List of ‘Collapse’ Medical Supplies Over at modernsurvivalblog.com Dr.Bones has a list of Collapse medical supplies with natural remedies included (we should have these as back-ups or for first use supplies to save commercially made items!). Dr.Bones spend a lot of time and energy researching “back-up” plans for traditional medicine. They want YOU to have the …
You may be wondering what to put in your own medical bag or if you are forgetting anything so I’ve provided my own list to help get you started.
I’m a stay at home (or I guess a work from home) mom. This means that I will likely be my kid’s first responder in any first aid emergency. So, having first aid skills is important to me. But getting those first aid skills can sometimes feel overwhelming. Am I right? I mean us moms […]
The post 6 ways to learn important first aid skills every mom needs appeared first on Your Own Home Store.
Comfrey The Knit Bone Herb If you have no access to a doctor or in a SHTF situation, Comfrey has been known to heal bones and double cell regeneration. I have been asked a few times over the past year to find a great article about Comfrey, Comfrey is a common name for plants in …
Diseases to Fear in the Aftermath of SHTF This topic is very important and mostly gets overlooked. Prepare now because there will be no hospitals if SHTF. Sorry if that sounded to harsh, but it’s true! If SHTF today, in a week or so people will be going crazy, they will be trying to get …
15 Survival Medical Supplies You May Have Missed We’re all well aware that medical supplies, equipment, and specially qualified assistance will be tough to get hold of after most any disaster, especially longer term situations. With that in mind, I thought I would be a good idea to list several items that would prove useful to …
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A few weeks ago, I went to the chiropractor for an adjustment. My lower back had been bothering me so I asked for some tips for self care. The chiropractor told me I can use ice to relieve inflammation when needed. I asked him about applying heat, and he indicated heat is fine for pain relief, but must not be used when inflammation is involved. I thought it would be good to sort […]
How to Make a Healing Poultice Before you read this please not I am not a medical professional and I would always seek advice from one before trying anything medical on this site please read our disclaimer. A poultice, also called cataplasm, is a soft moist mass, often heated and medicated, that is spread on cloth …
17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills Our ancestors had a solution for treating infections, burns and other different illness, using what mother nature has offered to us. It would be good to remind ourselves what these antibiotics are and possibly think about using them in case of a SHTF scenario where pills are …
The post 17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
Administering the right first aid correctly can help save lives and reduce discomfort when you are out in the wilderness. Understanding the common challenges you may face and how to react under such conditions will help remove uncertainties and improve patient outcome. Having your first aid kit with you is the first step to handling emergencies. Here are some steps to take when faced with health emergencies or accidents in the wilderness:
By Ryan, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog
1) Survey the Area: Before you jump in to help the patient, take a second to survey the area for any potential danger. It’s important you keep your instinct to help immediately in check and ensure that the area is safe for you. There is no need rushing in only to increase the number of patients by falling victim to whatever danger created the emergency in the first place. Watch for signs of dangerous animals, uneven terrains that maybe due to an avalanche, and so on.
2) Approach the Patient: Approach the patient and try to determine the cause of the injury or medical condition, and put on your gloves before you touch the patient.
3) Determine the State of Your Patient: Tap the patient on the shoulder and shout “are you ok?” If you don’t get a response, use 10 seconds to determine if the patient is still breathing (occasional gasps is not breathing).
4) If the patient is not breathing send someone to call the emergency number immediately. Get the patient lying face-up and ensure the neck, head and back are in a straight line. If it’s a child and the parent or guardian is around, ask for consent if you haven’t already. Then give rescue breath. The right way to give rescue breath is to tilt the patient’s head, raise the chin, pinch the nose, and then breathe in through the mouth till the chest expands. Give rescue breath one after the other.
5) If the chest doesn’t rise after two rescue breaths, start CPR immediately. If you witnessed the patient collapse, skip rescue breaths and start CPR immediately.
6) If the patient is still breathing, keep the airway clear by raising the patient’s neck and tilting the head.
Dealing with Bleeding
If the patient is bleeding, it’s important you stop the bleeding immediately. Raise the wounded area above the heart level and apply direct pressure with gauze, clean cloth, sphagnum moss, or dried seaweed. However, if it’s a head injury, apply several dressings and press gently because the skull may be fractured. If you feel bone fragments, depression, or a spongy area, DO NOT apply direct pressure. Use diffused pressure to control the bleeding.
Related: First Aid Training
For non-head bleeding that fails to stop after application of direct pressure, consider applying pressure at the pulse point between the bleeding area and the heart.
Once the bleeding is controlled, flood the area with water to wash out dirt and contaminants. If there is any dirt still visible the water can’t remove, use tweezers to remove it carefully. Clean the area around the wound with alcohol wipe if you have one in your first aid box. Ensure you do not clean the inside of the wound with the alcohol wipe. Apply antibiotic ointment to the wound, and add clean gauze, and then a wrap to keep it in place.
Dealing with Bone and Joint Injuries
Bone and joint injuries may be strains, fractures, sprains, or dislocations. Although it can be difficult for an inexperienced person without BLS certification to tell one from the other, the care to be given is similar. Check for symptoms such as deformity, tenderness, swelling, an inability of the patient to use or move the injured part without pain, loss of sensation, or open injuries to confirm you are dealing with a bone or joint injury.
Also Read: What not to do When Lost in the Wilderness
Help the person rest the injured body part and immobilize it on the ground or with a splint if you need to move the person. Apply a cold pack if available on the body part, separating the skin and the cold pack with a gauze or clean cloth to avoid damaging the skin. Leave for 20 minutes. Use cold water if ice is unavailable. Elevate the fractured body part above the heart level if it won’t cause pain or discomfort. You can administer aspirin if the pain is severe. Arrange for evacuation of the patient as soon as possible.
Apart from the above basic precaution, do not attempt to fix bone damage or a dislocation if you are not trained to do so as permanent damage may occur.
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In an emergency situation, it’s difficult to provide good first aid even in good weather, but if you must tend to sickness or injury in freezing weather, your job is going to be twice as hard.
You’ll have greater difficulty getting to a warm place to provide treatment, and snow and freezing weather will make it difficult to start a fire or find healing herbs that would be abundant in warmer weather.
You will also have to take care of yourself by wearing appropriate cold weather gear, which may impair you.
In this article we’re going to discuss how to meet these challenges and provide adequate first aid even in freezing weather.
How to Reduce the Risk of Injury
The first problem that you’re going to face is that chances for injury are going to be much greater. You’ll be facing the risk of frostbite, hypothermia, falls and hunting injuries. As a provider of first aid, the first rule is to avoid injury yourself.
In freezing weather, it will be an uphill climb to provide life-saving treatment without risking yourself as well.
The first challenge that you’re going to face when providing first aid is avoiding hypothermia on top of treating the injury, or perhaps the injury is hypothermia. The problem is that in order to treat hypothermia, you need a way to warm up the person, which isn’t going to be easy if you’re stuck outdoors.
In severe temperatures, your core temperature can drop dangerously low when exposed to the elements in a matter of minutes even if you’re awake and active. If the patient is unconscious, their body temp drops even faster because they aren’t moving about to generate extra body heat.
When you sleep, your body temperature drops by as much as a couple of degrees, which can be critical since hypothermia, by definition, is a decrease in body temperature. When you’re in a deep sleep, you don’t shiver to maintain body temp.
Your body also pulls heat from the shell (your limbs) to maintain core temp, which puts the extremities at risk for frostbite. Loss of blood increases the chance because blood is basically the hot water in your body’s radiator – the warm blood in your vessels keeps the surrounding temperature warm.
The take-away here is to keep the person awake and warm, even if he or she is in pain and you would normally encourage sleep.
Though you may need to shed at least your gloves or mittens to provide treatment of wounds, it’s critical that you stay warm in order to prevent becoming hypothermic, too. If both of you are down, there’s a high probability that you’ll both die.
If a person has an injury that requires removal of clothing, such as a gash or puncture wound, there’s a much greater risk of frostbite.
Like with hypothermia, it doesn’t take long in freezing temperatures for frostbite to set in and cause potentially permanent tissue damage that can result in loss of digits or limbs, or even gangrene.
The risk is particularly high around the wound area because it’s wet so it’s important to get it dry and keep it dry, or at least under a dry dressing so that the wet material and flesh isn’t exposed to the cold.
Ice presents many problems when traversing terrain in bad weather. The risk of broken bones, severe bruises, concussions, and just about any other injury is increased exponentially if you’re walking or traveling on ice. It will also make it much more difficult to get an injured person to safety.
If you have to provide first aid in an icy environment, don’t forget the first rule – keep yourself safe.
If a person has fallen through ice on a body of water and you’re trying to save them, do the best that you can to ensure your own safety. Tie yourself to a secure tree or fixed object before going after them, and if you have to go out onto the ice, lay flat so that your body weight is distributed over a larger area.
If you have a path that you use several times a day, use rock salt to melt the ice. You don’t have to use much, but you will need to reapply it at least once per day to keep the water from the melted ice from re-freezing.
Some ice on a shelter may act as an insulator, but if it gets too heavy for the structure to bear, you’ll find yourself without shelter. Monitor and do what needs to be done.
Inability to Travel
First aid is called that because it’s often meant to be the precursor to a higher level of medical treatment. For instance, if a person has severed a digit or limb, or has a severe injury, they’re going to need more than a bandage and some antibacterial ointment.
Tourniquets can only be used carefully and for a short amount of time without causing tissue death or damage and wounds such as gunshot wounds need surgery if the bullet or foreign object is still in the patient.
Freezing weather, especially in a SHTF scenario, makes travel much more difficult. Trying to travel in severe weather may result in further injury to the patient, or injury to you, and we already know that’s the last thing that needs to happen.
The best way to prepare for this is to know how to make snowshoes and to keep a means of transporting a patient, such as a sled, handy in case you absolutely have to get out.
Proper vehicle maintenance will go a long way here, too. It’s also good to know how to make a litter to carry somebody should they be injured away from home or camp.
How to Keep Supplies and Equipment from Freezing
All of those great balms, ointments, and elixirs that you have stored in your first aid kit are likely to freeze, and the lubrication in your equipment can freeze and make them difficult, if not impossible, to operate.
The same thing can happen to cloth bandages if they’re even remotely damp.
Any liquid treatment made with a large percentage of alcohol will likely be fine. That includes tinctures and rubbing alcohol. Peroxide will remain liquid up to -60 F or so. If you’re in temperatures that cold, you have bigger problems that a need for peroxide! Other meds such as cough syrup or saline bags will be popsicles.
One med that you really need to keep from freezing is insulin. Every package insert I researched was adamant about not freezing the product. I did some further study, thinking that this was, perhaps, Big Pharma’s way of keeping you from stockpiling product.
What I found was that “R” type insulin may survive freezing and still be viable, while “N” types don’t fare so well. That being said, I am certainly not a doctor, or even a diabetic, so if you have to use frozen insulin, do so at your own risk and monitor your levels closely. Also know that you’re going to be affected by cold weather more than your non-diabetic peers.
For your other antibacterial and special-use ointments, it seems prudent to store them in small enough packages that you can warm them just by holding them in your hands or placing them in your sock or somewhere else on your body.
Carrying MRE heaters or heat packs to warm them as well.
To keep vehicles running in freezing weather, make sure to use a lower viscosity oil in any internal combustion engine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper antifreeze to use in the radiator.
Working with Layers of Clothing
If it’s below freezing, providing treatment while wearing gloves will be difficult. Another problem is that the injured person may need to have protective layers of clothing removed to be treated. In both of these scenarios, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite is increased.
To protect yourself, always carry rubber gloves. This will help in two ways – it will keep you from getting your gloves and skin wet, and rubber gloves will help keep your body temperature in at least a little.
To protect your patient, provide treatment as quickly as possible and get them re-dressed immediately.
Again, carrying heat packs such as hand warmers in your medical kit can help – you can tuck them into areas such as armpits where the heat will be best utilized.
A nice down-filled jacket that was keeping a person warm ten minutes ago can quickly turn into a body-heat sponge that wicks away warmth if it gets wet. Carrying extra clothing in a water-proof pack can be a life saver.
How to Stop Bleeding and Wound Care
When your body is cold, circulation is increased, which means that your blood pressure goes up. Depending on what type of wound you’re dealing with and whether or not blood flow has been restricted in favor of keeping the core warm, it may be harder to stop bleeding.
If the cut is deep and on the trunk, you may have increased blood flow, which means you’ll have to work harder to stop the bleeding. If it’s on an extremity, you may not have problems stopping the bleeding, but will want to make very sure that your bandage is loose enough that it’s not restricting what little circulation is getting to that area.
The bleeding may be large, medium or small, but in the vast majority of cases, (in 80% of them) the bleeding stops through compression if you press down for 3 to 5 minutes. This is one of the things that I’ve learned from dr.Radu Scurtu after reading his book “Survival MD”, but believe me that it’s only a tiny piece of the medical survival knowledge you can get from his guide.
One more thing to learn in order to properly stop the bleeding: take a good look at the color of your blood since it will tell you how bad the wound is and how likely is to stop it by yourself, without involving specialized help. Arterial bleeding has red, purple blood, venous bleeding has black, dark blood. In the first case, you might stop it by compression, but the second one is much more life threatening, and it’s very likely you will need to get the victim to the hospital as soon as possible.
