The 10 Principles of Effective Family Survival There’s nothing more important than family in this world. No matter the differences and the hard times you faced, the survival of your family remains your main priority. If your loved ones depend on you to make it during a crisis scenario, you must bring them together. They …
Survival Basics: 12 Tips for Families with Children No matter how old you are, going through a disaster or emergency situation is scary. As adults, it is our duty to introduce children to preparedness activities at a young age. Doing so helps them to build critical thinking skills, practice survival techniques, and gain the confidence …
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This is one of those articles every prepper should read because it makes some points that I rarely hear mentioned. First of all, if you have a family, then you shouldn’t have just one bug out bag. You should have a bag for each family member. But if you do that, there are several questions […]
There are countless articles on how to make bug out bags, but what if you have to bug out with your spouse, kids, and other family members? Shouldn’t they be carrying something, too? The answer is a resounding YES! The more supplies you can bring with you, the better (just so long as you don’t […]
The thing that frightens me the most about an unexpected disaster is being separated from my family and unable to get to them. I work from home, but my wife works 30 minutes away and my son goes to a school 10 minutes away, which means we spend almost a third of every weekday away […]
The post 7 Tips For Keeping Your Family Together in an Emergency appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
When it comes to your personal protection and the protection of your property, is there such a thing as “too much”? Hard to say really. But if you have the time and the means, you should spear no expense in securing your home. Sure, having you very own machinegun turrets installed on the lawn would be excessive indeed, not to mention illegal. But luckily there are other ways in securing a perimeter, and they’re far less expensive than advanced military technology. Building a fence around the area you’re trying to protect is the way to go; and nothing would be more efficient than your very own electric fence system. Electric fences are less obvious than barbed wire and more efficient, as they can deliver quite a punch to anything and anybody that dare to intrude on your property. To be more precise, the system uses alternative current (A.C.), and via a transformer,turns it into electric pulses. A mechanical trigger is activated when something comes in contact with the wires and the current is released immediately. The current shoots out the power terminal, goes through the wires as high voltage electric pulse (can go as high as 10.000 V) and it’s picked up by a second terminal, which consists of a rod (mostly copper) that’s implanted in the ground. Such fences are highly used today in agriculture (they deliver mild, discomforting shocks to keep animals away) or in prisons (where voltages are lethal).
Such technology is available for everybody who takes prepping and personal safety to the next level. And believe it or not, installing an electric fence has its own advantages over more traditional methods. If done right, you won’t be sorry won’t went for an electric fence instead of barbed wire or anything else. And here’s a list of reasons as to why.
- Electric fences are cheaper than traditional fences
Believe it or not, it’s true. The materials are cheaper to buy and the installation process will be cheaper as well. This is because an electric fence requires a lesser quantity of wires and fewer posts as opposed to traditional fencing methods. It’s not meant to be strong and withstand mechanical forces, but rather cover a big enough area to stop all sorts of intrusions. It may be frailer than barbed wire, but it will do some much more than scratch the surface of your skin; it can make you wish you’d never been born.
- Electric fences are easier to install
Because the key components are fewer and lighter, you can install your electric fence by yourself, although I’d advice against it. But even if you plan on doing it yourself, make sure you know what you’re doing. The materials aren’t that heavy, not even the posts, so the installation will go faster than if you’d be installing a traditional fence, where you’d need to dig holes. The thin electric fence poles require no such effort from your part; just take them out and stick them in the ground.
- Electric fence systems are easily maintained and modified
The system will require very little attention from your part. Just pay some attention to the battery system and the console from time to time, to make sure that everything is working properly. Also, they should be kept clean and dry at all times to avoid unwanted electric discharges and system shutdown. The wires require no maintenance, unless the fence has been hit or damaged in one way or another. Because it has fewer and lighter elements compared to a regular fence, you can modify the structure with ease. You can add or take out poles in a matter minutes.
- Electric fences are more efficient overall
The intensity of the electric discharge is customizable, depending of the types of charge you’re using, but also on the materials that the fence is made up of. Barbed wire can be easily cut and taken down by perpetrators, and once the fence is gone, the way is clear. Electric fences can’t be cut, as they’ll release thousands of Vs when the cutting tool comes in contact with the wire. So not only is it hard to go around, but it’s also very hard to interact with a fully charged electric system without getting the shock of a lifetime.
Of course there are some things to keep in mind and consider before installing you very own electric fence. The systems are effective, but you’ll need to keep the area around the fence as clean as possible at all times, so that nothing’s growing in the vicinity of the wires. Growing plants could complicate the situation, so make sure there are none close to the wires.
Thunderstorms could also spell trouble, as the electric discharges could shut the fence down. But repairing the electric fence shouldn’t be much harder then installing it, so that’s a plus. To make it even more effective, you could conceal it, so whoever is trying to breach your “fortress” will get a nasty surprise. However, most states have very specific laws regarding electric fencing visibility and signaling. So do some research and stay out of trouble.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Advantages In Using Electric Fence As Your First Line Of Defense appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
If we’re talking preparedness and prepper conduit, we have to agree on one thing: there’s no such thing as being too prepared! And this is because so many things can go wrong at any time. It’s extremely important to be both physically and mentally prepared for when it really hits the fan; and it will hit the fan hard. You’ll need to counteract everything life throws at you, and it won’t be easy. But you have only so much time to do it, your resources are finite and there’s only so many things you can keep around the house or on you. Owning any sort of multipurpose blades is the way to go; the more you can get done with a single object that you can easily store in a small space is the key to surviving in a hostile environment. When it comes to pocket blades, the sky’s the limit. There are many companies that have followed in the footsteps of Victorinox (the producer of the Swiss Army Knife) and have released many competitive products, which are equipped with a lot of useful gadgets alongside a well sharpened blade. Owning such a tool will get you out of many tight spots; it’s only a matter of finding the right one for you. Let’s have a look at some of the finest multipurpose blades on the market.
It’s only fair that we start with the most renowned name in the business, with the brand that started it all. The Swiss Army Knife is the most common product that Victorinox has to offer. And its reputation is well deserved. This tiny gadget is so much more than just a “blade-in-a-box”, it comes equipped with many tools and gadgets to help the wielder’s cause in so many situations. There are various models with a different combinations of features. The most multifunctional model comes with a can opener, a screwdriver, a compass, a pair of pliers, a nail file, a pair of scissors, magnifying glass, a toothpick and more. More recent models also offer a USB flash drive, a small digital clock and even an LED flashlight. The economic design makes it easy to fit in a small pocket and easy to use in any situation. The price will vary, depending on the model and the amount of features it has.
Leatherman have taken the idea forwarded by Victorinox and are trying their best to take it even further. This company have released a very serious model that’s giving the Swiss Army Knife a run for their money. Their “flagship” blade is called the Skeletool, and what’s sets it aside and makes it shine is the carbon fiber version. Not only is it small, compact and easy to use, but it’s also light and very durable at the same time, thanks to the carbon frame. In the tools and gadgets department, the Skeletool has all the necessary appliances you could need in a SHTF situation: a bottle opener/ carabiner, a bit driver, a pocket clip, a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and of course, a sturdy and sharpened blade. Based on the model, you’ll spend somewhere in the range of $80 – $100 if you decide to go with the Skeletool.
The Guppie Multi-Tool is a device released by Columbia River that can also be attached to your belt, in case your pockets are full The clip gate makes it easy to attach to any sort of belt or D-ring. The gadget is made up of very durable 3Cr13 steel. The knife blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel and it can be opened with one hand. It also has a powerful enough LED light, a wrench, a bottle opener, a jar opener. The wrench jaws are adjustable and open half an inch, making it very efficient for small assembly or repair jobs. This tool is so much more than just a blade, and it will be very useful in case you’ll find yourself in a pickle.
The Buck 301 BKS Stockman is one of the most elegant pocket blades on the market. This folding knife is not exactly what you’d call “small”, as it reaches an overall length of 4 inches. This all-American pocketknife has 3 very durable blades, made out of 420HC stainless steel, which will stay sharp for a very long time. It has a sheepsfoot blade, a Spey and a 3-inch clip point. To attest to the product’s quality, the Buck 301 BKS Stockman comes with a lifetime warranty. The handles are made of plastic, but they’re made in good taste and out of a strong plastic, that will last forever.
There are so many products to choose from, so making the right choice won’t be an easy task. The beautiful thing is that you don’t have to settle for just one multipurpose folding knife. You can get as many as you like, just make sure that the tools you decide to equip yourself with are complementary. No use in carrying too many identical knives on you. The more diverse their features are, the more options you’ll have in a survival scenario.
By Alec Deacon
As I’ve touched on the subject of survival gardening many times before and I’ve advocated growing your own, private vegetable or even fruit garden, I’m sure that my suggestions have resonated with many of my readers. And if you share my view that your private garden will be your main source of getting fresh produce once the big markets close down, you’ll like what you’ll “see” next. Of course, serious gardening requires some knowledge, skill and preparation. You’ll need a bit of practice, as I’ve said before, to actually get the desired results. And you’ll need a bit of financial investment too. But even so, survival gardening can still be run on a tight budget, especially in the fertilizer department. The last thing you’ll need to throw your many at is professional fertilizing agents. Don’t get me wrong, these products work, they get the job done, but there are plenty alternatives you’ll find around the house that will work just as well. And most of the stuff you can use as fertilizer would normally be considered waste, and you’d be throwing it away without being aware of its life-sustaining properties.
First and foremost, you need to understand what fertilizer actually is and why it is so important. Plants, in order to grow and develop require certain amounts of nutrients. Sometimes, what the soil provides just isn’t enough. Fertilizer is added to make sure that plants won’t stagnate and that the crops will be plentiful, counteracting a possible depletion of nutrients in the soil. There are 3 major ranks of nutrients that your garden will need:
- Rank I nutrients (that are needed in large quantities): P (phosphorus), K (potassium) and N (nitrogen)
- Rank II nutrients (that are needed in moderate quantities): Mg (magnesium), Ca (calcium) and S (sulfur)
- Rank III nutrients (that are needed in small quantities): Fe (iron), Mn (manganese), Mo (molybdenum), Zn (zinc) and B (Boron)
If you wish to have healthy and nutritious plants, you’ll have to assure that they get most of these beneficial elements during their development. The lack of nutrients won’t allow the plants to develop normally and may even cause their premature death. So fertilizer it’s a must! Let’s have a look at some of the best DIY fertilizers you can find around the house.
As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. But after the omelette is done, don’t throw the egg shells away, they’ll make a great addition to you gardening plan. Egg shells contain a great amount of Ca (calcium), which is extremely important for cellular growth and development. Calcium is one of the elements in the soil that get depleted fastest while plants are growing, so adding some back into the circuit would be extremely beneficial to you garden. Grind the shells into a thin powder and sprinkle them on the ground; that should do it. The shells also contain N and phosphoric acid.
The banana peel is yet another object you’d be tempted to discard right away. But bananas are rich in potassium (K), and so are its peels. Adding banana peels to your garden would ensure rich and well-developed crops, as potassium (K) is a rank I ingredient, which plants can’t get enough of. Not only is it beneficial to all sorts of fruit and veggies, but ornamental plants are loving it also. Don’t throw the peel on the ground directly, rather rip it into shreds and place it in the hole before planting for optimum efficiency.
Coffee grounds are an excellent source of magnesium (Mg) potassium (K) and nitrogen (N) and would make great ”food” for the plants. But adding them to the soil will increase the overall pH, so it’s generally recommended to use them more for plants who strive in a more acid environment like tomatoes, avocados, blueberries, azaleas etc. Before scattering them on the ground, it’s best if you let them dry first. You should scatter them lightly, around the plants.
As long as you have ash leftovers from the fireplace or if you’ve been camping all night, you also have a good means of fertilizing your garden. Ash is rich in potassium (K) and calcium carbonate, which will do wonders for growing fruit and vegetables. The ash method works best for plants that love alkaline surroundings; so don’t use the ashes on acid loving plants. And if the ashes are the result of a fire to which charcoal or lighter fluid was added, don’t use them. The residual agents will harm the plants. So use 100% wood ashes only.
Yes, that’s correct: hair. Any sort of hair will do, be it from people, dogs cats and pretty much any other creature you can think of. Hair is naturally packed with nitrogen, so if you’ll sprinkle it across the garden, you’ll supply the growing plants with a much needed nitrogen (N) boost. Get hair wherever you can find it: scrap it off brushes and save the trimmings from cutting your hair; you can also visit your local barber shop for great amounts of hair that they would otherwise just throw away. Just offer to get it off their hands for free and they’ll most likely let you have it.
And there you have it, some of the easiest and cheapest methods of ensuring the right nutrients for you survival garden. Not only are these methods cheap and convenient, but they’re also very efficient. If it was money that was in your way of getting your hands dirty and your thumbs green, problem solved! You can now have your garden, and on a budget too.
By Alec Deacon
The total of human population at the beginning of 2016 is roughly around 7.6 billion. And if it’s one thing that’s characteristic for us, is the speed in which we’re depleting our resources; not only are we fast, but we’re constant as well. There’s plenty of us already, and in the near future, there are many things we’ll need to learn to do without. The world reserve of petrol won’t last more than 20, maybe 30 years before its completely depleted. But even more important, it’s finding an alternative for when the food runs out. You can live without petrol and other commodities, but you can’t live without food. The best solution at hand is to throw aside culinary “traditions”, toughen up and accept the fact that the insects solving world hunger. They are the best source of food for dark days! Whether you’re the survivor for a massive World War, scouting the remains of a destroyed society or you’ve been stranded in a hostile environment, you’ll still be surrounded by insects. Most insects are good for eating, just don’t go for the poisonous and venomous ones. It’s their high concentration of protein (can go even up to 75% protein), but also saturated fats (the good kind of fats), minerals and fibers that put them at the top of the list; about 70% of the world’s population is living of insects already, so how long until the rest of us join in? Even the UN launched and official recommendation which encourages insect consumption. Not only is insect consumption healthy, but insect farms would be far less costly and pretentious than any other type of animal. If I’ve got your attention, let’s see some of the best insects across North America that you can get your hands on if SHTF, or if you simply want to experiment.
ANTS (the Formicidae family)
There are plenty of ants to choose from. They’re widely spread and within reach all the time. Just take a bit of patience to scout around the place and you’ll find some sooner or later. Most of the ants you’ll come across are harmless. But if you come across red ants, means you stumbled across some fire ants. They’re bite is really painful, so be as cautious as possible. If we’re talking about an extreme survival case, you can simply reach in the anthill and grab the ants or even better, use a container. I’m sure that if you’ve been starving for a while, you won’t mind their vinegary taste or the fact that you ingurgitate some soil. But if you have the time, boiling is the way to go.
TERMINTES (the Termitoidae family)
Termites are colonial insects, just like ants, they can often be found in large number at ones and their diet consists mainly in eating wood (xylofagous diet). In many places around the world, they live in regular fortresses; termite mounds that are run by all sorts insects devised in social ranks: workers, soldiers, scouts and the queen. However, the mound type structures are no longer found in North America; only fossils are left. Finding termites is really easy, just look for any signs of decaying wood, tree stumps and most of all, damp dead wood.
The caterpillar is not a genus of insect, but rather a transitional form for all sorts of butterflies and moths. Before reaching adult state, moths and butterflies are found in caterpillar form. They don’t have wings, are rather slow by nature (which means they’re easy to catch) and are full of all sorts of nutrients and beneficial substances: vitamin B, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron. Whether they’re hairy or not, they’re still a fully nutritious food source. Some reports I have come across suggest that some of the caterpillars you might come across are potentially toxic, but I have found nothing conclusive in this regard. But just to play it safe, I strongly advise you to stay away from the brightly colored ones. In nature, bright colors mean imminent danger.
CRICKETS / GRASSHOPPERS / LOCUSTS (the Orthoptera order)
The insects in this order are some of the most popular amongst people. And with good reason too. They’re everywhere, easy to catch and sometimes swarm in large numbers; they can be devastating to crops, so if you add humans to they’re natural predatory lists, means less damage they’ll be able to produce. Start eating them, before they’ll eat what you worked so hard for. Besides, they are very nutritious; they have a good overall taste, which is similar to peanuts. Frying them accentuates the flavor, and because they’re packed with protein, you can also dry them up and grind them into a fine powder, which you can store in a cool and dry environment.
Be warned, procuring insects is not as easy as it seems. You really need to know what you’ll be going against. If it’s small and it’s crawling, it’s good to eat. BUT if you see bright colors, stay away. Bright colors mean that the insect is probably poisonous or venomous, so move on and keep looking. You also must be aware of you “hunting ground”. You should gathering insects from urban areas or large crop fields, as these are very likely to have been sprayed with all sorts of insecticides, which can be very toxic.
By Alec Deacon
Oral hygiene is of upmost importance, and we’re familiarized with the toothbrush and toothpaste from an early age. Keeping your teeth clean on a daily basis is vital for preserving oral hygiene. But despite the rigors and norms of the modern consumerist society we live in, there are many other ways of keeping your teeth clan and healthy. And they work best in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, when the products we’re used to won’t just be available anymore. You’ll need to improvise, but luckily there are many substitutes for the traditional methods and products. And despite what many people believe, teeth aren’t made of glass. Cleaning them with something else other than toothpaste won’t damage them in any way. There are plenty of raw foods that known to have a cleaning effect on the teeth (apples, pears, carrots); provided they are hard enough (soft and ripe won’t do), they’ll do wonders for your teeth and gums, preventing even gingivitis and canker sores. Here are some of the best replacements for modern teeth cleaning methods.
Baking soda is probably the most famous alternative when it comes to cleaning the teeth. The baking soda’s natural properties lets it neutralize acids that are harmful for the enamel, kills off bacteria that is responsible for plaque build-up and as far as aesthetics go, it’s an excellent stain remover. It’s used dates as far back as antiquity, as even Hippocrates himself had a mouthwash recipe based on baking soda, vinegar and alum. Alongside baking soda, there are many oils you can throw into the mix for added beneficial effects: cinnamon oil (has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties), peppermint oil (has antibacterial effect, it freshens the breath and it clears up the sinuses), clove oil (fights off bacteria and has painkilling properties) etc. These oils work in more ways than one. If you have swollen gums, you can dip a piece of clean cloth of gauze in any of these and a place over the affected area; for best results, let the gum-pack sit overnight.
Salt is the ingredient that no serious prepper should go without. And believe it or not, it even serves a purpose in the field of oral hygiene. Salt brushing can be used even today, in moderation of course; salt can whiten and brighten one’s teeth. It has mild cleaning properties and it can be used daily; you can also make a salt based mouthwash that you can use for disinfection purposes, against bad breath, tartar, plaque and even boost the healing process. Salt can be used raw or mixed with baking soda (30% salt, 70% baking soda); you can even add sage to the mix, if you happen to have some at your disposal. Mouth wash is even easier to make; just add salt to potable water and there you have it.
OXYGENTATED WATER (HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 3%)
The product has been proven to be very effective against gingivitis, canker sores and harmful bacteria. It should be diluted with water before usage, because it’s a bit to abrasive on the teeth. Just mix equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide 3% and you get a very affective mouth wash. However, you should never swallow the mixture. Before brushing your teeth, swish it around in your mouth and spit it out, but don’t keep it in for longer than 20 seconds. After you’re done, you can wash the toothbrush with the oxygenated water-based concoction, to destroy residual bacteria.
PRIMITIVE TOOTHBRUSHES (aka. CHEW STICKS)
Chewing on sticks and branches is a primitive teeth-cleaning method, that’s still used today among tribal societies. It might seem a bit rough, but it works. The method consists in chewing down on little twigs and branches and splitting them into several small brands. When you’re done chewing and the twig gets spread enough, you can used it to clean your teeth similar to a toothbrush. Some plants are more efficient than others, thanks to their healing properties. Some of the best and most spread DIY toothbrushes can be made out of oak, juniper, eucalyptus and the neem tree. Their rich in tannins that are extremely helpful in cleansing and curing gum-related afflictions and oils that stimulate blood flow.
There you have it, some of the best methods to help you keep your oral hygiene even in the toughest conditions imaginable. When your toothpaste and mouthwash reserves run low, you’ll need to consider replacing them and fast. No matter how bad things get, overlooking oral hygiene is not an option.
By Alec Deacon
I am well aware of the fact that most of us that deal with prepping and take surviving in a SHTF situation seriously are familiar with the pocket chainsaw. Many of us have repeatedly used one, no doubt about that. And with good reason too. The motorized chainsaw is an essential tool to have around the house. It requires very little effort from your part when it comes to cutting down trees or chopping wood (mainly). The chainsaw comes in a lot of shapes and sizes and make the work as easy as possible; all it asks in return is fuel and occasional maintenance. But no matter how efficient it is in a day-to-day situation, it’s not very reliable when it comes down to a survival scenario. The fuel it requires will stop being a commodity and will become harder and harder to find; same goes for the oil and other parts that are required for maintenance. Fortunately, there’s an alternative available. It’s called the pocket saw, and it’s basically a chain similar to that of a chainsaw, but it has 2 handles attached at each end. This gadget will require a lot more effort from your part in cutting wood, as you’ll need to become the engine that drives the chain; but it’s the best option you got. And if some manual labor doesn’t scare you, it will be extremely efficient in a survival scenario, when you’ll need to cut wood for building a shelter, firewood or surpassing and obstacle that might be in your way.
This particular pocket chainsaw is one of the simplest and easy to use models that are available on the market. Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s not efficient. It has a bi-directional carbon steel chain which is pretty resistant and comes in 3 sizes: the 24 inch version, a longer 36 inch version and the longest, the 48 inch version. Because the chain is made from carbon steel and the teeth are thinner than those of a regular pocket chainsaw, the product is overall lighter than its counterparts. Although the chain is not as polished and refined as what you get from its counterparts on the market, it will do its job. Just make sure you keep it lubricated at all times; spraying it with WD40 will do. The handles are simplistic, made up from a tough fiber. They’re not very refined either, but they’re strong and require very little to no maintenance at all. The down side is that they will become very uncomfortable on the hands after using them for 10 – 15 minutes, so wearing a pair of gloves and wrapping the handles in a soft cloth would be a good idea. Careful with the cloth wrapping though; it may cause the grip to break and you’d end up hurting yourself. The Chainmate pocket chainsaw should cost around $20 – $25 and as a bonus, you also get a pouch made from the same materials as the handles; it’s rough, but tough.
The pocket chainsaw put out by Supreme Products also has a bi-directional chain, but what makes it stand out is that the product is modular. The saw can be detached from the handle, and if stored in its box, it weighs only 4 ounces and it can easily be fitted safely inside any pocket. The chain is made of carbon steel that has been coated with an anti-rusting agent. The blade is 28 inches long and the teeth are placed every 1/4 of an inch. At each end of the saw you get a stainless steel hook, to which you can attach the plastic handles, which are more comfortable than the handles made out of fiber, especially when you’ll be using the saw for longer period of time. The purpose of making this chainsaw modular is that you can add extension if you want to rich high limbs; just add as much rope as you like in-between the hooks and the handle. It’s very reliable and sturdy, easy to carry and to assemble and because the blade cuts both ways, you can go through a 3-inch diameter limb in about 10 – 15 seconds. Getting one won’t cost you more than $21.
The SaberCut is released by Ultimate Survival Technologies and it’s a very efficient and qualitative tool. The 24 inch blade is bidirectional, cutting both ways easily because it’s very flexible and durable. The saw weighs in at about 4.5 ounces. It’s one of the easiest-to-maintain pocket chainsaws I ever came across. The teeth are self cleaning and they can easily be sharpened with a standard 1/8 chainsaw sharpener. The handles are made from the same material as the pouch it comes with, which is pretty durable and strong enough. Although this particular saw is not modular, you can always add as much length as you want tying cord to the handles. Not only is the SaberCut efficient and trustworthy, but it’s also one of the cheapest pocket chainsaws you can find, as it costs no more than $11.
By Alec Deacon
When finally SHTF and the whole world falls apart, surviving each day at a time will be the key issue, as I have stated so many times before. Apart from staying safe and getting the right resources as far and food and water goes, keeping healthy will be just as important. I’ve advised you time and time again on being vigilant and avoid accidents at all costs, as have I advised you on keeping the right supplies in your personal survival medical kit. But as far as medical supplies go, they’ll run out eventually. And vigilance just won’t be enough to stop accidents from happening entirely. When it comes down to it, you’ll need to improvise, and fast. No matter what type of accidents we’re talking about, be it a minor one (a bruise, a cut, bug bites etc.) or a more serious injury (burns, fractures etc.), a real important part of the treatment is avoiding infection. For such occasions you’ll need to have antiseptics in hand. They are substances (that come in liquid, powder or ointment form) and get applied locally to help prevent infection, sepsis (harmful bacteria and toxins) and even putrefaction. Medical kits usually have Betadine (aka. Povidone-iodine), which is one of the best medical products when it comes to fighting off infection. But if you don’t happen to have any, there is still plenty of substitutes you can you use. Let’s have a look at what they are.
