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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Train for a Worst-Case Disaster

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What to Remember When Packing Your Emergency Prep Kit

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When you are prepared for an emergency, it makes the situation much easier to handle. To be on the safe side, you should have an emergency supply kit in your home that you can call on to get you through any emergency. You have to pack your emergency preparedness kit carefully to ensure you are ready to handle any contingency. The right supplies will ensure you can ride out emergencies when they occur. Here is a guide to packing your emergency supply kit so your home will be ready when disaster strikes.

 

Water

Most people always think of food first when they put their kits together, stocking up on things like canned goods. Really though, the first thing you need for survival is water. You need to gather at least three days’ worth of water for your kit. It is even better if you make that a week’s supply of water. You will need one gallon of water per day for each person in your household. A gallon is enough water to take care of your drinking and sanitation needs.

 

Food

While you could ride out a week-long disaster without food as long as you had water, you will be much better off if you fill your disaster kit with non-perishable food items. Make sure to choose food items that your family will actually enjoy eating. Canned goods that are high in water content are an excellent choice. You want to avoid foods with high-salt contents so you can avoid getting thirsty. Salt-free crackers and whole-grain cereals are fine choices. Nuts, peanut butter and protein bars are also good choices for your emergency prep kit.

 

Light

Power outages and disaster often go hand-in-hand. You need to make sure that you have all the light sources you need when the electricity fails. Fill your emergency prep kit with plenty of flashlights and electric lanterns. Stock up with lots of extra batteries. Make sure you avoid falling prey to the sentimentality of using candles for light during an emergency. The last thing you want to do is start a fire during a disaster situation because you thought it would be romantic.

 

Medicine

You want to have the medicine you need in your emergency supplies. Standard medications you should include are pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen, antidiarrheal medications, antacids and laxatives. You also want to have a good first-aid kit as part of your emergency supplies. Make sure to include a supply of any prescription drugs you are taking as well. You may want to think about adding an e cig charger for your electronic cigarette to use as a tobacco alternative which you could carry in your emergency kit.

 

Solar Charger

When the power is off for several days, it is nice to have an alternative power source to charge up your cellphones and other electronic devices. There are loads of incredible solar chargers on the market today that you can use to power your electronic devices. Of course, the ultimate way to solve power issues during an emergency is to get solar panels installed on your roof.

 

Papers

It is critical that you keep the important papers you need in your emergency kit. You should have copies of your health insurance cards. Maps of the area are also necessary. Of course, you should have a supply of paper cash in case you need it. You should also have a copy of your family’s emergency plan, including where to meet in case you are forced to leave your home.

 

Radio

If the power goes out, a radio may be your only way to stay connected with the outside world. You should get a radio that is battery-powered, but make sure to get a model that can also powered by a hand crank just in case.

 

If you put together these supplies, you will have a well-stocked emergency prep kit. Remember to add in supplies for your pets if you have them. When you have these emergency supplies, you will be ready for anything. That gives you tremendous peace of mind.

The post What to Remember When Packing Your Emergency Prep Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.

A Green Beret’s Guide to Prepper Firearms

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

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Your Right To Defend Yourself

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


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


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

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

Six Benefits Firearms Have for the Average Joe Prepper

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

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

Other Considerations

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Family Preparedness Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Disaster

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

Learn How Tactical Gas Masks Can Save Your Life

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

Immediate Actions a Family Must Take to Survive Nuclear War

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

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

Time is of the Essence

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

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

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

 

Additional Reading on Nuclear Preparedness:

How to Survive When a Nuke Is Dropped

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

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

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

Mom, Could You Please Pass the Potassium Iodide?

How can I avoid radiation exposure?

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Tips for the Ultimate Family Road Trip

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road-tripMy husband and I are frequent flyers, but Delta’s recent major malfunction with their computers hasn’t made me excited to travel by airplane these days. Say what you will about driving long distances with young children, but I still prefer to be somewhat in control of my travel plans. Whenever possible, we choose to drive to our destinations in our SUV.

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After literally dozens of vacations, I’ve come up with these 5 tips for making the most of a family road trip.

1) Ditch the Routine:  Routine is critical for raising young children. At home, my kids’ morning and evening routines are flawlessly executed so that I can tell exactly who is brushing their teeth and who has not completed their homework. Routine is a comfort for them and it keeps the machinery of the family well oiled. BUT, a road trip is no time to force a routine. No matter how noble your efforts, something will delay dinner or bedtime. Your kids may spend an entire morning watching television in the hotel room. They may sleep through lunch or drink milkshakes for breakfast (more on healthier eating in tip #2). Trust me when I say you need to GO WITH IT. Try as hard as you can to ignore the clock altogether (especially if you’re traveling through multiple time zones). Stressing about routine will only make your trip less enjoyable. I promise you that even several weeks on the road will not permanently disrupt your family routine. As soon as you are back at home, your kids will fall into their familiar patterns.

2) Don’t Get Hungry: We’ve all been there—it’s dinnertime on a road trip and everyone is cranky and hungry and there isn’t a restaurant in sight. The kids are fighting in the backseat and my husband and I are starting to turn on each other. After what feels like forever we find a gas station and load up on processed junk and sugar. Then we continue on, comatose and exhausted, no less annoyed with each other. To avoid this, buy a cooler or two and stock up on sandwiches, fruit, nuts, cheeses, and other healthy hand-held snacks. Purchase milk in single-serve cartons for the kids and invest in a large coffee thermos for the adults. Whenever you find yourself in a town with a grocery store, spend a little extra time buying food and getting it separated out into single servings before you get back on the road again. This seems like a lot of planning but it soon becomes second nature—and it’s so worth it!

3) It’s About the Journey: Sure, you probably have a goal in mind—whether it’s to visit the grandparents or see the Grand Canyon—but try to be open to possibility. I can’t tell you how many “detours” turned out to be more memorable or exciting trips that the planned destination. Tell you kids to be on the lookout for billboards offering interesting tourist stops and make sure to check out the pamphlets in any hotel lobby you might be staying in.

4) Talk the Talk: We sometimes forget that driving is a perfect opportunity to talk to our loved ones, and not only about the surroundings we happen to be traveling through. Rather that playing “I spy” or trying to keep my kids entertained every single second with the iPad or coloring books, I like to talk to them about their lives. Hypothetical situations are also fun or funny (you can play the “Would you Rather” game, i.e., “Would you rather eat a worm or touch a tarantula?”) especially with younger players. One of the thrills of my life as a mom is listening to my sons talk to each other. Older kids will naturally talk about their interests or their goals and it’s a great opportunity for parents to listen to them.

5) Carry the Closeness With You: Not to get too sappy, but family road trips definitely happen during a limited window of time. Try as much as you can to appreciate being in close quarters with your kids and attempt to maintain that connection long after the trip is over. Taking photos is very important, but to keep it even simpler you can have every family member talk about their favorite and least favorite parts of each day. Look for patterns in the trip (for example, one summer it seemed the radio was constantly playing “Staying Alive” no matter where we went) and encourage kids to collect keepsakes. Don’t fall into the trap of buying expensive souvenirs—a pretty rock or seashell work just as well. Once you’re back at home, that song or silly joke or seashell takes on the symbolism of the entire trip. Treasure it.

 

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Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

A Word to the Wise

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

The Perfect Location For Your Cache

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

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

1.Throw them a bone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

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

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


“You improvise, you adapt, you overcome.”


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

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Best Survival Foods on a Budget

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If you’re looking to stockpile on foods that you will need in case of emergency, but you want to save some money, then don’t worry you are in the right place. Survival foods, as a whole, are not very costly.

Buying them in bulk isn’t going to break the bank. In this article, we seek to provide a concise list of the 5 best survival foods that you can buy on a budget.

It’s very important to be prepared for whatever disaster that comes your way. Below, you will find a list of 5 great survival foods to buy on the cheap. We didn’t mention water, but it goes without saying that safe drinking water is the most important prep to your survival.

The following list will give you your best options when purchasing some new emergency supplies on the cheap!

Top 5 Survival Foods for Those on a Budget

  1. Rice

Rice should be first on every list of survival foods. It feeds millions of people every single day and only a little of it can keep you full for hours. Bulk rice from somewhere like Sam’s Club or Costco (which sells many items in bulk) costs around $17 for 50 lbs. of rice.

It will certainly hold you over for a good amount of time, even if you are trying to feed other people as well.related It’s a staple of diets all around the world and for good reason.

Rice is cheap to buy and filling and nutritious for those that consume it. It can easily be prepared and it’s no wonder it’s a popular survival food.

Be sure to keep some amount of rice on hand in case of an emergency. Plain rice, while not very flavorful, will definitely keep you going during tough times.

  1. Spam

Spam is another survival food that will keep you fed in an emergency.

It’s no surprise that canned foods are one of my favorite survival foods and although I don’t love it, spam does the trick just fine. Spam is easy to maintain for a long period of time and is quite filling.

The average container contains 12 ounces of spam meat. At Walmart, you can buy one can for less than $5. Also, if you buy 10 at once for a total of 120 ounces of spam, you will only spend around $40. That one-time investment will help you and your family a long time.

To some, that may seem like a lot of spam, but think about how long a survival situation might last in case a bad storm hits.

It’s important to note, spam is consumed in slices. It is a meat, which can be hard to find for a low price and even tougher to keep when you do not have access to freezers or heat sources. Spam can and should be eaten cold.

  1. Powdered Milk and Drink Mixes

Powdered milk can be used for both convenience and for survival situations. Powdered milk is often used to make food that calls for a milk ingredient when the liquid form isn’t available and while providing a good nutritional value.

It is also very valuable when you need it to last without electricity and an emergency strikes.

A box providing 10 quarts of powdered milk costs around $10. That’s a good investment to stock up on if you ask me.

Consider purchasing breakfast drink mixes to use the milk with. Breakfast drinks typically pack in essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that a cooked breakfast meal normally provides.

Try purchasing Puritan Pride Spiru-Tein, which is very high in vitamins A, C, and D. A two-pound tin sells for around $30 at the time of this article.

The powder can be easily stored, packed with nutrients, and is meant to substitute and entire meal.

  1. Dried Eggs

Dried eggs can be used just like powdered milk. It provides the same nutritional value and works just as well as a cooking ingredient and a meal. Eggs are one of my favorite nutritious and affordable foods.

There are not many mornings that I don’t go with a couple scrambled eggs to get my day moving.

Dried eggs were originally produced first for the U.S military, but are now being sold specifically as a survival and emergency preparedness food. Try it out, I am sure you will find then quite tasty when things go south.

On Amazon, a one pound container costs $25. You can maintain them for a good while unopened and should be mixed with water.related

  1. Energy Bars

Last but not least, why not trying out energy bars. Energy bars are used by almost everyone from athletes to extreme sports enthusiasts to adventure lovers who go hiking and camping.

Even the normal Joe likes to snack on one if they do not have time for a full meal. We know how many brands exist out there and how expensive energy bars can be, but you can purchase Clif Builder’s energy bars in a box of 18 for around $20 at the time of this article.

That’s plenty to stock up on for you and your family.

They are a good meal substitute which is normally high in protein and meant to keep you going during heavy activity periods. Save up a few and keep them stored away in case of tough times.

Conclusion

All of these budget survival foods can be purchased online or in stores like Costco and Sam’s Club, which sell many bulk items for a fair price. In case you prefer shopping online like I do, I put some referral links on the foods that we recommend to buy on Amazon.

Remember that your emergency survival foodsrelated may be extremely necessary one day and are worth investing in. We tried to offer a few low-cost items, but either way, you are going to have to spend money to be prepared.

Not everybody has money to throw around even for necessities. If you fall into that category, hopefully, none of these prices seem out of your range for the amount of food and nutrition you get and the peace of mind you will obtain. Just make sure to store your food in a good place.

Survival preparedness is no laughing matter, so please don’t make the mistake of forgetting about it!

The post 5 Best Survival Foods on a Budget appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Frugal Prepping: 12 Cheap Ways to Prep Like There’s No Tomorrow

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With economic times being what they are, it only means that we become more frugal when it comes to prepping. No one wants to be overdrawn in their accounts because they were trying to prepare for emergencies. Frugality is an art form, and if used properly, it can save you lots of money. The key is to know where to find these hidden gems. With a little “out of the box” thinking and some patience, you can acquire prepper items like food, tools, shelter, first aid and weaponry for pennies on the dollar.

Before you begin, keep these tips in mind:

  • Find out what your budget it and set aside an allotment each month for preps.
  • Take inventory of what you already have so that you don’t purchase multiples of items.
  • Have a list of items you need and don’t deviate from the plan!
  • When you are prepping on a budget, be patient and wait for the right opportunity to purchase.
  • Don’t ever panic buy or shop impulsively. This is where you lose money and the key here is to save it.

There are many strategies you can take to save money on your preps, you just have to choose which one is best for you. Here are 12 suggestions you can take to frugally purchase preparedness items.

12 Cheap Ways to Prep Like There’s No Tomorrow

  1. Buy in bulk. A lot of preppers use this frugal shopping strategy so they get more bang for their buck. Discount warehouses are great for this type of purchasing. As well, when you buy in bulk, you will enough of this item for a short-term emergency, so you can cross the item off your prepper list until you need to buy more. The LDS warehouse is another place to get bulk items inexpensively.
  2. Purchase a small item at a time. If your budget is so tight that you only have $5 extra in your account – you can make that work. Take a look at these prepper food items that are $5.
  3. Barter in your community. Your skills and services can carry you far if you allow them to. Consider what abilities and knowledge you possess that can be shared with others and barter them for goods or other services. Here are some great tips on how to barter better.
  4. Go to farmer’s markets and get in contact with local growers. If you work a deal with a vendor at a farmer’s market, you can get lots of food relatively inexpensively. Work a deal such as, get 5 lbs of strawberries to turn into jam and give 4 jars to the vendor. This is a great way to practice self-reliant skills and put food in your pantry. If you are an avid hunter, work a deal and see if someone will preserve the meat. See what I mean?
  5. Thrift stores. Thrift stores are a great way to collect vintage or antique items for a fraction of the cost. Ready Nutrition writer, Ruby Burks found cast iron pots, old cookbooks and kitchen utensils to use in her home. Remember, keep a list of items you are looking for and don’t deviate. This will keep your budget in check.
  6. Look for free stuff. I know this one is a long shot, but there are items you can get for free at garage sales, Craigslist, and even rummaging through items people have thrown out. Freecycle.com is another place to look for items. At this website, people recycle previously owned items and give them away for free.
  7. Go to the Dollar store. Not only can you buy food at the Dollar stores, but tools and medical supplies. This could be an untapped local source of preps for you!
  8. Use coupons. Finding coupons in the Sunday newspaper, magazines, local grocery stores or even online is a great way to start the search for what you need.  Not only can you use coupons to use for short-term and long-term food supplies, but you can find deals for camping equipment or warm clothes, etc.  You can literally save hundreds of dollars using coupons.
  9. Purchase gently used items. Pawn shops, Ebay, military surplus stores, and Craigslist are great places to look for used items. You can save a lot using this method, but take all necessary means to ensure the products are not damaged in any way. As well, if you are meeting someone at their home, practice safety and go with someone else.
  10. Look for deals – When you are shopping and you come across a deal such as 10 canned goods for $5 – get it! This is a great way to save money and stock up your pantry. This cumulative savings strategy can go for any of your prepping needs – medical supplies, dental care, garden seeds, etc. Typically, these type of deals can be found in your local newspaper. Don’t forget that coupons are your best friend in this situation.
  11. Do-It-Yourself – Whether it’s DIY projects or dehydrating your own food, this method can save you a lot of money. For example, instead of spending $4 on waterproof matches, dip them in wax yourself and viola! Or, if you need dehydrated food, buy a dehydrator and do it yourself.
  12. Grow your own food. Having food stashed away for a rainy day is one of the must-have items in your preps. Why not start a garden and grow your own. Any food that comes from our harvest can be dehydrated or canned for long-term use. This instantly saves you money at the grocery store too and is a great way to practice self-reliance.

We are all looking for ways to save money in our prepper ventures and hopefully some of these suggestions can help you. What are frugal strategies you use to save money on your preps?

 

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The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

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Imagine this scenario: It’s the year 2005 and you are living in the heart of New Orleans. A hurricane is threatening to hit and even though the city sits 8 feet below sea level, you choose not to evacuate or even prepare because you’ve seen many hurricanes threaten to hit the city and it never makes landfall, so why prepare for this one? Days later, your great city is almost completely flooded from Hurricane Katrina and over 1,800 lives were claimed including some of your neighbors because, like you, they decided not to leave the city. Now you are left without electricity, water, and dwindling supplies. To make matters worse, supply trucks are cut off, the police and emergency services can’t meet the needs of the people and there are looters breaking into homes for supplies. 

Yes, the above scenario is a worst-case scenario, but aspects of this are very common following hurricanes. These tropical storms are extreme and have the capacity to cripple our entire way of life. They are erratic in nature in terms of where they land, the types of damages sustained, and if there will be disasters in the aftermath, such as water-borne diseases, bug infestations, etc. Because of the unpredictability of these disasters, some choose to be complacent and wait to get preparations in order until the storm is imminent and hours away. While some take this disaster seriously and are meticulous in making preparations each year in case this natural disaster hits. So, which group do you choose to be in?

I’ve been very honest about my ordeals in living through a hurricane and I learned from my mistakes. Long story short, after I went through Hurricane Ike and felt helpless and under prepared, I made it my mission to help others get their homes ready for living in off-grid disasters. We all have a life lesson to share, and I am not alone in trying to get the word out on preparing for these storms. I asked some fellow preppers in the community what advice they would offer on how to better prepare for hurricanes, and the community overwhelmingly stepped up to help their fellow-man. When you read this list, pay attention to recurring advice – prepare ahead of time. This is the key to having all of your preparations in order.

20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

These are their words and, in my humble opinion, this is some very solid advice to follow.

  1. Put all of your important documents on a flash drive and put it in your bug out bag. If the time comes and you need to evacuate, you have everything all prepped and ready to go! – Tess Pennington
  2. My mom had supplies stored in new plastic trash bins. If they needed to bug out, easy to grab and put in the back of the car. Also, the bins would be useful. They also keep thing dry. – Judy Keller
  3. Keep enough cash in your BOB (bug out bag) for at least 1-2 nights in a moderately priced hotel and a few meals. A credit card with a zero or small balance would be beneficial as well. If you forget or lose your wallet, you want a backup method for paying expenses until you can return home. – Jim Cobb
  4. Well before the back to back hurricanes of 2004 in South Florida, I bought 28 gallons of water. I am glad I did because we had enough water for the police directing traffic. There was a lot we did. Whatever you think is best for your family and communities do it. Friends, coworkers so many lost their homes, businesses and more, so the things I regret not stocking up on are items such as diapers, toothpaste, etc. Essentials for all life is key. – Joanne DeHerrera
  5. They evacuated us several times after [Hurricane] Charley for Ivan, and people got stuck on the freeway, people died and animals etc. Ivan hit exactly where they said to evacuate too. We had 6 animals at that time. If I needed to squish them all in the car we would have but there was no gas, so glad there wasn’t. Our circumstances dictate how to respond, however, our gut instinct is always best. -Joanne DeHerrera
  6. We keep about 30 liters of water on hand at all times. I just save empty 2-liter bottles (the plastic is stable for room temp storage unlike plastic milk jugs) and treat the water using the 2:1 ratio with bleach. 2 drops to 1 liter of water. – Abigail Nicholson
  7. If you do not have a generator, get one! Have at least enough power to run the washing machine and microwave. A few solar cells to restore cell phone power, charge batteries for radios and flashlights is a must. Don’t forget the toilet paper and enough clean water for everyone in your family for cooking and drinking. You can use pool or rainwater for other purposes. Often overlooked in the city is a chainsaw with fuel mix, bar oil, extra chains. The bulk of damage outside the home is fallen trees. I was blocked in on my cul-de-sac for over a week by fallen oak trees from my neighbor’s yards. – Jim Alkek
  8. Those little solar lights that go in a garden or along your driveway come in handy to give you some light without candles or lanterns…I charge them up during the day and stick in a flower pot half filled with rocks…it’s not a lot of light but enough that you can see basically what you are doing.  – Sue Heath Reynolds
  9. Using my daughter’s experience from SC, the last time. In her area, her biggest problem was a lack of utilities because of downed trees and flooding. She had food, but no way to cook it. She has 3 daughters and had no way to bathe them. No light and so on…..it was the simple everyday things that made it hard. – Gary Rosenlieb 
  10. Hurricane veteran here. Each storm is unique but the main thing is to pay attention BEFORE everyone else does…that means at least 5 days in advance having everything in place so that all you have to concentrate on is securing your home. Also, knowing in advance if you will stay or go and LEAVING BEFORE they tell you to. Don’t forget oil (chainsaw/generator), a new chain for chain saw (all of which you should have anyways but most don’t replace); and well just making sure you have 2-3 weeks of supplies in place for being on your own. After several east coast hurricanes, it took WEEKS for stores to be back up and running, even 100 miles outside of the strike zone. Oh, TARPS and bug spray. I am not a bug out person, can’t really because of animal obligations (15 dogs, chickens, etc) so I have plenty of crates/kennels and such for them to come in (oh yeah baby, ugh, done it before). – Laura Bradley
  11. Also, a butane burner is great, like a demo chef at a restuarant…they can be used indoors, not expensive and easy to load…at SAMs and many places $22 and a case of fuel (like hairspray cans $12) – Sue Health Reynolds
  12. Around here, we don’t have to worry about water surging in from the coast, but winds can be an issue. When a hurricane comes, we usually tape the windows in an X or * shape. People closer to the water board up their windows, maybe sandbag around their house. All other preps are the same. Be ready to leave in advance of the storm if it looks like it’s going to make landfall close to home. – Cat Ellis
  13. Make sure you know all of the available evacuation routes in your area. The main roads and highways will be delayed due to from the heavy traffic flow, so you will want to plan multiple alternative routes in order to ensure that you are not trapped in a flood while attempting to flee the storm. – John Haskell
  14. Everyone should have these in their EDC/BOB! In a Zip Lock Freezer bag or waterproof sleeve keep a FAMILY picture, copies of your and your children’s birth certificates…parents/grandparents/guardians/siblings should have a clear picture of children they may have to “claim” because you were not together when a problem occurs. Hopefully, this wouldn’t be necessary for an evacuation type scenario but you just never know. No telling who would be in charge when you arrive to pick up kids…it could be teachers, leaders that don’t know you personally or outsiders from DHS/Law Enforcement/TSA…Heaven forbid…there are no guarantees with anything anymore! I’m sure you can add to the list copies of your vehicle title, home title…things that are irreplaceable! You don’t want to get to bogged down but it it’s ultimately important to you…you may someday need proof that it is YOURS!! A flash drive is a great idea but in an extended power outage (EMP/ SHTF) you wouldn’t be able to show someone “the kid is mine”! – Sue Health Reynolds
  15. Not sure if this was mentioned already but have at least one or two pics of you and your pets together. This will go a long way toward proving ownership should you and your fur babies get separated. – Jim Cobb
  16. After making it through Hurricane Matthew, flooding, a week without electricity, and 2 weeks without water, I revised my preps slightly and have 3 major priorities here; a lot more water (needed to drink, cook, wash, and flush) extra fuel for cooking (and multiple cooking types we have a propane grill and a fire pit but after a flooding everything too wet) and non-kerosene lamps (after 2 nights cooped up, and unable to ventilate the fumes get to you). – Deborah Middleton
  17. Put as much as you can in plastic tubs. Especially shoes. Came back after Rita and had a tree through my house. Went right through my closet. No shoes, actually very little of anything. SO PUT AS MUCH IN PLASTIC TUBS AS YOU CAN. Forget the furniture, appliances they can be replaced. – Sue Tidwell
  18. In case it helps everyone is welcome to download the Hurricane and Evacuation topics (and some others) in PDF from our preparedness book. – Janet Liebsch
  19. It’s very wise to unpack your BOB every three months or so, minimum once or twice a year. It helps to be sure what is in there…items you decide you don’t really need and more importantly…items you may not have and really should have. WEIGHT…it’s also important to put those suckers on and see if you can actually carry it 🙂 better yet we need to be walking with them ON 🙁 physical fitness should be one of our number one preparedness priorities…as I point a finger at MYSELF 🙂 – Sue Heath Reynolds
  20. Prepare to defend your home at all costs. You don’t know how long the grid will be down and there will be looters. – Mac Slavo

These pieces of advice are all from those who have lived through this ordeal. They shared their stories because they want to help others prepare and get ready – listen to them. If you need a guide to help you in your preparations, consider The Prepper’s Blueprint to get you disaster ready – step-by-step. Do not wait until the last-minute to prepare or the items you need to live through this ordeal will be limited.

If you live in a highly populated area, understand that resources will diminish quickly, so preparing beforehand can circumvent this. You can always start out with these basic preparedness items to get through a disaster:

  1. Food and alternative ways to cook food
  2. Water – 1 gallon per person/per day for consuming only. Plan more for sanitary needs.
  3. Fuel for generators. Also, consider charcoal for outdoor grills
  4. Batteries and battery charger
  5. Flashlights and lanterns
  6. Generator
  7. Emergency lighting
  8. Ice
  9. Medical supply
  10. Items for baby needs
  11. Sanitation supplies

Ultimately, you are the only one who can best care for your family. Having a stash of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, now is the time to prepare. Listen to the advice of your fellow man.

 

Additional Reading:

Preparation

Supplies

Medical Needs

Communication

Sanitation

Evacuation

 

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The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Learn How to Properly Sandbag Your Home Before the Next Storm Arrives

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Anytime a major storm is approaching, time is of the essence to prepare. We all see the same thing on the news, images of first responders and volunteers constructing sandbag barriers to hold back a potential flood. But have you ever seen that and asked yourself if you know how to build a sandbag barrier? I’d wager that most people don’t, because by all appearances, building up a wall of sandbags is a very simple task. It’s physically demanding, but not complex at all, so most people probably assume that if they ever had to protect their home from a flood, working with sandbags would come naturally.

However, just because a task is simple, that doesn’t mean that it lacks finer points. There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to build a sandbag barrier. If you’ve never been taught the right way, check out the following video. It was produced by Australia’s SES, a volunteer organization that provides emergency services during disasters. In a few short minutes, it explains all of the most basic and important tips you need to know to protect your home during a flood.

That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about using sandbags to hold back minor floods. However, if you think that a storm is going to produce a more serious flood, you may need to build a much more extensive barrier; perhaps something that will fully surround the perimeter of your home.

If that’s the case, you should check out this video from Canada, which also offers a more in-depth analysis on sandbag construction.

Of course, the best way to ensure that your home will be safe from flooding is to have the tools you need in place, long before the flooding starts. If a major storm system is moving in, then people are going rush to the stores to buy things like sandbags, so they’ll be in short supply during an emergency. You should buy plastic sheeting and sandbags ahead of time. And if you don’t think that you’ll have access to sand, there are several varieties of bags that don’t require it. They work by absorbing large quantities of water, which form a barrier that can hold back the rest of the water.

 

80% of the population lives near a coast. If you haven’t prepared for hurricanes, get the step-by-step guide on how to prepare for any disaster.

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

Spring Family Prepping Activities

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Spring Family Prepping Activities Each season offers unique opportunities for learning and practicing survival skills. Prepping activities is something that can be done by the whole family and easily turned into a game. The children may not understand that having a race to break down your tent and get it stowed away is actually practicing …

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Why Pets Should Have a Place in Your Emergency Planning

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

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The Prepared Dogs and Cats

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

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

Stock Up on Pet Food Today

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

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

Additional Supplies to Consider

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

At Your Service

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

Are You Appropriately Planning Your Preparations?

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

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

The Art of Doing the Opposite of the Majority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

Alternatives to Toothpaste

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


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


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

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

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

How to Make Your Own Toothbrushes and Floss

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Preparedness: How to Mask Noise and Light Signitures

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

How to Diffuse Light in SHTF Environments

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

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

How to Minimize Noise Levels in Dangerous Situations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Natural First Aid: 5 Items To Put In Your Emergency Medical Kit Today

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 When the SHTF and a medical situation does occur simultaneously, things can go to absolute turmoil very quickly. Most medical situations that will arise during this time may not be considered life threatening, but can quickly become one if not appropriately treated. For instance, a simple cut that makes contact with tainted water (a very typical scenario following floods and hurricanes) can quickly become infected. That said, as preppers we need to prepare for medical emergencies and not only learn basic first aid, but also know how to use natural alternatives to care for the wounds themselves.

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5 Items To Put In Your Emergency Medical Kit Today

1. Books

One cannot become proficient at something without study and application. Going as far as to take medical courses in community colleges, local county extension offices, local fire departments, and with veterans groups, along with other civic clubs and organizations can give you a great edge on acquiring knowledge on medical emergencies and how to treat them. It should go without saying, but stock up on medical manuals like:

2. Kitchen Staples

Since most of us have limited shelf space, it is only logical to find shelf stable foods and products that will perform multiple jobs for us. And some of your kitchen staples can do just that – including medical care. For instance, did you know you can make an antiseptic (first discovered during World War I) made of a diluted solution of baking soda and bleach? It’s called Dakin’s Solution and has been proven to kill most bacteria and viruses.

3. Honey

As well, honey has become a poster child for an alternative to antibiotics. In fact, numerous studies have shown that certain kinds of honey can fight multiple species of bacteria, fungi, and superbugs, making it a viable alternative to antibiotics.

As Ready Nutrition writer, Jeremiah Johnson recently wrote, “Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed. Read more on how to use honey to treat wounds.

