Timo Marshall: How To Make Alcohol Unfortunately, vices do not collapse when the rest of the world does. No, we will still be beholden to addictions and things of that nature long after the world falls apart. The desire for such things will be just as strong and there will be no guarantee that you …
Grid Down Figgy Pudding
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!
In this show we will be getting completely smashed with holiday cheer…well I might be anyway.
Almost everyone loves alcohol in some form or fashion. Food preservation generally evokes visions of pickles, jellies, canning, dehydrating, dried garlic strung on a decorative braid, or even fruits and vegetables preserved in oils. Did you know that fruits and vegetables can also be preserved
in alcohol – spirits such as vodka, cognac, brandy or even wine?
A critical part of preparing for survival is learning about everyday items that are present in most homes, and then repurposing those items into a variety of uses.
One such item is alcohol. Here are seven uses for it:
In the event that you find yourself in a cold and wet survival situation with no dry tinder, alcohol just may be what saves your day. Simply soaking a piece of cloth in alcohol and then lighting it up with a match or lighter will get a fire started quickly. Of course, you’ll want to have extra fuel on hand to keep the fire going, but for transforming that initial spark into a flame, alcohol will work wonders.
2. Wound disinfectant
When you sustain an open wound, it’s essential to clean it with a disinfectant before bandaging in order to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Alcohol is a very effective wound disinfectant because it can kill bacteria instantly. The only downside to this is that it also can kill or damage tissue around an open wound, so you’ll want to be very conservative in how you apply it.
3. Surface disinfectant
This would come in handy for disinfecting knife blades, thermometers, medical equipment and cooking utensils.
4. Bartering commodity
In the event of an economic collapse where paper money becomes worthless, the new currency will be necessities: food, water, personal hygiene items, fire-starters, first-aid equipment, toilet paper, and so on.
While alcohol may not be a “necessity,” it is definitely something that will be in high demand during a disaster scenario. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, it may still be wise to set aside some beverages that you can use for bartering and trading when the time comes.
5. Bug repellent
Repelling bugs needs to be a bigger survival priority than most people realize. In any kind of a long-term disaster, sanitation standards are going to plummet, and diseases can spread quickly via mosquitoes, flies or other pests. Blend alcohol together with olive oil and then apply it directly to your skin. It will keep mosquitoes and other bugs at bay.
Sip some alcohol into your mouth and then swish it around for about a minute. It will kill the bacteria on your teeth and gums. Spit it out and then rinse with water.
7. Firearm cleaner
When your usual gun-cleaning oils are no longer available during a survival situation, you can use alcohol as an alternative. Simply clean your gun like you would with cleaning oils, and then rub it down with a rag.
Do you know of other survival uses for alcohol? Share your tips in the section below:
Distill Your Own Fuel, Ethanol to Alcohol! Host: Nick & Don “We Grow Ours” Can you make your own fuel – at home? “Make Your Own Fuel! Alcohol Fuel Basics What if there were a fuel that was affordable, renewable, and produced right in your own community? If you’d lived 100 years ago, you would … Continue reading Distill Your Own Fuel, Ethanol to Alcohol!
When I look at today’s young people, majoring in things like video game design and gender studies, I have to shake my head. Many expensive degrees today almost guarantee a life spent as a Starbucks barista. As well, in a post-SHTF world, those degrees will be worse than useless. The years spent in classes such as “Games and Culture”, “Gender and Representation of Asian Women” and “The Invention of French Theory”…oh, my. Those hours could have been so much better spent studying things that are real, meaningful, and have true significance in the world around us, as well as having practical applications that might be of some actual help.
But, I digress. In the future, as we see the value of our dollar decline, increased civil unrest (although that may provide occasional income opportunities for gender studies students), and a chaotic world, there are a few “professions”, if you will, that could reap huge benefits and income. Just to name a few:
Gunsmith — In a world where violence becomes more common place, armed defense and offense are going to become the hallmarks of a survivor. Want to protect yourself, your family, and your property? Then your firearms had better be in working order 100% of the time. In a future in which law enforcement agencies are disbanded or barely functional, a citizen’s firearm will be his or her own first line of defense. What better career for such a time, and a cool hobby for right now, than becoming a gunsmith? The NRA has information about the trade and suggestions for gunsmithing schools at this site. If you’re not able to attend a school, then a good manual or two, like this one for getting started and this one for learning advanced gunsmithing skills, and a set of basic gunsmithing tools can help you get started.