You might have run out of Betadine, but if you still have some mouthwash lying around, you should be set. If you have a mouthwash that is set on fighting plaque and gingivitis, it should be able to do the same with any sort of pathogens that tend to build up on an open wound. Most of the products in this category have substances like zinc chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription) etc., that are nothing else but antiseptic agents. If it’s set to fight off germs in your mouth, it should do the same for cuts, bruises and flesh wounds.
2. Lemon juice
For those of you that have a high tolerance to pain, you can use lemon juice, or even better, lime juice to disinfect and clean open wounds. But be advised that the stinging sensation will be intense. Not only will lemon juice kill off potentially harmful bacterial agents, but it will also stops the bleeding. The juice is effective against pathogens thanks to its acidic properties that act like an alcohol-based disinfectant: it kills of germs, it cleans the wound and it dries up the area all in one swoop. If you can stand the pain, it’ll be worth it. But be advised, excessive use can damage healthy cells as well.
Garlic is known to be one of the most potent natural antiseptics across many cultures throughout the world. But in order for it to work, the wound needs to have stopped bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, clean the afflicted area with water and gently dry it off with a clean piece of cloth. The garlic can be crushed and applied directly or you can make a concoction by adding red wine. Let it sit for 3 – 4 hours and apply to the wound. However, garlic can be damaging to the skin, so don’t leave it more than 25 minutes at a time.
I bet not many of you knew that potatoes have a natural ability of healing open wounds. Well, they do. And it’s all based on their ability to attract and draw out all sorts of infections. The first thing you’ll need to do is to shred a potato or two and spread them over a thin, clean cloth. Add this to the wound and let it sit for 5 hours at a time. When changing your potato bandage with a fresh one, you’ll need to clean the wound with some salt-water. Potatoes will keep the inflammation to a minimum and will keep pathogens at bay.
Chamomile is an ancient cure for so many ailments, that its notoriety has lasted through the ages. The plant’s dried flowers contain high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids that make it one of the most curative plants to have been discovered. If chamomile-based ointments or medicine isn’t available, you can easy get some tea bags or simply find fresh flowers, dry them and make them into tea. Once the tea is done, get a clean cloth and soak it in. Drain the excess liquid and apply directly on the wound; if you have chamomile tea bags, even better, as they’ll contain plant parts which will speed up the healing process even more.
6. Cayenne pepper
The Cayenne pepper works amazingly as open-wound treatment. Not only does it have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it also stops the bleeding in a heartbeat, as it makes the blood clot way fast than normal. The bleeding of a superficial wound should cease in about 15 seconds after the pepper was added; if the wound is more severe, drink the concoction made up of 8oz water + 1oz cayenne pepper daily. This will help you cause.
7. Pine sap + needles
The pine sap is considered as one of the most easily procured natural antiseptics there are. If you happen to have some pinesin you vicinity, getting some sap will be child’s play. Look on the body of the tree for lumpy formations. They or sap pockets witch you can easily pop or stick with your knife. Once the sap is out, simply take it and spread it over the wound. If you wish to strengthen the effect of the sap, you can grab some pine needles to snack on. They are edible and also have mild antiseptic properties.
8. Cactus bandages
This is the best option for all you desert-dwellers out there. The prickly pear cactus (Oputia sp.) has flat round pads, which have excellent antiseptic and astringent properties. Grab a pad and either split it in half or peel it. Place it directly over the wound, but assure yourself you have removed those pesky needles first. You can let it sit, even secure it with a gauze. The cactus will speed up the healing process.
Whether you’ll need to resort to such improvisations or not, is hard to tell. But if it ever comes down to it, at least you won’t have to endure a slow and painful death caused by infection. Nature is lending us a hand every here and there, just keep your eyes open.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
The danger of getting burned is ever-present in our day to day lives. Whether we’re talking about a minor burn caused by carelessness or a severe degree burn caused by an unfortunate event, it’s important to know how to react in such a situation. Most of us have already dealt with burning injuries at least once in their lifetime, so the sensation and the gravity of the matter is known to most people. We’re not lacking in the health department in this day and age; there’s plenty of doctors and clinics out there that are able and equipped to deal with burn victims. Even if they’re not immediately available, medicine is widely available and many people already have their stock set aside for darker days. But what happens in TEOTWAWKI situation, when medical care and supplies won’t simply be available anymore? In this case, it’s important to know how to treat a burn victim and to improvise as best as we can in order to save one’s life.
The first thing we’ll need to asses in a burning accident is how much of the overall body surface has been affected by the burn. People that have less than 20% of their body’s surface affected by 2nd and 3rd burns are not facing direct life threats (although the danger of infection and complications is still present); 1st degree burns do not pose a life threat, as the skin is not significantly affected. But those who have suffered. This is easily calculated by using the rule of nines, according to whom the surfaces on the human adult body are as follows: head = 9%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 18% (front = 9% + back = 9%). For children, the numbers are as follows: head = 18%, chest (front) = 9%, abdomen (front and back) = 9%, upper/mid/lower back & buttocks = 18%, arms (each) = 9%, palm (each) = 1%, groin = 1%, legs (each) = 14% (front = 7% + back = 7%).
After the affected surface area has been determined, it’s imperative to understand what degree of burn you’re dealing with. As an international convention, burns are split into three distinctive categories:
1st degree burns or mild burns are what happens in the best case scenario. The injury is superficial and the skin is not completely affected. A good example of a 1st degree burn is a nasty case of sunburn. It requires a lesser form of treatment and it’s not life-threatening
2nd degree burns are much more serious and pose a greater threat to general health. They are far more painful as the affliction penetrates far deeper into the skin. If this is the case, it’s recommended you seek medical help, if available.
3rd degree burns are the most severe types imaginable. Because the injury goes so deep into the skin, the pain receptors can be completely destroyed, so they victim might not feel pain at all. If the affected area gets swollen, turns leathery or black, you’re dealing with a 3rd degree burn; as a mentioned before, pain is no longer an indicator. This is an emergency, and you should seek professional help if it’s available, if not, turn to your medical kit.
Before you start applying a treatment, you’ll need to determine the nature of the burn. Various types of burns require different treatments. These are some of the most common causes when it comes to burn injuries and how you should deal with them:
If the victim has been subjected to a flame source, the first step is to take the person away from the fire source and to extinguish his clothes if they’re on fire. Water is the best choice, as this will not only put out the fire, but it will also wash away any remaining pieces of charred clothing. Cold water will cool the burned areas and sooth the pain. Next, remove the clothes, gently tap with a dry and clean piece of cloth and apply any treatment available.
Treating electrical burn victims requires a different approach. In this case, the insides are just as damaged (if not more) than the outside. Electrical current takes a toll mostly on the heart, so before treating burns, check the patient’s vital signs first. You might need to perform CPR before anything else. Once the victim is stabilized, you can proceed to treating the burns.
Chemical burns are also a hazard to take into consideration. Treating skin that’s been exposed to corrosive substances requires a lot of patience. The burned area should be washed with water for about 30 minutes before proceeding to apply any type of ointment. If the area is not cleaned perfectly, the remaining substances will continue to destroy skin cells. After the area has been cleaned, you should double check that the ointment you’re about to apply won’t react with the chemical residue found in the burn.
If medical help is not available and if your personal survival medical kit is depleted, worry not. Luckily you can still improvise burn treatments out of everyday household items. Here are some of the things found around the house that can do wonders in case you’re dealing with burns:
- Honey is a fantastic first aid solution when it comes to treating burns. It can also work as a permanent solution, provided you’re in a survival scenario and you happen to have some honey lying around. You should cover the affected surface in honey completely. Next cover the area in a plastic warp. Honey will prevent bacteria from reaching the wound and keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Check the wound daily and apply as much honey as you can spare.
- Vinegar can also be used for cleaning the burned area, as it can be used as an antiseptic. Because it’s an acid, the vinegar will sting and add to the burning sensation, but in the process it will clean and sanitize the burned area, killing of any unwanted pathogens that might lead to severe infection. Diluted vinegar is the way to go.
- Baking soda works perfectly for treating a burned area. Just add water, turn it into a paste and apply it gently over the burned area. The baking soda will help reduce the swelling and the pain sensation. You can add it to any type of burns EXCEPT chemical burns. It may give an unwanted reaction with the chemical that caused the burn, so avoid using it in this case.
Aiding a burn victim in no easy task, and you should take it seriously. Educate yourself in the field before taking on such a task, as the wrong move might have unwanted consequences. There are many popular treatments that do not give great result, quite the opposite. Burns should be cleaned with cold water, but never ice water. You might have been told at some point to press something cold next to a burn, but you strongly advise you not to. The surface you might be pressing into the burned area might be carrying pathogens that will cause infection. Also egg whites and oil do not work either, so don’t bother. If your hands and fingers have been burned, remove rings and jewelry asap, because burned areas tend to get swollen. Nasty burns will most likely result in enormous blisters; do not pop them! They’re helping the healing process. Popping them may result in infection, pain and permanent trauma.
By Alec Deacon
Can you imagine starting off each day without having that first cup of coffee in the morning? I can’t, and I’m pretty sure that most of you can’t either. And in all fairness, how could we? It’s hard to be responsible and functional adults without that boost and the “friendly kick in the rear” that coffee gives us. Caffeine gives us just a bit of energy to get us started through the day and on top of it all, the habit of having a cup of coffee is social activity that often times brings people together, by opening the door for socializing and small talk. If coffee is such a necessity in our da-to-day average lives, imagine how much more we’re going to need it in a survival situations, when social structures will fall and we’ll be forced to fend for ourselves. Life will be infinitely harder and stressful, as we’ll find ourselves in a struggle for procuring the simplest necessities, like food and water. You’ll need to keep your strength up, have a clear head and keep your wits about you. And there’s no better way of boosting yourself than to add some coffee to your survival provisions.
Coffee improves your health
Coffee has been known to have beneficial effects when it comes to human health; but this only applies to fresh coffee that you brew at home. The processed one tends to lose its beneficial traits. According to a study released in 2012 by the National Institute of Health, coffee drinkers have a higher life expectancy. And it’s no wonder if you consider that the drink is a major source of antioxidants, which reduce overall inflammation and the danger of succumbing to respiratory cardiovascular diseases. The study previously mentioned also states that coffee drinking prevents other afflictions as well, like diabetes, strokes and infections.
Coffee boosts energy and mental alertness
And we’re back to what coffee does best: gives energy when there’s need for it. The caffeine is plentiful in the coffee beans, and this is the main source of energy that gets us started in the morning. It stimulates the adrenal gland that releases cortisol, a steroid hormone, which acts upon the sugar reserves stored in the liver. The result is a burst of energy, which won’t last for very long, but it will be more than enough to get you up and running, especially when will power just isn’t enough. Coffee is being consumed by humans for ages. In certain zones Africa, hunters wrap coffee berries in animal fat. They consume them for extra energy when they’re out hunting, to increase stamina and awareness. Apart from the energy boost, this wonder drink also increases mental alertness; it gets you thinking clearly and very aware of your surroundings. That’s why preppers shouldn’t go without it when SHTF. Because of its wonderful properties, coffee has been a part of the military way of life for decades now. Caffeine consumption has been encouraged greatly amongst our troops, even if it comes in the form of tea or caffeine-based chewing gum.
Coffee improves morale and reduces depression and suicide rate
Having a cup of coffee every once in a while can be a great morale booster. Especially in a survival scenario, when the whole world will seem to have been turned upside down. Coffee, just like other familiar rituals, will give you a sense of normalcy which will make the ordeal just a bit more bearable. The smell and taste of coffee will work towards keeping your morale up, just as well as it will keep you alert at all times. If you’re spirit is up, depression will be kept at bay. Studies have shown a direct correlation between low rates of depression and suicide amongst those who drink two or more cups of coffee a day. So if you want to make your doomsday experience a bit more bearable, don’t forget to add coffee to your survival stash. But use it wisely, as reserves will be limited.
If you’ve been convinced by now, waste no more time and start stocking up on the wonder-beans as soon as possible. Coffee products don’t have a very long shelf life and it’s not native to North America. The best option you have is to procure freeze-dried coffee that you can store for long periods of time. When you need it, just take it out, roast it and grind it yourself.
By Alec Deacon
Drones have been widely available on the market lately and they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. Many people look at drones and see an over-the-top expensive toy. I, on the other hand, as a prepper, see opportunity. And with good reason. Drones are remote-controlled gadgets, with enough battery autonomy that have cameras attached. No special skills are require to handle your very own drone and you can even pair to your smartphone. You can use drones in a TEOTWAWKI scenario to gather intelligence in your surroundings without being physically present in a possibly hostile territory. Reconnaissance missions will no longer require special preparations, other than that of flying a drone that has a camera attached. The cameras can take high quality pictures and even videos with sound. If you’re smart phone allows it, it can even emit in real time. Many drones have a built-in GPS software that helps them return safely to their launch point, in case radio contact is lost. However, in a survival scenario, the GPS service might not be available, so keep that in mind before taking off.
What you need to know about drones
First and foremost they are battery operated. So if you plan on using the drones even when everything falls to bits, you’ll need to ensure you have a recharging station, based on fuel, or even better, solar panels. They are computer and smartphone friendly, which means they have USB ports that allows you to connect your drone to your computer, for easy access and settings; you can even follow the flight path in real time from your smartphone and even adjust camera angles. The flight speed varies from model to model. The average drone flies at about 25 mph, but the more expensive model can reach staggering speeds of even 80 mph. Autonomy and control distance is also variables from one model to the next, but an average fully charged battery gets depleted in about 10 – 30 minutes. There are also gas-powered drones available on the market, their autonomy is superior to the battery operated ones, but they’re also more expensive. A drone can serve many purposes in SHTF situation: scouting and surveillance flights, scouting for wild game and even delivering messages from A to B. On the down side, drones are very visible and can attract unwanted attention. They can be taken down easily or even worse, followed to give away your location. So you’ll need a bit of practice before using it in a critical situation and A LOT of caution.
Some of the best drones that you can buy
The Dromida Ominus FPV is one of the cheapest drones on the market, which is perfect for flight practice. The camera quality is rather good and it has great connectivity to you mobile device. It’s easy to use, has decent autonomy and it can be very fun to fly. For those of you that are looking for a device to get you started in the drone area, look no further. The Dromida Ominus FPV is a resilient little gadget, comes in many colors you can chose from (blue, green red, yellow), is both iOS and Andriod compatible (so you won’t have to change your phone) and costs only $150. If you’re interested in purchasing it, go here.
The Parrot Bebop drone is possibly the most renowned of the Parrot company and it is a semi-pro drone, meaning it’s considered to sit in between toys and professional drones. The drone itsef is very lite and incredibly maneuverable, making it easy to fly even in closed spaces or indoors. It support smartphone and tablet connectivity and it comes with two batteries. The battery, if fully charged, should last about 10 – 15 minutes of continuous flight. The on-board camera is decent; it has a resolution of 1080p. The base model comes at about $450, but if you’re willing to spend more you can get the model with the range extension, that will allow it to fly further. For more details, go here.
The Yuneec Q500 4K is drone whose popularity is growing steadily amongst the drone enthusiasts thanks to its camera quality. The built in camera has a 4K resolution (4000p), meaning the image quality it offers for both pictures and video is unbeatable. It comes with two batteries and the camera is removable. There’s also a version that comes with a 1080p camera, but the $k version is of course far superior. The controller has an android built into it, so you don’t necessarily have to use your phone or tablet for maneuvering the drone. The model doesn’t have many gadgets and accessories available yet, but it won’t be long before Yuneec releases a bunch, considering how fast this little drone is gaining in popularity. The price is about $1300, and if you’re interested in getting your own, click here.
Getting your very own drone is nowhere near a bad idea. Flying one can be really fun and addictive, so if you’re lacking a serious hobby, drone flying could just fill that void. Enjoy it and practice, you’ll never know when your drone piloting skills will save your neck in a SHTF scenario.
By Alec Deacon
The U.S. has had its fair share of hurricanes in these past decades. Hurricanes Sandy, Rita and Katrina have hit pretty hard. They took so many lives and the process and produced massive infrastructural damage. No matter how far we’re willing to go as far as preparations go, we will never be completely safe from nature’s wrath. But every precaution can be a small battle won and +1 when it comes to our chances to survive in case of a hurricane. In order to beat the storm and come out on top, we must understand what a hurricane actually is. Hurricanes are immense storms that cover great areas. Because the winds blow in a swirling motion, powerful air currents are created that can be strong enough to pull out trees out of the ground, lift cars and even lay whole cities to the ground. Wind speed is a major factor in considering how devastating the hurricane is going to be; according to wind speed, hurricanes fall into the following categories:
- Category 1: winds reach speeds of 74 mph – 95 mph
- Category 2: winds reach speeds of 96 mph – 110 mph
- Category 3: winds reach speeds of 111 mph – 129 mph
- Category 4: winds reach speeds of 130 mph – 156 mph
- Category 5: winds reach speeds of speeds of over 157 mph
Hurricanes will most likely form over warm ocean surface, and they sometimes have the tendency of going towards land. When this happens, it also sends a wave formation (storm surge) towards land alongside heavy precipitation. These two combined can cause major flooding to urban or rural areas. Even though hurricanes cover large areas at a time, the intensity of the storm is not constant throughout the entire area, but it’s rather varied from zone to zone. Based on intensity, hurricanes are comprised of the following parts:
- Zone 1: the eye of the hurricane is the portion in the middle of the stormy area (central zone); it’s the zone that’s least affected, where wind and precipitations are at their lowest
- Zone 2: the eye wall is a circle of thunderstorms that swirl around the central zone (the eye); the wall is where storm activity is at its highest, with heavy precipitations and strong winds
- Zone 3: rain bands stretch from the eye wall towards the outside; they’re a weaker reflection of the eye wall, comprised of storm clouds, precipitations and possibly tornadoes
Preparing for an incoming hurricane
As I’ve said before, there is nothing you can do that is 100% hurricane proof, but every measure of precaution you take might just be enough to save you or your property. First and foremost, my main advice is to consider of building your very own underground bunker or disaster-proof room somewhere in the vicinity of you home and have it filled with as many provisions as you can. Just be sure to consider flooding and the need for oxygen. If such a room would be too much trouble, you can also reinforce a room in the house (possibly the basement), turning it into a safe room and hope for the best. If you want to save as much of your property as possible and limit the damage, cover your windows with special, permanent storm shutters; if you can’t find any in your vicinity, just use some plywood instead. Roof straps will reduce the damage and maintain the structure of the house as whole as possible. Trimming your bushes, trees and shrubs around the house will make them less likely to fly off and damage or even kill somebody; the trimmer they are, the less “grabby” their surface will be when it comes in direct contact with the wind. Rain gutters should be unclogged, in order to fight off flooding.
What to do during the storm
If there’s a massive storm coming your way, you need to stay informed. Follow any sort of alerts and directions the authorities issue on the tv, radio or internet. Secure your house as best as you can by closing all the doors, even those inside the house. The less the air flows through, the safer you’ll be. Any sort of small object left in your shed or front lawn should be moved in the house. If they get picked up the storm, they could become serious projectiles that can do permanent damage or even kill. When the storm hits, turn off all the utilities and keep away from the phone as much as possible. Propane tanks should be switched off, as well as the refrigerator. If things get serious, go to your panic room or your provision room. Keep enough food and water supplies. You cars should be fully fueled, because if the opportunity should arise, you must be able to drive without stopping as far as you possibly can. Also keep cash on you; banking and ATM systems will most probably be shut down. If you’re eager to evacuate, take a moment and think things through; acting on impulse might cost you your life. Wait for things to settle down a bit and listen to the directives given by the local authorities.
Dealing with a hurricane is a stressful and life-threatening situation. Take all the necessary precautions you can in order to limit the damage, but remember that nothing’s more important than saving your life. You safety should come first, before everything else. So if you’re taken by surprise, flee for safety and don’t waste any time in securing your property.
By Alec Deacon
Broken bones, fractures and joint injuries are a common thing that happen on a daily basis. We’re only one phone call away from receiving immediate medical assistance if in need. It’s not a life threatening situation in the 21st century, unless there are immediate complications. But what if we happen to brake a hand or a leg in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, where medical assistance will cease to be a commodity and when our very survival will depend on our mobility and full functionality? In case this happens, all is not lost, there are procedures to follow that will get as out of harm’s way. But if the treatment is to be successful, you’ll need to do everything by the book. The first thing to do is to make sure that the injured person’s life is not threatened in any way; once he’s out of harm’s way you can start treating the injury. Once his vital signs have been checked and you’ve concluded that he has been completely stabilized, you can start treating the fracture.
First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that what you’re dealing with is a fracture and not something else. Most commonly fractures bear the following signs and symptoms: the inability to use or bear weight on the affected body part, severe pain, swelling, deformity, discoloration etc. In some cases, the ones that suffer the injury might even hear a loud cracking noise. In extreme cases, the fracture is so bad that the bone will pierce the flesh. Apart from bone fractures there are other injuries that are easier to treat and not as severe, but can be just as debilitating if left untreated, like muscle strained ligaments and joint dislocations. Fractures can be very tricky and should be approached with care. Many complications can arise (damaged blood vessels, torn muscles, damaged nerves), so minimal and gentle manipulation is imperative. If the affected area becomes swollen, pale, numb and the patient succumbs to shock, it’s probably that an important blood vessel has been damaged, causing internal bleeding. In this case, you should put on hold the fracture treatment and stop the hemorrhaging instead. The best method of dealing with broken bones is splinting. Many people would advise that the splint should be applied without traction, in the position found, but this would be completely impractical, as the bone should be placed in an anatomically correct position in order to prevent severe pain and loss of function (partial or even complete). So it’s ok to manipulate the fracture gently.
You’ll need two forked branches that are strong enough, so you’ll need them to be at least 2 inches in diameter. One should measure the exact distance from the armpit to 12 inches past his broken leg, while the other should measure the distance from the groin to 12 inches past the broken leg. Next you’ll need to pad the splints. The ends that go past the leg (that measure 12 inches past the leg) will get a 2 inch in diameter branch placed in between them. Now the two splints should be tied together accordingly with the splinting guidelines with anything you can get your hands on: cloth, vines, rope etc. With the same material (provided it’s strong enough), tie a wrap around the ankle; the free ends will get tied to the cross member. Finally, add a twisting stick at the free end of the ankle wrap; twisting the wrap will provide traction. Continue twisting until the broken leg is in line with the healthy leg.
Splinting a foot will require a piece of long and tough cardboard or plastic. This piece of material should be bent lengthwise so that you get three identical (more or less) segments. You can add cloth or padding on the inner side to add comfort. Place the splint under the foot and the leg, so that it reaches halfway to the knee, yet it goes enough under the foot to immobilize the ankle; once this is done, add some cloth between the ankle and splint. Fold the cardboard around the leg and secure it with some tape. Now do the same as you did with the ankle for all the empty spaces between the leg and the splint: add cloth. You can reduce swelling and discomfort with ice, but don’t keep it on for longer than 20 minutes.
Once the arm is adjusted in its natural position, you should apply the splints. You can use any material as long as it’s hard enough (strong cardboard, sticks, wood etc.) and long enough, so they extend passed the wrist and the elbow. Before the splints go on, wrap the arm in a clean and soft cloth, for comfort more than anything. Once the arm is wrapped, you can wrap the splints as well. The splints should be applied equally when it comes to length; for forearm fractures the splints should go beyond the wrist, while in the case of upper arm fractures, they should extend beyond the elbow. The cloth that holds the splints together should be at least 5 inches before and after the fracture. Don’t tie the bonds too firmly; if you can slip two fingers in, it’s perfect. In order to keep the arm secure and in place, tie a piece of cloth around the neck of the patient and slip the fractured hand in it. The hand should be centered on the sling and it should be at a flat and horizontal position. If the elbow is at a 90 degree angle, you’ve done an excellent job.
Securing a broken hand in place will be a bit trickier, as you’ll need a material that is strong and rigid enough to hold the hand in place, yet flexible enough to fold. It should extend from the wrist to the end of the fingers. The hand should be straight and relaxed, with its fingers slightly opened. Place some cloth in the palm of the hand and place the first splint under the wrist, so it extends to the end of the fingers. The splint should be folded up and around the wrist. Tie it together and add tape for extra security. Once you’re done, stuff the open spaces with cloth to increase comfort and firmness.