4. Medicinal Herbs

Having access to health-inducing herbs is another essential for wound care. Herbs such as oregano, garlic, lavender and thyme can help protect a wound from infection and promote healing. Along those lines, writer, Jeremiah Johnson recommends every prepper have the Three G’s: Ginger, Garlic and Ginseng in their natural medicine cabinet. Further, knowing which herbs can be used for natural pain killers is also paramount in your medical preparedness knowledge. Some pain reducing herbs to add to your herbal first-aid kit are:

  • Aloe (Aloe vera)
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
  • Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
  • Tea (Camellia sinensis)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Common pantry items can also be used to help bleeding wounds clot. Many have found that cayenne pepper is an effective alternative and natural version of QuikClot. Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient, called capsaicin, which has analgesic (pain relieving) properties and various other medicinal uses.

5. Essential Oils

In an extended disaster, bacterial infections and viruses are likely to be one of the reasons that people will die. Historically, essential oils  have been used as a natural therapy to relieve symptoms when modern-day medicine was not available. The most amazing aspect of essential oils lies in their ability to effectively kill bad bacteria while leaving good bacteria alone! Rather than targeting one symptom, as Western medicine does, it targets multiple symptoms. There are two types of essential oils you should stock up on for SHTF planning:

Antibacterial – Due to the increase of antibacterial resistant illnesses, many are turning to essential oils such as basil, cassia, cinnamon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, marjoram, melaleuca, myrrh, orange, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree and thyme.

Antiviral – Oils that have been studied to help control viral infections include: basil, cassia, cinnamon, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, Melaleuca, myrrh, oregano, and thyme.

I started out with a simple beginner’s essential oil kit and have found it of great use! Some more popular ways of using essential oils are aromatherapy, herbal soaks, compresses, tinctures and salves.

Things can go awry very quickly when a medical emergency occurs during a disaster. Having resources to turn to, skills to treat wounds, along with items you have around you can be lifesaving.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

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

5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepping This Item Before Winter Comes Could Save Your Life

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

A year supply of wood for $20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How much wood do you need?

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Seize the Moment: How Preppers Can Maximize Their Training Time

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

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

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

Maximize Your Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Always Prepared: 5 Items You Absolutely Must Have in Your 72-Hour Kit

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Disaster preparedness has become much more mainstream in recent years, with hundreds of thousands of people getting interested in what items they should have to provide for themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. If you are getting started in disaster preparedness, the first thing you should be putting together is a 72-hour kit, sometimes also called a bug out bag. This is a light, portable pack that can easily be carried with you and which will give you the supplies you need to survive for at least three days. Here are five of the top items that should be in everyone’s 72-hour bag.

Personal Water Purifier

Getting fresh water is one of the most difficult parts of dealing with a disaster situation. The amount of bottled water you would need to survive for 72 hours would weigh you down and severely inhibit your mobility. A better option is a personal water purifier. These filter-based devices are small, straw-like systems that will remove dirt, debris and even bacteria from water. Be aware that some toxins, such as heavy metals, and viruses will not be caught by these filters, so it is still important to choose your water source carefully.

LED Flashlight

If you’re on the move in a disaster situation, it may be necessary for you to remain mobile at night. If this is the case, a good LED flashlight is absolutely essential. LEDs are both brighter and more energy efficient than normal bulbs, making them a more reliable option in a real emergency. Even though they are energy efficient, it’s also a good idea to keep at least one set of spare batteries for your flashlight in your pack.

High-Calorie Food

In a disaster scenario, you may have to move several miles a day or otherwise exert yourself physically, meaning you will need calories to fuel your activity. There are survival food bars that are specifically intended to serve this purpose, but other options are also available. High-protein snack bars make a decent alternative, as do canned tuna, peanut butter and instant pastas that can be prepared using only boiling water. Remember, in a life-or-death situation, the more calories that are in a given food, the better it is. You can also bring along a small pack of multivitamins to round out your nutritional needs.

A Good Jacket

You never know in advance what the weather may be like when you need to use your 72-hour kit, which is why it’s important to put a good jacket in your pack. Because it may be bitterly cold, it’s best to have a heated jacket that can keep you warmer than your body heat alone can. As with your flashlight, be sure to bring along a spare battery for your heated jacket, as it could mean the difference between life and death in extreme temperature conditions.

First-Aid Kit

In an emergency situation, the possibility of injury is always a risk. One of the key components of your 72-hour kit should be a basic first-aid kit that will allow you to clean and treat any injuries that may come up. This kit should also have common over-the-counter medicines in it to relieve symptoms of illness.

A disaster scenario is never something to look forward to, but with a little basic planning you can get through one without too much difficulty. Put your 72-hour kit together well in advance, and you will have everything you need to deal with an emergency. If you have a family, also be sure to put together a similar kit for each family member, as carrying all of the necessary supplies for everyone will be too much for any one person.

The post Always Prepared: 5 Items You Absolutely Must Have in Your 72-Hour Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.

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

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


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


Building Your Own Cleaning Kits for Firearms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

How to Assist the Snow to Melt

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

Camouflage Your Water Supply

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Signs You Need to Know When Your Dog Is About to Bite!

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4.5 million people are bitten by their dogs each year, and I’m willing to bet that each of those individuals was caught completely off guard. When someone is bitten, they tend to act so surprised as if the bite was totally unprovoked, when in reality it rarely is.

There’s a simple explanation for most dog bite incidents. People desperately want their dogs to understand them, but they aren’t always willing meet their dogs half way by understanding their language. Dog bites only seem unprovoked to people who haven’t bothered to learn what provokes their dogs, and how dogs warn you to back off.

If you want to know the warning signs that dogs display before they bite, then you should really take a look at this video, which was created by a professional trainer.

And those are just a few of the signs that you should look out for. We’re all aware that dogs will also often growl and gnash their teeth, but you should also back off if you see their hair stand up, or if you see the whites of their eyes (also known as “whale eye”). And it’s often the case that in the moment before they bite, (especially if it’s a serious bite, unlike what you see in that video), a dog’s body will become perfectly rigid.

So the next time you encounter a dog, or perhaps play with your own pet, look for these signs. You may have seen them before without being bitten, but that doesn’t mean that your dog isn’t expressing his or her stress, agitation, and fear. The sooner you learn these signs, the sooner you’ll develop a much better relationship with your pet.

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

Mental Preparedness: These Mental Gymnastics Will Sharpen the Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

Here are 5 Prepper Projects You Can Start in the Spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

Stay on top of your prepper gear 

Maintenance

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

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


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


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

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

Familiarization

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Prepare for Job Loss

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Recently, a large grocery chain closed its store in our area.  I spoke with some of the employees and expressed my dismay that they were closing.  Although some of the workers managed to transfer to another branch, many were let go.  During the same week I found out that My Fit Foods a popular prepared food chain, abruptly closed all their stores nationwide, leaving many employees jobless.  I felt bad hearing about people […]

The post How to Prepare for Job Loss appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

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

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

 

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

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

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

4 Ways to Block Your Cell Phone and Prevent Being Monitored

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

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

How to Test for Protection

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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

10 Ways to Make the Most of a Wood Stove

Ashes

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

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

Charcoal

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

Soot

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

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

Dehydrate Food

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

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

 

JJ

 

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

MARCH9G

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Prepared Home: 50 Essential Items to Put in Your Ultimate Survival Medical Kit

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 Would you have the supplies you needed to stop a severe bleed? Do you know what household items you could use if someone was suffering from dehydration? What will you do if someone in the home has shortness of breath?

Short-term disasters can bring on a myriad of medical situations and they can occur very quickly. Because of the disaster, roads may be impassable, or in some cases, the hospitals may be at capacity and cannot take in any more patients. With that in mind, it is important to know what the most common medical emergencies are and prepare accordingly for them. In 2006, The National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) released a 2006 Emergency Department Summary that gathered statistics of emergency department use, including the most common reasons adults and children sought medical care and treatment. Having medical supplies that could assist in these common medical emergencies would be proactive on your part.

    •  Children fever
    • Childhood earache
    • Various injuries such as sprains, strains, broken bones
    • Chest pain
    • Abdominal pain
    • Back pain
    • Shortness of breath

In short-term disasters, prepare for water-related illnesses. This will be very common given the close proximity to contaminated water sources. In The Prepper’s Blueprint, it states, “The relationship between communicable diseases and disasters exist and merits special attention. When there is a short-term emergency, there is an increased number of hospital visits and admissions from common diarrhea-related  diseases, acute respiratory infections, dermatitis, and other causes. These type of medical issues are due to those coming in direct contact with flood waters contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. These contamination factors will cause irritation to skin and a host of other medical conditions.”

In longer-term disasters, burns, cuts, rashes and secondary infections will also be very common medical emergencies to prepare for. Folks, these are the disasters you will likely face and it is imperative that you prepare for this with proper medical supplies and knowledge.

I realize that there are a lot of medical conditions to think about. The best approach is to look at the basics and prepare for those. Many medical items can be used for multiple disasters, so take comfort in this and prepare accordingly.

Build the Ultimate 1 Year Medical Supply with These First Aid Basics

Experts suggest that each home have a basic medical supply that is unique to your family’s needs. Therefore, keep any preexisting conditions and allergies any family members may have, as well as the above list of the most common medical conditions that hospitals see. It is within your best interest to ensure that you have any and all necessary medications that require prescriptions before an emergency happens.We all have our fair share of band-aids and antibiotic ointment, but do you have medical supplies that can help with true medical emergencies? The following list is your basic medical preparations broken into sections of need to help in your organization.


Hygiene

  • Liquid antibacterial hand soap – 20
  • Disposable hand wipes – 20
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer – 20
  • Feminine items – 12 packages
  • Extra baby needs (diapers, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, medicine, etc.) – in quantity
  • Exam gloves – 5 boxes

Essential Medical Tools

  • Trauma shears
  • Pen light or small flash light
  • Scalpel with extra blades
  • Stethoscope
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Foam splint – 2 per family member
  • Thermometer

Over-the-Counter Products

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever (for adults and children) – 5 bottles
  • Stool softener – 5 bottles
  • Electrolyte powder – 3 boxes
  • Cold/flu medications – 2 boxes per family member
  • Expectorant/decongestants – 3 per family member
  • Hydrocortisone – 3
  • Miconazole/anti-fungal – 3
  • Syrup of Ipecac and activated charcoal – 2
  • Eye care (e.g., contact lens case, cleansing solution, eye moisture drops) – 3 per family member

Natural Supplements

Wound Care

  • Disinfectant (Betadine, isopropyl alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) – 2 per family member
  • Band-aids – 3 large boxes in assorted sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment – 5
  • Instant cold and hot packs – 10
  • 1 week of prescription medications – as many as you are able to get with your prescription
  • Ace bandages – 10
  • Non- stick gauze pads in assorted sizes (3×3 and 4×4) – 10 boxes
  • Sterile roller bandages – 5
  • Surgical sponges – 5
  • Adhesive tape or duct tape – 5
  • Steri-strips – 5
  • Moleskin – 3
  • Respirator masks – 4
  • CPR microshield – 1 per family member
  • Suture kit – 3 per family member
  • QuikClot® compression bandages – 2 per family member
  • Tourniquet – 2
  • Thermal Mylar blanket – 1 per family member
  • Antibiotics

*These are your minimum quantities. If you are able to do so, prepare for more.


Customize Your Supplies

Many believe that a basic store-bought medical kit will provide for all of  their medical needs, but these kits tend to be overloaded with unneeded items (i.e., 500 band aids). Buying your own medical supplies allows you to customize your kit to fit your family’s unique needs and is more economical. In fact, you can purchase many of these items at your local Dollar Store to save money.  Customizing your family’s medical supply gives your family members the best chance at being cared for when a medical emergency arises. Further, take your preparedness a step further and organize your medical preps and create medical response packs for quick acting.

Storing Medical Supplies

How you store your first aid supplies is every bit as important as having the supplies in the first place.

Medicines can lose potency or spoil if they are subject to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and light.  For example, aspirin begins to break down when it is exposed to a slight amount of moisture.

Unless the instructions indicate otherwise, store medications in a cool, dark place that is out of the reach of children.   However, you still want to store the medical supplies in a place that is easily accessible to adults, who may need to respond very quickly in the event of a medical crisis.

Check expiration dates periodically to ensure the medicines are still good to use.  While most medicines lose potency once they’re past the expiration date, there are a few that will actually make a person extremely ill if taken after it spoils.  For example, tetracycline antibiotics that have spoiled can cause a severe, sometimes deadly, kidney ailment.

Signs of Expired Medicines

Although there is data that states most medicines can last longer than their expiration dates, it is important to understand that using medicine years past its expiration date can lose effectiveness and in some cases, change its chemical makeup. If you are in a survival situation where your life depended on an outdated drug, then it is wise to follow the cliché “better safe than sorry”.

Knowing the signs of expired medicine can help indicate when new items are needed.

  • Creams or ointments which are discolored or have changed in texture.
  • Creams or ointments which have cracked or separated.
  • The medicines smell has changed since it was opened.
  • Tablets are broken or chipped and have changed color.

Source – www.generalmedicine.suite101.com

Bear in mind, there are some medications that should never be used after their expiration and could have severe consequences for patients. These include:

  • Anticonvulsants – narrow therapeutic index
  • Dilantin, phenobarbital – very quickly lose potency
  • Nitroglycerin – very quickly lose potency
  • Warfarin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Procan SR – sustained release procainamide
  • Theophylline – very quickly lose potency
  • Digoxin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Thyroid preparations
  • Paraldehyde
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Epinephrine – very quickly lose potency
  • Insulin – very quickly lose potency
  • Eye drops – eyes are particularly sensitive to any bacteria that might grow in a solution once a preservative degrades.

Source

Don’t limit first aid supplies to your home

Store a first aid kit in the car (being careful with heat sensitive items) and also tuck some medical supplies into your 72-hour bag. This way, you can be ready to deal with medical emergencies wherever they happen to occur.

To conclude, there will always be the threat of completely unanticipated disasters, but your overall preparedness should enable you to effectively deal with those situations when they arise. This year supply of first aid items will enable you to prepare for medical emergencies when the hospitals aren’t an option.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster

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image source: http://www.trbimg.com/

Have you ever pictured what it would be like to be ordered to immediately evacuate your home because of an impending emergency? Imagine only having enough time to grab your pets and your children and head for the hills. While many believe there is adequate advanced notice in evacuations, this isn’t always the case.

As many of you know, due to the higher than normal rain levels in California, water levels at Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest dam, were so high that an emergency spillway was used for the first time. Initially, dam officials believed the measure worked, but were soon disappointed Sunday afternoon, as more water from record storms flowed into Lake Oroville. This is when officials detected a hole in the emergency spillway. Officials put out an evacuation order Sunday afternoon telling around 200,000 people the emergency spillway at Orville Dam could fail within an hour. With no time to lose, panicked residents quickly left the area scrambling to get out of harms way. As evacuees made the mass exodus, they sat for hours in gridlock hoping to get to their destinations in time.

While the dam break is slightly diminishing and the mandatory evacuation order has been lifted, many residents are thinking twice about going back due to another series of storms that will hit the Oroville area over the weekend and are threatening to dump 10 more inches in water. One resident states, “I don’t want to live in Oroville anymore,” said Shelly Clarke, 52, who fled her home with her husband and slept in her car overnight. “After this, I’m afraid of the dam.” Source

When I wrote The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster, I emphasized that every disaster teaches us another lesson in how to be better prepared and this one is no different. This essential survival guide stresses how important is to have plans and supplies in place in order to be better prepared for the disasters that are on the horizon.

6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster

Keep the following in mind the next time you think you don’t need to prepare or evacuate.

1. Evacuations can come at the very last minute and many may not be prepared in time.

image source: http://www.sacbee.com/

The mandatory evacuation order came Sunday afternoon and 200,000 residents were given one hour to leave. Even if you are given short notice to evacuate, it is very difficult to get your belongings in order under the stress of a mandatory evacuation. One Oroville resident recollects how most people barely had time to grab their kids and pets before leaving in all directions. Some fled on foot. Some fled without shoes. Deyan Baker, 19, Anthony Rhoads, 21, and their 2-year-old daughter, Rylee, of Oroville, had no car, so they ran into the street hoping someone would give them a lift. Source


“We were running. No one was stopping,” Baker said. “I started having a panic attack. I felt helpless.”


Preparedness experts suggest having an evacuation bag or bug out bag prepped for items for the entire family. Make sure these are easily accessible and ready to go for emergencies such as this. While a dam break may not be a disaster your area would encounter, what about a gas leak, or a refinery spill? What about a wild-fire? There are many reasons to have evacuation supplies. Here is an evacuation checklist to ensure you have everything covered. As well, consider preparing your evacuation vehicle.

2. Evacuations are dangerous.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Not only is a mass exodus arduous, but dangerous as well. During evacuations there is always some risk to danger. For instance, many are in a state of panic and do not always make the wisest of choices. One Oroville evacuee brings up the point of just how dangerous the roads are when evacuating.


“Cars were speeding by so fast, some careening on the shoulders to pass the traffic, “you could smell the engines burning,” Rhoads said. “You could smell the burnt oil, burned clutches, tires squealing.” Source


There are those who are in a mental state of its ‘every man for himself’. There are also others who are opportunists and take advantage of the situation and can cause injury as a result. One Oroville evacuee knows this lesson all too well. Cameron Asbury, 33, was packing up the truck with his family’s belongings after receiving the evacuation order Sunday afternoon when an unidentified man hijacked the vehicle, ran him over and sped away. You can read more about that here. The point here is during evacuations, it can be dangerous due to heightened emotions, desperation and opportunists taking advantage of the situation. Make sure that you have a way to protect yourself. While many do not believe in firearms, having one during these times would be advantageous.

3. No one knows when evacuation orders will be lifted. 

image source: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/

While the mandatory evac order has been lifted for Oroville, there is still an evacuation order in place and many are not sure when they will come back with the threat of the dam still fresh in their minds. When an evacuation is ordered the residents are left to the mercy of the local government in deciding when it is safe to come back. Having a short-term disaster plan in place before a disaster strikes will relieve some of the stress associated with evacuating. As well, with a solid plan (conceived while you were calm and rational) this will ensure that you won’t skip any important planning steps. Living out a disaster in an emergency shelter is not always the best choice, especially if you have pets or special health care needs. Consider how important having an emergency fund would be in a situation such as this. Having money set aside in advance to pay for hotel stays, food, etc. would prevent you from going into further debt.

4. Information is limited, imprecise and emotionally driven.

image source: http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/

Sunday’s evacuations in Oroville came after several days of state officials saying the dam itself was not in danger and that there was no serious threat to nearby communities. Authorities continued to maintain Sunday night that the dam itself was safe. But their assessment of danger to downstream communities from the spillway’s damage changed dramatically Sunday at 4:42 p.m., when DWR issued this tweet: “EMERGENCY EVACUATION: Auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam predicted to fail within the next hour. Oroville residents evacuate northward.” Source As the mandatory evacuation was ordered, news stories were quickly published about this situation and no one really knew all the facts. Many believed the dam was under the threat of imminent failure, thus causing more panic and heightened emotions.

5. Limited resources.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

During any type of emergency breakdown, there is strain on resources due to the demand of the same types of items needed: gas, water, food, for example. This causes a demand that many stores cannot keep up with and a breakdown inevitably follows. There are some stores who will take advantage of this and price gouge. Limited resources does not only occur during the evacuation route, but afterwards where the evacuees locate to. With 200,000 individuals scattered around the Northern California area, local grocery stores could find their supplies quickly exhausted.

6. The state, county and city officials were unprepared.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Although the local and state government are closely monitoring the situation, many state residents have raised questions on why the erosion of the dam wasn’t fixed 5 years ago when state officials were warned. According to one article, “Countless proposals have been floated over the past two decades to fund infrastructure out of the general fund, and prioritize critically needed upgrades to dams, roads and bridges. But Sacramento spends a pittance out of it’s $180 billion budget on infrastructure, and most of that is earmarked for the abysmal roads and a crumbling intrastate highway system.” Simply put, government officials were not prepared for encountering a damaged dam. Due to their negligence in planning and funds, a town’s livelihood is threatened – children are absent from schools, flooding of multiple communities could occur and an even more disastrous situation becomes more catastrophic.

Each time a disaster presents itself, it is important to recognize ways to better prepare so that history does not repeat itself. The Oroville dam disaster is a reminder of how important it is to be prepared and to be able to react at a moment’s notice. While many believe local and state governments have everything planned out, there are slip ups and those mistakes can be disastrous for the residents involved. The six points listed above frequently occur with disasters and it is important to recognize this. If you walk away with anything from this article, understand how important it is to plan accordingly. Emergencies happen at the drop of a hat and if you aren’t ready, if you waste precious time gathering emergency items at the last minute or have to come up with an emergency plan at the last minute, vital details will be left out.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is it a Cold or the Flu?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Our local news announced that statistics for the number of flu cases has spiked this week.  I’m not surprised.  I’ve noticed a lot of co-workers coming to work while sick.  The most common comment when asked about their condition is, “I’m so miserable, I don’t even know what I have.” How can you tell whether you have a cold or the flu?   (I am not a doctor; so this is not medical […]

The post Is it a Cold or the Flu? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide

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winterprep2Have you ever considered what you will do if you have to bug out in winter? Being exposed to the elements puts you and your family at risk and it is paramount to be ready for that scenario.

It’s time to learn the basics of surviving in harsh environments. These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself and your skills.  Winter weather and a cold environment with snow and ice on the ground presents challenges, but they can be overcome and mastered with practice – all that is needed is equipping yourself with the knowledge to do so.

Jeremiah Johnson, our own personal Green Beret, is helping us train to be winter ready. One thing he emphasizes in a lot of his articles is that our preps aren’t the only aspect of prepping that we should focus on.


“None of us are going to be completely prepared when the bottom drops out.  Knowledge and skills should be desirous over materials, because with these you can either acquire what is needed or improvise out of what can be fabricated into something useful.”


He has been writing quite a bit about winter survival lately, and now is the time to put theory into practice. With the right gear, you can blend into your environment and survive in the harshest of environments. Here are some great articles to help you focus on winter survival!

 

Gear

What To Wear in the Harshest Conditions

Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

How to Blend into a Winter Environment

12 Budget-Friendly Survival Essentials for the Cold Outdoors

Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep

 

Health and First-Aid

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

10 Must-Have First Aid Supplies for Preventing Hypothermia

 

Survival Theory

Procuring Protein Sources in Winter

Critical Training Techniques to Overcome the Elements

When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear

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If you really want to stock up on survival gear, then sometimes you want to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk not only allows you to purchase the right amount of equipment and supplies, but will let you do so at a discount. Rather than purchasing a large quantity of items from a typical store, you can purchase from wholesale companies that provide a discount since you are buying in bulk. Below are some great places that you can purchase plenty of survival gear online, and make sure you are ready for any disasters.

DollarDays DollarDays is one of the largest wholesalers in the country, offering a wide range of products. While not focusing solely on survival gear, they nonetheless have plenty to offer when it comes to this department. On their website you’ll find essential gear such as waterproof matches, Mylar blankets, and medical supplies. While the options available are not as great as some other locations, if you need the basics, this is a great place to start.

Overstock – Another large company that offers more than just survival gear, Overstock is one of the most popular places to buy wholesale products. Overstock offers everything from medical supplies to camping gear to sanitation equipment to emergency power and more. All of this comes at the low prices you’d expect to get from any wholesaler. Overstock even offers free shipping to the Continental U.S for any orders over $45.00, allowing you to save a little bit more money.

Best Glide Aviation Survival Equipment – Sometimes you need more specific survival gear. If you need supplies for when you are out in the wilderness, or for anything to do with aviation, then you’ll want a wholesaler that can meet those needs. Best Glide ASE offers a wide range of products tailored to fit this exact group of people. On their website you will find supplies such as parachute cords, tracker buttons, and pre-made survival kits designed for the wilderness. If some of the larger wholesale chains do not have what you’re looking for, check out this one.

Bite The Bullet – For those of you who want a very specific product – namely, ammo – then you’ll want to buy right from the manufacturer. With companies like Bite The Bullet you can buy bulk ammo online, and have it delivered directly to your door. Ammo is typically used when loading up your survival gear, and if you think you’ll need a lot of it, you’re better off buying in bulk to save yourself some money. This website makes that easy, all without having to leave your home.

DHgate – Now, when purchasing survival gear, you’re probably not looking to sacrifice quality over cost. However, for those of you that want to spend the least amount of money, you can look to a site called DHgate. DHgate sells products directly from Chinese manufacturers and a very low cost. We can’t speak to the quality of every product on this website, but if you really want to save money, then it is worth taking a look at. Just be sure you do some research into what you are buying, and don’t purchase anything questionable if your life may depend on it some day.

Living Rational – Lastly, we have a wholesaler for those of you that are representing companies, schools or other organizations. If, as a part of your emergency preparedness, you need to order survival gear in bulk, this is the site for you. Living Rational offers survival kits for people of all ages and sizes, along with equipment for disasters such as floods or earthquakes. You’ll need to contact the company in order to get a quote on purchasing wholesale, but all the information you need is right on their website. Plenty Of Options To Buy In Bulk

When it comes to purchasing survival gear in bulk, you have a lot of options. No matter what kind of equipment you are looking to buy in bulk, there is a good chance that one of the above websites will have it for you. If not, there are plenty of other companies and websites out there, with the above list only being a small sample.

The post 6 Different Online Resources to Buy Bulk Survival Gear appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Intelligence Insider: How To Protect Your Assets From Critical Infrastructure Failure

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cyber-warfareIntelligence insider Jim Rickards has previously warned of asymmetric attacks using cyber warfare, financial warfare and domestic disasters involving chemical, biological or radiologicial events. The threat is multi-faceted and the consequences of such an attack, whether it takes the the form of state-sponsored cyber financial warfare or a rogue terrorist group detonating a dirty bomb, could act as a destabilizing event that wipes out everything from our power grid to the wealth stored in your digital financial profiles.

Having worked directly with intelligence agencies simulating and war-gaming the potential fall-out that could result, in his latest interview with Crush The Street Rickards explains the distinct Doomsday scenarios that could instantly collapse life as we know it in America today… and how to prepare for them.


These things are actually happening and your digital wealth is vulnerable to a number of calamities… critical infrastructure failures… whether it’s power grid, banking system, cyber financial warfare, etc.


(Watch At Youtube)

Last month cyber thieves figured out a way to steal $100 million from the central bank account of Bangladesh via the U.S. Federal Reserve. They could have gotten away with $900 million more had it not been for a small typo. The point, as Rickards notes, is that there is a realistic possibility of a much larger-scale attack that targets not a central bank, but the direct holdings of every bank account in America.

The only tool you have at your disposal to protect from such an attack, says Rickards, is gold:


You never want to go all in… I am saying that 10% of your wealth… put it into physical gold… put it in a safe place and that will be immune from power grid outages, exchange closures, digital asset seizures and cyber financial warfare.


And while the potential for a serious calamity that would affect our digital monetary systems is a compelling reason to own gold, in his book The New Case For Gold Rickards explains that a global monetary collapse is also in the cards. And that means gold could one day become the de facto global currency as confidence in a global economy awash in fiat money is lost.

In the interview Rickards takes on analysts who say that a currency cannot be backed in gold, arguing that supply of the precious metal through current official holdings, private holdings and existing gold mining operations is sufficient to support well managed currencies. And countries that refuse to follow sound money policies, he says, will simply have worthless currencies that will not be accepted on the world economic stage.


That’s the whole point of the gold standard… it’s to force governments and countries to do prudent things.

As it is now there’s no standard… there’s no enforcement mechanism… there’s nothing.

I’ve spoken to Ben Bernanke and the head of the IMF about it and they both used the same word to describe the international monetary system… it’s incoherent.


It appears that a gold standard is the end-game for countries like China and Russia considering that they have been aggressively accumulating the metal in recent years. And while the United States may maintain a monetary hegemony over global affairs right now, there will come a time when that will no longer be the case. With gold being used to back currencies, prudent monetary policy will be rewarded.


If people had confidence that you were doing the right thing they would happily sell you the gold…  if they lack that confidence [in your currency] they wouldn’t sell you the gold… but that is a market signal telling you you’ve got the wrong policies… you’ve lost the confidence of your citizens.


But we’re not there yet. A global monetary reset needs to happen first. And that means the government and Federal Reserve are going to stay the course, including quantitative easing for the people,  no matter how disastrous the next round of policies may be.

As Rickards suggests, this makes the case for $10,000 gold quite strong, because they will continue to push low or no interest rate policies while printing even more money to stem off a potentially deflationary environment.


Deflation is good for citizens… inflation is good for government. But if you’re fighting the government, the government will win in the long run even though it’s taking longer than they thought.

At the end of the day they’ll get the inflation… and you’ll be glad you have some gold. 


 

Check out Jim Rickards’ latest book The New Case For Gold.

For more interviews like this one visit CrushTheStreet.com. To learn how the smart money is positioning for gold’s bull run by acquiring precious metals assets click here.

Click here to subscribe: Join over one million monthly readers and receive breaking news, strategies, ideas and commentary.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times?

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By Denis Korn

Is your ENTIRE family prepared for emergencies at all times?
Is your ENTIRE family:

    • Secure
    • Knowledgeable
    • Responsible
    • Patient
    • Prayerful
    • Vigilant

in an emergency situation?

Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world.  I pray that you take this advice seriously.   Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a foundational article.

I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals.  This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days.  Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.

At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones.  Only a few raised their hands!  Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?

Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business.  What about the average household?  Is your family prepared for emergencies in all seasons of the year?

It appears that most head of households have the notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency.  This is a dangerous assumption.  The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:

  • What to do
  • How to respond
  • Where to go – or not go
  • Who to contact
  • Where the information and supplies are located
  • How to use and operated essential equipment
  • How to access drinking water
  • How to prepare any food reserves
  • How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
  • How to keep warm in freezing conditions
  • How to have the proper attitude
  • How to pray

 

Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices.  Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.

  • Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
  • How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
  • What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
  • What will the school provide for students?
  • What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
  • What will the business provide for their employees?
  • Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
  • Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
  • What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
  • Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?

Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family.  Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!

 So I ask all of you reading this post:  In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation?  I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.

The post Is Your Entire Family Prepared for Emergencies at All Times? appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

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

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

The Simplest Survival Shelters

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

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


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


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

Why These Shelters Are Ideal

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

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

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

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Doomsday Clock Ticks 30 seconds Closer to End Times

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doomsday clockHumans have been the cause of our own demise for centuries. Because of our self-destructive natures, scientists created a symbolic Doomsday Clock to show “how close we are to destroying our civilization.” Well Folks, on Thursday, that End Times clock jumped 30 seconds closer to midnight.

According to the experts, we now have 2.5 minutes to go before civilization ends. Those experts are comprised of a board of the nonprofit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’  along with input from a board of sponsors which includes 15 Nobel Laureates.

According to the article, “Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight on Thursday amid increasing worries over nuclear weapons and climate change.

Each year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a nonprofit that sets the clock, decides whether the events of the previous year pushed humanity closer or further from destruction. The symbolic clock is now two-and-a-half minutes from midnight, the closest it’s been to midnight since 1953, when the hydrogen bomb was first tested.  Scientists blamed a cocktail of threats ranging from dangerous political rhetoric to the potential of nuclear threat as the catalyst for moving the clock closer towards doomsday.”

USA Today

According to the article, the Bulletin pointed to President Donald Trump’s  ‘careless rhetoric on nuclear weapons and other issues as well as his troubling stance on climate change.’ The threat of nuclear warfare also played heavily into the time on the clock, as do the dangers of climate change the threat from cyber technology, according to the group’s website.

Are We Really Living in the End Times?

Whether you see logic why scientists moved us up on clock or not, you’d have to be blind not to see how the entire world is in jeopardy. For years we have been starting down the threats of food shortages, political upheaval, an increase in crime across the board, a barrage of civil unrest around the world, economic decline – should I go on?

Perhaps the clock isn’t too far off. Many of the ultra-rich have taken notice to the turbulent times and have quietly been making preparations to “bug out” when the time comes. One thing is for sure, they are aware of what is happening in the world, the country and locally and you should be paying attention too.


Be aware of what is happening in the world, the country, and your immediate locale.


Many believe these issues are the perfect recipe for catastrophe. While we can theorize about what may or may not happen, we need to understand that we are operating on limited information. Logically speaking, the best way to prepare for the unpredictable nature of these types of scenarios is by getting ready for them and making preparations ahead of time.

The following are ways to prepare for these erratic disasters:

  •   Start preparing your home, your family and mind for more difficult times.
  • Create a food pantry. Creating a food supply is very beneficial to your budget. It is an investment into your future livelihood. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. When others are buying foods at inflated prices, you will be consuming your investment when it was purchased at a lower price. Using a combination of shelf stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises.
  • Simplifying your lifestyle. Before you begin investing, take steps to get out of debt. Debt only enslaves you further, and simplifying your lifestyle can help break those shackles. Learn about these 6 ways to simplify your lifestyle.
  • Preserve your wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, by tying your money up in assets it will help you avoid spending the money, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
  • Become a neo-pioneer! Carve a path in your life where you are no longer dependent on consuming at stores to live. Garden and grow your own food, raise livestock, learn skills to live self-reliantly, barter for goods and services.

No one knows for certain if the Doomsday Clock is accurate or if we are any closer to doomsday than we were yesterday, but what we do know is it’s an indicator of how tumultuous the times may be. And, as we learned throughout history, sometimes even the best of intentions can have disastrous consequences.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Your Home Security Plan Is At Risk Without This Essential Prep

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is on some of the parameters and importance on keeping things safe…inside of a safe, or a “safe space” where they won’t be compromised.  The compromise that I speak of means from fires, thieves, floods, or mayhem in general.  Every family should consider some kind of safe, as well as a safe/hidden spot to keep the safe in.  You have valuable (either financially or holding value due to their nature) possessions and documents that need safeguarding.

All Could Be Lost Without This Home Security Prep

Let’s start by saying it would behoove you to have 2 types of safe: one for larger items, and another one for portable, smaller items, especially in the way of documents.  Such documents can include (but certainly aren’t limited to) passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, land deeds, vehicle titles, corporate stock and/or documents, to name a few.  A smaller, more portable type of safe would do in this case, such as those made by Sentry to lock with a key and a recessed handle.


You may want to pick up a fireproof type of safe or box for your ammo, to store in the vicinity of any safe that has firearms, but do not store the ammo in the safe with the firearm.


safe

These small safes can hold your documents and certifications, usually protecting them from fire up to about 1,500 degrees F, as well as being water-tight to protect them from flooding and water damage.  Now, the whole point of having this type of safe is to make your documents portable.  The fire rating may help you if you’re not able to get to them, and must recover them later, or if they suffer “light” exposure to flame and you are able to grab them…and they’ll be protected.

The other type – a larger, heavier kind may have to wait for you to return after a fire or flood.  Sentry makes these guys, too, and I prefer the tumbler kind to the electric.  Firstly, if there’s any kind of solar flare or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse), you may not be able to get into the safe.  Secondly, the battery is going to run down eventually.  You’re much better off with a “click and tumbler” type of combination lock on the front.  The larger safe will also hold documents, but you can also store things such as jewelry, extra cash, a firearm or two, precious/valuable coins and metals…the list is endless.

safe2

This type of safe will usually be good up to about 2,000 degrees F, and can be bolted to the floor.  This latter detail precludes being able to just lift it up and take it away.  This type of safe should be hidden.  The possibilities include (but aren’t limited to) a piece of furniture either bought (premade specifically to hide it) or specially made for the occasion, a recessed wall or floor, or a hidden room that only you and your family know about.

This last point is especially if you have paperwork or documents in the safe.  You don’t want to “cook off” the ammo with excessive heat inside of the safe and start a fire internally.  Another thing to consider hiding the safe in plain sight by installing it inside of a wall.  This can be done with masonry or with timber and drywall.  The key being you need as much space for the safe as is minimally possible, and it (the space) needs to blend with its surroundings.  It is better to go with the ground floor for such a location, as if you have it on the second floor and the house burns down, it’ll probably end up being in the basement after a considerable fall, and this after being weakened by the fire.

Keep a copy of the combination in a place where it won’t be lost if the house goes down and in a manner that will not allow it to be affected by the elements.  An index card or portion of one with the combination on it and laminated with heavy-gauge laminate is your best bet in this regard.  Make sure your family members (if they’re trustworthy, mind you) know the combination to the safe and where to find it.  In an age where safety deposit boxes in banks are no longer inviolate to the IRS or the Federal Government, the home safes may assure you both of security and privacy.

Always learn the fire-rating beforehand, and buy them new, not used.  You do not know what the previous owners may have either went through or subjected the safe to prior to you owning it.  In this manner, you have quality backed by some type of warranty.  There are plenty of websites available with plans and ideas of where in your house to recess one should you wish to do so.  Consider one or two for your home.  It is a not-so-costly investment that will keep your stuff safe and pay for itself the first time it’s needed.  Keep your things safe, and be safe in all you do.  JJ out!

 

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

When Seconds Count: 5 Items for Quick-Action Response

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1FIRST RESPONSE KITS

Picture This:

  1. You just hit a deer on the road about halfway between work and home on your 30-mile one-way commute. As you tried to avoid him, you swerved and hit a patch of ice and went off of an embankment.  Ramming a tree, you went unconscious.  You came to only to find a large laceration about 4” long running across your forehead
  1. You are just about to leave work when suddenly the entire building shakes. You’re up on the fifth floor, and a ceiling joist gives way, and half of the 6th floor of your workplace is now also on the fifth floor.  Even worse: you’re pinned under a beam and a big piece of jagged wood has gone right into your thigh.
  1. You’re in a very packed and congested shopping mall and suddenly, two guys with masks turn the corner with AK-47’s yelling in Arabic, firing their weapons in all directions. One of the bullets ricochets and hit you in the calf.

ReadyNutrition Readers, hopefully you are never in one of the examples…and really hopefully, not the same guy or gal in all three of them (that would really be bad luck, wouldn’t it?).  The point is that weird things, such as auto accidents, earthquakes, or terrorist Jihadists assaulting Chic-fil-A happen virtually all the time, now.  You may be just the innocent bystander or unwilling participant mentioned in one of these tragedies.  We hope that isn’t the case.

But if it is?  You had better be as ready as you can.  Let’s talk about some things that could give you a winning edge that you may be able to tote around on your person, either in your pockets or in a small bag.  We’re going to address some common problems that these unlucky individuals are facing in each of these scenarios.

Bad wounds – laceration, impaled wood, and a bullet.  All are serious, and each of them will require immediate medical attention.  The problem is you may not have the time to wait until trained personnel reach you, and (in the case of a SHTF event) they may never reach you.  But maybe you have these, for starters:

  1. Outdoor Wound Care Kit: with Celox, made by Total Resources, Int’l, accessible via totalresourcesintl.com.  The Celox clots the blood within 60 seconds.  The whole kit is about $8.00 at Wal-Mart.  Great for bullet wounds and lacerations…. think “Stop Gap,” and stop that bleeding, while you’re sealing up the gaps.
  2. The Army Field Dressing: Seriously, this one is a good one that you really need to pick up.  It’s listed as Dressing, First Aid, Field, Camouflaged, 4” x 6 ¼ to 7 ¼ inches NSN 6510-00-159-4883.  It has its own “tails” to tie it off and bind up that wound.
  3.  Fish Mox Forte: Fish Amoxicillin, comes in 500 mg capsules of 100 per bottle at about $40 per bottle. Good to throw a course of antibiotics on immediately when faced with a dirty wound.
  4. Electrolyte Stamina Power Pak: This electrolyte made by Trace Minerals Research is a type of ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) that you mix with about 6 ounces of water. Provides all of your electrolytes, such as Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium.  If you’re conscious, you can drink fluids with any of the above examples, and if so, these packets will give you a super-helping of electrolytes, as well as other essential minerals you need.
  5. St. John’s Wort: available at Wal-Mart under Spring Valley Brand, 300 mg capsules with 150 capsules per bottle, at about $8.00 apiece. St. John’s Wort is great for dealing with depression and stress.  It is also a powerful antibiotic that is effective against bacteria and viruses.  Take some according to the directions on the package.

To summarize, these are a few things you can tote around with you in a jacket or cargo pocket that will give you an immediate edge when a situation arises that calls for you to work on it immediately.  Spread it out and make kits as such for your family.  Remember: when something happens to them and you’re working on the problem, use their stuff…your stuff is for you, and if you “go down,” they can go to it and treat your problem…with your supplies.  Stay ready and rock steady!

A little bit of that prep beforehand goes a long way.  Familiarize yourself with it and all of the capabilities at your disposal.  A pile of supplies that you don’t know how to use is just a pile of supplies.  Keep fighting that good fight, drink coffee, make pemmican with my recipe, and have a good one!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Popular Hollywood Hallucinogenic Plant Could Have Dangerous Side Effects

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hollywood-drugReadyNutrition Readers, this article holds some important information and advice for anyone considering using naturopathic or holistic supplements in their diet.  As a certified Master Herbalist, in no way, shape, or form do I wish my words to be construed as “knocking” herbs and herbal supplements.  There is an article that recently surfaced, however, that bears mentioning, as it presents a substance in a light that is not objective.  The article is entitled Hallucinogenic Plant Ayahuasca Gains Foothold in the U.S.,” by Veronique Dupont of AFP, released on 12/25/16.

Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a constituent of the plant, and it is illegal in the U.S., which makes study of it very difficult.  It is said to produce euphoric and hallucinogenic effects, and is claimed to have therapeutic use in helping addiction, trauma, and depression.  Scientists have looked upon it with wariness, as the South American herb has negative effects when mixed with other medications or when used by people with preexisting medical conditions.  The herb is, however, gaining popularity, and people are trying to use it under the protective blanket of its use in “religious rituals and ceremony.”  Here is an excerpt from the article; please take note of the “distinguished” individuals who (according to the article) recommend using Ayahuasca:

“Thousands are flocking to sample the elixir and swear by its therapeutic properties, despite warnings from scientists and users that ayahuasca can be dangerous and even prove fatal, especially when mixed with other drugs.  Ayahuasca’s proponents, who include celebrities such as Sting, Paul Simon, Tori Amos and Lindsey Lohan, say the plant offers a spiritual experience like no other. Many also say it has allowed them to overcome traumas that no other conventional therapy can tackle.”

Really, guys and gals, Lindsey Lohan?  Sting?  The point that I am making (and I am a trained Master Herbalist) is that scientific research and good laboratory work provide true and useful information that should not be ignored just for the sake of bucking the “Big Pharma” train.  Seriously, if you want good information, weigh any herbal supplement against lab data and scientific research provided for you.  In the past, I have mentioned such reference materials as Medical Herbalism” by David Hoffman (a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine), as well as the PDR for Herbal Medicine,” a compendium gathered by hundreds of Medical Doctors and Herbalists.  I have also mentioned traditional medical references, such as Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary.

These reference materials in no way detract from the principles of herbalism and naturopathic aids: rather, they reinforce them with research, study, and in-depth chemical analyses that are possible only in a laboratory setting.  They give dosages, contraindications, and specifics about the herbs that enable a person to arm themselves with knowledge that could prevent an illness or injury.  Part of your survival supplies is the knowledge to employ them.  Nothing could hold more true than with herbs and herbal supplements.

Most laypersons aren’t particularly fond of scientists and chemists; however, these people studied hard to win approval in their profession…with real and valuable information in their curriculums.  It is my firm belief that traditional medicine and herbalism need to support and complement one another, as they are interrelated, with the latter discipline being the older of the two.  Although there are plenty of laws that are not good, they are not the majority: there is common sense in stopping at a red light, common sense in being required to put a tarp over a dump truck loaded with gravel, and common sense with keeping a snarling dog on a leash and maybe muzzled.  Common sense and the observance of it help keep people safe.  If they “forget,” then the law is their guideline.  Without laws people really would eat one another.

In this light, many times some of these exotic herbs have been used for innocuous or innocent purposes with well-meaning, and through no fault of their own, people have gotten hurt or worse.  The reason for this is they didn’t really know the herb or know what they were doing in the first place.  The scientific research on lesser-known substances should be trusted and further researched before attempting to utilize these herbs, as well as consent and approval of a physician…an individual trained in chemistry and biology with years of practical experience in medicine and (we hope) a professional who places patient care first and foremost.

So, to summarize, learn about herbs and herbalism as much as you can when an obscure or “new” thing comes to light.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your prevention lies within your references and the professionals you have at your disposal to question regarding your supplements.  There is no shame in asking questions, and it is just as important to know about your supplements and how to use them as it is to have a full supply.  Be safe, and have a Happy New Year!

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winter Survival: Don’t Get Caught in the Cold Without this Essential Prep

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thermosReadyNutrition Readers, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Polar Vortex has done a shift, and the incredibly cold weather expected for the Pacific Northwest has been shifted toward the East and slightly lower in latitude.  The effect has been extremely cold temperatures in the Great Lakes region, throughout the Ohio River Valley and into the Northeastern states.  Above-average levels of snowfalls have been experienced, as well as plummeting temperatures.

Here in Montana for the last several days we have a blast of subzero temperature emanating from the Arctic and Siberia, where the average has been about -5 to -10 degrees F at night, and only about 5 to 10 F during the day.  “OK, JJ, it’s cold: So where are we going with this?” may be your question.

Here’s the answer: “Old Man Winter” is kicking in; now, what happens if a “monkey-wrench” is thrown into the equation and you’re caught out in it?

I have written articles in the past about different things to do to prep for the cold weather, as well as for emergencies.  I want to focus on something that I do that may help you if you find yourself stranded in an accident or in a snowstorm where you may be unable to go anywhere for at least several hours or even overnight.  This piece can be used by anyone in a rural area (just the manner that I do use it), however, it is specifically tailored for those in an urban setting.

The reason being: urban residents don’t necessarily have the luxury of pulling away from their stranded vehicle 20 or 30 feet and making a fire for themselves.  With hundreds or even thousands of cars and only the macadam of the freeway, such activities would be “frowned upon” by the friendly authorities at a bare minimum.  So, what are you to do?  Try these measures for starters; I promise you, during the winter months, I take these steps every day.

Prep for the basics

Firstly, I prep the food I’m going to need.  I always have a bag of frozen carrots and peas in the freezer, and if I’m low or out, I dice up some carrots really small and add some fresh pea-pods after slicing them down into small strips.  These veggies go into a Ziploc bag.  Next I take about ½ pound of meat (whatever I have in the fridge, such as pot roast, brisket, or chicken) and dice it up into small pieces or even cubes.  I stick this into another Ziploc bag.  A third bag holds some dried onions.

Now I always travel with “Vitamin R,” as we used to call it in the Army.  Yes, there are some of you who are nodding your heads in recognition….as “R” is for “Ramen,” the mainstay of the “grunt” (infantryman) in the field.  I always have about half a dozen in the vehicle with me (winter or summer, for that matter), replacing them each day as I use them.  The Ramen is nothing more than a “base,” and you’ll understand in a second.

The key here are the Thermoses…and the good ones, mind you.  Not the ones with glass inserts or the insulated plastic ones.  You need the ones with a steel bottle for a core that is insulated, such as the Aladdin or an equivalent.  This is where the time comes into play.  You must boil water to bring up the temperature of the core of the thermos, allowing it to sit for at least 5 to 10 minutes, while an equivalent amount is being boiled on the stove.  This is a good moment for that second cup of coffee in the morning (I told you I prefer instant), as your water to heat up the core is poured out, and you replace it with boiling water anew…the water you will tote with you when you leave the house.

Lickety-split! How to Keep Thermoses Warm

Cap that thermos up!  Be sure to dry off any water on the threads and the neck, so they won’t have a chance to freeze.  Now, you do this for two thermoses.  I have a big one, and a smaller one made by Sharper Image (it probably ran about $30 originally, but the Thrift Store sold it to me for $1.50, a true bargain).  When you “nest” these thermoses together?  Believe it or not, they keep one another warmer.  I take these guys and a 20-ounce bottle of water, and wrap them up in an old, thick sweatshirt.

I take care to keep them tightly together, as I fold over the top and bottom of the sweatshirt, and then wrap from the sides.  Then this whole “package” I place into my Igloo Playmate cooler (it’s about 2’ x 1 ½’ x 1 ½’), where it fits on an angle.  A couple of packages of Ramen go in with it, as well as any instant coffee I take with me.  The food?  At 5 degrees F during the day, it’ll freeze up just sitting in the front seat of my vehicle.  So be it: refrigeration au natural.  The Igloo cooler gives just that added “boost” to insulate the thermoses.

Yes, there are times that I don’t use either of them, and they’re still warm 24 hours later.  Now, when it’s time, what I do is break out my meat and veggies, and place them on the bottom of a Tupperware container I use for a bowl.  I add my dried onions.  Then I crush/smash/break up my Ramen and pour it on top.  Taking the big thermos, I pour my hot water over top of my meal, covering the food about ¼” beyond.  Then I cap up my thermos and stick the top on the Tupperware, letting it sit for about five minutes.  I add the seasoning packet after that, and mix it in.  Voila!

I just made a meal for myself for pennies on the dollar.  For me, the big thermos is for the meals, and the little one is for the drinks, such as coffee or green tea.  So, here’s your “deal” for the whole thing:

In a bad situation, you’re going to have hot water for 24 hours and the ability to make yourself a meal or a core-warming drink.  At bare minimum, you’re going to have fresh water to drink (albeit warm) that won’t freeze up on you while you’re awaiting the storm to blow over.

How much is that worth when the bottom drops out of things?  For me it’s just something I always do.  Even in the summer, I take the small thermos with me (either for coffee or just some soup…not so much for survival or a problem).  But let’s say it’s not a survival situation.  How much is your time worth to you?  And your money?  By having that prepped and ready, you can eliminate having to go somewhere to eat, exposing yourself to crowds and potential colds and flus, and wasting time to pay for some overpriced meal.  You can enjoy a nice hot meal: what you’ve made with your own hands, clean and simple with no one to bother you.

It takes about 20 minutes out of your day each day, but the first time there is the need for it…the time pays for itself.  Let’s not forget that anything else can factor into it, such as a nice EMP that leaves you stranded in the wintertime by the side of the road.  Remember: it’s better to be prepared and wrong 1,000 times than to be unprepared and right just once.  So, pack up those thermoses, insulate ‘em, and set aside the ingredients for your soup with some “Vitamin R” or some precooked pasta and a bouillon cube if you just can’t stand the Ramen!  Take the time to prepare, and you’ll be waiting out the storm with soup, coffee, and water that’s not frozen if things go south!  JJ out!

 

More Winter Advice from JJ:

Hardcore Survival: What to Wear in the Harshest Conditions

This Winter Prep Could be the Most Essential Tool in Your Arsenal

7 Fundamental Requirements for Cold Weather Injuries

Winter Wilderness Survival: Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase.

Eye-Protection in the Winter Wilderness

Frostbite: How To Survive Winter’s Unrelenting Brutality

Winter Survival: How to Blend into a Winter Environment

How to Procure Protein Sources During Winter

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Frugal Prepping: 12 Survival Tools You Need in Your Bug Out Bag

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survival tools for the bug out bagReaders, I’m not so much into gadgets and gizmos as many people, but one of the things that I have done is to amass what I call a “micro” toolbox.  When you’re in a bind, you may have only what is on your belt or in your pockets to rely on.  But what about things you may need in a pinch that may require tools…except you can’t drag around a giant toolbox with you?  This may just foot the bill for you and give you some food for thought.

Although I live an “Uncle Cave-man” type of lifestyle, the fact that I am writing this article to you on a computer and use the internet should prove to you that I still need a certain number of things to carry out tasks besides a bow saw and a stone axe.  Let’s go down a list of some things you can “miniaturize” and take with you in a small tool kit for your needs in a possible 72-hour emergency.  Many of these are low cost and can be picked up in the Dollar Tree/Dollar store.  Remember: You’re not going to stick-build trusses or frame a house – just make a small tool kit you’ll be able to use in a pinch that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Learn how to build the ultimate bug out bag

12 Essential Tools You Need For Your Bug Out Bag

  1. Hammer: no, not the 30-oz Estwing, but a small hammer, just enough to tack in some nails and build a small lean-to or shelter [Pack some nails in a variety of sizes in a small container…don’t forget them]
  2. Screwdriver: once again, your dollar stores have the ones that have “bits” for different screwdriver heads, such as standard or Philips.
  3. Drywall saw: yes, the small one with a triangular-thin blade and big teeth…excellent for small branches, and can be used for game you shoot, as well
  4. Exacto/razor knife: the one with break-off, disposable blades
  5. Allen wrench: you never need one until you need one…and when you do, nothing in the world will work except the Allen wrench…also at the Dollar Tree
  6. Star-nose bits for the screwdriver: once again, you’ll never need them until you do…and your life will be horrible if you don’t have one and the need arises…make sure they fit in your multipurpose screwdriver (#2); you can get them at the hardware store for a couple dollars
  7. Pen Torch with Butane: I recommend Benz-o-matic’s ST-200. It is about 6” long, and it can hot-blow, solder, and be used as a torch with a flame more than 2,000 degrees F!  It runs about $23, and the butane (use Benz-o-matic to keep it from gunking up) about $4-5 per can.  If you need to “unfreeze” something in a heartbeat, such as a lock or a moving part, or if you must solder something together to repair it…there’s your racehorse.
  8. Tape measure: get a good one, a 12 foot one for your minimum size, and use the ones by Stanley, not the generic junk…in this case the adage “cheap you buy, cheap you get” applies. Use Stanley’s “Fat Max” brand that is wider with more visible numbers, unlike the others where even an eagle or an owl couldn’t see the numbers and markings.
  9. A small pry bar: the type that is either rounded or hexagonal. You can pick up one of these at the Dollar Tree, but if you’re going to put a lot of force on it, you may want one of the more expensive ones at Home Depot or Lowe’s.  You never know when you need to lever something in a small space.
  10. Eating utensils and accessories: yes, a fork, knife, and spoon, and a small hand-held can opener. [Note: if you’re out in the wintertime, and a can of food has frozen, you can poke a couple of hole in it with the can opener and thaw it out on a fire]
  11. Small power tools: Cordless Dremel with bits, a cordless screwdriver (that can double as a drill if it’s a good one) and bits…these are your “primaries” with your “Uncle Cave-man” manual tools to back them up if needed. The Dremel, especially, has drills, sanders, and cutting wheels that can really help in a bind.
  12. A set of micro/precision screwdrivers: once again, the Dollar Tree is your best bet.

There are many reasons to pack yourself up a small tool kit such as this one.

Firstly, you do not know when or where you are going to run into a situation that you need these tools in a hurry.  Many of you may say that you already have a big Sears craftsman toolbox in the back of your truck or the trunk of your car.  That’s fine, and guess what?  So do I.  But in addition to this full-sized toolbox, I have the smaller one, for the “What if’s” that always arise.

What if you have an accident and you need to get away from the vehicle to seek shelter?  What if you’re compromised, in some way, and must abandon your vehicle completely?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have that small tool kit that can be made to attach to your happy bug-out backpack?  You can potentially grunt it out and lug the full-sized toolbox with you, but if that’s not an option, your backup will be this compact bag or box of tools…micro-tools, if you will…to help you out as you are in motion.

With these tools at your disposal, you can solder, fix, fabricate, and build what you need in a pinch.  Survival is more than living with an entire arsenal of weapons and a warehouse full of tools and supplies. It is also about living “on the cusp” and being able to be “Johnny-on-the-spot,” to either make or fix what you need when the situation calls for it.  Such is adaptability, and along with good coffee, it is the factor that has enabled us to survive as a species.  Invest in that small tool kit and tailor make it for your needs, both immediate and the ones you forecast for the future.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Be Prepared! 20 Must-Read Articles to Get Started Prepping

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 This last year opened my eyes to how quickly our world can turn upside down and how fast people can turn on one another. Towards the year’s end, I sat and reflected on the failures that we all witnessed: our government failures, the poisonous election season, our doomed economy and riots caused by civil unrest.

I asked the Ready Nutrition Facebook community where they felt they were in regards to their prepping endeavors and I was pleasantly surprised to see a new crop of beginners. It seems that many shared in my bleak sentiments. We see a storm on the horizon and know that it is in our best interest to take steps to stay ahead of it. This renewed my passion to get essential prepping information out there and as the saying says, “there is no better time to making changes than the start of a new year.” It’s a new year and we all want to turn over a new leaf.

We are all in the same place – a need to get ready

“This year, I’m finally going to get prepped.” Does that sound familiar? Whether you and a beginner prepper for seasoned, you may not be at the place you had hoped. You aren’t alone. I had prepping plans that I hoped to accomplish by now, but sometimes life gets in way. As well, the more I prep, the more I realize I have so much more to learn. Give yourself a break if you haven’t gotten where you wanted to be. Don’t feel pressured if others surpass you. We are all on our own journey and some may learn faster than others – the point is to stick with it.

This is the single best way to start prepping

Researching and creating a family based emergency plan is the best way to stay organized and on point with your prepping. Have multiple contingency plans too! If Plan A doesn’t work, fall upon Plan B and Plan C, and so on.

You need to understand the disaster you are planning for, how to be mentally and spiritually prepared for it and, ultimately, what supplies and skills you need to thrive. As well, I want to emphasize how important it is to reach out to the prepper community. Learn from each other and don’t be afraid to include your mistakes and failures as part of your education. This is part of the learning curve, and a necessary one at that!

There are some of you who are new to prepping and some that may want a refresher course, so today I thought I would send some links to Ready Nutrition articles that have been the most helpful in getting people on the preparedness track.

20 Must-Read Articles to Get on the Preparedness Path

Below, you’ll find some suggestions for the items you should begin to accumulate. As well, consider these 8 basic preparedness items to compliment your supplies with.

Why You Should Prepare 

5 Ways to Store Water for Short-Term Emergencies

5 Reasons You Should Be Preparing

When the Trucks Stop Delivering, ‘The System’ Will Collapse

The Prepper’s Beginners Guide Part 1 and Part 2

 

Lists of Essential Preparedness Gear and Supplies 

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

How to Save Food When You’re Off the Grid

Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage

25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

52-Weeks to Preparedness

30 Survival Items You Can Get at the Dollar Store

Short Term Emergency Checklist

Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit

Urban Disasters: Have These 20 Items On You If You Want to Make It Home

What You Have to Do To Prep on the Fly

 

Long-Term Food Storage Solutions

How to Dehydrate Foods for Long Term Storage

Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment?

Vacuum Sealing for Long-Term Food Storage

Using Your Freezer as a Long Term Food Storage Solution

You can do this!

Now that you have information only a click away, there’s nothing holding you back from getting started! The only thing holding you back from realizing your prepper goals is yourself. You can do this! There is still time to get ready for disasters, but it is important not to waste time. Good luck, preppers! I’m rooting for you and will continue to get more information out to you!

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Everyday Activities Creates a Complete Workout

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snow-shovelingReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, it’s a new year and there’s still work to be done!  Yes indeed, speaking for myself here in Montana, I’ve been shoveling snow every day for the past week.  Doing this helps me to do things, such as pull my vehicle out of the driveway, different structures on my property to not collapse or be buried…little things such as that.  Some days it has been dumping almost a foot of snow on me, and most I see about 4 to 6 inches.  What a pain!  But it’s not all complaints in this department, as it serves a purpose that perhaps you, too, can “latch” onto to make your own.