Midwife — As long as there are men and women who coexist anywhere near each other, there’s going to be a need for midwives and, actually, anyone with the skills to help birth a baby. In a real TEOTWAWKI scenario, life expectancy will decrease and the lives of a mother and newborn will become more precarious. Midwife training is available across the country, including community colleges. Even a single class to learn more than just the basics of childbirth could easily save lives, and if nothing else, a good midwife’s guide to pregnancy and birth is worth adding to your library.
Herbalist — As Obamacare has made the medical field a virtual landmine for medical professionals with onerous regulations of every type imaginable, many have left the field. Now, imagine trying to find a random physician for a major medical crisis when everything hits the fan. That’s when alternative medicine will truly come into its own. My family has experienced good results with certain herbal treatments — slippery elm lozenges for my daughter’s cough, for one. My wife takes Boswellia to help with a chronic cough during allergy season. It works nearly as well as an OTC drug like Delsym. I’m very aware that herbs can and do cause side effects, which is why becoming a trained herbalist would be a darn good profession in a SHTF world. Additionally, start growing medicinal herbs that help with common ailments, such as headaches, stomach aches, and to boost overall immunity. Right now, my family buys herbs in capsule form, and occasionally teas, but in the future, Amazon Prime won’t be there for that quick 2-day shipment, so one of my goals is to build up our backyard herb garden.
Beautician — Now, hear me out on this one! A few months ago, as a student in Preppers University, I had the chance to hear a Bosnian war survivor, Selco, talk about the realities of trying to live life on the front lines of a war. He was asked if, during that time period, the women still tried to look attractive. He chuckled and said, “Yeah, the women still did their best to look good.” Now, in my own personal, albeit somewhat limited experience, I’ve noticed that women always, always want to look their best. Before the birth of our second child, my wife found an attractive nightgown that would look good in photos and after he was born, she fluffed up her hair and put on some mascara. Crazy? Yes, but you can’t argue with the multi-billion dollar beauty business and chances are, no matter what happens, women will still want a haircut and, if possible, color and highlights. Men, too. (Some of them. Maybe.)
Forager — One other piece of information I picked up from Selco’s talk was the importance of foraging. In his town, one old woman knew how to find a few edible plants and was able to forage for them to provide food. Depending on where you live, start researching the edible plants in your area but be very careful with this. On some plants, the leaves may be edible while the roots are poisonous or, in other cases, the plant parts aren’t edible until cooked. Learn more about foraging in this book, one of the best and written by a local Texas foraging expert. Whatever you can forage can be either dried/dehydrated or canned to preserve it for longer term storage.
Seamstress — If you’ve ever traveled in very poor parts of the world, you undoubtedly noticed the well-worn clothing, to put it politely. Modern laundry facilities aren’t usually available, so clothing quickly becomes faded, tattered, and frayed. In such a world, what if you could alter clothing to different sizes or use old jeans to create a brand new pair. Not many have these skills anymore, and they would be worth learning. It’s also a good reason to stock up on sewing supplies like thread, needles, pins, fabric, bobbins, and a treadle sewing machine.
And now for the vices…
The vice businesses, think gambling, drugs, liquor, and prostitution, have always done well, regardless of economics. There will always be customers for these things and, sadly, as times and people get more desperate, those who make a living this way will thrive at the expense of those addicted to their products.
Obviously, I’m not recommending any of these professions, but it’s good to keep them in mind if and when you see society deteriorating. You’ll see an increase in the business of vice and, along with that, a rise in crimes of all types, including organized crime. Hey, with law enforcement scattered or out of the picture altogether, what else would you expect?
Gambling — People either hooked on the thrill of the roll of the dice or in dire need of just one lucky roll will provide plenty of customers for even primitive gambing establishments.
Drugs — Across the globe and throughout time, people have found ways to get high on one thing or another. Back when I lived in the Pacific islands, chewing on a betel nut gave a good buzz, if you were into that sort of thing. Mushrooms and plants of all kinds have been used to produce hallucinations, euphoria, excitement, and a host of less positive effects. This article explains that homemade heroin may become a reality. TEOTWAWKI absolutely will bring an increase in drug production and sales, along with more addicts.
Liquor — I suppose this may not be a vice, depending on which side of the aisle you sit, but I included it in the category because that’s where it has typically belonged. Back in the 30s, my wife’s hillbilly relatives had a front porch still, and as far as I know, they may still be producing homemade moonshine. However, home brewing has come a very long way since then, and if you know how to make a decent beer, wine, or some other alcoholic concoction, you could be set for life. Of course, historically, organized crime usually wants a piece of this type of action, so that life could be shorter than you might expect.