If you ever find yourself in the posture of treating broken bones or fractures, remember the first thing to do is to keep calm and act with caution. You’ll need to be very aware and have enough knowledge in the matter. You can educate yourself further in anatomy of the limbs and learn a few knots that will secure your splints in place. You can practice these techniques and even take up courses for first aid, so you won’t have to do it for the first time in a SHTF situation.
By Alec Deacon
Every serious fisherman knows the importance of owning the right fishing rod. Whether you’re fishing for sport or you’re simply trying to feed yourself, there’s no better way than doing it the old fashioned way. But in a SHTF situation (whether you’re lost in the wilderness or you’ve found yourself trapped in an end-of-days scenario) you might not have you trusted fishing rod on you. But you won’t necessarily need to. You’ll need nothing more than a knife; having a small tackle box with the right assortment of hooks and some spool of monofilament will make things easier. If you’re lucky enough to have these items on you, you’ll need to improvise the fishing pole only, which it’ll be more than enough to feed yourself in desperate times. If not, well, you’ll need to improvise the whole thing. The rest of the materials you can easily find in your surroundings. And here’s how to do it.
The first thing you’ll need to find is the pole; any 6 – 7 foot-long branch will do, as long as it’s no thicker than a human thumb. Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll have to break it off from the tree. Once this is achieved, you’ll need to break it again to the desired length. If it’s dry enough, you can snap it in half against your knee or against any hard surface; but if it’s not dry and it’s still rather flexible, you can try cutting it with the knife. Using dead branches is a bad idea because their durability is very low and break easily. You can test the tip by banding it to the point of snapping. If it snaps, fine; the more it does snap, the stronger the remaining pole gets. As soon as you got the pole to the desired length, use the knife to remove any remaining branches, leaves or shoots. Make it as smooth as possible in order to improve weight and handling.
The fishing line
If you happen to have some monofilament fishing like on you, your job gets much easier. If you don’t, sewing thread could get the job done as well. But in sewing thread isn’t an option either, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and look for thin green vines in ground cover or in the undergrowth found around various bushes. The greener the vine, the stronger it will be. If you find a vine that’s about 10 feet, look no further. Remove any tendrils by pulling carefully so you don’t damage the line. For safety, the line should be tied midway down the pole and wrapped as many times as possible towards the tip, where a simple overhand knot will suffice for holding it in place. This way, if the pole breaks, you can immediately catch the line with your hands.
The hooks and the bait
Some professional hooks will work extremely well, provided of course you brought some along. If not, you can always use paper clips, safety pins or soda can tabs. Another viable option is to carve your very own V-shaped hooks out of wood (green wood preferably). A one end you’ll need to carve a groove, in the hook-eye area. This will allow you to tie fishing line onto. As bait you can use pretty much any insect you can get your hands on. The easiest things to get are the earthworms, which can be found underground, under rocks, around moss and in other moist areas. Once you’ve baited the hook, you’re pretty much ready to go. From here on in it’s all about patience and skill.
When it comes to fishing is a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, fishing areas are very important. It’s absolutely necessary to procure the maximum amount of fish with as little resources as possible. So it’s not all about the gear that you have or that you’ve crafted. It’s just as important to know where, when and how to fish. If you’re fishing in stagnant waters, you’ll need to go after still pools. The stillness of the water will make the bait as visible as possible, thus increasing your chances of catching something fast. When it comes to running waters, the area behind exposed boulders would be the best location to catch anything, as fish have a tendency of gathering in such places. You might also want to consider bank fishing, as standing on the water’s edge can also be a very productive fishing method.
As you can see, improvising and entire fishing pole is a rather difficult task, but not impossible to achieve. As previously stated, having line and hooks on you will spare you a lot of trouble. But if not, you’ll just need to put some extra effort into it. Just follow all the steps and you’ll have your DIY fishing rod in no time.
By Alec Deacon
Everybody who has been following my writings or has some clue about who I am and what I “preach”, will have an idea of how much I advocate safety before anything else. I’ve talked many times before about the importance of having the right stuff and a personalized medical kit for and emergency situations, be it for TEOTWAWKI or simply for everyday life situations. But even though you might plan things in advance, the outcome of a situation can change unexpectedly. You might find yourself in need of medical assistance and have no professional products at your disposal. This is where you’ll need to improvise and fast. Open wounds and cuts are some of the most common injuries that usually occur. Find out how to stop excessive bleeding because will be imperative to reduce health risks as much as possible. Luckily there are plenty of methods to reduce hemorrhaging that don’t require special bandages and other products that are usually found in a professional medical kit. Here are some of the best methods to get the job done.
Applying direct pressure on the wound
Stopping the heavy blood flow by applying a piece of cloth (or pretty much anything else that can stop the blood flow) directly on the gush will be your first instinct. And you wouldn’t be wrong. Any type of cloth or cloth-like material will do. In some cases, if the situation is desperate enough, you can even apply direct pressure with your hand. Using a sterile cloth would be preferable sure, but in a life-threatening scenario pathogens are the least of your worries. Infections are risk factor beyond the shadow of a doubt, but it will take some time (days, even weeks) to set in and become a real problem. But blood drains really fast, especially if the wound is deep enough. You can die in a matter of minutes, considering the average adult male has a volemy (total blood volume) of about 5l, while the average female has 4,5l. So if SHTF, stopping the blood loss is top on the priority list.
Using pressure points
If applying direct pressure on the open wound fails and the blood loss can’t be stopped, you’ll need to take the technique a step further and resort to applying pressure on the nearest artery. The key is to press the artery against the bone in order to reduce blood flow; the main idea is to compress the artery that correlates the heart with the open wound. If you do the technique right, the blood transported from the heart to the affected area will be stopped in its tracks, hence the bleeding will cease. There are many pressure points on the human body for stopping massive hemorrhaging but the main two are the brachial artery (the primary pressure points for the arms) and the femoral artery (the primary pressure point for the arms). The brachial artery is placed a few inches below the armpit area, on the inside of the upper arm, somewhere in between the biceps and triceps muscles. Feel for the pulse; once you’ve got it, apply pressure with 3 fingers. The femoral artery is located on the inside of the thigh, in the groin area; it’s pretty deep in, so you’ll need to use a bit of force to actually apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, do not apply pressure on the artery for longer than 3 – 5 minutes.
Applying a tourniquet
This method is probably the most efficient method in stopping heavy blood flow, but it should be used as a last resort only, as it can cause irreparable damage. It reduces the blood loss entirely, but it also prevents the oxygenation of the affected area and of all the living tissue below the pressure point. This could cause permanent damage or even the loss of the limb in question, so apply the tourniquet only if there is no other option available. You can improvise a tourniquet out of pretty much everything, whether it’s a belt, a hose or a folded piece of cloth (never wires or thin ropes). The contraption should be placed between the heart and the open wound, more precisely a few inches above the gush. Just make a simple knot, push a stick through it and tighten firmly by twisting. Loosen the tourniquet every 20 minutes to check if the bleeding stops. Once the hemorrhaging stops, apply direct pressure on the wound and ice packs (if available).
Once again, Mother Nature comes to save the day. If you find yourself in a desperate situation, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of plants you can grow (and find) that will do wonders for excessive and periodical bleeding. Once you’ve treated and open wound, you can always use prepare a mixture of concoction to fix the problem from “the inside” as well. Here are some of the most important and easy to use plant
Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum minimum) – this pepper is recommended for external use; dry them up and grind them in a thinpowder, that you can use on open wounds to stop the bleeding
Plantain (Plantago sp.) – it’s mostly used against superficial cuts; you can use the leaves to make salves, juices or even tea
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – it’s an excellent astringent and aids blood clotting; you can make a tea from both leaves and flower heads (fresh or dry)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) – as far as internal use goes, the witch hazel can be brewed into a tea that does wonders for internal bleeding, especially for the stomach and bowels
You should be very vigilant when treating a deep open wound. It’s preferable to have a professional medical kit at your disposal, but if for some reason or another you won’t, at least you know the alternatives. Respect these techniques, and if there’s ever the need for it, you’ll save lives.
By Alec Deacon
The post How To Stop Excessive Bleeding In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Chewing gum / bubble gum is a pop-culture element so rooted into modern society that it’s impossible for our generations (the gum-chewing, bubble-blowing generations) to envision it otherwise. As kids, we used to go for the sweet flavored types, the ones that came into a multitude of colors or flavors. As adults, if we lost our sweet tooth along the way, we changed directions when it comes to chewing gum. We mostly go for the minty ones, which are great for oral hygiene. No matter your age or social status, for some reason or another, at some point in space and time, you’ll find yourself the benefits of chewing gum.
You might think that the product in question is a characteristic of modern 20th and 21st century society, but that’s far from truth. The “ancestor” of chewing gum originated in antiquity, and it can’t be attributed to a single civilization. The Greeks were chewing on mastic tree sap, the Egyptians had a mixture of sap and spices (cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh etc.) and the Mayans and Aztecs chewed Sapodilla tree sap. The habit of chewing gum (or its various alternatives) stood the test of time because, apart from flavor and texture, chewing has its benefits.
Enhances memory capacity and overall concentration
It has been demonstrated that chewing gum can do wonders for both the memory and the ability to concentrate. There are caffeine-based chewing gums that are best suited for the job, but any sort of gum will do well too. An NBC report has shown that chewing is in direct correlation with memory enhancement and improved test scores, due to the increase of physiological activities like blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate. The increase of blood flow in the brain means higher oxygenation, which makes for better brain functions. Because chewing increases mental alertness, is also highly recommended for kids with learning problems or mental disabilities. Mental alertness is always beneficial, especially in a survival situation where you’ll need to be aware of everything that goes on around you, to make fast decisions and act quickly as your survival depends on every step you take.
Relieves stress and boosts morale
According to his scientific study, chewing gum is a very powerful nerve tonic, because it helps calm down the nerves and alleviates negative moods. It’s exactly for this reason why chewing gum is included and distributed amongst the soldiers that find themselves in a war zone. Chewing gum helps reduces the levels of cortisol , which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland as a response to high levels of stress or to low levels of glucose in the blood stream. Increased levels of cortisol can be beneficial on short-term periods, but on longer periods of time they can be detrimental to cognitive functions and can even lower the immune system recovery. Because chewing gum contains small amounts of sugar, it can also serve as a small reserve of energy. Having a pack of your favourit gum on you will not only supply you with that tiny bit of energy, but it can also increase your morale and distress your jaw muscles and lower anxiety. So leave some room in your survival kit for a couple of packs of gum.
Suppresses hunger, thirst and aids digestion
The military (and trained combatants in general) use chewing gum as a means of suppressing hunger when the opportunity of eating is not available. The same principle can easily be applied in a survival situation, especially if SHTF and you find yourself a bit short on food supplies. The Zoft Gum is a very potent appetite suppressant and you can get 5 packs for about $10. Believe it or not, not only is there a gum to fight of hunger, but there’s also one that can quench thirst. The Quench Gum was primarily made for athletes in order to keep them hydrated as much as possible during periods of physical effort. It’s packed with 5mg of potassium (K) and electrolytes. The Quench Gum is available on the market in costs about $9 – $10. Chewing gum can be very supportive when it comes do digestion. Chewing constantly will increase the levels of saliva, which in turn will boost the quantity of digestive acids in the stomach. This is achieved with the aid of xylitol, which is found in most chewing gums.
Chewing gum based life hacks
- Bait – you can use chewing gum as fish bait, just chew it a little and place it on the hook; it’s very efficient against catfish and it can also lure crabs if you place it on the crab line.
- Radiator patch – this is a good temporary solution for a leaky radiator; it should hold long enough for you to reach a mechanic
- “Magnet” – it can be very useful if you’re trying to retrieve small objects from an nearly unreachable place; just place some gum on the end of a stick or a piece of string and you’ll be able to recover that lost ring or keys in no time
- Window fixer – if you have a lose window pane, don’t worry too much about it; get a stick of ordinary chewing gum, chew on it a little and simply place it as putty
- Repeal bugs – extra minty gum will repeal mealworms and other bugs from getting into your flower; of course, provided you previously placed a small piece of gum in there first
You’ve probably been chewing gum for some years know, without knowing the benefits that ordinary chewing gum had to offer. Now you know, as the wonders of chewing gum are irrefutable. No matter who you are or where you’re at, always have a pack of gum on you; you can never tell how and when it will save the day.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
This is not the first time I get to talk about guns, that’s true. Every time I’ve covered the subject I’ve tried to be as pragmatic as possible when it comes to the usage of firearms in a survival situation. I’m talking a different approach this time. Not that carrying a largest handguns caliber could not serve you well in a SHTF scenario; if it’s one thing they do well, is to obliterate everything that stands in your way. A single shot fired is more than enough to stop even large animals in their tracks. They might not be as easily concealable or maneuverable, but there’s something really intriguing (almost poetic) about owning your very own hand cannon. Maybe it has something to do with the “bigger is better” mentality, who knows? All I know is that there is no such thing as “too big” when it comes to firepower. And I’m sure that many of you share the same exact belief. Let’s have a look at some of the best of the best in the field of “heavy artillery”.
The Desert Eagle .50 Caliber Handgun
The Desert Eagle .50 is one of the most notorious handguns in the world. Commonly known as “the 50 caliber”, it was developed by the Israeli military with the aid of Magnum Research in 1972. It’s the largest magazine-fed handgun in the world and despite its age, this old timer is considered (still) to be one of the best looking handguns on the market; especially the versions that come in chrome or titanium gold plating. When it comes to firepower, only one word comes to mind: annihilation. The .50 projectile packs such a heavy punch that made it feared and respected across the map, and won fans from both sides of the law. It’s just as lethal as it is beautiful. It has a capacity of 7 rounds and it measures a total length of 10.75 inches (with a barrel length of 6 inches).
The Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver
This particular handgun was firstly introduced to the world by Clint Eastwood and his infamous character by the name of Dirty Harry. This revolver gained so much in popularity that Smith and Wesson was not only able to sell this particular model, but hat to release “improved” version to meet the demand. It’s not a large enough of a gun to cause your body spinning in the air several times before you hit the ground, as seen in the movies, but it’s powerful enough to end a life instantly. It’s 11.63 inches in total length (the barrel measures 6 inches) and it’s about 49ozs heavy. Not the most practical gun in the world, but nothing compares to shooting a .44 Magnum.
The Smith & Wesson’s 460XVR Revolver
You might look at this particular Smith and Wesson model and think “overkill”. When I look at it I see “beauty”. This handgun was introduced in 2005 and the XVR stands for “Extreme Velocity Revolver”. It shoots fairly well, especially at a distance bellow 125 yards; when this distance is exceeded, the trajectory of the projectile tends to get curbed, thus losing accuracy. It’s really noisy, so for those of you that do not enjoy the “music” made by the 460XVR, I recommend you bring along muffs or ear plugs. It has a capacity of 5 bullets, weighs about 75ozs and the barrel length comes in various sizes: 83/8 (standard), 35/8 inches, 6 inches, 7½ inches and 10½ inches. The finish is stainless, which makes it one of the most beautiful handguns in the world.
The WTS .50 BMG Pistol
This is a fully German product. And once again, when it comes to technology, Germany seems to push the barrier just a bit further. Although the WTS .50 BMG (the BMG stands for “Browning Machine gun Cartridge”) is technically a pistol, it weighs about 15.87lbs, which is as heavy as an ordinary riffle. Not to mention that the ammo in question, the .50 Browning Machinegun cartridge, was primarily used to pierce heavy armor and take down tanks and airplanes. Imagine how ridiculously power drunk you would feel to unleash all this power from a “pistol”. Shooting flesh with a WTS .50 BMG can make it disintegrate into thin air… literally! This monster measures 24.21 inches in length (16.92 inches in barrel length), it has an adjustable trigger mechanism and grip safety. Is it practical? Probably not. Is it glorious? Yes.
Getting a big handgun for survival purposes would not be practical for so many reasons that would take forever to explain. There are way better options for a TEOTWAWKI scenario, that’s true. There are lighter, faster and more maneuverable options on the market for preppers and survivalist. But nothing feels quite like shooting a powerful handgun, even if it’s just for target practice. It will be heavy to carry, almost impossible to conceal and the recoil and the noise might sometimes feel like it’s just too much. But if you’re ever in trouble, a big caliber handgun will do its job and stop anybody or anything that threatens your life.
By Alec Deacon
Nature is very diverse. And we all know (roughly) the dangers that lurk in the wild, especially when it comes to wild animals. We all have the common knowledge and common sense to stay away from big fangs, sharp claws or insects with stingers. It’s as clear as day that an encounter with a creature that posses such tools will result in a harmful or even fatal outcome. But nature goes beyond of what the eye can see and some animals you should avoid, even though apparently harmless, can still deliver a world of hurt if we’re naive enough to get in their way. As an adaptation to survival, many animals use the element of surprise as a very efficient tool. Certain self-defense mechanism will not be evident, but are still present. Other animals may simply be disease carriers or territorial in nature, and if you’re not aware of their behavioral patterns, you’re in for a nasty and painful experience. Let’s have a look at some of the animals that are apparently harmless, but actually dangerous.
The swan (Cygnus sp.)
The sawn is a gentle creature that not many of us would consider dangerous under any circumstances. But they’d be dead wrong. Most nesting birds, like the swan, have a very acute parental instinct, meaning that if they feel that they’re nesting ground is danger they’ll fight off the attacker. Most nesting birds will fight only up to a point; if they fill they’re losing the fight or that the attacker is simply too strong to take on, they’ll flee and leave the nest and eggs to chance. But things differ in the swan’s case. The swan is relentless in defending its nest and territory and will keep going until either the attacker or the swan itself is dead. It will attack viciously: it can scratch, bite and poke and if the attacker is a push over, and angry sawn will even try and drown its opponent if they find themselves near water. The bird itself can even grow as heavy as 30lbs, so taking on a defensive mother swan it’s not a thing you’ll want to do.
The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)
Experts consider dolphins to be the second most intelligent creatures on the face of the Earth, after humans. And rightly so: an adult dolphin has the intelligence of an average 4 year old human. Not only that, but their societies are some of the most evolved on the planet. They are fast learners, work together for common goals, communicate efficiently and even have a sense of humor, as studies have shown that dolphins will regularly play jokes on each other or even on people. But they’re intelligence comes with a price, as they tend to have a larger-than-normal tendency toward violence. They’ll hurt or maim for no apparent reason; cases have been recorded when dolphins kill just so that they get to play with the carcass of they’re victim. They have a higher than average sexual driver and will attack human males for territorial reasons.
Although friendly most of the times, dolphins tend to be unpredictable and should be avoided unless you’re in the presence of trained professionals.
The slow loris (Nycticebus sp.)
The slow loris is a tiny, fury mammal, with big eyes and it’s extremely shy by nature. It makes a great pet because its cuteness is undisputable. But despite being one of the cuddliest animals in the world, it’s also one of the most poisonous. They have an active gland inside the elbows that produces a very powerful toxin. They use this toxin mostly to smear their young, which makes them less likely to be attacked and eaten by predators. The toxin itself, if ingurgitated, produces terrible stomach aches and even death. If attacked, they’ll suck the contents of the gland into their mouth and bite the attackers. This way, the toxin gets injected into the attacker’s bloodstream. If there’s an allergic reaction involved, the bite victim can die in a matter of hours if the left untreated. So think twice before making a move towards a slow loris; it might be the last thing you do.
The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious)
This big and gentle herbivore is known as one of the biggest mud lovers on the face of the Earth. Because they live in arid places, where temperatures rise intensely, they’re beast means of cooling themselves is to roll around in the mud or muddy waters. Although they’re not violent in nature, they tend to get very territorial and will stop at nothing in protecting they’re mud ponds or females and young. Don’t let they’re funny looks throw you off. Despite their heavy structure, they can run to speeds of up to 20 mph and have a bit of 6,000 lbs of pressure, which is more than enough to snap a human in half. If you find yourself in their presence, thread carefully. You do not want to find yourself in the crosshairs of an angry hippo.
The chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)
The common chimpanzee has been proven to be the closest relative modern man still has in the animal kingdom. There are many similarities between us and our not-so-distant cousins, like opposable thumbs, facial expressions, cerebral activity and many more. They mostly live in small societies or groups (rarely solitary) and they tend to often manifest violent behavior for one reason or another. They’ll attack each other for dominance, territorial feuds or simply if they don’t like someone or something. Their violent nature can’t be completely overridden by training, as there have been many documented cases in which trained chimps have viciously attacked and maimed humans.
It’s plain to see that nature is not meant to be cute. Nature is primarily meant to be persistent. No matter how cute an animal might seem to you, don’t throw yourself directly at it, unless you know the species you’re engaging and you’re absolutely sure that nothing bad can happen. If you’re planning a trip of some sort in a wild location, educate yourself on the animals in the region so to have an idea of what you’ll have to face along the way.
By Alec Deacon
The post 5 Seemingly Harmless Animals You Should Avoid in Wilderness appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Let’s have a look at some of the best shotguns that money can buy because there’s no survival or home invasion scenario that a shotgun can’t get you out of. Maybe you won’t even get to use it, as the sound of pumping your shotgun would be enough in sending chills down the spine of whomever means you harm. But if this fails, know that the large caliber ammo in use is more than enough to even stop an elephant in its tracks; what it’s capable of doing to a human assailant is not even worth mentioning. But shotguns come in a great variety of shapes and sizes and you’ll need to be aware of the differences before getting your own. Maybe the most important criteria to consider is the firing
method, as you can get a pump action or a semi-automatic. Length is also important, as it makes for greater maneuverability in certain situations, not to mention that a more compact one would be easier to carry
around all day as it will most probably be lighter.
The number of rounds that it can hold is a big deal, especially for those of you who aren’t good shots. It deals a world of hurt, it’s true, but you’ll need to hit your target; so the more chances you can take at gunning down your target, the better. The grip shouldn’t be overlooked either. Most shotguns come with a standard rifle-like grip, but some have a grip similar to pistols.
Remington 870 Express Tactical
This is not state of the art when it comes to shotguns, but it’s still one of the most used shotguns out there. It’s made a name for itself, and its capabilities are undisputable. This is a 12 gauge destroyer that has a capacity of 6 + 1. Its reloading system is based on pump action and it measure 18.5″ barrel. For precise aiming (as precise as aiming can be) it comes equipped with a fully adjustable XS Ghost ring and a removable front sight. It uses a SuperCell pad which can reduce recoil by about 40%-50%, depending on the situation. The whole body is covered in a weather resistant Carakote coating, which makes it perfect for those that are used to wandering outside in all sorts of weather conditions. It’s not a cheap shotgun, as it costs around $500, but it doesn’t cut corners in quality and precision.
Beretta AL391 Teknys Gold Target
This is a 12 gauge shotgun that is very well built and it’s fairly easy to shoot. It weighs at about 8lbs 11oz and when it comes to autoloaders, it’s simply one of the best (if not the best) you can find on the market. It has a 30” barrel and it might seem a bit heavy considering its weight, but it doesn’t feel heavy at all while you’re shooting. It has a removable recoil reducer in the buttstock, and if you’re eager of making it lighter, you can simply take the recoil down and drop about 0.5lbs from the overall weight. The self-compensating gas system it’s equipped with runs very smoothly and it reacts very fast, making the shooting process feel incredibly comfortable. It costs $1,200, and in my own personal opinion, you can’t get anything better in this price range.
This particular 12 gauge shotgun produced by Winchester has the latest and greatest when it comes to pump technologies, meaning that the SXP pump systems are extremely diverse and reliable. It has aluminum oil receivers, which are lighter and cheaper than steel ones; and despite popular believes they work perfectly. You can get a barrel length of maximum 30” and as far as looks go, there’s a great variety of models to choose from: camo, wood-stocked and synthetic black with chromed elements. It comes equipped with cross-bolt safeties, an Inflex pad that mitigates a great deal of recoil and a rotating bolt head with four locking lugs. This should cost you about $470, and if you ask me, it’d be money well spent.
Mossberg 930 SPX
Moosberg are well known for the quality of their products, and they’ve certainly made no exception to the rule when it comes to the 930 SPX. It’s a 12 gauge shotgun that has an 18.5″ barrel and a capacity of 7 (+ 1). It’s not exactly a cheap shotgun (considering you’ll need to throw away about $700 to get one), which won’t seem that much if you take into account that it’s a semi-automatic we’re talking about. The top of the gun is equipped with a rail that allows you to fit any sort of aiming system you find compatible; you can install a red dot, a scope or even a holographic site. Loading the magazine is very simple and It can be done very quickly: open the bolt lock, place a shell in the ejection port and push the bolt release.