I’m referring to your daily activities for use as exercise.  When I shovel (I don’t like snow-blowers, and prefer the shovel…grid down, I still can remove snow), that counts as a workout.  Especially if it’s between 1-2 hours per day.  That’s just simple maintenance; however, I take it as a workout.  You can too!  This is not to say that I don’t lift weights on these days, but as a workout, my “yard work” supplements (or complements) the lifting.

Shoveling snow works the shoulder muscles (the deltoids), and the neck muscles (the trapezius), as well as the biceps and triceps in the arms.  It also works your legs: your quadriceps for when you squat and drive your shovel into the snow.  Your lumbar and lower back gets quite a workout for when you turn and throw the snow.  Oh yes, when you’re running “full tilt,” you work up quite a sweat. [Remember to stay hydrated!]

Before I shovel, I tend to stretch out for about 5 minutes with some deep knee bends (squat thrusts) and arm circles, as well as stretching out my chest, arms, and shoulders.  The snow-shoveling forces you to use your hip flexor muscles, as well as accessory muscles of breathing, such as interior and external obliques and transverse abdominus muscles, all located on and near the stomach.  In the gym, it would be hard to duplicate some of the motions you pursue in the mechanics of the shoveling.

I estimate with a damp, “wet” snow, each shovel I fill up weighs about 15 lbs. or so.  After you have done that several thousand times, you can see the point.  You also work on regulating your breathing.  I have a pattern of filling up and moving ten shovelfuls, and then taking a breath for a few seconds…assessing my work remaining.  It is good for the cardiovascular, as well.

To digress, the same runs for cutting and chopping wood.  Splitting wood is good for your arms, shoulders, and back.  You also practice some hand-eye coordination, and I’m here to tell you…you split a quarter or a half a cord with an axe?  You’ll get a good workout, believe me.

You should log all activities in your workout book.  I’m a believer in workout notes, because you can see what gains you make, what problems you face, and you can perfect your activities and training program, changing it to suit your needs.  With your woodcutting and snow-shoveling, note down the time you worked and the amount you moved (an estimate: it doesn’t have to be down to the pound).  It is also important to factor in a recovery, and here’s a rule that doesn’t require supplements.

You should consume some protein and carbohydrates within ½ hour of finishing strenuous activity.

The reason for this is twofold.  After a workout, your body breaks down tissues that will immediately scream for protein to repair them.  In addition, you need to infuse some carbohydrates into your system, because if your body doesn’t have the energy to begin the conduct of repairs, it will break down muscle tissue in order to secure that energy supply.  This article is not for the purpose of covering anabolism and catabolism or the glycogen cycle; however, you need to follow that guideline after your workout is complete.

And what if you don’t live in the Rocky Mountains?  And what of it?  You can still figure out what you do during the course of a day that is a “natural” form of exercise.  Are you a waitress or a health care professional?  Secure a pedometer and use it to figure out how many miles a day you walk.  Tie this in with your functions.  Many professions require a person to sit behind a desk all day.  Do you live within walking distance?  Well, this needs to be factored in, and you can figure out whether or not it gives you some of the exercise that you need.

Bicycling to and from work may be another method, if you live too far to walk and have a profession that requires more cerebral than physical activity.  Those in lines of work that require a lot of physical activity tend not to regulate them (in thought); nevertheless, they reap the benefits of consistent physical activity, such as construction men and bricklayers, as well as steelworkers or dockworkers.  Look at how those guys (and gals) are built, and tell me they’re not benefiting from the physical labor.

When you’re home and have yard work of any kind, incorporate the task and turn it into physical training for yourself.  In a SHTF scenario, you will probably not be able to visit HappyFitness Gym, but you still have a need to exercise.  It lowers the triglyceride levels of the bloodstream and builds up the muscles and stamina.  Exercise is a life-long function that needs to be pursued.  Consult your doctor on all routines you’re considering.  So, Happy New Year, and I hope this year brings you success in your physical training programs…one that you can potentially fill with your everyday work.  In the meantime, I have about three inches of snow to shovel, now, so I’ll catch you later!  JJ out!

Here are some other at-home workouts you could pursue:

4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit

The Wild Woodsman Workout

See How You Stack Up Against The WW2 Fitness Test

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Teaching Kids The Prepper Mindset

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Teaching Kids The Prepper Mindset Teaching your kids to be able to take care of themselves using the resources around them is invaluable. A prepper mindset is something that has to be learned. While most of the modern world considers this to be getting a job and paying bills, preppers and homesteaders tend to look …

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What You Need to Know About Nuclear Attacks

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nuclearReadyNutrition Readers, as you have exciting fun during this holiday season – meals, Christmas presents, family dinners, and such – let’s not lose focus on the volatility of the world situation.  Just because Donald Trump won does not mean that the battle to restore the United States to a constitutional republic is over.  There are still enemies outside of the country and enemies within; do not lose sight of these facts.

The Nonsense Begins Around This Time

Usually, this time of the year is “great” timing for either an attack or some kind of military action.  Operation Just Cause in Panama (1989) was kicked off right around Christmastime.  Same for both Desert Shield and Desert Storm (’90 and ’91).  The nonsense always starts around this time of the year.  There are reasons for it.  The harvests are in, and there’s not a lot a civilian population can do during the winter to counter an invasion without great cost or discomfort.

Complacency is also a big reason.  While the U.S. invaded Panama in 1989, most people were out doing their shopping, eating in different restaurants in between shopping, and settling down in the house to watch football, eat, and relax.  While we in the U.S. (and most of Europe) are relaxing, the Chinese and North Koreans are not.  The Russians (while celebrating the season) do not relax.  I repeat my caveat from articles past:

The next world war will be initiated by an EMP device/weapon detonated over the continental U.S., followed by a limited nuclear exchange and war with conventional forces.

I stand by it because it is better to be either “wrong” or “late” in a prognostication 1,000 times than to be right (and unprepared) just 1 time.

In this regard, here are the basics for preppers and survivors out there who understand that vigilance is not paranoia.  Here are the basics concerning a nuclear attack.

The Three Effects of a Nuclear Bomb

  1. Heat (Thermal Effects) – The severity of the thermal effects will depend on your location. If you are at ground zero of the blast or within a mile of it?  It was nice knowing you.  2-5 miles of it, and you’ll probably be subjected to an intense fire wave and not survive it.  5-10 miles out, a lot of buildings and trees will be on fire, and you can receive burns on exposed skin, as well as retinal damage from the initial explosion’s excessive flash (flash burns can be either temporary or permanent).
  2. The Blast – Once again, proximity will be the factor that determines whether you survive. The blast has two parts:
  3. Overpressure – a large increase in air pressure far above what is considered normal.
  4. Dynamic pressure – akin to an extremely powerful blast of wind, outward from the center of the explosion

Within six to seven miles of the explosion, the “wind” speed can be between 90 to 120 miles per hour when the dynamic pressure component of the blast wave hits.  It would not be good to be out in the open, and you would also be exposed to things picked up by this wind and hurled at you.  Light damage would be sustained by buildings and structures about 15 to 20 miles from the blast.

5. Radiation – all the radiation is produced within the first minute of the explosion. An unprotected person within a couple of miles would be exposed to radiation in amounts that he or she could not live for long if initially surviving the heat and blast effects.  Then it takes about 24 hours for the remaining fallout to come back down to the earth.  Fallout is particulate matter (such as dust and dirt particles) sucked up into the fireball that “fall” back down to earth.  This applies in a ground-burst weapon, as airburst explosions detonate above a city and are the most “efficient” method to take it out, leaving a minimal amount of fallout.  With radiation, other factors such as weather and wind patterns must be taken into account to find the pattern of drift.  Usually, 3 weeks to a month in a shelter will enable the majority of the particles to deteriorate to livable levels.

Radiation comes in several different types.  Alpha particles are larger and attach themselves to debris.  They can be shielded against by clothing and brushed off, posing a danger only if they are inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin such as in a cut or a burn.  Beta particles are also able to be kept off with thick clothing.  If Beta particles touch the skin, they will burn you, and can penetrate the skin.  Beta particles also can pose a problem if inhaled, ingested, or with entry through a wound or burn.  Gamma rays are very dangerous.  They go right through you and into you without protection from shielding.

Signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning are as follows: nausea and vomiting, malaise (overall weakness and sickness), blisters/ulcers of the skin, excessive visual disturbances, dizziness and vertigo, and excessive bleeding from minor and major wounds.  Also, keep in mind that radiation received is cumulative: a fatal dosage usually runs about 300 rads/roentgens or higher, but if you receive 200 at one exposure, you’re not safe with another exposure of 200, as it adds up to 400.  You need a survey meter (Geiger Counter) and a dosimeter to keep track of such exposures and the radiation received with them.

There are numerous sites and resources available to you on the Internet that will provide tables of thicknesses and degrees of protection for the various components of your shelter, whether field-expedient or planned.  The general rule is that the denser the material (such as steel and concrete, as opposed to soil, or wood) the better a protective factor it will render.  Mass and density are the two factors that will help to shield you from radiation.  The third is time, as radiation does decay rapidly with the exception of isotopes such as Strontium-90 or Uranium-238.

Your best protection is (of course) distance from the bomb…as much as possible, as well as shielding in a shelter with supplies and necessities gathered within that shelter beforehand.  To cover all the information you will need is beyond the scope of this article, the intent of which is to give you “food for thought” if you haven’t already taken such a thing into consideration.

To summarize, a nuclear attack can ruin your day if you haven’t prepared for it in advance.  When you look outside your living room window and find that the snowman has melted, the wicker furniture on the porch is on fire, and the chestnuts on the tree are roasted, along with the tree itself…that is a little too late.  As with any disaster natural or man-made, the time to prepare is before it happens and keeping in mind that complacency can kill you.  The disasters strike just when you think they will not, or at a time when everyone is at the dinner table having a grand time.  Be prepared with your supplies and in your mind and heart.  Keep fighting that good fight, and take care of one another.  JJ out!

 

More Reading:

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

How to Survive When a Nuke is Dropped

The One Nuclear Threat That Most People Aren’t Aware Of

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Drinking More Water During Winter Is Crucial to Your Survival

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winter-water
“Water, water, everywhere,” wrote Coleridge, in application to the ancient mariner of his prose.  The big difference, though, is his water was not potable, as it was the ocean.  The water I’m referring to in this piece is the water that is all around you in the winter, and the importance of consuming the proper amount of water to prevent dehydration.  Be advised: your needs for water do not decrease; rather, they increase due to stressors that are different on the human body.

The tendency is to not drink as much when the weather is cold.  This is a natural thing, as people usually (even when thirsty during the winter) do not wish to drink cold beverages.  Conversely, they prefer warm beverages that are (usually) caffeinated, such as coffee or tea.  As a die-hard coffee drinker, I know from experience that you must offset the caffeine consumption (to a degree) with an increased intake of water.  At the end of this article, I’ll mention more on this.

How the Body Loses Water During Winter Months

With increased activity, there are many ways that a person loses water.  Diaphoresis (sweating/perspiration) is one way, and insensible water loss is also increased, examples being water lost from the eyeballs and from respiration.  People breathe out 1-2 glasses of water per day.  Urination is another way that water is lost, the composition of urine being about 95% water and 5% miscellaneous solids.  The needs (on average) of water consumption in humans is about a gallon per day, with kids needing a little less except when they’re extremely active.

Water is Fuel

During the winter, you’ll need about a quarter to a half extra water than your body normally requires, and this increases further if you are working hard physically or exerting yourself.  Remember what is happening in the cold weather.  Your body is burning up calories and extra sugar and carbohydrates to heat your muscle tissue.  This requires a tremendous amount of metabolic energy, down to the cellular level.  Water is fuel: never forget that.  With the increased cold temperatures, your metabolism works harder to stay warm.  Food intake is critical, and so is water.

As mentioned earlier, you may (due to the cold and a desire to not drink that accompanies it) take in more food than water.  This, too, is not good for you.  I don’t want to get into proponents of eating your food and drinking sparingly to allow hydrochloric acid in your stomach to digest more efficiently.  That may be, but more importantly, you need liquid to consume your food.  Remember, if you do not drink, your body will rob what water is in and between the cells (that is, inter, and intracellular fluid, respectively) to digest the food.  We learned it thoroughly in SERE school: Thou shalt not eat until thou canst drink.  You must be able to drink in for your body not to take from itself to digest the food.  If you do not drink, then you’re dehydrating yourself when you eat.

The appearance of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration.  Dark yellow urine means you need water.  Your body excretes the waste it must excrete on a regular basis; nevertheless, the body will reabsorb as much water as possible to conserve it.  The urine will be thicker with more solutes (dissolved substances, such as sodium) in it.  This brings us to the secondary problem: your body needs to excrete wastes but you’ll be losing electrolytes.  Your food replaces the electrolytes, but if you have no food readily available, you want to supplement and not just drink excessive quantities of water.  Too much water can flush out your electrolytes.

Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.  In a survival situation, do not eat snow.  The eating of snow robs your body of calories (as explained earlier) to enable itself to melt the snow into water, and in addition, lowers your body temperature.  You can melt it over a fire, in which case it is worth it.  I highly recommend a small folding stove with hexamine tablets.  Each tablet burns for about 9 minutes…plenty of time to melt some snow, ice, or icicles for your water.  As mentioned in times past, the U.S. Army issue canteen cup is a great thing to have, made of steel.  It can take a beating and be set on a campfire or on a little portable stove with good results.

It is very difficult to keep water on hand when you’re dealing with subzero temperatures.  Most urban and suburban residents are always able to duck into a store and purchase whatever they want…for now.  People in more remote or less dense areas may have a bit of a problem.  Living where I do, I have a real problem. What I do is pack two thermoses (Aladdin’s) with hot water, and then wrap the outside with towels to further insulate them.  This ensures that I have a supply of drinkable water when I leave the house for up to 24 hours without freezing.

I also tote electrolyte packets and bouillon cubes with me, as well as my ever-present jar of instant coffee.  Returning to my earlier note, whatever you drink as far as coffee and tea are concerned?  Don’t deviate from that, and your body will compensate for the caffeine consumption so that it will not affect you in the same manner as if you were drinking that amount for the first time.  I usually have five cups a day, and my coffee is very strong.  Most people would shake akin to a leaf and be hitting the restroom all day long.

But perhaps you get the gist of the article: you need to maintain your consumption of water, even during the wintertime.  You should also have access to fire-starting materials and things such as hand warmers/chemical heat producers.  You don’t know when the need will arise for you to melt some water.  If you can keep a Camelback handy and keep the water pouch near your body heat to keep it from freezing, all the better.  Just have a source of water, and a means to replenish that source when it runs out.  During the winter, you don’t want to be dehydrated.  And if the SHTF, or if there’s a winter emergency?  These measures can mean the difference between life and death.  Stay hydrated, stay safe, and bundle up…the winter’s just starting!  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Beginners Guide to Hunting

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this is kind of a sensitive subject: hunting for food.  The article is designed to help those who either actively hunt and/or for those who would hunt if it was necessary to survive.  Part of pioneer spirit and resourcefulness is to consider all avenues to a thing to succeed, and our forefathers certainly hunted for their food.  Even though many of the colonists were farmers and ranchers, game was hunted to provide for their tables.

I do want to give you my own personal viewpoints on hunting, as simple as they are:

  1. I do not “trophy” hunt: it’s only for meat, and only when my freezer is about emptied.
  2. I use the whole animal: as much of it as I can, without wasting any of it…I don’t feel I have the right to waste any of it.
  3. I hunt for food and do not derive any pleasure or satisfaction whatsoever in killing the animal I’ve hunted.
  4. I am 100% responsible for the safety of those around me when I hunt: those who I see and those who I do not see…who may be within the range of my firearm?
  5. Every bullet that leaves the muzzle is placed exactly where I want it, and it must be that way – no exceptions. Read more about the 10 commandments of handling firearms.

Setting Hunting Objectives and Standards

These things being mentioned, it is important to define for yourself objectives and goals, as well as standards prior to your hunting excursions.  What game are you hunting?  Ground-dwelling animals, or birds, and if the latter, are they waterfowl?  These considerations are important for your selection of a firearm, as well as the technique you will employ when using it.  If you haven’t hunted before, you’ll find there’s a lot more to it than you imagined.  Hunting is not a “singular” skill but blends many different skills in the pursuit of an objective.

You must learn to identify tracks and how to track (there’s a difference).  You must learn how to forecast weather and how to hunt with in it.  You need some basics on ballistics and firearms, and when you finally arrive on a selection of your firearm?  You must know it akin to the back of your hand: everything about that rifle relevant to function, cleaning, and positive/negative factors needs to be known by you.

You must learn first aid: for yourself and others.  Remember: it is not just a matter of you shooting someone by mistake, may God forbid it.  You may be stalking a deer in the brush and slip on rocks, hurting yourself badly.  Then it morphs from a simple hunting excursion into a grim battle for survival.  You must know how to dress out, cure, skin, and butcher the game that you shoot.

Two guys who had never hunted went out and bagged a deer.  They dragged the deer by the hind legs, and the antlers were getting caught in the underbrush.  After about a half a mile of this, one said, “Hey, why don’t we pull him from the other side?”  The two men nodded at one another and commenced to drag the deer by the antlers.  The second man said, “Yeah, good idea.  Dragging him this way is a lot easier.”  The first man said, “Yeah, it is, but…we’re getting further and further away from the car!”

This is homesteading.  This is survival.

You must know the habits and ways of the animals or birds you’re hunting.  There are a lot of big advantages to hunting that are mutually beneficial to the hunter and the environment.  During the wintertime, many deer (especially here in Montana) have a terrible time with browsing and foraging for food, and many do indeed starve to death.  The population of deer is not in a decline.  Hunting does “thin out” the herds and enable the animals to have more resources than if the herds were to be left unchecked.

The forestry service does (at least here in Montana) a tremendous amount in terms of conservation.  The whole thing is more than just “hunter and hunted,” but is an actual symbiosis where (with the proper checks and balances) humans can secure more than enough meat to eat, at the same time keeping the herds from growing unmanaged.  If you know anything about deer, you know that in the spring when you’ve planted your garden that they will eat it all up as soon as the shoots poke out of the ground.

When you hunt, you can secure a large quantity of meat to throw some in the freezer, to smoke some of it, and to home-can the rest.  This is prepping.  This is homesteading.  This is survival.  There is a way to maintain a balance with nature: the respect for the animal and the utilization of all that he has, for the purpose of eliminating/reducing any waste.  This is conservation, because you and your family have the right to provide for yourselves, as well.  Read Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nationto remove any obstacles of thought that may allow a person to feel “cleaner” or “better” when they’re munching on that Double Quarter Pounder with extra cheese, extra onion.  The book, not the movie; the movie was nothing compared to the book.

Hunting is not a step backward: it is a big step back toward reclaiming the heritage that is ours – yours and mine – of when Americans were not only socially conscious but self-sufficient.  Soon we will cover some different types of firearms and recommend certain calibers and models for different types of game.  Until then, do some research and homework on what types of game you have in your area, and how you would plan on hunting it for your table and your supplies.  Be safe, take care of one another, and keep up the good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

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prepper-stocking-stuffersSometimes the best gifts are the ones hanging in the stocking on Christmas morning. Adding a few stocking stuffers that are preparedness centered is a great way to help the family get more prepared.

While there are a lot of prepper-inspired products out there, this modest list of prepper-inspired products are the ones that really caught my eye. These tiny treasures have the gift of practicality and deserve a place on your preparedness shelves.

50 Awesome Stocking Stuffers Every Prepper Will Love

  1. Pocket Chainsaw
  2. River Knife Eat n’ Tool
  3. Tactical Holster Shirt
  4. Tea Variety Pack
  5. QuikClot
  6. Iosat Potassium Iodide Radiation Protection
  7. Paracord Survival Kit
  8. Tanto Knife with Fire Starter
  9. Inflatable Solar Lantern
  10. Outdoor Dry Sack
  11. Tactical Flashlight
  12. Encrypted Thumb Drive
  13. Platypus Platy Bottle
  14. Doom and Bloom SURVIVAL! Board Game
  15. RFID Blocking Wallet
  16. Human Energy Concealment Facemask
  17. Windowsill Herb Kit
  18. Portable Camping Chair
  19. Essential Oils
  20. Emergency Sleeping Bag
  21. Tactical Kuba Kickz
  22. Camping Hammock
  23. High-Intensity Glow Sticks
  24. Tactical War Hammer
  25. Keychain Carabiners 
  26. Gardening Tool Set
  27. Credit Card Survival Tool
  28. Sawyer Mini Filtration System
  29. SOG Entrenching Tool
  30. Kevlar Tactical Gloves
  31. Folding Key Knife
  32. The Prepper’s Cookbook
  33. SAM Splint Fold
  34. Green Coffee Beans
  35. Wound Seal Kit
  36. Conflicted Card Game
  37. RFID Blocking Faraday Cage
  38. 10 in 1 Wild Survival Kit Briefcase
  39. Bread Dough Hand Whisk
  40. ESEE Fixed Blade Survival Knife
  41. Wild Flower Seed Kit
  42. Maple Syrup Tree Tapping Kit
  43. LED Nightlight/Flashlight
  44. Waterproof Matches with Case
  45. Pocket Blanket
  46. Firearm Protective Eyewear
  47. SOG Snarl Fixed Blade
  48. Survival Grenade Keychain
  49. Whetstone Knife Sharpener
  50. Cell Phone/Credit Card Wallet with RFID Blocking

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness

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By Denis Korn                                                                                                    Franklin quote

This post – Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness – is one of the most important posts I have presented.  Current events and the uncertainty of the times requires appropriate preparation and answering the questions contained in this article.  It is a valuable companion to another important post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update

I feel it is very important to also include one of my Foundational Articles titled Is your entire family prepared for emergencies at all times?  It appears at the end of this post. 

You are highly encouraged to share this post and its vital information with family, friends, business associates, church and temple congregations and other members of any organizations to which you belong.  May this post help you in your serious preparedness planning.  Celebrate Peace of Mind!

Here are the crucial questions to answer when assembling your emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag – which is essential if you must leave your home or business quickly.

  • If an evacuation has been declared, a severe weather event is imminent or a significant disaster has occurred, how will I know?
  • If I have to evacuate, will I be in a cozy government evacuation center with food, water, blankets and a bed, or will I be on my own in the elements, a crude shelter or a friend’s/relatives house?
  • Am I clear on the circumstances and scenarios that may arise that will require me to evacuate versus the circumstances that would compel me to stay put and hunker down?
  • If specific government, church, community and friend’s sheltering options are not available, where do I go? How far? How do I get there?
  • What conditions can I expect to encounter – best scenario – worst scenario?
  • What are the weather conditions I am likely to encounter? What is the season?
  • Will I be alone, or are others depending on me? Family – children – elderly – pets?
  • Am I dependent on others? Who? Why? Do I expect the government to take care of me?
  • What kind of support is likely to be available?
  • How long should I prepare for?
  • What if there is nothing left when I return?
  • Are my essentials, heirlooms, personal treasures, irreplaceable photographs, documents and financial assets secure if I leave with only my grab-and-go bag?
  • Do I have a reliable communication plan to contact family, friends and business associates at a moment’s notice?
  • What is the potential severity of the emergency I might experience?
  • Will I have transportation, or will I be on foot?
  • Do I have enough money on hand to pay for possible shelter, food or supplies if I am suddenly evacuated and away from home or business?
  • Am I truly prepared for the unexpected, a procrastinator or am I in denial?

To have a truly adequate emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag the above questions must be answered. Your personal preparedness bag contents will vary depending on numerous factors such as time, number of persons, locations involved, mobility, support available, season, comfort level desired and the degree of peace of mind you want.

Here is a list of the basic essentials for every kit. Each category will have multiple options depending on how you answer the above crucial questions. Cheap, inadequate and poorly made provisions don’t belong in a quality kit. Prepare your kit as if you and your family’s life and comfort depended on it – because it does!

  1. Water – bottled/filters/purifiers/tablets/containers
  2. Food – ready-to-eat/bars/trail mix/freeze dried/shelf stable/food preparation equipment
  3. Medical – quality medical kit with instructions/prescriptions/glasses/essential medications/sunscreen/dental medic/foot care/safety pins/dust mask/gas mask
  4. Special Needs – food/medical/children/elderly/disabled/pets
  5. Tools – multi-tool/knife/wire/cable ties/duct tape/rope/paracord/gloves/small axe/repair tools/super glue/aluminum foil/ /manual can opener (often on multi-tool)/bungee cords/foldable or wire saw
  6. Communication – radio/hand crank – solar – battery/two-way radios/cell phone
  7. Fire – fire starter/lighter/matches/tinder/flint starter/magnifying glass
  8. Signaling & Orienting – whistle/signal mirror/compass/maps/GPS device
  9. Lighting – Hand crank – solar – battery/headlamp/flashlight/lantern/candles/lightsticks
  10. Power & Energy – batteries – regular and rechargeable/power-pack for batteries & cell phone recharged by solar and/or hand crank/solar and/or hand crank that charges devices directly
  11. Shelter – tarp/tent – tube or larger/plastic sheeting/insect protection
  12. Emergency Blankets/sleeping bags – emergency or larger or bivy sack
  13. Personal Hygiene/sanitary supplies/disinfectant
  14. Plastic Bags/ties
  15. Personal Security – weapon & ammo if appropriate/pepper spray/bear repellant/mace or other options
  16. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear – protection from the elements/apparel for warmth/heat packs – hand and body warmers
  17. Identification and Essential Documents – Bible/compact survival handbook/personal ID/insurance and other key documents/entertainment
  18. Spare Keys
  19. Phone Numbers and Addresses – friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
  20. Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
  21. Cash/credit cards
  22. Pen/markers/paper
  23. Configured Compact Emergency Kit with Essential Items
  24. Carrying Device – carry bag/backpack/suitcase/sturdy container/Food & Supply Brick™/duffel Bag (very durable and if you anticipate carrying your bag any distance shoulder straps should be available with your carry bag or duffel)

If time permits, take irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, heirloom jewelry, photographs, military/marriage/birth/deed records, computers, tablets, and personal contact information and documents not included in your grab-and-go device.

Water
An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don’t hold back preparing for this essential category.

Determine whether or not you want to purify water for viruses.  Not all water filters are designed for this purpose – look for water purifiers that specifically state that they will kill viruses.

Food
Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully and the quality and quantity of foods chosen should be appropriate to the anticipated length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur.  For shorter term scenarios foods in most situations should be nutritious and ready-to-eat; however you might want to consider some foods requiring only the addition of cold or hot water.  If you do need hot water you must plan for the appropriate means and equipment to heat your water.  Options listed have a longer shelf life and are suitably packaged for kits or backpacks.

Medical
When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don’t want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don’t forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions.  If your pre-assembled kit doesn’t include one, make sure you get a good book on medical emergencies.

Shelter/warmth
Protection from the elements and insects is essential, especially in a harsh climate.

Tools
Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.

Communication/Signaling
It is important to keep informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies.  If you get lost or are separated from your group signaling can be crucial.  Since electronic items are included in this category, you may want to consider a small solar power device.

Lighting
This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies occur in the dark.

Personal protection
For some this may not be an essential basic category.  Each individual must decide the extent to which they will or will not provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals.

This article provides a very basic list of suggested items we believe are essential for emergency preparedness and outdoor recreation; especially if space, weight, and mobility are important.  For an expanded list of suggestions read our article: Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness

Is your entire family prepared for emergencies at all times?

Recent events have brought us catastrophic circumstances that have had devastating and lasting effects on thousands of people around the world.  I pray that you take this advice seriously.   Recent conversations have also motivated me to consider this important article as a Foundational Article.

I am reminded of a presentation I made some years back to a large gathering of preparedness professionals.  This convention consisted of folks who came from all over the country and of course this meant that they would be gone from their families for a few days.  Bear in mind that at my presentation there were a couple hundred people whose responsibilities included preparedness planning and education for very large companies, organizations, and governmental agencies.

At the beginning of my talk I asked the group how many felt completely confident that in their absence their families were prepared to deal with unforeseen emergencies or disasters – especially significant ones.  Only a few raised their hands!  Since most of these participants were the head of their households, what does it tell you about fulfilling one’s responsibility to protect and keep the family secure in difficult times?

Fortunately over the years the professional emergency management community has become more dedicated to personally embodying what they are responsible for in government and business.  What about the average household?

It appears that most head of households have some notion that their presence is security enough for the family during an emergency.  This is a dangerous assumption.  The sensible attitude is to ensure that all family members – adults – the elderly – teenagers – and young children, know:

  • What to do
  • How to respond
  • Where to go – or not go
  • Who to contact
  • Where the information and supplies are located
  • How to use and operated essential equipment
  • How to access drinking water
  • How to prepare any food reserves
  • How to communicate with family and emergency personnel
  • How to keep warm in freezing conditions
  • How to have the proper attitude
  • How to pray

Instructions should be in writing and the entire family should participate in drills and practices.  Family members – immediate and extended – should know their part during an emergency under all scenarios and given any combination of family members physically present – or absent.

  • Do your children, spouse and other family members know what to do and how to act if a serious emergency occurs and they are not at home?
  • How will your communicate with them or those in their keeping?
  • What if they are at school – what plans does the school have to communicate with parents or guardians?
  • What will the school provide for students?
  • What if they are at work – what plans does the business or organization have to communicate with other family members?
  • What will the business provide for their employees?
  • Does the business or organization have their own contingency plans?
  • Do you have contingency plans for communication and provisioning for your spouse – adult children – younger children when they are away from home at camp, business trip, etc.?
  • What if an emergency occurs while a family member is in their vehicle and in transit?
  • Is your family secure, knowledgeable and responsible?