We already know that your body needs more calories to properly heal, but it also needs more calories and possibly even more water, to survive in extreme temperatures. Part of this is because every chore is harder because you’re traveling in snow and bad conditions wearing a ton of clothing, and part of it is because your body burns a ton more calories just keeping warm.
Don’t be surprised if you have people experiencing light-headedness or sugar lows, especially if they’re diabetic, if you’re treating them in freezing conditions. Yes, it may be the onset of hypothermia, but it may also simply be that their body is out of gas or dehydrated.
Make sure that everybody in your party makes allowances for up to twice the caloric intake and at least half again the water requirements to avoid this problem. In a pinch, you can always melt snow and ice for water.
Providing adequate first aid in freezing weather will be challenging, but it’s not impossible. The important thing is that you educate yourself and understand the adversities that you’ll face before going in. As in all things survival-related, knowing and being prepared is half the battle.
How to Stay Dry
Aside from gushing wounds or injuries that render you unconscious, being wet is probably the quickest way to die in freezing weather. Wet clothing, including wet shoes and socks, leeches your body heat and causes your core body temp to drop at least as quickly as if you were standing there naked.
If you have a patient that’s gotten wet, the first thing that you need to do, after treating severe bleeding or more life-threatening conditions, is to get them dry. Pack extra clothes in a way that they won’t get wet.
Another point that you may not consider is that sweating makes your clothing wet. For this reason, dress in layers, with the layer next to your skin being made of a wicking material such as wool. This goes for your feet as well as the rest of your body.
If you’re wet, get dry immediately before the doctor … err, first aider … becomes the patient.
Building a Fire
First order of business when setting up camp should be to find a way to get and stay warm and cook food. Building a fire in snow isn’t nearly as easy as it is in warmer conditions but it’s definitely possible, especially if you have a good fire starter.
Carry a fire starting kit to help you kick start your fire.
Finding or Building Shelter
In warm weather, it may be just fine to sleep under the stars but in freezing conditions, you need something that’s going to hold in heat and protect you from the wind and freezing temperatures. In the end, it’s a survival situation and the rule of three is still applying.
If you’ve studied up on your bush craft, you should already know several ways to build a shelter that will sustain the conditions and hold in heat.
You can even build a snow shelter, though it’s a lot of work and takes hours to do. Ice and snow can act as insulators, though that seems counterintuitive. If for no other reason than building a wind-proof shelter, you should carry garbage bags, moon blankets, or tarps.
In addition to making the walls secure against the weather, you also need to make a floor that will protect you. Lying on cold ground will suck the heat right out of your body. You can use tree boughs, tarps, a thick sleeping bag, or even layers of clothing or newspaper to do this.
How to Avoid Detection
If you’re in a survival situation, you may need to avoid detection. That means that you won’t be able to build a fire during the day because of smoke, at least in an open area, and you’ll need to shield the light from dangerous entities at night.
Since a fire is just about a necessity in freezing weather, learn your local terrain and how to use it to build a fire that will keep you warm without giving away your location. If it’s absolutely not possible, you may have to resort to shared body heat to stay warm.
When I lived in WV and CO, there were numerous caves that could be used both as shelter and as a means to have a fire without being detected, but in many places, that’s not an option. Just know your area and work out ways to make this happen.
If you can think of other challenges to providing first aid in freezing weather, please share them with us in the comments section below. And remember that knowledge is the only doctor that can help you survive when there is no medical help around you!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
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Maximizing Your Immune System Flu season is upon us. For centuries people did not have antibiotics or hospitals to count on when they became ill. How do you keep your immune system healthy and functioning to minimize illness? Here are a few basic ideas of remaining healthy now and when SHTF. This is great info …
How to Make Pine-Sap Salve This is a great natural remedy that the native Americans used back in the day. Using pine sap salve is as natural as you can get. This soothes mild skin irritations. It also is great to get a splinter out! Check out how to make this yourself and just a quick …
Apocalypse, Doomsday, Judgment Day, Armageddon — for those of you who believe that the end of the world as we know it is drawing near, it doesn’t matter what you call it, as long as you’re prepared for it. Right? Right. If you’re reading this article, and you are a Prepper, then (1), let’s be friends, and (2) here are some of the most important skills that you, an advanced prepper, should know in order to be fully prepared for that day.
By Ryan, a contributing author of SurvivalCache and SHTFBlog
Find yourself without these skills and your life will be significantly more difficult. While the skills in this list may seem complicated, with hard work and dedication, they can be mastered. Don’t let the gravity of these skills dissuade you from learning. You’ll feel much more comfortable knowing these abilities.
1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
You can become CPR certified through the American Red Cross, which will, most likely, offer a class at a location near you. Community Centers, employers and churches may offer a class or two at their locations as well, having trained professionals leading the class. You can also get your BLS certification, which includes how to administer oxygen, splinting broken or dislocated bones and how to stop excessive bleeding.
2. First Aid
This covers a slew of topics, including how to treat burns, cuts and bites, along with how to stop and administer to those who are bleeding and to those with frostbite; how to perform the heimlich maneuver, and so much more. First Aid courses are usually offered in conjunction with CPR classes through the American Red Cross and National Safety Council. Once you pass, your certification card should be valid for two years.
3. Surviving Outdoors
There are so many factors that go into surviving in the outdoors. A few of them include:
Building a fire – No excuses. Know how to do this.
Purifying Water – Purchase a filter and water purification tablets.
Building a shelter – Learn how to build the following: A-Frame, Lean-to, frame-and-tarp and Cocoon. To build these shelters, you should know how to tie various knots and use a hatchet.
Entomology – This is the study of insects and will help you identify poisonous and non-poisonous bugs, as well as those rich in fiber and protein.
Botany – This is the study of plants. Having this knowledge will save you from drudging through poisonous plants. You will also be able to identify edible plants and flowers, and foliage is best for all-natural salves.
Fishing and hunting – You can procure a license for both activities in most states online via the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
4. How to Handle a Crisis
Chaos is sure to ensue when the end is near. As a doomsday prepper, you need to know how to stay calm and keep a level head despite what is happening around you. If you can do this, then you and your family are more likely to survive.
In an apocalyptic setting, money will no longer be of value. You need to know how to make smart trading decisions. You’ve got to give something to get something.
6. HAM Radio/Communications
Knowing how to operate a HAM Radio will make you an invaluable member of your community come D-Day. In order to send communications via a HAM Radio, you will need a license to do so. You should, without a doubt, also own and know how to use walkie talkies.
7. Mend Clothes
Target isn’t going to be open during Judgment Day, so we suggest learning how to sew on a button, whipstitch a hole and put on a patch to make your clothes last.
8. Spending Time Alone
The hard truth? You might end up alone during the last days. Prepare for this harsh reality by doing things by yourself once or twice a week.
9. Car Maintenance
If you have a car during Armageddon, it sure would be great if you knew how to maintain it. Know how to change the oil, change the tires, replace parts, and if you lose your keys, start the ignition without them.
10. Navigation Skills
You may not want to rely on Siri to get you through Doomsday. Learn how to use a compass, read a map and navigate when it’s dark using the stars.
It can be a frightening to think that one day, the world might end. True or not, we should all be prepared for disasters and hardships to come. There’s an old adage: better to need it and not have it, than need it and not have it. The logic of that adage is applicable here. Even if we are never parties to a cataclysmic event in our lifetimes, the skills in this list will be important for everyday activities. Preppers, get to prepping. Good luck.
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Evergreens are also known as conifers. They make up the bulk of a group of plants called gymnosperms. In my home area we have one conifer that is not evergreen: Larch or Tamarack (Larix). You can also find the deciduous Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) under cultivation. The broadleaf gymnosperm Ginkgo biloba is often planted, but this article will stick to the conifers (Pinophyta). “Gymnosperm” means “naked-seed,” which means that the female part is exposed so that it can be directly pollinated by the male pollen that blows to it on the wind. The angiosperms that are responsible for all the beautiful flowers like Tulips and Roses have female parts that are enclosed and must be reached by the male pollen through the complexity of the flower.
By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache
Recognizing a gymnosperm is relatively easy. Look for the “Pine Trees” (or, more properly, the conifers). But take note that while many refer to any conifer, or evergreen, as a Pine Tree there are really three botanical families represented in our area: the Pine, Cypress, and Yew families. So, “Pine” means “Pinus” and “Pine family” means “Pinaceae.” As this is my first SurvivalCache article on the subject, I am focusing on the area I know best- the Northeast (particularly that which is centralized in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania tri-state area, or the Delaware River valley) to discuss some species and introduce some basic botany and survival considerations. For future posts I will discuss other regions of the country.
The Pine family contains several genera. Pinus (Pine), Picea (Spruce), Abies (Fir), Tsuga (Hemlock), and Larix (Larch) are found in our area. Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) and some others (including non-indigenous Pine) can be found in cultivation. I regularly use White Pine, which is partially due to it being more common in my area than the other Pines. I also commonly make use of Hemlock, which is a primary tree of certain forests and the host of one of my favorite medicinal mushrooms, Ganoderma tsugae (Reishi). This is a very useful plant family for the survivalist to get to know.
The Cypress family has Taxodium (Bald Cypress), Thuja (Arbor-vitae), Chamaecyparis (Atlantic White-cedar), and Juniperus (Juniper and Red Cedar). There are many medicinal uses of species in Cupressaseae, but it should be regarded as less edible in general than the Pine family. Thuja essential oil, for instance, is considered quite toxic.
Read Also: Natural Headache Remedies
The Yew family is mostly found in landscapes as our native Taxus (Yew) is over-browsed by deer. English and Japanese domestic varieties are quite common under cultivation and sometimes naturalize (spread into the wild from cultivation). Yews are toxic. So, to avoid poisoning, the beginner should quickly learn the difference between Yews and the others, especially the Hemlock and Fir that superficially resemble Taxus because of the leaf (needle) arrangement. The red “berry” of Taxus is edible, but not the seed (which is actually visible, indicating it is a gymnosperm, in the cup-shaped “berry”). It is very common for poisonous plants to concentrate toxins in the seeds while producing an innocuous fruit.
The Pines and Yews have needles while the Cypress family has scale-like leaves. (One exception to this generalization is Bald Cypress, which has needle-like leaves that alternate on deciduous terminal twigs.) They are all needle-like in a way, but you will notice the scale quality in the Cypress family, such as with Juniperus or Thuja. If you then learn to recognize the Yew needles (which are rare in the wild anyway), the remainder varieties of needles can be known as belonging to members of the Pine family.
Pinaceae – Pine Family
Pinaceae is the representative family of the gymnosperms, as the group consists of the most quintessential evergreen trees. They tend to be pitchy (they have thick, sticky, aromatic sap), with a piney or citrus-like scent. Their leaves are needles. And they have the most quintessential cones (often called “pine cones” no matter what genus they occur on, even if the genus is of another family), compared to the berry-like cones of Juniperus and Taxus (Yew), for instance. The cones have spirally arranged scales and the seeds have wings.
One of the easiest ways to get to know this family of trees is to get to know the individual genera: Pinus, Tsuga, Picea, Larix, and Abies of our area. Cedrus and Pseudotsuga are native to other parts of the country. Cathaya, Pseudolarix, Keteleeria, and Nothotsuga are native to China.
Pinus sylvestris (Scotch Pine or Scot’s Pine) is the most widely distributed Pine. It was brought here from Europe and can normally be found along driveways and cultivated lands. It can be easily distinguished from the other common species by its orange-shaded upper bark and the light blue-green of its needles. It has been used extensively in traditional European medicine and has also been used for pharmaceutical preparations.
The Ojibwa used Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana) to to revive consciousness. Arthritis, muscle pains, sores, wounds, and pains associated with colds and febrile illnesses have all been treated with various Pinaceae species. Our most common native species, White Pine (Pinus strobus) and Pitch Pine (P. rigida) have been used extensively as wild food and medicine. Pines were a primary dietary supplement for winter as a source of vitamin C and to treat coughs, colds, and fevers.
Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) has horizontally arranged needles with white stripes (giving a pale appearance on the underside) that are dark green above and have been important for survival in the Northeast similar to Pinus. Hemlock is a common tree of stream gorges. It hosts a species of Reishi (Ganoderma tsugae) and is being attacked by a devastating insect, the Wooly Adelgid. The cones are quite small and persist so that they are often found dried but still on the tree. The genus name is from Japanese. The common name is shared with Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), which causes a deal of confusion in some circumstances. Poison Hemlock, being in the Carrot Family (Apiaceae) is not very closely related at all.
Balsam Fir (Abies ballsamea) is used for coughs, colds, cuts, and sores. Its taste and aroma is quite pleasant. I would use Fir species much more commonly, except they are not abundant locally. Those in the Western states might readily fine useful and interesting Abies species nearby.
Tamarack (Larix laricina) is used for stomach, colds, coughs, fatigue, sores, soreness, and infections; and as a tonic for general health, laxative, and diuretic. Chippewa used infusion of bark for anemic conditions and poultice of inner bark for burns.
The various species of Spruce (Picea) have been used like others from the Pine Family for colds and other general uses. The pitch in particular is favored as fire-starting material and for topical medicinal application, such as in the case of boils, infections, and cuts.