There’s nothing more to be said about shotguns. We all know them, and we all love them. All you have to do now is find the one that works best for you. Usually prices vary from a couple of hundred $ to many thousands. It’s up to you on how much you’re willing to spend. But just know that if there’s ever the need for it, a shotgun will save the day.
By Alec Deacon
Owning a pair of binoculars for survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is not only meant to make every day life easier for you, but it could also save your life. Most binoculars are very precise and will let you spot from afar all sorts of dangers that might be coming your way, leaving you with enough time to react. It could also be used for hunting (spotting wild game), guarding your property or simply scouting new territory. So no matter the scenario, binoculars would be always welcome. A good pair of binoculars (and a bit more expensive one) will work fine even in low light or moon light. There are plenty of companies on the market that have specialized in making quality products and are well-known for it, like Olympus, Pentax, Steiner, Brunton, Carson, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and more. There are plenty of counterfeit products (coming mostly from China) that cost far less but are worth less than the plastic they’re made up from, so stay away from such devices.
To fully understand the importance of such a device we must comprehend what it is and how it works. There various types of binoculars for survival on the market and they come in a great variation of shape and size, but in principle they are all the same: they’re comprised of two telescopes that are linked together by an adjustable mechanism. The most important factor you have to consider when buying your own binoculars is a sequence similar to, for example, 9×35. These numbers are giving you a lot of information on the capacity of the product, as the number before X (9 in this case) is the magnification factor. A 9X binoculars means that the image will appear to be 9 times closer than it actually is. The number following X (35 in our case) is a specification of the front lens, which is responsible for the light intake capacity. The greater the light intake capacity, the clearer the image is going to be. So the bigger the number following X is, the more suited the binocular will be for lower light conditions. The RBI (the relative brightness index) is responsible for image brightness. It’s determined by a simple mathematical equation. First we need to figure out the exit pupil in our case, for the 9X35 mode we used as an example. The exit pupil is 35 / 9 = 4 (roughly). The RBI is the square of the exit pupil: 4 x 4 = 16. It’s commonly known that the best binoculars for low lighting conditions are those that hold an RBI bigger than 25, so our example wouldn’t do so well outside proper lighting conditions.
Lens coatings are responsible for light transmission; they’re purposes is to prevent hazardous light reflection and to deliver a clear and focused image. There’s single coating, or a single layer of antireflective coating (Coated), the whole lens to lens surface is coated (Fully Coated), some surfaces have multiple layers of coating (Multi-Coated) and last but not least, all surfaces are covered in multiple antireflective coating layers (Fully Multi-Coated). Now that we covered the basics, let’s see some of the best binoculars for survival scenario.
The Olympus Outback 10×21 RC 1
This particular model by Olympus is one of the best binoculars you can find if you consider the quality / price ratio. It’s only about $125, and it’s not much if you consider its capabilities. Its field performance is simply outstanding, as it can produce superior imagines to those of binoculars that are twice as big or pricy. It has great sharpness and definition thanks to its high quality roof prism, which is made out of a very high quality optical glass. But like most 10x devices, it requires a steady hand for maximum efficiency, because it also magnifies movement. If you’re interested in buying or finding out more, you can click here.
The Carson Raven RV-826
The Raven RV-826 is real bargain and possibly the best deal for budget preppers. It’s an 8×26 binocular that despite its tiny size, (4.5 x 4.25 inches and 10oz) it delivers quite a clear and steady image. It’s perfect for hikers who simply want to observe their distant surrounding or for people that are out nature watching. It will allow a steady and focused image without making your presence known to the animals you’re watching. These tiny binoculars are really tough and resistant; they come with a waterproof housing that is just impenetrable. And as a bonus, you also get a microfiber cloth for lens cleaning. If the Raven RV-826 is the right tool for you, know that it’s no more expensive than $79 and that you can find it here.
The Brunton Eterna Compact 10×25
The Eterna Compact 10×25 by Brunto is worth mentioning because of its image clarity and focus despite its tiny frame. Despite its small carcass, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 1lb 1oz. The excessive weight seems to justify if you consider the toughnes of the Eterna Compact 10×25. It has neoprene lens covers that are easily removed (even if you’re wearing gloves), it has a padded neck strap and a very efficient and functional focusing dial. What sets it apart from regular, cheaper binoculars is the adjustable diopter setting for each eye that allows precision focusing for maximum clarity. It’s not a cheap device (it costs about $360), but it’s precise, well built and durable. Those that are interested, click here.
There are many options, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What you ultimately buy is entirely up to you. Just know that for survival purposes you don’t need the latest and greatest, so you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. You can find good binoculars even on a tight budget that, if need be, we’ll undoubtedly provide you with an advantage in a SHTF scenario.
By Alec Deacon
We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.
The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.
The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.
A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.
Israeli Civilian Gas Mask
This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.
M61 Finnish Gas Mask
The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.
ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask
The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.
There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.
By Alec Deacon
The post Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Those of you out there who have done hiking before or any sort of expedition, be it on moderate or rough climates and settings, will no doubt understand why having the right shoes in a TEOTWAWKI situation could mean the very difference between life and death. If you’ll find yourself obligated to travel a lot and carry heavy stuff with you, you’ll need to have the right provisions and gear for the job; and the right pair of shoes or boots is no exception. When it comes to survival footwear, wearing the right pair of shoes or boots will spare you a lot of trouble. There is no universality in this case, there is no one pair of shoes or boots for all scenarios and settings, but rather specialized products that will suit the wearer’s needs based on terrain, weather and distance. When choosing yours, looks will be the last thing to consider. You’ll have to take into consideration insulation, durability, shoe size (make sure you get the right size or walking in the wrong size shoes will take itstoll very soon), the type of socks you’ll be wearing (normal or hiking socks), the terrain and weather conditions you’ll need the shoes or boots for and ultimately the fact the sturdy footwear will need to be broken in. They might not feel comfortable at first, but in time, you’ll get used to them. Price is also an important issue, especially for tight budget preppers like me, who never feel like spending more than they absolutely have to. There many products available on the market and the prices vary a lot. But know that “expensive” is not necessarily equivalent with “best” when it comes to survival footwear, so you won’t have to sell your soul just to afford a pair of trail shoes or boots.
Hiking boots are the right shoes bring along for planed trips, especially if you’re planning on staying a bit longer outdoors; they work extremely well and will be very comfortable if you’re dealing with moderately rough terrain. They should be well built, fairly insulated and if you’ll be carrying some weight, they’ll be the best option you have. The sturdier the boot is, the more resistant it will be in the field. The taller boots are usually more durable and will offer better ankle protection. The best ones are partially waterproof and will be as comfortable as possible even after long walks on rough terrain. The Durand Mid WP is what I’ve been using lately and it’s probably the best pair I’ve had so far: it’s waterproof, breathable and it has an integrated heel cushion and midsole for better comfort.
Heavy duty hiking boots
This particular type of hiking boots takes the hiking game to a whole new level. They’re the best option for those who spend more time on the go then they do in their homes. They’re generally used for cross-country backpacking, be it on normal or very rough terrains. They might not be as light as regular hiking boots, but they’re the better option, as they’re tougher and better for people that are carrying heavy loads throughout rough terrains and settings. Choosing a pair of heavy duty hiking boots will require a great deal of attention from your part. These types of boots don’t necessarily feel comfortable at first, you’ll need to break them in first. So try them on carefully before purchasing and analyze whether they’re worth the money or not. The most serious stores have small areas that will simulate the boots performance on various terrains. The Asolo backpacking boots, with Gore-Tex inserts and Vibram outsoles are some of the best heavy duty hiking boots on the market; they’re pretty light too, as they weigh less than 2lbs.
They’re the epitome of survival footwear, and the first clear sign you get is in the price, as even the cheapest pair of mountaineering boots will cost no less than a couple of hundred bucks. As the name clearly shows, they’re suited for hiking in extreme and rough alpine terrain, at high attitudes and low temperatures.
They’re built to be heavy and rigid, but with good reason. Even the standard models have very stiff soles and shanks (in order to provide maximum protection to your feet and ankles), a multi-layered build comprised of rigid shanks for stability and protection, an insulating inner lining and a waterproof lining. The soles are very thick and rigid, built for maximum grip even on slippery surfaces. The Nepal Evo, by La Sportiva, is everything I just mentioned and more, with durable leather and metal lace loops and with an impressive overall built that will make it suitable for even the roughest conditions.
If what we’ve been looking at so far is a bit much for you, worry not. If you’re nothing more than an amateur hiker that goes on light hikes only, you can always buy a simple pair of regular hiking shoes. These are nothing more than improved sport shoes that will do well on regular strolls in the wild.
Unless you’re facing rough terrain on bad weather, you’ll have nothing to worry about. But whether you’re considering buying the simplest pair of hiking shoes or a state-of-the-art mountaineering boots, always try them on before buying. Unlike regular pairs of shoes, hiking footwear will require some wearing arround the house before you’ll get completely used to them.
By Alec Deacon
The post Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Whether you’re simply having a camping a trip or you’ve found yourself fighting for your life in a post apocalyptic scenario, you’ll need to have a tent with you in order to make your situation just a bit more bearable. If it’s a trip in the local surroundings or you’re exploring uncharted territory due to some sort of unfortunate event that forced you to leave everything behind, it doesn’t matter that much. As long as you’ve packed the right tent before setting off, you’ll have a proper shelter that will offer your insulation and protection. Those of you that aren’t that knowledgeable in the area, let me tell you that there is a great variety of products to choose from. There is basically a tent for every hostile situation that you can think of: tents for low temperatures, tents for flood situations, above ground tents (that will keep you safe from ground predators, etc.), simple hiking tents and more.
Upon purchasing your very own tent, there are many things to consider apart from the price. You should consider first of all the type of situation you are trying to counter (cold climates, high temperatures, wild animals, excessive precipitations etc.), and once you have this figured out, you can start looking into the size of the tent, the material it’s made up of, the price etc. I’ll show you some of the most affordable and versatile tents on the market.
The Trango 3.1
The Trango 3.1 is a semi-professional product from Mountain Hard Wear, built especially for those who take wilderness adventures really seriously. It costs about $559. It’s pretty sturdy as a tent and it packed form it weighs about 11lbs 4oz. It’s roomy enough for 3 people and it was built to withstand much of what nature can throw at him: it has welded guy clip anchors, welded corners and it’s waterproof and watertight. The DAC Featherlight NSL poles used by these tents are extremely resistant despite they’re light weight, and make for a great foundation. The structure itself is more intricate than what you’d expect; it has a vestibule in which you can change you wet dirty and wet clothes before entering the main, warmer chamber of the tent. It does way a bit much and it may become strenuous to carry it over long distances, but it makes up for it in quality and toughness. Be it cold, windy, rainy or hot, this tent won’t let you down.
The Tentsile Stingray 3-Person Hanging Tent
Well, the product name says it all: this is less of a tent and more of a tree house, all for the price of $675. The idea is that you
can suspend this tent from trees and have a hammock-type, covered structure, large and strong enough to shelter 3 people. The ratchet buckles and straps are about 19.5ft long and the manufacturer assures us that they can withstand about 2.5 tons of weight. So unless you’re planning to park your car inside, you have nothing to worry about. The floor of the tent is made up of a certain 240D composite that is wide enough for 3 people to sleep comfortably. The whole surface of the tent is coated in 190T PU polyester rain fly, which not only makes it completely waterproof, but also resistant to all sort if insect stings or bites. The rain fly can be extended down to ground level, making a rainproof vestibule for your gear. Once the tent is set up, you can gain access through 2 doors. A side door is available, but if you’re too high from the ground, you can also use the center floor hatch. This tent is perfect for survival scenarios which involve predatory ground animals. Not only will you be safe, but the experience of camping in such a tent is unique.
The Sundome 2-Person Tent
This is a fairly simple tent released by Coleman, which weighs in at about 8lbs. It costs $64 and it’s the optimum choice for serious campers. If camping is your lifestyle, look no further than the the Sundome 2-Person Tent. It’s a one door tent and it can easily accommodate 2 people. The tent is pretty stable even in tougher weather conditions thanks to its 2-pole system; it also is very easy to set up, as an untrained camper can put it together in no more than 20 minutes. The outer coating, the material on the outside of the tent wall (aka. the outer fly) is waterproof, so precipitations won’t bother you much. But keep in mind, although it’s a perfect camping tent, it’s not all that great when it comes to expeditions to remote and extreme areas; using it as a survival tent will not be a good idea. It’s not well ventilated, and this may cause dampness on the inside as a result of moisture buildup. I’ve been using this tent myself for a while now, and as an occasional camper myself, I think this is the best camping tent when it comes to quality / price ratio.
Camping for fun or survival requires some education in the matter and should be done properly. Whether you’re just a casual camper, an avid one or you find yourself in need of shelter in order to survive the harshness of the wild, you should always be prepared and leave nothing to chance. DO serious research in the matter and you’ll find one or several tents to suit your needs.
By Alec Deacon
The post Survival Tents: DIY Shelters For Critical Situations appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Oral hygiene is a must for modern humans. Taking care of your teeth becomes common knowledge starting at an early age; it’s a social norm meant to keep us healthy for as long as possible. Regular visits to your dentist and washing your teeth at least once a day is the way to go. The toothpaste and the toothbrush are your best assets in keeping your teeth clean, alongside mouth wash, dental floss and others. Toothpaste comes regularly in paste or gel form, is based mostly on fluoride and it’s used in maintaining the health and aesthetics of teeth by fighting various tooth and gum conditions. But apart from washing your teeth, toothpaste can serve a multitude of other household related purposes. Its rich chemical baggage makes it an all-purpose tool when you might be lacking in so many things around the house; but it’s very unlikely you’ll be out of toothpaste.
Not only is it cheap and easy to find, but most of us actually keep more than one tube around the house. In what’s to come, we’ll take a look at some uses for toothpaste, non-teeth related purposes that a simple tube of toothpaste can serve.
- Remove clothing stains
It works great in removing oily, tough stains from fabrics. Apply toothpaste on the stained area and with a little water, and gently rub the spot. After a minute or so of rubbing, just throw the fabric in the washer. If the stain is old, you’ll most likely need to the toothpaste bit a couple of more times for results to show. It doesn’t work on all fabrics or stains, but it does wonders for ink spots. P.S. don’t use a whitening toothpaste (with bleaching effects) on colored fabrics; a regular toothpaste will do.
- Remove carpet stains
It works just as good on carpet fabric as it does on clothing. Just add toothpaste to the affected area and clean the spot with a toothbrush, in a circular motion; much like cleaning your teeth. After scrubbing, rinse and repeat until the spot is gone. The process will get out almost everything and make you carpet brand new. But some stains are resistant to toothpaste, especially if the stain is caused by an acid-based substance. In such a case toothpaste becomes useless.
- Remove scuffs
Toothpaste can easily remove leather scuffs. Put some toothpaste on a soft cloth and gently rub the leather surface. After you’re done, rinse the area with a damp cloth. It works on everything that’s made out of leather. The same principle applies to linoleum.
- Whiten piano keys
The ivory white keys can be easily cleaned with a cotton swab that’s been previously dampened in a little water and then in a pinch of toothpaste. Take your time and to it right. It will take some time, but when you’re done, wipe the keys dry and then buff them with a soft, clean cloth and you’ll have brand new piano keys again.
- Whiten nails
Whitening peroxide toothpastes will have no problem in polishing and brightening finger and toe nails alike. Whether your nails have been darkened in time due to excessive usage of nail polish or they’re naturally yellowish, there’s still hope. Add toothpaste, brush them carefully with a toothbrush and when you’re all done, add the finishing touch and soak them in lemon juice for a couple of minutes.
- Shine chrome surfaces
The chromed pieces around the house (especially faucets) will get water stains in time. Because if it’s abrasive nature, toothpaste will act in the same way professional cleaning products for chromed surfaces will. Just add toothpaste to the stains, scrub and rinse with water. You’ll have the chrome pieces shinny and brand new again in no time.
- Remove crayon marks from walls
If your kids have been running amok around the house and you’re stuck with crayon marks all over the walls, don’t panic. There’s hope yet, as long as you have toothpaste (non-gel) around the house. Apart from a toothpaste, you’ll also need a clean rag or a scrub brush. Spread the toothpaste on the wall and scrub it good (preferably in circular motions). The abrasive agents in the toothpaste will remove the colors from the walls eventually.
- Remove watermarks from furniture
Even though you might have a ton of coasters around the house, you’re bound to get water marks at some point; they’re unavoidable and just the worst. If you want to clean those right up, simply add some non-gel toothpaste, let it sit for a couple of seconds and rub it off with a soft fabric. Once you’re done scrubbing wipe it off with a dry cloth. Before adding furniture polish make sure the surface is perfectly dry.
- Deodorize your hands
Just as toothpaste deodorizes the inside of your mouth, so it can deodorize your hands. If you’ve dealt with anything smelly throughout the day that’s left your hands smelling worse than French cheese, just wash them thoroughly with cold water and toothpaste. The chemicals in the paste will destroy the bacteria that causes the bad smell and will leave your hands smelling great.
- Deodorize baby bottles
Toothpaste works just as well in removing the sour milk smell from baby bottles. You’ll need to scrub both the inside and the outside of the baby bottle with a mixture of water and toothpaste. One you’re done scrubbing, rinse with water and then thrown the bottle in the dishwasher and wash regularly.
- Polish silver
Toothpaste can polish everything made out of silver, be it jewelry, silverware picture frames etc. What you’ll need is a regular toothpaste (gel-based aren’t as efficient), a soft, clean cloth or better yet, a toothbrush. Just add some paste on your soft cloth or toothbrush and start scrubbing the silvery surface like there’s no tomorrow. You start to notice the difference in no time, as the tarnish will come off little by little. When you think you’re done, simply rinse and dry off with a dry cloth.
- Shine diamonds
If you want to give a precious gemstone that old sparkle back, you just need a regular tube of toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Just add a little pate on the toothbrush and start brushing gently (so that the diamond doesn’t come off) until you see the shine returning. When you’re done brushing rinse with water and rub gently with a soft cloth.
- Fill holes in the wall
If you’ve have perforated walls which have bothered you for a long time, just know you don’t need Spackle to get the job done. A pinch of toothpaste will work pretty much in the same way when it comes to filling up holes left by nails screws, pins etc. The toothpaste hardens and makes for a great temporary solution. Just beware of how much you’re adding, as too much can make the situation even worse if at some point you decide to deal with the problem properly.
- Treat pimples
The adding of toothpaste to an acne affected area is a well-known treatment that has been around for decades. However, adding toothpaste alone won’t solve much, except dehydration of the affected area. For the best result, you should mix toothpaste with crushed aspirin. The toothpaste will dehydrate as usual and the salicylic acids in the aspirin will fight off infection and decrease the inflammation.
- Remove cell phone / watch scratches
Your cell phone or watch display will undoubtedly get damaged and scratched with the passing of time, unless of course you have the right protection. If not, tiny marks will start to appear. These are easily removed with toothpaste. Just dip your finger gently in tooth paste and rub the screen. One you’re done rinse with a damp cloth and ultimately dry the surface with a soft cloth.
As you’ve seen by now, having some toothpaste around the house can really pay off. Especially if you find yourself out of certain cleaning products. Cleaning stuff around the house it’s fine, but remember that toothpaste is first of all for cleaning your teeth. Don’t overlook oral hygiene, as teeth health is really important.
By Alec Deacon
A very important piece in serious prepper’s survival kit is the flashlight. No one should go without one. If SHTF at some point or another, any old flashlight will do if survival flashlight is not in reach, but nothing can compete with a professional, state of the art lightning gadget that’s been designed specifically for such occasions. These survival flashlights are superior to a normal flashlight in both battery life and durability. Most of them come with new and improved LED lighting systems and extremely powerful batteries (rechargeable batteries) that will outlast regular flashlights; there’s is hardly any competition there. Because they’re meant for usage in extreme situations, they are built to be extremely tough and robust: they’ll withstand shocks, they’re waterproof and (most of them are) and will deteriorate slowly (if at all) even in extreme climates. And the term “survival” applies in more ways than you can imagine; because they’re so sturdy and tough, made up from strong alloys, they can be used as a self defense clubs in case you’ll be forced to protect yourself.
One hit over the head and, ironically, it’s lights out! There’s great variety on the market in the survival flashlight department; products vary in shape, sizes, type of battery (primary or rechargeable), lightning filters and sequences etc. I’m about to show you some of those that I actually got to use and could be an asset to anybody in distress.
This particular flashlight is still, in my opinion, the best option out there for those who are on a tight budget. It’s the best if you consider the price / quality ratio, considering you can buy it for about $50. It’s 5.7 inches long (1.6 in diameter) and it weighs 5.15oz. The M22 Warrior‘s body is made up from a very durable aluminum which is also used in aircraft manufacture. It used the latest and greatest in LED technology (Cree XM-L2 LED), which can put out about 950 lumens; this is more than enough to give you visibility coverage of about 1000 feet. It has a adjustable brightness level that works on 3 settings and a strobe mode for signaling your position or disorienting attackers. The mode selection and strobe can be turned on / off through a selector unit built into the head of the flashlight. There’s another switch located at the opposite side which controls brightness, but also the auto strobe mode, for quick access. The power source is optional: you can use 2x CR123A batteries units or 1x 18650 battery. At the lowest setting (20 lumens) you get 30 hours of battery time and 1 hour at its highest setting (950 lumens).
The SureFire E2D Defender is probably the best self-defense oriented flashlight that I got my hands on. If it’s a white weapon you want that can also light the way from time to time, look no further. It has a crenellated front bezel and tail, all to make it more menacing at to give more angles and edges that can be used in a combat situation. It’s probably the toughest survival flashlight on the market and will take quite a bit of striking force to actually break it; you most probably won’t. If you hit hard and precisely enough, it will stop any attacker in its tracks, be it man or animal. We got the self-defense part covered and we can all agree the SureFire E2D Defender is force to be reckoned with. If you expect it to be less efficient as a flashlight than it is as a weapon, you’d be wrong because it’s actually pretty good. It has a 2 settings mode: the full power mode will have it working at 200 lumens and will deplete the battery in about 2 hours. The ultra power-saving mode will get it down to 5 lumens, but it will keep battery life for up to 76 hours. It measure 5.4 inches in length and it weighs about 3.7oz.
This is a very good choice for those who are looking for a large yet lightweight flashlight, that’s easy to use and carry around. It’s 2.5 inches long, 1.6 inches in diameter and despite its size, it weighs about 1.6oz without battery. It has 3 adjustable brightness settings and it also has an SOS lightning mode, which is perfect for signaling for help. At its highest setting of 120 lumens it will deplete the battery in about an hour and a half. But if you let it run on power saving mode, its setting of 3 lumens will keep the battery lasting for about 55 hours. And all this can be achieved with a simple AA battery. The power saving mode of 3 lumens is not bright enough for visibility over long distances; you’ll only be able to walk without tripping over anything in the dark.
Choosing your personal flashlight is no easy thing and you should do it by the book. Consider the possibilities, scout the market thoroughly and make the right decision. Of course you can have more than one, just to play it safe. When comes to survival flashlights, the prices may vary from $15 to even $400.
By Alec Deacon
Let’s assume for a moment that you’re out hiking or exploring. Or even a worst case scenario: you’ve been stranded due to an unfortunate accident or event into an unknown place, far from civilization. Even if you’re a bit familiar to the wilderness or have a clue where you are, it’s still bad; not knowing is even worse. The first reasonable thing to do is to try and locate where you are and start moving towards a safe zone. Many of you will consider the modern approach to navigation, based on a GPS system. But what if your electronic device (phone, tablet, GPS device) gets damaged or it simply runs out of battery? You should be fine as long as you remembered to pack a survival navigation tools, a map and a compass as a backup. Every serious prepper should have a compass in his private survival kit. There’s a great variety of compasses on the market, to suit the needs of even the keenest explorers. The beginners or light travelers could always get a basic compass, one that’s cheap, works great but it doesn’t have some bonus features, such as a mirror or a declination adjustment etc. For the more serious hikers and preppers, there are more advanced compasses, with many additional features (magnifier, mirror etc.) that make navigation easier and are perfect for those who wonder regularly into unknown territory. It all comes down to choosing the one that works best for you. Let’s have a look at what’s available on the market.
How a compass works
A compass has a tiny plastic bubble filled with liquid, a damping fluid, which is mostly oil based and treated with antifreeze so the compass can work even in low-temperature environments. Its role is not only to protect the pointer needle from outside interference, but also to prevent the needle from excessive jiggling and trembling caused by the magnetic forces of the earth. If you find yourself in a cold environment or at high altitudes, the liquid will contract creating a bubble inside the plastic casing, but this won’t affect accuracy. When you return to normal conditions, the air bubble will disappear.
