If you have tools, not only can you fix your things, but you could find work fixing other people’s things.  Good tools might be worth their weight in gold in a poop hit the fan scenario.

Lately, I’ve been trying to make wise purchases when it comes to tools.  I definitely don’t want to have a bunch of dollar store or inferior tools if I ever really need them.

So with that, I would like to share with you a tool that I recently purchased that seems to be a good choice.  It is a socket that can fit any nut and more.

I recently used it to change out the headlamp bulb in my wife’s vehicle.  I have to say that it worked just like it was supposed to.  And, it looks and feels like a very solid socket.

The socket is made by Blendx.  The tool is  the BLENDX 7mm to 19mm (1/4″ – 3/4″) Ratchet Universal Socket.  On Amazon, it has 25 reviews with 4.5 stars.

This socket will replace many other sockets since it can fit anything between a 1/4″ to a 3/4″ nut.  It will also grab other types of fasteners that need to be turned (see video below).

The socket is created with 54 small spring loaded rods inside.  When you push the socket down around a fastener, it grips around it and allows you to turn the socket.  It comes with a 3/8″ adapter.

Shown above with the Stanley Multibit Ratcheting Screwdriver.

The socket only costs $9.99.  It is made in China.  I know many frown on the fact that it is made in  China.  But like I said above, it has good reviews.  From the Blendx Storefront page on Amazon, “BLENDX is a Professional Online E-commerce Brand offering trendy Outdoor Products and Home Gadgets.We have Overseas R&D center in Shenzhen, where’s the core of the Chinese manufacturing industry. By taking this advantages, BLENDX provides you various kinds of great products at the lowest possible prices.”

If you would like to purchase the same type of tool from another country, the Gator Grip runs under $39 and is made in the Czech Republic.

The video below is of the Gator Grip version.  But the Blendx version will work exactly the same.

 

Do you have one of these sockets?  How has it worked for you?  And, which tools do you believe would be important for a SHTF situation?

Peace,
Todd

Living Off the Grid with Solar!

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The moment you go off-grid, you rely entirely on a system that generates electrical energy and utilizes the same to support all your electrical appliances, either at home or on a business premise. For your system to be exclusively off-grid, it must have absolutely no link to the utility grid.

Going off-grid is possible, practical and beneficial to you in many ways. You will not have to pay utility bills and in the long run, you will save money! Other motivations include: environmental concerns and endeavoring to only use renewable energy; energy independence, you won’t have to rely on the blackout-prone utility; social values, which mean taking responsibility for your energy consumption effects; costs, when the distance to the grid is too big, your decision to go off grid becomes a lot cheaper.

So, if you either live far from the grid or in places with no electric connection, you have no choice except to go off-grid. Ultimately, you must find out the cost of making the connection as well as what the cost will cover, before making an informed decision whether to go off-grid or not.

Considerations Before Going Off-Grid

1. What’s the cost?

Price plays a crucial role in your decision to go off-grid. Could you afford the cost of installing an off-grid system? If you’re planning to live in the location long enough, going off-grid is reasonable because you will adequately recover the costs you incur setting up your power system.

2. How much electric energy can you obtain from the available surface?

Do you intend to go off-grid and still maintain your current energy consumption rate? If your answer is yes, you’ll have to purchase sufficient energy harnessing and storage capacity. For homes occupying a quarter acre plot, the rooftop does not offer enough space to install sufficient PV panels. If you don’t have enough roof space either; buy high-efficiency PV panels, or you can reduce your power consumption, so that the power you can obtain from your roof space is adequate.

3. Will you have an increase in electric power needs in the future?

In any household; power consumption varies from time to time. Every time you add high-energy consuming appliances, the power consumption spikes. Put such factors into consideration while planning to go off-grid.

4. Battery security requirements.

Install, operate and maintain your batteries using expertly recommended procedures to eliminate risks. So, find out your battery safety requirements from the manufacturers. Also, avoid shortcuts while installing and maintaining your storage system, for your safety.

5. Care and maintenance

Consider the cost of maintaining your off-grid system.  Solar panels can come with a 25-year maintenance warranty. You will need to replace batteries and inverters somewhere between five and ten years.

System Sizing

1. PV Panels

The larger the size of the PV panel you are using, the higher the amount of electricity it generates. Weather conditions of your locality also play a role. So, you need to factor in Photovoltaic Generation Factor (PGF), which considers both the panel size and prevailing climatic conditions (refer to the attached map for PGF of your particular state). Use your area’s PGF to size your PV panels as follows:

Calculate daily wattage-Hour (WH) needed from PV panels by multiplying the sum of daily devices (WH) by 1.3 to obtain the total WH you require daily.  1.3 takes care of the energy you will lose while converting energy from one form to another as well as any copper losses.
Divide the result by PGF to get WH ratings of the solar panels required to support all your devices.

Divide the result by rated Watt-Peak output your PV panels can generate. Raise any decimal number to the next higher full number (for instance 4.23 to 5). The figure you obtain gives the number of panels you should use.

For example, The sum of daily devices WH is 2000kWh, the PGF of your state is 4, the total WH you require daily will be 2000*1,3/4 = 650 Watt-Peak. If your PV watt-peak is 200, then you will need: 650/200 = 3.25 or 4 PV Panels.

2. Inverter

Since power factor is practically less than 1 (varies from 0.85 to 0.99), take 1.18 VA to be equal to 1 W. If your total Watt-Hours is, for example, 1000, multiply the figure 1000 by 1.18 to obtain 1180 VA (or 1.18 kVA) as your inverter size. Make a habit of adding some extra to be on the safe side. As a result, acquire an inverter whose rating is slightly higher than the figure you obtained.

3. Battery

Size Your Battery As Follows

  • Divide your Watt-Hour by 0.85 to take care of battery losses
  • Divide the answer by 0.6 for the depth of charge
  • Divide your answer by minimum battery voltage
  • Multiply your answer by days of autonomy (the days you will use your system, yet PV panels aren’t generating energy) to obtain the AH (Ampere-Hour) of your deep-cycle battery.

4. Controller

Multiply the PV panels you require by WH (Watts-Hour) to get the total power your system will generate. Divide what you get by your battery bank’s voltage to get the current flow at any given time. Raise this current value by 25 percent to account for low temperatures before rounding it up to the next whole number. What you end up with is the controller size suitable for your system.

Reality Check

If you are planning to use an off-grid system, note that it’ll solely rely on the energy it generates. However, the fact that the sun rays vary from time to time, present you with a significant challenge. To design such a system in such a way that it overcomes the variations, you must spend a lot of money because you will have to use high electricity generating capacity coupled with a massive storage capacity. Your resulting system will, however, be efficient and more environmentally friendly.

To maintain your batteries, add water whenever the level of the electrolyte decreases below the electrodes, clean the terminals (using distilled water) and check connections as often as possible. Also, set up a proper charging routine for your batteries to last longer. Never leave your batteries in the uncharged state for an extended period.

If you live in an area that experiences unbalanced resources, you will require a fuel-powered quiet generator for home backup purposes. Nonetheless, you still need to invest in a modest home backup unit; to support crucial appliances during periods of emergencies.

Which is the best option: hiring a professional to design your off-grid system or installing it yourself? The former requires first establishing if the professional you are considering has ever installed an off-grid system. The latter requires attending classes so as to acquire the necessary skills and purchasing components from a reliable vendor (preferably local). Provided you are sure an off-grid system is best for you, do not take chances. Make sure your system is installed correctly and enjoy the independence of using renewable energy.

About the author: Victor Hill, an expert in generators who writes for and owns Trustworthy Power. He has a degree in Mechatronics, reviews the various types of generators, provides users with guidelines on how to choose, care for and use generators. He is a Quality Assurance Engineer at DENSO but spends his free time researching about generators and coming up with helpful information for users.

 

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PIC REVIEW: The Survival Shovel by Survival Hax

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One of the perks of running Prepper Website is that I get offers to review preparedness products and books.  I turn a lot of offers down, but I was happy to check out the Survival Hax Survival Shovel.

Before I actually opened the package, I did see a review by Zac from An American Homestead on the Survival Shovel.  Zac’s review isn’t a positive review.  At one point, the shovel breaks at the point where the shovel meets the handle.  But, in all honesty, Zac swings the shovel like a madman! 😉  To counter, Amazon shows 40 reviews with a total 4.5 stars.

It definitely isn’t military grade. The shovel costs just under $27.  It breaks down and fits into its own pouch.  The handle is hollow, which allows you to store small items, possibly tinder, since the top unscrews to reveal a ferro rod.

For this pic review, I will say that I don’t have a lot of “hard” dirt in my backyard.  I have a lot of garden beds.  So, I took the opportunity to dig out some ginger.  I know…not really putting it through a workout!

The shovel made quick work of getting to the ginger.  I feel it will dig through most dirt in a camping scenario.  I would not use it to try and go through roots or dig huge trenches!

If you are interested in this shovel, check out the Survival Hax website.

Survival Shovel – Packaging

Survival Shovel inside of the provided pouch.

Shovel components – notice the end screw top which holds the ferro rod.

The shovel locks in place by turning the big orange knob. Notice the ferro rod.

This was the point of failure in Zac’s video.

In the dirt

If you could smell the ginger…

Peace,
Todd

Food Storage: It’s the Little Things!!!

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the little things make a big difference.” That’s true in preparedness and really true when we consider food storage! Let me walk you through a scenario.

The “hammer” has finally “dropped” and America is in the middle of TEOTWAKI. Chaos ensues and it is not pretty! After a while, depending on where you are located in the country (some places might take longer than others), things finally die down (maybe literally) and eventually a “new normal” emerges in American’s everyday life!

Maybe it looks agricultural. Maybe it looks industrial. Who knows? But one thing that everyone will have to do is eat!

Now, imagine putting in a long day of…working in the field, patrolling, working in a factory or whatever. Imagine working a long day and then coming home to sit down to eat…the same old, bland food.

Many people say that if someone is hungry, they will eat whatever is in front of them. I actually believe that. But, remember, we are now in a “new normal.” People aren’t necessarily hungry. It’s just that the food sucks! Can you imagine what that would do to morale eventually?

Now, what if the person responsible for making the food knew tricks and tips and knew how to make things that tasted good? What would that do for morale? Just imagine, dinner time would once again be the centerpoint of the day. Families would come together to eat a good meal and enjoy each other.

Now, many of us have food storage. Some of your food storage might include MRE’s and dehydrated Mountain House meals. But the bulk of most preppers food storage would include basic staples like rice and beans. After your MRE’s and Mountain House is gone, how will you cook your rice and beans and other long term food storage in a way that won’t eventually get boring?

The truth here is that cooking, knowing how flavors come together, knowing what to use and when, is an important skill, not only when the poop hits the fan, but it can also be very useful now!

I would like to announce that I’m partnering, as an affiliate, with Chef Keith Snow and his new cooking program that has been designed for preppers!

Many of you know Chef Keith Snow from his own cooking podcast and his appearances on The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. He sits on Jack’s Expert Council when the topic is food.

In realizing the frailty of our system, he got serious about prepping and food storage. He also realizes the challenges that many preppers have when it comes to making their food storage taste good over a long time. He has developed a course to help his fellow preppers!
Keith has put together a course with 17 modules that covers everything from “What Food to Store” to the equipment you need to the specifics on food storage staples. He is just now launching it and adding to it weekly.

But, this isn’t just a course. When you learn how to really cook well, you are learning a valuable skill. You will use all your preparedness skills at some point. But you will eat everyday!

And, this course will help you save money because many of the main ingredients in the recipes are from food storage staples, which means they will be very affordable!

Good food at a great price…and learn a valuable skill?????? It’s a win-win-win!!!!

The cost of the course covers a lifetime membership and includes access to all of Chef Keith’s written materials as well as videos. The written material includes recipes and even items that you will want to purchase to add to your food storage.

Since the course has just launched, but isn’t completed yet, Chef Keith is offering an introductory offer to join his new program – $169. Again, this includes a lifetime membership and unlimited access to all of his materials, including a forum.

To sign-up for his course, CLICK HERE!

If you’re not convinced yet, and would like to get a little more information, subscribe to his mini-course which will get you access to a 45 page ebook in PDF , two written recipe with everything you need to know how to make these recipes and information from Keith’s perspective and rationale of the course.

To sign-up for the mini-course – CLICK HERE!

To put my money where my mouth is – I signed up for the course myself! I am excited to improve my cooking skills. I plan on putting out some of the recipes I try on my social media channels. Be on the lookout for them!

Peace,
Todd

FIREARM: First Thing to Do With Your New Pistol and A Short Survey

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In a recent article, I read that gun sales, even after the 2016 election, were still running high. Coupled with the Christmas holidays, there is a great possibility that there are quite a few new gun owners out there.  That’s a good thing for those of us who support the Second Amendment!

But with gun ownership, no matter why a firearm was purchased, there are some thing that need to be understood and learned, like the proper cleaning of your new firearm.  Since I haven’t come across a recent article on Prepper Website, I have decided to put together an article that links to several videos that I think are good for any gun owner to view.  Two videos discuss the need to clean your firearm before you shoot it for the first time.  This is due to the cosmoline that gun manufacturers put on the firearms before leaving their factory. Most new gun owners don’t know this.  The last video is a good generic video on cleaning your pistol.  Also, for future article considerations, I have created a short survey to ask gun owners their pistol of choice for home defense and/or concealed carry.  And don’t forget to get yourself a pistol cleaning kit and some lube – both which you will find endless debates about online! 😉

Although this first video uses a rifle as their example, know that you will find the same on your new pistol…to varying degrees.

 

NeverEnuffAmmo does admit that he talks too much for this short video, but you should still watch it!

 

And here is Iraqveteran8888, with a good generic and basic cleaning video.

 

I would greatly appreciate it if you would leave me a little info below (type and caliber), for future article considerations, on the pistol you purchased for home defense or your concealed carry handgun.

 

Loading…Peace,
Todd

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Top Seven Articles (1 VID) on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It!

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Here are the top 7 articles (1 VID) (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 12/5/16 – 12/11/16

‘It Is Like A Nuclear Bomb Went Off In The Prepping Community’

What would happen if Martial Law were declared?

Building a Basic Defensive Arsenal

How The Next Great Depression Will Be Different From The First

Rules of engagement in a post SHTF world?

5 Best EDC Items

VID: These 5 Fish Antibiotics are GONE Jan.1! But that ain’t all…

 

Peace,
Todd

Top Seven (8) Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It!

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top7

Here are the top 7 (8 this week due to a tie) articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!

I’ve also included one honorable mention that I think you should read.

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 11/21/16 – 11/27/16

8 Things To Keep Under The Radar During A Blackout

The 6 Golden Rules of Surviving Martial Law

Did The Donald Kill Prepping?

Essential Tools and Gear for Long-Term Survival

5 Survival Things You Shouldn’t Compromise On

How to quiet a noisy generator

The Realistic Prepping Plan

5 Lifesaving Security Measures to Secure Your Home From Intruders

 

Peace,
Todd

When the SHTF, Will You Attempt a Final Trip to the Store? You Might Consider It!

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When the SHTF, Will You Attempt a Final Trip to the Store? You Might Consider It! When preppers consider SHTF scenarios, we tend to imagine that it will happen really fast.  The reality though might be way different. What if as a prepper, you see the writing on the wall, but everyone else doesn’t?  Would …

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Pump-Action Shotgun – The Most Versatile Gun

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shotgun

Todd’s Note: This is a guest post by Vitaly Pedchenko, owner of Rem870.com.

A pump-action shotgun is without a doubt one of the most versatile survival shotguns in the world. One of the reasons for its versatility has to do with how well it performs and the multiple environments it is suitable for. When you operate the weapon, your hand will go on the specially designed handgrip near the stock while your other hand goes on the forend. From there, you just pump the forend back to eject the shell from the chamber that you just used and then pump it forward to replace the shell with a new one.

Pump-action shotguns are used for a variety of activities such as hunting, home defense, law enforcement purposes, survival, and even for stopping riots with non-lethal ammunition. Let’s take hunting, for example. If you are hunting deer and you see one running by in the distance, you may only have a couple of seconds to react before the deer runs away. That means you’ll have to hit the deer on your first try or else it’ll run away and you’ll lose the opportunity to get him. With a pump-action shotgun, you have multiple chances to shoot the deer within a much shorter timeframe. This increases your odds of hitting him before it can get away. As for home defense and law enforcement purposes, these can be a matter of life and death. If an intruder or suspect starts shooting in your direction, you’ll need to fire as many shots as you can to scare them off or incapacitate them. The pump-action shotgun is the most reliable in these circumstances and can result in your life being saved because of it.