Cupressaceae – Cypress Family
Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) This is by far the most common representative of this family and genus in our area. Common Juniper (J. communis) can also be found, but is not so common (despite its name) due to habitat loss and deer browse and is easily differentiated from Red Cedar in that it is a low-growing, spreading shrub. Red Cedar is much more tree-like, though it can’t compete in our peak forests. Sometimes you will find significant numbers dying in the shade of taller trees. Healthy stands are found in old fields and similar locations. They have dark blue berry-like cones.
A Red Cedar sapling that died after getting shaded out by taller-growing trees. The small, dead twigs are easy to remove to turn the tree into a staff , handle, or utility pole.
TAXACEAE – Yew Family
Taxaceae includes only three genera worldwide, only one of which, Taxus, which occurs in this country. Of the nine (estimated) species of Taxus in the world, three can be found wild in the region- one of which is native: T. canadensis. It is the only species found wild in the immediate area, but is suffering from deer overbrowse. The most common place to find Yew is in hedgerows where it is commonly planted. A friend cut down a hedge in Hawley, PA. A slice of one trunk that I have here on the table has 47 growth rings and is only four finger-widths thick (see image below). Particularly in the Northwest, Yew is a favorite wood for bows.
It is easy to recognize Yew by the bright red berries (arils), which (as it is a gymnosperm) are open on the end, exposing the seed. The flesh of the fruit is the only edible part of the plant, but the seeds are highly toxic. T. canadensis and Pacific Yew (T. brevifolia) are used to make a pharmaceutical drug Taxol that is used to treat cancer. Natives used Yew to treat numbness in the fingers. Yew species can be recognized by their lack of aromatic properties that are present in Pinaceae and Cupressaceae.
Using Honey as a Topical Antibiotic: The Honey Bandage Honey is one of the more versatile foods you can store. You know it tastes good on toast and in your tea, but did you know honey also has healing properties? Honey is an ancient remedy for the treatment of infected wounds, which has recently been …
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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Suzanne S.. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
When it comes to prepping, there is a lot of talk about what material needs we should have on hand. A bug-out bag, freeze-dried food, water, transportation, first-aid kit, weapons for protection and a place to bug-out to. The idea is to have the basic needs of food, water and shelter readily available. The problem is; when the SHTF not everyone gets to just go merrily about their way, to easily head out and get gone. In fact, it is quite likely that many of us will sustain significant injuries that need to be tended to. Whether it is ourselves, our loved ones, or the friends who will be with us, we will need to know how to take care of each others injuries and illnesses.
I am an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant with more than 20 years of Emergency Room experience, the majority of it in Level I Trauma centers (where the most severe cases…crashes, gunshots, severe work injuries, falls from heights, etc. go). Prior to becoming a PA, I was an EMT. I have a great deal of experience dealing with trauma victims and worked in an ER where we saw multiple gunshots daily. I have lectured at several colleges in the Chicago area as well as being responsible for teaching EMT, Physician Assistant, Medical and Podiatry students. I have also been an instructor for the American Red Cross teaching First Aid, CPR and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) classes.
There is a lot of information out there about what makes up a good medical kit for your bug-out bag. Everything you need can be either assembled by you or purchased as anyone of a variety of pre-stocked kits. While the kit you have with you when you bug out is obviously important, it is also completely useless if you have not taken the time to learn how to use it. The truth is you can stop most bleeding with direct pressure. Sometimes you need a torn shirt, some duct tape and a pair of trauma scissors. You don’t have to be MacGyver to do it. You do need proper training.
That said; EVERYONE who expects to deal with the aftermath of when the SHTF needs to know basic CPR and at least basic Trauma First Aid. That means taking classes and practicing what you learn. I can tell you stories about people attempting to administer first aid who had no training, but I won’t. Suffice it to say the outcomes were less than desirable.
Let’s think about some injuries you can expect in the woods, hiking or running to find cover. Or for that matter, just being in a place where help is not going to come anytime soon. Falls are very common and can result in anything from a scrape to sprains to more serious injuries like fractures and head injuries. So ask yourself; do I really know how to treat a sprain? What about a fracture? Do I know how to stop bleeding and properly clean a wound? Have I ever done those things? Would I be able to actually do the job the right way should I need to? What if it was something life threatening? Could I save a person’s life?
If the answer to any of the above is NO, then you can have all the gear in the world at the ready, but YOU are not ready to bug-out!
I’m going to give an example of injury event that can be a tragedy if you are not properly trained to treat it. Remember, this is about knowing: both what TO do and what NOT TO do.
You and your companion are moving quickly through a heavily wooded area and your companion falls. When you reach them, you see a branch has impaled their arm. They are essentially stuck to a tree because of a branch sticking all the way through their arm. Your companion is in shock and not even aware of the extent of the injury. They are confused. There is blood coming from their arm and also from a gash on the right side of their head which is bleeding profusely. You think you see bone exposed through the head laceration and it seems that one of their legs has something wrong. Closer examination shows you that the ankle is sitting at a strange angle. What do you do now?
If you are like most people, you freak out, try to compose yourself so you don’t freak out your companion, get really pale and nearly pass out and then reach for your cellphone to call 911. Oops, no connectivity, so no help coming. So what now? The first aid kit! You have a first aid kit with a manual in it to walk you through caring for these injuries. You dig out the kit, open and it and check the book only to find it’s great for small cuts and bruises and simple things, but it has nothing remotely close to what you’re dealing with now.
Suddenly, you realize that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to cancel that first aid class you had signed up for but decided you were too busy/tired to take. Besides, someone else will know what to do or I’ll call 911 anyway, I’ll never need to use it.
WOW! Talk about contrary to prepper philosophy. Or is it? It would seem that Emergency Medical preparedness training is a no-brainer, but in reality, most prepper sites and stores that cater to preppers are focused on the medical equipment you need rather than the training required to use it.
So anyway, I can’t teach you the how to do it in this article. I can give you a good idea of what good, accurate care and treatment of this fall will require. And yes, you can look all these things up on the internet. However, unless you learn from a real, live person who can guide you and correct mistakes you will surely make as you learn, you are never going to be able to really address the problems this very real scenario depicts.
STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.
The very first thing required in any trauma/accident situation is an evaluation of the site of the accident. Stop, take a breath and look at where you are about to go. Is it a safe place to enter? In the urban world this is akin to a Paramedic called to the scene of a gunshot victim. In that situation, the Paramedic cannot help the victim until the Police have arrived and determined that the Paramedic is safe from the danger of being shot herself when she goes to help. At that point the scene is declared “safe” and the Paramedics can get to work.
In the wilderness or woods, the dangers are different but still just as potentially deadly. Is the ground stable? Are there dangerous branches or rocks that could fall onto you as you make your way to your companion? Will you slip and fall as well if you attempt to help? Do you need to take time to tie off before going to the person? What about wildlife? Are you in danger of animal or insect attack when you go to help? Can you find a way to make the scene safe?
Only after you treat the area as if it were a busy street corner will you be safe. You have to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.
Once the scene is determined safe, or made safe the next thing is to get to the injured person and take stock of the situation by doing an initial survey of them. This is done by looking and speaking to them without touching them. Encouragement to stay still is recommended at this point. Usually saying “Hold on, try not to move, I’ll be right there,” is a good start.
Look carefully at the person and where they are lying. Do you see any blood? Where is it coming from? What about limb deformities? If so, which ones. Are there any objects that will cause difficulty in treating the injuries? Can they be cleared or do you need to find a way to work around them.
Now it’s time to your ABCDE’s: Airway/Head and Neck, Breathing, Circulation, Disability/Deformity, and Exposure assessment.
Airway: If the person is conscious and talking, then they have a clear airway, but they might have a neck injury which will require stabilization. In the case of any significant fall, or one with an accompanying head injury, be sure that the cervical (neck) spine is stabilized. If the person is unconscious or can’t talk, be sure that the airway is clear of obstruction before going further. Gently lowering the jaw while holding the forehead steady will allow you to see if anything is causing an obstruction. Look for broken teeth, blood, dirt or some foreign body causing an obstruction. Remove any obstruction you can see. Do not blindly probe their mouth. You could push an unseen object backward and cause an obstruction where none had previously existed.
Breathing: Is the person breathing on their own? If they can talk, they are breathing. Is there any reason to suspect a possible lung injury? Do they have any evidence of a chest injury that could have broken a rib? A broken rib can puncture a lung and lead to air in the chest collapsing the lung on that side. You can check this several ways. One is to watch the rise and fall of the chest and see if both sides rise equally. Another is to put your ear on one side of the chest, then the other and listen for breath sounds to be equal on both sides. If you notice that the trachea, the tube that runs down the middle of your neck, is pushed to one side; that is a clear sign of a lung injury. The best case scenario is that you have a stethoscope in your kit that will allow you to hear the actual breath sounds easily. If there is a lung injury, this is a true emergency and will need to be treated quickly, but that is a procedure that requires specialized training.
Circulation: Check for obvious bleeding, but also in the case of extremity injury, is there good blood flow to the far portions of the extremity? Is the color of distal (far) limb pink or pale/bluish? Is it warm to the touch or cool/cold? Pink and warm = good. Anything else indicates blocked blood flow which may be due to arterial injury or compression. Arterial injury needs repair soon. Compression can often be correct by adjusting the limb to an appropriate angle.
Disability/Deformity: Is neurologic function intact or are they confused, unable to answer questions or showing other signs of significant head injury? Are there limb deformities, obvious chest or facial depressions indicating broken bones? Depending on what you find, a variety of things may be needed from re-evaluation of the airway, to splinting or bandaging.
Exposure: How long has it been since the injury took place? Are they becoming chilled or hypothermic? Cold =shock. Putting a warm cover over an injured party ASAP is essential even in hot weather.
The important thing to do now is stay calm and determine what needs to be treated first. If there is copious bleeding indicating probable arterial involvement (this can also be characterized by blood that sprays with each pump of the heart) apply direct pressure and if necessary a tourniquet that can be tightened and released easily. If there is no major bleeding issue, then recheck the airway and breathing. If there is chest deformity and/or other evidence of a collapsed lung, that is the next thing to deal with unless there is now evidence of airway obstruction or the person is not breathing on their own. The former requires clearing the airway, the latter requires rescue breathing. The collapsed lung requires specialized training you can’t get from the internet or a book. Any other injuries can wait. Remember; the brain starts to die after 3 minutes without oxygen. Airway is first unless bleeding is so profuse that not stopping it would mean there would not be enough blood to circulate oxygen.
Back to our fall victim; we have bleeding, limb deformity, confusion and a fall. The fall means we have to have high suspicion of a neck injury and the confusion could be shock or it could indicate a more serious injury such as concussion or a brain bleed. We also have a penetrating injury which may have been an insult to a major artery. This person is seriously injured and qualifies as a trauma patient. Ideally, we would get this person stabilized and out of there ASAP, but that is not an option. Instead, we have to stabilize and create a sheltered space as close to where we area as possible so we can begin to treat the various injuries.
Assuming there are no immediate life threats (Excessive bleeding or collapsed lung/blocked airway) we begin by stabilizing the neck. A towel, shirt or thick cloth of some kind can be rolled and taped carefully in place to accomplish this. Next stabilize and splint any limb deformities so that we can move the victim with the least amount of discomfort to them. Continue to talk to them to assess their mental status. At this point, things get tricky…
People’s first instinct when presented with something sticking out of or through a body part is to remove it. STOP! Don’t do it! Not only is it exactly the wrong thing to do, it could quite possibly be the thing that kills the person. I know it is scary looking and seems like the danger comes from it being stuck in the person, but at this point the person is alive and has survived impalement. Leaving the object embedded is not dangerous at this point; it is actually the safest thing to do. As long as the object is left in place, it is acting to tamponade (stop) the bleeding. That is, it is putting pressure on any lacerated vessels and preventing any major bleeding. Yes there will be some oozing around the injury site, but it will be minimal as compared to what happens should the object be removed. NEVER REMOVE AN IMPALED OR IMBEDDED OBJECT FROM A PUNCTURE WOUND unless you have been trained to handle this procedure. This is another procedure that requires specialized training courses.
But what about infection, you ask? Yes, infection risk is high, but it is not a life threatening problem at this time. A neck injury or brain injury will need prior attention as will the bleeding from the head wound. Antibiotics are something you can give, but not at this time because the victim has a decreased mental status and it is not clear if they can swallow a pill without causing an airway obstruction or aspirating it into a lung.
For the time being, the safest and most efficacious thing to do is to cut both ends of the branch so that your companion can be maneuvered to the sheltered spot. Start with the end of the branch still attached to the tree and try to keep the arm as immobile as you can while doing so to minimize pain. You can then trim the protruding opposite side.
Don’t cut the ends short. Leave enough to be able to grasp both ends firmly to assist removal when it is time. Use your gauze or Ace wrap to secure the branch so that it moves as little as possible during transport to avoid causing undo pain.
Continue to monitor the ABC’s and mental status and address what need to be done ASAP. Once you have done as much as you can, find a way to get this person out of there and to an emergency care center as quickly as possible otherwise, they will likely not survive for very long.
This all started out as a fall but resulted in multiple injuries placing your companion in danger of dying. With the proper training, you could swing the odds much more in favor of a good outcome. So before you buy that cool medical kit, or put one together on your own, get out there and get trained. If you know someone who has been trained and can teach you the emergency survival techniques you’ll need, ask them to teach you. Meanwhile there are a multitude of courses in first aid, tactical lifesaving, wilderness emergency medicine, survival medicine and CPR. Don’t forget to look into classes that teach herbal remedies. Know what plants can ease pain or prevent infection, they may be the only medications you’ll have available.
So go out and get prepared. Learn.
The post Emergency Medical Preparedness: Prepare Yourself for a Medical Emergency appeared first on The Prepper Journal.
One of the scariest things that can happen when you’re in the back-country is an injury. Even a small blister can upend a backpacking trip, but imagine facing something more serious, like a broken leg, an allergic reaction, or a burn from the campfire, and not knowing where to start. Suddenly it’s abundantly obvious that getting to a hospital isn’t as simple as calling 911, and you wonder where you packed the first-aid kit – you did pack a first-aid kit, right? Having a first-aid kit and knowing how to use it are important parts of making any trip to the back-country. Here are some tips to get you started in wilderness first aid.
Take a Course
If you plan on spending time in the backcountry, it’s important to take a course in wilderness medicine. You have three options when choosing a course.
Wilderness First Aid (2–3 days)
This course provides an overview of wilderness medicine, and it is designed for people who plan on taking mostly weekend trips. You’ll learn how to check for threats to life, how to care for wounds and fractures, and how to deal with an emergency in a deliberate way.
Wilderness First Responder (~10 days)
This course is usually required for people who want to work in the outdoors. The material is presented more thoroughly than the material in the short course, and the course covers a wider range of common wilderness injuries.
Wilderness EMT (one month)
If you want to be a ski instructor or expect to bounce between EMT work and time in the backcountry, this is a great option. In addition to the national EMT curriculum, the Wilderness EMT includes a component designed for providing remote care.
Don’t be intimidated by the fact that these are all classes; most wilderness medicine courses involve a lot of hands-on learning and scenarios, which provide plenty of chances to practice your skills. Be sure to take a class from a reputable program and keep your certification up to date. Most certifications have to be renewed every two to three years, and most of them include a CPR component. Renewing your certification may seem like a hassle, but it’s a great way to brush up on rusty skills and learn changes to the curriculum or protocols.
- Gloves (2–3 pairs Latex or nitrile gloves are essential for anyone treating a patient; pack a few pairs so you won’t run out.
- Band-Aids (10–20): These are great for small cuts and scrapes.
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen: Sometimes referred to as “Vitamin I,” ibuprofen is great for treating everything from headaches to aching feet.
- Antihistamine and an EpiPen: Allergic reactions happen fast, so make sure you know where the EpiPen and Benadryl are located so you can retrieve them quickly.
- Tweezers: Tweezers are great for removing splinters and ticks.
- Moleskin (2 sheets): These are great for preventing and treating blisters.
- Molefoam (1 sheet): Molefoam provides a fast way to pad a blister.
- Athletic tape (1 roll): Athletic tape can be used for a number of injuries, including twisted ankles and blisters, and it can be used to tape gauze over larger wounds.
- Duct tape: Instead of packing a roll, unwind some tape and wrap it around itself so you can remove pieces.
- Gauze pads (2–3): These are perfect for burns and big cuts.
- Gauze roll: Having two types of gauze may seem redundant, but the roll can be handy for wrapping any number of injuries.
- Antibiotic ointment (3–5 packets): These come in small packets, which are a nice, lightweight option.
- Ace bandage: These are bulky, but they are great for wrapping around splints if you’re dealing with a fracture or simply supporting a rolled ankle.
- Trauma shears or a pocket knife: Scissors aren’t lightweight, but they are indispensible if you need to cut molefoam or remove clothing around an injury. If you opt to leave them behind, be sure to carry a pocket knife.
- CPR face shield: This is a lightweight version of a CPR mask.
- Paper and pencil: These are vital for recording information and taking notes on your patient.
- Plastic bag: These are always useful, but if you’re disposing of biohazardous material, it’s especially important to have one in your kit.
Source: Fix.com Blog
One of the first things you learn in first-aid training is how to assess a situation to ensure your own safety and that of potential victims. When someone gets injured, your instinct will be to rush to help, but it’s important to take a minute to size up the situation first. These five steps will help you quickly gather important information about the situation before you approach the injured party.
1. Make sure the area around the patient is safe for you, the rescuer. This may be a quick decision if the patient simply fell, but consider the scene after an avalanche, a lightning strike, or a bear attack. If the thing that caused the injury is still a danger to others, keep yourself safe by waiting to approach the patient. There’s no sense in creating more patients.
2. Make a quick determination about what happened to the patient. This isn’t a diagnosis but an observation based on what the scene looks like.
3. Put on gloves! It’s crucial to ensure that none of the patient’s fluids (like blood) get on your skin. Gloves are the easiest solution for protecting your hands, and you should wear them at all times while treating a patient.
4. Make a quick scan of the area to count how many patients you’ll be treating. Maybe you’ve stumbled upon a boating accident with a raft full of people, or maybe you’re hiking with a friend who stumbled and fell to the ground.
5. Is the person alive or dead? This may seem basic, but it will give you a lot of information about what your next steps will be and how fast to make them. Sometimes you have to get closer to the patient to see if they are alive, which is why this step is last.
First-aid 101: Blister Prevention
Blisters are a much more likely to occur on a hiking or camping trip than are some of the other incidental injuries a person may incur. Learning how to treat them is a valuable skill that will pay off in dividends. Blisters are essentially burns caused by friction, and they are incredibly common on backpacking trips, especially if you’re wearing brand-new boots. The pre-cursor to a blister is known as a “hot spot.” It’s best to catch blisters at this stage, when they’re easily treated.
If you or your hiking partner discovers a hot spot, stop and take a look at the foot. Hot spots are usually red, and they will be slightly painful to the touch. They’re caused by the foot rubbing against either the boot or the sock, so to treat them, you need to relieve the friction. This is easy to do with moleskin. Simply cut out a circular piece about the size of the hot spot and tape it in place (athletic tape works well for this).
Have the person remove their boot and sock. Take out a square of Molefoam and cut a circle that covers the entire blister, plus a little extra. Round pieces are best because they don’t have any corners, which will peel.
Once you have a circular piece cut, fold the piece in half and cut out the middle, creating a foam donut. The inside hole should be large enough that it covers the entire blister.
Place the foam donut over the blister. If the extends out further than the foam, make a second donut and place it on top of the first. The goal is to create a ring around the blister that will protect it from rubbing against the boot.
If the blister has popped, apply some antibiotic cream inside the donut. If it hasn’t popped, leave it intact. A popped blister is no longer protected by the cushion of the fluid, and it’s an easy access point for infection-causing bacteria. Once the blister is surrounded by the donut of foam, wrap the area with athletic tape to keep the bandage in place.
Source: Fix.com Blog
Now that you know some of the basics, sign up for a wilderness medicine class in your area. Start by checking these three schools that offer nationally recognized certifications.
Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People? I found a detailed article on drugs post SHTF, I had not thought about this much as myself and family members are not on anything that would be detrimental to our health, mentally and physically if SHTF. After reading this article it has made me think more about maybe …
When we talk about first aid kits, we often think in terms of emergency supplies we’ll carry on ourselves everyday should we have a medical emergency when hiking, backpacking, flying on a plane, or doing any other potentially risky activities. Today, however, we won’t be talking in terms of specific emergencies to have particular first aid… Read More
This is just the start of the post The Ultimate First Aid Supplies List: Be Ready for Anything. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
The Ultimate First Aid Supplies List: Be Ready for Anything, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
How To Make an Herbal Cough Syrup Recipe I prefer to support the body in fighting the infection rather than take something that bypasses this natural process. If we were in a SHTF situation, we may not have access to normal over the counter medicine to soothe a sore throat or a nasty cough. That’s …
How To Survive a Deadly Snake Bite When it comes to survival and preparation, many people invest heavily into technologies, gear and equipment. Often overlooked is basic wilderness survival knowledge, like learning what the potential threats are in your city and countryside. It’s one thing being ready for economic collapse or a SHTF situation, but …
22 Natural Sore Throat Remedies to Help Soothe the Pain My son suffers from sore throats a lot during the winter. I hate seeing him in pain and I hate to keep stuffing store bought medicine down his throat because I know it contains crap that shouldn’t be given to animals never mind humans. With …
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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Audra S. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
Medical Kit: Is it important?
Whether your bugging out with a group or bugging out alone it is extremely important to have someone with some degree of medical knowledge and/or skill. If you’re bugging out with a group and you’ve got a plan in place, but no designated “medic”, you have a problem. If you’re bugging out alone and you don’t have any basic medical knowledge, again, you have a problem.
It’s easy enough to say “I never get sick” or “Ill tough it out” when it comes to an illness or injury in everyday life, but if you’re bugging out, everyday living will cease to exist. Whether you’re hunkering down in a bunker or climbing up foothills or mountains, sh*t is bound to happen. Maybe someone in your family brought in a simple cold. It doesn’t take long for that simple cold to turn into a sinus infection, which once your immune system is beat down enough, can turn into pneumonia. Consider you’re climbing in the foothills or hunkering down in a forest and you drink some bad water…maybe your Lifestraw has already filtered its limits, or maybe your water wasn’t heated for long enough. Bacteria can take hold of your body’s systems within days, sometimes hours, and cause unfortunate and inconvenient effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and eventually, death. You get my point.
So what can you do to prevent this? Well, stay healthy, take your vitamins, and boil your water. Stating the obvious, right? Prevention is great, but like I said, and I’ll say it again, sh*t happens. A contingency plan for those SHTF moments is the key to efficiency and more importantly, survival. You can create a top-notch medical kit addition to any bugout bag or kit easily and cheaply. All it takes is basic medical knowledge and a small pack to potentially save you, your family or your friends in a SHTF situation.
I am a trained EMT and I’ve dealt with massive injuries from car accidents, physical violence, and other traumatic events. I’ve also dealt with medical emergencies such as heart attacks, diabetic episodes and anaphylaxis. If you’re a true prepper, I know you’ve spent hours thinking about all of the things that could go wrong while bugging out. Gunshots, car accidents, sickness, poison, you name it. I can definitely say the same for myself, and I refuse to be the helpless ninny that stands over and screams and begs someone with a gunshot wound or knife wound not to die. It won’t work. Don’t be that guy.
I’ve spent a solid 6 months researching and developing a small, compact and lightweight medic “bag” that has the potential to be helpful and effective in almost any type of medical emergency. Check out my pack, and some of the emergency’s I’ve planned for below.
The Basics of a Medical Kit:
Ibuprofen: So Underrated. It’ll help with mild pain, but more importantly, it can help take down and break a fever. How fun is it trying to function at your day job with a fever that turns into a massive headache that turns into hot flashes and cold sweats? Now imagine dealing with that while you’re lumbering through the wilderness. Not fun.
Pepto Bismol: Once again, underrated. Not only will this reduce your burning desire to throw up those repulsive MRES, but it has the potential to get diarrhea under control. Having to stop every 5 minutes to see a bush about a horse? Inconvenient AND unpleasant.
Benadryl: Works for both people and dogs, making it a vital part of my personal bag. Hiking through the woods and your dog steps on or eats a wasp? I know I don’t want to carry my almost 50 pound dog for very long, how about you? 1 MG per pound of body-weight will take care of that problem. It can also be used to ease a dog’s anxiety, just lower the dose a bit. If you’re traveling or hunkering down with someone who has an allergy whether it be to a food or animal, a quick response with a dose of Benadryl can make a bigger difference then you would expect. I carry a bottle of Benadryl and a tube of Benadryl Cream for topical use.
Medi-Lyte: Uncommon, but not unimportant. I used to work in the oil fields during the big boom, and this was something I always kept stocked for my guys. It is used to replace electrolytes from excessive loss of liquids. I’m talking sweat, vomit, whatever. You can purchase 500 tablets on Amazon for twenty bucks. 100% WORTH IT. Oh, and try two tabs for a hangover, it’ll do wonders
Hydrocortisone Cream: Once again, suitable for both you and your dog. Hiking out in the woods comes with a price. While an occasional bug bite is not something that will really bother you, being covered in them probably will. The same goes for your dog. Mosquito bites, tick bites, flea bites, poison ivy, weird rashes; it covers it all. Literally.
Triple Antibiotic: This one is basically the jack of all trades. Use it on burns, cuts, scrapes, and anything else you’re worried about getting infected. I would suggest only using it the first 1-2 days after the injury is sustained. After scabs are formed it won’t do much and there is no point in wasting precious supplies.
Everyday Allergy Meds: Sudafed, Zyrtec, Claritin, because there is nothing worse than trying to walk long distance or climb bluffs or mountains with a runny nose.
CPR Mask and Sterile or Nitrile Gloves: I don’t care how well you know someone; do you really want to take a bath in their bodily fluids? I didn’t think so. Carry a CPR mask with you in your medic bag and remember the basics from CPR Class, compressions and breaths, 30:2. Compressions should be done by finding the middle spot between the nipples and pumping your overlapped hands down onto their body. They won’t tell you in your average CPR class, but I will; you will hear ribs cracking, if they survive they will be in pain from it, and it is not easy on the body to lean over and perform compressions on someone. You will be sore. Saving someone’s life though- 100% worth it. If you haven’t taken a basic CPR class yet, don’t be a dummy. It’s 50$ on average and takes only a few hours of your time.
Hot Hands: There is nothing worse than being sweaty, cold, and out in the wilderness. Once you’re cold it is very hard to get warm, but a hot hands pad can make the world of difference. Toss one onto the top of your head and cover it up with a hat. My dad has told me since I was little; heat rises. Keep your head warm and your body will be warm.
Various sized Band-Aids, bandages, ace wraps and anti-bacterial wipes: Obvious, but easily overlooked. I was on a mountain climbing trip in Montana this fall, and I got stuck coming down at night. Not smart, and not fun. I tripped on a tiny rock and my ankle bent and twisted. The next morning I had a 7 mile hike to a primitive forest service cabin across two mountain ranges and I could barely walk without my ankle giving in. An ace wrap and some duct tape made the world of difference.
I don’t expect you guys to have giant stockpiles of these things lying around, but I can guarantee you if you dig through your cabinets and junk drawers you’re bound to find one or two of these things lying around. Please also remember I am not a doctor, and I’m not god, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Having these things does not guarantee a life saved.
Epi-Pens: Unfortunately, these have gotten harder to come by recently, on account of obnoxiously high prices, but if you or your family member has an allergy that requires you to carry one of these, don’t leave it behind when you bug out. Not only could it save your life for what it was intended, but it could save someone in your groups life should they encounter an unexpected allergy source.
Muscle Relaxers: If you’ve done any hiking, walking or running long distances you know how exhausting it can be on your body. Imagine doing it for days at a time while trying to find the perfect camp location. These come in handy to both relax your body and your mind, making it much easier to carry on hiking or even sleep. Personally I can take one of these and continue on with my day, but I’ve heard stories of people taking them and falling asleep within the hour, so remember that everyone responds differently.
Antibiotics: I know I can’t be the only one that’s been prescribed antibiotics and not taken all of them. Do you have a stockpile of half taken antibiotics? In everyday life it’s not a good idea to take half of a dose and leave the rest behind, as it puts you at risk for antibiotic resistance, but if you’re in the wilderness or an emergency situation and you need antibiotics, I think you can afford to take that risk. The same goes for your basic antifungals.
Higher Dose Pain Relievers: If you have left over pain killers from a surgery or injury, pack them up and take them along. I will let you imagine all the possible injuries that may require their use.
Israeli Pressure Bandages: These bandages have been carried by the Israeli Army for ages for a good reason. They compress, clot, and cover a wound. The instructions are on the packaging, and they are fairly simple, lightweight, and about 9$ a piece on Amazon. Worth it.
Suture Kits: Also available on Amazon, although they are usually labeled “for veterinary use only.” They will work in time of need. It’s basically a needle and thread. Buy a few and practice stitching up an orange, or if you’re looking for a little more “real world” (and gross) experience, a pigs foot. It’s pretty much what you see on TV. Unless you went to medical school, you will not be an expert, but if it’s absolutely and undeniably necessary, you’re better than nothing.
I have all of these things in my bugout bag, and it only takes up a very small portion of it. Scrounge up what you can from what you already have, and buy the rest when it’s convenient or on sale to keep costs low. If you’re low on space, take the pills out of the bottles and package them in plastic instead, but remember that the bottles can have other uses in your bag.
I have no doubts that with even 1/2 of these items in your bag you will be better off than your average prepper. Never underestimate the power of basic medical knowledge and preparation. Good luck out there!
The Illustrated Essential Guide to Providing First Aid No one wants to be in a situation where first aid is needed, but this is something that will definitely happen at some point. Whether you are a homesteader or simply in a situation where medical aid is not available, there are skills that need to be …
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60+ Activated Charcoal Remedies Activated charcoal is worth every penny spent on it. Activated charcoal has so many wonderful uses around the home, garden and body! You may know one use of activated charcoal and that is to soak up poison in the stomach, it keeps the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body. …
Learn And Master These Skills For SHTF When it comes to survival, there are so many skills that will be important to have that no one person could know them all. There are, however, a particular set of skills that will increase your chances of actually making it through a disaster. These skills, while not …
Make Your Own Gel Ice Packs How many times have you used gel ice packs in your life? Their uses are almost limitless: from medical applications to keeping your sandwiches cool, gel ice packs are handy to have in the freezer. The problem for most people is that the only ones they get are from …
First Aid skills for kids is something we may, as parents, want to shelter our children from. I know I worry that if I start talking about situations that would require first aid with my kids that I just may end up terrifying them. The protector in me wants to shelter my kids and allow […]
The post The 5 Important First Aid Skills Your Kids Need to Know appeared first on Your Own Home Store.
Today we are featuring a new book by Scott Finazzo, Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A Lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field Manuals. The book is designed to help you in an emergency when no doctor is available. It covers various types of health emergencies and what you have to do to survive. Each condition includes symptoms to help you identify what you are facing, prevention, as well as treatment. About the Author Scott Finazzo is an […]
21 Situations Where Paracord Can Save Your Life There are simply hundreds of little things that can go awry on any given day. This is especially true following a SHTF event when resources are scarce and things are chaotic. When you begin to understand this, you realize that you cannot possibly carry every piece of … Continue reading 21 Situations Where Paracord Can Save Your Life!
An Essential Prep: Fish Antibiotics There’s a lot of information out there about storing fish antibiotics for survival stockpiles but how much of it is really true? Can you really get the same antibiotics that are prescribed without getting an actual prescription? The answer is a resounding YES! Fish antibiotics are an essential prep to …
7 Essentials in Your Emergency Survival Kit All ready for a disaster? Nobody wants to experience a disaster, but there’s no guarantee that it will not happen. You need to prepare for the worst even if you hope it doesn’t happen. This means packing a survival kit that contains some of the essential items needed …
15 Weird and Awesome Uses for Honey Ah, Honey… food for kings. I love honey and so have every nation, every era and every man and woman on earth since time began! Honey is mostly used to put on things like toast or cereal but did you know that Honey goes much deeper than a …
50 Reasons Why You Need Vinegar In Your Stockpile Vinegar is one of those substances that has multiple uses other than as an ingredient in meals, sauces, and dips. Did you know that vinegar helps soothe burns, cleans glass like a champ, and prolong the life of fresh cut flowers? Now, you may not need …
Throwing your shoulder out happens. If you have boxed or been involved in combative sports (or sports in general for that matter) you have either had it happen to you or know someone who has. Personally, I have dislocated both my right and left shoulder on numerous occasions, and frankly don’t give it much thought.… Read More
This is just the start of the post Dislocated Shoulders: Identifying Them & Popping Them Back In. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!
Dislocated Shoulders: Identifying Them & Popping Them Back In, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A few days ago I was enjoying a Butterfinger chocolate bar when I noticed one of my back molars felt really sharp and sensitive. I could not see all the way back there but it felt like I cracked a filling. It was a weekend so the dentist office was closed. I endured a weekend of pain and not being able to chew my food properly. That Monday I called and made an […]
When Help Is NOT On The Way Josh “The 7 P’s of Survival” On The 7 P’s of Survival we have Scott Finazzo and we talk about his second book “Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook. A Lifesaving Collection Of Emergency Procedures From U.S. Army Field Manuals”. Scott is a fellow firefighter of nearly 20 years, currently a Lieutenant … Continue reading When Help Is NOT On The Way!
Dealing With Wounds In Survival Situations Most wounds are treated as if they’re no big deal in the civilized world. Our access to clean conditions, medical supplies and medicine itself make minor wounds like scrapes something barely paid any attention to. When all of that is taken away or when your supplies are limited, the …
How To Make A Herbal Tincture For Migraines If you suffer with migraines and want to stop taking man made medication this may be for you. Fortunately, Andrea from FrugallySustainable.com has given us reason to adapt natural remedies to ease the pain away especially migraine. They concocted a powerful herbal tincture for pain including lemon balm …
18 Herbal Remedies for Aches and Pains In a SHTF situation, having access to any kind of supply of modern medicine will be a very rare thing. Humanity will be forced to go back to herbal treatments for their ailments. While society would have you believe that herbal treatments and remedies aren’t as good or …
Learning how to apply a tourniquet and when it is appropriate to do so, is one of the first things taught to anyone who is trying to learn first aid. It’s a pretty simple procedure, and is extremely effective at stopping traumatic blood loss. But unfortunately it doesn’t work in all cases. There are certain parts of the body that you simply can’t apply an ordinary tourniquet to.
For instance, you can’t use a tourniquet on a wound in the gut or in the chest. You also can’t use a tourniquet on a wound that is located too far up on a limb, near the pelvis or the shoulder.
When that happens, in most cases you’ll have to apply pressure to the wound with one or both of your hands, which isn’t always ideal. If you or someone you’re with is suffering from a grievous injury, chances are you’re in a survival situation of some kind, and you’ll need your hands free for other tasks. Or if it’s going to be a long time before help arrives, your hands could get tired.
Fortunately there’s a fairly new invention that tackles this problem. It’s called a junctional tourniquet, which is capable of cutting off circulation in places that an ordinary tourniquet can’t reach. It’s so effective that even the US Army is giving these devices to their medics. Here’s how the junctional tourniquet works, according to the manufacturer:
Unfortunately, the junctional tourniquet is quite expensive at the moment. It can be bought new for around $350, but these devices can also be found slightly used on ebay for around $100.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
7 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergy Relief Allergies plague millions of people, and many only get marginal relief from drugs, which can also have frustrating side effects. Natural remedies, however, often have fewer side effects, and can combat allergic reactions to plants and trees. Most allergy medications attempt to treat the symptoms your body instigates to get …
Your experience outdoors can always be fun depending on how prepared you are in the wilderness. Some people might complain of experiencing the worst hiking trip while it is their fault for not having the essentials for such a trip. Below you will get to learn about the essentials needed for wilderness survival.
- Water bottle and water purifier
It is not always that you might end up with clean water in the wilderness. So, you have to be prepared to keep yourself hydrated while outdoors. Carry a water bottle full of water and additional collapsible reservoir of water. You still need to have a water filter or purifier that will help purify the water for drinking once your reservoir is empty.
- Navigation tools
In the wilderness, you might not get the best cell reception to use your Google maps, this means we have to go old school. You will need a map and compass as your navigation tools in the wilderness. You can always toss in a GPS and wrist altimeter as additional navigation tools to help with moving around. Make sure that you can read the map and compass or else they would be useless out there in the wilderness. If it is a hunting trip, make sure that you actually get to use an updated map with any additional features you need to know. GPS navigation could still be useful to help get back to the starting point with the logged GPS coordinates.
- First aid kit
It is no brainer that accidents sometimes happen while in the wilderness without even really hoping for them. The worst would be when you have no first aid kit to help with the preventing bleeding or easing the pain. If you are going to carry the first aid kit, just make sure that the medicine is still viable and the bandages too still work. Some of the things to include in the first aid kit are adhesive bandages, gauze pads, disinfecting ointment, pain medication, gloves, adhesive tapes among many other important supplies.
- Illumination tools
It will get dark some point in the wilderness, so you always have to be prepared. This calls for having illumination tools to light up your way. The common source of light would be a headlamp, flashlights and packable lanterns. The headlamp is liked by many as it allows for hands free operation and also have a longer battery life. The headlamps, often come with the strobe mode, which is important in emergency situations. The flashlights on the other hand have gained popularity too. Many people would comfortably buy a flashlight knowing it will have powerful beams important for the wilderness maneuvers.
- Additional clothes
Other than your hunting gear or clothes, you still need to have a supply of clean clothes. This is for those who are looking to spend more time in the wilderness. The additional clothes can include jackets and hats that should help to keep you warm during the cold weather at night. Keep in mind only to carry the necessary clothes for the trip, carrying too many clothes might make your bag too heavy for the trip.
Food is crucial for any survival in the wilderness. You would want to make sure that you have enough food to last you for a few days if you are going to stay for longer in the wilderness. This is great to keep you going before you can start relying on the food you get after hunting. Just make sure that the food does not need a lot of preparation since you will be still in the wilderness. Freeze-dried meals would be ideal in such situations.
- Knives and Repair multi tool
It is not always that something will end up breaking, but having a repair multi-tool sometimes should be great to repair the component to its working status. You are likely to find the repair multi tool to have components such as blades, screwdrivers, can openers, scissors, wrenches among many others. You simply need to compare between various models of multi tools to find the best for your activities in the wilderness. Never forget the duct tape as you might be surprised just how useful it can get whenever you are outdoors. The knives also fall into this category and can never be left behind. The right knives will always be important to get you surviving in the wilderness.
The night can get chilly sometimes in the wilderness. You will need to have a fire to keep you warm at all times. This means you need to have several matches with you. Make sure that the matches are waterproof and should also be stored in a similar waterproof container. This means that should be able to handle the wet or damp conditions of the wilderness. You can still use a mechanical lighter in the wilderness, but just have the matches as your backup fire starting method. In some cases, the campers can use a Firestarter. This is simply a device that helps the camper to jump start the fire while in the wilderness.
- Sun protection
If you are going to stay in the wilderness for a long time, chances are that you would be exposed to the harmful sunrays. You will need protection such from UV rays, which might cause conditions such as skin cancer. You can use the sunglasses to protect your eyes from the UV rays. Using the right sunglasses model, you can block 100 percent of the UV rays. Another way for sun protection would be using sunscreen. Choose sunscreen with at least an SPF rating of 15 for better protection.
- Shelter building material and tools
Of course, you would need to have a shelter over your head at some point. This will mean you need all the necessary shelter building tools for the trip. If you are unsure of what to choose for the building materials, visit a camping shop and ask for help from the vendor. You will get to learn more about what to expect in such a shop.
Author Bio: Roy Ayers, Hunter and Survivalist
Thanks for stopping by to learn more about hunting and surviving in the wilderness. I am a dedicated and a full time survival author, editor and blog writer on hunting. Over the years, I have managed to work on various article and blog series that all talk about hunting and surviving the wilderness. I manage to do this because of personal experience outdoors. This has always helped me to having an easy time crafting the articles for my audience over the years. Keep on reading my articles and blogs to get the useful tips and guides important for outdoor survival and hunting. Come back more often to my website to update yourself on the best new hunting and survival tips.
Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Huples. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
I have three decades experience in trauma ICU care at a level three trauma center (used to be level one was the worst category. That was flipped a few years ago) and recently saw yet another YouTube video where the Israeli bandage was being waved around like it is the savior for all SHTF issues. Quick clot and compression bandages will certainly save lives if applied and monitored correctly. As ever get training for health care needs before you need them and try to get real life training not just videos and books.
However I got to thinking about what I would do with 32 years nursing experience and most of that in trauma if I had a person laid up in bed and was faced with providing hospital care in SHTF and why. It seemed to me the knowledge is not that widely available or known but please, as ever, correct me in the comments below. As ever Doctors are really smart and any advice I give here is intended only for my own use and you should not use any of the advice given unless you have had a smart Doctor agree with it.
Back in the dawn of time a lot of my surgical and medical patients used to experience sudden cardiac arrest. I was around for as medical science figured out why and how to treat this reasonably common (in the 1970s) complication of bed rest. Deep Vein Thrombosis leading to Pulmonary Embolism (same thing that kills discount airline passengers. Always fly business class!).
Bed rest is an easy prescription especially if the injury is severe. Bed rest is what I love to do when sick and getting me out of bed is hard. However with eight hours of lying around the venous blood flow through the large veins of the legs and calf slows. Pain, fear and lower levels of consciousness will make this worse. Dehydration also encourages the venous blood to slow and thicken deep within the person’s legs and calves.
However many injuries in SHTF might well need bed rest so what can you do?
Low Molecular Heparin injections are really good but you likely will not have any. T.E.D. ™ anti-embolism stockings are a good thing to have in your trauma kit. Reasonably cheap and come in a variety of sizes. You can also use tight bandages wrapped around the legs but honestly they are more likely to cause venous congestion than minimize it. Here is what you should do if you have appropriate stockings or not. Move the legs and the joints carefully trough a range of motion (depends on the injury of course) every one to two hours throughout the stay in bed. Get them up into a chair and make them walk as soon as practical. In the 1960s you got to lie in bed for a week being hand fed if you had a heart attack to minimize cardiac stress. This caused a lot of deaths from embolism! This is also why new mothers get booted out of hospital in hours as well. Beds are very dangerous places if you lie in them for ages. Give a bit of daily Aspirin but read the next section carefully first.
Start gentle laxatives as early as possible and encourage high protein foods and drinks. Monitor their temperature twice a day at the same time of day and consider gram negative antibiotics if they develop even a slight temperature.
Most people are familiar with aspirin. If the person is a child or a baby do not give ever. Rarely it can kill the child. However if you are taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) you should also never take aspirin. Advil, Motrin, Aleve are common pain killers but never, ever take them and aspirin. Take one or the other, never both. If you have asthma try to avoid taking aspirin. The reason is that a severe asthma attack can be triggered by aspirin especially if you have asthma and/or are also taking an NSAID (this is arguable). The aspirin also makes the NSAID ineffective (this is true). Now I know some people are going to be saying “but I have asthma or I took Advil and aspirin and I am fine”. You were lucky and most times you will be lucky but you might not always be lucky. These are rare but fatal complications.
If you are bleeding actively (gushing or oozing blood or bruising under the back- check frequently when you turn the person on bed rest who has had a trauma) never give aspirin. It is an excellent blood thinner which is why small doses if safe should be consider if your person on bed rest can safely swallow. I also have aspirin that absorbs via the mouth for those too ill to swallow liquids safely. Pulmonary embolism is a proven killer of people on bed rest who do not have access to regular injections of low molecular heparin. If you have ulcers, gout, kidney, or liver diseases do not take aspirin. It is to be avoided in hypertension but frankly I consider it too valuable to avoid if primary hypertension unrelated to kidney disease.
Broken bones should also avoid aspirin for at least three days. A bad femur fracture can cause several liters of blood loss into the tissues. A bad pelvic fracture can easily bleed so much internally they die. If you can use transfusion but battle field transfusion without cross and typing has many risks and is unlikely to be available in SHTF. Even if you have the same blood type there can easily be dramatic and deadly effects from a blood transfusion as incompatibility is not just the blood type. For me if you need a blood transfusion to survive in SHTF you are a gonna anyhow so why bother?
In the third trimester of pregnancy do not take aspirin as both the mom and the baby may well bleed to death during the delivery. Do not use it is you are breast feeding (breast is best and possibly the only option in shtf) as the baby will get dosed and it really is not a good thing. If the aspirin bottle smells strongly of vinegar it may no longer be effective but if it is all you have then take it anyway. Consider researching Willow Tree Bark (and the leaves to some degree). Natural analogue for aspirin and an okay pain killer (beats nothing).
Many people use “baby aspirin” to avoid strokes and heart attacks. This low dose aspirin is expensive, Buy normal aspirin and take half a tablet.
Real Trauma Kits
You can buy good trauma kits and Israeli bandages and I would encourage everyone who is trained to use one to have one and plenty of extra supplies but then what? Your friend stopped a bullet in her right leg and it seems the bone is broke judging by the screams when she moves and the bits of hard white stuff sticking out. Step one is to control the bleeding and step two to avoid infection. You slap on the Israeli bandage (likely your will need more than one), use the splint to immobilize the leg, and start her on fish antibiotics.
Then what? She’s going to be laid up for weeks and will take a lot to get her back on her feet. Do you have a bedpan (urinal for the males too slow to dodge bullets) to make washroom times less messy? Do you know how to remake a bed with a person lying in it and to wash them? Back in the 1980s as a student nurse we did these things on each other. These days they do not and their skills show it. Have a night where you try this on a loved one after reading up on how to do it. It is honestly a lot of fun. Can you make and use skin traction to get the bones in a better alignment? Again it is not hard and is easy to do but you need to know how to do it right to avoid crippling them. Do you have electrolyte drinks in large quantities and understand that urine needs to be clear or they are dehydrated? Real trauma kits will let you start intravenous infusions, pick out the bone bits, and suture internally and externally. The focus is on the first hour in prepping but rarely do people think about care the next day, the next week, the next month. Pool shock used to make strong bleach is a great thing to wash the bed sheets and to swab the area around the person who is stuck in bed. Can you make a frame and a hand hoist to let them sit upright frequently and relieve pressure on their bum and back? Pressure ulceration is not fun. Again look up basic nursing and at least have a text book available if you have avoided actual practice.
The one of the best things to get is an Emergency RN and keep him or her in your ‘kit’. An medical Doctor is helpful but they rarely have to do the thinking and creating that the RN has to do and RN who has worked in ED for a couple of decades knows much more than more a ED Fellow.
These are achieving a fair degree of popularity amongst preppers and for good reason but are you treating a Gram negative or gram positive infection? Generally speaking gram negative infections are more harmful than gram positive ones and tend to be more resistant to antibiotic use. Use penicillin and sulfonamide for gram positive and use streptomycin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline for gram negatives. Use ONE for one week or two weeks (look up treatment regimens). Use another if the person is getting worse or is unimproved at the end of the full course of the initial drug.
Other than using gram staining (yes you can but I’d not bother) you need to assume it is a gram negative bacterial infection. These tend to kill more than the positive ones and are more common. If there is zero improvement then consider using a gram positive antibiotic. Gram negative is your go to antibiotic first off except if the bowels and/or stomach has been opened but frankly the person will likely die of sepsis in this case no matter what you do in SHTF. Try gram positive but give nothing by mouth if the bowels and or the stomach have been hit. Can you use a stethoscope and assess bowel sounds? A basic and a useful skill but can you give intravenous fluids and use a nasogastric tube? It gets complex very fast in trauma and stopping the bleeding is vital but there is more than this to ongoing treatment.
If you are thinking of using antibiotics at least take a look at this and realize many fish antibiotics are really not used much in humans anymore as they can cause issues. Still if nothing else then I’d use them. Prepper Princess recently mentioned she is worried about cholera in SHTF. This is a reasonable worry in SHTF and is likely if you fail to treat all water and food sources as possibly infectious. A quick search uncovered this so fish antibiotics used wisely would be useful. However I would go with doxycycline as a first use in cholera and the other advice on treatment here is highly appropriate to most infections in SHTF. You can and should do this for all infections you think are likely in SHTF and that you wish to treat. A standard drug book is too detailed and confusing for most people.
Within one month of a specific antibiotic not being used the rates of its efficiency start to rise. Store lots of antibiotics especially the gram negative ones as they will work very well after a year or two. Penicillin will again be great for sexually transmitted diseases which will also dramatically return in SHTF. Of course abstinence is the best practice but what else are you going to have to do in the bunker?
They will come along in SHTF as they have since humans first appeared on the Earth. Do you have contraception and/or methods to avoid unwanted pregnancies? Returning to the 1800s and each fertile woman popping out 10-16 children would happen fast. This Wikipedia article, (I know but it is reasonable) shows that death three to five days after birthing for women will be very common in SHTF. What the article fails to say is death rates were 40-60% for women having their delivery from a Doctor and 5-10% (or lower) from the Midwife in the same maternity ward. The lesson here then and now is wash your hands and forearms in bleach before and after every examination, do not use long sleeves (of note this applies now in health care), have lots of soap and clean water. Scrub clean beds between uses. Basic stuff but easily overlooked.
Babies get sick and die. Always have and always will but most infectious diseases had very little mortality (death rates) prior to antibiotics and vaccines (maternal deaths are the exception here). Chlorinated water, sleeping one person to a bed, quarantine of infectious people, hand washing, and good old fashioned nursing are absolutely critical in SHTF and now to avoid dying for infections. Sure antibiotics have saved millions but we are in the billions.
Hope all of this gives you some food for thought.
Black Seed – The Remedy For Just About Everything Until today, I had never heard of “black seed” I am so glad I have discovered it because by all accounts and after reading a lot of proof on the black seed I think I will be stockpiling this stuff and using it to cure my …
12 Surprising Reasons To Add Vicks VapoRub To Your Stockpile List I have been considering getting a few pots of this amazing stuff. I remember my mom using it on my back and feet as a child and honestly I like it and I love the smell. 🙂 After reading the article below on the …
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Medical Prepping Needs with Special Guest Skinny Medic! Forrest and Kyle “The Prepping Academy” When it comes to prepping there are a lot of unknowns. Almost always Preppers tend to be known as self sufficient. What are the things you can’t prepare for on your own? Self analyzing is just as important as evaluating the … Continue reading Medical Prepping Needs with Skinny Medic
Sugardine: How to Make an Emergency Antiseptic Sugardine is commonly used as a veterinary antiseptic, but it has potential for survival situations as well. It is extremely easy to make, simple to apply, and it is great at killing bacteria. Sure, there are plenty of antibiotics you can apply to wounds, but what if you …
Many people are intimidated by first aid treatment methods. Because it’s associated with doctors, who are some of the most intelligent people in the world, people assume first aid must be very complicated. As a result, many people tend to shy away from first aid skills. And now it’s gotten to where most people don’t […]
How You Can Find And Make Remedies From Wild Plants As the article says, Summer is a great time to gather wild plants to eat and store for winter health. To those that are homesteaders, the cultivation and use of these healing plants may represent a healthier way of living and a sustainable …
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We all generally have some sort of first aid kit or emergency supplies, especially if you have children. When preparing your medical bag, you try to think of everything you can add to it that would be beneficial in some way.
Preparing a medical bag you want to take with you in a grid down situation can be tricky as well. Nurse Amy Alton and Dr. Joseph Alton have found one of the best bags I have seen in a long while. In the video below Nurse Amy walks you through hundreds of items and what they can be used for.
According to the description on their website the total weight of the bag and everything in it is 19 lbs. including the military-grade padded and comfortable backpack made by Voodoo Tactical. After watching the video you can make that even less buy removing outer packaging of certain items like boxed medicines/items.
Their Stomp Plus Trauma Survival Bag is a little pricey but I believe with all the items you get PLUS that awesome bag it is worth it. Especially if you would rather buy a product first and add what you need. Although I doubt you could need anything after getting this.
To top that off, according to their website you will also get “The Survival Medicine Handbook“. This is a must have book for any prepper. Their book is written as if the grid is down. It is in laymen terms for those of us not familiar with medical definitions which make this book very much sought after.
Family Medical Bag With Nurse Amy Alton
15 Insects You Can Use To Cure Wounds And Diseases This may be the coolest information you read today… 15 Insects You Can Use To Cure Wounds And Diseases If you’re ever stuck in a remote jungle, bleeding profusely, coughing uncontrollably, with a severe case of syphilis, these insects may save your life. Weird to think that …
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Building your own emergency medical kit is a huge priority and can be some what over whelming. Having first aid supplies for different types of emergencies is important as well. You will want these on hand at home, in you’re vehicle or in a bug out situation.
From a different perspective, most of us have already started our own kits with out even realizing it, especially if you have children. A lot of times it is simply scattered all over the house and needs to be brought together in one bag being easily accessible when it is needed.
You Tuber PreparedMind101 has prepared an updated video of the medical to-go bag he carries. As he puts it, his “Holy crap what just happened bag”. The bag is really nice and seems well constructed. He has invested around $200 into it so far with a few items left to go. (Voodoo Tactical Men’s Universal Medic Bag) He shares the items he has put in there and asks for comments on things he might of missed. (For a list of the items shown in the video, look under the video.)
Whether you are buying a pre made kit or building your own that is tailored for your family, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. All I have to say about that is “You get what you pay for”.
Building an Emergency Medical Bag
Listed in the order presented in his video
How To Treat & Avoid Poison Ivy, Poison Oak & Poison Sumac Poison ivy, oak and sumac are the leading culprits behind of allergic skin reactions in the United States — with an estimated 55 million occurrences each year. If you’re in the 70 percent or so of the population who is sensitive to this …
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Home Remedies for Skin Tags This is great knowledge to learn, if SHTF and you have skin tags this will be your only way to remove them. Research has shown that all skin tags are benign and in most cases can just be left alone and not pose any danger or threat. However this is …
6 Uses For Egg Shell Membrane You Never Thought Of For something that is normally thrown out as rubbish, the membrane lining in an egg shell has some surprising uses. That’s right, crack that egg and use it as normal. Then, instead of throwing the shell away, peel that thin white skin or membrane out …
30 Foods & Herbs with Natural Antibiotic Properties I believe in modern medicine. That said, modern medicine may not always be available, especially in emergency situations. And it can help to have a strong immune system in general, to avoid getting sick to begin with. Check out this fantastic list of foods and herbs that could …
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The Best Fruits and Vegetables That Fight Dehydration Dehydration is a killer! I want to share this article because from a survival standpoint this is great knowledge to have because if SHTF and you have no real source of water growing these fruits and veggies could help you and your family survive long enough to …
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20 Natural Pain Killers In Your Kitchen Natural painkillers are a great alternative to all of the chemicals and man made pills of today, did you know you probably have around 20 in your kitchen right now? Taking medication can be worrisome, what’s in it? what are the side effects? Natural remedies are getting more popular …
Your top priority as one concerned about preparedness is to make sure your family has enough food and water to survive during an emergency or disaster. While you won’t get far without this, exclusively storing food and water may leave you without key essentials in a disaster.
There are hundreds of items you could collect for every possible outcome. But to maximize time, money and space, you should think strategically about what you can reasonably store and even take with you if you need to bug out.
Items You Should Hoard for a Disaster
To help you get started, here’s a list of 27 items to consider adding to your stockpile. You may not need them all, but even a few can help you be better prepared.
Guns and Ammo
- Guns and ammunition are critical to protecting your family and supplies. Consider getting a large bore handgun and a shotgun, plus at least 500 rounds of ammo. Don’t forget cotton cloth and cleaning solution to keep your guns clean and in working order.
- Lighters, matches and magnesium sticks are all essential survival tools, whether you’re trying to cook, stay warm or even send a rescue signal. You may also want to include charcoal and lighter fluid.
- Propane and gasoline will be very valuable for cooking and transportation. For safety, store these away from your house, such as buried in your backyard.
- A crank-operated radio provides access to information such as where to get help, areas to avoid and incoming weather. Look for a radio that can charge other electronic devices.
- Make sure you have a working LED flashlight for each family member (plus extra batteries). These will help if you lose power or to get the attention of rescuers.
- A tent is a must for your bug-out bag. A lightweight backpacker’s tent or military pup tent won’t take up much space, and you can even use a tarp (which has other uses) with a taut line stretched between two trees.
- Since you can’t count on emergency services in a disaster, make sure you have several fire extinguishers on hand to put out fires at home.
- You’ll need a supply of iodine tablets to ensure you have clean water in an emergency. These could save your life if your water filter stops working.
- Knives are essential items for your stockpile. A fixed-blade hunting knife with a six-inch blade and a sturdy sheath is a great option, and you’ll probably also want a pocket knife.
- Parachute cord is an incredibly useful tool. This lightweight, durable material can do everything from binding logs together to pulling heavy objects to making a splint.
- You’ll need a sturdy backpack if you have to bug out. Look for one that’s water resistant with a reinforced bottom, plus wide straps that won’t hurt your shoulders.
- Your first-aid kit should include bandages, gauze, medical tape, burn ointment, aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea medicine, different types of splints and cotton balls. Vicks VapoRub is also useful for various ailments and can ward off bugs.
- In addition to preventing chapped lips, this handy little item can be rubbed on hot spots to prevent blisters from forming. You can also use it to prevent rust on blades.
- Having a quality compass is essential if you need to bug out. You’ll also want several maps of the area, and you should practice how to navigate with them.
- Bandanas are a multipurpose item for many situations. A bandana can become a sun shade, a dust mask, a towel, a sling and even a pot holder, among other uses.
- A poncho can protect you against the elements and can also be used to keep other items (like firewood) dry as well. They fold flat, so they won’t take up much room.
- Duct tape does just about everything. You can use it to repair a tent, waterproof or patch shoes, keep gauze on a wound or even make a cup. It takes practically zero space if you wrap a length of it around your water bottle.
- You can use super glue to repair things like a water bottle or knife handle, or even to seal up wounds and blisters.
- Sunglasses are an absolute must to protect against snow blindness when hiking in winter. Look for polarized UVA or UVB shades, and consider also storing a pair of safety glasses.
- Baking soda can extinguish a fire without wasting valuable water. It also neutralizes many odors, from trash to sanitation and even your shoes.
- Heavy-duty garbage bags are a multipurpose item you can use to store gear, provide shade, protect you (or your backpack) against rain and even make a flotation device.
- Coffee filters can become toilet paper, plates and paper towels, also working as a food cover to keep insects away.
- Foil is useful for storing cooked food, cooking over your campfire and keeping bandages clean.
- Floss is essential for preventing tooth infections, which can kill you. It can also be used as cordage.
- Feminine products will certainly be in high demand in a disaster, including as a bartering item.
- You’ll need a way to get into your canned food, and you’d be smart to have a few backups as well.
- Cat litter is useful in many situations, including getting a car unstuck that’s bogged down in mud, sand or snow. You can also sprinkle it in your emergency toilet to absorb odor.
While these items are helpful for survival and bartering, it’s important not to tell people about your stockpile because it could make you a target. There’s obviously a limit to how much anyone can reasonably store, but the more you have now, the better off you’ll be if (or when) disaster strikes.
Frank Bates, founder of 4Patriots LLC, is a contributing writer to Patriot Headquarters, a website featuring hundreds of articles on how to be more independent and self-reliant. He also offers Food4Patriots, a supplier of emergency food suitable for long-term storage, survival and emergency preparedness.
When I think about medical issues out on the homestead or any other off-grid lifestyle, my thoughts naturally drift toward a well-stocked first-aid kit and maybe a pair of crutches. I am immensely careless where and how I am walking and am prone to deeply entertaining — yet humiliating — falls.
But enough about me.
What is often overlooked are the minor (and not so minor) discomforts of daily life. Things like sore backs, pounding headaches, cramps and rashes. And let’s be honest with ourselves for just a bit; life on the homestead is not always a walk in the park.
Burns, sprains and poison ivy in less-than-ideal places are all things we face. If we are preparing for long-term sustainability or have made the off-grid choice a permanent lifestyle, it is wise to consider how we will handle all manner of medical care.
After all, the local pharmacy may be hours of travel away.
It is with this in mind that I have compiled the following four remedies that can easily be sustained on the typical homestead. In no way is this a complete list, but I feel that it addresses some of the most common maladies. If you don’t already grow them, then consider including them in your upcoming garden plans.
Latin name: Curcumae longae
What it’s good for: anti-inflammatory. Taken orally, turmeric has shown great potential for alleviating joint pain and has shown efficacy in slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in rats. When transformed into an essential oil, it is effective against athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
Where it grows: It is a tropical plant and thrives in warm, humid climates but will grow in any part of the world that has temperate summers. It will die in the winter if not brought inside.
What part to use: The root is dried and made into a powder. This is a component in the favorite spice of India — curry. Also, it can be used fresh if kept refrigerated or distilled into an essential oil for topical purposes.
Latin name: Tanacetum parthenium
What it’s good for: Headaches. Particularly migraines. It has also been traditionally used for reducing fever and aiding with digestive problems. So if you happen to be unfortunate enough to be experiencing a sour stomach and a migraine at the same time, this is your herb.
Where it grows: Native to Eurasia, it is now found across the globe, including North America and Europe. Given full exposure to the sun, it will grow to near weed-like status outside its native regions.
What part to use: The leaf, preferably dried and powdered. Although a common practice, chewing the leaves can lead to ulcerations in the mouth.
Note: May interact with blood thinners. This herb should not be used by women who are pregnant.
3. Aloe Vera
Latin name: Aloe Vera
What it’s good for: All manner of skin irritations and rashes. Although not in itself a cure, the gel that can be harvested from the inner part of the plant’s “leaves” or stalks is a natural and effective soothing agent.
Where it grows: The Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, although it can be grown indoors anywhere – and outside in many climates.
What part to use: The gel, which is found inside its stalks. Apply liberally to affected areas accordingly.
4. Honey (locally sourced)
What it’s good for: Cold and flu symptoms and immune system. Honey, particularly when it is local and raw, is a Swiss Army knife of medicinal remedies and preventatives. Honey possesses a wealth of antioxidants and has demonstrated antibacterial and antiviral properties. When it has come from local hives, it can actually assist in relieving allergies. This is due to the honey containing small amounts of local pollen. Sort of like a tasty, sweet allergy shot. It also has been the go-to remedy for sore throats and coughs for centuries. The fact that it is delicious just adds to its appeal.
Where it is harvested: Anywhere in the world where honeybees thrive.
What part to use: The liquid honey as well as the honeycomb are wonderful additions to your pantry. Remember those antibacterial properties we talked about previously? Well, those same medicinal qualities happen to make for a very long shelf life. The honey will likely crystalize over time, but the quality of it is not compromised. To return it to its original liquid form, simply place the jar in a warm water bath.
Remember that with herbal remedies, more is not always better and in some cases can even be dangerous. There are a wealth of easily cultivated and sustainable remedies that are available to the average homesteader. Take the opportunity to become educated on the various plants and their uses, and you will be on your way to a more healthy and sustainable medicine cabinet.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional to determine which treatments are right for you and any individual health condition(s) that you may have.
What would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:
The Cattail – The Super Walmart Of The Swamp The Cattail is truly one amazing survival plant. It pretty much grows anywhere in America and knowing this information could save your life. I can think of no other North American plant that is more useful than the cattail. This wonderful plant is a virtual gold …
How To Make A Ginger Press To Relieve Pain If you are trying to be more natural and rely less on modern pain killers this ginger press may be exactly what you are looking for. My wife is a health nut, she likes to run and exercise pretty much daily. Last week she fell and hurt …
Why You Need to Add Parsley to Your Prepper Garden There are many herbs that fall under two categories: spice and medicinal. What may surprise many people, even preppers, is that adding parsley to your garden is another way to get both from one plant! This simple, unassuming plant is actually a quiet hero just …
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How And Why To Make Activated Charcoal Knowing how to make activated charcoal is great knowledge to have! There are several benefits and uses of this, but the uses for survival are what we are interested in today Did you know that it can be given to poison victims to absorb the poison before it does …
After a major disaster, your survival is going to hinge on your skill set. While having a cache of food, water, and other supplies will certainly be helpful, knowledge is the real necessity. Especially when it comes to first aid. All the medical supplies in the world are useless if you don’t know what to […]
The 55 Best Herbal Remedies Known To Man While some people may dismiss herbal remedies as quackery, the use of botanicals is well rooted in medical practice. Ancient doctors methodically collected information about herbs and developed well-defined pharmacopoeias to treat a variety of ailments. More than a quarter of all drugs used today contain active …
Harvesting Aloe Gel Straight from the Plant: Step-by-Step Instructions If you would like two or more aloe plants, just get one and as it grows you can separate the plant, including a portion of the root, and replanted it. It will form an entirely new plant! I am so doing this, today! For harvesting the …
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Everything You Need to Know About Planting and Harvesting Garlic Garlic has potent antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties in addition to being beneficial for heart health and iron assimilation. You’ll need to do a little research on how to prepare and use these. For instance, garlic is more effective chewed or chopped than …
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Everything You Ever Need To Know About Colloidal Silver Colloidal Silver has been used for centuries and written out of the history books. See why and learn how making this could help you fight off viruses and disease. I have heard about Colloidal Silver and even read about it to a small extent, I have …
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I just begin reading your book surviving economic collapse. On page 33 you mention LASIK and referred to the US Navy and Air Force.
I have personal knowledge knowing Air Force surgeons and having been an opthamologist that the procedure recommended is not LASIK but thermal keratoplasty.
The difference is that thermal keratoplasty uses the laser to modify the corneal shape without slicing through the cornea like LASIK.
The sliced flap can be dislodged rendering the vision in the eye completely blurred.
Thermal keratoplasty is more uncomfortable than LASIK but has equally good results and less risk.
That being said you’re better off with LASIK than glasses for your purposes.
Thanks for all your insights.
Thanks for your email Robert. You are right. Keratoplasty is the recommended procedure when possible for patients that are likely to suffer trauma, such as military personnel and of course survivalists as well. At the time I wrote that it wasn’t as common as it is today and LASIK had become a procedure accepted by the Air Force for their pilots.
LASIK involves the cutting of a small flap while keratoplasty shapes the eye surface itself, without the cutting of a flap. The flap may be completely cut off during surgery by accident or become detached by trauma. Keeping things in perspective, its very unlikely to suffer accidental flap detachment during surgery and even in thousands of cases of very strong trauma flap loss is a very rare incident.
Having said that, indeed, if I was doing it today I’d go for Keratoplasty. Its cheaper, safer, and there’s no flap to mess up in the first place.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com In case of an injury, you should have a well stocked first aid kit. But in case you or someone you know gets hurt without a first aid kit nearby, it’s good to know there are a few household items that can be used in an emergency. 1. Sanitary napkins and tampons – The individually wrapped sanitary napkins and tampons are actually good to keep in a first aid kit. They can be […]
When you choose to live a preparedness lifestyle and building resilience you have to constantly challenge yourself, test and reset boundaries and change the game. Your willingness to do so could prove to be the difference in making your life all it can be or even in your survival some day.
In 2012, we created Practical Tactical. In 2014 I published two books, the Practical Tactical Quick Start Guide and then co-wrote Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required. In 2015, my daughter Riley arrived and our world changed forever. What can possibly top that? Well, nothing. Absolutely nothing. Now it’s 2016 and it is time to get back in the ring, keep creating, thinking, growing and prospering. It’s time to change the game…again.
I am thrilled to announce that we are taking our vision of personal preparedness world wide as proud members of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network as I launch my new show, Practical Prepping. Period.
Practical Prepping. Period. is where preparedness theory meets the real world. We hope to bring you a variety of unique and wide ranging voices in the world of preparedness that will not only help you strengthen your preparedness when it comes to the basics, but also present a broader view to expand your ideas of what personal preparedness can be as we discuss some of the larger concepts, as well as the factors in today’s world that will make you realize why having a family disaster plan and a high level of individual resilience is a good idea. For example, the “three Es” (Environment, Energy, Economy) and how they work together will underpin our view of the world and our discussions. I feel this is important because regardless of where you are on the road to preparedness, the “three Es” will ultimately have an impact on your path. Other topics certain to be discussed on P3 are homesteading, gardening, first aid, firearms and self defense, climate, philosophy, water and food storage, not to mention spiritual preparedness.
I hope you will come along for the ride and make it a point to join us on the first Wednesday of each month at 9pm for our live shows where you will have the chance to call in and speak with our amazing guest. If that doesn’t work out for some reason have no fear, you can always download the podcast from the Authors On The Air Global Radio Network or ITunes and listen in whenever you get the chance.
Amazing Home Remedies for Poison Ivy Rash These amazing home remedies for poison ivy rash will certainly amaze you. I have never been touched by poison ivy and I am thankful for that but a few weeks ago, my dad of 80 did and that made me frantically search for home remedies as he is …
Top 10 Anti Inflammatory Herbs If you haven’t already, consider these top 10 anti inflammatory herbs to plant in your garden. If you’re in search for the best anti inflammatory herbs, you’ll find this article useful. There are numerous herbs that have been proven to aid in various health problems such as inflammation, infection, …
Medicinal Uses of Usnea, Old Man’s Beard Usnea has long been used therapeutically in many traditional systems including Chinese, European and Native American herbal medicine. One of the most important therapeutically active components in usnea is usnic acid, which has potent antibiotic properties. Click the link below to see what else this fantastic plant/lichen can …
Are you thinking about learning herbalism as a readiness skill to better help yourself and loved ones during an emergency? Let me be the first to tell you that getting a solid herbal education can be tough, but it’s incredibly rewarding. There’s a lot of information to cover, and many different approaches to teaching and practicing herbalism. There are also many different ways to learn herbalism: you can enroll in a local herb school, take online classes, or gather resources to teach yourself. But as a prepper, how do you sort through all of the options and determine what’s right for you?
Herbalism is largely unregulated in the United States. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you, as a consumer shopping for an herbal education, need to weigh your options and do your research. And if you’re also a prepper, it’s important to feel confident that your teachers have done their research and had extensive experience, and that the course materials will cover topics that are relevant to preparedness and survival.
My Own Herbal Education
My first “official” herbal school experience left me frustrated that my instructor relied mainly on industry street cred and charisma. Most of the information in that course was good, but there were no references to external research ANYWHERE in the course. The more I studied, the more this made me uncomfortable. I had read widely on my own prior to enrolling, so I had a sense of what was reliable and what wasn’t, but it was still a very frustrating experience. Also, my main focus at the time was on working with clients more than preparedness, but the course didn’t really even cover as much of that as was implied. Very frustrating!
After several more years of self directed study, I found an herb school that focused on herbalism in remote settings and for community emergency preparedness. This school (The Human Path) has been a great fit for me, because it has allowed me to fully develop my interest in emergency herbalism, and even offers clinical outreach programs in remote settings that will allow me to gain more experience with my intake and evaluation skills while actively making a difference in communities. Founder of The Human Path, Sam Coffman, wrote this article on The Survival Mom blog.
Around the same time, I also began working for an herb school (The Herbal Academy) that offers online programs (from beginner level to family herbalists to clinical professionals) that are created collaboratively. Because of the school’s emphasis on collaboration, the courses reflect the wisdom and perspectives of many experienced herbalists rather than a single person. Click on this ad to learn what this course is all about. I highly recommend their courses.
Where should YOU learn herbalism?
There are many more options available now than there were even a few years ago. Take advantage of that! Spend some time researching different schools. You might even be lucky enough to have a local herb school nearby so that you can learn in a classroom setting, which can make learning skills like plant identification and applying your knowledge (via student clinical programs) much easier.
Nowadays, many herb schools are even accessible online (and yes, this is great. Trust me- I mailed my lessons in via snail mail at the first school!). There are several advantages to taking online courses:
- It’s easier to reach instructors,
- Easier to participate in virtual classroom settings like webinars and chats.
- Online, you can quickly research questions you might have.
- It’s easier to be in touch with current and former students, so you can get their reviews and insights into a particular course before you enroll (always a good idea!).
You should understand, though, that there’s no formal syllabus that all herb schools are required to follow, or any accreditation process that they must undergo (at least in the United States), so where you go to learn herbalism will depend largely on your goals. You will need to take a look at the founder’s philosophy, whether or not the lessons are backed with adequate research materials, and whether the training offered at the school is a match for your needs.
Generally speaking, steer clear of programs that claim to make you a “master herbalist.” The phrase is just hype. There is no meaningful standard by which to judge the qualification. “Certified herbalist” is the same way. Just as there is no accrediting body specifically for herb schools, there’s also no regulatory body that grants titles for herbalists. A school can, however, give you a certificate of completion for successfully passing their exams.
Herb schools will typically fall into one or the other of these categories based on the focus of their programs. Keep these in mind as you sort through which schools might be a good fit for your needs:
- Tradition-focuses on a historical subset of herbalism (such as Ayurveda from India)
- Career- focuses on developing skills and advanced theory needed in a modern clinical setting
- Family Herbalist- focuses on everyday use of herbs in a family/home setting
- Survivalist- focuses on herbalism in remote or survival settings
- New age- focuses on intuitive herbalism, shamanism, or spiritual aspects of herbalism
For preparedness purposes, a course with a survival school is a wise investment, but you shouldn’t overlook a solid foundation with a school focused on home herbalism, either. A good home herbalism course will usually teach you how to make many different types of herbal preparations and give you plenty of information that you can apply for everyday health needs.
An herb school may also divide their programs into different tracks based on specific skills or skill levels, such as beginner, intermediate, or advanced, so take your time investigating the schools that interest you. Even if you don’t think every course they offer is a good fit for what you want, there may be a specific track or set of courses that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Here are three school directories you can peruse to get a feel for some of the options available:
Here are three school directories you can peruse to get a feel for some of the options available:
How to Learn Herbalism on Your Own
It’s also possible to be a self taught herbalist. This approach requires careful research and the dedication to seek out many professional perspectives, and no, reading internet forums for different opinions and ideas doesn’t count! There are a few things you can do to make your self-guided herbal preparedness studies more fruitful:
- Invest in a solid herbal textbook like Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman, or Principles and Practices of Phytotherapy by Kerry Bone. Read it, cover to cover, and take notes. This will give you a very good introduction to herbalism from the more scientific side. (This is what I did after my first, not-so-successful experience, and it was worth every penny).
- Get a few herbal recipe books that teach you how to make herbal extracts, teas, and other preparations. James Green’s The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook, Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health or Homegrown Remedies by Anne McIntyre are all excellent resources. Work through the book and teach yourself to make the different types of products.
- Make a list of the types of health problems you know you will need to address, personally, and research them. Start looking up (and using, with your doctor’s permission) herbal alternatives.
- Create herbal components for your first aid kits. Here is more information about that.
- Part of the beauty of having herbalism as a survival skill is that herbs are renewable- you can grow them yourself! Select a few new herbs each year and add them to your garden. Many are lovely to look at and can be added to urban and suburban landscaping, or grown on a balcony or patio in containers. Herbs can be difficult to grow from seed, but many do very well if grown from cuttings or root division. You’ll need to learn the specific needs of each plant as you go.
- Foraging is much less reliable as a supply tactic than many people think it is. Plants may not be available when you need them, or it may be hard to find certain ones in your area. If you want to learn to forage, you will need field guides specific to your area and lots of time to learn plant identification. You will also need to learn the individual timetable of each plant- when it blooms and when to harvest- and what specific parts are used. You’ll also need to tend your foraging plots so that (hopefully) there will be even more of the plants available the next year because you took the time to spread seed or otherwise help the plants regenerate. It’s best to focus on one or two really abundant “weeds” at a time and add more as you hone your skills.
- Wilderness First Aid- if at all possible, take a course in wilderness first aid to supplement your herbal studies.
- One prepper and herbalist, Cat Ellis, offers this book written from a prepper perspective, all about various herbal and natural remedies.
All of this goes to show that there are many, many different herbal schools to choose from, and that whether or not you enroll with a school or strike out on your own, you should be a very active participant in your education. Ask questions, read widely, create herbal products to use at home, and really participate in what you are learning! Herbalism is so much more than “book learning” and you will have the best results later by learning to incorporate herbs into your current lifestyle now as well as how to utilize them in a remote or disaster setting.
Learn more about herbalism right here on The Survival Mom blog
Learning baby CPR is not just a practical thing to do when you have some spare time; it is something that should be made a priority. Thankfully, as the below guide clearly illustrates, it is not a complicated procedure. Just about anyone can learn how to perform baby CPR on a young child and the following points can give you the motivation you need to either learn or refresh your skills in this area.
CPR Will be Vital in a Doomsday Scenario
Don’t expect hospitals, doctors, nurses and paramedics to be available should a doomsday scenario occur. Such individuals are likely to be caring for their own families, fleeing danger zones, or will be so overwhelmed that they won’t be able to provide proper assistance. Knowing infant CPR can enable you to save your child’s life if there is no one else around to turn to for help; what is more, you may even be able to trade this skill for food and/or other items or services you may need in a disaster scenario.
Babies Are Prone to Dangerous Accidents
Babies grow quickly and tend to put dangerous things in their mouths, drink or eat poisonous substances and engage in other unsafe behaviors. While there are a number of things you can do to protect your little one from serious accidents, you cannot expect to be able to shield your child from danger all the time. Your child can have a bad accident when left unsupervised for a few minutes or when visiting a less than safe relative’s or friend’s home. A car accident could also result in serious injuries that may require your CPR skills.
Bystanders Are Reluctant to Help
It may be a simple procedure to learn, but you want to practice CPR regularly to ensure that you do it correctly in the time of need. Unfortunately, many bystanders are reluctant to help because they are afraid of doing something wrong. Don’t refrain from offering CPR even if you don’t remember the exact procedure or feel less than confident in your skills. In a traumatic situation, you may not remember how many compressions should be given per second, how deep the compressions are meant to be, or whether or not you should flick a child’s feet first before giving CPR. However, even flawed CPR is better than none at all if there are no signs of circulation.
Written by Audrey Jenkins
10 Unconventional Uses for Honey Ah, Honey… food for kings. I love honey and so have every nation, every era and every man and woman on earth since time began! Honey is mostly used to put on things like toast or cereal but did you know that Honey goes much deeper than a yummy taste. …
Surviving Gangrene Post-SHTF Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Please join me and my guest, Emergency Preparedness Instructor, Chuck Hudson, as we talk about one of the nastiest and life threatening conditions in a post-SHTF situation- gangrene. At one of Chuck’s recent classes, he had the opportunity to work with a woman who had gangrene on … Continue reading Surviving Gangrene Post-SHTF