Between Learn To Prepare and numerous internet websites, there is an abundance of valuable information for the whole family.  Study this information as if your life and your families’ life depended on it – in a significant emergency it does!

 So I ask all of you reading this post:  In your absence is you family adequately educated and prepared to properly respond and survive during a serious emergency situation?  I encourage you to have all family members read the Foundational Articles on the right column of this blog.

dilbertDisasterPlan

 

The post Vital Emergency Kit Information & Family Preparedness appeared first on Learn To Prepare – Expert Emergency Preparedness Information.

5 Lifesaving Security Measures to Secure Your Home From Intruders

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home-securityMany believe burglaries are crimes that occur out of desperation, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, the motivation that drives many criminals is simply opportunity. Such is the case for why home break-ins occur around Christmas time while homeowners are away at work. All a criminal needs to do is make a quick entry, grab all the gifts perfectly surrounded by a Christmas tree and they are out the door faster than you can blink. Here are some facts to gain a better perspective on what you are facing:

  • According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every 15 seconds a home in America is burglarized and the homeowner typically suffers a loss of nearly $2,000 in stolen goods or property damage.
  • Most burglaries take place between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • The majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby.
  • Burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems.
  • Most criminals can burglarize a home in less than ten minutes.
  • Almost 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window.
  • An astonishing 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
  • Burglars usually go to the master bedroom first.
  • The average property dollar loss per burglary is a staggering $2,251.
  • Someone is home during nearly three out of every ten burglaries.
  • Only 13.6% of burglaries in 2014 resulted in arrests.

Given these startling statistics, break-ins can be avoided altogether by using common sense and mindfulness. Here are some simple security measures to take to ensure your home stays out of the watchful eye of an intruder.

1. Keep security layers in mind

Having security layers in place is the best possible preventative measures to deter possible criminals from marking your home as an easy target. These security layers will advertise to intruders that they should avoid your home altogether. Designing a home defense system that includes multiple security layers is a proactive way to protect your home, family, and belongings. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools at your disposal for keeping your property safe. Most of them cost significantly less than an alarm system, and all together can provide several layers of security to your home. Below are seven awesome tools for keeping your place safe during the holiday season. These affordable items are a great start to beefing up your home security.

  1. Door club
  2. Wireless LED spotlight
  3. Fake TV burglar deterrent
  4. Digital lamp timers
  5. Sentry security bolt safe
  6. Hidden safes
  7. Security system
  8. Curtains and/or blinds on windows
  9. Use a wooden dowel on sliding doors and windows

Read more about these

2. Keep security supplies near vulnerable areas

Those that are preparedness-minded are always vigilant about ensuring the safety of their family members. In that same vein, children should know the basics of the family emergency plan and safety rules like not opening the door to strangers.

As well, having some basic safety/security supplies near the most vulnerable areas of the home (key entry points, garages, etc.) would be advantageous if you find yourself face to face with someone attempting to break-in. For examples, near the entry points in my home, we have a decorative basket that blends into the decor but has items such as flashlights, an emergency whistle, multi-tools and/or a knife. As well, if you do not have children in the home, you can also strategically place a handgun, clips or a non-lethal weapon if you choose. You can strategically place these items near vulnerable spots of the home.

  • The front door
  • The backdoor
  • The bedroom
  • Living room

Another vulnerable part of the home is windows. Burglars love to “window shop”. If you keep your curtains or blinds open, this will give them an opportunity to take a peek into the home. Moreover, if you have picturesque bistro tables and chairs, they can easily be used against you. Criminals will throw them against windows for fast entry. Installing shatter-proof window film on windows will help prevent this.

While we love a beautifully landscaped yard with shrubs and bushes cut low, this can also make for easy entry into the home. You can add bushes and landscaping to help deter criminals from marking your home. Plants with thorns such as roses, bougainvillea or blackberry bushes are great choices for securing the outer perimeter of the home. At the very least, secure the windows from becoming entry points with window alarms to alert you or your neighbors to a break in.

Speaking of yard and landscaping, how many of you have a ladder that you forgot to bring in? Criminals will look around for tools they can use to gain entry. The second story of a home is typically more lax when it comes to security. If you are guilty of this one, lock up your ladder in your garage.

3. Focus on the entry points

The most common way for an intruder to get into your home is through the door. Make this your first priority in reinforcing your security. The best method is to install door frame and hinge reinforcements on the front and back doors. This security solution is made of galvanized steel and can prevent single entry door kick-ins and stop intruders before they are inside. Moreover, you might also want to consider installing a deadbolt. Even the strongest reinforced steel door can be neutralized by one swift kick if your lock does not extend deep enough into the door frame.

As well, gaining entry into a garage is another essential entry point to secure. It takes less than six seconds to break into a garage if the criminal knows how. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to prevent this.

3. Be aware and know thy neighbors

Having a pleasant relationship with neighbors who stay at home is a beneficial relationship to have. They can keep an eye on your home while you are at work and you can reciprocate in a way that helps them out. Knowing who your neighbors are, what type of cars they drive and usually the time they are home, creates a neighborhood that is actively practicing OPSEC and awareness.

4. Don’t draw unwelcome attention to your home

We typically assume those living around us are respectful of property, but this isn’t always the case. Those living in residential areas bring unwanted attention to themselves when they rid their home of the large boxes marked with brand names or pictures of products. This happens frequently during Christmastime. That new flatscreen television box or video game system packaging will scream, “Come steal me!” to criminals. Be mindful and load up boxes and drop them off at a recycling center. This will reduce the eyes on the prize. As well, boxes are one the easiest items to repurpose. On a personal note, I have broken down boxes and used them to create a lasagna-style garden. This cut down on my trash load and helped me create a more sustainable lifestyle.

5. Let there be light!

Illuminating the perimeter is single-handedly one of the easiest security measures to take. Simply put, dark or poorly lit areas make it easier for burglars to go unseen. Motion sensing security measures will quickly signal you to trouble if it’s out there. As well, indoor timers for lamps and indoor lighting can help to fool anyone creeping around where they shouldn’t be. Remember, the main goal of burglars is to get in and get out unseen. If they think someone is home, they will think twice before entering.

Everyone wants to believe that they are safe and sound when they latch the windows and lock the doors. With the increase in crime, jobless rates, and increased food prices, home break-ins are likely to be on the rise. Take some incentive to review your family preparedness plans and beef up your home security measures! The investment in your home security will pay off for years to come.

 

Additional Resources:

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Home Security: Securing the Doors

Home Security: Securing the Windows

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Electrical Generator

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I’m a pretty jaded type. I don’t often get excited, but I was all “a-tingle” when I got word of what was heading my way for review.  Most of my reviews are of small items, handheld radios, machetes, hand axes, not 200 lbs. of high-end, high power solar generator.

Needless to say, I was as giddy as a little school girl.

You see, any serious prepping plan needs a foundation based on sustainability. You need to work from a sustainable supply of anything to hold your own, whether it’s a supply of beans, bullets or banjo strings. This applies especially for electricity.
The ultimate goal is to live comfortably “off grid”.  Unless a life of a wilderness mountain man with flint & tinder is your bag, if you want electric lights, air conditioning & internet, you’ll need a powerful electrical generator.

The HomeGrid™ 5000HD Solar Powered Generator.

Just like it’s name, this solar-powered electrical generator is made to supply a entire household with clean, continuous electricity, for totally off-grid living.

Four heavy boxes arrived from Point Zero Energy by ground freight, with two large deep cycle 12V DC batteries, the inverter/generator unit, unit base, cart wheels & handle. Plus two pairs of solar panels, with two 100 watt panel built into sturdy frames with hinged supports & carry handles. Total capacity of the included solar panels came to 400 watts. Also included, was an assortment of parts including a heavy duty battery charge controller, three heavy-gauge jumper cables & connecting cables for the solar panels, along with an illustrated manual & instructional DVD.

Assembly was straight forward… the generator  bolts to the flat metal base with welded axle for the two wheels. At each side of the generator sits the two 12VDC batteries, on top of the generator a heavy duty handle is bolted on. Everything can be pushed around like a hand truck. The two batteries get wired in series to the generator to supply 24 Volts DC. On the front face of the Inverter/Generator are four 110VAC outlets, two USB outlets & One 220VAC outlet. There’s also a power & standby toggle switch and an LED Display that shows battery status & output voltage.

With the large capacity deep cycle dry cells & heavy duty inverter, the Homegrid™ 5000HD is capable of 5000 watts of continuous 110 & 220 AC Power, and a whopping 22,000 watts of peak surge power. Read that again…TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND WATTS Surge power.  Meaning the generator can easily power multiple home appliances simultaneously including refrigerators, freezers, microwave ovens, and cooking appliances. It’s pure sine wave power output will safely run power tools, electronics, and medical equipment.

A “Mac-Daddy Cadillac” Solar Generator, perfect for off-grid living. Two things make it deliver… Massive Dry Cell Batteries with tremendous capacity & a robust DC/AC inverter, built to take tremendous demand. The 220 Volt output, wired to a household circuit breaker system can give household appliances clean dependable electrical power day & night.

For my test, I plugged into my house transfer switch circuit, specifically to isolate my home off the Utility Company power meter, (and avoiding back feeding). There was no noticeable difference to the house load. The TV worked fine, my computers booted up, lights came on through the house, the refrigerator & microwave ran without a hiccup. Even my water well, with it’s 220V AC motor did it’s job. Then I ran some power tools… my chop saw & band saw in the shop, they all cut wood with no telltale difference in performance.
Overall, the power draw on the generator was usually less than 2500 watts, most often less than a thousand watts. It was when the refrigerator compressor came on, or when the well pump kicked on that power surged. Throughout my test, the generator was loafing along, operating well under capacity all day & even all night. One exception though, my house AC unit wasn’t in the transfer circuit. When I wired up my transfer switch, I didn’t include it in the circuit so I couldn’t put it to test. Still, the AC is rated to draw 1500 to 3000 watts when operating, the HomeGrid™ 5000HD has the capacity to handle the load.  Through the night there wasn’t much demand, just the few lights I had on, my computer & TV, and the refrigerator… altogether, no more than 1000 watts. By next morning, the battery status indictor showed less than one quarter depletion, and within the first hours of daylight, the system had regained a full charge by the solar panels.

Using the 400 watt solar panel array, the generator’s batteries can easily be topped off throughout the day letting the system handle the heavy lifting alone only during the night. The generator can also accommodate a second 400 watt array as well.  Typically the deep cycle battery service life offers 7 to 8 years of reliable service.

Granted, my review was a weekend of use test, and in the long term, my energy demands would widely vary from day to day & seasonally. However, with some reasonable budgeting on the amount of power use, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD could give me a totally off grid existence right out of the box. Just by adding additional batteries & solar cells, the well of electrical power I’d have on tap would be far more than my modest needs. The great news is the HomeGrid™ 5000HD is easily expandable & PORTABLE.

My only gripe isn’t really a gripe at all.
I was staggered by the weight the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™5000HD.  Although designed & built to be portable, you’d be smart to have a couple of stout helpers to pitch in moving the generator & battery unit. By myself, it was a task. The solar panels are not a problem, but you certainly work up a sweat horsing the generator unit & batteries around. Imagine taking a hand truck and deadlifting a small refrigerator up some stairs.  Again, this isn’t really a gripe against the gear, more it’s against my own lack of strength. The weight is actually a good testament of the sheer ruggedness built into the unit. Point Zero Energy isn’t building wimpy gear here, it’s high quality, high capacity & highly reliable power generation equipment. It’s well worth the sizable investment to insure safe, reliable, & dependable electrical energy to live totally off-grid, yet still enjoy modern electrical appliances in your household.  Until Doc Brown & Marty McFly shows up with a Mr. Fusion home reactor, the Point Zero Energy HomeGrid™ 5000HD is anyone’s ticket to an off-grid lifestyle. Now that I’ve experienced life off-grid, I’m striving for more.
Pay a visit to Point Zero Energy’s website to learn more about the complete line of HomeGrid™ Solar Powered Electrical Generators.

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Three Basic Exercises To Help You Increase Strength and Mobility

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 Within the preparedness community, there is a tendency for individuals to place an almost exclusive focus on acquiring the right supplies and tools for survival, and for good reason, but what is too often brushed aside in this pursuit are the tools that every person carries within his or her body, namely the muscular system. Whether due to personal neglect, lifestyle barriers or just plain lacking motivation, there is a tendency to put off strength and endurance training. Being physically fit is equally as important as having the proper resources when disaster strikes. Making sure that we are doing what we can to have able bodies with which to face and survive a major disaster should be a top priority, and this means starting today, doing basic strength training exercises to improve your overall health and mobility. Maybe you don’t consider yourself athletic, and maybe you haven’t worked out in years, but there is no good reason to let that hold you back from doing daily exercises now so that you can help yourself and your family when it counts. Here are three basic exercises that you can implement into your daily routine today (none of which require the use of weights):

Push-ups

pushupsPush-ups seem fairly straightforward, but many people have been taught an incorrect way to do push-ups that can cause irreversible damage. Wide-arm push-ups, in which your hands are extended outside of shoulder-width, cause a bone in your shoulder called the acromion to rub against the supraspinatus tendon just beneath it, which can cause permanent damage. Avoid damaging your shoulder by placing your hands at or within the width of your shoulder. If it’s been awhile since you’ve done push-ups and you are finding it difficult to push your full body weight, then you can focus on pushing only your upper body weight by placing a pad under your knees and doing push-ups with only your knees on the ground instead of your feet. For someone who is just starting, you can do just 10 push-ups a day and gradually increase that number as you build endurance with this exercise. Push-ups are great for building strength in your chest, core and back.

Body Squats

body-squat

Arguably one of the most important exercises you can do for overall leg strength, body weight squats are a great exercise that requires no weights. It’s important to maintain a straight posture as you squat down, and this will require that you shift your waist backward considerably as your waistline reaches your knees. Make sure that your knees do not bend over the tip of your toes to avoid injury.

A person’s ability to do a squat can be affected by a number of factors, from overall leg strength to ankle-, knee- and hip-related stress. Those who have not squatted much in their life tend to have a shortened Achilles tendon which impedes full range of motion and only allows these particular individuals to do a partial squat. By doing consistent partial squats, they can eventually form an elongated Achilles tendon and do full squats. As you grow in strength and body weight squats become easier, you can begin to add weight to the exercise by holding a weight in the center of your chest and increasing that weight as you increase in strength and endurance.

Reverse Plank Bridge

plank-bridge

The reverse plank bridge is basically the opposite of a push-up; you hold yourself up by placing your hands directly beneath your shoulders in a sitting position and push yourself upward; either extend your legs and keep them straight, balancing on your heels, or bend them and keep your feet flat. Just by holding this position you are working a number of muscles. This exercise is exceptional for building your core, lower back, and arms.

By adding these three simple exercises to your daily routine, you can dramatically increase your full spectrum strength and mobility.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Save the Conversation at Your Post-Election Thanksgiving Dinner

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dysfunctional holidaysSometimes going home for the holidays is hard (there’s a reason liquor sales swell during these occasions!). Often, Thanksgiving dinners bring far-flung family members together at a single table under one roof, and that, even in the best of circumstances, can lead to stress and awkward conversations. Add in the fact that this is an election year and you’re bound to encounter some strain while you pass those mashed potatoes across vastly different ideologies. I’ve heard from more than one friend or family member that they won’t be attending holiday dinners this year, and I think that’s really a shame.

I’d encourage anyone thinking about going that route to reconsider; the following tips can help to make your Thanksgiving dinner manageable and enjoyable and can help you focus on your families’ similarities, rather than differences.

Remember the Golden Rule of Polite Conversation

If you’re an activist of any sort this may be difficult to adhere to, but the two topics that are best to leave on the coat hook are your religious and political views. Remember last year when Uncle Joe successfully convinced everyone at the table to convert to his exact religious and political beliefs? Yeah, that didn’t happen. No matter how zealous your convictions, if you truly want to make the two hours of Thanksgiving dinner comfortable, you need to skip that kind of talk. Now is no time to be passive-aggressive either: leave the political-themed hats and t-shirts at home. Focus instead on the personal: how people are doing in their jobs, what hobbies they are participating in, how their kids are doing.

If someone tries to bait or lead you into a conversation that approaches one of the two danger zones, be nice but don’t engage. I once escaped a horrible conversation with a distant cousin by complimenting her earrings.  Really, this is no different than abstaining from talk about your digestive issues or the road kill you saw on the drive over—it’s just plain rude to go there. And if your family happens to all hold the exact same beliefs and convictions, well, how nice for you! (Though you should know that for years my family assumed I shared their same political opinions when I absolutely did not—consider this might be the case for the person next to you at the table.)

Thankful for Place Settings

 When I host Thanksgiving dinner at my house, each place setting has a little piece of paper with the subject heading “I am thankful for:” and 5 blank lines. I also give out fountain pens like these as a little gift to my guests. As everyone is seated, they fill out their lists. We take turns over the course of the dinner reading our lists. This is a great way to focus on what really matters to us and to help us share in our gratitude.

Do Your Part

Preparation is key in all situations, so having a couple of talking points in your conversation arsenal is smart. Avoid lulls in conversation by contributing. Think about something positive or meaningful that happened to you recently—a beautiful place that you visited or a great (non-political!) book or movie that you saw—and have an anecdote ready.

When all else fails, you can always talk about the food:  what your favorite part of the meal is, how certain dishes were prepared, and how good the wine is (but go easy on the wine!).

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepping on a Budget: 4 Food Dehydrators under $75

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 Many believe dehydrating food is the safest, most affordable and best way to preserve flavors of foods. Having a dehydrator available allows you to make fruit leathers, dried fruits, beef jerky, nuts, seeds, and even meals. They cut down on wasted food, save money on pre-packaged snacks, and allow your family to eat healthily on the go. Dried foods are a life-saving staple and one of the most affordable ways to create an emergency food supply or preserve food that would otherwise go to waste. The Prepper’s Cookbook hails this culinary tool as a must-have for creating a stocked pantry.

If you have thought about buying a dehydrator, chances are you’ve heard of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator. It is the gold standard in food dehydration: it is reviewed highly by users, performs well and has a great guarantee package, and the customer service team has a great reputation. Many feel it is worth the upfront investment, especially if you plan on using your dehydrator often, but for some people, the $250 price tag is too much to bear.

That said, you have options! Below are some alternatives to the upper-end models and come highly recommended.

Four budget-friendly food dehydrators that get the job done!

1) Presto 06300

This no-frills dehydrator is as affordable as you can get. Selling for under $40, this four-tray system is compact and still powerful enough to dehydrate a good amount of fruits, veggies, jerky, and leathers. The clear cover allows you to keep watch over your snacks and the trays and cover are all dishwasher safe. It is quiet and lightweight, therefore easy to carry into various rooms for different purposes (such as making potpourri or drying herbs from your garden). One drawback is a lack of temperature control, but satisfied users agree that the general setting is sufficient for most tasks. This would make a great purchase or gift for someone new to food dehydration.

2) Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro

At around $60, the Nesco Snackmaster Pro is one of the newest dehydrators in the Nesco product line. It has 700 watts of drying power and comes with 5 drying trays (up to 12 trays can be used in the unit but those additional trays need to be purchased separately). The adjustable thermostat ranges from 95-160 degrees. It is lightweight and compact and includes added goodies like 2 fruit roll up sheets, 3 packets of beef jerky spice, and a detailed recipe and instruction book. There isn’t a timer or an on/off switch on this unit, though users seem happy with the other features at this price point.

3) NutriChef Kitchen Electric Countertop Food Dehydrator

This dehydrator is around $50 and incredibly user-friendly. It comes with 5 trays, each of which has 6 stacking tabs that allow you to change the height between each tray so you can place thicker food on the tray and still get good results. There is space for up to 20 trays in this unit (additional trays sold separately). The trays are clear and dishwasher safe, though some users complain that the base of the unit can be difficult to clean. It is fairly quiet and has an on/off switch; it comes with a detailed user guide.

4) Cuisinart DHR-20 Food Dehydrator

The Cuisinart Food Dehydrator is the priciest in this list, though at $65 it still comes in at a much more affordable rate than the Excalibur. It has a 620-watt motorized fan with a top vent. It can hold 9 trays total and jerky lovers seem to love this dehydrator: it dehydrates up to 4 pounds of meat in 4-5 hours, depending on the cut. Replacement and additional trays are a bit pricey at around $14 a piece; otherwise, the reviews for this product are very satisfactory.

In planning for a long-term disaster, people are always trying to find foods they can look forward to that will give them optimum nutrition. These budget-friendly food dehydrators will help you do just that. Happy dehydrating!

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Cycling Helps Save the World (and Save Your A*@ when the SHTF)

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shtf bikeWe recently moved from NYC to Portland, Oregon, and I have to say the biggest change (besides all of the trees and so much more living space!) is the cycling culture. Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. There are bikes everywhere you look (I just bought this one and I love it). Not only are there safe bike lanes leading everywhere—including all the way to the airport—there’s also a bike shop on every corner and even a bike assembly area within the airport terminal itself. The bike culture also flourishes in Portland because cyclists and drivers both follow the rules (and, let me tell you, that’s a HUGE change from NYC as well).

Cycling is great for your body and great for the environment. People who ride their bicycles regularly have better cardiovascular fitness, less body fat, increased energy, and they experience less depression. These are all ideal characteristics for being conditioned in a SHTF situation. Cycling to work instead of driving saves close to 10% of your household emissions and biking combats noise pollution, traffic, and uses far less rubber than what is needed for car tires. It makes sense that anyone who is interested in having a sustainable lifestyle would also be interested in traveling by bicycle as much as they can.

Why Cycling Matters in a SHTF Situation

In addition to health benefits, knowing how to cycle and having the necessary gear can come in handy in a dire SHTF situation. I recently read an article about how traveling by bike is your best bet for surviving the zombie apocalypse—the article was a bit of a joke, but it got me thinking seriously about bugging out and how to travel safely in a potentially dangerous situation.

Riding a Bicycle Lets You Avoid Traffic: First of all, anytime there is an emergency, from a severe weather event to a terrorist threat to a fire, traffic becomes an immense and literal roadblock. You won’t be limited to roads at all if you have a bicycle. Being able to take alternate routes means getting the heck out of Dodge faster—of course, you’ll have issues with covering long distances, but people stuck in hours of traffic will too.

Riding a Bicycle Does Not Require Fuel: There’s also the issue of getting gas and maintaining your energy source for your car. Sure, if you’re prepared, you’ll have a few extra tanks on hand, but what happens when that dries up? In a national or worldwide SHTF situation, gasoline will be among the first resources to go scarce. When the gas is gone, even if drivers are able to power through traffic and use their preps, it’s only a matter of time before they have to abandon their cars and continue their travels on foot.

Bikes are Easy to Repair: A bicycle is a straightforward machine that requires only a slight bit of research to repair. You don’t want to be worrying about your engine or oil changes when you’re on the run.

You Can Still Carry Cargo: If you’ve traveled to Indonesian countries you’ve seen how much gear (or how many people!) can be packed onto a single bicycle. Having a basket or rack is an easy and affordable way to make your bike more emergency friendly. Even just having a simple set up for your bug-out bag and some of your preps will make a huge difference.

You Can Accommodate Children on a Bicycle: If forced to abandon your car, having smaller children means that they slow you down, and if they aren’t willing to walk you will find yourself in a terrible situation indeed. Carriers or trailers like this one mean your child can be sleeping soundly while you travel.

Riding a Bike is Better for Your OPSEC Situation: Bicycles are stealth and silent when you are riding them and are reliable in an off-grid situation. They are small and easy to camouflage–they can even be pulled up into a tree or stashed behind some bushes at a moment’s notice.

At the very least, understand that you cannot rely on your vehicle in a true SHTF situation if you have to flee your home. Loading up your trunk with preps could potentially be a waste of time—instead, you might do well to learn how to ride a bike and be sure one is packed in that trunk of yours.

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Life-saving Emergency Procedures You Should Know from the Author of Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook

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  Today we are featuring a new book by Scott Finazzo, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals.  The book is designed to help you in an emergency when no doctor is available.  It covers various types of health emergencies and what you have to do to survive.  Each condition includes symptoms to help you identify what you are facing, prevention, as well as treatment. About the Author Scott Finazzo is an […]

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Prepping for a Full On Breakdown? Stockpile These Foods

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full-on-breakdownReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, as you know we’re down to the wire just before the U.S. presidential election: an election that will shape the face of the country for a long time.  But will we make it there?  And if so, will we make it through it, and the transition period?  With the contrived “Russian Cyber threat,” along with the very real threat of nuclear war, an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack, a true Cyberattack, an economic and societal collapse, or a grid down scenario, we have enough things to look out for.  When things of this nature make the mainstream news media, it may be time to start preparing if you have not done so.

It’s time to prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-selling preparedness manual

People are Planning for Unrest Following the Election

Emergency food sales and preparedness related supplies have soared due to the upcoming election. Here are excerpts from this article:

“What’s feeding this new urgency?  Survivalist consumers say they’re preparing for post-election unrest that could involve everything from massive riots, to power grid outages, to the total collapse of the financial system where a can of food becomes currency.

Nor is it limited to just rural areas.  Frederick Reddie, a 41-year-old ‘urban prepper’ from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is stocking upon staples like rice and peanut butter and working on expanding his 6-month supply of emergency food to two years.  He has to use a pseudonym to protect his supply from any future hungry neighbors, he told NBC News.”

Well, it seems as if “Freddie Reddie” may have read my article about neighbors and “The Shelter” episode of the Twilight Zone.  In any event, he has the right idea.  Certainly, if you can afford it and wish to invest, then by all means (and by your choice), indulge as best fits into your budget and storage plans.  The aforementioned article reported that several companies that sell freeze-dried and dehydrated foods in Mylar that are packed in buckets are being bought akin to a wildfire.  Telephone orders are through the roof, and the companies reported they have needed extra staff to take care of the purchases.

Why Canned Goods are a Good SHTF Investment

I personally like the canned goods.  They’re within my budget (no, JJ is not a millionaire or even close), and they are the basis for my logistical needs.  I don’t normally eat a lot of canned goods, and for a survival situation, I’m not overly concerned with the food being organic, or any “leaching” that may occur out of the can liners.  My focus is on complete nutrition: protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.  Canned foods have been time-tested with me: I have had cans of vegetables and meats that I had in New Orleans during Katrina that (after ten years) were still just fine when tested.

Indeed, they found canned meat from Arctic and Antarctic missions such as Scott’s and Amundsen’s that had been almost a hundred years old with the contents still edible.  Canned goods can take tremendous changes in temperature and still be perfectly edible.  Canned goods are also pretty affordable and can even be found at dollar stores.  Everyone has undoubtedly concentrated on the basics, as follows:

Soups, prepared dinners (pasta dishes, chili), stews, canned meat (chicken and fish), canned beans and vegetables.

Be Careful of Tricky Manufacturers

You have to watch out: they’re starting to shrink not only portion size but portion content.  I just picked up the last case of ready-made mini beef ravioli with meatballs.  My sneaky grocers kept the same label on the cans but removed the “with meatballs” from the label…and (as you may have guessed) the meatballs, as well.  The can with the meatballs has a protein content of 22 grams (g), or 11 g per serving.  The one without the meatballs only has 16 g per can (8 g per serving), and they “phased” out the ones with the meatballs, but left the same price…79 cents per can.

Doesn’t sound as if it’s much, but when you buy 20 cans, that’s 120 grams of protein less in the variety sans meatballs.  Same for peanut butter, where they conveniently shrank the portion size but kept the same sized jar.  In addition to the canned goods, you can still find some case lot sales on dry goods, such as pasta, rice, peanut butter, crackers, and so forth.  With canned goods, don’t write off canned mackerel or sardines from your preps.  They’re high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.

We’re getting close to “crunch time” with all of these things happening.  Now is the time for you to stretch your dollars and prepare according to the many tips and articles you’ve read and researched here on ReadyNutrition.  Use those Gatorade and 2-liter soda bottles to build up as much of a bottled water supply as you can.  For your canned goods, if you can put them in bins, all the better.  If not, try out some cardboard boxes, and be sure to label them or mark them on the outside with a magic marker for what the general contents are.

Staying Organized

Inventory sheets (as I’ve mentioned in articles past) go a long way in rotating your supplies and also for keeping track of their contents.  For canned vegetables, concentrate on the ones you can get the most for your money with.  Examples would be canned, whole potatoes, spinach, kale, beans (such as baked or black…not the green beans that are almost devoid of nutrition), sauerkraut (excellent vitamin C source), canned fruit high in vitamin C (grapefruit, mandarin oranges, etc.).  Other prepared foods in cans are macaroni and cheese that you can add meat to if you wish.

They last a long time, come precooked (therefore can be eaten right out of the can), and they can take a beating.  Let’s not also forget canned juices, such as fruit juices and vegetable juices (tomato, V-8, etc.)  Stick with the non-carbonated stuff, as it’s better for you and will be less prone to burst on a fall or impact. Here is a good list to follow.

In a nutshell, these canned goods and dry goods can help you boost up your supplies, or provide you with a base if you have not been preparing.  All of the advice in the world will not help you unless you put it to use with actions.  As things occur both in the U.S. and the world, now is the time to take advantage and do all that you can, and the canned goods can be found within your budget that fulfills your basic needs.  Keep in that good fight, and fight it all the way!  JJ out!

 

 

Related Material:

11 Emergency Foods That Last Forever

The Prepper’s Cookbook

How to Stock a Prepper’s Pantry

Five Family Friendly Food Pantry Organizing Tips Anyone Can Do

Prepping With Wheat Allergies

5 Ways to Stretch Your Meals SHTF Style

Food Pantry: Take Care of Your Basic Needs

72 Hours Without This Will Kill You: Survival Water Fundamentals

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Emergency Survival Food Sales Soar as We Get Closer to Election Day

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prepper-candidateSales of emergency survival food are increasing as we approach election day, and rightfully so. With Hillary Clinton and other democrats hellbent on resuscitating a non-existent Cold War and the violent riots we’ve seen by so-called protesters at Donald trump rallies, many preppers are seeing the signs and preparing for post-election unrest by storing large amounts of non-perishable food.