The magnetized needle encased in the plastic liquid-filled transparent bubble is the one that’s responsible for telling directions. It has 2 pointy sides, one of which is strongly attuned to the earth’s strongest magnetic field, generated by the magnetic North Pole. So at any point, this needle (which is normally red) will point north. However, the magnetic north is different from the geographic north. The magnetic north is situated in a chain of islands in the Canadian Arctic. So you must compensate and calculate the differences when traveling by map and compass.
There are also electronic compasses available on the market, which are easier to read thanks to their displays. But they’re less reliable than traditional ones for the same reasons every other battery operated GPS device is: they’re fragile and are dependent on an external energy source that will run out soon or later.
Compasses to consider
The Suunto A-10 field compass is a very simple and efficient compass that works great. It’s lightweight, made from a scratch-resistant and shock-absorbing transparent material and it has an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold and handle or to fit in a small pocket; it also comes equipped with a detachable snap lock. It supports a two-zone reading (covering the entire north hemisphere) for an extra accurate reading, which can be done in both inches and centimeters. The needled is not flooded in liquid, but this doesn’t seem to affect the overall performance of this compass in any way.
The Cammenga Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is a very established name in the field. It’s a very sturdy field compass that is completely waterproof and it’s has a very tough aluminum frame. You can carry it tied to your wrist, clipped securely to your belt or just have it sit in its own carrying pouch. It weighs about 8 ounces and the dial includes both degrees and miles. It has phosphorescent paint to make for easy readings at night and for those who don’t mind spending twice the money, there is also a tritium version available. This tiny navigation gadget has been approved by the DoD, so that tells us a lot about its quality and efficiency.
The Suunto KB-14 360R Pro Compass it’s absolutely state of the art as far as accuracy goes. It’s a professional compass, which means great investments have been made and excellent materials went in the making of this particular model. It’s extremely accurate, down to a third of a degree or 0.5 degrees when it comes to graduated intervals. The shell is made from a durable anodized light alloy, it has superior damping fluid (which stay consistent even in extreme conditions) and a nylon pouch for protection. This model is highly used by professional cartographers, surveyors and foresters. It’d be the perfect compass if it had the declination correction feature; luckily this feature is available on the improved (and more expensive) KB-14D model.
There are still plenty of models out there for you to check out and chose from. But make no mistake about it: we’re far from that technical breakthrough, when electronics can replace classical gadgets in a survival scenario. I’m not saying that the GPS systems are completely useless, far from it. But when the computer systems fail, you’ll need to revert to a simpler way if you want to survive.
By Alec Deacon
The post Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
This family-friendly soft drink has been around for over a century. It originated in US Georgia as a medicine drink at the end of the 19th century (invented by John Pemberton), but a few years later (at the beginning of the 20th century) it was bought and rebranded by a business man (Asa Griggs Candler) to become the longest-standing and most common brand in the world. Its popularity is undisputable. We might not all like it, but we all know it and we all tried it at least once. Believe it or not, Coke can be used for many other reasons, apart from human consumption. Due to its interesting properties, the fizzy drink in question can be very handy around the house. You can use it to clean stuff, defrost surfaces and even as pesticide. It’s still up for debate whether the drink is harmful for humans or not, but this is a discussion for another time. Don’t drink it if you don’t trust it, but take a look at this 10 uses for coca cola, the wonders it can do in everyday life situations.
- Rust remover
Coke is a fizzy drink, and it’s filled of phosphoric acid, which can loosen rust from every surface as long as that object is exposed for a long enough period of time. If we’re talking about rusty tools or other pieces of metal that you’re trying to clean up, you can simply fill a recipient that’s big enough with Coke and place the object you wish to clean inside. Let it stir for a while; after you’ll take it out the rust will be easy to clean if you scrub it with some tin foil and wipe off with a cloth (works especially well on chromed surfaces). It also does wonders on rusty bolts: just spill some cola over the bolt, let it sit, wipe it and give it another go. You’ll be amazed of how well it works.
- Oil stain remover
Oil stains are a pain in the neck. It takes only a moment of carelessness for your pavement or garage floor to get stained forever. If you’ve dropped that pesky motor oil (or any type of oily substance for that matter) and made a mess, don’t worry. Just go out and buy a Coca Cola bottle. Spill it over the oil stain and give it a couple of hours to work its magic. When you’re done waiting, simply whose off the stain from the pavement. Because it works so great, some people even use Coke to clean their car engine’s; and with great results too.
- Pots and pans cleaner
If you have old and burned pots and pans that have been worn out with time but you still can’t let them go, you’ll be happy to know that a Coke treatment can make them (almost) brand new. To remove those pesky burn stains, simply pour the wonder-soda into the damaged pot or pan and simmer for a while. After you’re done, empty the pot or pan and rinse with water. Wipe it clean and there you have it! Coca Cola works not only for burned spots, but also for cleaning all sorts of build ups and scales.
- Coin cleaner
If you’re a hardcore coin collector and want to make your new additions shine like there’s no tomorrow, just fill a glass or jar with Coca Cola and dump the coins in. In about 10 -20 minutes the excess muck will have been dissolved, so dump the soda and take the coins out one by one and wipe them clean. They’ll be shiny and clean.
The soda does wonders for defrosting any type of surface, as the acidic compounds melt ice in no time. So defrosting you car windows (or any type of window for that matter) will be no problem at all. Just pour the drink all over the windshield / windows etc. and watch the ice melt in under a minute. After the ice is turned to mush, you can just wipe it off with a cloth or just let it come off on its own in a matter of minutes.
- Window cleaner
It can clean windows just as well as it can defrost them. It’s good for any shinny surface for that matter, thanks to the high
amount of citric acid it holds. Normal window cleaners are citric acid-based as well, so there’s not much difference. You can pour Coke over a piece of cloth and wipe the windows with it or put Coke inside a spray bottle, spray it all over and then wipe the surface clean. The choice is up to you, but the outcome will be the same: cleanliness.
- Stain remover
It works perfectly well as any other expensive stain remover available on the market. You can pour the soda in the wash, alongside detergent and it will work just fine in removing the stains from your clothes. Also wine stains or blood stains from carpets or similar surfaces won’t be a problem if you pour coke on them as soon as possible. This procedure is not recommended for light fabrics, because Coca Cola is brown. It might remove the red, but it will leave a brown spot in its place.
- Toilette cleaner
If you’re out of toilette cleaner but you happen to have some Coca Cola lying around the house, perfect! Just pour the soda inside the toilette bowl and let it sit for a few minutes, just like you would with you regular product. After the time is up, scrub and flush like always. Your bowl will be so sparkly, that no one will be able to tell that you used a fizzy drink instead of a professional product.
- Gum remover
If by some reason or another you end up with gum in your hair, the only reasonable thing to do is to cut it off. Well, not really. Just pour some Coke over the “warzone” and wait about 5 minutes. The fizzy drink will break down the stretching properties of the gum and it will make it much easier to pick up and wash off.
- Pain reliever
IF you get stung by some nasty creatures (bees, wasp, jellyfish etc.) you’ll be a world of pain. You probably know the main approach to jelly fish stings is urine treatment. Fortunately, making a fool of yourself in public won’t be necessary if you happen to have some Coca Cola on you. Just open the bottle or can and pour it over the affected area. Thanks to the chemical structure of the drink, the pain inducing substances will be neutralized a couple of minutes.
Whether you like Coke as a drink or not, is not up for debate. But having some around the house will undoubtedly come in handy at some point or another. I always keep a couple of bottles, just in case. You never know when you’ll run out of cleaning props or pain relief ointments.
By Alec Deacon
Believe it or not, no serious prepper should go without one of the best radios in his personal survival kit. And this is because when modern society fails and crumbles (and our means of communications will be amongst the first to go) or if you simply find yourself stranded, you’ll need to keep in touch with the latest news. Information will be vital for your very existence in such a scenario, and you very own survival radio device will get the job done. So whether hostile armed forces are marching in towards your location or whether a natural disaster is heading your way, you’ll hear it all and have enough time to take whatever precautions are necessary. Choosing a radio for a SHTF situation won’t be as easy as choosing one for everyday life.
These tiny gadgets can be very complex, but their complexity is a plus if anything. You can have radios that are set to pick up certain wavelengths that transmit the status of natural disasters. Some support multiple power sources, some can charge your small appliances (phones, etc.) and others have a crank system that will allow them to work when there is no energy left. Here are some of the best choices that are available on the market.
The American Red Cross FRX3 is a radio made to work indefinitely, despite the fact that there might be no electrical power running through the plugs anymore. Of course, it does have the capability to stay plugged in, but when the plugs fail to deliver, you can use the crank shaft to power up its internal NiMH battery. And if your hand gets tired, you can just point it towards a strong enough light source and the solar panel will do the rest. It’s not just a radio, it’s an intricate device that gets AM / FM bands, all the NOAA (National Weather Service) bands, has a flashlight attached and a USB port to charge up other devices. If you’re the type of person that often losses things, you’ll be happy to know that the Red Cross FRX3 is very hard to misplace, as it has a glow-in-the-dark locator and a flashing red beacon.
American Red Cross FRX3
The Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager is a radio that is very light, well built and comes with many gadgets that can prove very useful in all sorts of situations. It has many choices when it comes to power sources (AC, Battery, computer, hand crank and solar), ensuring its autonomy in all sorts of environments. The solar panel is situated at the top of the device and it’s adjustable at a 180° angle. This feature is very convenient, as you won’t have to turn the whole device towards light sources. But its strongest feature by far is the array of lightning options you get with this radio device: a flashlight, a red strobe and if these weren’t enough, it also has 5 LEDs for reading light. It gets all sorts of wavelengths (even shortwave broadcasts). And for those of you for whom esthetics matter just as much as anything else, the radio comes in black, red, blue, green or yellow.
Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager
The Grundig S450DLX is an excellent digital radio device, very strong and reliable. It’s very good especially when it comes to shortwave signals. It has a preset channel function that will allow you to preset you favorite radio channels and to access them with the push of the button; you get 50 slots for preset channels (10 per each band). The large LCD display is clear and easy to read and the knobs work perfectly (both the normal tuning and fine-tuning). It receives a high quality signal, with very little background noise, mainly thanks to its excellent anti-interference. And if somehow you’re still having trouble getting a clear signal, you can attach an external antenna. Aa a power source, it uses DC IN (9V) or 6 D batteries.
The Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio is a radio similar to the model used by the Red Cross, except theirs is smaller. Personally, I’m having doubts whether this is a radio or a flashlight first, as the 3 LED lights fitted on this device are very powerful. As power sources, the internal batteries can be charged by USB, hand crank or through the solar panel. The display is easy to read and the radio picks both AM / FM bands, as well as all 7 NOAA weather bands. Most of the device is incased in a rubber-like housing, which acts as a shock absorbent and also waterproofs the circuits.
Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio
The Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum is one of the most versatile tiny radios on the market. It’s small, very light and you can carry it around everywhere by either throwing it in your backpack or a pocket, or simply by keeping it tied to your wrist. It has an incredibly large number of features such a small device: it has LED lights (low beam / high beam), emergency flash (bright red), 144mm diameter compass (oil based), crank charger, USB charger, security alarm (that’s motion activated) and state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. As you can plainly see, it has EVERYTHING except the kitchen sink. But that’ll hopefully be included in the next model.
Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum
Staying in touch with the world is a must for all of us. But a simple radio just won’t do. As you can see, there are plenty of choices out there for preppers when it comes to survival radios. And there are plenty more models to check out in order to find the “perfect fit” for you. But get your very own radio, and fast. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next.
By Alec Deacon
The post 5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Food! We all do it, we all eat. Not only because we have to in order to survive, but also because we like it. Most cultures are unique when it comes to culinary treats, with at least a couple of dishes to set them easily aside from the rest of the world. Cooking may come in different shapes and sizes, but the raw material is (more or less) the same everywhere. We need organic material as fuel. But the organic material we ingurgitate may sometimes be infected by pathogens that will cause us harm. The food of beverages that contain certain bacteria, viruses, parasites or even chemicals will cause great distress and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the gastrointestinal afflictions are acute; they manifest themselves rapidly, with fever diarrhea and vomiting and won’t last more than a few days, even without medical treatment. Others, on the other hand, will manifest themselves way more severely, and will cause a rapid death if left untreated.
This tiny bacterium (Salmonella enterica) is one of the most common and wildly spread foodborne pathogens on the face of the Earth. It lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and it’s transmitted to humans through food that hasn’t been properly washed and that previously came in contact with animal waste. What makes it dangerous and so wildly spread is the fact that it’s practically impossible to detect. Diseased animals manifest no exact symptoms; nor will the food products that get tainted. It’s not resistant to high temperatures, so cooking the food properly will destroy the proteins that make up the bacteria. If not, hell will soon follow. Within 12 to 72 hours from infection, the pathogen will make itself “visible” through acute abdominal pain and cramp, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea is severe in this case, so drinking plenty of fluids is a must, in order to avoid dehydration. In a strong and healthy individual, the disease shouldn’t last more than 5 – 7 days. Medication is necessary only if the infection has already spread to the intestines; also if the infected person has a compromised immune system or is an elderly citizen, that will have problems fighting the disease on his own. It can sometimes lead to a complication known as Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis, which causes painful joints, painful urination, eye soreness and chronic arthritis. The best way to avoid salmonella infection is it to cook your food carefully, especially meat and eggs.
Also known as trichinellosis, is a disease that’s easily contracted by humans that consume meat infected with the larvae of the trichinella worm (Trichinella spiralis), be it from domesticated pigs or other wild animals. The larvae are incased in a cyst in animal meat. After ingestion, it gets in a human host, where the digestive acids found in our stomachs dissolve the cyst and release the worm. They mature in a couple of days in the small intestine. They will mate, lay eggs and from these eggs small worm will result that will make their way to muscle tissue (through the arteries), where they’ll incase themselves in cystic form again. In an attempt to fight the invasive creatures, you’ll body will suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acute stomachaches in the first 2 – 3 days after eating the tainted meat. After the worms have matured and start reproducing (2 – 8 weeks), you’ll also experience fever, chills, coughing, eye-sealing, headaches, itchy skin, joint pain and irregularities of the digestive system (constipation or diarrhea). It’s a disease that should not be left untreated. The best way to avoid getting trichinosis is to cook meat at about 160°F, temperature that will destroy the cysts. You can also freeze you pork for 20 days in order to kill the worms, however this might not work when it comes to game animals.
Trichinella spiralis cysts in muscle mass
The Escherichia coli is a large group of bacteria, out of which most are harmless. The one that’s able to cause havoc is called the O157:H7, and is part of the STEC group (the E. coli that produce the Shiga toxin). They’re mostly found in the intestines and stomachs of ruminant animals (cattle) but also in sheep, goats, elk, deer etc. When the animal is eviscerated, the intestines might get cut and spill out on the meat, immediately infecting it. The most common method of spreading the bacteria is through ground meat, but it was also found in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables or fruits that come in contact with infected animal waste will also get tainted. Although it doesn’t manifest itself in any way in the animal hosts, in humans it can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and even bloody diarrhea. The infection spreads rapidly, so that about a third of the people infected will get hospitalized; about 10% of those that get hospitalized will die. It’s most dangerous when it comes to children ages 5 – 10. They risk of developing hemolytic-uremic syndrome as a result of the E. coli infection, which can lead to kidney failure. You can avoid E. coli infection by regularly washing your hands, washing vegetables and cooking your meat at a temperature of at least 160°F.
The O157:H7 E. coli
To avoid getting dangerous foodborne diseases, hygiene is a must. Always wash your hands, your food and avoid eating from unreliable sources. If you manifest any of the symptoms that I’ve listed above, check with your doctor immediately and don’t leave anything to chance. Most of the incipient symptoms are common in most type of food related infections, so it’s hard to tell on your own whether you’ve contracted something that’s life-threatening or not.
By Alec Deacon
The post 3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
I know I’ve advocated meat consumption many times before; I’ve talked about the benefits of eating meat (in moderation of course). In many cases I have stated that the human omnivorous diet (comprised of both meats and vegetal matter) requires a balanced intake of nutrients, from which meat shouldn’t not be left out, mainly because it’s the best source of protein we get. But I feel that I’ve never treated this subject with the proper respect it actually deserved, so I’ll fix that right now. If you’re a body builder or a fitness enthusiast you probably know much about what proteins are and what they’re good for. But for those of you who don’t, allow me to explain. Proteins are essential to living organism and humans make no exception. It helps build and repair muscle mass, it serves as a building block for body chemicals (enzymes, hormones etc.), skin, blood, bones, helps release carbohydrates into the bloodstream and so on. Every single fully functional cell in the human body needs protein in order to function properly. Some tissues (hair and nails) are comprised mostly of protein. So this macronutrient is one of the building blocks of life, it’s a major part of who and what we are and it’s important to have a balanced diet in which to include rich sources of protein. Let’s have a look at these 4 meats that are packed with protein. And there is no better natural source of protein out there that meat.
Venison (27g of protein / 3 oz)
Venison is an excellent source for protein, even better than the common beef. Not only does it have a higher amount of protein / per oz., but it also has a lower count of saturated fats. Protein is only one of the nutritious compounds venison has to offer. It’s packed with iron, riboflavin, vitamin BS and other minerals that are beneficial to human health. It’s pretty versatile when it comes to cooking methods. You can make mouth-watering stakes and stews from back straps, tenderloins or top hams. The neck the belly and the lower ribs can be easily grinded into sausages or stew meat. The best roasts result from the lower hams, but you’ll have to cook them long and slow to tender the meat. Venison has a specific taste, and if you’re not very keen on it, you can marinate it and tinker with the flavor as much as possible.
Chicken breast (27g of protein / 4 oz)
The chicken breast is a common household name that’s known and loved by everybody. We are all familiar with its tenderness and deliciousness. We all know how easy to prepare it is, in how many dishes and recipes we can include it in and how easy it is to procure (found in all types of stores and markets, big or small). But I don’t know how many of us are actually aware of the chicken breast’s nutritious properties. Apart from proteins, it also has phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and also a small amount of calcium. The healthiest approach to eating chicken breast is to serve it grilled, with a side of fresh, steamed or grilled vegetables. But for those of you who don’t mind adding calories in the mix, you can just fry it and eat it with pretty much everything your heart desires. When it comes to cooking chicken breast, the sky’s the limit.
Ground beef 95% lean (24g of protein / 3 oz)
This is the best type of beef money can buy. The 95% lean ground beef it’s full of beneficial compounds, such as iron, creatine (that do wonders for your muscles), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, calcium and more. The leaner the beef, the better! Ground beef that starts at 90% lean is lower in fatty acids and calories, which makes it perfect as the main pillar of a healthy diet. Cooking it requires some caution and preparation. Because the meat lacks a high amount of fats, it’s advised to use the right amount for cooling oil before frying. If you’re planning a roast, it’s best if you add sauce and cook it slowly, because it’ll need all the moisture it can get. If you already have your heart on switching to this type of meat product, go for grass-fed beef, as it’s tenderer and even richer in protein and nutrients than regular lean beef.
Anchovies (24g of protein / 3 oz)
The anchovies are a small breed of fish that are extremely delicious and beneficial at the same time. Apart for being a rich source of protein, they’re also a rich resource of omega 3 fats (beneficial non-saturated fats), vitamin D, vitamin B12, niacin and other nutrients and minerals that make for tough blood vessels, strong bones and a healthy heart. Their small size also prevents them from accumulating high amounts of toxins, like bigger fish do. Before eating them, soak them in water for about 30 minutes; they retain high amounts of salt and this will remove the excess salt. They’re not meant for cooking (as they tend to dissolve), so just eat them out of the can with greens and cheeses or add them to salad dressings.
For a while I’ve considering pork chops as well. But I ultimately decided to drop them from the list, because of their high amount of fat: 1.2 g of polyunsaturated fat, 3.3 g of saturated fat and 3.9 g of monounsaturated fat.
These are some of my personal favorite meats, but I’m sure there are plenty more out there to take into consideration. I’m sure there are plenty of you that could successfully add to this list, and make it go for pages on end. But that is not my goal; all I wanted to do is to share with you the importance and joy of eating meat. Stay safe and healthy!
By Alec Deacon
Most of us use fishing as a recreational activity. But fishing started out as a necessity for human beings rather than anything else. And what if a time comes when you’ll find yourself obligated to fish for no other purpose than to feed yourself or your family? There are plenty of survival scenarios that could happen and might force you to resort to fishing for survival. If the SHTF scenario finds you at home and prepared, with all the fishing gear you need at your disposal, good. That means one less thing to worry about. But what if you happen to find yourself stranded or you’re forced to leave your home without having enough time to pack your fishing gear too? There are water sources around and “plenty of fish in the sea” but nothing to catch them with. Well, you’re not doomed to starve, that’s for sure. There are plenty of primitive fishing techniques developed way before modern fishing that could very well be implemented today. Sure, fishing with the latest gear is preferable, but if that’s not an option, at least there are other ways that, although are unorthodox, at least they work.
D.I.Y. fishing spear
There is more than one way of improvising such a tool. If you’re aim is good enough and your hand is steady you can make a single point spear. Just find a branch or a piece of wood that’s long enough and simply attach to one end either a blade or a piece of bone that’s sharp enough to pierce flesh. A piece of durable plastic will do just as well. Simply carve enough space at one end of the branch (without breaking it) that’s wide enough to jam the point of the spear in. After you’re done, simply tie the end with a piece of rope or even duct tape and you have yourself a fishing spear. If you’re using a knife, know that exposure to water will deteriorate the quality of the metal in time, so you won’t be able to use it for much else. Another way of doing it is to simply carve the spear tip directly in the branch, by sharpening it with a blade or another sharp object at your disposal. But this won’t be a very durable result, especially if you miss a lot. Hitting the wooden tip on hard surfaces (rocks and sediments) will break it eventually.
But what if you’re a bad that can’t even harpoon a shark in a fish tank? No worries, this mean’s the multi-headed fishing spear is the right tool for you. Take a branch that’s durable enough and split one for about 6 inches long, as many times as you can. Sharpen the multi heads of the spear and tie them last 2 – 3 firmly with the rope, to prevent them from splitting further and eventually breaking. Now find a twig that’s strong enough to keep the “teeth” of the spear separated. You’ll not only hit your prey easily pierce it easily, but the shock from the hit will eject the twig, closing the “spear jaws”. That fish won’t know what hit him.
The multi-headed fishing spear
D.I.Y. fishing gear
Those of you who just can’t give up modern fishing or who simply find spear fishing too primitive can improvise their very own lures, lines and fish hooks. Hooks are easiest to make. If you have a soda can in hand, you can cut the tab a pair of pliers or strong scissors into a hook shape. Anything goes if you creative enough, from safety pins, nails or paper clips to thorns and bones. If you have a sharp knife on you and the patience to do it, you can make your very own toggle hook, used by our primitive ancestors. This is a 1 inch hook made from durable material (bone, sea shells or wood) that’s sharpened at both ends and curbed. It’s attached to the fishing line by its mid section and hidden bait. When the prey swallows the bait, the hook jams in its throat.
Bait shouldn’t be much of a problem, as there is plenty of natural bait around, even in urban environments. Fish tend to go for everything wiggling, so you’ll have no problem if you’ll be using grubs, ants, night crawlers, centipedes, millipedes, maggots, earthworms, caterpillars, beetles etc. If one type of bait doesn’t work, keep trying on until you find the right one. Considering you’ll be in survival situation, you might as well be fishing with multiple fishing lines. So trying out different types of bait and making a statistic shouldn’t be a long and lengthy process at all.
Fishing line is probably the biggest challenge you’ll have to face. Although it’s hard to improvise, it’s not impossible. It can be made out of clothing material (ripped or torn), wire, twisted tree bark, dental floss and pretty much everything else that’s thin enough to attach itself to the fishing pole and strong enough to pull a fish out of the water.
Improvised tab hook
D.I.Y. fishing nets
In some cases this method can be more efficient than the tradition line and hook method. You can use clothing material or pretty much any material that’s strong enough for the job. You can attach two pieces at the extremities and simply walk around with the improvised net submersed. This is very practical if you’re using it in a small lake or stream, but not if you find yourself at the ocean. You’ll have to start from the deepest spot and work your way with the net still immersed to the shallowest spot. When you get there, close the net and pick it up quickly.
It’s probably the most primitive fishing method available. But still, it works. This activity goes by many names (hogging, graveling, noodling, fish tickling etc.) and it varies in technique from region to region. The easiest approach to hand fishing is to catch fish directly from their lairs or hideouts. Cat fish are easiest to catch due to their considerable size (which makes them easy to hold) and their slow response. Just find a fish lair and rich in and grab the fish out. It’s best if you can grab a direct hold of the gills and or on the inside of the mouth. Just make sure that whatever it is you’re grabbing doesn’t have teeth or spikes.
These are some of the easiest methods of fishing in a survival situation. There are more out there for you to discover. Many of them might not be legal in your state, but in a SHTF scenario, everything goes. So do not try them unless you don’t absolutely have to.
By Alec Deacon
Vaccination has become a real issue lately, not only in the US, but worldwide. The controversy is far from being over, as people seem to be separated into two sides when it comes to vaccination: those who approve of vaccines and those who oppose them. As a parent, choosing a side is a great responsibility, because in this clash, only one side can be ultimately right. And the overall wellbeing of your children will depend on your choice. The first advocates for vaccination you’ll come across will be your local pediatrician, but don’t let yourself persuaded that easily. He’ll have nothing else in mind than your kid’s health, no doubt about that, but keep in mind that he’s the result of a medical system that has proven to be flawed before. And more so, the vaccination standards and regulations are all directed by the AMA (the American Medical Association). The obvious question is whose best interest does the AMA hold: that of our children, or that of the pharmaceutical corporations (whose only purpose is financial profit)?
Shocking facts about vaccination that you should know
Throughout modern history, there have been several issues with many vaccines on the market. Those who claim otherwise are simply ignorant or ill-intentioned. RotaShield (the Rotavirus vaccine) falls into this category. It was removed from the market in late 1999, when it was demonstrated that there are links between bowel malfunction (obstruction, chaotic bowel twisting) and the vaccine itself. It was a great deal at the time, and the case is real as you clearly see for yourself here. The vaccine that followed (RotaTeq) was supposedly the new and improved version of the RotaShield vaccine. Although it doesn’t appear to be as destructive as its predecessor, it too seems to be causing bowel afflictions; you might find it hard to believe, but RotaTeq is still available on the market. Another famous and controversial case of vaccine malfunction has been recorded in February 2002, when GlaxoSmithKline (a preventive vaccine for Lyme Disease) has been withdrawn from the market. The manufacturer claimed poor sales, but the truth of the matter was that compelling evidence pointed out that the vaccine itself was responsible for worse cases of arthritis than the disease itself. You can read all about the untold truths about vaccines in this full report here.
In 2011, the I.O.M. (the Institute of Medicine), has submitted a report for further proof that certain vaccines can cause undeniable side effects. They’re studies have shown that the Chickenpox Vaccine can afflict children with immunodeficiency (but not only) with hepatitis, meningitis, encephalitis or pneumonia. The Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine favors encephalitis, febrile seizures and Arthralgia (Short-term joint pain) in women and children. The HPV vaccine seems to be the cause of anaphylaxis in yeast-sensitive females and as overall side-effects, all vaccines can cause syncopes (fainting) or arm inflammation.
Dangerous chemicals and compounds found in vaccines
When it comes to purchasing processed food or sodas or whatever else intended for human consumption, the first thing you should do is to not focus the price of the product, but on the ingredients section. A vaccine is no different. You should be very aware before administering such a drug to your child. Most vaccines (if not all) that are on the market contain many substances and chemicals that can be extremely harmful to a human being. These potentially harmful components and their terrible side-effects are not given the proper attention and respect, mainly because of the marketing policies that the pharmaceutical moguls impose. Here’s a list of some commonly found chemicals in vaccines:
- Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic fluid (used primarily in embalming corpses) that can cause respiratory distress, liver damage, reproductive deformation, gastrointestinal problems and various forms of cancer. Another flaw of this chemical is that it can neutralize the virus in the vaccine, which will make the vaccine completely useless
- Thimerosal is basically mercury. Every vaccine contains about 25 mcg of Thimerosal, and according to the EPA the safe limit for humans is about 5 mcg. It’s very neurotoxic and it’s been linked to autism
- Aluminum phosphate it’s dangerous because it reacts to mercury and it increases its toxicity. Considering that every vaccine already contains about 25 mcg of mercury, the recommended dosage is exceeded from the go
- Sodium chloride inhibits growth, prevents normal muscle contraction and affects the circulatory system
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) when injected, it becomes chemical unstable and turns into a neurotoxin; it’s been linked to brain damage in children and CNS (central nervous system) disorders
- Phenoxyethanol can disrupt the central nervous system and can gravely affect the liver or kidneys
- Glycerin is known for causing gastrointestinal damage, lung damage, liver and kidney shutdown
- Bovine cow serum causes chest pain, low blood pressure, lupus, arthritis and can damage connective tissue
These are only some of the most damaging chemicals used in vaccine. The list is much longer, be sure of that.
So before considering vaccination (for yourself or your family), do some research first. Listen to both sides and make up your mind whether the shot is worth it or not. At the end of the day, the damage cause by the “cure” can be far greater than that of the affliction you’re trying to prevent. Stay safe, stay informed and don’t be fooled by advertisements.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Untold Truths About Vaccines And Why Pharmaceutical Companies Can’t Be Trusted appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
The New World Order is settling in, little by little, trying to conquer and take over civilisation as we know it. When they finally will hold absolute power, they’ll do the worst evil imaginable: try and pervert our morality and spirituality, divert our belief in God and our love of good towards serving a darker master, one whose final agenda is the fall and complete destruction of mankind. One of the most respected war tactics is divide and conquer: weaken the bonds between your enemies so that they will be easier to conquer (united they stand, but divided they’ll fall). However, the war for taking over the world is not a conventional war; it’s a fight that’s happening in “the shadows” away from public eyes, based on lies, deceit and mind-bending tactics that should ultimately result in the instalment on the NWO. So this is exactly why the strategy of divide and conquer will not apply here, but rather the opposite: total uniformity, final unification (aka. Globalisation) in order to place all the soon-to-be subjects under a single, incontestable master, bent on tyrannical rule and enslavement. This process has already begun as the EU is already in place, as is African Union. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) have already accomplished their North American Union (NAU, represented by Canada, US and Mexico), which is the first step towards assimilating the US to an ultimate Global Government that will answer to an ultimate and undisputed World Leader. All of these unfolding events have already been foretold by the Bible in the book of Revelation:
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” Revelation 13:1-2
The Beast’s head: the Rothschilds
The NWO movement is set up and controlled from the shadows by the wealthy Rothschild dynasty. They are promoting the NWO under Zionism, but they are not alone in this endeavor. There are other small families involved, less powerful but still very influential. The “clan” consists of about 300 major families, out of who on 13 make up the high council. The rich are not only seeking wealth, but world domination and the worship of the Beast. Most of these families are behind organizations like the Bilderbergers or the Council on Foreign Relations, but not only that, as they also pull the strings of the Mansory or the Mafia. They’re ties with the occult are evident and they’re lust for world domination and destruction is even more so. For many decades, most members of this family used as their official seal (that followed their official signature in official documents) the Seal of Solomon, which back then was a symbol of magicians and mystics that that were practitioners of the black arts.
The Beast’s 10 horns: the upcoming global regional divisions
In 1996, NAFTA had devised an outstanding economic strategy that was to raise global economy a great deal. The organization divided the World from a so-called “financial” point of view into 10 regions: 1. North America, 2. Western Europe, 3. Japan, 4. Australia + South Africa, 5. Eastern Europe + Russia, 6. Latin America, 7. North Africa + the Middle East, 8. Tropical Africa, 9. South and Southeast Asia and 10. China.
Little did many of us suspect at that time that what was really going on had very little to do with bettering the overall global economy, but was actually an attempt at remapping the world for a political and structural point of view. These 10 regions are what we find in Revelations as the 10 horns. They were meant to destabilize and prepare the planet for the take-over and the coming of the new ruler, the bringer of a new (and Dark Age), the fulfiller of the NWO agenda. This false messiah has also been prophesized and I’m sure you all figured it out by now that he’s what the Bible refers to as the Antichrist.
The signs couldn’t be clearer and humanity has been on a set path for self-destruction for years now. The peaceful reasons behind Globalization and other similar projects are nothing but lies. The goal reason is to enslave the human mind little by little, and ultimately the human spirit. If we’ll constantly be subjected to false doctrine and propaganda, if we fall victims to their mind-controlling implants and we (the many) give in to the will of the few, there will be no opposition to the rule of the NWO or to the fulfillment of their dark plan. But nothing’s lost yet; open your eyes, read the signs and do not give in to the tapestry of lies and deceit.
By Alec Deacon
I’ve been really into gardening lately, trying to find the best techniques and methods for growing fruit or veggies with as little effort or resources as possible. One method that really caught my attention was the straw bale method, a method that is based on planting into straw bales rather than in the ground. You prepare the bales thoroughly and that’s pretty much it. It’s cheap, requires very little care as the method is not pretentious at all and another bonus is that the plants are raised above ground level, which puts them out of the reach of various critters that could take a liking in whatever it is you planted. And not only that, picking the plants will from the straw bales, will be a lot easier than picking them from the ground. The seemed perfect, but only until I stumbled across the alternative: the HAY bale gardening method, which made the straw bale method seem less appealing all of a sudden.
Hay bale gardening vs. straw bale gardening
For those of you who have very little to do with gardening, there is a major difference between the two. Straw bales are usually comprised from cereal crops stalks (corn, wheat, oat, rye, barley etc.). It’s mostly used for bedding livestock, and apart from carbon, it has no real nutritional value. It’s not inefficient as a surface for growing plants, but it will require regular watering and fertilizers to get the job done. Hay on the other hand, it’s nothing but rich grasses that are mainly a source of rich and
nutritious food for cattle during cold periods (winter time), when the fields are empty. They are filled with nutrients and minerals like nitrogen, potassium, phosphates etc. that vegetables require to grow. It’s exactly this natural cocktail of minerals and nutrients that require no additional fertilizing methods when it comes to hay bale gardening. Hay also holds water more efficiently than straw due to its density and chemical structure. So a hay bale garden requires watering once a day, whereas a straw bale garden will require watering 3 times a day.
The first thing you’ll need to start your very own hay bale garden is getting your hands on hay bales. If you have nobody to turn to in your vicinity that could sell or give you the hay bales, you can always go on the internet and find farmers that have hay bales for sale. Once they’re delivered to you, pick a spot to your liking (preferably in your garden) and set them as you see fit. Next you’ll need to prepare the hay bales for the planting process. What’ll you’ll need is some 42-0-0 or even better, some nitrogen. You’ll treat the bales with nitrogen for 5 days; the nitrogen will break down bacteria, fungi and insects into nutritious compost that will serve as “fuel” for your growing plants. If you’re not that keen on spending money on nitrogen or fertilizers, you can just pee on the hay bales for the 5-day period; pee is rich in nitrogen and it’ll get the job done just as efficiently. However, the daily dose of pee a person produces will not be enough for this endeavor, so I suggest you start saving your pee in bottles or containers.
The preparation of the bales will be done over a period of 10 days total before planting. In the uneven days, the bales will be treated with half-a-cup of nitrogen and sprayed with water. During the even days of the 10 day period, the bales will be watered only.
During this process, the temperature inside the hay bales will rise dramatically, most likely to 120°F – 140°F. Although is very unlikely that the bales will simply catch fire, the risk still exists. So water the bales regularly I order to avoid any unwanted incidents. When the “ordeal” is over, the temperature will subside, from how to warm. Once this happens, you can start planting your vegetables. Just add regular seeds, water the hay garden once a day and you’ll be able to pick the fruits of your labor in no time.
Accurate temperature readings using a professional thermometer
- The bales should be tightly bound if you want them to hold. Synthetic twine works great and hold the hay bales together just fine during the growing season.
- A single bale of hay will hold about two tomato plants, two pumpkin hill, 3 cauliflower plants or 3 broccoli plants; plants cover the same amount of space in the bales as they do in the ground.
- Growing tall plants (sunflower, corn etc.) is not advised, as hay bales do not offer such plants the support they need. If you won’t provide these types of plants with a stacking system, they’ll most probably fall over.
- You shouldn’t water the bales more than two times a day. There is no danger of drowning the plants, because the water will evaporate quickly; the hay bales will not get drenched like soil would.
This method is very interesting and it seems to give great results even for the rookies. You don’t need much to get started. Just a minimum investment and the will power to get things done. If you’re looking for a cheap and fast alternative to gardening, look no further: hay bale gardening is the way.
By Alec Deacon
The post Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
I can imagine what your first thought might have been when reading the title above: you’re far too old and busy to start learning such kid’s games and there’s absolutely nothing to gain out of it. But let me tell you: you’d be dead wrong. You’re never to learn to get into a sport or physical activity, as long as your doctor allows it and you do it with moderation. When it comes to studying martial arts, know that one can benefit greatly from such activity. And no, it’s not meant for kids only. If you’re serious about it, you can start out as old as you like and still end up being good at it. Martial arts can be more than learning combat moves for self defense: they’re great physical exercise, each form has its own philosophy behind it (which you can study along with the moves) and great fun. But for those of you who are planning on getting their money’s worth, you can ultimately become an expert in a certain fighting style.
You might find yourself during your lifetime in certain situations from which you could easily escape unharmed if you have the proper training. Learning a fighting style could be very useful as a self-defense method: against attackers, muggers, perpetrators etc. If you’re trained well enough you could easily disarm assailants or even take on more than one at a time. There have been many fighting styles and techniques developed throughout history in various parts of the world. There are also many combinations of fighting styles available (mixed martial arts), for people who want to get the best of ALL worlds. It’s a matter of choice; let’s see what are the most popular at the moment and maybe you’ll find the one that suits you best.
This it may come as a surprise, but it’s Israel’s very own fighting style. It was developed (mostly) by Imi Lichtenfeld during the 1930s. The style itself is very direct, meant to counter holds and incapacitations of every sort. Because it’s full contact and it gives advantage against almost any type of attack, it’s excellent for street survival, and not only. It’s a mixed style, comprised of elements which are basic to other fighting techniques like Karate, Jiu-Jitsu throws and grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ground fighting, Wing Chun burst of hands and even Greco-Roman wrestling. Its dynamics consist in the fact that it allows the practitioner to a attack and defend at the same time, in a single movement of the body. In most martial arts styles the tendency is to block and immediately respond with a counter blow. Things are different in Krav Maga, we’re you’re suppose to block and deliver the attack at the same time: you could (for example) block an attack with you right arm and at the same time strike with the other arm or the legs. The strikes delivered and promoted by Krav Maga are vicious, meant to incapacitate and hurt as much as possible. You learn to go for the most exposed body part, like the throat, eyes, groin or the liver. It also teaches a lot of techniques for disarming your opponents, no matter if they bare sticks, knives or guns. The style is very efficient, it develops hand-eye coordination and it takes no longer then 5 months to learn.
This is a very distinct fighting style, which has been promoted a great deal in pop culture by Steven Seagal. Don’t let Seagal’s reputation as an actor throw you off: he is probably the leading authority in the field when it comes to Aikido, having studied most of his youth years in Japan, with the greatest masters. He’s a legit 7 degree black belt who not only mastered the style, but also developed it: the kote gaeshi (Seagal’s signature move) or “forearm return” is a prolific move, essential to all survival fighters, no matter the style or technique.
This style uniqueness consists in its approach to direct fighting: Aikido teaches almost no direct blows whatsoever, it mostly teaches you how to counter everything that can be thrown at you. Its philosophy is based on the idea that an attacking opponent always leaves himself vulnerable. What you need to do is exploit that vulnerability and use your enemy’s momentum against him. For example, a straight punch could simply be countered by side-stepping and grabbing the opponents wrist or arm. You can simply pivot and throw him down if you grab the arm, or if the wrist is involved, simply twist it towards the outside. The momentum will help you break the wrist with almost no effort from your part, incapacitating your attacker immediately. This style requires awareness rather than speed or strength. If you keep your cool and your eyes opened, as an Aikido practitioner, you’ll have no trouble breaking the joints and wrists of your attackers.
Muay Thai Kickboxing
The fighting style was originally developed in Thailand, in the 19th century, and it translates to “the art of the 8 limbs”. It’s a contact fighting style, based on a large variety of punches, elbows and kicks. It’s philosophy consists in the fact that someone who is using a tool for fighting is limited by that one tool. A muay thai practitioner, on the other hand, has many such tools (punches, kicks, elbows), therefore has the advantage. It’s not a fancy style, but rather an effective one. It’s based on lighting speed, precision and power, and can exploit even the slightest opening in your adversary’s defense. The best way to counter a weapon attack (as long as you not held at gun point) is to approach the attacker as forward as possible. Simply aim for the jaw, throat or liver and kick it as hard as possible.
With enough technique and training, your legs and punches could easily crack bones and inflict serious pain. Kickboxing requires some serious physical training, as its practitioners do a little something called combat qi. It’s basically subjecting your body parts to repeated hits and damage, until the “hardened” body part no longer hurts as it used to. This practice is mostly used to harden the shin bone; kick boxers hit hard surfaces for 2 hours-a-day, 2 years straight.
There are many other fighting styles available, but these are my personal favorites and possibly the most useful in a combat scenario. But if you have to take one thing away from martial arts, that’s discipline and self control. Do not get carried away and avoid confrontation unless there’s no other way but standing your ground and fighting. But if that time comes, at least you now know where to go in order to overcome your opponents.
By Alec Deacon
The post Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
Planning and setting up your own survival garden is no easy task. It requires knowledge, precision and a bit of practice to get it done. But once you got the project going, doesn’t mean you can just let nature take care of everything while you relax and await to pick the fruit of your labor. Mother Nature works both ways and that which creates, can also destroy. Leaving things to chance is not an option, so you have to take your role as a farmer seriously and watch out for those pesky insects, that if left to their device, can destroy everything you worked so hard for. It takes a bit of studying the phenomena in order to understand it, so you can identify the type of pest you’re dealing with and what’s the best method to apply according to the amount of damage that has already been inflicted. If the infestation is light, picking the insects by hand should suffice, but if we’re talking heavy infestation, you’ll probably have to resort to insecticides. Next I’m going to walk you through a list comprised of some of the most common garden pests and how to read the signs they leave behind.
They are probably THE worst garden pest imaginable, as they have no preferences when it comes to garden vegetables; they simply go for everything that’s green. The easiest signs to read are visual: you know you’ve been attacked by aphids if you happen to find clusters of small, soft-bodied on buds and growth tips. Sticky secretions can also be found from place to place and leaves tend to get curly. Aphids never invade in small numbers and it’s very unlikely hand-picking will do you any good. The best way to deal with them is to spray insecticidal soap or neem oil. There are also specialized poisons that can be sprayed directly on the vegetables, but I strongly advise you to consult a specialist before purchasing or using such products.
They’re food of choice is usually cabbage, carrots, turnips, squashes, spinach and radishes. Their presence is clear if you happen to find wilted plants or yellowish quarter-of-an-inch insects on the root of the plants. The first thing you need to do is to actually stop the flies from laying their eggs near the seedlings: simply put plastic or paper shields about 4 inches in diameter near the plants. If the situation gets out of control, you’ll have no other option but to drench the soil in root maggot insecticide, but do so under the supervision of a professional.
These tiny flying insects have a real craving for tomatoes, peppers, egg plants and sweet potatoes. They’re easy to spot as they’ll easily fly around from plant to plant if disturbed. If in large numbers, they can cause serious damage to plants, because they’ll feed on the nutriments of the underside of the leaves. Light infestations can be easily dealt with by simply spraying neem oil or water. But if you’re dealing with heavy infestation, get the right poison for the job, according to a qualified professional.
Slugs and snails
They’re not the fastest insects out there (possibly the slowest), but don’t get fooled: they can inflict serious damage to your tomato, carrot, lettuce and turnip crops. They are voracious eaters and if you happen to find irregular patterns of holes in the plant’s leaves or stems, doubled by slime trails leading from plants to plant, you’re dealing with slugs or snails (or both). During the day they rest under all sorts of debris, so removing them out of the way and keeping the garden as tidy as possible will keep you out of harm’s way. But if you’re dealing with infestation, you’ll need more than just a tidied up area. You can simply attract and drown them in shallow pans of beer or special baits that are available on the market.
They prefer melons, pumpkins, squashes and cucumbers. If you stumble across wilted plants or just wilted growth tips, then you might suspect you have a borer problem. And if you happen to spot small holes drilled in the plants (usually where wilting begins), than you know for sure you have a borer problem. Plants can still be salvaged from borer infestations by simply cutting out the borer, but if they get to infest the base of the plant, it’s compromised and needs to be torn out. In order to avoid such an obnoxious parasite, spray the base of the plants with the right kinds of insecticide during late spring / early summer, but only under the supervision of a professional.
There are many varieties of beetles out there and they can affect all sorts of crops imaginable. Beetles don’t need special methods when it comes to detection: they’re easy to spot as many are brightly colored and shiny, and they’re feeding methods leave irregular holes in the foliage. As they’re not that hard to catch, picking them by hand would be a cost-effective method if you’re dealing with light infestation. In the case of heavy infestation, just spray the area with the appropriate insecticide, recommended by a qualified professional.
Gophers don’t have very specific cravings, and go for everything they can get their tiny paws on. They’ll voraciously eat any sort of root they’ll stumble across in their underground tunnels. But they also eat the above-ground plant if not disturbed; the mostly prefer carrots, sweet potatoes and peas. If left unattended they can ruin a whole garden in a matter of days.
The most eco-friendly approach in dealing with your gopher problem would be to encourage the presence of birds of prey in the vicinity, by placing bird baths or keeping the garden as tidy as possible so they’re easily spotted by the winged predators. But if the bird method seems a bit drastic, you could just let your dog or cat to roam freely in the garden. Gophers are easily scared and will behave if constantly pressured. Flooding their tunnels is also effective and easy to do.
Dealing with garden pests is no easy task, but it’s not impossible either. There’s a solution to any sort of problem you might stumble upon and nothing can stop you to achieve your goals in survival gardening. But I strongly advise you to never deal with poisons and insecticides on your own, always consult a specialist in the matter before doing so. You not only risk damaging your garden, but also your health. Pest poisons and insecticides are very dangerous if not handled properly.
By Alec Deacon
The post Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
The current state of poverty, hunger and social and economic distress has started with the downfall of the economy that came to be in 2008. The effects of the event were felt world-wide, but most probably, nobody was as affected like the US was. That financial crisis destroyed many private businesses (big or small), left many jobless, homeless and even laid to waste one of our most emblematic cities: Detroit. This economic freefall has somewhat diminished by late 2013, but the aftershock of the financial earthquake is still being felt amongst the masses even today. But there is more to this problem than actual meets the eye. We know for sure what set everything in motion (the economic collapse of 2008), but we must understand what’s keeping us (still) down; the reasons why getting back on the saddle is harder than anticipated. It’s not just based on the faults of our economy, but also on our political system and our place in the world’s economy, that’s not doing too well either.
The economy in the US
The way things are going in the US economic scene today are in no way beneficial to the American people. The way the system has functioned in these last 6 or 7 years has significantly increased the amount of poverty amongst the masses. This is how the free capitalist enterprise system actually operates: employers create a competitive market in which the most adequate and prepared people compete for the best jobs available. The downside is, however, that this also leaves out a great deal of people that remain jobless; these are the ones who qualify least or do not interest employers at all. In a utopia, the market would generate enough jobs for everybody, so that even the least qualified would get a spot (more or less desirable). But in an economy that’s already facing problems, the rate of unemployment grows even larger, because the system is not able to provide enough jobs for everyone. According to a CNBC report, the real unemployment rate is about 10.5%, still far from what it should be.
Politics in the US
The political system in the US is focused on external and internal affairs alike. But the actual situation of the middle-to-lower class in the US receives very little attention or funding from our politicians. It comes as no surprise to anyone that most of ourfunding and attention is directly channeled into our military and security systems.
The US federal government is distributing large budgets to the military and to annexed political and financial connections for safety purposes (aka. the military-industrial complex). These investments are necessary in order to secure our dominance on the world’s stage (and our wellbeing and safety while doing so). Another factor worth mentioning is the ability of rich people and powerful corporations to obtain subsidies and tax breaks. Not only that, but they are also get access to large funds that get spent on projects like political campaigns, congresses and many more. For example, the shift of the Democratic Party, which changed its sights from the working class (it’s now targeting middle class), will require a great deal of effort and a lot of money spent on political propaganda and reorganization.