Gun enthusiasts often refer to pump action shotguns as slide-action repeating shotguns because it describes how you slide the forend back to extract a shell and then pump it forward to load a new shell into the chamber. These shotguns only use a single barrel which is located on top of the tubular magazine that the shells go into. This is how the pumping of the forend is able to take shells out of the magazine tube and place them into the chamber. Of course, you have the option of replacing the forend with a better one if you know how to do so. Some shooters like to have forends with grips on them so it is easier to hold it more securely while they’re using the weapon. If you want to get really fancy, then you can even mount a tactical flashlight to the forend so you can see in the dark. Some forend upgrades, such as the Surefire Light Forend, features a light integrated right into the forend so you don’t even have to mount anything to it.

If you are a newbie to shotgun ownership, then you will find it easier to perform maintenance on the pump-action shotgun. Activities such as cleaning the bore and chamber of gunpowder residue and debris are much more simplified with the pump action shotgun. When it comes to firing the weapon, it will take a lot of practice to get comfortable with it if you’ve never fired a pump-action weapon before. After you have gotten enough experience operating it, you may want to perform certain upgrades on it that may be necessary for repair purposes or just because you want to customize the weapon to fit your needs. For example, a lot of shotgun owners get tired of the factory stock, forend, controls, barrel that came with their weapon. They’d much rather upgrade these parts to ones that allow them to use shotgun more comfortably. Making these upgrades is a piece of cake with the pump action shotgun.

There aren’t too many disadvantages with pump action shotguns. The only real disadvantage is that you cannot add a detachable magazine in order to reload the weapon quickly. You can’t just pop out the magazine and attach a new one like you can with most rifles and some other shotgun types. But if you are just using your pump-action shotgun for hunting or home defense, then it shouldn’t be an issue. On the other hand, if you truly need to extend the ammunition capacity of your shotgun then there are tubular magazine extensions you can add. But it will still take some time to reload them after you use up all the ammunition that they hold.

About the Author: Vitaly Pedchenko, owner of Rem870.com – blog and forum about the Remington 870 shotgun. Competitive shooter and gun enthusiast. Author of the Complete Remington 870 Guide ebook.

Peace,
Todd

Solo Stove Pic Review & The Top Lit Updraft Method

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Solo Stove recently sent me a Solo Stove Titan and Solo Stove Pot 1800. I fired it up a few times and wanted to share my observations with you through pics.

As I did a little research before receiving it, I learned that the Solo Stove is a one piece wood gasifier and should utilize a Top Lit Updraft (TLUD) system.  This is very different than you see Solo Stoves reviewed on Youtube.  In fact, the only really good example on Youtube that I found of TLUD is a Permies video. Most people who review the Solo Stove, use it like a tin can stove.  They build the fire at the bottom and start adding fuel.  This doesn’t utilize the Solo Stove the way it was supposed to be used!

TLUD works like this:  You fill the Solo Stove up with wood, really stack it in their good!  You then start a fire at the top of the wood stack.  As the fire gets going, the wood underneath, gets hot and produces gas.  This gas goes up the inside chamber of the Solo Stove and gets burned.  This makes for a very efficient, hot and smokeless fire.

The Solo Stove uses a lot of wood.  You’ll have to keep feeding it while you are cooking or heating up water.  But as you’ll see below, these are small chunks of wood.  So you really could do this with twigs and small sticks, whatever you find on the forest floor.  It is a small stove that will heat up your pot quickly.  I went from cold tap water to boiling water in 5 minutes, as you’ll see.

The only thing negative I have to say about the Solo Stove was getting it started.  This is not really the Solo Stove’s fault.  This was my fault.  But I purposed to not use anything else than what I could find outside.  I used dry grass/straw as my tinder.  I realized that I was trying to pack it too tight.  Once I got the grass started and then added to it by dropping it on top of the already lit fire, it caught quickly.

The Solo Stove Titan and Solo Stove Pot 1800 are solidly built!  These two pieces will go through a lot of abuse!  You can purchase the set on Amazon.

Below you’ll see the PICS I took  I added captions to each pic.

The bottom of the Solo Stove Titan. The grate allows for gas to channel up the side chamber.

The bottom of the Solo Stove Titan. The grate allows for gas to channel up the side chamber.

Notice the wholes at the top. This is where the gas comes out from the bottom. You'll see how they resemble jets of fire in another pic.

Notice the holes at the top. This is where the gas comes out from the bottom. You’ll see how they resemble jets of fire in another pic.

This pic serves to let you see how tall the Solo Stove Titan is. That's a Mora standing up next to it.

This pic serves to let you see how tall the Solo Stove Titan is. That’s a Mora standing up next to it.

Starting to stack the wood at the bottom.

Starting to stack the wood at the bottom.

Stacking more wood. The tighter you get it in there, the longer burn time you'll have.

Stacking more wood. The tighter you get it in there, the longer burn time you’ll have.

Smaller pieces towards the top of the wood stack.

Smaller pieces towards the top of the wood stack.

Dry grass and wood at the top. Having a little trouble getting it stay lit!

Dry grass and wood at the top. Having a little trouble getting it stay lit!

Realized I need to keep dropping dry grass on the top to get it to catch.

Realized I need to keep dropping dry grass on the top to get it to catch.

The stove is going now. I added the cooking ring.

The stove is going now. I added the cooking ring.

Placed the Solo Stove Pot 1800 on the cooking ring with two cups of water. Started watching my clock at 11:12.

Placed the Solo Stove Pot 1800 on the cooking ring with two cups of water. Started watching my clock at 11:12.

As I watched the water, I added more chunks of wood in the space provided.

As I watched the water, I added more chunks of wood in the space provided.

After two minutes, I start seeing signs that the water is boiling.

After two minutes, I start seeing signs that the water is boiling.

Check out those jets! That's the gas coming out the top chambers.

Check out those jets! That’s the gas coming out the top chambers.

After 5 minutes, my water is boiling!

After 5 minutes, my water is boiling!

You can see coals and embers at the bottom, but the fire is pretty much gone at this point.

You can see coals and embers at the bottom, but the fire is pretty much gone at this point.

However, about 30 seconds after adding 5 small chunks of wood, the fire comes back to life!

However, about 30 seconds after adding 5 small chunks of wood, the fire comes back to life!

The bottom of the stove after the fire is allowed to burn out.

The bottom of the stove after the fire is allowed to burn out.

The Solo Stove Pot 1800 has convenient oz and ml markings on the inside. It also comes with handles that allow you to pick it up when it is hot, comes with a cover and has a three point carrying handle that stays in place.

The Solo Stove Pot 1800 has convenient oz and ml markings on the inside. It also comes with handles that allow you to pick it up when it is hot, comes with a cover and has a three point carrying handle that stays in place.

The Solo Stove Titan nestles nicely inside the Solo Stove Pot 1800. The Solo Stove and Pot come with carrying pouches. This helps to make sure the inside of your pot doesn't get dirty!

The Solo Stove Titan nestles nicely inside the Solo Stove Pot 1800. The Solo Stove and Pot come with carrying pouches. This helps to make sure the inside of your pot doesn’t get dirty!

The Solo Stove Pot 1800 with the cover on and before I put it back in the pouch.

The Solo Stove Pot 1800 with the cover on and before I put it back in the pouch.

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Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It!

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Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!  I also included one “honorable mention” – an article that might not have received as much traction on Prepper Website, but I think is important to point out!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 10/23/16 – 10/30/16

1. 5 Things To Know About Bleach Storage

2. The Biggest, Most Likely Disaster You’re Not Prepared For

3. Just In Case: Preparing for the Evening and Day After Election 2016

4. 7 Financial Preps You Should Do ASAP

5. 50 Tips From the Great Depression

6. 7 Stupid Things People Do In Survival & Doomsday Shows

7. Reasons You Should Stockpile Coffee

Peace,
Todd

These Mistakes Can Ruin Home Security: Protect your family by avoiding these pitfalls

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Editor’s Note: As Prepper’s, we are usually looking for some big SHTF event coming in and disrupting our way of life.  However, it is more likely that your life would be disrupted by a more localized event, like a power outage, flood or some other natural disaster.  But there are other events that happen that we don’t always consider as having the ability to cause problems until they happen.  For example, having your house broken into, having a family member slip and hurt themselves or just plain not feeling safe in your house can cause problems for you and your family.  These events, with a little preparedness, can be minimized.  This guest post makes some good points and will provide some food for thought.

When it comes to planning your home layout, home security can be easy to overlook. The placement of furniture and lighting can improve or detract from the security of your home. It is possible to design a layout that not only makes the most out of available living space, but also keeps the family safe. Here are some tips to an effective and safe home layout:

Clutter Can Kill

In times of crisis, clutter can prove to be problematic. Consider the maneuverability you will need during a natural disaster, or when an intruder enters your home; if you feel you would be uncomfortable navigating around your home under these circumstances, it is time to reevaluate your setup.

Consider the flow of foot traffic, and position furnishings so they don’t create sharp turns. Forcing guests to perform acrobatics to navigate around the room can lead to slips and injuries. Furthermore, it can be a liability in cases of emergency. If a piece of furniture blocks the exit during an emergency, it can cost someone their life. Clutter can also make it difficult to clean, leading to worsening allergy and breathing problems.

Streamline the room as much as possible. Consider what the space needs are, and make a list of spaces that are needed. Estimate the square footage for each area. Then, organize the home so that these spaces are connected in a logical manner.

Not only do cluttered rooms look messy, but they can be dangerous to the elderly and disabled. Paths of travel should be a constant consideration. Avoid creating an obstacle course with furniture.

Avoid Blind Spots

Don’t create blind spots, and keep windows within view of seating areas. It is not necessary to place the couch against the wall, but seating should give a full view of foot traffic and all entrances. Not being able to see action happening in the room makes people instinctively uncomfortable. Family members might also be interested in knowing if someone is lurking out the window. Obviously, valuables should not be in clear view from any window.

Lighting is one of the more important design aspects for safety. There needs to be enough lighting to ensure that guests can transverse room-to-room at any time of the day without risk of personal injury or property damage. Stairs especially need a proper amount of lighting, as they cause an accident if too dark.

Creative planners can use light defensively. For example, an outdoor motion sensor connected to an indoor light is a clever way of dissuading criminals from entering a home. Finally, if security cameras are in use, areas under surveillance must have an ample amount of lighting.

Eliminate Hiding Places Outdoors

When planning the outdoor layout for security, there are some important rules to follow. Lighting plays an important role in security outdoors. Criminals are less likely to enter a home if it is adequately lit.

Prevent creating potential hiding places near lower-level doors and windows. Decluttering the home indoors has clear advantages, but one should also keep things uncluttered outside as well. Overgrown bushes and shrubs can offer convenient places for potential criminals to hide in waiting without being seen. Patio furniture can also create this same problem.

There are other measures one can take outdoors to improve the security of the home. Tree branches that are close to second-story windows can be undesirable access points, so be sure to keep trees maintained. While they are not necessary in most neighborhoods, homeowners may choose to invest in alarms, security cameras, or even bolster security with smart tech. With proper planning, it is possible to design a home layout that minimizes the risk of injury and bolsters security without sacrificing an appealing design

Every possible precaution should be made to protect our homes. Making the right decisions in home layout can contribute to the safety of our loved ones.

About the Author: Cody Hill is passionate about security and technology. His hobbies include traveling and sports. If he isn’t busy blogging about the latest gadget, you will usually find him shouting at his TV during an NFL game. 
Peace,
Todd

Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! Just In Case You Missed It!

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top7

Here are the top 7 articles (by clicks) that appeared on Prepper Website over the last week, just in case you missed it! They appear in order, from highest to lowest clicks.  But remember, even the article at the bottom still received a lot of clicks!  I also included one “honorable mention” – an article that might not have received as much traction on Prepper Website, but I think is important to point out!

Top 7 on Prepper Website – Week of 10/16/16

1. 25 Items That Will Be Worth Their Weight In Gold After The SHTF

2. If Civil War

3. How and Where to Store Your Ammo Stockpile

4. OBAMA EXECUTIVE ACTION – PROTECT UNITED STATES FROM EMP

5. 8 ‘Weird-But-Essential’ Things You Aren’t Stockpiling (But Should Be)

6. The End State: 5 Triggering Events That Would Place the U.S. Under Martial Law

7. 32 WAYS TO BEEF-UP HOME SECURITY

Honorable Mention: How my family Stopped a Chronic MRSA Infection When Conventional Medicine Failed

For more great preparedness articles, visit Prepper Website or research a topic by visiting the Tag Cloud!

 

Peace,
Todd

Sitting Around the Radio (Like the Old Days) & The Days of Elijah

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I grew up in the days of Sony Walkmans.  I had a cool one.  It had an EQ and BASS BOOST.  I would carry spare batteries and pop in the newest tape, the good ol’ days!

Although we did sit around the TV in the front room as a kid to watch Prime Time shows, I’m not old enough to have lived in the real “good ol’ days.”  I don’t really remember the black and white era of TV.  I’m definitely not old enough to have lived through the times when the family gathered around the radio to hear the latest tunes and radio programs in the evening.

I am fortunate enough to have known my grandparents and heard the stories of when they would sit around the radio, that was real entertainment!  In fact, my dad and I were just talking about how real the radio program, The War of the Worlds, was to those who listened to it back in 1938.

 

 

My dad also recalls having the first TV in the neighborhood.  My grandfather would put the TV on the front porch so the neighbors could watch it too.

We think back to those days as safe, clean and respectful.  The entertainment didn’t need naked girls running around and the characters didn’t need to use four letter words every other sentence.

Many of us would love to go back to that simpler time.

But we are not without hope.  There is still good entertainment out there that engages the mind and is good for the soul.  In fact, you have the opportunity to sit around your computer, tablet or phone and feel like you’r back in those “good ol’ days.”

Mark Goodwin, of Prepper Recon, is releasing episodes of his new book, The Days of Elijah, Book One: Apocalypse-A Novel of the Great Tribulation in America, every Friday, starting October 7, 2016.

300x300-elijahThe Days of Elijah picks up where The Days of Noah left off.  Goodwin stats in the prologue that he chose to write the book as requests and feedback came in from readers wanting to know how the story continues for the characters that were “left behind.”

The Days of Elijah is the story of Everett, Courtney and Elijah after the Rapture of the Church, and how they experience The Great Tribulation.

As in all his books, Goodwin does a good job of mixing fiction with practical preparedness help.  One interaction between the trio revolves around stashing supplies in various places to have options in case one supply is compromised.

Then there is the spiritual and Biblical aspect that Goodwin weaves into his story.  He states very plainly in the forward that not everyone would agree on his timing of the events of The Book of Revelation.  He says that for the purpose of the story, some might consider his view a hybrid.

Like his other fictional books, Goodwin goes into  depth discussing End Times Prophecy, as well as other Biblical matters.  His writing will definitely get you thinking.

Even though you might not agree with his take on the Book of Revelation (*see note below), the story is a great one to read or listen to.  In fact, I have become so accustomed to listening to the “voice of Goodwin’s books”, that I actually miss the voice when I listen to other audio books.

CLICK HERE to visit PrepperRecon and listen to the episodes that have been released. Remember, Goodwin will release one episode a week on Friday.

If you don’t want to wait to listen to Goodwin’s free episode every Friday, you can purchase the audio version for a reduced price on Goodwin’s site.  By clicking here – you can purchase the audio book for only $11.95.  If you would like to purchase the paperback or Kindle, you can do so from Amazon.

Click below to read the reviews of Goodwin’s other books:

After reading a story like The Days of Elijah, some people might think, “What’s the use?”  The thing to remember is that no one knows what an economic collapse or End of the World scenario is really going to look like.  The point is to be prepared.  The more you are prepared, the more you can be confident in facing the future.  For those who are seeking guidance on being prepared, Goodwin, provides a FREE 67 page ebook on his website.  The ebook is a collaboration with David Kobler, SouthernPrepper1.  If you are looking for some guidance or advice, you should download his ebook.  For a direct link to his download page – CLICK HERE.

* I have written before, that my views on End Times Prophecy is to know or have a good familiarity with all the views and then keep my eyes open.  I think a closed minded “my way is right” view to End Times prophecy is not productive.  I always think about what happened to the religious leaders in Jesus’ time.  They were looking for a specific type of Messiah.  They missed the real one right in front of their face.  They got it wrong!

 

Peace,
Todd

The Bugout Formula – If You Have to Ask Yourself, It’s Already Too Late!

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Todd’s Note: I recently received the article below in an email from Michael R. He didn’t intend to send it to me as a potential article. He instead was passing along information that he had been thinking about, analyzing and trying to problem solve.  I thought that his information was important to pass along, being that I haven’t seen the effort (actual numbers) put into explaining why freeways and roads will become impassible if major cities tried to bug out in an emergency situation.  Michael makes a lot of sense.  After thinking through his information, I believe it is even more important to be aware of what is going on and either move now or choose to bug-in.  I don’t know if getting a jump start on bugging out will be possible.  If you have to think about it, you might be too late!

The simple common definition of “Bug Out” is traveling… and more specifically, traveling from a densely populated area to a less densely populated area.