Although it is quite normal to see long-term storable foods rise in sales around election time, but survival food companies are seeing a particularly large spike in business this year as we approach election day.

“This is more intense than what we saw in 2012,” Keith Bansemer, marketing VP for My Patriot Supply, a survival food company, told NBC news. He says that last election season doubled their sales, and this time around they have seen their sales triple.

“We have everyone we can on the phones. We are overwhelmed,” said Bensemer.

Those who expect Trump to win fear a revolt from violent anti-Trump protesters, such as the riot seen in San Jose, California outside of a Trump rally. Others who expect Hillary Clinton’s coronation to the presidency are preparing for a possible World War 3 scenario, which may be a very well-founded concern considering Clinton’s war-driven rhetoric about Russia’s involvement in Syria and the establishment of no-fly zones in air space around Aleppo.

However, not everyone is preparing for war with another country. Many are preparing for government-related threats to their life and liberty. One of the major threats we face is the ever-increasing desire of politicians to take away our guns and the resulting chaos that would ensue. Hillary Clinton completely disregards the second amendment, and the possibility that she would enact gun confiscation across the country should not be discounted. This would mean a declaration of war on the people, or at least those who cherish freedom.

Bansemer does not think his customer base is fearing for any specific election outcome. He thinks that many just want to be prepared for whatever may come as a result of either of these candidates’ policies.

“You hear them saying, no matter who wins, I know I could take a positive step myself and secure what’s important,” he explained. “They’re securing their food supply.”

A number of other long-term food suppliers are seeing an increase as well.

Legacy Foods is predicting that sales will jump in the weeks following the election, said owner Phil Cox. Legacy sells a $2,000 package of a year’s worth of storable food, containing nearly 1,100 meals and sealed in military-grade Mylar packs.

Retailers are noticing the increase of sales of long-term food and they are serving the market. Costco is also getting into the emergency food market with a 390-serving bucket, or one month’s supply of food, for $115. Store owner Larry Friedman is unsure what to make of the increased presence of preppers at his military surplus supply store, M&G. “Some are regulars in here,” said Friedman. “They come in, seem perfectly normal, and then suddenly, they’re talking about the apocalypse. You do a double-take.”

Friedman recalled seeing an increase of sales like this nearly two decades ago, after the original invasion of Iraq:

“It really started in ’91 with Desert Storm. People were worried about Scud missiles and chemical weapons from Iraq. We had so many people waiting we almost couldn’t close the doors. We sold every gas mask we could get our hands on. That was off the hook.”

Whatever reason one may have for preparing, there is no question that if disaster strikes and food becomes scarce, food will become a primary currency, and storable food will become highly valuable. There’s no good reason to pass up the opportunity to prepare.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Build a Prepper’s Medical Emergency Kit on a Budget

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first-aid-dollar-photo-clubWhen disaster strikes, you want to know that you have done what you can to prepare for the worst. If an event such as a hurricane or nuclear disaster forces you and your family to leave your home without warning, you could easily find yourself in a serious situation where you will need first-aid medical attention. However, during natural or unnatural disasters, emergency medical attention might not be able to come to your location, so having the resources and knowledge to help yourself and your family members at a time like this can be the difference between life and death.

In the midst of a catastrophe, having a functional medical emergency kit is essential for survival, and sometimes you have to plan for it on a limited budget. In this case, the best approach is to build your own, while utilizing only the most critical items you need for your survival.

Prepare for any disaster step-by-step

Build Your Own: Four Essential Medical Categories to Concentrate On

The four general categories you will want to take into consideration for your medical kit preparations are: ointment, bandages, tools and medicine. Knowing the necessary components for each category will help you to form the most cost-effective kit.

Ointment

The first and most important in this category is antiseptic wipes, like iodine wipes or alcohol-based wipes. In addition to wipes, you may also want to include an antibacterial ointment, like bacitracin.  These are other ointments you may also find valuable:

  • Hand-sanitizing gel
  • Insect repellent
  • Insect sting relief treatment
  • Iodine liquid
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Collapsible water sink or basin
  • Water-treatment chemicals

Bandages

You want to have bandages that can address any possible injury that may arise. Keep in mind that a person can die after just 10-15 minutes if they are bleeding from a major artery; you will want to have sufficient bandages to stop blood flow and close the wound. Remember, the best thing you can do for an actively bleeding wound is to apply pressure until you are able to apply ointment or bandages. The Israeli Battle Bandage is a first-aid device commonly used for major wounds, and it’s only $9. You will also want to include the following bandages in your medical kit:

  • Blood-stopping (hemostatic) gauze
  • Triangular cravat bandages
  • SAM splint and finger splint
  • Stretch-to-form bandages
  • Liquid bandages
  • Medical adhesive tape
  • Band-aids (various sizes)

Tools

You are definitely going to want a suture kit as well as scissors and fine-point forceps to deal with critical injuries. You may want to consider buying paramedic shears in order to cut through clothing for injuries that require fast response time. Cotton-tipped swabs will be helpful for applying iodine liquid to wounds. In addition to these items, here are a few other tools that will likely be useful:

  • Multi-tool (or pocket knife)
  • CPR mask
  • Emergency heat-reflecting blanket
  • Headlamp (or flashlight) with extra batteries
  • Safety pins
  • Industrial gloves (preferably non-latex)
  • Needle-nose pliers

Medicine

There are a number of medications and treatments that you will want to consider packing in your medical emergency kit. Aloe Vera can be helpful as both as sun screen and a treatment for sunburns. You may also want injectable epinephrine, commonly known as an “Epipen” (only $7), to treat allergic reactions. Here are a number of other medications or treatments that one may require:

  • Antihistamines for allergic reactions
  • Prescription medications
  • Glucose to treat hypoglycemia
  • Eye drops
  • Aspirin
  • Iodine tablets for water purification
  • Multivitamins

Take into account the above mentioned items and each of the general categories as you compare prices on medical emergency kits that are prepackaged versus individual items. Many of the prepackaged kits have a great variation of items, but they may be lacking on some of the critical components previously mentioned, and this is why it often the most cost-effective strategy to build your own.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Could the Latest Solar Storm Warnings Bring an End to Civilization as We Know It?

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solar-stormDid you know that the White House is currently coordinating with Homeland Security to make preparations for a possible solar storm that could bring an end to civilization as we know it? An Executive Order published on October 13, by the Obama administration shows an increasing concern among White House officials about “solar flares, solar energetic particles and geomagnetic disturbances,” following a solar event which generated a Category G2 geomagnetic storm on October 8. This action could likely mean that we have an imminent solar threat in our near future. A solar discharge of great magnitude could mean entire countries could be without electricity, civil unrest and countless lives lost. If federal officials are preparing for this sort of disaster, we have enough reason to arm ourselves with the knowledge of what we might face.

Prepare for any disaster step-by-step

What are CMEs?

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are violent explosions of plasma originating from the Sun’s corona, out of  which energized particles and powerful magnetic domains emerge as fast as 3,000 kilometers per second. A CME has an associated shock wave and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that can travel toward the Earth and interrupt satellites and power grids around the planet. There are currently no public disclosures of CMEs being detected, but there is a significant geomagnetic storm event beginning, combined with the Executive Order previously mentioned, gives cause for concern about the possibility of a CME striking our planet in the near future.

A recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center predicts a Category G2 geomagnetic storm from October 24 – 26. An aurora borealis is projected to be seen in the skies above New York to Wisconsin to Washington state, and interruption to satellites and power lines are expected.

It is possible that this particular storm is not the result of a CME, but in order to be prepared, one must first know what disasters may lie ahead and plan accordingly.

Here are 5 catastrophic consequences of a major CME hitting the Earth and changing life as we know it:

Satellite Disruption

If there was a high-magnitude impact of solar energy and particles, we would see an immediate response on low-Earth orbiting weather, communications, and military satellites. Some satellites could be crippled for up to a decade. The first sign that a major CME is about to strike will be a loss of connection with or permanent failure of a portion of low-Earth orbiting satellites and their associated infrastructure. The shock wave, in combination with an EMP, would likely cause significant disruption of GPS signals, possibly creating long-term failures across the global navigation satellite system. This would have disastrous implications for commercial airplanes and ships, many of which rely on GPS guidance systems for landing and docking, and a failure of timing on either of these systems could put countless lives at risk. Seismic stations, computer network synchronization and many electric power grids across the world rely on GPS clocks. Geomagnetic disturbances associated with CMEs are known to disrupt GPS clocks through interference of high frequency radio signals in both air and ground transmission. Here is some more information on EMPs.

Power Grid Failure

A large-scale geomagnetic storm generated by interactions between Earth’s magnetic field and magnetic domains originating from the Sun could cause geomagnetically induced current (GIC), where transformers and power lines can experience a large flux in power from changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. The transformers and associated infrastructure may overheat and the power grid across more than half of the U.S. and many other industrialized countries could fail and cause a widespread blackout scenario if there was a large enough solar event. A study by Metatech corporation shows that a GIC with comparable magnitude to that of the 1921 geomagnetic storm would be projected to destroy more than 300 extra high voltage transformers and adjacent power lines across the U.S., leaving approximately 150 million people without power. The study highlights the risk to the power grid saying, “In 1921, a geomagnetic disturbance of approximately 5000 nT/min, ten  times  the magnitude of the 1989 storm, is believed to have occurred.  A storm  of this magnitude today would cause widespread damage to the electric grid of  unprecedented proportions.”

This means that all streetlights and stores could lose power without warning. Hospitals could lose power, causing failure of equipment and countless lives could be lost. Computers, cell phones, electric cars and anything else that requires a charge would die and be rendered unusable for the duration of the power grid failure. Credit card transactions and ATM machines will not work. A prolonged failure of even one-third of the grid could potentially require at least ten years for the repair and replacement of fried transformers, capacitors and power lines across the country. The end result of such a sudden and extreme loss of electricity would result in a cataclysmic loss of life, with projected human casualties at almost 100 million as a result from one major geomagnetic disturbance.

Hurricanes &Tornadoes

Hurricanes and tornadoes are thought to be closely associated with solar activity, according to Dr. Vladimir I. Merkulov, a Russian physicist who is well-known for his research into gravitational waves in the atmosphere and in vortex chambers. Merkulov has developed the Electro-gravitational Dynamic Concept of Hurricanes and Tornadoes based from observations of the physical structure of vacuum domains originating from the Sun. In his book, Amazing Hydromechanics, he says that tornadoes and hurricanes are caused by increased solar activity, including CMEs, from which vacuum domains emerge that have both electrical and magnetic properties. According to Merkulov, this means that a large CME event could be closely associated with an inestimable increase in the occurrence of tornadoes and hurricanes. While satellite communications fail and the power grid shuts down, residents of the Midwest may be dealing with multiple tornado strikes and coastal areas could have a hurricane fast-approaching the shoreline. Many of them may not realize the immediate threat that is heading toward them due to failing emergency communications being disrupted. Nearby hospitals may be unable to help those who are injured due to the failure of large portions of the power grid.

Economic Collapse

 The economic collapse that would result from this event would create a poverty never before seen in North America. Losing electricity would mean that ATM machines will not work and banks will be closed. Losing access to electronic currency will cripple many who have become reliant on credit cards and other forms of digital currency. Grocery store shelves will be left entirely empty and supply trucks would likely be unable to resupply stores. If there are gas stations able to process transactions, gas supply will be severely limited. There is no reason to expect that the Federal Reserve Note will survive such a collapse; stored precious metals might become an alternative form of currency and bartering may become a primary means of exchange. Here are six ways to prepare for this type of disaster.

Social Upheaval

When people starve and are unable to get what they need for survival, you can expect that a certain amount of them will end up looting homes or stores. Those who do not live near a river or stream may entirely lose access to clean water, which could likely mean that millions of people would be forced to relocate within days of the initial event. Having firearms for self-defense will be necessary amidst the social upheaval resulting from a CME and the associated events mentioned above. There is no reason to expect that police and military will have the desire nor capability to help those  who may fall victim to looters; everyone will have their own family and loved ones to look after.

Knowing the risks to life and property that may lie ahead is only a part of the battle. Each of the likely future scenarios mentioned above should be planned for in conjunction with the others.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Critical Components to Getting Prepped for a Blackout

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Blackout Hurricane SandyPower outages can happen at any time. Just this summer, there was up to 14 days of blackouts across California, and while they were not necessarily consecutive days, these power outages can be devastating for those who may be without a plan – especially in the peak of summer. As well, those living in northern climates have seen their fair share of “lights out scenarios” when the cold weather affects the grid. And let’s not forget the massive blackout that occurred from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

From refrigerators to cell phones, people have almost become completely reliant on electrical devices for their survival, and for this reason a blackout can have disastrous implications for the ill-prepared. You never know when a blackout could occur or for what reason, but it is important to know that it could happen at any time. It is important that you have what you need to survive in the wake of a catastrophe.

Read more about rolling blackouts and the electrical grid

In addition to blackouts, there are a number of other threats to the power grid, both natural and man-made, that should be taken into account when making preparations for such an event. For instance, hurricanes and tornadoes have been known to damage power lines and render them completely unusable. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is another threat to the power grid, and it could originate from a natural source, such as lightning or coronal mass ejections, or from an artificial source, such as a nuclear and non-nuclear EMP weapon. An EMP could affect the power grid by causing transformers to fail, and it could possibly cause irreparable damage to electronic equipment that does not have sufficient protection, which could mean just about any modern car with a computer, would likely experience disruption or failure. When preparing for a blackout, it is important to keep these other possible threats in mind.

Energy Conservation Measures

Energy conservation at home or at work is critical for minimizing blackouts, especially when high temperatures cause immense stress on electrical equipment during the summer months. It is important to turn off all unnecessary appliances or equipment and shut off all unused lights where possible. If practical, using an electric fan instead of air conditioning units can save quite a bit of power. Closing blinds or drapes to keep out sunlight during hot periods of the day can decrease the need for air conditioning as well. Excessive opening and reopening of refrigerators can cause unnecessary power usage for the refrigerator to maintain a lower temperature. Here are some other tips to stay cool when the air conditioner is off and how to stay warm if the heater does turn on.

Store and Prepare Food Off-Grid

Water is fundamental to staying alive, so make sure to have at least 1 gallon per person per day stored for each person in your household. A blackout can last multiple days, so it would be best to plan to store enough water for each individual in your household for at least a week. Perishable food will go bad without refrigeration, so it will be important to keep food that does not require refrigeration, like peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds. Canned foods may be made to last long, which is why they are so often suggested as long-term survival foods, but they are generally lacking in nutrition and high in sodium, so nuts or seeds will make for a better option for meeting your nutritional needs when it really counts. As a side note, most medication that requires refrigeration during a power outage can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without damaging the medication. Of course, if you are unsure, it would be best to check with your physician or pharmacist.

Alternative Power Sources

It is important to have at least 2 alternative power sources at your house in the case of a blackout. Luckily, you probably already own one: your car. If you connect an inverter to the positive and negative terminals on a car’s battery, you can use the battery to run most household appliances for a limited period of time, and you can run the car periodically to charge the battery. The primary difficulty in sustaining your car as a power source is knowing the wattage rating of the devices you intend to use. An inverter that is rated for 500 watts should be enough for a small family to power most vital appliances. If there are any high wattage devices plugged in, you will likely need the car to be running for the duration of the device’s use because the battery will run out quickly. You can also keep a store of charged batteries so that you can continue to use the inverter in the case that you run out of fuel.

Another device that you may want to consider purchasing as an alternative power source is a gas-powered generator. Gas-powered generators take about a quarter gallon of gasoline for each hour of use. This will require that you keep a store of plenty of extra fuel. For a blackout period lasting 3 days, it would be wise to keep at least 15 gallons stored in your house for use in your generator or car.

Survival Gear

This type of emergency is one of the many reasons to have emergency supplies set aside and a well thought out plan. Access to fire will be critical in a blackout. Make sure to have at least three different ways to make fire, such as a magnesium and steel fire-starter, matches and butane lighters. Lanterns will be effective alternative light sources as long as you make sure to keep kerosene in storage. Keeping in mind fuel that will be helpful, you may also want to have propane in storage for use on a barbecue or other propane-powered appliance. Having extra flashlights will make a fundamental difference in a power outage. Keep one extra set of batteries for each flashlight that you set aside. Of course, you want to have a first-aid kit with sanitizing gel. A radio with a crank generator will enable you to hear emergency alerts without having to use back-up power. Have at least 3 days of clean clothes prepared.

Preparedness is a lifestyle. Having the items you need when the worst happens can mean the difference between struggle and survival. More than anything, the knowledge that you know how to face disaster whenever it may strike is empowering. Build confidence in yourself and your family members by making sure that you have what it takes to face the next power outage today.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Non-Lethal Weapons to Carry Instead of a Gun

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Many of you have heard the saying, “Your freedom ends where mine begins.” A majority of us prefer to live in a peaceful, non-threatening lifestyle. That said, there might come a time when you will need to defend yourself. Self-defense can range from having a small defense weapon such as a tactical pen in your pocket to concealing a firearm for safety. For those who feel strongly about using non-lethal defense, consider the 5 following non-lethal alternatives.

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5 Non-Lethal Ways to Protect Yourself

While it is important to know how to defend yourself, it is equally important to remember not to make yourself a target, always engage in being aware of your surroundings, avoiding dangerous circumstances and be ready to act at a moment’s notice. To said, there may come a time where you will find yourself in a serious situation and self-defense is the only recourse. The following items are ideal to carry in a purse and should be easily accessible at all times. Check with your state laws to make sure you can carry these items freely.

  1. A quick, convenient method for protection is carrying pepper spray. The small size makes it ideal for walkers and joggers and you can’t really find a more simple method of protecting yourself. Even children and the elderly should have no problem simply pointing and pulling the trigger. Assailants will immediately experience temporary blindness, have difficulty breathing and go into severe distress. Brands like this one have a non-abrasive sleeve that stretches to fit your palm and a formula that delivers a stream with minimal blowback on the person doing the spraying.

  1. To take pepper spray to an even greater level, you might be interested in a pepper spray gun. The concept is the same as the hand-held variety, but a pepper spray gun is shaped like a traditional handgun and it is filled with several rounds of spray to create a chemical cloud. This allows you to be 10 times the safe distance (150+ feet versus 6-10 feet) away from danger while still being incredibly effective. Rounds on a pepper spray gun are powered by a CO2 cylinder, which is activated when a trigger is pulled. In addition, pepper spray guns have a kinetic impact with a round traveling approximately 320 feet per second (the equivalent of getting kit with a 50 mph fastball). Be sure to check the laws in your state, as pepper spray guns are not legal everywhere.

  1. A stun gun is another non-lethal method of defense you might want to consider. This one is small and attaches to your car keys to protect you when you are in vulnerable situations (such as a parking garage late at night). Stun guns use high electrical voltage to stun attackers, but because the amperage is low, no permanent damage is caused. Most are powered by regular 9-volt batteries and are usually the size of a small flashlight or smaller.

  1. self-defense keychain is a small, portable stick that is highly effective at channeling the force of a blow and causing pain or shock to the attacker (it’s something similar to brass knuckles in that it strengthens your force). It may not be the ideal tool if you are uncertain or unwilling to hit someone and it potentially requires more skill than mace or a stun gun. Still, it’s affordable, discreet, and can be used in close quarters if necessary and unlike mace it will never expire or malfunction.

  1. Tactical Handcuffs can come in handy if an assailant can be confined or detained by surprise. These can be especially helpful in situations of theft or assault where you are certain no weapons are involved. If you want to press charges for something such as vandalism or trespassing and you are waiting for police to arrive, you might want to consider using these. *Remember that in most circumstances, your best bet is to get out of harm’s way before resorting to the use of handcuffs.
  2. Kuba Kickz are the only non-lethal self defense tool available for your shoes and will deliver a strong “don’t mess with me” message. If you are strong on self-defense basics, these covert and lightweight weapons will be a great addition to your everyday carry items.

Knowing How to Defend Yourself is the Last Line of Defense

I am a large advocate for having security layers in place to prevent criminals from making your home their next mark. These items listed above are ones that you can carry and help you when you are out and about. Above all, know that self-defense is your absolute last line of defense and it’s important for you to know how to handle the situation. If you’re caught without any of the above non-lethal implements, it’s important for you to know (at the very least) a few basic self-defense moves. Here are a few articles on the subject.

In a split second anything can become a weapon when you need to defend yourself. Here are some great ideas for finding items in your home to use for self-defense. What kinds of non-lethal self defense items do you have to protect yourself with?

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Foods that Help to Naturally Prevent Radiation Poisoning

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we have been concentrating a great deal of focus upon the current world situation and the ongoing threat of nuclear war and/or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack.  The U.S. and Russia are currently in a head to head standoff that has resurrected the Cold War.  The military posturing by both sides is both noteworthy and alarming.  Not since the fall of the Soviet Union have we faced so dangerous and precipitous times that can escalate into a world war in so many theaters at once.  I stress my caveat again:

The next war will be initiated by an EMP device above the continental U.S., followed by a limited nuclear exchange, and then conventional warfare.

That being said, the main things we are going to concentrate on here are naturopathic and homeopathic aids that can be used for both preventative measures and also in the event that radiation from a nuclear bomb comes into play.  When a nuclear blast occurs, there is a tremendous amount (with a ground blast) of dust, debris, and particulate matter that is sucked up into the fire-ball that terminates in the “mushroom cloud” we are all so familiar with seeing in photos.  The main problem comes from when that debris settles back down to the earth in the form of radioactive materials.

A nuclear blast produces Alpha particles, Beta Particles, Gamma Rays, and Neutrons.  These particles and waves can be shielded against in the form of a fallout shelter with varying degrees of thickness being required to prevent people from being harmed by the radiation.  One of the books you may wish to invest in is Nuclear War Survival Skills,” by Cresson Kearney.  The author worked for decades compiling the research in Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the work is classified as a Civil Defense Publication.  You can order it on Amazon.com.

There is actually a great deal of foods that can be used both preventively and to detoxify after the body has absorbed harmful radiation.  We will list several of them here:

  1.  Activated Charcoal – this is easy to obtain without any complications or side effects, and it is not particularly expensive.  Approximately 10 g (grams) of activated charcoal will neutralize up to 7 g of toxic material, and yes, it does neutralize radiation.
  2. Organic Geranium – this holistic herb combats the free radicals that are released with the introduction of radiation and harm the cells.  It is effective against Cesium-137 and Gamma Rays.  The Japanese have found great success with the use of this herb for patients exposed to radiation from Fukushima, and their experiments yielded good effects with a dosage of 100 mg (milligrams) per day. You can read more about it here.
  3. Clay – binds to radioactive particles and prevents them from having further damaging effects to the human body.  The clay “carries” the radiation from the human body when it is excreted in the urine and the stool.  A good website that details the types and uses of these protective clays is found here:  www.vitalityherbsandclay.com.
  4. Fruits high in pectin, such as apples – they bind to Cs-137 (mentioned in #2) and neutralize its effects.
  5. Calcium and Magnesium – in combination will lower Strontium-90 absorption by as much as 90%.  The Orolate forms of it are preferred, as it will be more readily absorbable into the human skeletal system.  When taken preventatively, they strengthen bone tissue and increase bone health.  The Calcium can be taken by adults 800 – 1500 mg/day, and children need 800 mg per day.  The Magnesium is taken 550 – 1100 mg per day.  Note: Caution must be taken by those with heart conditions who are already on such medications as Calcium Channel Blockers, or those whose conditional maintenance depend on a balance of electrolytes and minerals that the addition of these two may affect.

There are other foods that detoxify the human body, and are effective against radiation.  Here are some:  Seaweed, Kelp, Garlic, Onions, Wheatgrass, Sauerkraut, Ginger, Horseradish, Spirulina, Chlorella, and Kale.  This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many websites that specialize in each of the aforementioned “list of 5” mentioned earlier, as well as these.

The best thing you can do to prepare yourself is to keep yourself abreast of current events, have sufficient books and materials to help you plan, and have a store of supplies such as those mentioned to enable you to take action when the time comes.  We hope not, but it is better to be prepared and hope than to simply hope and remain unprepared.  I strongly recommend a copy of Kearney’s previously-mentioned book in order to go in-depth for things such as building fallout shelters (long-term and expedient), how to construct a Kearney Fallout Meter, and specifics on nuclear fallout, taken from years of testing with laboratory findings to back up the facts.

Now is the time to prepare if you have not yet done so.  Get the whole family involved.  The more knowledge you have together, the less of a “mystery” radiation becomes, and it can then be viewed for what it is: a dangerous variable that you can nevertheless defeat and defend against in your battle to survive, and thrive.  Keep fighting that good fight.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

MeWe:  A Safer Alternative for Social Media

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meweSure, even your grandmother may be on Facebook these days, but those in the know understand that social networks are tracking our every move. From purchases to cookies to data sharing to outright spying, social media poses a threat some of us aren’t comfortable with. MeWe is a new communication network that’s turning the tables on social media services like FaceBook because of its safe sharing. There are no ads, no tracking, and your privacy is always respected. Best of all, it’s free!

What’s wrong with Facebook?

If you’re like the average American you’re probably monitored by half a dozen companies from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep (and if you wear a sleep tracker, it doesn’t stop even when you’re getting some shuteye.)  Facebook share buttons and comments, tie directly into the company’s servers to provide their own features. It’s a give-and-take relationship: the price you pay for being able to interact with Facebook even without going to their website is that they can see all of the other websites you’ve visited, and they’re following you around the internet and using that information to better target ads and content to you when you visit your FB account.

How can MeWe help?

Built by the company Sgrouples Inc., MeWe is a mobile and desktop innovation for one-on-one and group communication. It’s a safe, private platform that allows you to freely communicate online in the same manner that you do offline: with people you actually know and like. With new state-of-the-art features such as an innovative mobile chat app, disappearing content, voice messaging, group controls, photo tags, albums, cloud storage, private mail and customizable news feeds, MeWe has more features than Facebook but is also a fun and safe way to share and connect.

Who is MeWe for?

According to a January 2016 Pew Research Report, millennials are the demographic most concerned about their online privacy and not being monetized. They’ve grown up entirely online and they’re a bit more savvy about what social media is taking from them. MeWe turns the table on Facebook with a revolutionary integrated social network and chat app that emphasizes social sharing with privacy-by-design (something the company calls “PbD”). It’s the only social network with a Privacy Bill Of Rights for its members.

MeWe is the brainchild of social media tech entrepreneur and leading privacy advocate Mark Weinstein—a visionary social networking pioneer and award-winning author of the Habitually Great book seriesThe MeWe platform comes with the full backing and support of major technology innovators such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and a key member of the MeWe Advisory board.

Find out if your social media is stalking you by taking the MeWe Challenge: https://mewe.com/challenge and the watch the MeWe Video here:

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Americans Risking Financial Disaster: New Survey Reports 7 in 10 Americans Have Less Than $1,000 in Savings

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The over consumerism of this country has created an obsession with an unaffordable lifestyle. Households are going further into debt in order to keep up with luxurious living, rather than saving it. A recent survey shows just how abysmal Americans’ savings habits are, reporting that 7 out of 10 Americans only have less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Last year, GoBankingRates surveyed more than 5,000 Americans only to uncover that 62% of them had less than $1,000 in savings. Last month GoBankingRates again posed the question to Americans of how much they had in their savings account, only this time it asked 7,052 people. The result? Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) had less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Breaking the survey data down a bit further, we find that 34% of Americans don’t have a dime in their savings account, while another 35% have less than $1,000. Of the remaining survey-takers, 11% have between $1,000 and $4,999, 4% have between $5,000 and $9,999, and 15% have more than $10,000.

Furthermore, even though lower-income adults struggle with saving money more than middle- and upper-income folks, no income group did particularly well. Some 29% of adults earning more than $150,000 a year, and 44% making between $100,000 and $149,999, had less than $1,000 in savings. Comparatively, 73% of the lowest income adults (those earnings $24,999 or less annually) had less than $1,000 in their savings account.

Source

Americans’ Risking Financial Disaster

With the unpredictability of the economy, unemployment, medical emergencies and other unforeseen emergencies, millions of Americans are risking a financial disaster without any savings to fall back on. The best way to circumvent this from happening is to start saving a modest amount of money each month, over time this can accrue to a healthy savings account.

Simply put, the goal any emergency fund or savings is to carry us when plans don’t work out. Unemployment is always something to plan ahead for and recent unemployment rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is at 5% of the U.S. population. Many believe each household should have six months of salary saved up and/or an emergency fund to fall back on in case of job joss. Moreover, experts recommend saving 15% of your income to put towards savings. If you save and additional %5 of your income, it can be used as an emergency fund to keep you from using savings. This can be achieved by breaking down your monthly budget:

85% – monthly bills

10% – savings/retirement

5% – emergency fund

As with all budgets, sometimes this figure fluctuates, so if you are able to put more or less into savings, then adjust as necessary. One could even break the budget down further and have a savings for vacations or family centered activities.

Build your Savings in 5 Easy Steps

1. Get out of debt. Your primary goal is financial freedom. Paying off your debt is first step toward freeing up money. Only paying the suggested amount on your credit card debt will not make a dent in the overall debt due to the interest. Organize and list your debts from the smallest to the largest and start paying the smallest debts first. Using a budgeting tool can help. Once the small debts are paid off, move on to the next largest debts on this list and snowball the payments. Essentially, you are creating a snowball effect with your payments and freeing up additional money in your budget for other uses – like an emergency fund.