Prostitution — As a dad, this one bothers me a great deal. I’ve seen the devastating consequences of child prostitution in East Asia and human trafficking here in the United States. In a desperate world, one’s body becomes a form of currency and many families have sold their sons and daughters simply to stay alive a few more months. In many parts of the world, this isn’t a “lifestyle”, it’s survival. Knowing this, prepping and moving toward a self-reliant life becomes even more important. I never want one of my family members faced with no other option just to stay alive. In a SHTF world, you’d better believe pimps and prostitution rings will flourish.
Pornography — Yet another soul-stealing “profession”. I see no reason why it wouldn’t continue to thrive in a world with little law enforcement and individuals of all ages willing to risk anything in exchange for food, water, and shelter.
How will you earn a living post-TEOTWAWKI?
There are many skills and professions that will be in demand in a post-TEOTWAWKI world. I’ve listed just a few
The post 11 Professions That Will Make You a Millionaire In a Post-SHTF World appeared first on Preparedness Advice.
Making rubbing alcohol sounds like something you’d need a table full of beakers and glass tubes for, doesn’t it? Fortunately, it’s far easier than most think. Good thing, too!
After all, one of the worst things that can happen to a homesteader or survivalist is having few medical supplies. But if you love being prepared, then you’re going to love this easy recipe to product your own disinfectant. Let’s get to work making some rubbing alcohol.
Rubbing alcohol is a relatively cheap commodity and can be made relatively easily in a modern lab. However, making store quality disinfectant is a dangerous and EXPLOSIVE endeavor. Let’s take the road that leads to far less pain, shall we?
In this recipe, we will be making ethanol rubbing alcohol? Please realize that while this will create the same kind of alcohol found in beer, I implore you not to make the mistake so many blind moonshiners made! This is not for drinking.
Making ethanol has a variety of uses, outside of just medical. Ethanol can be further refined to make a cheap renewable energy source. This fuel can power some generators (with a little tweaking) and even be refined as a replacement for diesel. How cool is that?! Of course, that would require you to make large quantities of it, thus depleting your sugar supply rather quickly.
Alternatively, you could get your own sugar cane and harvest your own small crop. This would simply mean picking up a stalk of sugar cane from your local farmer supply (or online). You will be ready to harvest in about 7-8 months, depending on where you live, of course.
You will need the following:
- Roughly 2 pounds of white sugar (preferably not bleached).
- 1 gallon of water, purified if possible.
- 2 empty water jugs made of HDPE plastic (simply look at the mark on the bottom of the jug), or a glass drinking jug.
- 1 jar of simple baker’s yeast.
- About 2 ½ feet of coiled copper tubing (not as expensive as you might think).
- A bowl of cold water or ice big enough to hold your container (this is not a necessary step but it helps speed up the process).
- 1 thermometer.
- 1 funnel.
- Duct tape.
As with any process like this, make sure all of your items are sterilized and cleaned. Boiling water works just fine.
To get started, add 3 teaspoons of yeast into the first jug and simply pour in your 2 pounds of sugar. (Be sure to use your funnel.) There is no need to get messy. Now, take your thermometer and hold it under your running hot water from your tap. Simply adjust the knobs until your water reaches 115 degrees, and fill the jug to about 3 inches from the top. This gives the yeast a wider surface area to work with, as well as helps break down the sugars faster. Shake or stir well to ensure that all of the yeast is broken up into the solution.
The Fermentation Process
Now, put on the lid, making sure not to screw it on enough for an air seal to form, but enough to let the Co2 being created inside the container to escape. Set it in a warm dark place, preferably on the top shelf of a cupboard that isn’t used often. Allow it to ferment for at least 2 weeks. Although you may not enjoy the idea, you will have to give it the ol’ sniff test to judge for yourself if it is fermented enough. The longer you ferment the mixture the stronger your ethanol will be.
Let’s Make Some Ethanol
At the end of the 2-week period, simply remove the solution and pour it into the second container. Prepare a pot big enough to hold your gallon jug, with some room left over. Now, fill the pot with water to the point where it won’t boil over.
Take your jug lid and cut a precise and even hole in the middle, big enough for your tubing. Insert one end of the tubing into the lid and screw it on. From here, you duct tape it down snuggly so there is no chance of the vapors escaping your container.
Turn on your stove to a high point in order to bring it to a boil. Once boiling, turn it down to maintain a low bubble so your water doesn’t evaporate around the jug too quickly. It is best to keep a watchful eye on the water and refill as necessary.
Remember to do the same for the other end of the tubing when attaching it to your other container. Set your other container in your bowl of either very cold water or preferably ice. Adjust how it sits until you are comfortable it won’t fall over. Continue boiling until all of your sugar solution has evaporated and condensed into your second container. This will possibly take a day or so!