The US has known poverty in these last few years, but the level of poverty here is nothing compared to the level of poverty in many other places around the globe. It’s estimated that around 1 billion people worldwide are forced to live with an average income of $1.35 a day. We’re situated way above this standard of living, but it’s nothing more than a domino effect, and if we don’t want to find ourselves in a similar spot, we’d best pick up our pace. The best solution to a worldwide economic crisis is trading (importation and exportation). It’s a commonly known fact that most rich and powerful countries have enough labor force for all the industrial quarters available. Not only that, but these countries are also technologically superior, holding enough machinery and technology to improve production. In poor countries, things are different: they have very little capital but a lot of labor force. Because the labor force is cheaper in poor countries (due to high competition), production costs are lower than those in poor countries. That’s how China has raised its economy lately: the overall costs for imported Chinese goods are lower than the production costs in richer countries. This is how economics can easily be explained and the tendency of poor countries to grow financially, while stronger ones tend to crumble. And of course, the ones that get to deal with all the misery are the lower and middle classes.
The most poverty-stricken states in the US
In late 2014, The Center for American Progress Action Fund has released a report (State of the States Report) that’s reporting on all the US states in terms of poverty, inequality or opportunity. These studies have concluded that 45.3 million Americans (14.5% of the total population) are situated below the poverty line, with an income that’s less than $23,834 / year for a family of 4. The South seems to have the highest concentration of poor people than any other place in the US. Let’s have a look at the 3 poorest states at the moment:
3 – Louisiana (19.8% poverty rate)
Louisiana seems to be the most uneven and unusual state. Its unemployment rate seemed to be no bigger than 6.2%, but despite this, there was a strange unevenness regarding income: the richer 20% made staggering incomes (18 time higher) than what the poorest 20% used to make. Not only that, but the gender income gap was significant as well. Throughout 2014 women have earned only about 66% of what men used to make.
2 – New Mexico (22% poverty rate)
New Mexico has been gravely affected by the recession in 2008, as many people working in the public sector lost their jobs (3.900 alone only in 2013). Here about 31% of the children live in conditions of poverty, many of whom are homeless. It’s the holder of a shaming record, as it’s the US capital of teen birth: about 47 out of 1000 women (ages 15 – 19). Despite this controversial figure, it ranks fairly low when it comes to abandoned children, as only 4 in 1000 kids are placed in foster care.
1 – Mississippi (24.1% poverty rate)
This is undoubtedly the poorest state in the country, where about 696.000 people live below poverty conditions. It’s also takes the take when it comes to child poverty (33.8% children) and food insecurity. It has no defined minimum wage (just like Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee) and the unemployed are sustained mainly by government-funded welfare programs.
No matter the political systems going around, no matter the fluctuation of the economy, no matter how many successful investments a government makes, we will never eradicate poverty. For some to ascend on the social and economical scale, other needs to descend. We’ll never be all rich; this is only a naïve utopia. But what we can do is address the problem as seriously as we can and intervene as much as possible. Take a stance against poverty and counter it with education and donations.
By Alec Deacon
The post Poverty In The US: Causes, Facts And The Most Afflicted States appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
The most nutritious fish meat is considered very good for your heart, being rich in protein, minerals and vitamins (A, D and E), very important in maintaining good health. It also contains high-chains of omega 3 fats, selenium and it’s rather low in saturated fats (the bad kind of fats). A scientific studied conducted by professors Dariush Mozaffrian and Eric Rimm showed that eating a portion of 3 ounces of fatty fish (herring, salmon, mackerel etc.) 2 times a week reduces the chances of heart failure by 36%. The omega 3 fats in this case are key in protecting the heart from cardiac rhythm disturbances, maintaining a regular heartbeat. Erratic heartbeats can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. They also lower blood pressure, improve the functionality of blood vessels and lower the levels of triglycerides. The studies on fish benefits for the circulatory system are approved by the American Heart Association.
It was also demonstrated (through observational studies) that the same omega 3 fats are extremely important for brain development and activity in infants. Studies confirm that the nervous system and brain in children whose mothers consumed fish during the pregnancy is far superior in development to children whose mothers did not include fish in their diet during the pregnancy and breast-feeding period.
Fortunately, fish is abundant and available to Americans, who should reconsider balancing their diets and making more room for such beneficial and nutritious substances which are found in fish meat. Let’s have a look and see our options.
The farmed Rainbow Trout
The rainbow trout is not only nutritious, but it’s also very delicious, preferred by many when it comes to cheap and affordable sea-food.
It’s not a particularly endangered species, but some varieties are not fit for consumption because they show signs of contamination with PCB chemicals (especially the species native to Lake Michigan and Lake Huron). It’s not pretentious when it comes to cooking. It’s best to leave the scales on while doing so, because this will remove the need of adding extra oil while coating or breading the fish. It’s excellent for simple recipes and goes great with mushroom sauces, spices or just lemon. Baking is best done at 400°F – 500°F, for 5 minutes on each side.
The wild-caught Alaskan Salmon
(Oncorhynchus kisutch and Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)
The wild-caught salmon is considered bettered healthier and better than the farmed kind, sine the farmed ones have double the dosage of unhealthy saturated fats than the wild ones. The omega 3 fats levels are the same. Even marketing giants, such as target have been stacking up lately on wild salmon, selling only salmon certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This fish is perfect for salads or sandwiches, and it also goes great with white bean soup. There are plenty more recipes out there, each being tastier than the last.
The wild-caught Pacific Sardines
It’s astonishing the comeback these tiny fish made after the late 1950, when the nearly went extinct. They don’t have a good reputation when it comes to creative recipes and food assortments, but don’t let that fool you. Just because they’re been eating straight out of the can for the last hundred years, doesn’t mean there’s no potential available. If you feel like experimenting in an “unorthodox” manner, you can make or buy a mouth-watering sardines & white beans salad. If you feel like keeping the traditions alive, there’s always the ever-popular sardine sandwich with either plain or marinated sardines (garlic, tomato sauce, olive oil etc).
The wild-caught Albacore Tuna
This fish has gained a lot of bad reputation lately because of the suspicion of high levels of mercury poison. After scientific testing, tuna caught in Canadian and Western U.S. coasts have in fact proven to have lower amounts of poison in their bodies than anywhere else in the world. This is because these fish are generally younger and were exposed to the poisonous substance for lesser periods of time. The Albacore is not the type of fish that you find at your local everyday fish market or store. It’s hard to come by, but it’s mostly available at online stores, like Heritage Foods USA. The best Albacore I have ever eaten came in ht shape of tuna kebab, easy to prepare and delicious to the maximum. Simply prepare like regular kebabs, using tuna meat (even the loins) instead of chicken.
The farmed Barramundi or Asian seabass
It’s a very uncommon fish for most Americans, and with good reason. This white-fleshed fish is native to Australian waters, where aborigines firstly fished them by hand from their natural habitat, freshwater rivers. They are easy to breed and the U.S. farms have become highly specialized in doing so. They utilize land-based tanks in which the fish are being kept mainly on a vegetarian diet. It’s highly recommended to buy American, as the other countries farm these fish in ocean-based nets that are highly pollutant. The Barramundi can be simply cooked with lemon juice for dressing, whether It’s fried, grilled, or baked. But it can also be used for fancier recipes, like Barramundi with Swiss chard and roasted sweet potatoes.
As you can see, there is plenty of fish the sea! There are many unpopular species available throughout the U.S. that work wonders for the ones health, whether they’re bought off the internet or simply fished the old fashioned way.
By Alec Deacon
Dogs have been domesticated for millennia now, and ever since they have earned (and rightfully so) the reputation of “man’s best friend”. A family god will get very attached to its owner or owners. And thanks to its territorial nature, will do a great job of protecting the ones he holds dear and his territory (your house and possessions). Throughout the years, dog breeding has become more and more specialized, with different types of breeds particularly good for different types of tasks, like: protection, hunting, seeing guides for the blind, companions etc. If treated well and loved, your dog will reward you being faithful, caring and protective in return. Dogs bred for protection in most cases, can be your best line of defense: they can sense danger from afar (smelling the approaching strangers) and can alert you by barking. But if this fails and you find yourself or youra family under attack, your dog won’t hesitate to retaliate against you attacker. You can always count on your dog’s loyalty when it comes to protecting its master, no matter his size or ability. Next I’m going show you the best 5 dog breeds for personal protection, on which most experts agree upon.
The German Shepherd
According to most specialists, the German Shepherd is THE guard dog. This breed is rather new, as it was first bred in the 19th century, in Germany (hence the name). It was immediately exported to America, and during the World Wars it was used on the field by pretty much everybody thanks to their keen sense of smell, which made them prefect in land mine detection or enemy tracking. They’re the most common breed used by the police force today, due to their obedience, sense of smell and responsiveness. The German Shepherd is particularly intelligent; they’re very fast learners and very good listeners when they’re given a certain command. Their fur is rather thick, which makes them tolerant to drastic climate change: they are very resistant to cold weather but they will easily shed in warm climate, in order to adapt. They are very aware of their surroundings and do an excellent job in protecting their homes and owners. Their size is considerable, capable of overpowering anybody. but despite their aggressive look, they are very loving by nature, especially with children. They are most effective if properly trained. It’s necessary the dog will have his very own place or quarters to sleep, so that he can understand his role in the family. As mentioned before, they are fast learners and if loved and cared for, you’ll need no better protection for you and your entire family.
The Doberman Pinscher
This breed originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. They’ve been brought to the US after the end of World War II and used mostly in military and police situations. Although many races were thrown into the mix, they seem to resemble grayhounds most. Their careful breeding gave them excellent traits for a guard dog, like athleticism, strength and obedience. If trained properly, the Doberman will be very loyal to its master and very obedient to his every command. It’s not what you would call a loving dog, but it’s very aware and protective of its family (at the same time weary of people he doesn’t know) and quick to react if need be. They don’t require much grooming and attention, since their hair is short: regular feeding and exercising will suffice. The breed is rather disease-free; regular vet-checks and ear and tail clippings will avoid complications. They are not easily trained, and need to be dominated from an early age to understand authority. Also its best you they are brought up in a home full of children rather than brought in at an older age.
The Great Dane
The Great Dane (aka. the German Mastiff) has a long lineage that dates to about 3000 B.C. It was originally bred for hunting and protecting the household, but later one they were also put to military purposes, thanks to their innate sense of smell, which makes them excellent trackers. Although this breed is very big and intimidating, they are very gentle in nature, excellent around children or even other dog breeds. Despite their size, they are very well proportioned and have a great sense of balance. In other words, they are usually very size-aware and won’t run around the house, laying everything to waste in their path. It’s better as a guard dog than a protection god, because of its timid nature. It might run away from a confrontation if scared, but their bark is extremely powerful and intimidating. In most cases it’s enough to keep evil doers at bay. You can’t just bring a Great Dane into your house without proper training. He will need constant supervision until he gets familiarized with the house, so they can learn what’s off limits and what’s not. Their size requires a fair amount of exercise, but overdoing it may cause health-related problems. Just limit you Great Dane to just daily walks and he should live a long a healthy life.
The Saint Bernard
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, just remember the movie about a big dog name Beethoven and there you have it. The breed is original from Northern Europe, where they were used on harsh climate conditions to roam and track travelers or lost civilians, mostly in snowy mountain areas. They could be easily followed through safe passage by almost everybody, thanks to their friendly nature. With big size, comes a big heart. Despite the fact that they can grow to about 180 pounds, they are very sociable and lovable, and they do extremely well in a large family setting. Just like the Great Dane, the Saint Bernard is more of a barker than a fighter, but unlike the Dane they aren’t at all aware of their size. So leaving small children unattended in their presence is unadvised, as they could easily sit or trample unknowingly over toddlers. As for training, they aren’t very responsive until they reach adulthood. They’ll eat more than any other breed of dog, require daily exercise and need fur brushing a few times a week. They’re life span is no longer than 10 years due to their massive size, but if you’re looking for a dog that more menacing by look than by nature, than look no further.
They go as far back as Antiquity does, when they were used as both guard and attack dogs in the legions of the Roman Empire. In more modern times, they did very well as police dogs or household guard dogs, thanks to their aggressive nature and intelligence. It’s a dog that you absolutely cannot bring into your home without professional training. He can be very aggressive and if not trained properly, a Rottweiler can pose a threat even to children.
They are known to be some of the smartest dogs on the planet, which makes them very responsive to training and obedient.
And after the training session is over the dog is used to its surroundings, you’ll see that he can be extremely loving and friendly towards the whole family. As far as the Rottweiler’s physical condition goes, you’ll have no problems.
They have maybe the best health history out of all domesticated dog breeds, and if fed and exercised regularly they live an average of 10 years.
There are many breeds of dogs to choose from. And when you chose yours, make sure you consult a specialist on the kind of dog would suit you most. A guard dog may be your best ally in a hostile or even SHTF situation, as they can guard and defend alike. However, always keep in mind that a dog is not a tool, nor a weapon. It’s a pet and a companion most of all, which requires time and effort to hold. But if you love and respect your dog, be sure that he’ll have no second thought about putting his life on the line for yours.
By Alec Deacon
The post The Best 5 Dog Breeds For Your Personal Protection appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
When it finally happens and the proverbial “stuff hits the fan,” it’s probably going to be bad. Say “goodbye” to fully stocked shelves at the grocery store, readily available medical care, and just about every other modern comfort you can think of. Everything as we know it today will change in the blink of an eye.
I’m not saying that overnight our society will be transformed into a post-apocalyptic scenario like in Mad Max where we all become War Boys scouring the wastelands looking for fuel and supplies while screaming, “For Valhalla!” I’m just saying it’s not going to be pretty, and preparation will be key when everything comes crashing down.
As in most apocalyptic movies there are usually three crucial things that every person needs to survive in a catastrophe: food, medical supplies, and fuel. I’m assuming most people are already aware of the need to stockpile food and medical supplies, but fuel is often overlooked. Many people are unaware of the need to store fuel. Not just for the family van, but for heat, cooking, electricity, and of course transportation. When I say fuel storage, I am not just talking about gasoline. We also have to consider kerosene for heating, propane and butane for cooking, and diesel and gasoline for generators and transportation.
Kerosene should be stored in a container that is approved for this specific fuel. I’m sure you’ve seen the different colored gas cans in the hardware stores. There is a reason for the different colors; it isn’t just to make them look pretty. Blue is the color container that is earmarked just for Kerosene. Therefore, if you need a storage container for this fuel, you will need to purchase a blue-colored container.
As with most fuels Kerosene will start to degrade after about three months of normal storage. This degradation can be postponed though by following a few guidelines. First, when filling the container leave a little air in the top for fuel expansion from changes in temperature.
Always avoid using open containers. An open container can lead to water contamination and oxidation resulting in bad or poor performing fuel. You always want to store Kerosene in a cool and dry location. The use of fuel additives can also greatly extend the life of Kerosene. A fuel stabilizer such as PRI-D will extend the life of this fuel from several months to even years if the fuel is re-treated with a fuel stabilizer periodically.
Storing Propane and Butane
How do you store Propane and Butane? Aren’t pressurized containers dangerous? They can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to store them. Propane should always be stored in a dry and well ventilated area, preferably in a storage shed located away from residential areas. Never store propane containers in an area where there may be a source of ignition such as garages or a well/pump house.
You also want to be sure that propane and butane storage containers are not kept in any areas that may cause the container to rust. Butane specifically requires a cool and dry storage location, but it must also be stored indoors at all times and never placed in direct sunlight for any length of time. Be sure to watch for possible ignition sources with Butane such as electrical outlets, stoves, and other heat sources. Improper storage of these pressurized containers may result in an explosion, a runaway canister, or a dangerous gas leak.
Storing Gasoline and Diesel
Probably the most commonly used fuels we need are gasoline and diesel. It can be difficult to determine how much of these fuels you should store. Usage factor is determined on an individual basis. A single person may not need as much gasoline as someone with a family of six. I can get buy on a relatively small generator to power what I need, but someone with a large family may need a lot of gasoline or diesel to power a larger generator to meet their needs.
Storage of gasoline and diesel is very similar to that of kerosene. They must be stored in a location that is dry and cool to maximize the storage life. Remember, it is vitally important to keep condensation away from any fuel you are storing. Water and air don’t play well with stored fuels. Also, don’t forget to store gas and diesel in their appropriately colored containers. Red is for gasoline and yellow is for Diesel.
Gasoline can normally be stored for up to three months before it begins to break down and lose its effectiveness. Diesel can typically be stored for up to six months. As with kerosene, gasoline and diesel can benefit from the addition of a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers such as STA-BIL Storage and STA-BIL Diesel can keep fuel fresh and ready for use for an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, we can’t keep gas and diesel fresh indefinitely. The best way to keep a fresh supply of fuel is to use what we have stored when it is close to going bad and then replenish our stock. With proper rotation of stored fuel and proper storage techniques we can easily be prepared for just about any situation.
By Alex Vanover
Alex Vanover is an auto industry professional and avidly writes about the advancements and new technologies in today’s automotive industry. He is also the purveyor of Motorcycle Trading Post. In his spare time he enjoys reading, first person shooter video games, and riding his Harley Davidson.
In a survival scenario they key word is self-reliance. The weekly trips to the local food markets or stores will cease to become an option. And even if available, the prices will most likely sky-rocket so that it just won’t be convenient anymore. What you need to do is consider the possibility to set up your very own garden, which will sustain and provide for you and your entire family. It’s a rather complex task, but it’s nowhere near impossible. And once you’ll get the hang of it, it will become rather relaxing and enjoyable.
It’s something that can ultimately be achieved by the average Joe, with enough practice, resources and dedication. You don’t have to be a professional farmer, you’ll just have to educate yourself a little in the matter. Be aware of the sustenance and nutrients each product has to offer, calculate how much land you’ll need for the endeavor and set your budget. Your best weapon (if you decide to pick up the shovel) is information: educate yourself on season crops, micro-farming, insect repellants, seed collections and storage and on the nutritional value of various crops.
And arm yourself with patience, because this type of activity requires a lot of practice if you’re starting from scratch. But you’ll get better at it with time, and at some point you’ll be become self sufficient, even though if you originally started gardening as a hobby. When it comes to choosing the right seeds, I strongly recommend getting non-GMO or heirloom variety seeds. These seeds will continue to reproduce, unlike the hybrid varieties that stop reproducing after the first season. Let’s have a look at different types of seeds that are suited for your very own survival garden.
Corn – it’s a warm weather crop, very intolerant to low temperatures, so you should plant it only after the last frost. It usually produces two ears per stack and it’s loaded with calcium, iron and protein. It’s easy to pick and to store.
Wheat – possibly the most common crop in the world, because of its large content of nutrients like copper, iron zinc and potassium. Spring what is planted in early spring and it’s the most common variety in the world. Winter wheat can be planted anytime from late September to mid October.
Potatoes – they’re high in protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s best if you plant your potatoes 4 – 6 weeks before the last frost. An average plant will hold somewhere in the lines of 4 -6 potatoes per sprout. When storing them, just know to keep them in a very cool and dark place, away from fruit.
Peas – it’s one of the most (if not THE) easiest plants to grow, because most varieties are not pretentious and grow very fast. Peas are rich in fiber, protein, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and more. The best varieties to consider are the snap, the shelling and the sugar and snow pod. They will do just fine even during a harsh winter, as they’re resistant to frost.
Spinach – considered the original super-food, it’s a great source of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, iron and thiamin. It’s easy to grow, and most species grow best during winter. There are a few though that stray from the rule, so inform yourself before purchase.
Tomatoes – once again, we’re dealing with one of the easiest plants to plant and grow. It’s very nutritious as it’s abundant in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, thiamine and niacin. To make sure you get plenty of them throughout the year, just plant a first batch in late spring and a second one in late summer.
Beans – they come in many varieties, such as kidney beans, pole beans, bush beans etc. They are rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and Calcium. Pole beans require steak firmly planted in the ground, on which the plant can grapple and grow. Their grow cycle is shorter than that of the bush beans and the yield production is better as well. It’s easy to grow and staggering the plant will give continuous yields.
Carrots – there are very easy to grow and prefer cooler weather. So the best time for planting would be during fall, winter or early spring. They’re rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, which is excellent anti-oxidant which does wanders for your eyesight, skin or hair.
Garlic and Onions – they’re a very rich source vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid (folate). They’re best planted in mid or late October, and can be pulled early in case you’re eager to have green onions or garlic.
Cucumbers – they come in all shapes and sizes, with many varieties to choose from. You can pick whatever you like, from large to small ones (which are excellent for pickling). They are very nutritious, as they are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. They are a crop for warm weather and if you pick them regularly, you’ll get increased production.
Lettuce – not only will it be easy to plant and grow, but is also one of the earliest harvests you’ll get. It’s best if you plant it somewhere at 6 – 8 before the first frost date for optimum results. It grows quickly and you can pick it partially simply by choosing a few leaves at a time. The nutritional content differs in case of variety, but mostly all contain proteins, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folic acid and iron.
Eggplants – it’s one of the most versatile vegetables when it comes to cooking, as it offers a lot of possibilities. It’s a warm weather plant and doesn’t do well during winter. So you should wait after the last frost is over in order to plant it. It’s high in fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and anti-oxidants.
Broccoli – it’s a plant that grows rather easily. It’s usually planted mid to late summer and by the time fall is upon us, you’ll have your first broccoli harvest. It has however, the tendency to give yields even after the first harvest. It can withstand mild frost, but won’t survive a harsher climate. A far as nutrients go, it’s most commonly packed with vitamin A, vitamin K and protein.
Cauliflower – it’s a cool season vegetable, resistant to low temperatures. It’s quite fast to grow and gives extremely rich yields. It’s very nutritious and can be very versatile when it comes to cooking. It’s packed with vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fibers.
Turnips – the seeds are best sown in late may, but if you get caught in doing anything else and forget, early summer will do just fine. They’re easy to manage, as they’re very resilient to plant diseases. It’s very versatile too, as you can eat the whole plant, green and root alike. They contain calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron.
This list is a must for your very own garden, the plants that no survival enthusiast should go without during a crisis. Remember what I said before: take your time and practice, because it’s unlikely you’ll be successful right away. But once you get the hang of it, you and those close to you won’t go hungry a day in case SHTF. So get going, get your hands dirty and you’ll pick the fruit of you labor in no time… literally!
By Alec Deacon
The post 15 Essential Crops To Have In Your Survival Garden appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.
With so many daily work, family, and personal distractions, it’s no wonder so many of us remain unconcerned and unprepared for a potential disaster to strike. But they do strike often, all around the world, and assuming you and your family will be exempt could endanger your lives.
Even though it takes thought and investment, preparing your home and your family for unexpectedly harsh conditions is well worth the sacrifice. In fact, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. If you don’t know where to get started, Modernize offers up a list of home essentials to build off of as you collect survival supplies.
Flashlights, Lanterns, and Backup Batteries
When anticipating a disaster, the last thing you should rely on is electricity. And there’s nothing more frightening than thinking of trying to keep your family safe in total darkness. Make sure flashlights and lanterns are handy in several rooms of the house, and always keep a good stock of backup batteries and bulbs. Solar flashlights are also a great addition, especially if you’re going to need to be on the move.
Hand Crank Radio
Staying tuned in to what’s going on could mean the difference between life and death. Procure a solar hand crank radio that will keep you updated on the news and weather while you keep your family locked up safe.
Solar Oven and Freezer
Nobody hopes that the aftermath of a disaster will be long-term. But it’s best to prepare for a longer time without electricity than you would like to imagine. Solar ovens are simple, effective, and can cook food in a variety of ways. Ready-to-go, just-add-water meals are very handy for a short term emergency. But a solar oven and a solar freezer to store your food stock could work in tandem to keep your family eating well in spite of the circumstances.
Coats and Boots
Being prepared for inclement weather is essential. Heavy-duty raincoats, winter coats, hiking boots, and rain boots will help keep them warm in dry in case of flooding or freezing weather. It will also help them travel more easily if traveling becomes necessary.
Aside from shelter, water is the most immediate and vital need in many emergency situations. If you are not prepared to convert unsafe water into potable water, you’re not truly prepared at all. You need to both have ways to filter water and purify it. While you’re thinking of your water needs, it never hurts to set up a rain catchment system that will allow you access to running water—though you will still need to treat rainwater to make it potable.
First Aid Supplies
A well-stocked survival first aid kit will include gloves, surgical shears, antiseptic wipes, bandages, pain relieving medication, antibiotic ointment, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile
gauze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and several other items.
Make sure to thoroughly research and go beyond the basics for your first aid kit.
No one overlooks their kids when they plan for a disaster, but a pet isn’t always foremost on everyone’s mind. Pets need their own survival supplies including food, blankets, bowls, a leash, their own first aid supplies, and anything else you determine your individual pets’ need.