2. Have an achievable monetary goal set. Starting small and build upon your initial investments for your savings is an easy way to start and not get overwhelmed. (i.e., I want to have $1,000 in savings by Christmas). Some people start with saving $1,000 and many can find this amount hiding in their budgets. We all know that many emergencies can be very expensive (i.e., medical emergencies). Therefore, once you reach your $1,000 goal, move on to saving an additional $1,000 and so on. Read more below on how to slash the budget.

3. Make it easy on yourself. One way to easily begin building your savings is to create a separate account in your bank and set up automatic monthly transfers to easily move money into your account. There are some who prefer to have multiple accounts in order to organize their income better. Some have accounts strictly for emergency funds, savings, vacations, etc. This will help you organize your budget and steadily build your savings.

On the other hand, there are some who do not prefer to keep their money in the bank due to concerns of economic uncertainty. In that case, you can hold your money in a safe or, consider taking your saved money and investing into precious metals. This ties the money up into a tangible investment and keeps you from spending it. It also makes it a little more difficult to cash in and spend it. That said, if the day came and you needed your money, all you needed to do is run down to the precious metals store in your area. Who knows, you could be getting more money than you started out with! As well, by using this method of saving, you could easily begin a very lucrative long-term savings method.

4. Start slashing the budget. Start eliminating the budget busters and nonessentials. Do you really have to get a four-dollar coffee at the high-end coffee house on your way to work? By cutting this small indulgence, you will save over a thousand dollars a year! In an article by The Organic Prepper, she explains how cutting the budget down to the essentials can save you lots of cash.

Now, let’s look at a bigger example. Let’s take the average 10 hour workday (including commute, lunch breaks, etc.)  Now spend that day productively at home.  Here are some things you might do that other people pay for:

  • Growing food $20
  • Yard work $40
  • Cleaning house $50
  • Preparing food from scratch $30
  • Mending clothes and doing laundry $20
  • Childcare – all day, simultaneous with other tasks $75 for 2 kids
  • Bathing and grooming the dog $65
  • Walk the dog at lunchtime $10
  • Make your own cleaning products and health and beauty aids $20

If you add all of those things up, you are talking about a LOT of money.  I based my totals on the prices of those services and goods in my area,  and on an average day, I could “earn” $330.  Tax free.  On an annual basis of a 5 day work week, that is the equivalent of just over $85,000 per year. Again, let me reiterate: tax-free, which can save you another 15-30%.

As well, you can research more gas efficient ways to drive to work or run errand and make goals to cut your gas budget by $50 a month. Moreover, finding a co-worker that lives in the area and carpooling to work can also save you lots of money. If you live close to work consider riding your bike to work or public transportation.

5. Don’t stop saving! What happens when you meet your financial goal? Keep going! Don’t take the extra money out and splurge. Start saving for another type of emergency. There are some who get hit with double whammies and have multiple emergencies at once. Let’s say you saved money for the car repairs example listed in the second tip. When you hit your goal, move on to another one. You could start saving for an even loftier goal like saving six months worth of salary for a job loss.

Life happens and sometimes it doesn’t work out in our favor. Organizing your finances and finding ways to free up some of your money for an emergency will help you create a personal safety net. These are steps that anyone can do. When you have amassed enough money to make your financial goal, you will sleep better at night knowing that you can take care of life’s unexpected events.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hardcore Walking Dead Survival Tips for Preppers

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darylSeriously, folks, I know you’re all probably fed up with zombies, especially since this is an election year.  Political zombies aside, I wish to mention this series of pop-culture, “the Walking Dead” can be (I stress “can be”) more than just an entertaining series.  It can serve as a valuable training tool for you and your family to prepare for the onslaught of the 14political zombies and what they unleash on us and the country. Heck, even the CDC is using it as a training tool.

Firstly, forget so much about the zombies.  Yes, they’re gruesome and a large part of it is Hollywood theatrics and special effects.  But what about this point I’m about to make:

What if you removed the zombies and kept the rest of it?

In other words, you could remove the zombies completely and focus on what the characters are facing within the series…an overall apocalyptic collapse, the fight for starvation and the complex interpersonal and micro-societal relationships and events that occur with said collapse.

One could easily remove all of the zombies and supplant them with say, nuclear war, or a devastating plague (sans zombies, which are the results of a hypothetical plague), or a complete series of breakdowns after a collapse of all governments in the world.  The zombies (as this piece relates to a training tool) are merely “props” who appear in one degree or another for a small portion or a big scene.

The characters in the movie are from a diverse array of backgrounds and levels of life.  The problems they face relating to one another are what can be focused upon.  All of the wonderful ailments that torment man in today’s society are present: theft, betrayal, infidelity, two of one gender vying for the same mate of the opposite gender, religious matters…it’s all right there.

How to Train for a Walking Dead Scenario

There are many matters of survival to be watched and either emulated or renounced, depending on the situation.

  1. Security is paramount to the character Rick Grimes and his group.  When the series first came out, the group was barely more than a fragmented collection of individuals.  Now (about to enter its seventh season) they have purpose, drive, and teamwork that has enabled them to perform security functions much more effectively.
  2. There is a tremendous amount of character development that is worth studying.  Some members of the group who were no good in the beginning are turning out to be stalwart pillars that all are relying upon, showing man’s adaptability and willingness to change for the better.  The group does not lose its humanity or capacity to be humane completely even in the light of adverse situations that would challenge anyone’s moral compass substantially.
  3. Methods of gathering food and foraging as well as water procurement, first aid, and leadership techniques are delved into in-depth.  Situations that arise within the films do arise in real life and especially during a disaster.  Barring your objections to watching such due to religious and moral sensibilities, if you’re able to see it for what it is…a fictitious account…and if you’re not squeamish about the zombies, it can be riveting.  In this facet, it can be a good training tool for members of the family who might be bored by standard training films or “Hallmark Card” disaster-flicks…where the neat, clean family on the happy picnic emerges from the disaster without a speck of dirt…picking up their picture-perfect picnic right where they left off.
  4. Reality is oftentimes grim, and another excellent factor of watching these films is that it helps viewers to mentally prepare for things that may happen…yes, a form of conditioning…regarding the scenarios.  In past articles I have mentioned the importance of making your training regular, realistic, and really interesting.  How could this be used regarding “the Walking Dead” series, you may ask?  How about this?
  5. Watch the episode with your family.  Take notes on things…all of you, just short “bullet” comments about what you’re viewing and what sticks out in your mind.  After the flick, conduct an AAR, military jargon for an “After Action Review” to see what everybody thinks.  Use the flick as a tool to discuss the situations that arise and what your critiques are on them…the mistakes, the successes, and what you would do as a family differently if in the situation faced by the characters.
  6. Then, guess what?  Spice things up further by maybe taking the family out on a subsequent day out in the woods, or out on a range to practice techniques that would help you in a similar scenario.  Working on marksmanship even with air rifles on zombie targets with the kids can be one exercise.  Working on signaling techniques and communication, or different methods to rendezvous when hiking or backpacking is another set of exercises.

The best part of all, and the most important part in JJ’s estimation: you’re doing something with your family that combines instruction with participation, and bonds all of you even closer.  Because, dear Readers, without those close bonds and the ability to support one another and depend on one another…we’re not maintaining a community.  The family is the basic community unit, and family means not just those by birth, but those we love and care about, and that feel the same toward us.

So in conclusion, make it interesting, make it real, and use it as something to make the kids and family look forward to.  Another thing I do?  For those I instruct in my locale…I note different parts of the series (as well as other series of war and disaster), note down the time it appears on the DVD, and keep it as a sort of “reference library.”  I list the topic covered.  When I want to highlight a part of training, I use my little portable DVD player and pop in the movie…and scroll right to the scene.  One picture can be worth a thousand words, and this is how I use films to train.  This article is 1,000 words, and I hope they help!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This is What Panic Looks Like: Thousands Stuck in Gridlock After Failing to Prepare

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Traffic as far as the eye can see: Thousands of families have been caught in gridlock across the state and up the East Coast into the Carolinas and Georgia, as they flee their homes ahead of the storm - while the National Guard trucks drive towards the evacuation zones to assist Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ 

  • Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit southern Florida late this evening and move up the East Coast 
  • Powerful storm claimed at least 140 lives after it ripped through the Dominican Republic and Haiti Tuesday causing mudslides and flooding in the latter yesterday 
  • President Barack Obama has declared a federal state of emergency in Florida as the hurricane approaches
  • The storm intensified to a ‘catastrophic’ Category Four this morning with sustained winds of 140mph 
  • There are fears Matthew could combine with Tropical Storm Nicole, forming further east over the Atlantic  
  • National Weather Service has advised ‘loss of life’ and ‘immense human suffering’ is possible 
  • Seven million people could be left without power and some areas left ‘uninhabitable’ for months
  • Two million people in the US have been urged to evacuate their homes in preparation for a ‘direct hit’
  • Gov. Scott warned Florida warns that the storm ‘is going to kill people’ after declaring a state emergency 
  • South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said only 175,000 have evacuated so far, warning ‘that’s not enough’ 
  • Disney has now confirmed that all theme parks will be closed at 5pm and won’t reopen until Saturday

By late morning, Hurricane Matthew had grown from a possibly devastating Category 3 storm to a potentially catastrophic Category 4. The eye of the storm is already more organized since it hit Haiti, thus becoming stronger. Forecasters are suggesting that West Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral areas farther north could get the brunt of the storm.

094542w5 nl sm FIRST WARNING WX: Hurricane Matthew Gains New Fury As It Hurtles to Florida, But Some Residents Staying Put

This is the latest report for the fast-moving hurricane.

Some Residents are Not Taking Hurricane Matthew Seriously

Florida Governor Rick Scott has urged all Florida residents to take the storm seriously and earnestly prepare and/or evacuate to a safer area, but for some, his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. With 200 million evacuating the roads are gridlocked because many waited too long to leave the area.

One way traffic: Cars can be seen on just one side of the road stretching back for miles along the Florida highway on Thursday

Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

While many are taking the hurricane warning seriously and preparing or evacuating, some are not taking the fury of this storm seriously. In fact, one Florida resident shrugged it off and said, “The hype is going to be worse than the actual storm. I feel I can do quite well,” said Long, who owns a bike shop and plans to ride out the storm with his cat in his 32-foot recreational vehicle a half-mile from the ocean. He has lived in the Space Coast area for three decades. “There’s always tremendous buildup and then it’s no stronger than an afternoon thunderstorm. I’m not anticipating that much damage,” he said Wednesday. Source

Overconfidence Can Kill

One of most common mistakes in disaster preparedness is overconfidence. You cannot put a gauge on Mother Nature. Storms like Matthew can quickly get out of hand, especially due to storm surges that forecasters are estimating to be between 3-6 feet and some residents believe this hurricane could give some residents a wake up call.

Those left in the wake of disasters and have not prepared adequately tend to take matters in their own hands if they feel desperate enough. This is the perfect storm for a breakdown if the state of Florida is not prepared. Residents who have stayed behind will face gas shortages, supply delivery stalls , looting, lack of water and essentially, will be left to fend for themselves until help can arrive.

One can only surmise how far-reaching this storm will be, but rest assured, there will be massive amounts of damage and not preparing for this storm could get you killed. These are essentials you need to prepare for and understand how devastating these types of disasters are.

Preparation

Supplies

Medical Needs

Communication

Sanitation

Evacuation

Don’t Be Another Statistic

Now that you understand what we’re dealing with, there are ways you can use this information to prepare for the next event so that you will be a part of the population that is ready for what may come.

Ultimately, you are the only one who can best care for your family. Having a stash of your family’s favorite canned or dry goods, a supply of water and a simple medical kit can maintain your basic needs for a short-lived disaster. This simple preparedness supply could set you apart from the unprepared.

If you live in a highly populated area, understand that resources will diminish quickly, so preparing beforehand can circumvent this. You can always start out with these basic preparedness items to get through a disaster:

  1. Food and alternative ways to cook food
  2. Water – 1 gallon per person/per day for consuming only. Plan more for sanitary needs.
  3. Fuel for generators. Also consider charcoal for outdoor grills
  4. Batteries and battery charger
  5. Flashlights and lanterns
  6. Generator
  7. Emergency lighting
  8. Ice
  9. Medical supply
  10. Items for baby needs
  11. Sanitation supplies

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Bartering to Eat: How People on the Streets of Venezuela are Surviving

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vflagVenezuela truly has become a nightmare come to life. What has taken place over the last three years has been nothing short of a total destabilization of the entire country. The water system, the roads, the electrical grid, the hospital, and especially the food distribution system. Venezuelans became so desperate that they were forced to scrounge for food in dumpsters and hunt down cats and dogs. Crime became rampant as well, and the capital city of Caracas now has the highest murder rate in the world. Mobs of vigilantes are frequently seen picking up the slack of the corrupt police; that is, when they’re not busy looting grocery stores. Venezuela is practically a war zone now.

Here’s a breakdown of the last three years for Venezuela:

  • In 2013 a major oil crash hurt the Venezuela economy the most and prompted the butterfly effect.
  • In 2015 – The Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, was worth less than a penny, prompting a monetary breakdown of the banking industry.
  • March of 2015 – The food crisis begins. The government can’t pay to import basic food items like milk, flour and eggs, leaving many supermarkets with empty shelves. Venezuelans were doing everything they could to stockpile food in order to insulate themselves from the coming economic and monetary implosion.
  • January 2016 – New power struggles emerged as many Venezuelans had enough of Maduro. In January, the opposition party, Democratic Unity, took 109 seats in Congress, far more than the 55 seats Maduro’s socialist party won. During this time, the government declares 60-day economic emergency.
  • 2016 February – President Maduro announces measures aimed at fighting economic crisis, including currency devaluation and first petrol price rise in 20 years.
  • 2016 April – Government imposes two-day week for public sector workers in bid to overcome serious energy crisis after severe drought dramatically reduces water levels in the country’s main hydroelectric dam.
  • May 2016 – Venezuela considers defaulting on foreign debt in order to negotiate more favorable terms. 
  • 2016 September – Hundreds of thousands of people take part in a protest in Caracas calling for the removal of President Maduro, blaming him for the economic crisis and accusing the electoral commission of delaying a referendum which could shorten him term in office.

Prepare for collapse: A step-by-step guide

Surviving the Streets of Venezuela

As you can see, the country of Venezuela is experiencing a slow, agonizing death and the citizens of this once prominent country are the one’s who are suffering. The country was once considered an oil giant and jobs at the state-run oil company PDVSA were coveted for above average salaries, generous benefits and cheap credit that brought home ownership and vacationing abroad within reach for many workers. Now, the employees and citizens alike are pawning goods, maxing out credit cards, taking side jobs, and even selling PDVSA uniforms to buy food, according to Reuters’ interviews with two dozen workers, family members, and union leaders.

“Every day a PDVSA worker comes to sell his overall,” said Elmer, a hawker at the biggest market in the oil city of Maracaibo, as shoppers eyed pricey rice and flour imported from neighboring Colombia.

“They also sell boots, trousers, gloves and masks.”

“Sometimes we let the kids sleep in until noon to save on breakfast,” said a maintenance worker who works on the shores of Maracaibo Lake, Venezuela’s traditional oil-producing area near the Colombian border. He said he has lost five kilos (11 lb) this year because of scrimping on food.

Source

How to Survive an Economic Collapse

Make no mistake, to survive hyperinflation and economic collapse you need to think in terms of survival. You need to have the right skills.

You need to plan ahead. When you start seeing signs at the beginning. Many Venezuelans fled the country the moment the saw something was awry. As well, you need the kind of skills that will make you money no matter how bad things get. Jobs such as ones found in the medical field, farming, private security, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, or repairmen of any kind; as well as, teachers and tutors, especially if they can impart money-making skills.

  1. Get prepared. At the very least, buy food, products, and supplies in bulk to help you prepare for price inflation. If you have the means to do so, invest in 30-60 days worth of supplies so that you have everything you need. Having these on hand will help you if times become more difficult. You can use this free online series to begin creating a personal step-by-step preparedness plan for your family; or, buy the best-selling book, The Prepper’s Blueprint to use as a reference in your preparations. As well, if you can manage, get out of debt, organize your finances and find ways to free up some of your income for an emergency fund to help you create a personal safety net.
  2. Preserve wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, tying your money up in assets will help you avoid the inflating prices of food sources in the future, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
  3. Invest in food. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. When others are buying foods at inflated prices, you will be consuming your investment when it was purchased at a lower price. Using a combination of shelf stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises. Further, these foods last a lifetime and would make sound investments for future planning. Ideally, you want to store shelf-stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise, and also offer you peace of mind in case the economy further degrades. This  food storage calculator can show you how much food should you need to store. As well, read Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First for more ideas.
  4. Learn how to grow your own food. In a homestead environment, a person wants the land to work for them as much as possible. Invest in fruit trees, seeds, and garden supplies. If you really want these peak foods, find a way to grow them yourself. Further, if you live in a rural area, consider investing in trees and bushes that will lure wild game. The trees and bushes can provide you with added sustenance and help you stock meat in your freezer. Here is a how-to guide for creating a garden quickly.
  5. Raise your own food. Rather than paying hard-earned money at the store for eggs, poultry and dairy—raise them yourself. Chickens are very easy to care for and can provide you with meat and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, you can find substitutions for these peak foods with a little research and ingenuity. For example, rabbits would be a suitable protein replacement and can even be raised in more urban areas. Similar to chickens, they don’t require much care and with some effort can be fed from the homestead’s garden or you can grow fodder. They are also great breeders and will provide you with ample amounts of meat. These are the 10 best meat rabbit breeds. As well, for the modest price of purchasing a fishing license, you can stock your freezer with fresh-caught fish.
  6. It all adds up. Again, do what you can to pay off debts ahead of time and work to restructure your outgoing funds to lower your expenses as much as possible. Debt only enslaves you further, and finding ways to detach from the system will break those shackles. As well, look into finding additional income streams. The more income you can set aside, the better off you will be. That way, if your main income dries up, you have a fall back income and won’t have to go into default.

Be prepared to lose most of the money you’ve spent your whole life saving, because even before the collapse occurs, the government will likely have laws in place that will prevent you from taking money out of the country. However, that may be a small price to pay in exchange for not living in hell hole where you have to eat trash to survive.

The people of Venezuela are in a survival situation. The key to them surviving is dependent of them. Those who took heed and planned early will have better success at surviving. As well, being able to change to the current environments you find yourself in and being able to cut your losses in order to survive your present reality will play a role in how one survives these economic death throes. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your homeland collapses, because it is always better to be a poor man in a rich country, than a dead man in a poor country.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Multimillion Dollar Heist: The 4 Security Mistakes Kim Kardashian’s Team Made

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Make no mistake, anyone held at gunpoint is living through one of their worst nightmares. That nightmare came true for Kim Kardashian West when she was recently held at gunpoint and robbed by criminals pretending to be masked police officers. While the criminals spoke mostly French when they broke into the private apartment, they also screamed, “Ring!” “Ring!”, referring to the 20 carat diamond ring estimated at 5 million dollars that her husband, Kanye West had given to her and one they most likely saw on her Twitter feed. In addition to her ring, the robbers stole other jewels in the heist estimating to be over $10 million dollars in stolen jewels and other belongings.

Courtesy of Instagram/kimkardashian

“[Kim] was tied up, and gagged with duct tape wrapped around her head. They put plastic ties around her wrists but she managed to squeeze her hands out of the wrist ties by wriggling her hands,” a source says.

4 Security Mistakes Kim Kardashian’s Team Made that were Costly

While many are scrutinizing Kardashian for her lapse in judgement on posting images of her wealth and always revealing her whereabouts on social media, we can all learn a few lessons from this experience and how to better protect our personal security and be more prepared when we find ourselves in unforeseen circumstances.

1. Social media is the devil. Kardashian created a social media empire based on giving the public access to intimate parts of her life and what happened in Paris on Monday was no different. Where she went wrong was posting images of her jewels on her Snapchat account, as well as the location of where she was staying. In addition, she also took pictures inside the private residence she was staying at. This made it increasingly more difficult to protect her. As well, her bodyguard was not present when he should have (something we will touch on later).

Social media has quickly become a way for criminals to stalk a victim and get an inside perspective of someone’s daily schedules, favorite spots and other intimate details that strangers shouldn’t be privy to. Kardashian isn’t the first person to post private images of her life. We all do it, but we should be careful. In fact, many post vacation pictures while away from their homes making it very easy for criminals to get the green light for a break in.

While Mrs. Kardashian made her name from her open access through social media, this situation she found herself in certainly begs the question of could this have been avoided? Thankfully, this ordeal ended without anyone getting seriously injured, but we should all take a step back and ensure that we are all doing our best to protect ourselves on social media.

2. Don’t flaunt what you have. When you put on expensive clothes and jewelry, wear brand name purses, drive high end cars, etc., you draw attention to yourself. In this day and time, there are many who have fallen on hard times and may see your wealth as an opportunity to better their situation. I get that in Kardashian’s case being a celebrity makes it difficult, but if we are trying to learn from her situation, when we are out in public areas perhaps we can leave the expensive hand bag or flashy jewelry at home and try to blend in more. I’ve seen countless women dressed to the nines with expensive bags in shopping centers during the holiday season. Folks, when you are in a highly populated area, do not bring the expensive fashion items. Save it for another time!

3. Security layers are the key. It must be said that Mrs. West always has a highly trained security detail around her, but perhaps enough security layers were not met in this case. The night of the robbery, her bodyguard was not present and this helped the criminals gain an advantage. Or, perhaps Kardashian fell victim to a classic case of cognitive dissonance. Sure she had a security detail, but perhaps they handled the situation a little too relaxed, thus giving the criminals an opportunity. As well, there probably were not enough security layers insulating her from harm’s way.

To learn from this, we know that home breakins have increased throughout the years. Having multiple security layers present can better protect homeowners from danger. Here’s a few ways you can add to layers to secure your home.

Layer 1: The Outside Layer

  • Reinforced doors and locks.  There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.
  • Invest in heavy duty door hinges and secure door frames with 3 ” screws.
  • Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.

Layer 2: The Inside Layer

  • Consider investing in an alarm and advertise that you have one by placing stickers in windows and signs in the yard.
  • Consider adding a 2-way voice feature to the existing alarm system.  This feature enables your security system to communicate directly through the control panel.  This feature also allows you to call into your system and be able to listen to any activity or speak to your child or other family members who are home.
  • Position web cams strategically in hidden areas.  Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals do not walk off with the computer.

Layer 3: The Personal Layer

This is the most critical layer.

  • Teach family members to be observant of their surroundings when coming home and be aware of suspicious activity.
  • Never open the door to strangers.  Teach children not to be easily persuaded by strangers who look professional or have badges.
  • Teach chidren to call “safe” adults, such as neighbors for help in cases where parents are not home.
  • Get to know your neighbors and have their phone numbers on hand in case the child needs help from a nearby adult.

Read more about security layers here.

4. Operational security is a top priority. OPSEC or operational security maintains essential secrecy for effective operations. Many preppers use this as one of the principles for staying prepared. This helps them protect the investments they’ve made in food, supplies, ammunition, etc. Therefore, if a person wants to have better security, using OPSEC is the way to do it. You can read more here about this security component. OPSEC is another term for being aware of your surroundings and this is where Kardashian went wrong. Perhaps she become complacent and comfortable thinking she was well protected (as aspect I’m sure she is beefing up now.)

This article is not intended to shame Kardashian. She didn’t want this. She didn’t deserve this. But, perhaps this situation can be something we can learn from. Use the above examples and tips to better reinforce your home security layers to ensure the safety of your family.

Has this celebrity learned her lesson? Only time will tell.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Beefing Up Your Prepper Pantry with Jerky

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 Beef jerky is the epitome of homesteading. Our pioneer ancestors dried beef as a way to help them make it through the harsh winters and when food was scarce. Native Americans dried meat and enhanced the flavor by using dried fruits and berries by making pemmican.

With meat prices steadily increasing at the grocery store, many are turning to purchasing bulk beef to save their budgets. On a side note, my family bought half a side of beef last year and we have currently been living off this. Not only was it a great way to save money and curb against price inflation, but it provided us with peace of mind knowing we had an ample amount of protein sources in case of an emergency. While placing my order, I asked that they cut some meat for making jerky and it turned out delicious!

This high protein snack is a go-to food for those who are health conscious and hikers alike, but beef can also be dried and stored for later use, such as during an emergency. In my cookbook, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals, I outlined how dehydrating or drying meat is the minimalistic way of extending the shelf life of your meats. In an emergency, you want to have shelf stable protein sources available. From a health standpoint, when meat is broken down in the intestines, it becomes amino acids that your body uses to build tissues and enzymes which are involved in the functioning of all body systems. It also has fat present to assist in additional body functioning and insulation of the major organs.

While the lifespan of homemade jerky is significantly shorter compared to store bought jerky, there are ways to preserve the jerky for longer. Typically, homemade jerky lasts 3 months in a pantry. If refrigerated or frozen, it can last six months to a year.

Part 1: Preparing Meat for Making Jerky

Which type of beef to use? The best type of meat to use for jerky are lean cuts of meat such as, sirloin, London broil, flank steak, top round, or eye round. You can use poultry, but I like to err on the side of caution and avoid using poultry due to food-borne diseases.

Make precise cuts. Freezing meat for 5 hours will partially freeze the meat thus creating more precise slices for jerky. This also makes slicing more safe.

Trim off fat. Because the presence of fat can cause meat to spoil more quickly, make sure you trim off any excess fat to prevent the meat from going rancid. Remember: you want your jerky to last as long as possible.

Slice meat thin to ensure efficient drying time. Typically, people opt for cutting meat into 1/4 inch strips.

Jerky Making Tip:

For tougher jerky, slice the meat with the grain.

For tender jerky, slice across the grain

Part 2: Marinating

In my cookbook, I discussed how you can re-use the syrups and liquids from some of your canned goods and add them to marinades. This helps you make use of everything you have in your pantry!

This is my all-time favorite marinade:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of lean meat (beef, pork or venison)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon each of black pepper and garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hickory smoke-flavored salt
  • dash of Tabasco

Other popular marinating combinations are:

  • Dark Belgian ale (yes, you read that right!), honey, soy sauce, mustard seeds, garlic, and lime.
  • Add some kick to your jerky with peppers! Habanero, jalapeno, or Anaheim peppers made a great addition (in moderation) to most jerky recipes.
  • Add some unusual flavors to your jerky by adding some pineapple juice (Hawaiian jerky); some ginger (Asian jerky); or some curry powder (Indian jerky). Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Source

Allow the meat to marinate up to 24 hours before drying.

*Realistically, you don’t need any additional seasonings or special cures to make jerky (although they really do add to the flavor). If you choose not to marinate, simply season the meat with preferred spices and seasonings, add to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate it for 15-24 hours.

Part 3: Dehydrating and Making Jerky

Once the marinating process is complete, drain the marinade completely and discard. Now comes the fun part- drying it out!

You don’t have to have a food dehydrator to make jerky, although it certainly helps. This is dehydrator that I use and it has made many pounds of jerky throughout the years.

Here are some other ways to make jerky:

Dehydrate jerky on a fire pit

Make a jerky in a smoker

Make jerky in the oven

For simplicity sake, I’m going to discuss the drying method I use: dehydrating. If you want to experiment using different drying methods, try one of the three listed above.

Set up the dehydrator. Get your dehydrator set up and place meat strips on the dehydrator trays. Leave enough room between pieces to allow air to flow around the meat. This creates a more even dehydrating environment.

Add any additional spices. If you want to dust the marinated meat with any spices like black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc., now is the time!

Set it and forget it! Set your temperature to 250 degrees F and dehydrate until meat is completely dried out, up to 6 hours.

Part 4: Storing Your Jerky

Now that your jerky is ready to be stored, ensure that it has completely cooled off. Adding warm jerky into storage bags welcomes moist heat with is an enemy of your food stores. Once your jerky is cooled off and ready to be stored away, you need to determine whether you are storing for short-term or for long-term.

Short-Term Storage for Jerky – Leave enough room between pieces to allow air to flow around the meat. If you plan on storing your jerky for a few weeks or up to a month, a ziploc bag will work.  I usually use the ziploc bag for storing jerky and set it in the refrigerator so that it is preserved for longer. Add a desiccant to the bag to absorb any additional moisture.

Storage Tip: One website claims that if your jerky is still too moist, a way to fix this is to store it in a paper bag for a short while before transferring it to a jar or ziploc. The paper bag will create a wick affect that will pull the extra moisture out of the jerky.

Long-Term Storage for Jerky – If you are planning on storing your jerky for longer, there are a few other storage methods to consider.

  1. Dry Canning: Dry canning your beef jerky in mason jars is an economical way to preserve jerky for months at a time. Use larger mason jars like a pint, half gallon or a gallon size to preserve larger quantities. Here’s how to dry can your jerky:

1. Set your oven to 350 degrees F
2. Remove the lids from your mason jars and set them on a cookie sheet.
3. Put the jars in the oven for around 10 minutes.
4. Remove the jars from the oven using mitts and then quickly set your jerky strips inside of them.
5. Screw on the lids of the jars and let them cool to room temperature. As the jars cool they will create a vacuum seal. You will know when they are beginning to create a vacuum because you will hear a popping sound coming from them.

2. Food Sealer: You can use your food sealer to seal meat for longer-term storage. They allow you to keep the moisture in and the air out which is great because your jerky will still be somewhat soft but will have no oxygen to spoil.

3. Freezer: Your freezer is a great way to preserve your dehydrated meats. I prefer using food sealer bags as they have a more durable material and do a better job preventing freezer burn.