If you smell any vapors during this process, then simply add more tape until you are positive there is an airtight seal on both ends. The result should yield a clear liquid that burns blue and clear when lit. Congratulations: You’ve created your first batch of ethanol.
Seal it in an air-tight container, and then shelve for later use as your disinfectant.
I hope this tidbit of self-reliance has bolstered your confidence.
Have you ever made rubbing alcohol from scratch? Share your tips in the section below:
These days, most people associate the word ‘inflammation’ with ‘unhealthy.’ Truth be told though, inflammation can be a very good thing. It’s your body’s way of healing. When you’re sick or injured, your body flushes the effected area with blood, immune cells, and nutrients, in an effort to combat pathogens and heal what is damaged. Obviously, this results in pain and discomfort, but in the big scheme of things it is exactly what you need to survive and live a healthy life.
When someone says that inflammation is bad, what they’re really talking about is chronic inflammation, which is a bit more insidious. It doesn’t always make you feel like you’re sick or in pain, but it is highly damaging to your body. Chronic inflammation has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even cancer. It can be caused by a lack of sleep, stress, pollution, certain allergies, or a poor diet; and it can add more damage on top of whatever is causing the inflammation.
However, diet is often associated with inflammation more than any other cause. Certain foods and can do a number on your body, and if you’re eating them every day, you may be on the path to an early grave. Foods that you should either eliminate from your diet or consume in moderation include:
You’ll find that most foods that are “refined” typically have a higher glycemic index, which causes inflammation. White bread is one of the worst examples. It causes your insulin levels to spike, creating the perfect environment for inflammation to run rampant. Whole grain foods however, can reduce inflammation.
Of all the inflammatory foods that you eat, sweeteners are the most notorious. The human body simply did not evolve to process straight sugar. Rather, our digestive systems were made to take sugar in small amounts, preferably bound in whole foods like fruit, which take much longer to digest. The consumption of white sugar gives your body a massive spike in blood sugar, which is highly damaging and inflammatory. Not only that, but refined sugar leads to weight gain, which is also inflammatory. Artificial sugars can also create an immune response, since your body does not recognize them.
Foods like french fries, potato chips, and donuts are cooked at a high temperature, which creates advanced glycation end products, or AGES. Your body doesn’t recognize these compounds, so they are treated to an immune response upon ingestion. Not only that, but fried foods are also often cooked in vegetable oils, which typically contain very high levels of omega-6 fats. Normally these fats are good for you, but if they’re not balanced with omega-3 fats they are inflammatory.
Not only does alcohol often contain inflammatory gluten and sugar, but by itself it can initiate your body’s immune system. The way your liver breaks down alcohol produces toxins, and alcohol can make your intestines more porous, which allows bacteria to spread throughout the body. On top of that, alcohol can have a devastating effect on the good bacteria in your digestive tract, which plays a significant role in your immune system. Overall, alcohol is pretty hard on your immune system. It weakens your immune response while simultaneously giving your immune system more to fight, both of which can be inflammatory.
Meat and Dairy
While meat and dairy products provide an excellent source of nutrition, they should be consumed in reasonable portions. They both contain saturated fats, which while essential to a healthy diet, are also inflammatory. They contain arachidonic acid, which your body produces naturally when it needs to create inflammation. Meat is especially inflammatory, since like fried foods, it is often cooked at a high temperature which produces AGES. Again, these foods can be quite good for you, and their pros typically outweigh the cons, but only when you don’t go overboard on them.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
Bottles of wine, beer, vodka and rum aren’t exactly what first comes to mind when preparing for emergencies, but there are several reasons preppers should consider having a stash of alcohol on hand, even if you don’t drink.
For those who do drink, that purpose is obvious. Yet, alcohol also has value and uses that go beyond personal enjoyment. Here are nine reasons why every Survival Mom should consider having a stash of alcohol.
1. Disinfectants in your stash of alcohol
Alcohol that is higher than 35 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), or 70 proof, can disinfect, but not sterilize, wounds and tools. Disinfecting an item eliminates many or all pathogenic microorganisms, except bacterial spores. Sterilization eliminates all forms of microbial life. To disinfect, you’ll have to look at having vodka, brandy, rum, gin or pure vanilla extract on hand. However, if a wound is disinfected with alcohol, it can also kill the good tissue around the wound, so it should be used as a last resort. You could also use this kind of alcohol to wash your hands to disinfect them, and in the absence of other cleaners, you could use them to clean surfaces, cooking tools and dishes. Surgery and childbirth are two scenarios in which medical tools need to be as disinfected as the situation will allow. In a pinch, alcohol could be the best way to minimize the possibility of infections.
2. Medicinal uses
In addition to the medical uses mentioned above, tinctures are created using an alcohol base. Tinctures are herbal remedies where herbs are concentrated in an alcohol and water mixture. For example, a cough suppressant can be made using whiskey, honey and lemon.
Alcohol does not help with hypothermia. You often see in movies and on TV a person who has come in from the cold get offered a stiff drink to help warm them up. They may feel warmer afterward, but ultimately, that drink will serve to lower the person’s core temperature because alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate.
Alcohol can also help calm an upset stomach, temporarily help with tooth pain, and help calm an anxious person. A little bit can help a person fall asleep faster. Poison ivy and bug bites can also be relieved by rubbing some alcohol on the affected area. Alcohol can be a muscle relaxant, too.
Some people value alcohol more than others and it will fly off the shelves in several emergency scenarios (riots, power outages, impending snowstorms or hurricanes). Having some on hand might give you the upper hand when trading for food or household supplies. Consider stocking up on both large bottles as well as the tiny “airplane” sizes.
INTERESTED IN BARTERING? Barter may not be the simple transaction many preppers envision. Here’s what you need to know about bartering before planning on it becoming your survival solution.
Bottles of highly prized brands of alcohol have also come in handy as bribes. Not recommending this. Just making note of it!
Despite the situation or emergency, life will continue – babies will be born, people will marry and funerals will take place. Many of these occasions bring people together to celebrate or remember. Wine or champagne can add to the celebration and help give people a sense of “normalcy,” which can be a powerful element in who thrives during difficult circumstances and who doesn’t.
Some religions use alcohol as part of a religious ceremony or rite. Continuing these traditions can mean a lot to people of those faiths. During Prohibition, one of the only ways for a winery to stay in business was to make wine for religious reasons.
6. Fire and defense
As with wound care, alcohol is not the first choice in sustaining a fire, but it does work if needed. Much care should be used if using alcohol around any kind of fire. Do not pour alcohol on an active fire, but soak something and put it in the kindling/coals before setting the fire.
If you find yourself in a situation where your home or family needs to be defended, you could create a fire bomb using alcohol. Extreme care needs to be taken if alcohol is used in this manner and in no way are we recommending this!
LEARN MORE WITH THIS DIY PROJECT: Make a mini-stove with Altoids in alcohol.
There are plenty of recipes that call for wine and other forms of alcohol, but one of the best reasons to have alcohol around is to preserve items from the garden. Soaking herbs or plants in vodka makes extracts, like vanilla, peppermint, and lemon. Fruit can be preserved in alcohol for long-term storage. Ginger and turmeric can be preserved in alcohol, too.
8. Stress relief
Alcohol can help a person relax a bit or “take the edge off.” There will be a lot of stress in most survival situations and having a small vice is one way humans deal with stress. The social aspect of having a drink at the end of a long day is often what helps people deal with stress the most.
9. Everyday emergencies (cooking/gifts)
Sometimes the emergency isn’t dire but is still stressful. Having a few bottles of wine on hand for recipes or for a hostess gift when you’re invited to a dinner party is a good idea. Even if the hosts are non-drinkers, they can still put the bottle to good use.
Tips for storage
Alcohol needs to be stored in a cool, dark place. As a liquid, it can evaporate if the bottle has been opened. The shelf life varies depending on the type of alcohol. Beer and wine will generally last about six months to two years depending on the way it was made. Liquors vary widely, but also tend to break down by the two-year mark. Spirits and moonshines do not expire due to their high alcohol content.
Learn To Make Your Own Prepper Stash of Alcohol
Another option to having alcohol on hand is learning to make your own. Home beer brewing and winemaking are becoming the new fad hobbies with supply stores showing up in many cities, as well as online. Many of these stores offer classes and will help you on your brewing journey. You can also use a still to make distilled water, spirits and alcohol that can be used for fuel. State laws vary on home brewing and distilling so make sure to check what is allowed where you live.
MAKING HOMEMADE WINE: This is a handy skill and not as difficult as you might think. Your final product may not win the blue ribbon in a wine competition but can still be enjoyed for what it is — a DIY project you can drink!
Preppers with a stash of alcohol can only benefit in the long run. If you’re not sure about how much and exactly what you want to have on hand, start with a variety of small bottles. Make sure to keep them out of the reach of children or possibly hidden or locked up if you have teenagers. It’s an item that can have a multitude of uses and doesn’t cost a whole lot of money.
STOCKING UP TIP: You’ll often see grocery carts filled with bottles of alcohol in the liquor department of your grocery store. Browse through those and, if you aren’t sure where to start, pick up vodka, rum, gin, or whisky, as they have many multiple uses and longer shelf lives.
Want to learn more about prepping?
- 52 Prepper Projects by Dave Nash
- Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury
- Buy Gold and Silver Safely by Doug Eberhardt
- Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb
- Emergency Evacuations: Get out fast when it matters most by Lisa Bedford
- Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival by Angela Paskett
- The Pantry Primer: How to build a one year food supply in three months by Daisy Luther
- Prepper’s Natural Medicine by Cat Ellis
- The Preppers Blueprint by Tess Pennington
- The Prepper’s Pocket Guide by Bernie Carr
- The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide by Daisy Luther
- SAS Survival Handbook by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman
- Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford
The modern world has done a number on our sleep cycles. While surely there have always been sleep disorders, living in a high stress world filled with lights, gadgets, and on demand entertainment has turned many of us into sleepless zombies. About 10% of the American population has chronic insomnia, and between 45% and 55% of us experience it infrequently.
Clearly this is a widespread problem. Calling it an epidemic would be an apt description, since it’s so common and incredibly bad for us. Sleep is like food and water. If you don’t get enough of it, every function in your body will be hindered in one form or another. And that of course, can put you into an early grave.
Fortunately there are a few simple (though not always easy) things you can do to finally get a good night’s rest. If you don’t want to be among the sleep deprived masses, consider the following:
Tobacco, Alcohol, and Caffeine
Everyone knows that caffeine can keep you awake and shouldn’t be ingested before going to sleep. Tobacco is another stimulant that can keep you up, and not just because of its brief energizing effects. If you smoke once or twice every waking hour, then that’s what your addicted brain is used to. But when you try going to sleep, all of sudden you’re going several hours without smoking. This often leads to restlessness and waking up in the middle of the night.
And finally, alcohol is one of the worst substances you can ingest before bed. Initially it will help you fall asleep fast, but like tobacco it hurts the quality of that sleep. You’ll get less REM sleep, and it may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Light and Dark
It’s common knowledge that a dark environment is ideal for a good night’s rest. Even the slightest speck of light can hinder melatonin production (even with your eyes closed too) and throw a wrench in the gears of your circadian rhythm. It could be the numbers on your alarm clock, the lights on your TV, or the street lamp outside your window. Anything can throw you off. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy a sleeping mask and/or blackout curtains for your bedroom. Most people don’t even realize how much these tiny lights are ruining their sleep until they try out these options.
What most people don’t know however, is that experiencing daylight is just as important for your sleep. Research has shown that seeing and feeling more sunlight throughout the day helps you sleep better at night. When you stay inside all day under artificial light, your body doesn’t really know when it’s day-time and night-time. Thus, it doesn’t know when to sleep.
And while we’re on the subject of how light affects your sleep, you should avoid all contact with electronics for at least an hour before bedtime. As I said before, any form of light can hinder your sleep to some degree, but computers and cell phones are the worst. The light from these devices, as well as LEDs and fluorescent bulbs, is often tinted blue. That color actually induces wakefulness and focus, and it can hinder your sleep for several hours after you see it.
Skip the Snooze Button
The problem with hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock is that it interrupts your sleep cycles, which typically lasts about 90 minutes and consists of 5 stages throughout the night. Hitting the snooze button causes that cycle to restart unnecessarily as you drift back to sleep. You would feel more restful if you had just set your alarm clock a few minutes later. Not only that, but the snooze button has a tendency to disrupt your hormones and your circadian rhythm.
And when you think about it, you shouldn’t need an alarm clock either unless your work schedule changes from day-to-day. If you need an alarm clock to wake you up every single morning, then you’re not getting enough sleep. Set it every night anyway just in case something disrupts your sleep, but don’t rely on it. If you’re really getting plenty of consistent rest, and you’re disciplined enough to go to bed at the same time every night (which your body loves), you’ll wake up at the same time every morning a few minutes before that alarm clock goes off.
One of the best remedies for occasional insomnia is a workout. If you sit on your butt all day, your body will have an abundance of energy that it wants to burn off, and that will keep you awake. If you really want to conk out fast, then you need to feel exhausted at the end of the day, and obviously exercise can do that. Even moderate exercise like walking and jogging can help take care of your restlessness. Keep in mind however, that this works best for the majority of the population that doesn’t have a sleep disorder. If you have chronic insomnia, then you should know that exercise may not have the same effect on you.
Find the Perfect Temperature
We all know that a hot muggy evening or a freezing cold night can make it difficult to sleep. However, the temperature range that provides the best sleep isn’t as broad as you might think. Anything between 65 and 70 degrees will put most people to sleep the fastest, and help them feel more restful when they wake up. To fall asleep, the temperature of the human body needs to decline slightly, and that aforementioned temperature range helps your body maintain that state. If the room temperature drifts too far from that range, then your body will have to work extra hard to maintain the lowered temperature, and you’ll struggle to sleep.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
See larger image Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation Typical books about preserving garden produce nearly always assume that modern “kitchen gardeners” will boil or freeze their vegetables and fruits. Yet here is a book that goes back to the future—celebrating […]
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Which Booze is Best for a Prepper Stockpile? Do you stockpile alcohol in case of a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation? If you do, which kinds of booze are you stockpiling? It’s safe to say that not every kind of alcohol is ideal for a long-term stockpile. While this is true, it’s also very true that many alcohols …
I don’t drink much, but I love making stuff, and one of the reasons I got bees was that I was intrigued about how you could take a material with natural antibiotic properties (honey) and make something that required growth of “germs” (yeasts in alcohol). wanted to make mead. My local wine making mentor told […]
Should You Prep For Bartering?
I guess you could say my wife and I have been “preppers” for several years. We have always believed in a debt-free lifestyle, and except for a couple of home mortgages decades ago, that philosophy has served us well. My wife and I both have had steady jobs through the years and never fell victim to the conspicuous consumption routine of “keeping up with the Joneses”. (That alone keeps a lot of stress out of family life.) Without going into details, I can say that my spouse and I are fairly comfortable with our preparations for most things old man Murphy could throw at us, short of something like a nuke or serious asteroid strike close to our home. Water? Got it. Food? Got it! Defense? Got it! PM’s? Got some! BOV and camper? Got it! Remote bunker? Working on it! We even have a friendly and supportive MD and have managed to get important medications (thankfully we don’t need many) stocked up.
During the course of reading up on prepping, talking to others, listening to “experts”, etc., the issue often comes up about acquiring goods for “barter” in the wake of some wide-spread calamity. This got me thinking. Should anyone deliberately acquire goods they know, or at least are pretty sure, they themselves won’t use but are just acquired for trading purposes?
This begs a couple of questions.
First, how do you KNOW you won’t need something? After all, circumstances change, and what is prepping all about anyway but preparing for the unexpected? Like it or not – we don’t know what we don’t know.
Second, should you spend your limited resources acquiring things you believe will be important to others but which you presume you will have little or no use for yourself? And, which “others”? If the time comes, the line of “others” is apt to be quite long, diverse and needy.
Let’s play pretend for a minute. Here are four possible scenarios which, I hope, will help illustrate the point.
- You are a tea-totaler! You have no use for alcoholic spirits. Since you have stocked up on disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, soap, topical antibiotics and other medical supplies, alcoholic spirits are irrelevant to you. But one of the most common barter items mentioned by preppers far and wide is booze. In normal society, alcohol is widely available, relatively cheap, has a long list of uses other than just for drinking, and has a tremendously long shelf life. After any significant catastrophe alcohol will likely disappear within hours. Demand is certain to outrun supply many times over. Should you purchase a supply of booze as a trade good?
- As a prepper you have a comfortable (at least to you) supply of firearms and ammunition. At a garage sale you find several hundred rounds of XYZ ammunition, and for an unbeatable price. You do not have a firearm that uses XYZ ammo, you don’t know anyone who does, and you have no intention of getting one. XYZ is not one of the top popular calibers, but it is somewhat common. Do you purchase the ammo, knowing that, for you, it’s only a trade good?
- Here’s a tougher one. You are allergic to penicillin. Do you stock up on Fish Mox, (Amoxicillin)?
- In several recent inner-city riots, news reports usually focused on liquor stores as targets of looters. Since we considered alcohol in the first scenario let’s move on to another item pretty high on the list of looter targets. (Guns, cash, and jewelry are of course top targets of looters, but these things are more easily removed from view, already protected with infrastructure or receive extra protection from security forces.) Believe it or not – disposable diapers. OK! You do not have diaper dependent toddlers in your group. Do you buy some anyway?
No doubt you can think of dozens of other scenarios and items based on your unique view of the world. And there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to acquiring goods solely for barter. Google “preppers and trading” and you will get hundreds of suggestions about what to stock up on now to trade after TEOTWAWKI. Some lists are well over one hundred items long. As none of us has unlimited resources, it’s a fool’s errand to try to acquire some of “everything”. So what should you do?
In the minds of some, I’m going to touch a third rail here. My advice is no. Don’t do it. Do not deliberately acquire preps just for barter.
The typical prepper (is there a “typical” prepper?) has a limited horizon of people and assets to protect. As altruistic as you may be, you cannot save the world. Your first and highest priority is to those you choose to throw your security blanket over. Thought, effort and expense devoted to trade goods diverts resources from your primary goal of protecting loved ones. Anything you envision trading for after the fact should already be on your ‘A’ list.
And what about storage space? A place to put all those trade goods may be of no real concern for a suburban homeowner with rooms to spare, but for some, storage space is limited. If you are an apartment dweller do you really want to use some of what little space you have to store things you might, someday, somehow, be able to trade for something, maybe, you are not sure what? All those trade goods will have to be put someplace; protected from weather, deterioration, theft, etc.
Consider also that in the event of widespread calamity; most of the needy will likely have little to barter with. You could well find that most of your trade goods will acquire next to nothing in return, thus making them nearly worthless in their ability to improve your situation. Even worse, your barter goods could make you and your family an even greater target of violence. If someone or group wants what you don’t need you may decide to give it away to avoid confrontation. Paradoxically, giving away goods, even things you don’t want, can make you an even greater target than before. Reference the many suggestions that for your own safety you should distribute welfare through front organizations such as churches – not through your front door.
I have nothing against bartering. It is a time honored tradition and a textbook example of a free market. When two people freely exchange goods, both gain. But bartering should not be a strategy depended on in the early/middle stages of a catastrophe. Successful bartering needs a relatively stable economic and social environment; something unlikely in the early/middle stages of the kind of event most preppers envision.
In defense of barter as a tool, it is likely that many preppers will make mistakes in their acquisitions. I know I have. Most of us will over-prepare in some areas and under-prepare in others. Still other items or categories may be completely overlooked. Nobody has a crystal ball that says you will only need this much X, and that much Y. Who among us can foresee every need? Careful bartering after some calamity may have a place but it should be practiced the way porcupines mate – very carefully!
My guess is that most people who talk about bartering after TEOTWAWKI envision something like a friendly get together at a flea market type environment where everyone has a good time and goes home with goodies they didn’t have before. If that is how you see post-apocalyptic trading taking place, I strongly suggest you take off the rose colored glasses and start thinking realistically. It may take months or even years for that kind of order to be restored. Bartering in a disorderly lawless world is apt to be a very dangerous activity. Tempers will flare and you may not be able to safely ‘back away’. Someone who envisions themselves or their family desperately in need of something you have is probably going to be pretty insistent. Wouldn’t you? When order and some semblance of civilized society return, barter will probably flourish, but for now, the longer you can stay away from it – the better.
Realize also that historically, bartering goods and services is cumbersome, inefficient and a tremendous drag on individual and societal economic improvement. Even under ideal circumstances bartering is a slow hit and miss proposition. That’s why money was invented. Money speeds up a society’s improvement in lifestyle and security. Consequently, in any post-apocalyptic environment, some type of “money” will eventually emerge. Some will be tempted to think they know what that form of money will be. I have no idea what it will be, but I do know most who guess will guess wrong. And that thought leads to my concluding advice.
By all means – prepare. But do your homework. Spend your resources on things you are sure or reasonably sure, you and your group will need. To do less is to waste precious time, money and energy on a “hope”. Hope is not a strategy. Remember, anything you envision trading for after the fact should already be on your ‘A’ list. If the time comes and you find yourself “over prepared” with some items, you may find a way to carefully barter some away for things you do not have. But be extremely careful when doing so.
Your list of necessities will not match mine, your neighbor’s, or some armchair expert’s list. Don’t let that weigh you down with doubt. Learn from others. Listen to their ideas. If invited, and you are so inclined, share your ideas with them. Adopt good ideas from others and discard bad or irrelevant ones. Learning what others are thinking will pay off in ways you would never think of on your own.
Be a positive force!
The Retired Professor
The “Retired Professor” signature is correct. I was a college Professor for many years, teaching Finance, Economics, and Management. During that time I also spent 15 years as a LE firearms instructor. Now happily retired in Utah pursuing several hobbies, including prepping.
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When people stockpile items and equipment for SHTF, they usually focus on food, water, ammunition, medical supplies, and so forth. That’s fine, but since all their attention is on the main things, they tend to overlook the little things… things that will be very useful. For example, alcohol. Most preppers […]