While weather disasters are more common in America these days, epidemics also pose a danger—as do unclean condition potentially caused by natural disasters. Supplies that would come in handy during a dangerous outbreak include: adhesive sealing masks with eye shields, anti-bacterial and anti-virus lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, bio hazard bags, bio hazard suits and gloves, and a supply of antibacterial soap.
Comfort and cleanliness isn’t usually the first thing on your mind in a survival situation. But if you prepare ahead, you can be more thorough about what your family needs and wants. Items like soap, toilet tissue, toothbrushes and toothpastes, feminine products, deodorant, and razors will come in handy even after just a day of relying on your survival supplies.
Reflective sleeping bags that are cushy and can withstand harsh weather could mean the difference between a safe and good night’s rest and many sleepless, anxious nights. To protect your family from hypothermia, select sleeping bags that offer heavy insulation, fully waterproof materials, and low temperature ratings.
Emergency Preparedness Guide
No matter how much you prepare yourself and your family, any type of emergency or disaster is bound to come with surprises. Instead of relying completely on your supplies and knowledge, make sure you have the educational resources anyone in your family would need to know how to deal with in difficult disaster-related circumstances.
Weapons are certainly an important aspect of a home survival kit, as are tools. Combine them into one item for optimum efficiency and ease of use. You never know when a screwdriver, pliers, or a mini saw could come in handy.
These are simply the foundational items for a home survival kit. Build off of your family’s anticipated needs and show them how to use the supplies in case of an emergency.
By Mary Saurer
Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.
When we think of signaling for help in distress, we tend to think of fires and smokes. That’s why most of us are loaded on fire-starting devices – from primitive ones like sticks and stones, to modern ones like instafire and waterproof matches, we have them all stocked in our ultimate bug out bag.
Yet when things get tough, fire can turn out to be a heartbreakingly inadequate signal; you could be stocked on sticks and stones for a blazing beacon, and find out the weather’s too wet to get a fire going.
That’s why knowing alternative methods to call for aid is such a valuable skill to have, when disaster strikes. The tools you can use to signal for help are various, and your survival kit should include more than one. Here are five tools that can help you signal distress, when the most widespread fire-creation techniques fail.
Whistles make for one of the best audible distress signals in existence – they’re light, they’re loud, they’re long-lasting, and they hardly take up any space in one’s survival bag. Follow the internationally-recognized rule of threes when using a whistle: three short blasts, spaced five seconds apart for effective reach. You might want to attach your whistles to rings or clips to make sure you don’t lose them. Make sure to choose vibrant whistles that can be spotted easily if accidentally dropped, just in case you still lose them!
A historical staple, the hand-held mirror is a simple but highly effective signaling device. Aimed right, it can create a beacon as long as 10 miles, catching the attention of people and aircrafts. It’s also a good way to scare off creatures that fear the light, especially when you can’t get a fire going. However, using a mirror to create a flare is a skill you need to practice in advance, to make sure you use it right when things get tough.
- Pen flare
Replace your regular pen with a pen flare, and you never know when you’ll be glad you made the small but significant lifestyle change. In terms of signaling distress, the pen flare offers an excellent combination of effective audio and visual signaling – when fired, the pen-shaped device sounds like a pistol, while flashing a fire up to 150 meters high. The pen flare’s lanyard can even double as tinder, if you need to start a fire when in a tight spot. That’s thrice the protection, in an item that takes up very little space, and is light enough to even be worn around your neck!
- Waterproof strobe light
A midsized or pocket strobe light is always a great addition to a well-planned survival kit. Leave it switched on, and this lightweight device will create continuous flashes for hours, even while you rest or sleep. Depending on the model, strobe lights can even last for a couple of days when fully charged. Make sure you purchase a waterproof strobe light, making it an ideal addition to your survival kit for the literally rainy day.
- Cellphone with a power-pack
This might sound somewhat unconventional, but today’s smartphones can do a lot more than just make and receive calls – they can save your life when you’re in a pinch. If fire fails you, just turn on your phone torch; in 2012, a Maryland man actually used his iPhone’s flashlight app to help police find him in the pitch dark, after the rescuers had spent four hours searching for the missing man to no avail. Your cellular phone can also help you pin down and track your location through GPRS, as well as forward it to others. Of course, your phone won’t be much use if it isn’t charged. So always carry a fully-charged power-pack, to make sure your communication gadget’s life-saving powers can last!
With these five additions to your bug-out bag, you will have a personal protection kit that won’t fail you when you need to signal for help, come hell or high water. Rain, slew, snow, heat, and zombies – together, these five items can fight them all. When the going gets tough, the tough get going; so add these items to your survival kit right now, and ensure you’re prepared to handle the worst of times, well in advance.
By James Smith
James Smith is a survival expert, who loves to write about survival skills and techniques that can be extremely helpful and can prevent any bad situation in becoming worse. Follow him on twitter @jamessmith1609.
It’s seems that the state of general peace is getting harder and harder to keep these days. Between the economical global instability and religious fundamentalism, there’s very little room left for human decency and peacekeeping. Just as before, during the World War II period, the gap between the radical oppressive political systems and the peace-loving, democratic ones is growing with each passing day. Animosity arose and swords started rattling for a long time now, and it’s only a matter of time before the World will generate a 3rd massive war.
This will divide people into 2 distinct sides: the Good (peace-keeping, freedom-fighting and God-loving) vs. the Evil (tyrannical, oppressors and bearers of false religions). It’s only a matter of time now, before the first official decree is released. As the land of the free and home of the brave, America will once again have the sacred duty of carrying the flag into battle, in the name of all that’s good and holy on God’s green Earth. This all might be avoided in the end, but the chances are slim to none, as the wheels have already been set in motion.
1 – Global recession
In a time of fluctuating economies, all the World’s superpowers will search for all sorts of allies in order to help their cause, be it just or unjust. The previous World Wars did not have much in common with each other except this single similarity: before each war broke out, many of the countries involved had been hit by recessions. Before World War I America was recovering from a 3 year-old recession, and prior to World War II, many countries were recovering from the Great Depression. What’s going on today is very similar to what happened before the 2nd World War. A very possible starting point could be the debt that the US owes China, which rose to about $17.5 trillion. And China too is finding itself during an economic crisis, so it’s only a matter of time before they start pressuring the US government on the subject of the unpaid debt. If things spiral out of control and it comes to armed conflict, China will have no problem in finding allies like Russia and North Korea, which don’t need much of an excuse to go to war against America and its allies.
2 – Russia’s claim over Ukraine
Over 7000 Russian troops have invaded the Crimea peninsula, on February 27, 2014, which was officially Ukrainian territory. Such an outrageous and intrusive act culminated in overthrowing Ukrainian authority from the territory, by overtaking official government buildings, airports, communication centers and military bases. Under the false pretext that Russian forces have intruded in order to free the Crimean people from an oppressive regime is as far from the truth as it could possibly be. Crimeans weren’t enslaved or oppressed in any way by their existing government. But they are now, due to Russia’s intrusion, which resulted in uncontrollable violence, tortures, beating and murders. As a result for their unjustified actions, the US and Europe have ceased economic trades and imposed drastic sanctions that hurt the invaders economy by a 20% deficit .Despite the obvious violation of human rights, Russia’s official stand is that there is nothing abusive about their actions, as they have not entered Ukraine’s whole territory, but only what they consider to be rightfully theirs. Ukrainians have responded and met violence with violence, as guerrilla wars and bloody protests continue to this day on Ukrainian soil.
3 – Iran is posing a direct threat
In mid January, 2014, Iran dispatched a fleet of battle ships in US territorial waters. In early February, 2014, Iran’s military chief , general Hassan Firouzabadi, stated that Iranian military forces are determined to go toe-to-toe with their American counterparts in military strategies and weaponry. The US Senate reacted, and fearing for the worst, stated that military action is imperative in order to stop Iran from developing its illegal nuclear program. The White House did not back up the Senate’s bill, as the ships were involved were not posing a real threat to US territory and general’s Firouzabadi saber rattling has happened many times before without direct consequences. But this doesn’t mean the threats fell on deaf ears. Intelligence shows that Iran 13 million trained soldiers, ready for combat at a moment’s notice. The number is impressive, but an upcoming war will most probably be technology-based one, heavily dependent on aerial and tactical strikes, rather than closed-quarter combat. But the Iranian air force is one of the most numerous and heavily trained in the world, with about 30,000 men, over 1,000 planes and armed with cruise missiles (that have a range of about 1240 miles, more than enough to hit military bases set in the Gulf).
4 – Japan and China’s dispute over air space
Just like Russia, China’s trying to push everybody’s buttons, hoping to get a reaction or a response. Chinese officials stated that China is changing its air defense strategy, by increasing their zone by overtaking part of Japan’s, South Korea’s and Taiwan’s airspace. The intruded Japan’s space as far as Senkaku Islands, and are planning on pushing the Japanese as far back as possible. South Korea answered by intruding Chinese airspace. If hostilities begin in the area, the US obliged to help the cause of South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, in accordance to a pact signed in 1951. The blood is already boiling and it will take very little to light the spark that could plunge the whole world into an unavoidable war.
It’s plain to see that the machinations to set World War III in motion have already begun. It won’t be long until the first shots are fired or the wrong turn is taken and the world will go to war again. Technology will make the weapons more powerful than ever before and the consequences of war even harsher. When the fighting begins, society could be changed forever. Stay alert, and take whatever precautions are necessary so you can survive during the dark times ahead.
By Alec Deacon
If you happen to find yourself stranded in the woods, for whatever reason, know that making it out in one piece will require more than patience and dumb luck. Whether you find yourself stranded due to an unfortunate event while you’re out bird watching, whether you’re the survivor of a plane crash or you’ve ventured knowingly into the woods in order to escape a SHTF situation, the outcome is pretty much the same: it’s man vs. nature, and conquering nature is not easy task.
Before finding yourself in such an ingrate spot, do a little research on what wilderness survival actually means. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: information is power and you’re greatest survival asset. If you hit the bottom of a weal and you’re still alive, there’s no other way to go but up. Same here, if you’re stranded in the woods, don’t panic; keeping calm and focused is the first step of making it out alive. Once you have that covered, here’s what else you’ll need to do:
Pick your spot and build a shelter
Your campsite should be the closest thing you have to a sanctuary, so pick your spot wisely because it must be as safe as possible. For example, try not to get too comfortable in a place that’s crawling with insects. This means stay away from zones that are abundant in plants. Also, the vicinity of large water beds should be avoided at all costs. The waters can be an attraction to all sorts of animals, even dangerous predators. If you must take shelter under trees and rock formations, study your surroundings very carefully. If the trees are dry or the rock formation unstable, there’s always the danger of being crushed over night, be it by tree branches or rocks.
Ones you have picked the best camp spot available, you’ll need to build yourself a shelter; a well insulated one, that’s bound to keep you out of the cold and prevent hypothermia. The easiest way to go at it is to find a leaning tree (or set a branch securely against a standing tree) and stack smaller branches together on one side. The angled wall should be covered in leaves, moss and all sorts of debris you can get your hands on. Using the same materials (leaves and moss) make yourself a carpet to stand on (about a 6 inch layer of debris), so that you remain insulated from the cold ground.
This is a fairly easy task if you have dry wood lying around (tinder), smaller pieces of wood (toothpick, Q-tips and pencil size) and fibrous material (Vaseline-covered cotton balls or lip balm would be great if you have some on you). Lighting the fire should be done progressively and with care. You can use a log (no bigger than a forearm) as base and windscreen for the tinder. The tinder should be lit first and once this is accomplished, stack the small kindling against the large log so that the oxygen can circulate in order to feed the fire. Once the flame starts building up, add larger and larger pieces of wood. If you don’t happen to have a lighter on you or the necessary means to starts a fire, you could generate a spark with a simple battery. If you short-circuit the battery by connecting the + and – with a wire, foil (like a gum wrapper) or steel wool, you’ll get a spark that’s potent enough to light up the tinder you prepared.
Procuring clean water
Thirst can settle in pretty fast and it can become a nuisance. The human body can go for days without food, but nowhere near that close without water. So what you need to do is act fast and make sure you never go without a potable source of water. Drinking directly from puddles or streams is a bad idea, as these waters are infested with all sorts of bacteria and pathogens that can prove fatal in no time. Boiling the water is the safest solution, but not always 100% effective. Precipitation water (the one resulted from rain and snow) is safe to drink and it can be easily harvested. But if nature doesn’t land you a hand in forthcoming rain or snow, don’t worry, as there are other options available. Clean drinking water can also be procured by squeezing vines and certain cacti. During the day, you can find yourself some leafy branches and cover the in plastic bags. The process of perspiration (present in plants as well) will fill the bags by night time with clean potable water, ready for the taking.
You’ll need to resort to hunting if you plan on having meat on the menu. If you don’t happen to be a skilled hunter, don’t worry. Gigging is a method devised for the unskilled hunters and it’s basically hunting with a multiple pronged spear; very effective in catching small critters and fish. Making this type of spear is real easy if you happen to have a knife on you: cut down a sapling (about 1 – 2 inches in diameter) and split the stronger end with the knife in four equal parts. Shove some sticks in order to spread the sections apart and simply sharpen the ends. But if hunting seems like too much of a headache, you keen simply feed on all sorts of fruit and plants from your surrounding areas. But only do so if you’ve documented yourself in the field, because many of the fruit and plants you stumble upon could be fatal.
If you’ve lost all means of communication with the civilized world, it still doesn’t mean you’re completely lost. The best way to survive in the woods is to determine the cardinal points is by observing the suns motion from sunrise to sundown, as it always rises approximately in the East and sets approximately in the West. You can also look for mossy formations on trees and rocks. These always grow facing the north and can give a clear hint as to where you should be heading. Navigating by night is a bit trickier, as you’ll have to find Polaris, the North Start (located in the Little Dipper’s handle).
In order to assure and ease your survival in unfriendly territory, it’s a must you bring the necessary tools along. No matter the reason for being stranded, you should never leave for any sort of expedition without these on you:
- a survival knife
- regular matches or fire steel (metal match)
- first aid kit
- a compass
- a space blanket (thin sheet of reflective Mylar)
- a SPOT Messenger
- some 550 paracord
- a signaling mirror
- water purifying tablets
Before leaving, double check the list and make sure nothing is forgotten. All these items are crucial and at the end of the day, they could simply save your life.
By Alec Deacon
In case of a SHTF scenario your very own blade will come very handy. The scenario makes very little difference. It matters not if you find yourself struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic scenario; it doesn’t matter if (for some reason or another) you find yourself stranded in the wilderness and you’re being forced to fight for your survival. What matters ultimately is being equipped and prep’ed up to survive. And in every single scenario imaginable the most useful tool you can get your hands on (literally) is your very own knife, fit to suit your every need.
It can be used for almost everything in a survival situation: you can use it for hunting, skinning, cutting, chopping and even for self defense. The average survival knife’s blade varies between 4 – 8 inches, and their blades are either straight or serrated. Owning a serrated blade is debatable, as it can be extremely useful in cutting wood for example, but the serrated side can’t be sharpened. They come in all shapes and sizes and some have handles equipped with all sorts of instruments (compass, fire starter kit, etc.), only to make it just a bit easier for you to adapt and strive in a hostile environment.
There are basically two types of knives available: the ones with folding blades and the ones with fixed blades. A folding blade is excellent to carry around at all times, easy to deposit and to conceal, while a fixed blades are stronger and sturdier, durable and easy to maintain and clean. Finding the one that’s right for you is no easy task; let’s have a look-see at some of my personal favorites.
Gerber’s Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife
It’s a very practical knife, and it comes packed with a lot of survival gear. The blade measure 5 inches in length 7Cr17MoV stainless steel with a waffle-head hammer on the pommel. To add more variety, the manufacturer makes it available with a fine edge-version or a half serrated edge version, which makes it easier to cut through tough material. The handle is covered in a texture that makes it very easy to hold on to and to utilize in almost any scenario. It has a fire starting kit, based on a square striker notch located in the back of the blade and also an emergency whistle located on a rope tied to the end of the handle. It’s a very practical blade and you can easily purchase it here: gerbergear.com
Gerber’s Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife
Randall Model 18
This particular knife feels like the Cadillac or survival blades. It’s shiny, eye-catching, retro-looking and very well built. The blade varies between 5.5 – 7.5 inches in length (but in this case, the bigger, the better), made out of pure stainless steel. The handle is a tubular, stainless steel tube, completely waterproof. The hilt and the butt are pure brass. The 5.5 inches one weighs around 12oz while the 7.5 inches one is closer to 15oz. As an extra option, you can order the one equipped with a compass and etching on the blade. This blade is very tough and durable and excellent for those who not only want to survive, but want to do it in style. You can order it here: randallknives.com
Randall Model 18
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
This is a Swedish survival knife produced by the company called Fallkniven. It’s a very tough blade and it will come extremely useful in case of a survival scenario. This knife is full tang and it comes with a 6.3 inches long blade (and .24 inches thick) that is laminated with VG10 steel, adding robustness and durability. The handle is about 4.7 inches long (which makes the knife of a total of 11 inches long) and it’s made out of checkered Kraton, and it comes with finger guard and lanyard hole. Get your own here: fallkniven.com
Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife
Swiss Army Knife Adventurer Model
This is so much more than a simple blade, it’s an all purpose tool. It comes in different shapes, sizes and variations, and you can even get one with certain contraptions and gizmos you never even knew existed. The producer of the Swiss Army knife is a company called Victorinox which runs this type of market completely unopposed. The Adventurer model is a rather simple and more classic approach to the Swiss Army knife, and this is what you get for your money: a can opener, a bottle opener, tweezers, toothpick, an awl, 3 different screwdrivers and of course, a stainless steel knife blade. The knife blade itself measures 4.5 inches in length and the overall weight is about 2.9 ounces. Available for sale here: swissarmy.com
Swiss Army Knife Adventurer Model
This is the perfect survival knife for sword enthusiasts. It’s one of the longest survival knives available on the market, with an overall length of 15.5 inches. The blade alone measures a staggering 10 inches and it’s covered in 5160 steel, with a anti-corrosion powdered coat finish. The handle is made up of Black Linen Micarta scales over an open cavity, which gives the knife the ability to absorb shocks or even attach it to a pole, in order to use it as a spear. On the opposite side of the cutting edge, you find the blade to have a small notch. This allows you to cut wire or maneuver pots over the open fire. It weighs a total of 15 ounces, 22 when kept in sheath. It’s available here: buckknives.com
These are my personal favorites, but there are still many more out there that you might find to your liking. Before purchasing a knife, take your time and scout the market thoroughly, it’s the only way to assure you get what’s right for you. Take into consideration the material, the durability, the handle, the length of the blade and ultimately the price. Some may be cheap and some may be expensive, but when SHTF, you’ll realize that it was a buck well spent.
By Alec Deacon
In a survival situation you’ll have to feed yourself and food is not a matter to be picky about. Unless you’re a skilled hunter, with limitless supplies of ammo, you’ll have to change your options a bit, from delicacies to pretty much everything that has a heartbeat (or not even that).
The truth of the matter is: if it’s meat, you can eat it for sustenance. Almost all animals are fit for consumption, with the exceptions of course of those who are poisonous or detrimental in other ways to human health. But the list is not that long, and if you are trained a bit recognizing the poisonous species from the safe ones, you will not go hungry or jeopardize your health. Just prepare yourself mentally and accept the fact that you might find yourself animals to catch and eat; animals that not only walk or fly, but also crawl, swim, or buzz. If you are strong enough to overcome this mental barrier, you’ll find that meat is meat, no matter the shape or size it comes in.
In order to be as efficient as possible in gathering resources with the upmost of ease, you’ll need to read up a bit in the matter. Be aware of the animal life that’s native to your surroundings and know their lifestyle and patterns. So you’ll need to understand the behavior, food preferences, mating season and availability of a certain species. It’s important, as may prove very tricky to track down and hunt while others may be just sitting around for the taking.
In principle, mammals are the best source of proteins available and to Americans is the food of choice. But hunting or
procuring mammal meat has disadvantages also. Most of them won’t come without a fight and the amount of damage an animal can inflict is directly proportionate to its size. So if you’re planning on hunting large game, it’s advised you do so with
professional hunting equipment. But it’s not always a matter of size, as even smaller mammals, like wild boars and even small rodents, can get very aggressive in order to protect their young. In a survival scenario, be very cautious as not to get bitten or scratched;
an infected open wound is the last thing you need. Almost all mammals are edible without boundaries, with few exceptions: scavengers (most of them are carrying diseases), the platypus (it has poisonous glands), the polar bear (has dangerously high levels of vitamin A in the liver) and more.
All species of birds are edible without boundaries and the only variables consist in size and flavor. As most of them fly, it’s very important to know and understand a specie’s habits in order to catch them easily. The best ones to catch are the ones that don’t put much of a fight. So during night time, pigeons can be easily picked up by hand out of their nests. And many other types of birds won’t tend to fly away when nesting, even if they sense the danger. So picking them up it’s just a mere formality. Most birds have a clear pattern, which is easily observable. If you study them carefully enough, you’ll know when and where they fly out from the nest area, in order to drink or procure food. If the nesting area is out of reach, the drinking or feeding spot could become a possible hunting ground. Catching them is easily done by setting traps and snares.
Nesting habits and patterns
Fish meat is extremely nutritious; not only is it an excellent source of protein, but also of beneficial fasts. They’re usually more abundant then mammals and most ways of procuring fish are way easier than hinting. Here too comes in play the knowledge of the patterns and behaviors of species. For instance, almost all species tend to feed abundantly before storms, because right after a storm the water tends to get muddy and impure.
So the best time for fishing is right before bad weather. If the water currents tend to get stronger than usual, fish tend to rest in “sanctuaries” where the water is calmer, like near rocks or other sturdy spots like logs, submerged foliage etc. They also have a tendency towards light during night time.
Salt-water fish can be poisonous, so you have to be aware of what you’re about to eat. Best stay away from species like red snapper, thorn fish, cow fish, puffer fish, porcupine fish etc. But the ones that are safe to eat, if you catch them further away from the shore, you can even eat raw. This is possible due to the high levels of salinity in deep waters, which prevents parasitic infestation.
It’s a whole different story when it comes to fresh-water fish. All of them must be thoroughly cooked before eating, in order to kill off all the parasites. As an up-side, fresh water fish are never poisonous. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have to be cautious when it comes to wandering into fresh-water. The catfish for example has very sharp needles in on its dorsal fin and barbels, which can deeply pierce into human flesh. So tread carefully and avoid painful wounds and infections.
The spikes in the dorsal fin and barbles (the Catfish)
Most crustaceans are easy to spot and catch. The fresh-water shrimp can measure 0.25cm – 1 inch and can form large colonies or simply swim around vegetation. They can also be found in the mud vegetation of lakes. The larger crustaceans, like lobsters, crabs and shrimps are usually found where the water reaches about 30 feet deep. Lobsters and crabs are best caught during night time, with either a baited hook or a baited trap. Shrimp often comes at the surface of the water during night-time, attracted by light, making it easy for you to just scoop them up. Crayfish is also a great crustacean to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They’re akin to lobsters and crabs and can be found in the soft mud near the breathing holes of their nests or by round rocks in streams (but only during the day time, since they’re active at night). They have a hard shell (exoskeleton), 10 legs and large pincers.
They’re the most spread life form on Earth, and unlike beef which consists in about 20% protein, insects can pack up to 65% – 80% pure protein. And the best part is that they’re everywhere and very easy to catch. Grassy spots are usually a great place to pick up all sorts of insects and it makes it very easy to spot them. A rotting piece of wood for example may also be a great source for a large variety of insects such as ants, beetles, termites, grubs etc. You can also scout many other places that could naturally provide shelter or nesting places for the tiny critters.
But many bugs do not come bug-free, as some of them (especially those with hard shells) will host a vast number of parasites. So if you plan on having beetles, grasshoppers or cicadas, don’t do so before cooking them. As much as they vary in shape as sizes, so do they in taste and texture. Eating them raw or cooked is one way to go, but another valid option is grinding them into a nutritious paste which you can mix with various herbs and spices, to add flavor.
The ones that you have to avoid eating are the ones that usually sting or bite. The larvae are safe to eat though, as they haven’t developed the stingers or poison glands yet. Also, if they’re hairy or brightly colored, keep away, not only by eating them but also from touching or interacting with them. Also spiders should be off-limits and all of the insects that are carriers of diseases like flies, mosquitoes, caterpillars etc.
If you ever happen find yourself in the situation of having to survive strictly on what Mother Nature provides, you’ll be just fine as you respect the basic set of written and unwritten natural rules. Just educate yourself in the matter, read up on specialized journals and articles in what’s safe to eat and what’s not and never take unnecessary risks. A wrong move might cost you your life.
By Alec Deacon