Have you ever thought about the minimum amount of time that the perfectly prepared family who has a Plan and has practiced evacuation would need to evacuate to a predetermined bug-out location? Yes, there are a lot of qualifiers in this sentence but work with me here.

Let’s start by setting up the parameters as a challenge.

First, the only criteria for our perfect family, who are all at home in their metropolitan suburb, is they will only need to grab the most urgent essentials like medicine, then depart their home and arrive at their bug-out location within 12 hours to beat the challenge.

Well, that’s an easy challenge to win. The fastest transportation is our fully-fueled vehicle, since we have pre-deployed our resources in advance, so we’ll simply jump in our vehicle and be there in a few hours.

But since we’re cautious people, we’ll do some risk assessments using the tried and true, “What ifs.

What if our metropolitan city, in our case, Dallas, attempted to evacuate?

There are a lot of people in Dallas, but “a lot” is kinda’ vague. And only a few keystrokes reveals there are 451,000 houses in Dallas County.

A few more keystrokes reveals that each household has 1.8 cars, but it is reasonable to believe that an evacuation will cause families to travel as a unit in a single vehicle.  So, let’s think that at most 451,000 cars will hit the streets. However, it is safe to assume that not all residents will evacuate, so I’ll reduce the amount by 20%, leaving the potential for 360,800 cars on the road.

OK, now some fairly uncomplicated criteria: a car is 16 to 17 feet long, plus you might add a foot or two to compensate for sharing the road with an unknown quantity of 73-foot long tractor-trailer rigs and the 50-foot long travel trailers that those “almost prepared” will attempt to escape in.

All of which equals about 6+ million feet of vehicles, add to that 1 million feet of trailers and another 1 million feet of bumper space (1.5-feet between vehicles) divided by the number of feet in a mile – 5,280 equals 1,500 miles of vehicles.

OK – where could those 1,500 miles of vehicles go? A safe answer is anywhere out of Dallas, but let’s stick to major, high speed, traffic arteries like Interstate Highways. Dallas has 3 Interstates, meaning 16 lanes of outbound roadways available for use in a mass evacuation of Dallas.

One additional fact: Studies of actual highway traffic have measured vehicle flow rates as high as 2,000 vehicles per lane, per hour, at a speed of 60 miles per hour.

In a perfect scenario, 360,800 vehicles at 60 MPH will take 200 hours to evacuate Dallas – the math is 2,000 vehicles per hour times 2-seconds per vehicle divided 60 will equal hours – you might want to leave early.  

Here is the Total Breakdown

data

It ends up that you have 2,784 miles of vehicles wanting to occupy 956 miles of Interstate.

An omission that dawned on me as I was rethinking my premise – houses are not households – houses are houses – apartment are not included!!!

The Dallas Apparent Assn. says there are 201,599 apartments in Dallas county – but there is no average number of cars per apartment – the safest guess may be 1 car per apartment – add 40% to miles – so, 3,894 miles of cars wanting to occupy 239 miles.

Now if you think that everyone had a place to go – Mom & Dad’s house, a 2nd home, a farm or a camping place – and that they were evenly spread across the 6 major arteries out of Dallas, there would still not be enough road space

Figure it this way – 6 arteries times 4 lanes per artery times “X” miles – it doesn’t matter what “X” equals, the first bottleneck stops all traffic.

In an attempt to keep things simple, these thoughts were based on only Dallas County being evacuated and not any other city or town – not Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Arlington or Ft Worth. The compounding factor is simply beyond my simple premise. if you apply a simple advancement algorithm to the 11 counties that are 900 square miles each around Dallas county, the result is a multiplier of about 8 – instead of 3,000 miles of cars you have 30,000 miles of cars – my mind hit tilt way long ago.

Conclusions???

Some cautious conclusions come to mind.  It seems reasonable that in only 1 hour, cars leaving Dallas will be bumper-to-bumper or stopped on all paved roadways for 250 miles? Yep, total stop! Highways will become parking lots.  The majority of people will be poorly prepared for returning home and unprepared to walk to continue their journey to a place of refuge,  Add to that the idea that no relief vehicle could travel past the first creek because every bridge would be impassible from the people clustering around it for water, for family caregivers who won’t abandon the infirm or young.

Personally, I have come to the conclusion that it is mathematically impossible for a family evacuation to a bug-out location located within 300 miles of home without a head start of 12-hours.

FYI: The equations had no allowances for lane stoppages, accidents or breakdowns. (Care to make a side bet on the probability of no accidents from a panicked mob? Me neither.)

To me this says hunker down or leave early…

A Short List of Recent Evacuations in the U.S.

The following is a partial list of some of the larger emergency event population movements in the past 10 years.  I did not include population movements for genocide, epidemics, famine, or armed conflicts/civil wars.

August 2005 – 484,000 evacuated due to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. September 2005 – 3 million evacuated in Texas and Louisiana, including 2.4 million from Houston, Texas, due to Hurricane Rita. October 2007 – California wildfires forced more than 900,000 people in Southern California to evacuate.[16] August 2008 – 1.9 million people evacuate coastal Louisiana, including New Orleans, for Hurricane Gustav.[18]  August 2011 – A mass evacuation stretching from North Carolina to New York is ordered because of Hurricane Irene and its size.[21]

Current Situations. Bugging Out on Foot. More Questions than Answers

I am also perplexed at the current migration in Europe.  How are so many people feeding themselves on a 2,600 mile journey?  How are they traveling?  Who is underwriting the costs associated with this migration? We know there is food for the migrants because there is no outcry about starvation.  But where is the food coming from? On a daily basis, a million people consume an enormous amount of food.  We know that ramping up food production takes months.  Where is all this food coming from? Will the consumption of these food reserves cause a rise in food costs as producer stocks are depleted?

Todd’s Note: Michael gives us a lot to think about.  What do you think?  Feel free to leave your comment below.  Click the links for more info. on bugging out, bugout vehicles or bugout bags.  Also checkout these links – BOL and BOB.

Peace,
Todd

Securing Your Home – Necessary Steps to Take Before the Economy Completely Tanks!

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Securing Your Home – Necessary Steps to Take Before the Economy Completely Tanks! As the economy becomes more unstable and the “REAL” unemployment numbers continue to skyrocket, people are going to become more desperate.  Survival mode will begin to kick-in and those without, will do whatever they need to do to put food on the table, …

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Economic Tweaks: Changing Our Behavior on the Spiral Downward!

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I’ve been waiting for an economic collapse since I started prepping.  In fact, the economy was my main concern when I started my preparedness journey.  You can even see this focus when I started Prepper Website.  The first article I linked to was one from SHTF Plan called, “How to Spot the Triggers of a Socioeconomic Collapse.”  I’m still waiting!

Every year, every financial quarter brings new warnings.  Many preppers are waiting for the hammer to drop, but some are starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf.  SHTF should have happened so many times by now, it isn’t even funny.

The problem that we might have is that we are looking for ONE BIG EVENT to cause the house of cards to come tumbling down.  I’m starting to believe more and more in what Jack Spirko said years ago, that we are going to experience a slow economic spiral downward.

If you look back at your finances over the last few years, haven’t you felt a little bit more of a pinch?  Things are more expensive.  Your money doesn’t buy as much.  You’re not putting away as much!  Things aren’t SHTF, but every year we lose a little.  One day we’ll wake up and realize we are smack dab in the middle of the SHTF scenario we were looking for on the horizon!

Start Adjusting Now!

One of the best things we can do is to start prepping now to stem off the erosion to our finances.  It’s simple, we need to adjust what goes out and start making better decisions.

There have been many articles written on this topic already.  So, I don’t want to rehash all that here.  But I do want to point out a few helpful things and then focus on the main purpose of this article.

Smart Financial Moves

  1. Budget – If you don’t tell your money what to do, it will do what it wants.  Just like you need a preparedness plan or a bug out plan, you need a money plan.  A budget is a money plan!
  2. Cut back on Services – You don’t need all the cable channels available to man!  You might not need the big cell phone plan you have!  I recently called my insurance company and saved a nice chunk on my auto insurance.  Take a little bit of time and see what you can get rid of.
  3. When you buy something, purchase a quality item so you don’t keep re-purchasing junk!
  4. Pay everything with cash!  Not using credit cards should be a no brainer!
  5. DIY – Learn how to fix things yourself!

 

DIY – Skills that Are Needed in Our Future Economy

I want to devote the rest of the article to the need for learning and knowing how to fix things. We have become so accustomed to just throwing away things that can be fixed for running to the store and buying that new item out of convenience.  But in our spiraling down economy, we might not have the luxury to just buy something out of convenience.  And usually, most things can be fixed for a fraction of what the item might cost new.

There is also the need to learn how to repair or replace things ourselves. For example, recently I replaced the toilet in the boys restroom.  It was a nasty, dirty job.  I had to run to Home Depot a few times to get the right part, but it saved me the cost of scheduling a plumber to replace it for me.  What would that have cost me?  I don’t know.  But I saved that money, plus felt good doing it myself.

I also saved a little $$$ when I changed out the battery in my wife’s tablet.  This one was a little bit more technical and well…I had to be real careful because I have fat fingers and I was dealing with some small wires.  But I did it!  All it cost me was the battery from Amazon!

And recently, I changed out the garbage disposal.  This is the one that had me really thinking about the money I was saving by doing these small repairs myself.  I didn’t detail every step, but I did take some pics.

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We’ve lived in this house going on 11 years.  I’m pretty sure this is the original garbage disposal.  You can see the rust in the screws and around the reset button.  This sucker was leaking from places it wasn’t supposed to!

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It was a messy job.  Old putty and gunk were coming off and getting everywhere!

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These pictures don’t let you “appreciate” the nasty gunk on the collar.

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The job would have taken 1/2 the time if I didn’t have to replace the collar.  The old garbage disposal didn’t have a quick connect!

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Give it up for the amateur repair man! 😉

How Am I Learning How to Do This Stuff?

How does one know how to fix things?  You learn!  Everyone has to learn at some point!  And today, we have great resources available to us on the internet.  Before I attempted the repairs I listed above, or others for that matter, I checked Youtube.  That’s right!  I sit down in front of my computer and pull up a few videos on the subject.  In the case of my wife’s tablet, I sat in front of my laptop and watched the video as I mimicked the repair in real time.

To change out the garbage disposal, I watched these two videos below first.

 

 

In the first video, the guy doesn’t punch out the dishwasher drain.  I realized that important piece of advice by reading the comments.  You can learn just as much from the comments when you watch a video!

The Other Missing Piece

One of the other reasons people don’t DIY repair is because they don’t have tools.  Tools are tangibles that you can hold on to.  If you purchase a quality tool, it will last forever!  If you don’t have a good set of tools, it would be a good idea to start adding and building a good set.  You can even find good deals at garage sales and some pawn shops.  If the SHTF, tools will be valuable!

Other Resources

There are a few other resources that you might want to consider if you are choosing to start DIY repairs to save money.   These resources are DIY books that have a proven record of good reviews and they are still in print!

Final Thoughts – Start Now, Get Some Experience!

Taking the time now, when you might have a little financial wiggle room, is the time to start learning how to fix and repair things on your own.  By getting a few projects under your belt, you will build confidence and feel comfortable tackling bigger projects.  You never know what you might be called on to repair in the future!

Peace,
Todd

Beans, Bullets & Band-aids – You’ll Wish You Had More Band-aids…AND Info.

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handbook

You’ll think you have plenty of medical supplies for SHTF, until you have to start using them!  Not too long ago, my wife cut her finger pretty good.  We went through a lot of gauze and bandages, changing that cut out twice a day.  I was shocked by how fast the gauze, tape and pads I had, started to get depleted.  And this was just a little cut!  What if it was worse and I couldn’t access medical supplies easily?

Medical prep has always been one of my concerns and focuses.  I believe that the other survival topics are a little bit more manageable.  Don’t get me wrong, in a true SHTF, it’s going to suck.  But I mean there are more people out there who know a little about gardening, water purification, cooking with little, cooking on an open fire, etc…  In our modern society, we have left medical stuff up to professional doctors and hospitals who go through a lot of training.

But if doctors are not easily available, then what?  You’ll be responsible!  Can you imagine seeing your child or grandchild hurting and not be able to do anything to help?  Like I said earlier, this was one of my main concerns starting out in preparedness.

I’ve said it before, one of the first sites I ever hit was Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy’s, Doom and Bloom.  They are Medical Professionals who understand the need to prep.  They approach their articles and videos from the possibility that help isn’t coming! Scary!

Like many of the preppers out there, I downloaded everything I could on medical preparedness.  I found When There is No Doctor and When There is No Dentist.  But like Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy point out, all of these materials leave the reader with the notion that professional medical services need to be sought after a patient has be stabilized.  None of the literature I found dealt with medical issues from the perspective that finding a medical professional isn’t an option.  Until Dr. Bones (Dr. Joe Alton, M.D.) and Nurse Amy (Amy Alton, ARNP) wrote one!

Dr. Bone sand Nurse Amy recently released the 3rd Edition of their very popular book, The Survival Medicine Handbook.  The 3rd edition has had been expanded and every subject is covered in more detail.  Also, every section IMG_20160903_193404 - Editedhas been updated too!

The book covers a ton of medical situations, see the pics below.  But there are also a few chapters that are very helpful that will come in handy to anyone wanting to take responsibility for medical preparedness, for themselves and their family.

One chapter discusses and lists a ton of medical supplies that the average person isn’t thinking about.  Since Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are both REAL medical professionals, I trust they know what is going to be necessary when it comes to medical supplies.  The chapter is broken down into kit sizes: IFAK or Personal Kits, The Family Kit, Natural Remedy Supplies and The Field Hospital.

One whole section in the book covers medications, from Over the Counter to Natural Relief to Stockpiling, it’s all there!  You also don’t want to miss the very important chapter on Antibiotics.

And like I mentioned in my previous review, you won’t want to miss the chapter on Essential Oils and Herbal Teas.  There is a lot of information that is very valuable!

Checkout the Table of Contents below…

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No one…let me repeat, No Prepper should be without this book!  I believe it is one of the most important prep items you can have!

You can purchase the new 3rd Edition of The Survival Medicine Handbook on Amazon.

Be sure to visit Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy’s website, as well as their online store and Youtube channel!

Check Out these other Medical Related Articles:

Peace,
Todd

Lights Out! NW Houston Edition: Lessons for Non-Preppers!

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Lightsout

Anyone who wants to experience SHTF is out of their mind!  The fact is, it won’t be the book, movie, fantasy that many think it might be.  It will suck!  Every once in a  while, we get a little glimpse into what a major event might look like by watching and observing how people respond to the smaller, localized events.  And if we are one of the people smack-dab in the middle of one of those smaller, localized events, well, we get a chance to run through how we might truly respond.

On Tuesday, August 23, 2016, a small electric substation caught fire in NW Houston.  Why?  I’m still not sure.  But the fire caused a blackout that at one point reached 85,000 homes!

I was cooking dinner (spaghetti if you must know) and about to put garlic bread in the oven when the lights flickered and then went out.  Like every paranoid prepper, I checked my phone…relieved that it wasn’t the dreaded EMP that would end the world as we know it, I opened the shades to let natural light in and served dinner to the family.  As we ate, I checked my local area Facebook page, that posts information faster than even Twitter, and realized that the lights weren’t coming on anytime soon.

I checked the Centerpoint Outage Map website to see how far the outage reached.  Centerpoint maintains the power lines in the Houston area.  They also post updates on outages….more on that later.

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We waited for a while to see if the lights were coming on, but chose to head out to my parents since they had power and Centerpoint was saying it was going to be 10-12 hours until power was restored.  Why suffer?  It isn’t SHTF yet!

Natural light was still coming in since the shades were open, but it got dark fast!  I have PLENTY of lights around, so getting our stuff together was no big deal.  We packed up, closed down the house and headed out.

As we left the neighborhood and traveled down towards the freeway, we noticed that lights that were previously out were back on.  We called my in-laws, who live close by and they had power. We decided to go their to see if lights were coming on faster than Centerpoint said they would.

After about an hour, we realized that the lights weren’t coming on.  We decided to go ahead and head out to my parents since they were better prepared to handle us and lights were still flickering at my in-laws (they weren’t leaving).  Before we left, my neighbor texted me and reminded me to turn off my AC unit.  She said that last time the lights were out like this, her AC blew when the lights came back on.  I drove over to the house to turn off the AC and then we headed to my parents.

Power was restored sooner than the 10-12 hours that Centerpoint said.  We woke up a little earlier than normal to head back to the house to get the kids to school and get ready for work.

Lessons Learned

The lessons learned aren’t going to be anything new for the experienced prepper.  But they are good reminders.  This article also might be helpful for the non-prepper who is looking to have some supplies or ideas to be a little better prepared for emergencies.

Plan, Plan, Plan

The best thing anyone can do when thinking about emergencies is to have a plan and mentally rehearse what they would do and how they need to respond to be safe.  As I realized that the power might be off till the next day, I started discussing with my wife what we wanted to do: stick it out in a stuffy house (Houston heat & humidity sucks) or head over to my parents.  We talked about what we needed to start doing to prepare to leave the house and started getting ready. Read more articles about planning here, here and here.

You WANT to Have Lights and MORE Lights!

Like I said before, night comes real fast!  But, having light isn’t that much of an issue for me.  I have 3 flashlights strategically placed on our fireplace mantle.  I also have a rechargeable lantern by my bed.  But the light that we used the most were the emergency lights that double as nightlights.

Lite Saver - 3 in 1 Light

I have two Lite Savers, one in the kitchen (see pic) and one in the hallway.  They stay charged because they plugin to an electrical socket.  At night, they have a small LED light that provides a little light so you don’t kill yourself while you’re walking around in the dark.  The LED light automatically comes on when the room goes dark.  However, the light can also sense when electricity isn’t flowing in the house and then turns on the big light.  You can unplug the light and carry it around like a small lantern.  The light it provides is surprising!

It is always amazing to me how people don’t have the basics.  One lady on Facebook posted that she didn’t have a flashlight or candles, but she did have her solar lights from her flowerbed.  As preppers, we definitely know that trick.  But WHY didn’t she have any flashlights or anything else?  Come on!

Information

We live in an information rich time in history.  Of course, if we have a SHTF moment, information might not be so available.  But until then, you have a ton of information on your cellphone.  Hopefully, you’re not only using your phone to play “Words with Friends” or “Pokemon Go!”  You SHOULD bookmark important information sites so that you can easily access information.

Some examples are:

  • Your local power outage map.
  • Check to see if your neighborhood or community has a page on Facebook.  Like I said, mine posts information before you hear about it anywhere else.  Yes, you’ll have to deal with some weirdos, but it’s worth it.
  • See if your local police have an online scanner channel.  It’s amazing what you can find out by listening to police and other first responders.
  • Twitter.  Yes, Twitter!  This won’t necessarily help you in a local event.  Although, you could check to see if there was a city hashtag like #HouNews (see below).  But, Twitter is like that Facebook page I mentioned above, but on a world wide scale.  Many people use Twitter all over the world.  If something is going on, people will be tweeting about it.  Coup attempts, riots, war… you can get instant information as it is happening.
  • A good traffic map/APP is helpful too!
  • Besides your phone, a good emergency radio with SW or even a cheap Baofeng is helpful.


Think About Safety

It was dark when we were leaving the house…real dark.  People were still driving in the neighborhood.  As we were packing up, I thought about how we might look to thieves who might be driving around the neighborhood, checking out places to “hit” later.  We decided to leave one car in the driveway to make it “appear” like someone was home.

Later, when I went back to the house to make sure the AC was off, I was surprised at how dark the neighborhood was.  When the moon is not out, it gets dark…real dark.  I could easily see which homes had lights shining through the windows.  And I was instantly aware of any other light in front of homes or driveways.  Something to REALLY think about.

I won’t get into having a means of protection.  That should be a no brainer!

A Thought on Cell Phones

My cell Phone did well getting me a lot of information at first.  However, at one point, we all lost signal, including the ability to text.  I don’t know what kind of emergency power cell towers have, but it probably isn’t much if any.  It could have just been our service provider, but I’m not sure.

However, for those that were using their cell phones for any length of time, even as a flashlight, it would have been good to have a way to charge it.  Small cellphone battery chargers are very inexpensive!  Some of the big ones will charge your phone multiple times!

Food/Eating

We were lucky enough to have already cooked food before the lights went out.  At the worse, we didn’t warm up the garlic bread.  And, even if we needed to do something for dinner, we have plenty of food in the pantry and multiple ways of cooking it.  We’re preppers after all!

However, I was floored by the posts I saw on Facebook where people went out to their neighborhood restaurant, only to realize that they didn’t have power either….duh.  Some couldn’t buy food because the grocery store didn’t have power.  I read where some people just ate crackers because that is all they had.

In reality, someone who was really hungry didn’t have to travel that far to get to an open restaurant or grocery store.   But for goodness sake!  Have some food in your pantry!

If this would have been a major long term event, people would have gone hungry…very hungry.  It’s amazing to me how little food people keep in their homes.

Final Thoughts

We could of easily stayed at the house. It would have been a little warm (did I say Houston heat & humidity sucks already?), but just an inconvenience.  One reason why I didn’t object too much to leaving the house was to update Prepper Website.  I try to not miss a day!

Because we prep and plan, we were able to make decisions and had options on how to handle this evening.  If you are reading this and you don’t prep, taking a little bit of time to plan and set aside some supplies can make a big difference during a local event.  It’s just wise!  And if others are depending on you, it’s your responsibility to be prepared!

What would you add?

Peace,
Todd

Behold, Darkness and Sorrow: Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt – Review

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Mark Goodwin is a thorn in my side!  Mark, who owns and runs PrepperRecon and the PrepperRecon Podcast, has written another book (series) called Behold Darkness and Sorrow: Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt.  Like his previous books, this one is a page turner, which is the reason he is such a pain!

2016-227-Audio-book-Mark-GoodwinYou see, I don’t have the time to read books anymore, so I get his books on audio.  I work about 10 minutes from work.  So, I get about 20 minutes of this page turner a day.  It definitely isn’t enough!  So, shame on you Mark!

Kidding aside, Mark has really done another great job in book one of his new series.  I’m partial to series because I like to follow a story for a while.  Like his other books, Mark follows an End of the World type scenario.  And, as in his other books, Mark weaves a ton of preparedness and the Bible, all within a great plot with everyday characters that could resemble many average Americans.

Behold Darkness and Sorrow: Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt, Book 1, follows three friends who live in Savannah, Georgia.  The main character, Danny, rededicates his life to the Lord and soon after starts to have apocalyptic dreams.  His dreams warn of disaster to come in the near future, in the same way Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream in the Book of Genesis.

The book isn’t only for entertainement purposes though.  Mark provides a lot of helpful preparedness advice for readers, as the main characters start to get prepared for their scary future.

During a visit to his grandmother’s, Danny’s brother-in-law gives him advice on packing a bug out bag.

“You should both put together a bug-out bag, in case you need to leave in a hurry.”

“I’m not sure what that is.” Alisa said.

 

Nick grinned. “It’s a bag, preferably a large backpack that won’t draw too much attention, filled with the essentials you’d need to keep you alive for seventy-two hours.”

 

Alisa nodded slowly. “Still not sure I know what that is.”

 

“Well, for starters, you know you need water to stay alive. You need a minimum of a half-gallon a day just to stay hydrated. That’s if it’s not super-hot and you’re not sweating a lot.”

 

Alisa looked at Nick. “So, I need to keep a gallon and a half of water in my buck-out bag?” “It’s bug out, like get out of town.

 

Not necessarily. You could, but a gallon weighs eight pounds, so your bag would be twelve pounds before you put anything else in it. I’d recommend keeping a half-gallon in your bag and getting a good light- weight water filter. Then, you can reuse your containers and refill them whenever you came across another water source. Streams, lakes, ponds and creeks are pretty common in this part of the country. If you lived in the desert, that would be a different story. You’d have no other choice but to keep the full three days of water in your pack.”

 

Danny listened closely to what Nick was saying. “How much does a good filter cost?”

“You can get a good one for under a hundred dollars. Katadyn and MSR both make high-quality portable filters.”

 

“Since we would be traveling together, could Alisa and I share one?”

 

Nick nodded. “Yes, but whichever one of you isn’t carrying the filter should at least be carrying water purification tablets. You can buy them online for five or ten bucks. Water is too important. You don’t want something to happen to one of your backpacks, then you’d both be up a creek. You also need some type of shelter. You can find a small emergency tent for around twenty-five dollars. Just make sure it weighs less than five pounds and try to find something in an earth tone color…

And the above is just a taste.  The book is filled with preparedness advice.  You might even find yourself writing down some of the advice to research a little further.

But for me, the main reason I really enjoyed this book is because Mark weaves in so much of the Bible. In fact, if you are a Christian Prepper, you might find some good Scripture and rationales for why you believe what you believe.  Or, it might even challenge you, stretch you and increase your faith.

In one scene of the book, Danny and Alisa have a discussion with Pastor Earl, the groups pastor in Savannah, Georgia.

“Pastors have also sat idly by while our country has abused our monetary system. Not that it was a sustainable system in the first place, but that’s another rabbit trail that we won’t go down tonight.  But, ancient Israel’s prosperity was directly linked to their obedience to God, throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.”

 

“What does that have to do with America? We’re not Israel.” Alisa put her chin on her hand and her elbow on her knee as she leaned in for the pastor’s response.

 

The pastor explained. “No, but in the book of Isaiah, God calls all the nations of the known world to account for their disobedience to him. Isaiah specifically has prophecies against the two major empires at the time, Babylon and Assyria. He also calls out Egypt, Cush, Moab, Damascus, and Tyre. Isaiah 34 is a blanket judgment to all nations. If God’s curses for disobedience are applicable to all nations, we might assume that his blessings for obedience could also be incurred. Does that make sense?”

 

Danny nodded. “Yeah, it’s a lot to take in.”

I highly recommend Behold, Darkness and Sorrow: Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt, Book 1.  Again, I will warn anyone who picks this book up, like Mark’s other books, this is strongly Christian based.  If you don’t want to read a whole lot of Bible thumping, don’t get this book.  But, if you are a Christian Prepper, or just a Christian, you will find this book entertaining, inspirational and encouraging.

I listen to books on audio.  I think the voice who narrates the book does a good job.  The book is also available on Kindle and Paperback.  At the time of this review, this book has over 150 reviews and is rated 4.5 stars.  If you haven’t read it, you should pick it up!

Check out Mark’s other books:

Peace,
Todd

What If You Lose Your Go-Bag? Can You Still Survive?

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NOTE: This is a guest post by Chris Hampton, author of Edge Walker.  Chris has graciously provided a free copy of his book in PDF.  You can find the link to download your copy below. – TS

Go-Bags are a popular, and very important, topic of discussion among preppers and anyone wanting to be prepared for all contingencies at all times, anywhere. It’s interesting and exciting to scan over someone else’s Go-Bag content list, but ultimately it’s a personal choice, what we put in our bags. Yet, what happens if we lose our Go-Bag?

In my just-released book, Edge Walker, the main character is taught by a mysterious grandfather how to survive in the wilderness. At the beginning of the book, the boy has no experience in the wild, but as a desperate society rapidly deteriorates around him, the old man teaches the boy how to make shelter and fire, find water in the desert, and hunt meat without modern weapons.

Just before the boy flees a city thrown into chaos, his dying grandfather tosses him a small backpack. It’s his Go-Bag, put together by the old man before succumbing to a deadly virus. In the pack are essentials for his survival. However, when originally penciling out the plot, I looked at the very real possibility that, at some point, the boy will lose his pack. What then? Out in the wilderness, without all the essentials of a Go-Bag, life becomes precious and tenuous, very fast.

dbf7cc9931fac85309063c52ff30575ddca6875f-thumbI wanted Edge Walker’s story line to be true-to-life regarding survival skills to be utilized in the wilderness. The outcome was interspersing chapters where Grandfather teaches the boy four fundamental wilderness survival skills: how to make simple shelters with the materials at hand, carve a bow drill and make fire, find sources of water in the desert, and hunt using the most basic of primitive weapons – the throwing stick. In the chapter where I introduced the bow drill and fire making, my aim was to write in such a way that the emotion of the story line was maintained while sequentially describing the method for making a fire kit:

“Once, after relocating west, the old man taught the boy about fire. They walked into the desert . . . Grandfather stopped at a three-foot-tall bushy plant and looked down at it. Kneeling, he broke off a dead portion, unsheathed his knife, and started carving.

 

The boy watched. The sun baked.

 

“This plant will make fire for you. Warm you. Heal you.”

 

Grandfather’s knife worked the soft wood. A flat piece, two inches wide and ten inches long with a squared edge, emerged. Another piece of a branch, six inches long, became pointed at both ends: a spindle.

 

He cut a third piece of wood to fit the palm of his hand. Putting these pieces down, Grandfather cut a longer branch, about two feet, and tied some paracord to it. The boy thought it looked like a small bow to shoot arrows.

 

Using the spindle, handhold, and bow, the old man quickly burned a small indent into the flat piece of wood. Then he carved a slice-of-pie cut, the wide part of the slice at the edge of the board, the apex touching the middle of the burned indent.

 

Next, he again twisted the six-inch spindle stick into the string of the bow with one end of the spindle fitted into the notched hole. The palm-sized handhold he put on top of the other end of the now-vertical spindle and pressed down.

 

Grandfather began scraping the bow back and forth, like playing a cello. The flat board smoked, the smoke curling up around the spindle. Fine dust filled the slice-of-pie notch, with smoke billowing out from where the spindle met the board. Suddenly, he stopped and tapped a glowing ball of dust onto a baseball-size bunch of fluffy tinder and deftly handed the fire kit to the boy.

 

Grandfather did not rush. He gently, quietly talked to the glowing coal.

 

“Always ask the coal to visit. And thank it when it does,” he said.

 

The boy watched. Said nothing.

 

Grandfather, with two hands, held the smoking ball up above his face and blew into it. Soon, smoke turned to flame. He gently put the flaming ball on the ground and, from what the boy saw in the old man’s eyes, lovingly stared at it.

 

“Life.”

 

The boy looked up at Grandfather, then back at the little ball of flame, and echoed Grandfather’s word: “Life.”

As he is taught primitive skills, the boy is reminded to keep his knife on his body and not in his Go-Bag. In this way, if the Go-Bag is lost, the boy still has what he needs to live safely and even lavishly in the wilderness – – a knife.

Later in the book, the ancient skills are enhanced with modern paraphernalia to illustrate the benefits of utilizing whatever’s available. After the boy is rescued from man-hunters by two strangers, he observes how his rescuers effectively combine primitive knowledge with modern effects to subsist and move across the landscape. One example is how the strangers serve food in a gourd, but cook in a metal pot:

“A small fire dances in the cave. Dinner is stewed rabbit with wild onions foraged when Jure did the perimeter check. Bae, once again, marvels at the ingenuity of these two. The meal simmers in a metal pot with walls that collapse each inside the other to compress down for easier packing. To use it, the sections of walls are pulled up to form the pot. Handy.”

And later, in Chapter 50, worn out Converse sneakers are replaced with Huarache sandals:

“Your footwear needs mending,” G says.

 

“Yes,” Bae answers. “My left sole came apart.”

 

The shredded shoes embarrass the boy. He glances down at his clothes and does a quick check, as he’s learned to do before traveling . . .

 

“Any ideas for your footwear?” G asks.

 

“There’s the town,” Ever says. “They might have a dump or store we can raid.”

 

“No way on the store. Too dangerous. Supplies to these outlying towns have stopped. Whatever they have in town will be closely guarded.” G pauses. “But a dump. Good chance old tires will be in a dump. We can make sandals for Bae.”

 

“What about straps?” Ever asks. “Strapping leather is hard to find.”

 

“Paracord.”

 

“Of course!” Ever blurts. “I forgot about that.”

 

“I’ve got paracord,” Bae offers. He can’t picture sandals made out of tires or how to make them. But he knows paracord and has a roll in his pack.”

If you have a foundation of proven, ancient, skills and a willingness to combine them with whatever modern paraphernalia is found on the landscape, chances increase dramatically for survival. But the most basic necessity for a successful experience in survival is, like the characters in Edge Walker, to always keep a knife somewhere on your body, in case everything is lost, especially your Go-Bag.

To download a FREE COPY of Edge Walker in PDF – CLICK HERE!

– Chris Hampton

This Is Getting Ridiculous! Prepper Origami?

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Ok…Ok… Here me out!

Yes, the Prepper Community gets a lot of weird stuff that comes our way.  Marketers see a niche and they go for it with gusto.  It’s just a matter of time before someone comes out with a prepper or “tactical” broom.

But I’m not trying to take something out there in the world and force it to apply to the Prepper Community to market something.  I simply have an idea that might help you if you were ever in need.

We learn skills (foraging, fire craft, water purification, shelter building),  because we know they will serve us well.  What if you had the skill of origami?  No, I’m not suggesting you start making paper dragons.  In fact, I’m only suggesting you learn one…the paper cup.

Yes, I might be stretching it, but what if you were in a situation where you didn’t have a cup, canteen or thermos and you needed to hold water?  You could use your hands, but you could be dirty or there might be so little precious H20 that you don’t want to risk it going through your fingers.

In all honesty, I would first scavenge for a plastic bottle or something else I could use.  But if all else failed, if I had a piece of paper, I could make a paper cup.  And the bigger the paper, the bigger the cup.

This short video tutorial walks you through how to make a paper cup.  It is so simple.

 

 

Just to make sure you realize I haven’t lost my mind here or over on Prepper Website, I would always suggest that you carry around some sort of container.  For your BOB, the wide mouth Kleen Kanteen will work nicely.  You can boil water in the Kleen Kanteen if you need to.  You could also go with a steel Military type canteen with a cup.  Or if you want plastic, a Nalgene water bottle works.  And don’t forget that you should have some tinfoil in your Altoids Tin.  You can make a quick cup out of that too.

Even if you never use a paper cup as a prepper, it might be a cool trick to wow your kids or grandkids.  Who knows, you might get creative and make the perfect reusable paper cup that you can boil water in for survival.  If you do, cut me in please!

Peace,
Todd

 

Hurricane Preparedness: Making Sure Your Office is Ready!

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Hurricane Preparedness

Living on the Gulf Coast, I am all too familiar with Hurricanes.  This infographic will provide a lot of good information for anyone wanting to know about Hurricane Preparedness and especially those who might own businesses.

Click to Enlarge Image

Preparation is Key: How to Make Sure Your Office is Hurricane Ready

From Quill

 

 

Peace,
Todd

Position Yourself for Financial SHTF – Practical Steps for Paying Down Debt and Saving Money!

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Money1

We’ve all been expecting it!  In fact, some of us are baffled that it hasn’t happened already. Many who are paying attention to the global economy expect a time when this country and possibly the rest of the world experience economic SHTF.  One thing though, no one exactly knows what it will look like when the proverbial economic balloon goes up!

As a result of not knowing, we could stress and worry.  Some of us prep food, water and supplies.  But besides prepping the basics, one of the things we should do is position ourselves to be in the best spot possible for a financial SHTF scenario.

To be clear here, a financial SHTF scenario doesn’t have to be the meltdown of the global economy.  When that happens, everyone will be in the same boat and those who have made an effort to position themselves will fare better.  However, people find themselves in financial SHTF scenarios everyday when they lose their jobs, have a medical emergency and have no insurance, lose a loved one who is an income earner, etc…  Hopefully, the information in this piece will provide relevant information to help anyone prepare for a future financial SHTF scenario.

Two Economic SHTF Scenarios – Two Extremes

When preppers think about SHTF, we tend to think about the kind of world you read about in dystopian novels.  JWR’s Patriot’s is a book that many preppers are familiar with.  In the book, an economic crash sends the USA into the world of The Walking Dead.  Bank holidays, credit card and ETB freezes, Marshall law, Biker Mice from Mars, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, dogs and cats living together…This is an extreme view. Could an economic crash bring the collapse of the USA?  I don’t know.  I think TPTB already have a plan in place if they see the balloon going up.

The other side of this extreme view is something I first heard Jack Spirko talking about back in the day, a slow economic spiral downwards.  In this scenario, things start to cost more and your earnings don’t go up.  Your money doesn’t buy you as much as it used to.  You stop going out to eat or to the movies as often because it’s so expensive.  You hold off on making big purchases.  You don’t have discretionary income like you used to have.  You start watching your finances closely because any hiccup can cause pain.  Your quality of life spirals down.  You stress.  Your spouse stresses.  Your kids feel the stress.  You look back and long for the “good ol’ days.”

These are two extremes, of financial SHTF.  We’ll probably wind up somewhere in between.

Where Do We Start?

In a recent poll on Prepper Website, I asked, “If you had an extra $500 right now, what would you do with it?” 28% of those who responded (132/478) said they would pay down debt!  (“More food storage” came in a close second, but that is another post.)

I would say that these respondents have the right idea.

Think about it.  If the economic balloon goes up, money (paper money will be used for a while, even in a JWR Patriot’s type crash), will buy less and less.  The more money you have freed up to make purchases, the better your overall position will be.  The biggest step in positioning yourself for financial SHTF is to get out of debt!

Getting Out of Debt Is Too Hard!

Yes, if getting out of debt was easy, everyone would be debt free.  It takes determination, discipline, going without sometimes and creativity.  But when you get debt free, it is the best place to be!

Years ago, I taught the Dave Ramsey course, Financial Peace University at my church.  My wife and I had already started getting out of debt, but FPU helped a lot.  I don’t agree with Dave Ramsey on everything.  In fact, I’m a little disappointed that he’s not warning people of what could possibly become of our economy.  He is still pushing 401K’s and mutual funds.  But, his advice and system for getting out of debt is very helpful to anyone wanting to get out of debt.

I’ll post a video of his 7 Baby Steps plan at the end of this article, but Dave tells you exactly how to do the debt snowball in the video below.  Notice the discipline and determination part!

 

Ways to Cutback and Find Money for Your Debt Snowball

One of the things that easily sidelines people when they try to get out of debt is finding money to add to their debt snowball.  If you just use what comes in, your current income, it might take longer than you like and you can wind up getting discouraged.  The trick here is to live way below your means.  And when I say below…I mean below.  The way to do this is to make a budget.  Just like you have a bugout plan or food storage plan, you need a budget plan to help you stay on track and manage every dollar that you bring in.

Back in the day, I created an Excel spreadsheet that would make changes automatically so I could see exactly what was coming in and going out.  I’ve attached a version here, using Google Sheets.  I would download this copy and open it using Excel. Or you could do it old school if you like.  Remember, you don’t want to have any money left over at the end of the month.  You want all your money accounted for and “working” for you.

Other Practical Ways to Cut Costs and Save

After you make you budget, you need to find other ways to bring in money.  Many people start having garage sales, work a part-time job, and find ways to save.

In my years aggregating articles for Prepper Website, I have linked to some great articles with great info. on being frugal and saving money.  I want to share some of those great ideas here.

On the Bacon and Eggs website, you can find an article that shares 114 Frugal Money Saving Ideas and Tips.  Here are a few of my favorite ideas…

8. Use cold water in your washing machine.  It’s the action in the washer that cleans the clothes

 

9. Unplug anything that is sucking “ghost power”  We’ve got a power strip that we can flip on and off when we need to.

 

20.Craigslist, Freecycle, Penny Papers, Thrift Stores and yard sales all can provide most things you are looking for.  Why buy new when gently used is so much less expensive?

 

26. Keep your freezer full. If you have to, put milk jugs or 2-liter bottles of water in the freezer.  It’s less expensive to run a full freezer than an empty one.

 

35. Open the curtains/drapes on the sunny side of the house during the daytime and close them on the shaded side(in the summer I reverse that). This works very well on sunny, non-windy days. This allows me to use natural light as well.

 

38. If you are considering making a big purchase why not try waiting 30 days and then see if you still feel the need for the item.  I find myself sometimes not needing something nearly as much as I thought I would three or four weeks later.

 

46. When running errands, try running them at “off peak times”.  You’ll be able to save time and gas by not having to wait in 5’o’clock traffic.  You’ll spend less time looking for a parking spot too!

 

61.  Check out the weekly ads in your area BEFORE you go shopping and use it to help with making your list.  Once you get your pantry stocked up you can use this “tip” to help you prep and save money while you are doing it.  The idea is to try and NEVER buy anything that isn’t on sale or doesn’t have the best bang for the buck so to speak.

 

68.  Compare unit prices.  I have found this to be really really helpful.  Most all stores show the price per ounce. Lot’s of times what you “thought” was a good deal really isn’t at all. Compare the per ounce costs of each item.  You would be surprised at how many times “bigger is not always better”.

 

73.  When you find something that you use regularly on sale – Stock up and buy as much as you can afford to. You know you will be using it later on and prices are rising fast these days.  Store what you eat and eat what you store.

 

77.  Stay away from convenience foods.  You can make most of the same things at home for half the price.

 

87.  Go “meatless”  one day a week.  We love meat. But face it, it’s expensive.  We like beans around here so I’ll cook up a pot with some rice and cornbread for dinner sometimes.  Makes great leftovers as well.   Use the leftovers as a side dish during the week.  Another thought is to have “breakfast for dinner”.  Pancakes and eggs for dinner…. oh my!

 

89.  If you don’t know how to cook it’s time you learned.  Cooking from scratch saves tons of money and it’s just plain better for you.

 

111. Invest in a thermos and take your coffee to work with you.  With the money you save by not buying $5.oo coffee’s every day you could easily afford a nice home brewed coffee every day!

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Over at Modern Survival Online, a guest poster Gilfner, shares “Ways We Are Creating Money in our Budget for Prepping” Here a few good ones…

TV – We only pay for streaming Netflix, $7.99/mo.  If you are serious about prepping, you don’t want to be stuck on the couch.  No need for cable/satellite or the $40 plus per month bill.  Spend the extra time getting stuff done and the extra money getting stuff to do it with.  The deals for bundling services aren’t that good.

 

Our cars are all paid for.  As much as I lust after the new cars, I am doing just fine with the ones I have.  But it’s tough to find the balance between good running cars that don’t cost a ton & thrashed cars that might as well have a monthly payment to keep them on the road.

 

Paying attention to sales.  Not everything is a good deal.  Not everything at Costco is a good deal.  Last month we found that the source we had for the pre-packaged Augason Farms hard red wheat went up in price dramatically.  We realized that with some work, we could get 25lbs bags from the LDS Cannery and bucket it ourselves for much less.

 

For construction projects around our place, we find that checking the cull bin at the Home Depot or Lowe’s nets us a lot of wood for less.

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Survival at Home shares “45 Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Bills” Don’t miss these…

4- Eliminate drafts by using inexpensive expanding foam or caulk to fill cracks and small holes around windows, door frames and exterior walls where cold or warm air typically escapes. Look carefully around where pipes and wires enter and exit your home.

 

23- When it comes to credit cards, the easiest thing to do is just stop using them. If you can’t afford to pay cash for what you need, you probably don’t need it. Of course there are emergency situations, but those are likely to be few and far between. Don’t use your cards for anything you can eat or wear, and avoid using credit cards to buy “wants” such as a new stereo or TV. Wait until you have the money to buy it.

 

36- Do some price comparisons on your auto insurance. Consider changing your insurance policy to one with a higher deductible. If you have an older vehicle you might even consider switching to a lesser coverage. Decide if the monthly payment for collision insurance is worth paying for on your older vehicle.

 

45- Negotiate all of your bills. Call each company at off- peak times (such as early morning) to discuss lowering your rates. Companies are less busy and more likely to spend time negotiating with you. It absolutely never hurts to ask.

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Daisy Luther, at the Organic Prepper always has good advice on cutting costs and living below your means.  She shared in her post, The Austerity Diaries, some of the changes she and her family made to get through some hard times.  The article is from Jan. 2014, and Daisy is still alive and kicking.  So, you know it worked for her and her kids.  Check out her article, The Austerity Diaries and also the link at the top of her site dedicated to being frugal.

I also found some great advice in an article on Survival Blog called, Seventy-Five Ways to Save Money for Prepping.  Here are a few…

Don’t let a screaming child (or teenager) rule your finances. Learn to say “no” and mean it! The same goes for teenagers begging you for the latest and greatest “I Whatever”. The proper mantra should be “get a job and pay for it yourself”. You’ll thank me later. This has been a public service announcement.

 

Log all expenses, and keep a continual tracking system in place. Know where the money goes. (FYI: You don’t have to use credit cards like the author suggests. Saving receipts and plugging in the figures later works just as well for the OPSEC minded.)

 

“The Return of the Clothesline” is now playing at a theater near you. Start using a clothesline or drying rack and you’ll save energy, prolong the life of your clothes, and your house will be quieter and cooler. Oscar Awards all around!

 

Sewing will be a great skill to know and barter with post-SHTF. Many times articles of clothing will go unworn when buttons come off or a seam comes loose. It is a shame to let nice pieces of clothing go to waste or kids outgrow them without getting as much use from them as you can. It also comes in handy to have a sewing machine so you can take clothes in and let them out without always having to buy new ones.

 

Check Craigslist for free plants; you’ll almost always find them!

 

Shopping online? Never leave the coupon code box blank again! Google the name of the store and add the words “promo code” to the search bar. Sites like RetailMeNot.com offer free coupon codes for just about any product you’re shopping for.

 

Learn how to do basic home repairs and maintenance. Home Depot offers free classes from the Home Improver Club. You will learn important skills and save money at the same time. That is, of course, unless it’s a major project. You really don’t want to make any mistakes that only a professional can repair (and will charge you accordingly).

 

Stocking up when the price is low is the key to saving. Having a price book will really benefit you in the long run. Find what works for you– coupons, shopping at several stores, or shopping online. A combination of all three is my technique of choice!

To read the rest of the article – click here.

Brown Thumb Momma has a short article with some good advice and links.  “In 20 Things I do to Save Money,” she shares…

I make my own cleaning supplies instead of buying them. As an added bonus, this means the kids can help clean and I don’t worry about them being exposed to weird chemicals.

 

We make breakfasts ahead of time so nobody has to stop for fast food on the way to work/school.

Check out the other 18 tips! – Click here.

Remember, doing a lot of just a little bit, will save a ton and make a difference.

What About Precious Metals?

There are many out there in the alternative media space that believe when/if the economy crashes, they will become the next millionaire on the block because they have invested in precious metals.

I’m not a financial or precious metals expert.  But what I’ve gathered from trying to take in all the information out there, is that precious metals are a hedge against inflation. Could there be a time when the Biker Mice from Mars invade and our paper money is worthless and all that anyone will exchange or do business in is precious metals?  Could be.  Should you own some precious metals?  Yes, probably.

Although gold would be smaller and easier to physically move, silver might be your best deal right now.   Silver is very undervalued compared to what it costs to come out of the ground. I’m not going to go into a lot of specifics here.  I think that Michael Snyder of the Economic Collapse Blog did a good job of explaining all of this in a recent article, Why Investing In Silver Is Vastly Superior To Investing In Gold Right Now.

Conclusion – Time is Ticking

I like my life.  I’m comfortable.  I don’t like thinking that there is a future out there where I won’t be able to afford some of the things that I enjoy, much less, not be able to afford some of the things that are necessary, like medicine and medical procedures because they are too expensive.  I don’t like what this all implies for my kids!  But, that is why we prep!  That is why we sacrifice a little now because we see what could possibly be in the future.  Dave Ramsey has a saying that goes, “Live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else.”  Time is ticking, get your finances in order!

For more ways to save money, check out the Frugal Living and DIY pages on Prepper Website!

You can also check out the TAG Cloud for saving, savings and frugal.

Peace,
Todd

Peace,

Todd

Sleep When Your Life Depends On It – Selecting The Best Air Pad / Air Mattress for a Bug-Out Situation

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What would you respond to a simple question, “What’s the single most useful weapon or tool we have in a bug out situation?”

Sure, it’s fun getting compliments on the new blade and trying out the new illuminated scope you just paid a small fortune for.

But would it be as fun if your hands were trembling and you could barely keep your eyes open?

Our tools and weapons are only as useful as the person wielding them.

That’s what this guide is all about – one of the essentials for any smart prepper – SLEEP.

To be more precise, it’s about finding the best air mattress for our shelters and best sleeping pads for our BOBs.

It might not be as “glamorous” as talking about tac gear, but when SHTF we need our best selves to handle the gear and protect what we love.

If you’re think you can go days with little sleep and maintain your shape, you’ve been duped into believing a myth, my friend.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

As recent studies show, ONLY ONE NIGHT of bad sleep sets in motion a cascade of cognitive impairments that compromises your ability to defend your own when the moment comes.

So, let’s get to the “meat” of things and make sure we stay sharp in the face of calamity.

Sorting the basics out – an air mattress and a sleeping pad

An air mattress is only an option for your trunk or the shelf of your shelter.

After we’ve dealt with sleeping pads, we’ll go over a few rules to keep in mind when choosing the best high-rise air mattress.

Sleeping pads we’ll be talking about are the kind you’re using on your hiking/camping trips (if you’re into that). We’ll put our prepper glasses on and look at the products from a different angle.

Some of the questions we’ll address:

How is the choice of a sleeping pad for a bug out bag different?

How to plan for different scenarios and get the most versatile sleeping gear while “sacrificing” minimum space?

Choosing a sleeping pad for your bug out bag

OK, so every inch counts and every ounce counts. Let’s dig into our options and what to look for when choosing a sleeping pad.

There’s a lot of vague and confusing information out there, so we’ll debunk some myths along the way and try to make things as precise as possible without getting into the nitty-gritty.

Types of sleeping pads

There are two main types of sleeping pads. Well, three really, but one of those is a sub-type.

Anyway, you have your foam mats and inflatable pads (classic or self-inflating…more on the difference between the two in a minute).

Closed cell foam mats

Foam Mat

Foam Mat

The lightest and the cheapest option – these don’t inflate so you can’t puncture them, they’re practically indestructible.

The insulation offered in the better ones is pretty good, but on their own, they provide very little comfort (it’s a thin piece of foam after all).

Having said that, the mats make one hell of a combo with light pads and/or sleeping bags.

Main downsides:

  • There’s no air in it so you can’t deflate and pack it. You roll or fold it and strap it to the side or under your backpack.
  • Not comfortable on its own. If you’re sleeping outside, a foam mat alone will do very little for you.

Best use: Combined with a sleeping pad and/or bag.

Versatility comes in layers!

Foam Mat and Air Pad

Foam Mat and Air Pad

Air pads

These have come a long way from the inflatables you’d see on beaches, and that goes for all quality aspects that matter: materials, packing size, weight, size options…

Strip it off the fancy terms you’ll see in the company specs, and it’s still a piece of material, most of the time some sort of PVC with some plasticizers added to soften it and make it more comfortable.

It’s light and packs small (the best of these pack as small as a sneaker or a beer can).

Packed Air Pad

Packed Air Pad

Main issues: Fragile and easily punctured, so placing it directly on the ground is never a good idea. Because it’s only material and air, if it’s damaged beyond repair it becomes just a piece of plastic.

You inflate these manually (mouth-to-valve or by pressing an integrated pump).

Best use: Combined with a foam mat.

Self-inflating pads

It’s been over 4 decades since John Boroughs, an engineer who was let go from Boeing in the infamous layoffs of the early 70s, changed the landscape of the industry of air pads by introducing a self-inflating pad.

You might think these work much like a battery-operated air mattress but you’d be wrong.

The inside of these pads is filled with open-cell foam, which tends to return to its natural shape after being deformed. Plainly speaking – you push the air out as you fold the pad and the foam sucks it back in as you unfold it and open the valve.

Valve of a Self-Inflating Pad

Valve of a Self-Inflating Pad

Unlike with a classic air pad, if you puncture the material of a self-inflatable, you’re not left with a useless piece of plastic. Even if you can’t repair it, the foam itself offers some comfort and insulation.

Main downsides: Although the technology and the materials evolved, making these easier to pack and carry, there’s still foam inside and they don’t pack as small as a regular air pad.

Another thing worth mentioning is that, over-time, the open-cell foam loses some of its “rebounding” ability and the pad doesn’t inflate as well as it used to.

The enigma of the R-value

There’s way too much fuss about the R-value of a sleeping pad, so let us cut through the clutter of vague statements out there and make it really simple.

Let’s get to it…

The basics

R-value is a number that represents Thermal Resistance (hence the R). The higher the number, the more insulation your pad will offer.

Some of the info we’re about to present is approximative and is meant to be used as reference.

How R-value relates to temperatures

This is where the information gap is and where most people get confused.

Some brands do offer what they call temperature ratings, so we compared the relationship across a few dozen of brands and products to come up with the table below:

R-Value

R-Value

Can I compare R-values across brands?

Here’s a dirty little secret of the industry – R-value of a pad is a standard and it has a unique formula. However, there’s no standard when it comes to how it’s measured.

This means that comparing it across brands is, to put it mildly, imprecise and can only be used as a reference.

That’s why choosing a good brand of inflatables (both air mattresses and pads), and sticking with it, is a good idea.

How do I add up the values of two pieces of gear?

This is a crucial piece of information because it allows you to mix and match looking for the combo that covers most of your scenarios.

Adding up the R-value of two items is approximately linear, meaning that if you combine a foam mat with an R-value of 2.5 and a pad with an R-value of 3, the total R-value is close to 5.5.

We say “close” because there is some energy loss, but it’s nothing you should lose sleep over (pun intended).

This raises the question of…

How to combine the two pieces?

The short answer to this would be – aim for the most comfortable setting.

This shifts the focus from R-values to the thickness of the items. In plain terms, go with the thicker item on top.

Although it’s true that this setting is slightly less efficient in heat retention, it’s far superior in comfort and more than makes up for the small energy loss.

Bottom line – if you have two pads and you want to double-up, go with the thicker pad on top.

The sweet spot

The range between 3.5 and 4.5 is where you’ll find the most versatile pads.

These are the pads that you would call “four-season”, which means they cover most scenarios, especially combined with a foam mat.

If you go below 3, you are entering a zone of pads designed for warm climates and if you go above 5, the pads become too bulky and heavy for a backpack.

Weight and size of a pad

For the needs of a prepper, the pads designed to be ultra light and pack extra small are rarely a good choice.

Yes, you will save a couple of ounces in weight but you sacrifice too much of the pad’s versatility. The little weight and room you save rarely justifies it.

Rule of thumb – don’t go for anything that can’t comfortably fit your shoulders and the full length of your body.

Right Width and Length

Right Width and Length

Women and side-sleepers

A tapered or a “mummy” design (semi-rectangular, broader at the hips) is best-suited for women since they are, generally speaking, colder sleepers and require more insulation at the hips and feet.

The design also provides extra comfort for side-sleepers.

That pretty much covers all the main INs and OUTs of choosing a good mat, pad or a combo of the two for your BOB.

So, as we promised, let’s go over a few rules for choosing a good airbed.

Best air mattress for your shelter

Whether you have a spacious off-the-grid shelter or you need to set up one elsewhere, there are a number of realistic scenarios that will call for a sturdy and durable air bed:

  • If your shelter in tightly packed, the fact that you can pack up and store your bed during the day and set it up for the night is a substantial advantage
  • An air mattress can be sealed and kept at your shelter without bacteria or bed bugs spreading as opposed to a regular mattress that will sit there and collect dust
  • With most people being unprepared as they are, there’s a high chance you’ll have to accommodate a few extra souls when SHTF

So, whatever your given scenario, having a good air mattress on-hand is simply smart.

Now, let’s make sure that we know what to look for when choosing.

Cutting through the clutter of information

In a jungle of a market that we have today, the word “quality” is freely thrown around, which strips it of its very meaning.

If everything is “high-quality”, how can you tell the difference between brands and products just using the word and those genuinely superior?

You do it by educating yourself to look past the marketing blabber and into specifics that actually mean something.

Materials

Most of the airbeds are made of PVC and claims like “high-quality PVC” and “puncture-resistant” mean very little.

One of the crucial factors that determine the durability of the air mattress is the thickness of the PVC. So, instead of scanning through the specs filled with dazzling terms, look for actual information on the thickness of the material.

To be specific, don’t go for anything lower than 0.4 mm. Ideally, a thickness of 0.6 is right up our alley.

Structural design, air retention and chambers

Another crucial factor is the internal structure.

Let’s make it simple – the “internal structure” are the air cells of the mattress. The number and shape of these determine how well the weight is distributed across the sleeping surface.

This impacts the comfort and the durability.

Generally, the airbeds with a chambered-design beat the ones with end-to-end air beams.

Chambered Design of an Airbed

Chambered Design of an Airbed

Make it a rule to go with 30+ chambers and you’re set.

Fumes and safety

There’s a notion that, because of the PVC used, airbeds are somehow a health hazard.

It’s a remnant of days long gone.

Unless you are picking from the bottom of the barrel, modern airbeds have the lower fumes-involved (off-gassing) health risks than any other type of mattress.

Take a moment with the following graph:

Off-Gassing by Mattress Type

Off-Gassing by Mattress Type

Note: If safety and fumes are still a concern for you, you can always take the extra precaution of choosing an air mattress that’s phthalates and BP-free (those are the chemicals that created the concerns in the first place) or even go with an airbed that’s completely PVC-free (only textile used).

Pump

General rules of what makes a good pump in an air mattress are somewhat different for a prepper.

Besides choosing a pump that’s reliable and doesn’t leak air, a prepper has to think about possible power outages and choosing an airbed that features a pump that can be both battery and manually-operated.

Speed of the pump is only a secondary factor at best.

Know how to read user reviews of the air mattresses

So, you’ve got your eyes on a specific model, you go to one of the e-commerce websites that carries the beds and you read the raging reviews it’s getting.

Take your time and don’t jump to conclusions, the reviews can be deceiving.

Here are a few common “traps” and quick fixes:

  • Problem: The reviews might not be real. Not all the websites have a system in place that ensures that all reviews are from verified buyers.
  • Solution: Make the websites that have the verification system in place your go-to sources for user reviews.
  • Problem: The sample is not big enough. Think of it like this – even if the website has a system in place that verifies the reviews, a company that brings a new product to the market can easily organize buying 10 or 15 of it and leaving full 5-star reviews. This is an attempt to artificially push the air mattress towards the top-rated ones.
  • Solution: Make it a rule not to go with any product that has fewer than 50 reviews. These are the ones that stood the test of time.
  • Problem: The quality of the product has changed and the positive (or negative) reviews you are reading might not be relevant anymore.
  • Solution: Sort the review by “most recent” and analyze them starting from the top – these are the most relevant.

Wrapping it up

There’s an abundance of information out there on other basics, like water filtration systems, nutritional value of energy bars…but there seems to be a gap in addressing what simply has to be a part of any well-crafted preparedness plan – sleeping arrangements.

If this guide at least starts to bridge that gap, we’ll sleep tight tonight.

Stay safe, stay smart
James Menta
Editor-in-chief of 3beds.com

This is a guest post. 

TS

Blackout: Cripple A Nation!

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Bblackout

Preppers know that today’s civilization is too dependent on electricity.  Most can manage a power outage of a few hours or even one or two days.  And, if things become too inconvenient, those affected by the power outage can just get in their vehicle and drive to a part of the city or state that is not experiencing a power outage.

But what if a whole nation goes down?

That scenario usually comes up when you think of an earth directed solar flare or EMP.  Now, with cyber terrorism becoming a big possibility, many realize that our high-tech world can have some serious issues when an enemy wants to access our grid through an internet or network connection.

This was the topic of a NatGeo documentary called American Blackout.  You can read my review and watch it – click here.

But I didn’t realize that there was an English counterpart to American Blackout.  I mean English as in across the pond…  A friend of mine told me about the British documentary the other day.  It is called….wait for it…. Britain Blackout.

The documentary follows the same premise as  American Blackout, it just might be a little darker.  But as you can imagine, it comes with looting, rioting, people making bad decisions, blaming the government and even a “self-sufficient” guy.  ***Warning*** – There is a lot of bad language in the British version.

The lessons are always the same:

You need water!Store it! Have filters and ways to purify! Know how to use them!  For more info. on water, check out the water tag cloud on Prepper Website.

You need food! – Start with canned food for your pantry.  Then, go to longer term food storage.  Know how to cook without your microwave or electric stove!

Have backup power! – Having something like a Solar Charger Zzero small solar battery backup is smart. You can also go with a battery/solar powered radio.  You might want to even make your own battery backup system.  If you were to add a solar panel, you would be in good shape!  Check out the solar tag cloud on Prepper  Website.

Have redundancies and backups!  – Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.  One guy gets robbed and all his food is taken. He starts to make some bad choices after that.

Have a way to defend yourself! – Aren’t you glad you live in the USA?  Check out the firearms and defense tag cloud on Prepper Website – here, here and here.

Don’t panic and make good choices!  Repeat after me…  the government is not going to save you!  Check out the Situational Awareness and Gray Man tag cloud (and here) on Prepper  Website.

Check out Britain Blackout and tell me what you think below!

 

 

Peace,
Todd

Preparing for a Better Quality of Life: The Question

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As we continue to PREP AND WATCH what is happening around us, one topic that seems to always get my attention is the economy.  I know that many have been watching it too…and quite frankly, many are surprised that the PTB continue to find ways for the economy to limp along.

Eventually, things will have to come to some sort of reset.  If that means a complete crash which includes Mutant Zombie Biker Mice from Mars or just a hiccup as “they” force everyone to go to e-currency, who knows.  I’ll keep watching and prepping and paying attention as I live my life to the fullest.

That last statement leads me to ask the Prepper Website Community a question….

What tangible items do you invest in to help ensure a better quality of life?

The reason I ask this question is three fold…

  1. Keeping your money in the bank is kind of dangerous.  Surely you’ve read that banks are starting to talk about or even go to negative interest rates.  You also have the possibility of not being able to access your money if there was ever a bank run or limits were imposed to how much you could withdraw.  As a result, some advocate pulling your money out of your bank and leaving only what you need to pay bills, etc…
  2. Second, there has been a lot of talk that physical cash will be replaced with electronic currency.  If that happens, physical cash will be worthless.
  3. Third, if a crash happens and money is worthless (physical and e-currency), those who have tangible items that are desired or able to help with a better quality of life will be better off.

So, while you have access to all your money AND you can make all the decisions regarding your own money, what would you invest in to better your quality of life?  Guns, equipment of some type, tools, solar, livestock, land?????

I would like to compile a list for the Prepper Website Community of tangible items that are more than just items bought at the store because they might be considered a prep item, but instead, items that add to your overall quality of life.  For example, a few years back I added to my garden beds.  I looked at putting more garden beds in my backyard as an investment.

I’m asking those who have some good ideas to contribute using the form below.  Using this form helps me to sort through all the information in an easy manner.  I then will share the information with the Prepper Website Community.

You can share your answers below or visit this link – click here.

Loading…–TS

How to choose the best tactical boot for your bug out?

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Boot1

Take a good look at your feet right now…

Now imagine darting through metropolitan labyrinth followed by a slow, long hike to your bug out shelter. We’re talking urban concrete, rugged rocky terrains, rural flatlands, maybe a swamp…

A smart prepper is always ready for anything (man-made or natural) and if your current footwear isn’t up to the task you’ll be the maker of your own “Achilles heel”.

Furthermore, people keep focusing on their BOB way too much, forgetting that our main tool for facing (and surviving) calamities is our body, especially feet. To put it into perspective, a rolled ankle is a far more devastating obstacle in a bug out situation than not packing enough ammo.

So, before I start handing out some essential tactical footwear tips, let’s take a moment to deal with an intricate mechanism that is our foot.

What lies “under the hood”?

Our feet are a perplexing mechanism consisting of 100+ assorted muscles, 26 bones and 33 joints. They’re a very delicate piece of machinery that acts as a shock buffer for our body as well as a propulsion enabler.

That being said, getting the best tactical boots for complementing them rather than tying two bricks to your feet might include more pondering and research than you’ve bargained for.

Tactical boots are no stranger to civilian feet due to their protective properties and comfort. They’re optimally designed for fitting the needs of soldiers, hunters, hikers, and, of course, smart preppers.

So, let’s cut to the chase and see how to choose the best tactical boots for a “bulletproof” bug out plan. You want a head start when things like “fair fight” jump out the window, right?

Different kinds of tactical boots

The first, pre-enumerating tip is, “Don’t confuse fancy parade tactical boot and “real” tactical boot made for the situation of war”.

The latter will help you hit the ground running “when it all hits the fan”, the former will just look festive and leave you twiddling your thumbs while an earthquake is tearing through your neighborhood. Enough said.

Before we move on to talk about the types of tactical boots for you to choose from depending on your potential scenarios, let’s make sure we know the basic terms I’ll be using – the “anatomy” of a hiking boot.

Image 1 - boot anatomyNow that we armed with the basic, let’s get to the “meat” of the article – types of tactical boots and how to choose the best for your needs.

Jump boots

They first appeared in the 1940s as a part of standard parachute unit’s outfit.

They’re officially known as “paratrooper boots”, and feature reinforced ankles for injury-prevention alongside tall shanks reaching the calf. Depending on the size, they have 11-13 eyelets followed by heels optimized for airborne units and rubber soles.

Modern versions also feature toe caps for extra protection. You might know them as “Corcorans” after the company first contracted to make them.

So, if your survival scenario involves a lot of jumping over nasty terrain (maybe even a parachute jump), these are your “weapon” of choice.

Tanker boots

They were conceived after the establishment of US Tank Corps by (back then) Captain George S. Patton Jr. as a standard issue for members of the tank crew.

Their biggest advantage is using leather straps for fastening to the feet of the wearer, rather than ordinary laces. This nullified the potential danger of laces coming undone and then tangling in the many moving, exposed parts of the tank.

So, if you’re navigating a forest-filled area with branches and tree-roots impeding your every step, need I say more?

With tanker boots, canvas or nylon panels were never an option, simply because canvas and nylon are flammable, and that’s the last thing you’d want while trapped in a metal box. So, if extreme heat is a potential scenario in your bug out, these might be your best bet.

Furthermore, they’re all-leather, so in case of a toxic spill, they won’t absorb toxic chemicals and expose your feet.

The tongue is gusseted (sewn to the boot preventing debris from getting in). They also feature steel toe guards, plastic or steel guards (both in the heel and shank) and protective metal insets. As a result, sharp rocks won’t pierce/slice through your boot.

Extreme weather-“friendly” tactical boots

For a good prepper, war is a state of mind even before it gets real. Against nature, other people, the government, economy, odds…

War in the more conventional context, however, is all about location, and it doesn’t always choose the most hospitable ones.

That’s why combat boots for extreme weather circumstances merit a mention. Here are the most commonly used types:

Jungle boots – These tactical boots predate WW2 since they saw the light of day when a small band of Panama-stationed US soldiers was issued a canvas-upper, rubber-soled boot for testing purposes.

They weigh around 3 pounds and weren’t envisioned as boots for preventing water from coming in, but allowing for optimal drainage while keeping sand, mud and insects out.

Ventilating woven mesh insoles were later added for trapping air and “forcing” it to circulate within the boot by the very act of taking a step. The eyelets serve for both water-drainage and extra breathability.

They can also be used in cold weather since breathable insoles will insulate your feet from the ground. Soldiers used them successfully in Venezuela, Panama and many other countries (it was reported they also reduce the outburst of tropical ulcers and blisters).

Jungle boots witnessed the battlefields of WW2, First Indochina War, Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, so if you’re up against a jungle-like terrain and climate, these are the best boots to increase your chances of survival.

Combat boots for high temperatures (Desert boots)

The story of desert combat boots in the US begins with CENTCOM’s Commander Norman Schwarzkopf.

He added the following features to the original design from Saudi Arabia:

• A tan rough suede with nylon laces and siding
• 10 Speed-lace eyelets to enable faster tying
• Utilization of Panama-sole pattern of threads
• Steel protection plates were eliminated (these tend to retain heat)
• Drainage vents were also eliminated for preventing sand getting inside the boot

For US forces, these were a staple for battlefields such as Iraq or Afghanistan. They require far less maintenance than regular all-black tactical boots and will provide a comfortable mobility in high-temperature areas.

So, if you’re facing the ugly beast that is a bug out situation in dry, warm, or desert-filled areas, these boots are your ticket out.

Waterproof cold weather tactical boots

Inclement weather can affect the overall performance of your feet in more ways than one, all of them negative. The proper approach is a pair of insulated combat boots.

Their main difference compared to regular weather boots is a layer of GoreTex added. GTX is a special fabric that’s Teflon-coated, yet with millions of microscopic pores for air-exchange.

The main caveat here is getting the right pair for the job, meaning you can get a pair that’s simply waterproof, one that’s optimized for colder climates as well, or one that’s intended for ubercold weather (we’re talking down to -20 degrees F here).

You and you alone know what awaits in YOUR fight ahead, so these will be a perfect choice if the disaster scenario finds you in a rainy, cold or my-good-is-it-cold climate.

Nothing is set in stone – a tight fit in particular

Let me just rattle a few cages here: TIGHT FIT ISN’T ALL IT’S CRACKED UP TO BE!

Our feet swell up during the day, which is a perfectly normal occurrence. So, a pair of combat boots that was a tight fit in the morning becomes an absolute terror as the day progresses.

Just imagine trying to tug your BOB through a painful terrain (or ANY terrain) with your toes slowly becoming increasingly compressed as you go. Not a very good survival recipe from where I stand.

I made the same misstep once trying to hike the Angel Rock – Chena River trail and ended up regretting the day I was born. My main point is, do your combat boots shopping in the late afternoon and you’ll be comfortable from the get go.

Here are some other essentials regarding trying your new boots for size:

• Wear your favorite type of socks while you try them on. Their thickness can affect the overall fit like you wouldn’t believe
• See if the insole matches your foot once you’ve taken it out. It should fit your foot in both size and ergonomics
• The feeling your boots provide should be snug, not tight. Try walking around a bit and see if they rub some of the pressure points the wrong way. Take a look at the image below as a reference for pressure points
• Before lacing the boots, there should be enough room behind your heel to fit your index finger
• During the lacing, you should feel your heel slowly being pushed backwards, filling that gap
• There should be extra room in the front, so your toes don’t touch it
• When you’re all laced-up, your heel and the boot should move as one. Any rubbing in that area will bring on a blister-bonanza

Image 2 - pressure_points

I hope I’m crazy, but what if I’m not?

I’ll illustrate my thoughts on preparedness with a single quote from Abraham Lincoln: “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend 6 sharpening the axe”.

Preparedness for as many disastrous scenarios possible is the key of smart prepping way. A right choice of footwear can make or break your success chances should any calamity strike, so spare no expense (money and time-wise) to turn the tables in your favor.

In a word, don’t wait for the rain to start building your ark.

I hope we never have to put this information to the ultimate test, but we’ll certainly have much better odds of survival should such times arrive.

Stay safe.
James Menta @ SoleLabz.com

This is a guest post.
TS

SHEEP for the End of the World?!? If You Want to Thrive!

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IMG_6429_picmonkeyed

Are you ready? We live in a challenging time. Many people feel uneasy. Many realize we are one Chinese hack away from an electrical grid shut-down or a stock market melt-down. Some are preparing. Putting away food, seeds, etc. But if you have to provide your own food for a prolonged period, veggies get old and remember vitamins may not be available to supplement an all vegetarian diet. You need a self replicating meat production unit. What is that? It is more commonly known as a sheep, but that is the short answer. Please read on to gain an important understanding of why I am telling you about this at all.

If you live in a city none of this applies to you. If you have been able to get a bit of land, even as little as two acres, you might be able to use this information. I have kept sheep for many years, but not just any sheep. My wife and I have raised Gulf Coast Native sheep for the last twelve years. It is because of my experience with this breed that I believe we have something to offer anyone thinking of preparing for difficult times. Let me explain first about why sheep fit the bill for potential survival scenarios and then why Gulf Coast may be your best option if you decide to get some sheep.

The most important item to consider to start with is this: what will my animals eat? Many people like pork, but pigs eat grain. Grain may not be easily obtained, might be expensive if available and might be better used for feeding people directly. If you have lots of oak trees available, then pigs will grow well on acorns, but we don’t all have the trees. Most people with some land will have grass and/or brush. Here is where ruminants come into their own. With their four stomachs they are quite capable of turning that roughage into meat, milk and/or fiber.

You might be thinking “Well, a cow is a ruminant, I can get one of those.” Yes, that is possible, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Cows are big! If you have a good amount of land, sturdy equipment to handle them and a bit of experience then they can be a good choice. I also have cattle. When you slaughter an animal that size, it can have a serious impact. You will have to kill it, hang it, skin it, gut it and cut it into parts. Then you will have entrails to dispose of, a hide to tan, and a carcass weighing 500-700 pounds. If you have a lot of friends you can have a great party. If it is only for your family, you will have to freeze, salt, dry, and/or can the meat to preserve it for future use. That sounds like quite a bit of work doesn’t it? Now think about doing the above with an animal only 10% that size. I think you would agree that that sounds much more manageable. Throughout the world small ruminants predominate for this very reason. Without the industrial infrastructure to support large scale cattle production and processing most people gravitate to the more practical sheep and goats.

Another consideration is that a piece of land that can support one cow might support ten sheep or goats. What happens if your one cow dies prematurely from disease or accident? You see where I am coming from don’t you? In survival situations you don’t want all your eggs in one basket.

Now that you see that sheep can be a very good choice especially for the small acreage and/or less experienced individuals, I would like to sing the praises of the Gulf Coast Native sheep and why they are the best choice for tough times. First a little history.

The Gulf Coast breed, along with the Navajo Churro, are descended from sheep brought to the new world by the Spanish. They are the oldest breeds of sheep in the US. The Churro is adapted to the Southwest, while the Gulf Coast is adapted to the Southeast. Many centuries of benign neglect (natural selection) produced an animal that is tough, heat tolerant, a good browser, resistant to foot rot and most importantly parasite resistant. The Gulf Coast is a small breed, but that is a positive for heat adaptation. They will produce excellent meat, wool and milk. Unlike many breeds of sheep, they will produce and survive in tough conditions when grain is not available and chemical wormers are not to be found. Prior to the advent of chemical wormers massive flocks of Gulf Coast could be found in the South. Once these wormers became available, larger more modern breeds took their place. They are now an endangered breed. Of course, if you don’t live in the south east, you can still benefit from keeping this breed. There are Gulf Coast Sheep in many parts of the country and they thrive in these ‘easier’ climates as well.

On our farm, we have worked to increase the body size and improve the wool quality and temperament of our animals. We have also worked to maintain the traits that have made this a breed of survivors. We do not routinely worm adult sheep; however, if an animal has another problem, we may worm because of accompanying immuno-suppression. Since we utilize management intensive grazing, we actually increase exposure of our sheep to parasites compared to the conditions that prevailed when they were extensively grazed in the piney woods. We have also had success upgrading the hardiness and parasite resistance of other sheep breeds through cross breeding.

The meat quality of our animals is exceptional. When Americans tell me that ours is the best lamb they have ever had, I thank them, but it doesn’t mean much since most Americans only eat lamb occasionally. When our European and Middle-eastern clients tell me the same thing I know that our lamb is something special.

Our wool has improved in quantity and quality each year until we are now consistently producing a very fine fleece with good staple length. This is a very nice hand spinning wool that could be useful if you are forced to make your own clothing.

IMG_6432

We do not milk our sheep, but the breed is being used for that purpose by others. Gulf Coast do milk longer than most non-dairy breeds but the greatest drawback is that they have a more flighty temperament. Through selection over the years, our animals have calmed considerably and I believe could be used for milk production if one wanted to pursue that use.

When times are tough only the tough survive. These sheep are tough and they will survive. If you see livestock as part of your survival plan they may be just what you need. But act soon as the time may be short to make arrangements for you and your family.

If you have questions or are interested in purchasing sheep, my wife Dr. Jan Southers or I will be happy to help. We are:

Hope Springs Farm, Colbert, GA 30628 phone: 706-788-2071 cell: 706-248-1740

There is also the Gulf Coast Breeders Association, 947 County Road 302, Sandia, TX 78383

By C.L. Kitttell, DVM

Connect with Hope Springs:  Website • Facebook

 

Prepping for Church?!?

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When you go to church, are you on automatic pilot?  Going to church is the culmination of 6 other days in the presence of God.  It is a time to corporately worship with other brothers and sisters in Christ.  Maybe, we should put a little thought and purposefulness in attending church.  I discuss this in the following video.

 

It’s Getting Crazy Out There – Don’t Be Distracted! An Open Letter to Family & Friends

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Open Letter1

I first penned this letter in December 2011.  Back then, I was very concerned about our world and the direction that I saw it going.  The signs have been there for a while.  For those paying attention, looking, researching and reading, you could easily find a myriad of problems that point to how fragile our world, country, state… is.  But now, the problems are glaring and in your face!  You really have to be Mary Poppins to think there isn’t “something” wrong!

From our economy, to terrorism, to natural disasters, to deadly viruses, crime and more, you can easily find reasons to be concerned for yourself and your family!

The thing is, many of the problems that can arise because of these issues can be mitigated if you just put a little effort into being prepared.  Many of you won’t though because you are too distracted with “living the dream” and having fun or you just are irresponsible!  Responsibility is a problem in today’s world!  We all want the government or some other entity to come through for us!  And what if they don’t?  Are you willing to have your family staring you in the face, wanting to know what to do because they are in a desperate situation that could have been avoided or not as bad because you weren’t man enough to make some decisions and get off your butt!

People always ask, what if I prepare and nothing happens?  Well I say, that is good!  You don’t really want anything to happen!  You don’t want terrorist to hack the electric grid and be without power for however long!  You don’t want the economy to tank and possibly lose your job!  You don’t want the drought in California to effect the food supply so much that you forgo buying fruit because it is too expensive!  You don’t want any of that stuff to happen!  But if it does….you wan to be ready!

Being prepared doesn’t mean you go buy a lot of camo, guns and go out into the woods.  Being prepared or living a prepared lifestyle just means you live responsibility by planning, thinking ahead and putting some things back for a rainy day!  There are so many aspects to it and each family is going to be different!  But failing to plan and prepare is setting your family up to fail!

You will tell that my letter below is a lot “softer” than what I’ve written above!  Back then, I didn’t want to freak people out.  I wanted them to think critically!  But now, I think people need a wake-up call!

After you read the letter below, I would be happy to answer any questions or point you to resources that can explain your question in better detail!

Peace,
Todd
July 2015

An Open Letter to Family & Friends

 

I’m writing this letter because I care about you.  Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying.

Why the Letter?

Our lives are crazy.  We take care of our family, work, eat, play chauffeur, pay the bills, etc.  When we have a little bit of free time, we like to just veg in front of the TV and watch some brain numbing pictures flicker across the screen.  We can go at it like this for days, weeks and even months, not knowing what is going on in the world outside our local community and just get by with the talk around the water cooler.

And when we take life in these little chunks, separate blocks of our time and attention, it seems a little bit more manageable.  We move from one task, event, errand, chore to the other.

The problem is when we look at our lives from a big picture perspective.  What if our lives, all of the sudden changed?  What if the stress of the day came bearing down at you all at once?  How could this happen?  This can easily happen during an emergency.  I’m not talking about your son just stuffed his GI Joe down the toilet, or the dog is out of food emergency.  I’m talking about the BIG stuff.

The Big Emergency

The BIG emergency is the one that stops you in your tracks.  It can be personal, based in your local community or worldwide.  But it is the one that everything else stops and all resources and energy are put towards it.

The problem is that most people are not prepared for the BIG one.

Prepared?

Are you and your family most people?  Do you have an emergency fund for financial emergencies?  Do you have insurance for medical emergencies?  Do you have food and water if there is a food supply/transportation emergency?  Do you have other means of cooking and preparing your food if utilities weren’t available?  Do you have first aid supplies and extra medicine on hand?  Do you have basic skills that could help you: fire starting, water purification, gardening, first aid, etc.?

This is the whole reason for my letter.  I want to help you see the importance of being prepared and to start being more self-reliant.  It’s not too hard, but it does take time, planning and effort.  But then again, what would the time, planning and effort that you put in ahead of time be worth in the middle of an emergency?  You’ll be glad you did!

Action Steps

  1. Make a planWhat are you preparing for?  What needs to be done?  Don’t look at the magnitude of the plan, that can be overwhelming. Take it in chunks.  In reality, you will never be “prepared.”  You can be “not prepared” or “overly prepared,” but never “perfectly prepared.”  Consider the basics: financial, medical, etc…but also keep in mind your region of the country; hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, etc…

 

  1. Set goals– When do you want _____ accomplished?
    1. Get a 3 day supply of food.  Then move to a 3 week supply.
    2. Revisit insurance: house, vehicle, medical, life, etc…
    3. Think about home and personal security.
    4. Start an emergency fund – 3-6 months of expenses
    5. Start a garden
    6. Take a class: first-aid, sewing, gardening, firearm, wilderness survival
    7. Watch some videos on Youtube (search preparedness)
    8. Read blogs and articles on “preparedness” and “prepping

 

  1.  Get active – go meet your goals!

 

Warning

The world of preparedness/prepping can be an addictive one.  It can suck you in, mess with your emotions and get you seeing the world in the fragile states that it is in.  It is always best to approach preparedness within community.  You should go it alone only if no one else is willing.  Eventually, they will realize that you were right, even if that is in the midst of a storm.

Fragile

It is not in the scope of this letter to discuss all the possible emergency scenarios that you should prepare for.  But outside of regional, natural disasters, it is important to me to briefly mention our global situation.  Things outside our local community have gone from bad to worse!  At first, we might not care about what is going on in some Asian or European country, but the fact is that we are ALL tied into each other now.  What happens over there, affects us over here.

There are many “End of the World as We Know It” type scenarios out there.  One such scenario is an economic collapse.  Someone recently replied to me and said, “Yes, times can get hard, but we have been through it before during the Great Depression.”  The fact is that it is way different this time.  Our country didn’t have the debt that we have now.  And, if for some reason the world loses faith in our government’s ability to pay its debts, we are up the creek.  It really isn’t too far-fetched to imagine this happening if you’ll look into it.  The concern has gone beyond the foil hat people.  Just research it!

Do Something

Please take this letter seriously.  If you prepare and don’t need it, the worst is that you have some food (food costs are going up/buy now at cheaper prices) and other supplies.  But if you ever find you are in a position that you do need it, you and your loved ones will be glad you were prepared!

The UBER Guide to DIY Food Storage with Mylar Bags, O2 Absorbers and Buckets!

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Uber Guide to Food Storage

We all NEED food!  In any real disruption, whether that be short or long term, people realize that they need or will need food.  If you doubt, or need a reminder, just think back to pictures of grocery store shelves during winter storms or hurricanes.  The problem with “ordinary” people (or maybe we should call them irresponsible), is that they wait till the disruption is right at their doorstep!

I knew when I started in preparedness that I didn’t want to be irresponsible.  I have a family and I wanted to make sure that their needs are met if I can help it.  So to me, as a father and husband, it is a no brainer to have long term food storage!

My good friend Gaye Levy of Backdoor Survival says it well in her book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage

When most people start thinking about preparedness, they focus on food. Not shelter, gear, sanitation, power, self-defense or the myriad of other concerns that need to be addressed following an emergency or disaster situation. Quite simply, food is the number one concern people have second only to their concern for having an adequate supply of water.

 

What type of food should you buy, where should you buy it, and how should you store it? You are going to learn that acquiring food for the preparedness pantry does not have to be overwhelming. Furthermore, long-term emergency food storage is something you can do over the course of a week, a month, or even longer, if that is what it takes.

 

Perhaps even more important, when you have filled your storage pantry, you will be secure in the knowledge that if a disaster strikes, you will have plenty of food to feed your family, along with a few treats and surprises along the way.

 

My Long Term Food Storage Dilemma

 

After doing my due diligence and researching long term food storage, I soon realized that I wouldn’t be able to afford to purchase those big pallets of food for my whole family.  It would have been nice and easy to place an order online and then just park all that food in a room, but it wasn’t happening for my budget, and I bet it isn’t happening for your own budget either.

There is also the issue with what your family will eat.  Many of those long term food packs come with food that your family might not like and won’t eat.  Yeah, I know.  In an emergency, if they were starving, they would eat it.  But still…why push it.

I knew I wanted to store long term food for my family, the issue was how and how much.  It wasn’t long that I found that you could store food long term in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers inside of plastic 5 gallon buckets.

Side Note: Now, I will tell you here that I think the easiest form of food storage is buying canned foods at your local grocery store.  You can easily create a 30 day menu by using cans.  I wrote the article, Anyone Can Do It – Fool Proof Food Storage, which provides information to an old Y2K website with a ton of recipes…no guessing!  Below that article, you will find a ton of links to other types of food storage from many of my friends who also blog about preparedness.  BUT – canned foods aren’t meant to last for the “LONG TERM.”

The only thing that worried me about making my own long term food storage buckets was ME!  At that time, there wasn’t as much information about making your own food storage buckets like now!  What if I screwed something up and the food that my family depended on went bad and we were caught without any food during a long term crisis?  It’s kind of scary if you think about it, but you have to GET OVER IT!

Making your own long term food storage buckets is very easy.  I’m going to list out the steps in a 1,2,3 format.  But if you need more encouragement, I’m going to include so many links after my steps that you are going to OD on information and feel like a long term food storage expert!

 

Steps to Making Your Own Long Term Food Storage Buckets

 

1.  Acquire Your Supplies. 

You will need mylar bags, O2 absorbers, 5 gallon buckets w/ lids, a mallet, a pail or bucket opener, an iron, a 2×4 board and the food you want to store.

Mylar Bags – Here you have a few options.  You can go with big 5 gallon bag sizes or you can go with 1 gallon bag sizes and place 4-5 in each 5 gallon bucket.  You really want to purchase mylar bags that have a decent thickness.  I usually get 4mil thick bags from Amazon.

I have a big family, with big boys.  I chose to use the big 5 gallon size bags.  I figure that we are going to eat!  If you are putting together buckets for just two people, you might want to use the 1 gallon size bags and place various types of food in one bucket.

O2 Absorbers – O2 absorbers will absorb the oxygen that you can’t push out of the mylar bag.  Various sizes of bags require various cc’s of oxygen absorbers.

To take the guess work out of it though, you can purchase packs of mylar bags with O2 absorbers.  Like I said, I purchase them from Amazon already put together.

5 gallon buckets – You don’t really NEED buckets, but you should use them!  The buckets are  there to protect the mylar bags from being punctured by accident or by little fury critters.  They will also serve as an easy place to store your food when you open up your mylar bags.  I purchase the orange buckets from Home Depot.  I purchase the lids there too.  Home Depot has also started selling gamma lids, lids that easily screw off.  But you can also purchase them on Amazon.

Mallet – You will need this to hammer down the lids on the buckets after you finish sealing your bags.

Bucket/Pail Opener – This isn’t necessary, but will save your nails and fingers when you try to open your buckets.  They are cheap and you will be glad you have one.  You can purchase them on Amazon too.

Food – If you are doing this on the cheap, you probably want to stick with white rice, beans and pasta.  All of these foods will last for a very long time.  This will get you started, but you might want to add more.  Like for example, you might want to store sugar.  You can put that in a mylar bag, but don’t include an O2 absorber.  It will turn your sugar into a hard block.  For other examples of foods that you can store, see the links below.

Iron and 2×4 board – When you get ready to seal your mylar bags, you will place the top of the bag on the board and then iron over it.  I used an old iron we didn’t throw out and I had a 2×4 just laying around in the garage.

2.Fill Up the Bags

First thing – Do not open the package that the O2 absorbers come in until you are ready to start sealing your mylar bags!  Once you open the O2 package, the absorbers start working.  You want to wait until you are really ready.

Setup your buckets in a line or in a work area that will allow you to move easily.  Turn on your iron, connect with an extension cord if it makes it easier, and set it on high.

Place your mylar bags inside the buckets and pour your food inside. You might want to go ahead and label your lids with a Sharpie and place it under the buckets of food so you don’t forget what is inside each bucket…in case you are the forgetful type! 😉  Make sure you leave some space at the top of the bag so it can seal easily.

Shake the buckets to make sure you don’t have any air pockets.  Once all your food is in mylar bags, inside of the buckets, open up your O2 absorbers and drop the appropriate size of O2 absorber inside each bucket.

Grab the 2×4 board, lay it across a portion of the mylar bag, at the top, and run the iron over it.  You don’t have to hold it over too long.  You will see it seal. (see the Yeager vid below)  Again, this is easier than it might sound.  You want to leave a portion of the bag unsealed, like at the end.  The reason is that you want to push out as much air as possible.  I have heard that you can get a long tube/straw and place it on one side of the mylar bag to help get the last bit of air out.

After you are comfortable with pushing as much air out of the bags that you can get, then completely seal the bag.  You might want to make a diagonal seal at the end of the bag to close it off.  (The first tutorial link I link to below will show you what I mean)

At this point, you can wait till the next day to make sure that the bags sealed before you hammer on the lid.  You will notice that the bags will become “tight” and firm as the O2 is absorbed.

Any O2 absorbers that you have left can go into a mason jar.  I don’t really know how long this would work because I have always used all of mine!

3. After you are comfortable with your sealed bags, you can place the lid on them and use the mallet to set the lids in place.  You will notice that the lids from Home Depot have a rubber seal around the bottom.  This makes for a very tight seal.

4.  Your buckets should already be labeled, so just find a cool, dark place to store them, like in a closet or an unused room.  Your buckets should last for many, many, years.

The above list of steps is what I did to make my long term food storage buckets.  It is very easy to do.  However, I know that I wanted to see pics and video.  Again, you want to feel comfortable that you did everything correctly, your family is depending on you!

Below you will find some of the best tutorials and links that you will want to read/watch to help you feel more comfortable.  All of these articles were linked on Prepper Website, so you know they are good! :-)

Search Amazon for Great Deals on Purchasing Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers!

 

DIY Long Term Food Storage Tutorials

How to Seal a Mylar Bag in a 5-gallon bucket (Modern Survival Blog) – This tutorial has the pic of using the diagonal seal I spoke about above.

Supersizing Food Storage with BUCKETS  (Prepared Housewives) – Good info. with a lot of pics!

VID: Long Term Food Storage (Survive2Day) – If you are looking for a video to walk you through the process, you might want to watch this one!

VID: Beginners Guide to Food Storage (James Yeager) – Yes, that James Yeager, often does videos on preparedness.  He walks through putting together food buckets in this video along with other food storage basics!

How to Seal Food in Mylar Bags (Backdoor Survival) – Good tutorial with a lot of pics!

Sealing Food in Five Gallon Buckets is an Important Skill for Preppers (Preparedness Advice Blog)

VID: Long Term Food Storage: Dry Pasta in Mylar Bags (The Modern Survivalist) – This is a short video where Ferfal uses a hair straightener to seal a small mylar package.

Food Storage: Packing pails for long term storage ( Candian Preppers Network)

 

Tips & Tricks You Want to Know About Your DIY Long Term Food Buckets

 

Food Storage Demystified – (Ready Nutrition) – Lots of great tips to help you understand more about your food buckets!

Food Grade Buckets – (5 Gallon Ideas) – Understand the difference between food grade and non-food grade buckets!

Oxygen Absorbers For 5-Gallon Food Storage (Modern Survival Blog)

FREE – Food Storage Inventory Spreadsheets You Can Download For Free (Prepared Housewives) – Who doesn’t like FREE stuff?

A Food Storage Tip When Using Mylar Bags (Ed that Matters) – A great tip for storing rice and beans together in the same 5 gallon bucket!

Survival Basics: Using Mylar Bags for Food Storage (Backdoor Survival) – Some great tips!

Guide to Long Term Food Storage (The Daily Prep) – A graphic resource with links to specific topics and questions you might have.

The 15 Commandments of Food Storage (Survival Mom) – Just good info.

How Many Buckets of Freedom Do You Have? (The Organic Prepper) – Some thoughts on why it is important to have buckets of food!

Food Storage (Peak Prosperity) – There is a ton of info. here regarding food storage of all types.  I’m including it because it does discuss long term food buckets.

8 Tips For Storing Food in Mylar Bags  (Food Storage & Survival) – Great tips!

How Much Food Will Fit in a 5 Gallon Bucket? (Preparedness Advice Blog) – Good info.

12 Staples of Long Term Food Storage (US Prepper’s) – A good list of food to have.

 

3 Great Resources

 

The Prepper’s Cookbook (Tess Pennington) – This book is one of the best when it comes to cooking with your food storage.  The book contains a ton of recipes, charts, how-to store food for long term food storage (various ways), food calculator and more!  Read the review hereThe book has 4.5 stars and 209 reviews on Amazon.  It is definitely one you want in your preparedness library!

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage (Gaye Levy) – This ebook is concise and packs a powerful punch.  You can read my review here.  The book has 4 stars and 33 reviews on Amazon.  You can often find it for $.99!

The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget (Daisy Luther) – I haven’t done a book review on this book.  But knowing Daisy and reading all the articles that she puts out on her website, I know it is going to be good.  The book covers building your pantry, cutting costs, storing food and also contains recipes.

 

Spices & Herbs?

 

I’m sure that your family will be very appreciative of all your efforts to provide food for extended emergencies.  However, with all the bulk food that you store, you might find that eating becomes boring.  Since food is so important to us, why not prepare a little bit more to have “good food” that your family would eat.

One thing that you will want to do is to store spices and herbs to make your food storage have various tastes.  Spices, seasonings and herbs usually store very well.  You might also want to grow your own herbs.  Having fresh herbs is easy, frugal and can be done in your big garden or even in containers.  Below you will find some good articles to reference.

Long Term Storage for Spices (Florida Hillbilly)

Food Storage: Storing Herbs and Spices for Long Term Storage (Self-Reliant School)

The Spice of Life (Paratus Familia Blog)

Food Storage, Bulk Spices, And My Must Haves (New Life on a Homestead)

10 Spice Blend Recipes (The Mountain Rose Blog)

Drying Herbs? Here’s what you do with them next (I Am Liberty)

How Do I Store That? Dried Herbs (Preparedness Mama)

Herb Gardening Basics (Simply Living Simply)

 

Closing

 

Food storage makes sense!  You know it does or you wouldn’t have read this article.  If you are looking for other ways to store food, including more tips, tricks and cooking ideas, take a look at the “Food Storage” tag on Prepper Website.  There you will find pages and pages of great food storage articles.  Just a note – at the bottom of each tag page, there is a link to take you to the next page!

Do you have a favorite food storage article or tip?  Link it below in the comments!

Peace,
Todd

Search Amazon for Great Deals on Purchasing Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers!

Simplifying Life, Making Changes to Websites and 5 Small Pieces of Advice!

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I really debated about putting this out there. I usually don’t read posts about what changes people are making to their websites or what they are up to or stuff like that. But, I am making some changes, not only to the PW family of websites, but I’m preparing for some changes in life.

So, I will try to incorporate some of that in here to maybe help others, get some advice and even ask for your prayers.

Let me start with what I’m doing first…

I don’t plan on publishing another edition of The Preparedness Review. I sent an email to everyone on the list and then deleted the list. More about why I deleted the list in a moment. I plan on keeping the domain name and pointing it to a page on Prepper Website. I’ll also host the past reviews on Dropbox and not where I currently have them. Part of what I’m doing is cutting costs. There were a lot of great articles included in past TPR editions, so I hope that they will continue to be downloaded and help those starting out in preparedness.

I’m not renewing Prepper Small Biz either. I think it was a good idea, but one that didn’t really take off. I monitor it, update software and plugins, and pay for hosting. It’s just another thing to look after.

One website that I’m a little disappointed that didn’t take off is Your Preparedness Story. Knowing that social media sites like Facebook censors so many people, I wanted to offer a website that would allow the Preparedness community the opportunity to post their own stories and articles. The website pretty much runs itself. Anyone can go there, post their article, include pics, etc… and get it posted. I even created a how to video to show others how to add their content if they weren’t familiar with WordPress.

Now, there are some good articles over there. I posted many for others when they would send them to me since they couldn’t figure it out. So, I plan on moving them to Ed that Matters before the hosting expires. I put a lot of work into this one, finding the plugins that would allow others to post automatically, but it is….another thing.

I’m not sure about One Awesome Article yet. The main purpose of the site was to link to one survival article daily. Posting articles on One Awesome Article , I believe is a double blessing. On one hand, people who own prepper websites get traffic on an old article that has great information for others. On the other hand, readers get to read a great article that they wouldn’t have normally found. Like the other sites, It’s another thing. I’m not sure if I will continue it. Time will tell.

I definitely plan on keeping Prepper Website. This original idea I had for a website has been a true blessing. I will also keep Ed that Matters since I use this as my personal blog. Top Prepper Websites and Totally Homestead are two websites that kind of run themselves except for the times I have to delete someone for breaking rules.. Although I pay for hosting, I will continue on with these. I will also continue to post at Prepper Church. Prepper Church fills the need to share my faith with the Preparedness Community. Over the years, I have heard from more people of faith in preparedness than most would realize. There are many Christians out there who are going to churches that don’t understand and support preparedness. I hope that Prepper Church can continue to be a blessing.

One thing that I am cutting off like a dead limb are email lists. Like I said before, I deleted The Preparedness Review list. That list was big! I also plan on deleting the One Awesome Article email list.

Although this is counter to many “website guru’s” philosophies, I don’t want to do what they suggest to make the return on investment worth it! The current trend is to acquire email lists and then promote products and events to the list to get sales. Some do it very successfully, but I just don’t feel right about bombarding my readers like that! So, I’ve only done it a few times and I felt like a high pressure salesman!  I’m not saying that I won’t ever promote a special offer that I believe in, but this will be the exception!

If someone wants to support the work that I’m doing, they can always buy from Amazon using links on the various websites or even click on the advertisers that purchase space on Prepper Website….I have tried to not ever allow advertising from those “37 foods that ….” type of websites that try to get you to listen to an infomercial. All of the advertisers are legit. I have turned many away who gave me pause.

By the way, I will keep the daily email list for Prepper Website. But I recently purged many on the list who hadn’t opened an email in a while! So, if you are not receiving the email any longer, or would like to sign up, click here.

So Why are You Doing All of This Todd?

One reason I’m doing all of this is to just simplify my life. I often think about the Ted Talk I posted on this article. I mean, what is REALLY important for a good life? What is truly valuable? Why do we gather/need so much “stuff?” People for centuries were content with the basics of life and well, they died and their stuff doesn’t matter. Guess what, if Jesus tarries, the same will happen to us. All of our “stuff” won’t matter anymore. It will just be junk that someone we leave behind has to deal with.

Another big reason why I’m making some changes is because I feel some changes are coming to my life. I don’t know what, I don’t know when, but I know that there are some changes in store for me and my family. When the changes come, I want to be ready and not have to worry about a bunch of other things that need my time.

Some Advice and Thoughts

You might have some of the same thoughts and ideas about simplifying your life as I have stated above. If so, here are some thoughts that you might want to consider. I’m not a “change” guru or anything, but hopefully you will find these helpful or at least worthy of reflection. If you have any advice to share with others, please feel free to leave it in the comment section below.

  • Get Out of Debt – When you are not tied to bills and debt, you are a lot more free to make changes and simplify your life. Many American’s are going to find themselves in hard economic times real soon. It is best to be as debt free as possible.
  • Purge Stuff – As preppers, we like to stock food, supplies and stuff! There is nothing wrong with that! But there are other things in your house/garage/office that are just cluttering up your surroundings. It might be a good idea to hold a garage sale or give some stuff away. Do you really need it? Someone once said that if you haven’t touched an item in a year, you don’t really need it.
  • Evaluate What Really Matters – You’ve heard the Scripture, “Better to lose the whole world than to lose your soul.” That is so true. But what about losing your family, your health, your sanity? Can you let go of everything else that doesn’t really matter? In the grand scheme of things, what will happen if you didn’t control or influence THAT thing?
  • Explore the Possibilities – There might be some things you have always wanted to try but haven’t, because, life happened. Kids were born, you didn’t have the money or you just forgot until recently. Explore the possibilities of a new skill, a class you want to take, a place you want to visit, a person you want to meet.
  • Seek Advice – Big decisions and life changes shouldn’t be made without seeking some good counsel and advice. In my case, I pray and seek God. If you are not a believer, you might do a pro and con list or talk to an expert or someone older. There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.

Well, like I said earlier, I would welcome any advice anyone can share with others down below. If you are the praying type, I would appreciate your prayers for direction. I’ll keep you updated on any new developments!

Peace,
Todd