Now you know everything there is to know about making the ultimate survival food. Next time you see some lean meats or roasts on sale at the grocery store, grab some up and do your ancestors proud by making some jerky for your pantry.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Skills Needed in a Survival Group

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Do you know what skill sets you have accumulated within your survival family? Think about it for a minute. What does each person bring to the survival group that is beneficial and needed in some way or another?

These are thoughts that have been in my mind for a few weeks now. So I sat down and did some research and put together a list of skill sets that are almost a must have for any group. One of the great things about this list is you can mark off what you have mastered and pick something else to work on. In doing this you become multi-beneficial to the group which is fantastic. Not only would you have the skill sets but you can teach the children.

Below are a few things to consider adding to your group or personal skills:

  1. Perimeter Security
  2. Plant Identification
  3. Gardening Skills (includes winter gardening, herbs)
  4. Butchering Skills (includes salting, smoking and curing meat)
  5. Food Preservation (canning, drying, dehydrating, smoking, grains)
  6. Raising Livestock (Chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, pigs)
  7. Hunting/Fishing
  8. Medical Skills/Dental Skills
  9. Electrical Knowledge
  10. Carpentry
  11. Plumbing
  12. Welding
  13. Sign Language
  14. Mechanical Skills (cars, appliances, lawn equipment etc.)
  15. HAM Radio Skills
  16. Bee Keeping
  17. Candle Making
  18. Sewing Skills (Clothes & Blankets)
  19. Soap Making
  20. Shoe Making
  21. Baking Bread
  22. Churning Butter
  23. Charcoal Making
  24. Martial Arts
  25. Marksmanship/Weapons
  26. Brick Making
  27. Tool Making

These are the things I can think of and some I found doing research. I hope this helps you out and please feel free to comment on what you would add.

 

The post Skills Needed in a Survival Group appeared first on American Preppers Network.

goTenna Takes a GIANT Communication step into Mesh Networking

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goTenna Launches goTenna Mesh to Take Off-Grid Communication Further: International Expansion & First-of-Its-Kind Mesh Networking Technology

BROOKLYN, NY (Sept. 28, 2016) — goTenna, the company that last year released the first and only device that enables smartphone users to communicate without cell towers, wifi routers or satellites, today introduces a new breakthrough product: goTenna Mesh, the first 100% off-grid, mobile, long-range consumer-ready mesh network device, which will be available internationally. The announcement comes along with the launch of goTenna’s premium service, goTenna Plus, and the release of the goTenna open Software Development Kit (SDK).

goTenna Mesh pairs with any iOS or Android device to allow users to text and share GPS locations, up to several miles away depending on terrain and elevation. This is the first goTenna product that will be available outside the United States and it will be sold in pairs for $179 but is available in limited quantities at promotional pricing (starting at $129) today on a preorder basis before shipment begins later this year.

The company’s first product, goTenna, will now be available at $149 for a pair. No subscription is required, in line with the company’s commitment to empowering people to create communication on their own terms.

Watch goTenna Mesh Kickstarter video here:

goTenna Mesh is anchored by intelligent mesh protocols (named “Aspen Grove”) that deliver a 100% off-grid, entirely mobile, long-range mesh network. Such a technology has never been achieved outside hulking military tactical systems that cost tens of thousands of dollars per unit.

goTenna Mesh is smaller, sleeker than goTenna’s flagship product, and provides even greater utility thanks to the introduction of mesh networking. By automatically and privately relaying your message through other users if your recipient(s) are not within point-to-point range or are otherwise obstructed, you can effectively double or triple your range and be likelier to get a message through in difficult situations. Unlike traditional communication networks, goTenna Mesh gets stronger the more users join it, though it can be useful for even just two users at a time.

goTenna Mesh’s high-level features include:

  • Dynamic protocols react to network changes in real time and enable users to send messages 1-to-1 and in groups as well as count on delivery confirmation receipts

  • Mesh to extend range through other users automatically and privately; the power of the goTenna Mesh network is that it’s built on people, making it as dynamic, scalable and resilient as the humans who use it

  • End-to-end encryption ensures 1-to-1 and group chats remain private

  • Public “shout” broadcasts can connect you to others nearby in case of fun or emergencies — used at DEFCON, Burning Man, ski resorts, Yosemite and more

  • Compact size makes it easy to pack on any adventure & have on you at all times

  • International availability addresses pent-up international demand for goTenna’s groundbreaking technology

Like the original goTenna, whether you’re spending time outdoors, packed into a crowded event, traveling overseas and in rural areas, or find yourself in an emergency situation, goTenna Mesh keeps you connected in an even more powerful way.

The goTenna SDK allows any developer to use goTenna hardware and protocols to transmit small bursts of secure data, at long ranges, completely off-grid. The SDK is designed to be incredibly simple, with SDK users reporting integration times of less than 2 hours for full functionality. While in beta this summer, the SDK has been used by groups ranging from the U.S. Air Force to health tech companies.

Available for preorder on Kickstarter for the next 30 days, a portion of funds raised will be donated to the international non-profit Telecom Without Borders (Télecoms Sans Frontières – TSF) to support their work setting up humanitarian communications operations in crises and disasters throughout the globe, from Syria to Burkina Faso and Nepal to Haiti. TSF is often the first on the ground setting up emergency communications for disaster response, in refugee camps and at medical facilities.

To learn more about goTenna Mesh, visit their Kickstarter page.

The post goTenna Takes a GIANT Communication step into Mesh Networking appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Store Your Child’s Baby Teeth for Later Medical Use

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 A new study has shown that children’s baby teeth are a rich source of stem cells. Stem cells, as you may know, are important because they are a kind of “blank” cell that can be grown into multiple kinds of cells as necessary. This comes in handy when cells are lost or damaged due to illness or disease. Though it’s not without controversy, doctors are excited about the growing role of stem cells to treat injury, illness, and tissue deterioration due to age.

Most moms and dads store their child’s baby teeth as a keepsake, but merely throwing these tiny teeth in a box isn’t going to cut it for later medical use.  Like the stem cells that can be found in cord blood samples, the cells in baby teeth must be collected and preserved in a particular way.

A new company called Store-a-Tooth offers state-of-the-art storage and maintenance for these baby teeth. Using a solution of liquid nitrogen, these teeth are securely frozen in a laboratory where they are monitored and maintained until use. Though it isn’t cheap, for a little under $2000, Store-a-Tooth will set up and maintain your samples for you. It’s important to collect stem cells while a person is still young, because our cells become compromised by environmental pollutants and normal degeneration with age. Storing teeth may be potentially beneficial for parents who did not bank their children’s cord blood for whatever reason.

Learn more about the process of harvesting dental pulp stem cells here:

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The State of the Economy and Why You Need to Be Preparing

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Graph showing business decline
ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this segment is to give you a picture of where the U.S. stands economically on some major issues, as well as some advice on how to prepare yourself.  There are a ton of things happening, and although most of the economic news is not trumpeted by the mainstream media, nonetheless it is still affecting you.  The economy affects the way you work, how you shop, and the actual “worth” of those “precious” federal reserve notes you work so hard to garner…is affected by variables both seen and unseen during the day.

Let’s summarize some items of late that are important to keep in mind:

  1. The MERS mortgage fraud has managed to account for the loss of more than 12 million homes in the U.S.
  2. The U.S. is (as of this writing) $19 trillion in debt
  3. The U.S. is floating more than $250 trillion in unfunded liabilities
  4. The U.S. is facing $1.5 quadrillion in derivatives debt
  5. 23% of Americans are either unemployed, or they’re working in a job beneath their capabilities

As we have been seeing over the past 6 months, banks are starting to adopt “Draconian” policies to control the cash flow and keep depositors from making withdrawals.  Bank of America and J.P. Morgan each owe $80 trillion to account for their shares of the derivatives debt, item # 4 mentioned above.  Part of the problem is that these banks have shifted over their debts to other arms of their establishments in order to become shielded by the FDIC.  This shift places the burden of their potential collapse onto the taxpayer.

The U.S. Government takes in about $2 trillion per year.  As can be seen, this makes the burden just from these two banks alone untenable.  In the recent UN conferences that took place these past two weeks, bankers and economists forecasted deflationary spirals, as well as warning of a “third leg” of the global financial crisis.  The governments are currently scheming to raid pension funds, IRA’s, and savings accounts.  Their plan is to place the taxpayers on the hook for the failed banks: keep in mind, these financial institutions benefited the government with taxation while the government protected them through what would have buried a normal business.

The major indices: the price of oil, the Baltic Dry Index, and the manufacturing base have all been fluctuating wildly.  Slowly but surely, the prices of food and fuel keep on climbing, and we have not felt the full effect of Hanjiin, the 7th largest commercial container carrier’s bankruptcy on the shipping markets.  All of the volatility points to inflation going through the roof and eventual bailouts for these large banks.

In the meantime, many of the other websites have been giving the advice of people removing their money from their accounts.  I agree with this concept, provided that enough is left in to keep the account going, with just the bare minimum of expenses kept in to cover things such as rent or mortgages, and any car or other loan payments you may already have.  Remember: cash on hand is worth face value until the cash has no value.  So what should you be doing?  How about these things:

  1. Precious metals: they don’t lose their value over a long period of time.
  2. Long-term food supplies: You may have enough savings set aside to buy MRE’s and other long shelf life foods. If you don’t have enough for these foods, then stock up on canned goods and dried goods.
  3. Barter goods: Think small/micro-marketing, such as bottles and tins of aspirin, sewing thread, first-aid supplies, personal hygiene supplies (soaps, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.), clothing…use your imagination to estimate what will be needed when the SHTF in your immediate area.
  4. Extra fuel: Some 5-gallon gas cans with Stabil added to preserve its longevity
  5. Means of procuring food: Notice I mentioned procuring. If you are fortunate enough to have a greenhouse, then by all means grow as much as you can for as long as you can.  Other than that, you may want to stock up on fishing equipment and tackle, nets, and some animal traps.
  6. Antibiotics: there are several different sources, many of which we have mentioned on this site, such as pet and livestock antibiotics.
  7. Firearms and ammunition: enough said there.
  8. Fire starting equipment: always barterable, such as matches, flints, lighters, and fuel. Let’s also lump in candles and lanterns for that category.

Anything that you can use in the long haul needs to be obtained now.

Remember to pay in cash for your purchases, and don’t make those purchases in amounts that would raise suspicion.  If you’re going for a case-lot sale, buy a few cases at different times of the day and use different stores, so as not to place yourself on the radar.  When the banks collapse and the money is not worth more than the paper it’s printed upon, you’ll have about a 12 to 24-hour period that you’ll be able to unload it, but the time to obtain what you need is now, not tomorrow.

The planning ahead that you do starts now, not tomorrow.  As the economy unravels more and more, it’s only a matter of time before the bottom drops out.  The list above is certainly not comprehensive, and you have been exposed to more than enough lists to last you a lifetime.  The key here is to take action in these areas, as you are well aware of what is coming.  We’ll never be completely prepared, but the more active you are the more you’ll smooth out the rough edges so that the transition to a post-SHTF barter economy will be a lot easier than if you don’t take the time now.  Keep up that good fight, and let us know how you’re fighting the battle with your comments, which are valued and appreciated by us and the other readers as well.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What if You Lose a Filling Just as SHTF?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A few days ago I was enjoying a Butterfinger chocolate bar when I noticed one of my back molars felt really sharp and sensitive.  I could not see all the way back there but it felt like I cracked a filling.  It was a weekend so the dentist office was closed.  I endured a weekend of pain and not being able to chew my food properly.  That Monday I called and made an […]

The post What if You Lose a Filling Just as SHTF? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

Are You Missing This Key Strategy In Your Family Preparedness Planning?

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, I’m sure you may recall the expression “Don’t stop the training!” either from your days in scholastic sports or if you were in the military.  Keep that expression in mind, every day, and I wish to make a suggestion to “spice” up the training just a tad bit.  The concept is referred to as cross training or station training, also known as “Round Robin” in the vernacular.  Station training is a good technique to use to involve the whole family in something, and shower “kudos” on one another with good performance.

Here’s the Key: Everybody in the family participates as a student and as an instructor.

If you have a “family day,” or a particular day off when everyone is together, that would be the perfect opportunity.  Make 1-2 training “blocks” for blocks of instruction.  One instructor per block, with the instructor being one of the members of your family.

Yes, Readers, you read that correctly.  Here’s the scoop: After accessing your family member’s strengths, have them discuss the survival skills that each of your family members excels in, and have them develop a plan of instruction during the week prior to that family day…when they will serve as the instructor for the rest of the family.

This is pure participation at its finest.  Granddad may be an excellent mechanic.  Have him give a crash course on how to hotwire your car in an emergency, and how to do simple repairs and maintenance.  Big Sis may be a brown belt in Judo.  Have her instruct on the finer points of one or two holds, or one or two basic kicks.  Mom is a green thumb.  How about a short course, Mom, on seed-saving, and the differences between annuals and perennials?  Dad is an artist.  How about a short course on drawing, Dad, and making basic sketches and renderings?  Could come in handy when you’re outdoors and need to make a map, or analyze a course of action for a means of escaping a natural disaster.

Do a couple of these on a family day.  Whoever is instructing can come up with a short handout or program, and set up the station to teach, and then take the family through a demonstration period.  Some great topic suggestions are:

There truly are unlimited amounts of subjects.  Use visual aids, such as power points or computer displays to reinforce what is being taught.

Make it real and make it relevant

After the instruction, everyone should come away with a good idea on the basics of something they may or may not have ever seen or tried before.  This can help them face a fear or learning a new skill all together. The only limits are your imaginations and the amount of dedication that you have to make the training productive.  Get everyone involved.  Everyone is different and there is no hard and fast rule on who can teach according to age; however, try to keep it starting out for kids to instruct if they’re about 14.  The younger ones will see this and wish to emulate their siblings.  With time, give them a chance, and give them a simple task to do to enable them to have the experience of teaching something.

You can also do these things outside of the home.  If one of the kids is an expert at catching crayfish, then have him or her instruct and show everyone the techniques.  The crayfish (in abundance) happen to be survival food and also serve as bait.  The instruction may not be perfect, but the end goal is this:

To do things together as a family that will facilitate your bonding and also help with your chances of survival when the time comes.

Do all of this training in a good-natured manner, but be serious about it and be “professional,” that is take the time to have the correct resources and setup (tables, chairs, visual aids, and materials to demonstrate/perform the training function).  It is a total win-win scenario if you undertake it.  A lot better than just sitting in front of the television, or “going out” to the great “nothingness” of the shopping mall or a movie, this situation training will allow everyone a role…helping them to feel an important part of something, which they are…a part of your family.  Try it out, you’ll like it and it’ll give everyone something back…for now…and as a prep for later when the SHTF.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

New ReGen Villages Redefining Off-Grid Living

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 By 2050 there will be nearly 10 billion people living on planet Earth. Clean water, healthy food, and arable land will begin to grow scarce and only those well versed in a self-sustainable lifestyle will be safe from a great negative impact. With the skyrocketing population also comes an increase in the aspiring class (the approximately 4 billion people who can afford to buy their way to sustainability). For those who can afford it, there is a recent boom in integrated neighborhood concepts: luxury off-grid communities that have power positive homes, private renewable energy sources, water management, high-yield organic food production, and waste-to-resource systems. The first of these communities is calledReGen Village, and it’s currently under construction in Almere, Netherlands.

A Look Inside a Luxury Off-Grid Community

ReGen Village will make use of all available technology to build what its creators are calling the “Tesla of Eco Villages.” The creators want to redefine off-grid living from being merely a way to sustain the basics of life into a culture of luxury and comfort. The developments will use their own technology to meet their everyday needs but, because of cutting-edge advancements, they will not have the same restraints and conservation rules that typically define off-grid communities.

Who Gravitates to the ReGen Concept?

In June of 2016, the concept of ReGen Village was introduced at the Venice Biennale, an arts organization and annual exhibition of architects and designers. The concept went viral with more than 20 million page views of the ReGen website and over 10 thousand emails expressing interest.

The pilot community is being built now but plans are in the works for developments in Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Belgium. CEO James Ehrlich says their goal is to expand at a global scale and to create regenerative neighborhoods for an elite group of residents. A center with 100 units should be ready for move-in in about a year, though the exact price to secure a position inside is not yet available. A smaller scale, 35-condo version is also being planned nearby in order to prefect the model before it is scaled.

Time will tell if this concept will be the new norm in off-grid living, but it’s certainly an interesting development.

 

 

 

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Are New Parenting Trends Enabling Children and Keeping them Dependent?

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 I grew up in the late 80s and I was obsessed with The Babysitter’s Club books. My best friend and I started a booming neighborhood business based on this popular young adult series. We each took care of different kids after school, on weekends, and even late nights while neighborhood parents went out to dinner or a movie. We got great reviews from everyone, and we made a lot of money, too.  The most “unusual” part? We were 11 years old.

Nobody batted an eye back in 1990 when my friend and I started our business. Besides taking care of other people’s kids, I used to stay home from the age of 9 when my parents worked out at a local health club. I also remember sitting in the car while my mom ran errands from about the age of 6. I used to spend long summer days wandering my suburban neighborhood with the directive to “be home before dinner.” I was a responsible and confident kid—I had common sense and wasn’t afraid to ask for directions or to talk to adults. I felt like I was a part of my community and my parents trusted me to make smart decisions. But in the last decade or so, the concept of “no child left alone” (check out this book by the same title) has become not only the social norm, but a legal one in the United States. There are many reasons for this, but a recent study is shedding light on why these attitudes have changed in recent years.

An alarmist media may be one likely cause.

While a child abduction by a stranger occurs just .00007 per cent of the time (or one in a 1.4 million chance annually) news coverage of these highly improbable and unlikely situations is shown on a massive loop and given a disproportionate amount of air time, amping up parents’ and children’s fears alike. Even if you are not influenced by media coverage, the completely sound choice to leave your 11, 12, or 13-year old child alone at a local park or even in a well-ventilated car on a mild day, can still get you arrested. In fact, the fears the media purports spreads to judges, police officers, and juries as well. I absolutely do not feel comfortable letting my kids play alone outside in a public place, even for short periods of time. This has nothing to do with a fear of abduction or with the fact that I don’t trust them to make sound decisions—it has everything to do with a fear of legal ramifications.

There are major repercussions for never letting our children out of our sight.

Childhood obesity rates are soaring because kids must remain indoors unless they are closely supervised by adults. Screentime has replaced sending your kids out to play and an overall “failure to launch” can be seen in college students (see the book How to Raise an Adult for shocking examples of college freshmen behaving like babies). Meanwhile, the number of young adults living at home beyond age 30 is growing every year.

One simple way to remedy this is to start raising your children to be more self-reliant. Simply allowing them to figure out issues for themselves and not intervening is a great way to put them on the road to being more reliant on themselves. This gives them time to know what their capabilities are. In addition, explaining to children at an early age that they have responsibilities and chores teaches them they need to participate in keeping the family unit functioning. As well, talking to them about the importance of being prepared for situations when parents cannot be present (i.e., emergencies at schools, field trips or overnight camping) helps them feel more secure in their environment. Along those lines, teaching children basic survival skills, could save their life if they find themselves lost.

Experts agree that alone-time helps kids navigate the world and make more responsible decisions later in life, but what are we to make of these recent trends? Have you noticed a change in the way you raise your children vs. how you were raised?

 

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Explain Emergency Preparedness to Kids

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Being prepared for emergencies involves the whole family, whether you are buying supplies and gear, or developing new skills.  Young children quickly notice a change in routine or behavior.  They will become curious about what’s going on.  Kids get anxious whenever anything interrupts the familiar schedule.  If there is an impending emergency such as an ice storm or hurricane, they may become fearful. Here are a few tips on explaining preparedness to kids: […]

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A Green Beret’s Guide to Improvised Home Defense, Part 2

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 “Look around….choose your own ground.”

– “Breathe” by Pink Floyd, album: “The Dark Side of the Moon.”

Here we go, ReadyNutrition Readers, with “Part 2” on the series on prepping your home turf for battle.  In Part 1, we covered the things needed for those in a rural and suburban setting.  Now we’re going to focus our efforts on similar measures for those in densely-populated suburbs and cities.  As you have probably deduced, combat operations in a city area and the preps for them have a whole host of different factors for you to consider.  In the service, such operations were referred to as MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain), and there are a number of military publications you can research online to cover such a broad topic.

`There are a number of these factors that need to be mentioned. We mentioned some terms such as cover and concealment in the first article.  To refresh, cover protects and can hide you, concealment usually hides you with a slight protection factor in many instances.  In an urban environment, there are many structures in a firefight to provide you with cover, such as brick or masonry buildings, and also large public works structures such as tunnels and concrete subway and sewer accesses and portals.  Due to the increased amount of structures that are very durable in nature, cover is more readily available in a city, and can also by its nature conceal you.

Conversely, this deals with the exterior of buildings.  The interiors are different matters.  Drywall (the universal construction “substance”) provides minimal or no protection from small arms fire.  Another drawback in high rises or townhomes are the windows…great for light, but not great for either providing concealment or cover for you.  The greatest challenge that you will face, however, is in the numbers of people you encounter in an urban environment.

“World War Z,” the movie with Brad Pitt has an excellent illustration of this toward the beginning of the film when he and his family are in New Jersey.  Watch the scene, and realize the sheer amount of humanity moving around you during a disaster, each one of them desiring the same things as you, with the same needs as you.  Now to factor into all of this is where you live.  Remember, if you live in a really big city (such as New York or Los Angeles), your primary consideration should always revolve around your city being a target in a nuclear war, in which case most of these considerations mentioned in this article are secondary in nature to what you will face with that.

Checklist for Apartment Dwelling Preppers Defending Territory

If you’re in a really high skyscraper-type apartment, it is critical to be abreast with the situation and get out of there beforehand.  If this is not possible, then there are a few things you need to assess as a checklist for yourself and your family:

  1. In a collapse, you may be on the 30th floor of a 50-story apartment building: what will you do without any power, water, sewage, or temperature controls (AC or heat)?
  2. How secure is that front door into your abode, and do you have the materials and resources necessary to blockade it and re-secure it if a forced entry is made?
  3. Who are your neighbors, and what is their disposition?  What would their disposition be if all of a sudden everything collapsed?
  4. Can you get out of there, via a set of stairs if the elevator is out, or a fire escape?  What is your plan to E&E (escape and evade) if the living situation becomes untenable?
  5. Is there an immediate common area that you can escape to and secure as a temporary hideout if your primary residence is compromised and/or overrun?
  6. How easy is it for the neighbors to “reach out and touch someone,” …not by telephone, but (for instance) jump from their balcony to yours and smash in your sliding glass door?  Those once-friendly neighbors…can you keep them out?

Preparation and planning are the keys here.

You need to have a plan of escape from that type of residential structure.  The exfiltration needs to be secure, silent, swift, and successful….in that order of importance for the first three with the last one being a goal.  As an example, you may have an abandoned storage building made of stone one block from your residence.  Here’s what you do.

  • Scope it out: pay it a visit, and find out what types of “amenities” are available…restroom, running water, place that you can hole up and lock the door
  • Any supplies on the premises that can be used for resources need to be known and noted or remembered
  • You need to watch the building for a whole day (that means a whole 24-hour period), and one of those days needs to be on a weekend…. this will show you what “creatures” normally frequent this locale and give you an idea on the human traffic in and out.

Remember: if you recognize it as a safe haven, another family will see it as such as well.

You must keep this in mind, as “your” safe haven is not yours until you make it yours.  English Common Law of Property and Chattels goes right out the window, along with the Marquis of Queensbury Rules for Boxing when your neighborhood “morphs” from “Happy Days” to “The Planet of the Apes.” You may even consider stashing a few essentials (that you can afford to lose) and prepositioning them in this building/structure, such as a quickly-accessible cache.

“Goodness gracious!  Somebody else’s property!” you may say.  I wrote “consider it,” and I am not advocating breaking any laws or doing anything illegal.  I said to “consider it,” and reflect upon such.  This article is information to provide you with food for thought to consider possibilities.  “When the time comes,” is the key phrase; therefore, without going any “deeper,” you had better be aware of not just what you can do, but what you will do to protect and provide for you and yours.

I know, I know…if you watch the potential secure location…you’ll miss the baseball doubleheader on Saturday, right?  Guess what?  We’re talking about something that can save you and your families’ lives.  This “stuff” is for real, and needs to be practiced and followed in earnest, not just paid lip service to or drilled in a half-hearted manner.

If your preps and training are not priorities, then neither is your survival.

You can also pick up a range finder to measure distances from your balcony.  Research any of the Infantry Soldier’s Handbooks to see how to emplace a shooting position within the window of a structure and set it back so as not to silhouette yourself.  The exercise is beyond the scope of this article.  If you wish to know about such subjects, then ask for what you want in the comments section and I will be more than happy to consider your topic for a future article.

To move to any of these fall back positions inside of your own building or outside of it, you need to prepare the ground, and practice moving back and forth with your family.  Again, I know there will be people who may be able to see you.  Consider it a test and/or a training exercise.  What better way to simulate something?  Guess what?  When the SHTF, you’ll have a whole bunch of people that you need to shield your actions from and avoid their cunning gazes.  Practice makes perfect.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Are Governments Telling People to Prepare?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com There has been a lot of nervous discussion lately about governments telling people to prepare for possible emergencies by stockpiling food and water. Is it true? A German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported recently that their government advised people to have enough food, water and medicines in case of an attack or disaster.   The reaction was mixed, as some felt it was just common sense, while others felt that it was ludicrous to […]

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A Green Beret’s Guide to Improvised Home Defense Strategies

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sniper 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this article is going to explain some methods to help you better defend your property.  These are some simple and inexpensive methods that are not subject to power loss from an EMP or station failure.  They are simple to employ as well as remember, and they can be tailored to meet the needs of your property.

Obviously if you live in a high-rise apartment building or a multi-family structure, your methods are going to differ, and that will be addressed in Part 2.

Sector Stakes

Now, firstly, what are a sector stakes?  The sector stakes are prepositioned markers for use as boundaries for the field of fire of your weapon.  They physically allow the firer to concentrate on his or her sector of fire without haphazard lateral movement. By utilizing one on your left and right, they establish left and right limits for you to employ your rifle or firearm.  These stakes are best used between multiple team-members.  The sector stakes are driven into the ground or firmly emplaced vertically, so as to allow the defender’s weapon to traverse (move laterally) back and forth and be bounded within the confines of his or her sector.  See Diagram A, “Sector Stakes” to get a picture of how it appears.

JJ AThe sectors are positional assignments for occupants to repel attackers.  The importance cannot be overstressed.  They give a firer an “area of responsibility” to cover, and anything in that sector should be known, marked on a diagram (called a sector sketch) and committed to memory.  See Diagram C, “Sample Sector Sketch” for an idea of what you’ll need to make.  There are items in that diagram that must be addressed, such as a large boulder or a shallow depression that can allow a bad guy (or bad gal) to not be hit by your fire…this is known as dead space.  Also of note are points of cover and/or concealment.  Cover is something that will partially or completely block you from enemy fire (shielding you).  Concealment is something that can hide you from the sight of an enemy.

Your sectors need to range to the end of your property, or out to about 500 feet, whichever is closer.  The sectors need to interlock, so as to create interlocking fields of fire, a condition that is met where the left and right limits of two adjacent firers intersect one another, and permit overlapping fire on an enemy.  See Diagram B, “Disposition of Sectors of Fire” to illustrate this concept.  Each sector stake must be measured with a compass to provide an azimuth for the entire straight-line length of the right or left limit.

JJ BThe reason for this is to also be able to establish those limits when it is nighttime or a period of low visibility, and also when the stakes have been removed (for emplacement later).

It is important for you and your team to walk the entire length of the property, and pace out the areas where obstacles that can provide dead space, cover, and concealment to the enemy are known, along with their exact distances.  It is also very important for you to be able to make laminated copies of these sector sketches, and using a grease pencil (dry erase are garbage) to note down your information of things found in your sector.  Identify each fighting position (FP) by number, not by the person’s name!  If you’re overrun, you don’t want your names going into someone else’s head or intel files.

JJ CKnowing the distances and the azimuths to key points, such as a tool shed or a large rock that provides the enemy with cover will allow you to put fire in that area without complete visibility or with night vision equipment.  You can also place your traps or early warning devices in the sectors, but make sure you mark them on the sector sketch.  Black grease pencil is the color to use for permanent structures or obstacles.  Temporary measures (such as a flare or other removable expedient early warning device) can be marked with a red grease pencil.

Another key reason for these sketches is if for a reason such as changing a guard shift, or a shift between team members to one another’s fighting positions.  In this manner, you have a nice laminated diagram that gives them all of the information they need about the position.  The midline (middle of the sector) should also have its own azimuth and azimuth line.  Take note of the concentric circles.  This is to establish an increment (I used “feet” to make for ease of understanding in this example), and the sample sketch has each circle in 100’ increments.

If you’re going to defend a fixed position such as a house, you need to have sector sketches for each fighting position, bottom line.

Another thing that you can do is to employ paintball guns in practice with this, for periods of low light and low visibility.  This will give you a good idea of how well you know the sectors, as to where your paintballs mark the area.  Just because there is not an item within your sector does not mean you cannot fabricate one as well, such as a couple of crossed boards affixed to the ground midline to the sector out at 300’, and/or smaller stakes with small markers or tapes affixed to them.  These are pre-measured distances, and when you see a “zombie” staggering across your yard, when his feet are on the “X” it’ll help you to light him up.

For some further reading, get ahold of a Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks, or a Soldier’s Handbook for the basics we have outlined here.  Be prepared to deal in metric units.  This is a general overview to get you started.  On “Part 2” we’re going to go over how to take similar measures in an urban/heavily populated environment.  Until next time, keep up the good work, and remember: when bad guys are coming over, before your barbeque and fireworks display put down the Porterhouse steaks and go to your sector stakes!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition