These Are the Conditions That Make the Best Cities for Preppers

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The main thread that seems to run through the prepper community, is that most preppers really want to get out of the cities and live a rural life. It’s easy to understand why. Most preppers rightfully believe that the cities would be the most dangerous places to be if society collapsed. Rural areas are generally safer, have less burdensome governance, and provide the opportunity to gain some degree of self-sufficiency.

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Unfortunately, making that transition away from the city is difficult. There’s a reason why the vast majority of the population in America lives in urban and suburban areas. That’s where the jobs are, and that’s where most modern conveniences exist.

So if for whatever reason you can’t move away from the city, the next best thing you can do is find a city that will give you better odds of surviving a SHTF scenario. I know, it sounds like blasphemy. However, not all cities are created equal and believe it or not, there are certain conditions that make some urban areas better suited for preppers over others, such as:

City Size and Density

The best cities for preppers are on the smaller size, with a slightly lower population density. And obviously, I’m not talking about one of those cities that is part of a larger metropolitan area. There are plenty of cities that range in size from 50,000 to 250,000 people and aren’t subsumed by a wider urban sprawl. Instead, they are surrounded by a few suburbs, small towns, or even just wilderness. If you lived in one of these places, you’d have the benefit of job security while still being just a stone’s throw away from rural areas that you could flee to.

Conservative Values

I hate to sound biased. Though I don’t consider myself liberal or conservative, I have to confess that cities with populations that lean a bit more to the right are much better places for preppers. Aside from the fact that local governments and regulations would be less onerous, these cities are a lot more stable. The cost of living tends to be less in conservative cities, and there usually isn’t as much wealth inequality as there is in liberal cities.

That means there won’t be as many people dependent on the government and not as many people living on the streets. It means fewer people who are living at the end of their rope by the time catastrophe strikes. It means fewer people with a “kill the rich” attitude. So in short, living in a conservative city means that when the SHTF, there won’t be as much looting and rioting, and law and order won’t erode as quickly.

Logistics

When you’re prepping in a rural area, it’s important to consider how connected you are to the rest of the world. Since you’re probably trying to protect yourself from people fleeing the cities, you don’t want to be living down the road from an interstate. However, when a prepper is looking for a city to live in, the opposite strategy should be employed.

Since self-sufficiency isn’t an option, you have to think about what will allow a city to recover faster from a disaster. I’d wager that the more connected that city is with the rest of the country, the faster it will recover. If you’re in living a place that is landlocked in the mountains with only one major road running through it, you might be in trouble. It’s going to be so much easier for that city to be cut off, which will make it harder for aid to arrive. It will also make it harder for people to flee. If you’re stuck in a city during a disaster, you want people to leave, and you want it to be easier for you to leave if need be. If society collapses, a city can only support a very small population, so the fewer people there are the better your odds of surviving are.

So look for cities that have plenty of ways in and out. Better yet, pick a city that is at least near a railroad that carries freight. We all know that if there was a nationwide disaster, the freeways would be clogged for miles in every direction. But railroads won’t have that problem. And if they suffered any damage, then they’ll be a lot easier to fix.

Are You Downwind?

If the grid goes down for a long period of time, there is a serious risk that many of America’s nuclear power plants could meltdown, so it would be wise to live in a city that isn’t downwind from these facilities. You should also be wary of any major military bases or nuclear silos. They will be prime targets if there is a nuclear war, and you certainly don’t want to be downwind from that.

Water

You should also seriously consider what kinds of water resources are in or near your city. Throughout the 20th century, sprawling cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, have grown in areas where there is very little water. These populations are heavily reliant on water that is piped in from long distances. Should society collapse, these cities will die with it. So you should find a city that isn’t so reliant on the water that comes from hundreds of miles away.

Energy

And finally, consider how your city is powered. If the city you choose is near a flowing source of water, check to see if it’s near a hydroelectric dam too. In an urban area that is receiving at least some of its energy from a dam, it’s probably not going to take long to get the lights back on. Cities that are powered by natural gas aren’t such a bad choice either since gas pipelines are relatively stable. It may not take very long to make that infrastructure functional again. However, those pipelines could easily be destroyed during a war.

Cities that are powered by coal would probably be the worst choice because coal needs to be delivered by truck and train. This will be especially true for cities that reside further inland, where many miles of roads will need to be cleared before coal shipments can be delivered. In most cases in America, coal is delivered by train, so if you pick a city that is also near a railway then there are better odds that your city will receive power after the SHTF.

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

This Hidden Crises Could Leave Thousands of Households Without Drinking Water

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Most people expect a crisis to break out suddenly and with obviously devastating effects. In fact, when you hear words like “crisis” and “disaster,” you probably imagine quick, shocking events that leave a trail of bodies and destruction. However, it’s often the case that crisis will unfold at a snail pace. And when they do, most people don’t even notice what’s happening until it’s too late.

That certainly seems to be the case with America’s water supply, which appears to be a slow-motion train wreck unfurling before our eyes. A recent study from Michigan State University has made light of how expensive water has become in our country. The researchers who produced the paper projected the future costs of water and found that more than a third of American households may not be able to afford their water bills in just a few short years.

If water rates rise at projected amounts over the next five years, conservative projections estimate that the percentage of U.S. households who will find water bills unaffordable could triple from 11.9% to 35.6%. This is a concern due to the cascading economic impacts associated with widespread affordability issues; these issues mean that utility providers could have fewer customers over which to spread the large fixed costs of water service. Unaffordable water bills also impact customers for whom water services are affordable via higher water rates to recover the costs of services that go unpaid by lower income households.

It’s important to keep in mind that different cities may have different rules about how they treat households that can’t pay their bills. But it’s usually the case that if you can’t pay your water bill, the city will shut off your supply. Though the federal government will often help pay water bills for impoverished families, many households still slip through the cracks.  So we’re looking at the possibility of tens of thousands of Americans (and perhaps more than that) not having access to tap water in the very near future.

As for what’s going to cause water prices to spike, the researchers cited climate change and our crumbling infrastructure. However, the cost of repairing our water infrastructure is going to have a far more devastating effect on our utility bills over the next generation.

A variety of pressures ranging from climate change, to sanitation and water quality, to infrastructure upgrades, are placing increasing strain on water prices[8]. Estimates of the cost to replace aging infrastructure in the United States alone project over $1 trillion dollars are needed in the next 25 years to replace systems built circa World War II, which could triple the cost of household water bills

Another issue is the fact that many metropolitan areas are being hollowed out, as people pack their bags and move to the suburbs. This trend isn’t happening across the board, but in the cities where it is happening, it’s leave the remaining residents with increasingly expensive water bills.

A hidden pressure on urban water systems is slow or even declining population growth, which reduces the customer base over which the high fixed costs of water services are distributed, and places increasing pressure on household water bills. This is the case in Detroit where a declining population has left fewer customers to pay for water. Another critical issue is the suburbanization of people, which also leaves providers in core central city areas with fewer customers to pay for water services. This means that for cities across the United States, shrinking populations in particular metropolitan areas and in downtown areas, combined with other pressures on urban water systems, present a perilous future for water utilities and their customers.

You may be wondering how this is possible? If fewer people are consuming water from a given source, then there’s less demand for water in that area. Sure, the water companies aren’t receiving as much money, but they also don’t have to spend as much to deliver water, right?

Well, the infrastructure still needs to be revamped and repaired, and now they have fewer customers to pay for it. And perhaps more importantly, many of the cities that are facing population declines, also owe a ton of money to retired workers who are now collecting pensions. It’s likely that many of these water utility companies are publicly run, and face massive pension liabilities. Those costs will likely be placed on the remaining residents in these cities (the research paper makes no mention of this).

In any case, this isn’t just happening in large cities. It’s happening across the country. We have to face a startling new reality. Here in the United States; one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world, there may soon be tens of thousands of households that don’t have access to clean tap water. This state of affairs won’t be caused by a war or natural disasters. In this case, it seems that financial mismanagement is the real disaster. And how so many of these people are going to find clean drinking water once their taps are shut off, is an unsettling mystery.

Additional Resources:

Emergency Water Storage Ideas for Every Type of Disaster

How to Find and Purify Water Sources You Never Considered

Simple Ways to Purify Drinking Water in Emergencies

Survival Skills: How to Find Water In the Wild

Smart Survival: This is How You Find Water When There Is None To Be Found

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

You Won’t Believe Why Washington State Isn’t Allowed to Prepare for Nuclear War

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If the government was able to take care of everyone during any foreseeable disaster, there probably wouldn’t be a thriving prepper movement today. So many people have taken it upon themselves to prepare for disasters, because they know how the government often reacts to crisis situations. Our government’s response to disasters is often slow and lacking, and the victims of these events are frequently forced to fend for themselves. Still, what they do is better than nothing, and at least at the local level first responders do a great job.

With that said, there’s an expectation among most people that when disaster strikes, the government will do something. And worst case scenario, sometimes there are disasters that the government doesn’t foresee, and they simply don’t have a plan. However, most people don’t realize that sometimes, not only does the government not have a plan, they deliberately avoid making a plan for political reasons.

That may sound totally asinine, but it’s absolutely true. Especially in the state of Washington. With all the hype surrounding North Korea’s missile tests, many states are reexamining their nuclear preparedness plans, except in Washington, where apparently it’s illegal for state authorities to even make those plans. According to King5 news out of Seattle:

Despite the constant threats and missile tests coming out of North Korea, emergency management officials in Washington state say they are prevented from forming an evacuation plan in the event of a nuclear attack.

“State law does not allow any advanced planning,” said Karina Shagren with the Washington State Emergency Management Division.

RCW 38.52.030, passed in 1983, says “The comprehensive, all-hazard emergency plan authorized under this subsection may not include preparation for emergency evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of nuclear attack.”

Can you believe that? You might be wondering why any government would actively refuse to prepare for a nuclear war. It turns out that the only thing dumber than this law, is the reason why it exists.

The author of the state law preventing a nuclear attack plan, former Democratic state lawmaker Dick Nelson, says at the time, Washington state was inundated with nuclear threats, and the idea was to create an example of peace.

“It was about finding a middle ground we could all agree on,” he said.

Nelson also felt that if Seattle were to be attacked, the chances of survival would be so low that a preparation plan would have been moot anyway.

Today, Nelson still says he has no regrets.

So in other words, the state decided that refusing to prepare for a nuclear war would send the message that nuclear war is bad and peace is good…or something. I’m struggling to follow the logic here.

It’d be like refusing to prepare for hurricanes, because hurricanes are bad and destructive. It doesn’t make any sense. Trying set a peaceful example by refusing to prepare for war; a preparation that I might add is totally non-violent and only exists to save civilians, doesn’t do anything to actually reduce the probability of that war happening. It doesn’t bring more peace to the world, and it doesn’t save anyone. With this law, Washington has traded the safety of many of their citizens for a shallow political statement.

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

Scientists Reveal Fukushima Doused Everyone on Earth With Radiation

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When the crisis at the Fukushima power plant first began six years ago, there were legitimate fears that the radioactive particles spewing from the fuel rods could blanket the Earth. Since then the experts and the mainstream media have downplayed that possibility. Either they don’t think it’s possible, or they don’t think it’ll be significant. But recently, scientists in Norway have revealed that the radiation emitted from Fukushima really did have a global reach.

It’s been over half a decade since Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown due to the effects of a tsunami which struck the island nation, but scientists are only just now confirming its far-reaching effects. After conducting the first worldwide survey to measure the ultimate radiation exposure caused by the reactor meltdown, researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research finally have a figure on exactly how much extra radiation humanity was exposed to.

According to the group’s data, over 80 percent of the radiation that was released by the meltdown ended up in either the ocean or ice at the north and south poles. Of the remaining radiation, each human on the planet received roughly 0.1 millisievert, which equates to about “one extra X-ray each,” according to the team.

Fortunately, that’s not a whole lot of radiation. That’s significantly less than the average amount of background radiation that most people receive in a year. The fact that we all received the equivalent of an x-ray isn’t alarming. What is alarming, however, is the fact that Fukushima did this, and it did it to every man and woman and child on Earth.

The reason why that’s so scary is that the Fukushima disaster is still unfolding. Earlier this year it was revealed that the level of radiation at the power plant was at its highest level since this crisis began in 2011, and the fuel rods have likely melted through their containment vessel. If this situation isn’t contained, then these fuel rods could melt into the groundwater, and spew radioactive particles into the ocean for years (or at least, more than what the power plant is already leaking into the ocean).

And we have to consider that as long as those fuel rods aren’t properly stored, they could still explode. If at any point in the next few decades, (which is how long most experts believe it’s going to take to decommission the power plant) the workers at Fukushima fail to keep the rods cool, they could become critical and cause an eruption of radioactive smoke that would spread throughout the atmosphere.

That’s why the discovery made by these Norwegian researchers should be taken seriously. We know for a fact that the radiation from Fukushima is capable of reaching everyone on our planet. So if the situation in Fukushima ever worsens, we know that there will be nowhere to run to. There will be no escaping the lethal emanations from that power plant.

Read More:

The Next Fukushima? These Nuclear Power Plants Reside in Earthquake Zones

PREPARING FOR THE NEXT ATTACK: HOW TO SURVIVE A NUCLEAR MELTDOWN

5 Foods that Help to Naturally Prevent Radiation Poisoning

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

A Major Lyme Disease Outbreak Is Coming; Here’s How You Can Protect Yourself

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Lyme disease makes every trip to the outdoors a little less fun. The threat of this tick-borne pathogen forces us to take extra precautions every time we venture out into nature. Fortunately, Lyme disease mainly proliferates in a few specific regions of the country, such as the Northeast and the Great Lakes region. The majority of Americans only have to worry about the ticks themselves, and not the diseases they carry. There are still plenty of wilderness areas that lie just outside of Lyme disease hotspots.

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However, many of the places that everyone assumes are safe from this disease, may not be in the near future. In fact, we may be facing a massive Lyme disease outbreak this summer, and this event is probably going to spread the disease to areas surrounding the typical hotspots. And unfortunately, most of the people living in those areas have no idea.

That’s the determination of Dr. Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist who currently lives in New York. Ostfeld has found a unique way to tell if there’s about to be a major Lyme disease outbreak.  It has to do with how many acorns the forests are producing. The more acorns there are in a given season, the more ticks and Lyme disease there will be. Due to warmer weather conditions, there are a lot more acorns than usual.

So how could a floor of acorns two years ago tell Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, that 2017 would see an outbreak of Lyme disease? It’s all down to what happens next.

A bumper crop of the seeds – “like you were walking on ball bearings” – comes along every two to five years in Millbrook. Crucially, these nutrient-packed meals swell the mouse population: “2016 was a real mouse plague of a year,” he says. And mouse plagues bring tick plagues.

Soon after hatching, young ticks start “questing” – grasping onto grasses or leaves with their hind legs and waving their forelegs, ready to hitch a ride on whatever passes by, usually a mouse.

Once on board, the feast begins. Just one mouse can carry hundreds of immature ticks in their post-larval nymph stage.

This is where the problems for us start. Mouse blood carries the Lyme-causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which passes to a tick’s gut as it feeds. The tick itself is unharmed, but each time it latches onto a new host to feed, the bacteria can move from its gut to the blood – including that of any human passers-by.

“We predict the mice population based on the acorns and we predict infected nymph ticks with the mice numbers. Each step has a one year lag,” Ostfeld says.

And this isn’t just a problem for New York. The number of Lyme disease cases is expected to climb throughout the United States and Europe over the next two years. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to avoid Lyme disease no matter where you live.

First, take a look at where this disease has popped up, and see if you live near any of the hotspots. Then look up how to properly remove ticks, and the measures you can take to avoid them in the first place. You should also learn the elusive symptoms of Lyme disease so you can seek medical treatment before the disease ravages your body. And finally, you can purchase natural bug repellents, which are perhaps your best defense against ticks.

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

What the IRS Plans to Do in Case of a Nuclear War Will Leave You in Stitches

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Bear with me for a moment, because what I’m about to say will be grim at first, but I assure you that it has a strange and perhaps hilarious payoff.

I want you to imagine for moment, what your life might be like after a nuclear war. Put yourself in the place of someone who is clinging to a meager existence after the complete and utter collapse of society. It’s been several weeks since you emerged from your basement or fallout shelter. You are now just scraping by in a desolate community that you once called home.

Your body aches with hunger pangs, as you ration what little food you have, day by day. Your neighbors are a shell of their former selves. The few that have survived, are either mentally unwell, hungry, or are suffering from the effects of radiation sickness. You’re not sure if it’s safe to go outside anymore, as gunshots can be periodically heard in the distance, day and night.

And even if you did leave, you’re not sure if there’s anywhere you could go. The freeways are clogged with abandoned vehicles, the local shops are empty, and fuel is incredibly hard to come by.  You’d never make it far.

So you remain in your home, which looks like it’s been through a hurricane. The roofing is stripped, the windows are shattered and boarded up, and the paint is ever so slightly peeled and darkened after enduring the distant heat of a nuclear blast. You sit at home, and wish that everything could go back to the way it was before; when society functioned, the streets were clean, food was plentiful, and the government still existed.

Then you hear a knock at the door. Your heart is pounding, because you’re not sure if you should be afraid of who is on the other side, or grateful that some kind of disaster relief has finally arrived. You cautiously approach the door and look through the peephole. Much to your surprise, there is a strange man patiently waiting outside. He’s wearing a tattered business suit, broken glasses, and a bicycle helmet. Who could this be?

You slowly open the door just a few inches, and with a furrowed brow, you quietly ask him what he wants. He holds up a blue and white ID badge that says “IRS” in thick black letters. He asks you, without a hint of jest, if you’ve filed your tax return this year.

Sound outlandish? It is, but don’t tell that to the IRS. It turns out that since the Cold War, the Internal Revenue Service has established plans for how their bureaucracy would operate after a nuclear war. Their contingency plans are published in their employee handbooks, which the New York Times reported on back in 1989.

An addition to the Internal Revenue Manual, which is supposed to guide the conduct of all I.R.S. employees, declares that if the bomb is dropped, ”operations will be concentrated on collecting the taxes which will produce the greater revenue yield.”

An I.R.S. spokesman, Johnell Hunter, said today that the new section -titled ”National Emergency Operations” – had been added to the manual in response to a directive to Government departments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Within 30 days of an attack emergency, the agency would expect to resume assessing and collecting taxes. At that time, the manual states, many employees might find themselves reassigned to carry out essential functions ”regardless of and without any effect on the current positions or grades of the employee.”

Previous iterations of this plan sound no less insane. In 1982, the Washington Post reported on their  “Design of an Emergency Tax System” which talked about how the US government would continue to collect revenue, even if the tax system was completely destroyed. The author of the report suggested enforcing a 20% sales tax on all goods and services.

So try to imagine how this would go down. After the apocalypse the IRS thinks that it’s going to send their agents and officers out into an utterly devastated and lawless country, and ask starving people to cough up money that is most certainly worthless. I mean, that’s the only way that taxes could be collected right? It’s not like you could put a check in the mail. You couldn’t call them, and share the routing number of your bank account (if it even still exists). You couldn’t file your taxes online. The IRS would have to come to you.

And in an economy that would at least temporarily revert back to bartering, how would they collect any kind of tax, much less a 20% sales tax? If you traded a blanket with your neighbor in exchange for five cans of food, are they going to tell you that you owe them one of those cans? And how many people I wonder, would assume that they’re being scammed when an IRS agent knocks on their door?

Even if the IRS survives a nuclear war, I have a feeling that their employees who are sent out to collect taxes, wouldn’t live for very long.

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

Here’s How to Tell If a Riot Is About to Erupt in Your City

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It seems like civil unrest has become an increasingly common occurrence in America over the past few years. Since the election we’ve seen a lot of protests turn violent, and in the years preceding the election, just about any controversial police shooting could spark a riot. As these incidents become commonplace, more people are becoming aware of just how tumultuous our nation really is. They want to know how they can protect themselves from civil unrest or avoid riots in the first place, especially if they live in urban areas.

Coincidentally, I have firsthand experience on this subject. Though I have thankfully never been in a riot, I know exactly what it looks like on the streets in the hours before a riot kicks off. I was visiting Berkeley, California on December 6th, 2014, just before a massive protest for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown turned violent.

I left the city a couple of hours before things got crazy, though not because I knew what was coming. Though I had heard earlier in the day that there was going to be a protest, I didn’t think that anything serious was going to happen, because protests are a pretty common occurrence in Berkeley. This may sound crazy now, but at the time there was no reason to think that there was going to be a full-blown riot.

Always Be On the Lookout for Warning Signs

Though I was completely ignorant of what was about to go down, in hindsight there were plenty of red flags. I noticed them as I was walking through the city in the late afternoon, on my way to catch a BART train home.

For starters, there was a massive police presence everywhere I looked. There were more cops walking or driving around than I had ever seen in the city before before. That may sound like an obvious sign, but it was what the cops were doing and what kinds of equipment they had on hand that was significant. You could hear helicopters overhead, and there were several large nondescript buses parked near where the protest was about to begin. They were kind of like school buses, but painted white. In other words, the kind of buses that are often used to transport prisoners. They were clearly getting ready to detain a lot of people.

As for the behavior of the police, there was one thing I saw that stands out. I distinctly remember seeing two police officers tell a homeless man to leave the area. That’s common in some cities, but not Berkeley. There are homeless people everywhere and I’ve never seen the police do that. Unless the homeless are being unruly and someone calls the cops (which most people rarely do), the police seem to leave the homeless alone in Berkeley.

In hindsight it makes a lot of sense. After they close, the homeless often sleep in front of the shops where the riot was about to take place. And when the cops interacted with this guy, they weren’t being aggressive. The interaction looked pretty courteous. They weren’t removing someone who was causing a problem. They were removing him for his own safety.

And perhaps the most interesting warning sign I witnessed, has to do with what many of the businesses in the area did to prepare themselves for the protest. I saw dozens of shops close early. Their owners and employees had boarded up windows and doors, as if they were getting ready for a hurricane to rip through the city.

The reason why that’s so intriguing, is that before 2014 I don’t think Berkeley had seen a major riot in decades. I’m really not sure how these businesses knew that there was going to be unrest in the streets. Remember, Berkeley is practically the protest capital of the world. It seems like there is a protest going on in that city every week, and they rarely turn violent.  So how did they know that this time was going to be different? My only guess is that the police must have warned them ahead of time. Without that kind of advice, they would have been as much in dark as I was.

So keep these warning signs in mind the next time you visit a city. Don’t be like me. I just happened to leave as the city was gearing up for civil unrest. I had no idea of what was going on, and basically avoided the riot by dumb luck. When you see the police and the locals getting ready for a street battle, take note and get the hell out of there.

 

Additional Reading:

8 Prepper Principles for a Prepared Mind

Think Like a Navy Seal: Training Exercises to Toughen Your Mind

Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness

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

The Real Reason Why Diet Sodas Increase Your Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Stroke

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The Gaurdian dropped a bombshell of a health report on Thursday. Researchers working on the Farmingham heart study, which has tracked the health of thousands of residents from Farmingham Massachusetts since 1948, discovered a correlation between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and several serious health conditions. Apparently, drinking a diet soda every day may triple your risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and stroke.

“After adjustments for age, sex, education (for analysis of dementia), calorific intake, diet quality, physical activity and smoking, higher recent and higher cumulative intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks were associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke, all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease dementia,” the co-authors write.

Those consuming at least a can of so-called diet drinks every day were 2.96 times more likely to suffer an ischaemic stroke and 2.89 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who drank them less than once a week, they found.

Ischaemic strokes occur when blood cannot get to the brain because of a blockage, often one caused by a blood clot forming in either an artery leading to the brain or inside a vein in the brain itself. They comprise the large majority of the 152,0000 strokes a year which occur.

So far the researchers haven’t found a clear causation, meaning that there could be other reasons why people who drink so much diet soda are afflicted with these conditions. Though the study didn’t find a link between consuming regular sugar laden sodas with stroke, Alzheimer’s, or dementia, there’s a good chance that real sugar is the problem here.

What most people don’t realize is that consuming artificial sweeteners can lead to more sugar consumption. It makes you crave sugar. The leading theory on why this happens, has to do with how your body responds to sweet foods. When you eat something that’s sweet, regardless of whether or not that sweetness comes from real sugar, your body produces insulin to process it. But if you don’t have any significant levels of sugar in your bloodstream, there’s nothing to balance out the insulin, so you crave sugar even more.

So it wouldn’t be far-fetched if sugar is still the real culprit here. That’s because previous studies have also shown correlations between sugar consumption and heightened risks of dementia and strokes. So instead of diet sodas by themselves, the real problem may be that people are consuming artificial sweeteners, and then pigging out on large quantities of sugar.

To give you an idea how horrible real sugar is for your health, one study found that people who drink one or more sugar sweetened sodas a day had a 16% higher chance of having a stroke. That may not sound like a lot, but that 16% emerged after watching subjects over the course of 20 and 30 day periods. Compare that to the Farmingham study and artificial sweeteners, which found that your risk of having a stroke nearly tripled. However, that was based on ten years of data. Clearly, sugar consumption shows a stronger relationship to strokes than artificial sweeteners.

Obviously, we’re still talking about studies that have found a correlation, not definitive proof. Regardless, the results of these studies are both alarming and compelling. It would be wise to stay away from both added sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

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

The Next Fukushima? These Nuclear Power Plants Reside in Earthquake Zones

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Nuclear power once had so much promise. We were assured that nuclear reactors would provide cheap, abundant, safe, and clean energy. And for the most part, that promise was delivered. Nuclear power is still one of the most effective forms of energy production.

But over the years a glaring weakness has emerged with this technology. When it’s implemented correctly, with extreme prudence and respect, it works wonderfully. However, on the rare occasion that a government or a company doesn’t take all of the necessary precautions, the ramifications are immense. Even if every precaution is taken, and the risk of a nuclear meltdown is slight, you’re still talking about a disaster that can utterly destroy a civilization (here’s what you should do to prepare yourself for that kind of disaster).

Take Fukushima for instance. Last year former prime minister Naoto Kan revealed that the TEPCO power plant meltdown could have been far worse. If the situation hadn’t been brought under control, he would have had to order the evacuate 50 million people, or about 40% of the population of Japan. He told the Telegraph that “The future existence of Japan as a whole was at stake. Something on that scale, an evacuation of 50 million, it would have been like a losing a huge war.”

Of course, Japan isn’t the only country that could face that kind of disaster in the future. The United States is filled with nuclear reactors that could be at risk. In fact, according to a recent report from Natural News, there are dozens of nuclear power plants in the US that lie within earthquake zones.

A new interactive chart created by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which is really a database of U.S. nuclear reactors and safety issues associated with them, shows a higher-than-average concentration of nuclear plants along the nation’s East Coast that are at risk of being damaged or destroyed by an earthquake.

They include: St. Lucie Units 1 & 2 at Hutchison Island, Fla.; North Anna Units 1, 2 & 3 at Mineral, Va.; Peach Bottom Units 1, 2 & 3, Delta, Pennsylvania; Limerick Units 1 & 2, Pottstown, Pa., Indian Point Units 1, 2 & 3, Buchanan, N.Y., and Seabrook Unit 1, Seabrook, New Hampshire.

Further inland, there are other nuclear plants at risk, though they are not as concentrated as those on the East Coast, and many have only a single nuclear reactor. They include plants in Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Kansas.

More to the point, these are nuclear reactors that “face a level of seismic risk that’s greater than what they’re currently equipped to withstand,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

For years, government officials have been telling us that these plants are perfectly capable of withstanding natural disasters. However, that’s pretty much exactly what TEPCO and the Japanese government told their citizens, right up until the Fukushima power plant nearly destroyed their country.

With that in mind, we should be asking ourselves a very important question. Is the benefit of clean energy really a good trade-off for the risk of annihilation?

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

Study Finds Link Between Radiation Therapy and Secondary Cancers

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cancer patientIn the medical world, there probably isn’t anything that fits the description of “necessary evil,” quite like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is the slash and burn of medical treatments, because it doesn’t just harm cancer cells. It can decimate everything in your body. It can suppress your immune system, make you lose all of your hair, cause infertility, lead to nausea, vomiting, and organ damage.

The radiation side of this treatment is especially damaging. We know this intuitively. We all know what radiation is capable of doing to the human body.

However, it might surprise you to learn that although it’s widely accepted in the medical community, that radiation therapy can cause secondary cancers later in life, that fact has never been scientifically proven. Of course, this risk is often downplayed in the name of eliminating a more immediate danger, but it’s something that people need to be aware of, because it’s not a minor risk.

A recent study found a solid link between radiation therapy and secondary cancers, And it shows just how significant that risk is.

Never forget that radiation therapy should be a last resort. If you have cancer, always look for a second professional opinion, and explore every option before deciding to undergo radiation therapy.

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

10 Selfless Acts Amid Terrible Tragedies That Will Blow Your Mind

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Preppers aren’t exactly known for having much faith in humanity. If they did, they probably wouldn’t become preppers in the first place. They know how people behave when the chips are down. They know how quickly civilized people can turn into vicious animals when they haven’t eaten for a few days. So they stock up on the weapons they think will protect them from these animals, and the food they need to keep themselves from turning into animals themselves.

Of course, they’re not crazy for trying to be prepared. We turn on the news or check our social media feeds every night, and what do we see? A cavalcade of horror. Terrorist attacks, mob violence, selfishness, ignorance, and flippant threats of war. What would really be crazy, is to see all of that on a daily basis and not want to be prepared.

However, there’s a flip-side to these behaviors that everyone, prepper or not, needs to understand. On the one hand; yes, we’re an incredibly violent and cruel species that is capable of mind-boggling horrors when we’re trying to survive. Hell, some of the things we do when we aren’t desperate are still nightmare inducing. But what most people forget is that in our darkest moments, we’re capable of immeasurable acts of compassion and altruism.


That’s the unique duality of our species; and it’s a duality that totally separates us from every other creature on this planet. When we’re bad, we’re worse than any animal. That’s why we prep. But at our best, people are capable of awe-inspiring acts of kindness. Your average individual human is capable of more mercy and selflessness than the members of most entire species put together.


10 Acts of Human Kindness to Restore Your Faith in Humanity

And in case you’ve forgotten that fact, I have a few reminders for you. Below are ten examples of people who were utterly selfless in the midst of terrible tragedies and disasters.

Ken Bellau

Image courtesy of People.com

Hurricane Katrina still haunts the people of New Orleans. To this day much of the city is still in ruins, and by most estimates, between 1,200 and 1,800 people died after the levees broke. However, the death toll might have been significantly higher if not for the efforts of one man.

Ken Bellau is a 10th generation New Orleans resident who took it upon himself to rescue his stranded neighbors. He arrived in the city from an overseas trip just after the storm hit. After commandeering an abandoned fishing boat, he spent three weeks searching for people and pets, and giving them rides to higher ground. For much of this ordeal Ken was working alone. Aside from the typical hazards that you’d expect someone to deal with in these circumstances, he faced threats from criminals who wanted to take his boat, and dodged bullets from suspicious residents who thought he was a looter.

Eventually Ken made contact with the National Guard. Between his boat and his knowledge of the area, he proved to be a valuable asset for the Guards’ relief effort, and went on numerous rescue missions with them. It’s estimated that his efforts helped save at least 400 people.

Reverend Bennie Newton

Over the past couple of years there have been many notable riots in the United States, but they all pale in comparison to the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. It’s estimated that between April and May of 1992, 55 people were killed in these riots, and over 2,000 were injured. It was so bad that order wasn’t restored until the Marines and the National Guard showed up.

Amid that chaos, was a young Guatemalan immigrant and self-employed construction worker by the name of Fidel Lopez. On April 29th, he was pulled out of his truck by several rioters, who proceeded to beat him to within an inch of his life. Once unconscious, the thugs attempted to slice off one of his ears, spray painted his torso and genitals black, and doused him in gasoline.

What happened next was unexpected to say the least. A priest by the name of Reverend Newton arrived on the scene after hearing about some of the violence being carried out in the area. He waded through the violent mob and shielded Lopez. Clad in a priest’s garb and carrying a bible in one hand, he shouted to the crowd “kill him, and you’ll have to kill me, too!” Surprisingly, the mob backed off. The reverend carried Lopez to his truck, and drove him to the hospital.

The Canadian Town of Gander

9/11 is a moment in history that every American vividly remembers. We remember the planes exploding, the desperate office workers plunging to their deaths, the towers falling, and the dust caked pedestrians fleeing for their lives. Unfortunately, what we don’t remember is the boundless hospitality of one small Canadian town in Newfoundland.

After the attack, all civilian air traffic over the United States and Canada was ordered to be grounded. 38 planes carrying nearly 7,000 people from around the world were forced to land at the airport outside of Gander, a town of 10,000 people. Obviously, a town of that size didn’t have nearly enough hotel rooms to house all of those people.

So the people of Gander and other nearby towns simply opened their doors to these complete strangers and housed them. The locals ignored the advice of the police, who feared that some of the stranded passengers could be terrorists. Nearly every church, school, and restaurant pitched in by housing or feeding them, often free of charge. Local bus drivers ended a strike to help drive these strangers around, and pharmacies in the town provided medication, also free of charge. This went on for four days until the airspace was reopened, and everyone went home with fond memories of Canadian hospitality.

Liviu Librescu

Liviu Librescu was a 76-year-old Romanian-American scientist, aeronautical engineer, and professor at Virginia Tech, and he was no stranger to the horrors that his fellow humans were capable of. That’s because he was a Jew who had survived the Holocaust as a child. In his final moments, he came face to face with evil one last time, and didn’t hesitate to sacrifice himself for the lives of everyone around him.

On April 16th, 2007, a student of Virginia Tech by the name of Seung-Hui Cho entered the campus with two pistols and opened fire, eventually killing 33 people. When he arrived at Librescu’s classroom, the professor and two other students named Zach Petkewicz and Derek O’Dell, blocked the doors so that the gunman couldn’t get in. This gave all but one of his students enough time to flee the classroom through a nearby window, before Cho shot and killed them.

Hugh Thompson

The Vietnam War is widely considered to be the darkest chapter in American military history, and by far its darkest moment was the My Lai massacre. On March 16th, 1968, US soldiers with the 23rd Infantry Division, 11th brigade, massacred between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam. If you can believe it, the massacre could have been far worse if it wasn’t halted by one man.

Hugh Thompson was an Army helicopter pilot who realized what was happening early on in the massacre, after a seeing several dead civilians from the air during a reconnaissance mission. He landed his helicopter twice to investigate the dead, before realizing that it was American soldiers who were responsible for the killings. After failing to talk sense into a commander who had ordered the massacre, he spent the rest of the day directing and evacuating civilians away from the carnage, and at one point even threatened to open fire on US soldiers who were about to kill several civilians. After evacuating a wounded child, he reported the incident to his superiors, who ordered troops on the ground to stop the killings.

For his efforts, Thompson was shunned by his peers in the military for many years. In 1969 he was called to testify in Congress about the incident, and was chastised by Congressmen with the House Armed Services Committee, who felt that he should have been court martialed for threatening to open fire on American troops. It wouldn’t be until 30 years later that he was awarded a medal for his part in ending the massacre.

Father Thomas Byles

The sinking of the Titanic is a testament to that fact that in previous generations, altruism was a far more common trait. As the ship went down, hundreds of men insisted on staying aboard, and letting as many women and children as possible get on the few remaining life boats. It would be difficult to single out any of the heroic souls that went down with that ship.

But if you had to, a good choice would be Father Thomas Byles. The Catholic priest was on his way to New York to preside over his brother’s wedding when the Titanic struck an iceberg. As the crowds of desperate passengers swelled toward the lifeboats, he refused several invitations to leave the ship. Instead he helped other passengers find lifeboats, and stayed on board with a hundred trapped individuals. He prayed with them, heard their confessions, and gave them their last rites until the ship finally sank. His body was never recovered. Byles has since been recommended for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

The Choctaw Nation

The Cork Statue that pays tribute to the Choctaw Tribe’s generosity during the Irish Famine.

The Irish famine was one of the most devastating disasters of the 19th century. Within seven years, a million people starved to death and another million emigrated. Millions more would flee the country in the decades that followed. To give you an idea of how devastating it was, the population of Ireland still hasn’t recovered from the famine.

Amid this tragedy, countless organizations in the United States collected donations and sent them to Ireland to help alleviate the crisis. But perhaps none were as impressive as the $170 that was raised by members of the Choctaw tribe of Native Americans, and sent to a famine relief organization. That may not sound like much, but adjusted for inflation it amounts to thousands of dollars.

Still, why was their donation so impressive? At the time, the Choctaw tribe were living in a reservation in Oklahoma. 16 years earlier in 1830, they had been forced from their homes and sent on the trail of tears. Half of the 21,000 Choctaws who embarked on the journey died. It’s safe to say that by 1847 they probably weren’t in much better shape financially speaking, and yet they still felt compelled to raise what little funds they had for the relief effort. That’s because they felt an affinity for the Irish, who like the Choctaw, had also enduring starvation, as well as cultural suppression by their government. The Choctaw relief effort has since been commemorated on multiple occasions in Ireland.

The Institute of Plant Industry

Image source https://cdn.rbth.com

Don’t let the innocuous title fool you. If nothing you read before was able to restore your faith in humanity, this story will.

The Institute of Plant Industry was a Soviet research center, and was once the largest seed bank on Earth. It was home to nearly 400,000 seeds and other plant samples that had been painstakingly collected from around the world. The mission of the institute, was to develop new plant strains that would alleviate hunger worldwide.

Unfortunately, the institute was located in the city of Leningrad during World War Two. In case you’re not familiar with what occurred there, what happened to Leningrad during the war was downright apocalyptic. For nearly two and half years the city was blockaded by a German siege, which led to the deaths of 1.5 million civilians and soldiers. The siege of Leningrad has been called the most destructive event to ever occur in a modern city, and the most deadly siege in human history. The city became a hell on earth, where starvation and predatory cannibalism were rampant.

So what do you think a dozen scientists holed up in that research center would do? I can tell you what normal, sane people would do. They’d probably give up their scientific mission, and begin consuming the treasure trove of edible seeds that were stored there. Certainly there were enough seeds to keep them fed for at least a few months, if not the entire duration of the siege.

Instead, the scientists refused to eat their samples. They guarded the seeds throughout the siege and kept their seed bank a secret, knowing what would happen if any of the starving residents of the city found out about the institute. They watched over the seed bank in shifts, usually two or more at a time to ensure that no scientist was left alone with the seeds, and secretly smuggled samples out of the city. It’s believed that none of the samples were tampered with by the scientists. In the end, nine of the them starved to death while surrounded by perfectly edible food, in an effort to alleviate world hunger for future generations.

Takeshi Miura and Miki Endo

Image courtesy of rt.com

These days, when most people hear about the Fukushima disaster, they tend to think about the TEPCO nuclear power plant that was destroyed by the tsunami. To this day the news still periodically reports on the situation at the power plant. However, most people outside of Japan have forgotten about the impressive heroics that were displayed by ordinary Japanese citizens before the plant melted down.

Of those heroes were Takeshi Miura and Miki Endo, two city workers who stuck to their posts as the tsunami approached. They were working in a multi-story disaster preparedness building, and were responsible for warning civilians and directing them to higher ground through a public broadcasting system. They knew that the tsunami was going to be taller than the office they resided in, on the second floor of the building. But as it neared they stayed on that floor rather than fleeing to the roof, so that they could give one last announcement to the city.

Unfortunately that final message kept them from reaching higher ground in time. The tsunami washed out the second floor of the building, killing them both. Their bodies have never been found.

Lieutenant Friedrich Lengfeld

After being inundated with movies, documentaries, and video games about World War Two for generations, Americans have developed a very black and white view of the soldiers who fought for Nazi Germany. We tend to think that everyone who fought for Germany was a goose stepping monster, and forget that their military was staffed by millions of ordinary people who were either brainwashed or coerced into fighting. We forget that so many of them were just regular human beings, not caricatures.

One of those soldiers was 23-year-old Lt. Friedrich Lengfeld, a Wehrmacht company commander who took part in one of those most heartbreaking acts of altruism during the war. Lengfeld was responsible for defending a heavily fortified position during the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. In early November of 1944, his unit had suffered heavy casualties while fighting multiple American attacks. His company was depleted, and suffering from both the elements and malnutrition.

On November 10th, the Americans attacked and retreated once again, but this time they accidentally left someone behind. One of their soldiers was injured after straying into a nearby minefield. As he cried out for help, Lengfeld ordered his troops not to open fire on any Americans who came back to retrieve their comrade. Hours passed with no relief in sight. He couldn’t take the weakening cries of help any longer, so Lengfeld decided to conduct his own rescue mission with the help of several medics.

He walked through the minefield on what he thought was a safe path, but accidentally triggered an anti-personal mine that ripped through his legs. He later died at a first aid station. The fate and identity of the American soldier has never been uncovered. However, the sacrifice and humanity of Lengfeld was honored with a memorial constructed in the Hürtgen Forest by American veterans in 1994.

A Civilization Worth Saving

Frankly, it’s a shame that the ugliness of our species receives so much more attention than our acts of mercy, compassion, and sacrifice. It’s easy for people to assume that when disaster strikes, society will immediately turn into a free for all, where everyone acts in their own self-interest at the expense of everyone else. The truth of the matter, is that for every selfish person in the world who will murder and steal to get by for another day, there is always someone else who won’t hesitate to sacrifice everything for a complete stranger. It’s important to remember that, and there’s a very good reason why.

You know this civilization that we (justifiably) fear may collapse one day? If not for our inherent altruism we wouldn’t have a civilization worth worrying about to begin with. It’s our desire for everyone to succeed and prosper that binds society, and keeps it from sinking into the depths of chaos. So the next time you think the world is turning upside down and evil is running rampant, try to remember these selfless people I just described. And more importantly, try to be more like them. It’s the only thing standing between our most virtuous acts, and our most wicked impulses.

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

Don’t Move to These States; They’re in Serious Financial Trouble

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Maybe you’re looking for a fresh start. Or perhaps you’re looking to find a different job, or you’re trying to get out of the city. Whatever the case may be, when you’re looking for a new place to live there’s a lot to consider. And if you’re thinking of crossing state lines to find a new home, there’s one vitally important detail that you need to think about and research.

Most people don’t consider this, but you should really look into the financial stability of any state that you’re thinking about moving to. If worse comes to worse, and the economy collapses, you want to make sure that the state you live in is fiscally responsible. States that have high debts and low credit ratings are living on the edge. Any major economic event could push them into bankruptcy.

That means pensions could go unfunded. Public services like law enforcement and firefighting would be understaffed. The infrastructure of the state would crumble, and public education would be decimated. Taxes would likely be increased, which would only exacerbate the financial problems of the state because businesses would leave, leading to more unemployment and a smaller tax base. Obviously, all of these factors could contribute to the risk of civil unrest.

In other words, any financial calamity that occurs at the national level, would be magnified at the state level.  The economy of these states would fall into a tailspin, which would make life for the average person exceedingly difficult.

So which states should you avoid? There are three factors you should look out for. There’s the amount of debt as a percentage of the state’s GDP, the amount of debt per person (debt per capita), and the state’s current credit rating.

The 10 states with the worst debt to GDP ratios are:

  • New York-22.71%
  • South Carolina-21.31%
  • Rhode Island-19.40%
  • Washington-18.83%
  • Florida-18.65%
  • Kentucky-18.50%
  • Illinois-18.45%
  • Connecticut-17.52%
  • California-17.18%
  • Pennsylvania-17.17%

The 10 states with the most debt per person are:

  • Massachusetts-$11,337.63
  • Connecticut-$9,297.33
  • Rhode Island-$8,919.27
  • Alaska-$8,516.41
  • New Jersey-$7,517.15
  • New York-$7,040.97
  • Hawaii-$6,194.64
  • New Hampshire-$6,152.00
  • Delaware-$5,962.86
  • Vermont-$5,259.69

And perhaps the most important factor is the credit rating of any given state. This gives you a good idea of how investors think a state will fare financially in the future, as opposed to a state’s current financial woes. According to credit rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s, as of last year the states with the five worst credit ratings are:

  • Illinois-BBB
  • New Jersey-A
  • Kentucky-A+
  • California-AA-
  • Connecticut-AA-

Though those ratings don’t look too bad, it’s important to keep in mind that those states have had sub-par credit ratings for a long time. There’s no indication that they’re going to get their act together any time soon, because they’ve been teetering on the edge for years. When the next wave of the economic collapse hits, these states (along with states that topped the first two lists, such as New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Connecticut) are going to be the first to feel the pain.

Think of it like this. If a storm arrived and threatened to flood a community, the homes that were built in low-lying areas are going to be underwater first. These states are like the houses near the river. So if you’re planning to move, look into the financial stability every state you’re considering, and seek higher ground.

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

Here’s the Key to Urban Prepping That Most People Don’t Consider

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new york city wikimediaIf you live in a rural or suburban area, you have a very distinct advantage over your fellow preppers who are living in densely populated cities. It’s not that you don’t have to worry about hordes of desperate, hungry violent people. It’s not that you’re more likely to live near a wilderness with fresh game, or that you have friendlier neighbors who you can rely on.

Although certainly those are all advantages, your biggest advantage is that you have more space. You have more room to grow your own food if you want. You have enough space to stock up on a wide variety of supplies. That allows you to hunker down, and wait for the chaos to pass.

That’s a bit more difficult for urban preppers. A family living in a tiny apartment can’t stock up on enough food to last for three months or more, much less any other essential supplies. Or they can, but only if they don’t mind losing their entire living room.

While it’s a good idea for every prepper to stock up on as many essential supplies as they can, that’s just not enough for most urban preppers. They require a slightly different strategy. Rather than trying to figure out how they can stock up and isolate themselves from everyone else, what will give the urban prepper the greatest chance at survival is figuring out how they can trade with everyone else.

If you stop and think about what makes cities and rural areas different, it makes sense. In rural areas, regardless of whether or not there’s a disaster at play, self-sufficiency is one of the most important virtues. In densely populated cities, cooperation is more important. That’s because your neighbors aren’t a mile down the road. They’re right up against you, all the time.

So if you’re a prepper in a city, you have to think more about what you can trade with your neighbors for. Rather than just focusing on filling your apartment with bins full of freeze-dried food, you need to also think about stocking up on stuff that you can trade away down the road when your limited supplies run out.

Preferably, these trade items should be small. And to give you the most bang for your buck, they should be items that are cheap now, but will be worth their weight in gold after a disaster. Consider the following:

  • Water filtration and disinfection supplies are usually very compact and affordable. Take for instance, the crystallized iodine that is found in Polar Pure. That tiny jar is capable of disinfecting 2000 quarts of water, and only costs $20 (but don’t stock up on it too quickly. Crystallized iodine is used to make meth so that might look suspicious). Alternatively you can stock up on pumps and especially filters. None of these items are particularly expensive now, but in a crisis, most people will give their right arm for them.
  • Reloading supplies. Specifically, you should buy up a wide variety of primers. Brass casings can be reused, lead can be scavenged, and gunpowder can be made just about anywhere. Primers are incredibly cheap and compact, but this is an item that you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to find during a prolonged collapse.
  • Over the counter drugs would also be a great idea. They’re cheap, small, and have a shelf life that’s a lot longer than what you see on the label. Same with most prescription drugs. Though you can’t stockpile them for obvious legal reasons, if you’re ever prescribed pain killers or antibiotics and have some pills left over after you recover, you should hold onto them.
  • Sewing kits are another really cheap and portable item. We live in a throwaway culture, and you’d be surprised by how many people don’t have this sort of thing lying around. But if society collapses, everyone will have to squeeze as much life out of their clothes as they possibly can.
  • And finally, consider building up a supply of supplements, especially multivitamins. There isn’t going to be as much food to go around, and the kind of food that’s available probably isn’t going to be nutritionally balanced. There will be a lot of diseases showing up in the population that are caused by poor nutrition. Unfortunately, you can’t stock up on too much of this because supplements have a limited shelf life. But boy, imagine what someone with scurvy will give you for a handful of vitamin C pills.

Do you have any more ideas for small, affordable items that urban preppers should stock up on? Let us know in the comments.

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

Woods Update – Apr 2017

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Weather has improved dramatically. I’ve spent a little bit of time in the woods sorting out some more stuff.

Put down some bases in the new location for the bees. Hopefully this will be a better place than last time and that the bees will thrive. Will need to replenish my bee stock in the […]

NATO is Preparing for War With Russia in a Very Unsettling Way

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As tensions between Russia and the West intensify, NATO forces are building up in Eastern Europe, and those units aren’t just in place as a bluff. They are actively training for war with Russia, and they aren’t hiding that fact. If you look closer at these training exercises, you can learn a lot about how NATO expects to conduct a war with Russia. You’ll see that they aren’t just engaging in simple maneuvers, and they aren’t just preparing for a strictly defensive war. In fact, they may be preparing to take the fight to Russian speaking parts of Europe.

Germany for instance, recently placed an ad on a government website, for actors to play a part in US Army training exercises. What’s so shocking about this, is that they are specifically looking for people who speak Russian. That may sound like common sense. If our military is going to prepare itself to engage Russian forces, then obviously they should have some experience dealing with Russian speaking people. However, these people aren’t going to be playing as Russian soldiers. According to Sputnik News:

The starting date is April 26. All participants must have good knowledge of Russian, English and German. It would be “A great advantage” if they also know Polish or Czech, the advertisement said.

“Candidates will play the role of civilians in conflict zones. This will help to create a real training scenario for servicemen and their optimal preparation for foreign missions,” the description said.

The exercises will be held continuously, including on weekends, in the Hohenfels training grounds between Nuremberg and Regensburg. There about ten villages will be built with 30 houses each.

“Performers will play small roles such as livestock keepers, shopkeepers or the head of the village in Afghanistan, who is constantly negotiating with the US military and takes part in the mediation.”

Of course it’s possible that they are only training to defend NATO countries in the Baltic region, which have a significant population of ethnic Russians. However, the fact that some of these actors will be playing “livestock keepers” is very telling. The vast majority of Russians living in Baltic countries reside in cities. Plus, these exercises are supposed to take place in multiple “villages.” Clearly the Army wants to train for combat in a rural, Russian speaking area.

Because of that, it seems more likely that these training exercises will be preparing our troops to fight outside of NATO. If not in Russia itself, there’s a good chance that they’re training to fight in Eastern Ukraine, a region that is hotly contested, heavily populated with Russians, and except for the city of Donetsk it is a very rural area with a high agricultural output. If this is true, then NATO is getting ready to play a very dangerous game at the doorstep of Russia.

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

Monsanto’s Terrible Secrets Are Tumbling out as Company Faces Wave of Cancer Lawsuits

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In 2015 the World Health Organization declared that glyphosate, the world’s most popular herbicide, is probably carcinogenic. That declaration has since become a serious chink in the armor of Monsanto. It was one of the first times that a reputable institution suggested that maybe, Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide could be bad for human health. In fact, the company’s first response to that claim was that every other regulatory agency in the world had seen the same data as the WHO, and none of them thought that glyphosate was harmful.

But it seems that was enough to turn up the heat on Monsanto. Two years later, 700 people across the US are now suing Monsanto because they believe glyphosate gave them non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It turns out these people were right to ignore the claims of all those regulatory agencies around the world, because these lawsuits have revealed evidence that may prove Monsanto has been colluding with government agencies, and manipulating scientific studies.

For instance, last week a judge in San Francisco unsealed documents that suggest Monsanto was scheming to ghostwrite scientific papers about glyphosate, and hire real scientists to publish them.

The debate over the safety of Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup has become more complicated, as newly released emails suggest the company had ghostwritten scientific research on glyphosate, the pesticide’s key ingredient.

Monsanto’s internal communications were unsealed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in California. Chhabria is presiding over litigation brought by farmers and other agricultural workers who claimed that exposure to glyphosate caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In one email, Monsanto executive William Heydens recommended company employees could write papers about glyphosate and hire scientists to publish studies under their names. He said that this had been done once before.

“We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” Heydens wrote.

The court has also found evidence that may show that Monsanto was working with the EPA to shut down studies that questioned the health effects of glyphosate.

“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager who recounted the conversation in an email to his colleagues, according to a court filing made public Tuesday. The company was seeking Rowland’s help stopping an investigation of glyphosate by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, that is part of the U.S. Health and Human Service Department, according to the filing.

A federal judge overseeing the glyphosate litigation in San Francisco said last month he’s inclined to order Rowland to submit to questioning by lawyers for the plaintiffs, who contend he had a “highly suspicious” relationship with Monsanto. Rowland oversaw a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate causes cancer and quit last year shortly after his report was leaked to the press.

It would suffice to say that Monsanto is probably in big legal trouble for the first time in a long time. If Monsanto is found guilty, the whole world is going to know that they’ve been lying to us, colluding with the government to cover that up, and they did so without any regard to the health of agricultural workers and consumers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About First Aid for Your Eyes

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There probably isn’t any part of your body that is more sensitive, exposed, or crucial to your survival than your eyeballs. You use these soft, delicate organs during every waking moment and for just about every task, but unfortunately the only thing that protects them are a few eyelashes and 1mm thick eyelids. Evolution is cruel like that.

So given the vulnerability of our eyes, it would be wise to brush up on the first aid measures that should be taken in an emergency to protect them. Below are the most common eye injures and the protective procedures that you need to take to prevent further damage, at least until you can see a doctor:

Chemical Exposure

If a caustic chemical ever gets splashed into your eyes, your first knee jerk response will probably be to close them. In this instance however, that’s a bad idea. You want to keep your eyes open so that the chemical doesn’t get trapped under your eyelids. Find a source of water and rinse them out for 15-20 minutes while keeping your eyes open the whole time, and seek medical attention.

Foreign Debris

We’ve all had some kind of debris in our eyes at one point or another. It’s a situation that your eyes are normally capable of correcting themselves by tearing up and washing the debris away. But if the condition persists, refrain from rubbing your eyes. It’ll only irritate them more. Pull your upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If that doesn’t work, you need to pull open both eyelids and roll your eye around before rinsing it out. You can repeat that process a few times if it doesn’t work right away.

Embedded Foreign Object

If you have a foreign object embedded in your eye, the measures you need to take aren’t what you might expect. Unlike the previously mentioned first aid procedures, you’re not supposed to wash out your eyes (this also applies to any cut or puncture wounds to the eye). You’re also not supposed to remove the object. Find something that you can place over the eye without applying too mush pressure to it, such as large, loose-fitting goggles or a plastic cup; then seek medical attention.

Blunt Force Trauma

The most important thing to do if you suffer a blow to the eye, is to reduce the swelling. Apply a cold compress or ice to the eye for 5 or 10 minute intervals. You can also take ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. After a 24 hour period, begin using a warm compress instead. You need to look out for any bleeding or vision problems. Or if it hurts to move your eyes, there may be damage to the eye socket. In those cases, you need to find a doctor.

Welder’s Flash

You probably already know that the light from a welding arc can hurt your eyes. This is called “welder’s flash”, and it’s why every welder has to wear a mask with tinted glass. However, there’s a good reason why this condition goes by many names, including “snow blindness” and “corneal flash burn.” It can be caused by any overexposure to ultraviolet light. Sunlight that reflects off of snow, sand, or water can also cause the condition.

The symptoms may include eye pain, severe light sensitivity, bloodshot eyes, blurry vision, and a gritty sensation under the eyelids. To treat the condition, you need to stay indoors in a dark room and wear sunglasses as much as possible for 1 or 2 days. You should also be applying artificial tears on a regular basis. If you wear contact lenses, remove them until your eyes heal. Most victim’s of welder’s flash find that a cold compress helps alleviate the symptoms. If your symptoms continue for more than a couple of days or worsen after 1 day, then you should see a doctor.

 

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/first-aid/eye-care#blows-to-the-eye

http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/eye-injuries-treatment

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/snowblind.htm

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

Here’s the Absolute Best Way to Tell If a Wild Plant is Edible

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You have to give a lot of respect to people who practice foraging. It’s definitely one of the most underrated skills in the modern world, and it’s also quite difficult to learn. If you want to eat plants that are found in the wild, you must have an encyclopedic knowledge of wild plants, both where you live and abroad. And not just because there are thousands of plants in the world that are poisonous, but also because many of them look a lot like edible plants.

For most people however, it can be difficult to justify learning this skill. We live in an era that provides an abundance of cheap food (relative to previous eras of course). If you want to learn how to safely forage for food in the wild, you have to spend a lot of time and energy on a skill that may not ever come in handy for you.

But if you want to better your odds of surviving in the wilderness, and you don’t have time to gain such an impressive skill, there is a shortcut you can learn. Like most things in life that take less effort, it’s not as comprehensive or effective, but it’s a lot better than nothing. It’s called the Universal Edibility Test, and it’s a method of safely testing wild plants that you’re not familiar with to see if you can actually eat them. Here’s how it works:

  1. Say you find a tasty looking plant in the wilderness. To see if it’s safe, the first thing you need to do is separate its parts, such as stems, leaves, flowers, buds, and roots. That’s because in many cases, only certain parts of a plant are poisonous.
  2. Next you need to take one of those parts and smell it. Certain plants have evolved to avoid being consumed, and they often have a terrible smell. So if it smells something awful, throw it out.
  3. But if it passes the smell test, the next thing you need to do is rub or place the plant on your skin, preferably on your inner elbow or wrist. Keep it there for a few minutes, then wait eight hours. If that spot starts to feel itchy, numb, or develops a rash, then clearly that plant doesn’t want to be eaten.
  4. If the plant passes that test, then the next thing you need to do is cook it if you can, since that often neutralizes poisons. Then you need to rub it on your lips for about three minutes. If you don’t encounter any kind of burning or tingling sensation after 15 minutes, then you can move on to the next step.
  5. Now you need to put the plant in your mouth. However, don’t swallow just yet. Just let the plant material rest on your tongue for 15 minutes. If the plant tastes bitter, or just gag-worthy in general; or if you experience burning or tingling in your mouth, then it’s probably not safe to eat. If it passes this test, then try swishing it around in your mouth for 15 minutes and look for the same signs. If you do experience any of these negative reactions, then not only should you spit the plant out, but you should also clean your mouth out with water.
  6. Finally, if you don’t receive any negative reactions from that previous step, then you can swallow the plant. Wait till the next day, and don’t eat anything else while you’re waiting. If you’re still feeling alright after that, then you can be reasonably sure that the plant is safe to eat. You can repeat this process for the other parts of the plant.

Now you can try eating a more substantial amount of the plant. If you still feel fine after another eight hours or so, then it’s definitely safe to eat.

Given the time-consuming nature of this test, you’ll want to try this out first on plants that are more abundant in your environment. It’s also important to note that there are certain things that are not worth your time with this test. Most notably, mushrooms usually can’t be tested with this method, so don’t even bother with them unless you’re well versed in spotting edible mushrooms.

Obviously the Universal Edibility Test isn’t perfect, and conducting it in the wild is going to use up a lot of precious time. Nothing beats having actual skills, and genuinely learning how to forage for wild plants. But if you don’t know what is and isn’t edible in your environment and you’re in a survival situation, then this is the absolute best way to find edible food in the wild.

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

Some Thoughts on ‘Reality’ TV

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on-air

 

A long time ago (years ago now) I wrote a blog post on something like a ‘review’ of one of the popular survival shows, and I kinda “crushed” that show because it was full of techniques that looked cool on TV but will get you killed in reality. Later I decided that I will not do anything like “show reviews” because it is industry that you cannot beat, that said, I have to say my piece again…!

I read a few days ago (maybe some of you read it too?) about the newest survival show that supposed to start. This time in Russia.

It is gonna be placed “on a large island in the Ob River, the seventh longest in the world, chasing a 100 million rouble ($1.7 million) prize on a nine month survival mission in winter temperatures as low as minus 50C.”

And he continues:” “Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.”

And:The survival race on the island will be filmed and broadcast 24 hours a day on an internet TV channel, Pyatkovsky said.”

While I do understand how survival shows attract attention and earn good money, simply because they are interesting (I guess) to average folks who do not have chance to test there survival skills, I still do not understand amount of stupidity in majority of them and lack of common sense.

Does anyone have the thought that people are gonna die because they learned something the wrong way from those survival shows?

This newest Russian show I think beats them all, do they think it is game? Rape? Have we gone so deep down as a society and humanity that we throw in rape as an option in survival show? And we put it down in same level of “wrong” as an alcohol and smoking? (“Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.”)

Anyway I do not have high hopes in survival shows when it comes to learning something, from the whole bunch of shows  there is couple of shows that are usable, and people in those shows do not run, jump too much, or do things the ‘hard way’ (when there is an clearly easier way).

People in good shows usually showing good survival techniques for survival, not fancy and dangerous that attract views and numbers (and earn a lot of money)

Also, “real survival shows” that are recorded and broadcasted all over the internet live are not real, people usually do not act real when they live all over internet. It is pure show, not survival, folks somehow tend to forget that.

One more interesting thing about this Russian survival show is that one of the possible contestant says:” I want to do something so mad and unforgettable so that people later say “do you remember that girl”… we only live once and we must make the best of our lives. I am ready”

Mad and unforgettable? Best of your lives? you are ready?

Some things can not be part of the game, not even in hints…

 

My friend told me a story long time ago, he was a part of small squad unit who gets ambushed in street and shelled with mortars.

House wall collapsed on him and he lost conciseness.

He woke up in the middle of the night, under the rubble of wall, alone if you do not count his fellow next to him- his buddy that had only torso, everything under his belly was gone ,he was dead of course.

Everything was peaceful, nobody else was there, his comrades from the squad were not to seen or heard.

 He started to try and dig himself out of the rubble when he heard noises of people approaching.

Group of some 20 enemy men, together with 5-6 women approached and entered house across the ruined house where he was lying.

Only thing that separated him not to be seen is partially destroyed wall with window opening on it and the fact that it was night.

Behind that opening he was lying under the rubble.

He said that armed men together with imprisoned women entered house leaving one guy in front of the house.

After some 20 minutes screams started from the house, together with laugh of the men, it was clear that they were torturing and raping women inside the house.

My friend said he heard comments like “bring her here” or “move her on table” and stuff like that, and then a few gunshots.

It continued like that for couple of hours. My friend tried to remove dirt and rubble from him, but it was impossible, piece of concrete wall was on his legs, and he was afraid to death to make too much noise, guy on guard in front of the house was standing maybe 10 -15 meters from him.

His mouth were full of pieces of dirt from wall and broken teeth, and he said that night he suddenly become man of faith-he prayed so hard not to cough, not to be heard, because he knows he would be shot to death-maybe tortured before.

Out of the couple of women he remembers one of them refused to “cooperate”, they gave extra attention to her, he said probably with a knife…

He had rifle next to him, and he said that he started to pray to God to give him a strength to shoot himself because he could not stand it anymore. But he did not have courage for that.

Then he wanted to use rifle to shoot the guard and to try to shoot at the others when they rush out, but he was even afraid for that because he would end up dead.

Then he cried silently.

 

He says he was listening to screams almost all night, he also said that he literally shit and piss in his pants out of the horror from the screams, and out of fear for his life.

Then he heard a couple more gunshots from the house. Guys went out from the house, and leave the area without noticing him.

He said everything went calm, only sound in that moment was very distant sound of jet planes very high (NATO coalition regularly had high attitude flights in order to maintain no flight zone above war territory)

Before he pass out, probably because shock and loss of blood, he said two thoughts formed in my head, first was “ I am coward” and second was “thank you God because I am alive”

 

He woke up couple of hours later in a British UN forces field hospital, their unit found him in the morning and took him inside an armored vehicle.

War ended, he took down his uniform and left rifle.

He married and got kid, he went through a serious drinking period, he “touched” some drugs too, he divorced, lost job. He become more or less a ‘not functional man’.

But he never forgets that night when “God gave him life again” but also when he realized that he is coward too. And what he did not say is that night actually destroyed his life.

 

Up to now, you probably realized that some of my articles are just memories, without clear message or point, it is up to you to draw point or see message.

It is like that with real life-often there is no sense and message, or there is different message for each one of you.

But real survival usually is not “Best of your lives” and you may conclude that you are simply not ready for some things.

 

Some things cannot be “played” before you experienced it in reality.

 

Do you think there are problems with these ‘Real’ Survival shows? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below…

 

 

 

Moving into Spring

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The daylight time in the days are getting longer. The weather is warmer but still a bit erratic, global warming you know and things are starting to move.

Firms are moving over to their summer ranges, sales are on for the winter stuff, garden center’s are selling the latest plans and seeds for your garden.

[…]

Why “This War of Mine” Is the Perfect Video Game for Preppers

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this war of mineTo my knowledge, the video game industry has never really catered to preppers. Though they do create games that contain survival situations, they are generally steeped in glorified violence. Likewise, their attempts to create games with post-apocalyptic story lines are almost always based in pure fantasy.

If they did create a game that tackled survival situations or the collapse of society in a realistic way, the realism would probably suck all of the fun out of the game. Or at least that’s what you’d think. However, there is one video game that tackles both of those subjects brilliantly, without sacrificing fun or realism. It’s called “This War of Mine,” and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

As that trailer suggests, this is a war game unlike any other, in that you experience war through the eyes of a handful of civilians who aren’t taking part in the combat. They are merely trying to survive the terrible conditions that war creates. For that reason, I’m actually a bit surprised that the prepper community hasn’t latched onto this game, despite the fact that it’s has been out since 2014. This War of Mine captures the gut wrenching experience of survival in ways that don’t compare to most games.

And like I said, it’s fun. However, it’s not fun in the traditional sense. It’s not glorious and epic and bombastic. It’s subdued. You don’t experience fun by vanquishing waves of faceless enemies. You experience the satisfaction of surviving another day.

The game takes place in the fictional war-torn city of Pogoren. The conditions found in this city are inspired by the real world Siege of Sarajevo, which took place between 1992 and 1996. You command three or four civilians with no military experience. Each character has unique skills and attributes such as cooking, scavenging, bartering, strength, and speed.

You’re hunkered down in a dilapidated house, and you’re responsible for building barricades, stoves, workbenches, rain collectors, water filters, weapons, tools, alcohol stills, and traps, and more. You have to keep these folks alive in this house until a cease-fire is signed and the siege is lifted, which occurs at a random point in the game. You’re responsible for keeping them well-fed, well-rested, warm, and protected from looters and thieves.

So what makes this game so realistic? For starters, there is a degree of luck and randomness in the game that makes it unpredictable. Certain resources and events are generated randomly each time you play. You can’t just play through it once and master it. Strategies that will help you survive one play-through might not help you in another, so you’re always flying by the seat of your pants.

Also, you don’t get to save your game whenever you want. The game will only save at the beginning of each day, and you can’t go back to previous days. So if you make a mistake, there are often no do-overs. So say you send one of your characters out to go scavenging for supplies and that character dies, you can’t go back and try again. And when that happens, the remaining characters have to take a larger share of the daily tasks that are needed to keep everyone alive.

Because of these conditions, you can’t fight your way through the game. Unlike most video games, you can’t just go around killing people and taking their supplies. In fact, most combat encounters will kill you. And even if you survive an encounter like that, you’re almost definitely going to have an injury that requires rest and medical supplies to recover from. To survive this game, you have to be smart, stealthy, and diplomatic. Just like the real world, you’re much better off engaging in trade than you are by engaging in combat, which should be treated as a last resort.

And finally, This War of Mine will really challenge your altruism and morality. You will be faced with situations that will give you the opportunity to be charitable, and you don’t really know if you’ll be rewarded or screwed over. There are times in this game when you will run out of supplies, and you’ll be faced with the choice of going hungry and cold, or stealing from your neighbors.

For sure, This War of Mine is a grim and unforgiving game, but that’s what makes it so perfect for preppers. It will definitely put you in the headspace of someone who is just trying to survive.

 

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

MARCH9G

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

Doris Day

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Not the TV star from yesteryear but the Day Of Storm Doris.

Went up to have a look and see the damage. Wasn’t as bad as expected with three big trees being blown over, funnily enough various size silver birches with not very solid roots. Must be a species thing. Two of them have blown […]

Bill Gates Admits Biological Terrorism Could Kill Hundreds of Millions

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bill gates wikimediaLove him or hate him, there’s definitely one thing that you cannot deny about Bill Gates. He’s a guy who is in the know. Since he made his billions, he has brushed shoulders will all manner of experts and powerful people. That’s why regardless of how you feel about him, you should listen up when he provides a warning. Even if that warning is BS, it’ll tell you a lot about what is on the minds of the most powerful people in the world. Those individuals are after all, well acquainted with each other.

Get prepared for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller!

In this particular instance however, there is no BS. Before speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, he told The Telegraph that biological terrorism is one of the gravest threats we face today, perhaps even more so than nuclear war. He believes that within the next 10-15, it’s likely we’ll face a bioweapon that could kill hundreds of millions of people.


“Natural epidemics can be extremely large. Intentionally caused epidemics, bioterrorism, would be the largest of all.

“With nuclear weapons, you’d think you would probably stop after killing 100million. Smallpox won’t stop. Because the population is naïve, and there are no real preparations. That, if it got out and spread, would be a larger number.”


Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

Of course, engineered bioweapons have been around for a long time. But Bill Gates explained in simple terms why the threat is greater now than ever before.


He said developments in genetic engineering were proceeding at a “mind-blowing rate”. Biological warfare ambitions once limited to a handful of nation states are now open to small groups with limited resources and skills.

He said: “They make it much easier for a non-state person. It doesn’t take much biology expertise nowadays to assemble a smallpox virus. Biology is making it way easier to create these things.”


Gates is absolutely right about that. What used to take massive laboratories, hundreds of researchers, and millions of dollars, could one day be accomplished by a handful of people in a basement with a shoestring budget. We’re rapidly approaching a future where a manufactured virus capable of killing millions and completely upending global civilization, can be created by nearly anyone with the proper skills and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment.

To put that in perspective, there’s only a handful of people in the world who are capable of ordering a nuclear strike on another nation. How many people are there in the world with the kind of skills that would allow them to make a world-ending virus? Tens of thousands of people perhaps. How many people in the world have the means and ability to learn these skills? Perhaps hundreds of thousands. And that number could grow as technological advances make genetic engineering easier. So if hundreds of thousands of people had their finger on the red button, you have to ask yourself, how long would it take before someone pushes it?

This is the world we live in now. A global pandemic engineered by terrorists is practically inevitable, and will likely be seen in our lifetimes. Make sure that you have the right skills and the right gear to see your family through it.

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

Back in the saddle

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Well it seems like winter is over despite hearing predictions of really cold spells for the last fortnight. It fills you with confidence that they can predict to a few degrees what it will be like in 2050 when they can’t even get anything more that a few days right.

I’ve been busy over the […]

Florida Man Tries to Blow up Target Stores for Financial Gain

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target wikimediaThere are a lot of reasons why some individuals or organizations might engage in terrorism. It could be for a religious or political cause. It could be conducted by a government as a false flag. Or it could simply be an act of madness committed by a deranged person. Behind all of these reasons though, there is one purpose that unites them all. The goal of terrorism is terrify the population, and push them into a behaviour that satisfies the terrorists.

With that said, there is one motivation for a terrorist attack that is nearly unheard of, and that is financial gain. I’m not talking about it in an abstract sense, like say a terrorist group wants power and influence, which can lead to personal wealth. Nor am I referring to any act of terrorism that is an attempt to extort the population to fund more terrorist activities. I’m talking about pure financial gain for its own sake, like what a bank robber would want.

Now if you know the definition of terrorism, you may be a bit confused right now. After all, terrorists typically do what they to achieve for some kind of political goal. If someone incites fear for pure financial gain, then they are just ordinary criminals. But what if someone used the tactics that are typically reserved for terrorists, but for financial gain?

That very situation nearly occurred earlier this month. 48 Year old Mark Charles Barnett, a registered sex offender with an extensive rap sheet, hatched a plan to plant bombs disguised as food items in 10 Target stores along the East Coast. However, he isn’t a religious fanatic or a political extremist. He did it because he thought that a series of bombings would make Target’s stock price plummet. He planned to buy the stocks after they depreciated, and sell them when the company recovered. According to Zero Hedge:

To execute his plan, Barnett paid a man $10,000 to place the improvised bombs on shelves in Target retail stores along the US east coast. On Feb. 9, Barnett gave the man at least 10 explosives, a bag of gloves, a mask and a license-plate cover, which would be used to cover up the man’s identity, prosecutors said.

“Barnett told the [confidential source] not to let the box bounce around or they would explode,” according to the complaint. He reassured the source that they wouldn’t kill anybody, it said, but they would “take your hand off.”

But before the plan moved forward, the man went to the authorities and gave them the bombs and explained Barnett’s plan. 

An explosives expert determined that the bombs were capable of “causing property damage, serious injury, or death to nearby persons upon detonation.” It was not clear, however, if they would have also sent Target stock price lower.

That’s pretty extraordinary when you think about it. In my mind, the only event I can compare it to is the skyjacking committed by D.B. Cooper in 1971. He threatened to blow up a plane if he wasn’t given $200,000. He used a tactic that was typically implemented by terrorists during that era, to extort money for himself.

This doesn’t happen very often, and there really isn’t a logical reason why. You’d think that with all of the deranged and desperate people in the world, and with the way the media loves to focus on terrorist attacks and mass shootings, that more criminals would get this idea in their heads and try it out. Fortunately that’s not the case, and these types of incidents are extremely rare. Still, let’s hope that this isn’t the beginning of a new trend.

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

The Five Worst Articles of Clothing to Wear in a Survival Situation

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necktieWhether you’re about to enter the wilderness or a bad neighborhood, or if you become aware of an impending disaster, you have time to dress appropriately for what’s coming. But as we all know, dangerous situations aren’t considerate. They don’t always wait for you to be prepared. And in those situations, there are certain articles of clothing that can get you killed.

I’m not going to say that you should never wear any of these things just on the off-chance that something bad could happen. I don’t know about you, but about 99.99% of my life is spent without danger. It would be crazy for me or anyone to completely abandon something convenient over such slim odds. But I will say that you should be aware of what these clothing options can do to you when things get rough and prepare accordingly.

Avoid Wearing These Clothing Garments in a Disaster Situation

Cotton Undergarments

They may be comfortable and breathable, but cotton socks, t-shirts, and underwear can be your undoing in the wilderness. That’s because cotton is a very poor material for maintaining warmth. It can absorb as much as 27 times its own weight in water, which means that if gets wet, it’ll take a long time to dry out. It will cling to your skin, and suck the heat from your body. It won’t matter if you’re wearing better materials like wool over the cotton. If your cotton undergarments get wet from excessive sweat or rain, you can succumb to hypothermia, even if the weather isn’t extremely cold.

Synthetic Fibers

Because of the poor insulating properties of cotton, most experienced hikers and backpackers will wear synthetic materials for their base layer, such as polyester or polypro. Although these materials are significantly warmer than cotton and dry out very quickly, they can also be quite dangerous around open flames. Most synthetic clothes aren’t fire-retardant at all. A small burning ember can ignite these materials, and in some cases they will burn uncontrollably. And what’s worse, is that as they burn they can stick to your skin.

High Heels

Of course, survival situations don’t always occur in the wilderness. Sometimes, what you have to worry about the most isn’t the elements, but other people. If someone tries to be violent with you, one of the worst things you can wear in that situation is high heels. You can’t maintain a decent fighting stance at all in high heels, and you certainly can’t run away easily either.

Neckties

James Bond may look pretty damn cool when he’s fighting bad guys in a suit and tie, but in the real world, a necktie is a serious liability in a fight. There’s a reason why prison guards and security guards wear clip-on ties. If you have a necktie, you’re basically wearing a handle around your neck. Anyone can grab it, and either choke you or throw you around.

Flip Flops and Sandals

Honestly, flip-flops and sandals are some of the worst things you can wear in almost every situation outside of your own home. They offer little or no protection from the elements, and with a few exceptions, they offer no protection for your toes from blunt trauma. You can’t run as fast in them as you could in tennis shoes, and they don’t provide nearly as much ankle support as boots do. Worst yet, it’s very easy for this type of footwear to snag on something as you walk or run, and cause you to trip. For those reasons, they are bad choice to wear in a fight, and they are a bad choice to wear in the wilderness.

A way to circumvent this issue is to have alternate clothing options for bugging out tucked away in a bug out bag or stashed in your vehicle along with items to help you get home safely. As well, consider a few items hidden in your workplace preparedness supplies. Some alternate clothing choices are seasonal appropriate items that wick moisture away (this is helpful in both warm and cold climates). Having items that can be layered is a great option. Here are some ideas:

  •  If it is the winter season: Pack all cold weather essentials for maintaining body heat: Layered clothing, warm hat preferably with flaps over the ears, waterproof pants, mittens, etc.
  • Work gloves
  •  Have at least one change of clothing in your bag and two extra pairs of socks.
  •  A good pair of boots (hiking or combat boots) with a deep trench in the sole.
  • Rain suit
  • Poncho
  • Hat to keep the sun off your face.
  • Bandana

While we are safe a majority of the time, it’s that 1% we need to prepare for. Having a few items stashed away for these unexpected disruptions in your life will give you the added advantage you need to get through a shtf scenario unscathed.

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

Natural Medicine: How to Make and Apply an Herbal Poultice

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“The fruit of it shall be for eating and leaf of it for healing…” (Ezekiel 47:12)


5 years ago, I came down with a bad upper respiratory infection. I was taking over the counter medicines, but none seemed to work and I was worried about secondary infections. My wife grandmother suggested I make a mustard plaster (poultice) for my chest. She told me that was what her mother did when she was a child. If it would help me with my chest congestion, I’d try anything. You know what? After a few applications, it worked!

We live in an amazing world where everything is provided for, all that is needed is to learn and understand how to use it. In our pursuit to live a more simplistic lifestyle, it is paramount to understand the vast world of herbs. Some of our favorite herbs can be lifesaving and easily grown in our backyard.

One of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine is by making a poultice. Poultices are one of the safest ways to use herbal remedies directly on the skin. The overall benefit of using this herbal remedy is the direct contact the body will receive from the herb or plant. While poultices are not as concentrated as essential oils or tinctures but they are an effective way of treating insect bites, burns, sore muscles, and sprains. They also assist is in drawing out infections and are great to help with blood poisoning, swollen glands, cysts, boils, pimples, internal injuries and even tumors. As well, poultices can be used to loosen chest congestion, aiding in expectoration of phlegm.

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What is Needed to Make an Herbal Poultice

poultice2

How To Make a Poultice

Familiarize yourself with natural herbs that grow nearby so that you can later forage for these when needed. For instance, plantain is a common green weed that is often found in lawns. If you know how to recognize it, you can use its extensive medicinal qualities. If you are foraging for herbs, make sure the area hasn’t been sprayed with any type of chemical. The most basic poultice applies the herbs to the skin, either directly or folded into a piece of cotton fabric.

In that same vein, this website states that herbal teas and extracts can also be used. “Compresses can be made using teas or extracts. A cloth dipped in arnica can be applied to unbroken skin to relieve bruising and sprains. Hot castor oils packs are unparalleled for rheumatic joints or congested muscles. Cool sage tea soothes abrasions and vinegar compresses are healing for sprains, sore throat, swollen glands, and aching muscles. Lastly, witch hazel is known to reduce the inflammation in varicose veins and hemorrhoids.”

Some popular herbs to have on hand are:

  • Aloe vera
  • Chamomile
  • Calendula
  • Comfrey 
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Golden Seal
  • Lavender
  • Marsh mallow
  • Mullein
  • Nettle
  • Oats
  • Plantain
  • St. Johns Wort
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow

Applying a Poultice

*If you are using fresh herbs or vegetables, mash or grate them and mix with boiling water to form a paste. If you plan on using dried herbs or clay, just add enough boiling water to form a thick paste.

Using both hot and cold poultices will create different reactions from the skin:

Applying a hot herbal poultice relax spasms and relieve pain. They also draw blood to the skin’s surface and increase circulation. The heat also pull impurities to the surface and relieves congestion (like my grandmother’s mustard plaster) to affected areas. To prolong the heat of the poultice, cover with a towel to keep. You can also apply a hot water bottle or heating pad over the poultice. Replace the poultice as it cools down and repeat as needed (for up to an hour at a time). As well, herbs can be added into a large muslin bag and added to the bath.

Applying a cold poultice or compress reduces inflammation and swelling and soothes excess heat that occurs from sunburns, bruises, strains, sprains, swollen glands and mastitis.

Fomentation is an external application of alternating hot and cold poultices to help capillaries dilate and constrict. This manipulation of the blood flow is one of the best and safest mechanisms for removing congestion and obstruction out the system. Apply a cold (kept cold using ice cubes) compress and leave on for 2-3 minutes. Next, apply a hot compress for 2-3 minutes. Alternate between hot and cold for at least 20 minutes. Alternating hot and cold compresses are also particularly useful for sprains to speed healing and repair. Herbs such as elder leaf, ginger, comfrey or horsetail could be of use here.

Note: A good rule with compresses and poultices is that if it feels uncomfortable then remove it immediately. Anything that is too hot or causing irritation or itching is best removed and allowed to cool or discarded. You can also make compresses with a few drops of essential oil dispersed in warm or cold water in place of teas or tinctures.

Best Types of Herbal Poultices

  1. Wound Healing Poultice – This combination of herbs help to reduce inflammation, sooth irritation, disinfect wounds, stop bleeding and heal tissue. Adding a tablespoon each of dried plantain leaf, Calendula flowers, thyme leaf and yarrow and adding to an empty tea bag will help soothe and heal. This poultice can be made ahead of time and even used on hiking or camping trips. Simply, place the herbs into the tea bag and seal the bag by stapling the ends together. Add tea bags to a plastic container and store in a cool dark place or in first aid kit. To use as a poultice place the bag in hot or warm water and soak for 1- 2 minutes and then apply to the affected area. You can then wrap the area with either a bandage or clear plastic to keep it moist and in place. Healing Antiseptic Wash: The same herbs mentioned above can be used to make a strong antiseptic wash as well. Place the bag in boiling water  and steep for 20 – 30 minutes.  Allow the liquid to sit until it is cool enough to apply to the skin. Remove the bag and reserve the liquid. Once the liquid is cool enough to apply to the skin it can be used to wash and disinfect the affected area.
  2.  Grandma’s Mustard Plaster – Break up congestion in the sinuses or chest. Use 4 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, lukewarm water and a hand towel to make this poultice. Make a paste with ingredients and add to one half of a hand towel. Fold in half and apply to chest area for 20 minutes. Thoroughly wash off after you are finished applying. Repeat steps to back of chest for 20 minutes and wash off when finished. Take note: mustard can burn the skin. Before using, cover the skin with olive oil and then make sure to remove and check frequently and move the compress around to prevent burning.
  3. Poultice for Muscle Strains or Broken Bones – Comfrey reduces swelling and heal wounds and is an excellent herb to use in speeding the healing process of sprains, strains and broken bones. St. John’s wort relieves nerve and muscle pain. To make poultice: crush a handful of comfrey leaves and pour enough boiling water in small bowl to cover leaves. Using a mortar and pestle, mash into a pulp and allow to cool off. Once cool, with a spoon spread the pulp directly on the affected area. Cover with gauze and bandage to hold poultice in place. Leave on for several hours.
  4. Poultice for Insect Bites – Powdered clay including red, green or white clay is an essential component of a natural first aid kit and can help draw out toxins to the surface of the skin from spider bites, mosquito bites, or bee stings. It also relieves swelling from bites. Simply fill a 2-4 ounce container of dry clay, and then moisten with small amounts of water until a paste like consistency is achieved. The paste can be applied to bites, stings, boils, or acne. This poultice can also be used to remove stubborn splinters. Chickweed and lemon balm are also good herbs to use as a poultice for insect bites.
  5. Poultice for Boils  Onions possess antiseptic properties that act as an antimicrobial and irritant to draw blood and “heat” to the boil. Cut a thick slice of onion and place it over the boil. Wrap the area with a cloth. Change the poultice every three to four hours until the boil comes to a head and drains. You can also use a slippery elm and thyme poultice to draw out boils and heal the skin. Here’s what to do: Mash a handful of thyme leaves and cover with boiling water and allow to cool. Pour off excess water and mix in 2 tablespoons of slippery elm powder. Apply directly to the boil or enclose the pulp in gauze. Leave in place for several hours.

The old ways of doing things should not be disregarded. There is a reason our ancestors used these herbs and why the herbal ingredients continue to be shared. In a time when we are becoming resistant to modern medicines due to overuse, it would be advantageous to start turning back to these old remedies.

We’d love to hear what your favorite poultices are! Share them with the Ready Nutrition Community below.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Mid January 2017 Update

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Been a busy time since Christmas. Mainly sorting inside and moving things around as my dad is really ill. NHS screwed up again and he is much worse than he was before. They really need to be held accountable for their actions but not in this mickey mouse country.

The land is pretty static. I’ve […]

How Everyday Activities Creates a Complete Workout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit

The Wild Woodsman Workout

See How You Stack Up Against The WW2 Fitness Test

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

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

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

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A Season of Hope…?

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“Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic (warring) period.” – Chinese expression

 

Terrorist attack in Germany, problems in Baltics, Syrian conflict with its all aspects and complications, everybody afraid of Russians…

The Balkans is suffocating in its own small „race for weapons“ and trying to find out is it better to look to West or East…?

Immigrants are changing complete fabric of many countries and yet there are more waves of them to expect probably…

Folks in US who expecting and hoping things go better after January, but there are no guarantees.

 

We are living in the world where it is huge risk to go to the open and celebrate something, because one truck with brainwashed man inside can do chaos and bloodshed.

And there are way too many trucks and way too many brainwashed lunatics.

 

Europe is falling down slowly, but for sure in series of events that may look like nothing too serious if you look at it one by one problem, but all together it is something that is bigger than us.

It is something that is going to be learned (hopefully) in history lessons in future something like our time now was a  „big turning point“ If there is gonna be history and people to learn it in the future.

People more and more get into the state when they realize that being something like prepper make sense, and that is good.

On the other hand, most folks do not realize how bad and long it is going to be, but it is fine. Any work in a direction of being aware is good for start.

I wish to people to stay prepared and learn all the time together with their families and good friends.

I wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Enjoy the celebrations, but do not relax to much. Keep on with your prepping efforts, now is NOT the time too ‘ease up’ on things…

2017 is probably going to be an interesting year…. What do you think might happen?

Top 5 SHTF ‘Surprises’

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I recently ran one of my newest courses, called ’A Mile In My Shoes’. This is where I take a small group of students to the city where I survived the war and take them around and physically show them the realities of what was faced. A lot of lessons, of course, are learnt during the course and most importantly (and what I hoped for) Students come far closer to realizing the ‘reality’ of a true SHTF situation.

I thought I would share you the ‘Top 5’ surprises that the students faced, meaning things they had not thought about or realized before the course, but had to accept and come to terms with during…

1) How ‘Close’ the fighting will be.

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This picture, taken very close to my house, was one of the ‘front lines’ for some time. One side was in houses on the left of the alley, other side (enemy) were in the right side houses. This seems INCREDIBLY close (and it is) but then realize, there were times when the ‘dividing lines’ were even closer than this.

When you put that into the perspective then you can start to think about new reality because there is nothing very static and sure when SHTF, one day the house next to you can be completely safe, other day there might be someone inside who wants to harm you, or simply you’ll never be sure how safe and secure are your surroundings.

It is the most dangerous aspect of urban SHTF, because you’ll have lot of people in a relatively small area and you’ll have higher demand for (very limited) resources because the ‘system’ is gone.

Now when you add to that calculation the fact that lot of houses are going to be be destroyed, you get to the point that you never know anything for sure, where is someone and what intention they have.

That is especially important if you planning to survive urban SHTF alone (lone wolf theory) so you can get a feeling how hard that’s going to be.

 

  1. The ‘Enemy’ will look, sound and speak like you.

 

They may even have been your longtime friends, but are now on the ‘opposite’ side. Fighting here was divided by all sorts of reasons, race, religion, affiliation, heritage, politics and often a big mix of all these things. ‘Sides’ were always changing as well. That’s just the ‘enemy’, when it comes to Survival you will fight to get what you need or protect what you have from whoever…

Having thoughts that some foreign forces will invade your country, forces that will look, act, speak completely different then you and people from your surroundings are mostly just fantasies, especially when we talk about USA.

That may be case, but you’re going to have a lot of ‘local’ fighting and surviving before that.

Strong systems are going to have a “bigger and longer” fall, there is way too many people and weapons in the US for some some foreign force to choose to invade and pacify the country… it is impossible.

What is possible is to “push” some country into the chaos, in order to turn on themselves, suffer hunger, prolonged chaos and similar, and maybe then to invade.

At the end it all comes to you and people who want to harm you. The fact that the people want to harm you were people who you use to know does not make it easier.

Do not expect martians or Russians, expect people who look, act, and talk like you, who want to survive just like you.

Again we come to the point that you will be forced to fight with your neighbors, fellow countrymen for resources

 

  1. How ‘busy’ an average days was.

 

Fighting for survival is an all day, every day task. You are constantly hunting, scavenging, gathering, finding information, looking and checking things. All while the most stressed you have ever been and under constant threat, all while being hungry and thirsty.

There is no ‘day off’, or ‘break’. This is the big difference between a soldier and civilian in war. A soldier has a job to do, and all his other needs are taken care of. He can just focus on his one job. In a civil war, you (and your group) need to cover all tasks, all the time…

If you served in Army, you had clear orders, topics, outside of that you did not (need) to think about too many things.

You had “backup” or “rear”.  Your job was to do tasks, and someone else take care of all the other things in order for you to finish your tasks successfully.

In SHTF you are the first unit, rear and back up. If you fuck up and break your leg there is no medical evacuation. If you did not find food (or any other resources) there is no service who will do that for you.

It is hard time, and day is full of “acquiring” things and finishing jobs.

Shooting at someone may look like a fun idea today, or romantic in some way. It is maybe more romantic then to think how to manage your waste, or do bath or lower your kid’s fever in the middle of SHTF.

You are everything when SHTF, because system is out.

 

  1. The level of the threat.

 

In SHTF almost everything is a threat to you. Yes, easy to understand threats like sniper, gangs, angry neighbors etc, but the lack of food, complete lack of hygiene, level of contamination, risk of illness and injury, being found, being informed on, being tricked, getting captured and many, many, more make up a larger amount of threats than most ever think of.

Just even start to imagine every ‘supply’ you take for granted (Fuel, electricity, water, stores, emergency services etc) being taken away and not knowing when it will ever come back. Then imagine the worst person you have ever known, someone you would not trust to help you in any situation. Now imagine everyone around you is like that person. Then imagine everything you climb on, through or over can hurt you, and that everything you touch has the potential to make you ill… You got all that? If you do, you are maybe about 40% of the way to imagining the reality…

Level of threat is going to be a BIG shock to you in the beginning, if you survive that shock it is good because then you get yourself into the mode of real surviving.

No matter how well you are prepared you will go through that shock, with good preparation and correct mentality you can minimize that shock and make it shorter, and that is the point of preparing.

 

  1. The reality of defending/keeping your assets.

 

I know. All the points mentioned don’t bother you that much, as you have nice house, lots of supplies and ready to fight. But how is your plan working once your house or apartment looks like this…?

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And inside like this…?

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And anyone who is ‘fit’ must go out a lot to find things for every day survival. How you protect all your ‘stuff’, who is going to protect all your things…?

What, when one day a group so big comes to ask you how you’re doing so OK, and what you have there, that to protect your stuff from them is a clear death sentence.

Having right mindset about difference between defending something and get killed, and adapting yourself in order to survive without it make sense here.

You have to adapt fact that maybe you’ll be forced to survive only with your skills. You do not know, and cannot be sure.

Understand, in SHTF, every house in the city is going to look like this, or worse (not be there). In my city there are many houses you see like this. You see them because they are made of stone or concrete. You don’t see the wood buildings because they all burned down…

There were many, many more things realized and discussed during the course, and I want to say well done to the students for coming with such enthusiasm and asking such good questions in the course.

Soon I will write more about the big problem of really ‘misunderstanding’ the reality so present in the preparedness community just now. Until then, you can read more about the ‘Mile In My Shoes’ course here:

http://shtfschool.com/a-mile-in-my-shoes/

We are making these courses as affordable and accessible as possible. If you want to join, you can either add your name to the waiting list, and as soon as we have enough students we set the date for the next course, or you can book a ‘private’ course for exactly the same price, all you need is a minimum of you and two friends.

Trust me when I tell you there is not a course like this anywhere else, and you will learn many things that you hadn’t expected when you join me on a tour of the place I survived…

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

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, do you have woodstoves in your homes?  This article is a primer on some of the things you can do with your woodstove, as well as an invite for you to share your stories and experiences with us about what you do with yours.  You may provide food for thought for one another.

I also have a question that perhaps you can help me out with.  I saw an article in a magazine several years back that had a camper with a woodstove.  The stove had a “closed” system of a hot water heater that heated the water on the top of the woodstove and sent it through copper coils wrapped around the stovepipe into the receptacle for the hot water heater.

If anyone has any further information about a system such as this, I would really appreciate it.  You can share it here in the comments section, or write to me at: jj [at] shtfplan.com with some details on it.

That being mentioned, your model of wood stove is not as important as your desire to use it for what you will.  Mine measures about 3’ x 2-1/2’ x 2-1/2’ and has a flat top without holes for pots.  I have cleaned the surface immaculately, and if I so desire I can make eggs, pancakes, or toast right on top of it.  The latter I do all of the time.  Usually, I set my cast iron cookware on the top, and make myself eggs and coffee with toast in the morning.

I have a large 2-1/2 gallon pot that I use for soups.  If I put sliced onions, carrots, and diced potatoes (sometimes I shave them down with a cheese/carrot grater), and some water on, along with seasonings, I have my base in no time.  Then I can pull some meat out of the freezer and throw it in, and voila!  In about two to three hours, the soup is on!

The woodstove (also called a wood burner out here in the West) is great for heating the whole house, and that’s without using an electric blower.  I have a cabin; therefore, it isn’t as difficult.  Don’t let the size of my stove deceive you: once it’s fired up, you can bank one log on one that it left to embers and keep that fire going for about 2 hours per log.  The trick with your woodstove (if you’re new to it) is to find out how much wood you will consume in the course of a day, and what the minimum amount is that you need to heat the house and cook all your meals with.

Essential Winter Prepping Tools

When you have the woodstove heating your home, you should always keep a large cast iron pot of water on top of it.  This will provide some steam (a primitive humidifier, if you will) that will put some moisture into the air so the woodstove will not dry out all of the air in the house and potentially mummify a sleeping family member or pet.  Then if you’re an instant coffee lover (the way JJ is), it is a simple task to pour yourself a nice hot cup of Joe whenever you wish.

I also advise good stoneware as an accessory, to place your meal on top of your stove and
keep it heated while you’re situating yourself prior to eating.  Another good one to have are those cast-iron plates with a separate wooden “base” or support dish, like these.  These are great to eat from and keep from burning yourself from the metal plates while keeping your food nice and hot for a longer time.  To rewarm, just take some tongs and set the iron part on top of the stove.

I have a huge stainless steel pot (5-gallon) useful for soups, but more importantly, if the SHTF and/or the power goes out, I can melt snow and ice on top of the woodstove for hot water, if needed.  As with anything else, it’s important to find as many uses for a thing as you can for when times become tough, or just to be as self-sufficient and independent as you can.

fireplace tool setAccessories for the woodstove are your fire tools, such as poker, brush, and shovel.  The latter two are useful for saving the ash, as you can use it to make soap, and to shine/polish metals, such as silver.  One thing that I must stress is you must clean out your stovepipe a minimum of once per year, preferably before the fall.  The brush you can pick up in a hardware store, along with the rods for as long as your pipe measures.  Brush it straight down and then sweep up all the creosote and blackened soot that lands in your stove into a can for disposal.  Remember it can be extremely flammable, so take precautions.  If you do it this way, you’ll save a lot of money rather than hiring someone to do it for you, and the rods and brush run about 30-40 dollars.

In summary, a woodstove will make your home more self-sufficient than you might ever have imagined.  There’s plenty of information out there on them: it’s a matter of “rewiring” your modern life with old skills already learned.  That’s the whole point of returning to the basics, to enable you to be self-sufficient and ready for things when it hits the fan.  Stay warm, split wood, and warm up your place with a wood stove…believe me, it is worth the effort and gives you another asset that may really save you when the chips are down.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winter Preps

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It’s colder outside than the ex-wifes heart and I’m liking it. I don’t mind the cold as I can wrap up but tend to overheat during summer. Such is life when you spend most of your life in computer rooms and cooled environments.

There has been a minor change in my circumstances and I now […]

Guest Post – Archery Vs Firearms – What’s The Best SHTF Weapon?

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As a survivalist, you’re always loyal to your weapon. Regardless of your choice of weapon – whether it’s a gun or bow – you always believe that you’ve got the most efficient weapon to handle any SHTF situation that rolls before you.

But which one comes on top? A gun or a bow?

None is really better than other; each can kill efficiently. However, each of them has its strengths and weaknesses, and this can guide you into picking the right weapon that serves your short-term or long-term survival needs.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at each weapon and their pros and cons to help you make a wiser decision on the right weapon for you.

Let’s do this:

 Archery for SHTF Weapon

Archery for SHTF Weapon

 

Now the survival bows have been there for centuries. The modern day bow, however, has undergone some transformations to make it even more efficient. Just like the guns, you’ll find bows of different sizes and shapes – depending on your needs.

An ideal survival bow can just be anything – from a simple twig and paracord to the high-end takedown bows with 80lbs plus draw in the bug out bag.

Before you can become a pro at using your bow, you’ll need to take some archery lessons. Otherwise, you’ll always fail whenever you try to shoot your target.

Proper training, practice and use of bow add-ons that enhance accuracy – such as the single pin bow sight – you’ll become a pro archer in no time!

Pros:

– Bows are ideal weapons for long-term survivalists, given that even if you run out of ammo, you’ll still be ok. Even if a deer runs with your last arrow on its leg, you can still make new arrows from the surrounding materials – in either urban or wild environment – and get back to hunting.

– Another great attribute of the arrows is that they operate silently (more so when you use the string silencer correctly). This helps keep your location a secret and make it difficult for your enemy to track you.

– If your enemy is smart, he can easily track your location by using the direction they saw the arrow coming from. Luckily, you can take advantage of the slow speed of the arrow compared to the bullet to change your spot long before the arrow you fired hits the target.

– In case you want to set your target on fire, the bow is the easiest way to do so. By simply firing a flaming arrow, you can set your target on fire right from your spot.

– It’s possible to make a functional bow out of any stuff you find in the urban environment or woods. Though such a bow might not be as accurate as the commercial ones, it will still work in a SHTF scenario.

Cons:

– For you to start using your bow and arrow appropriately and accurately, you’ll need to take some training which is not easy. All the professional archers you see took years to master archery skills. If you just grabbed your arrow for the first time, it will not work well on you without the basic archery skills.

– Unlike the rifle shots, bow shots ought to be done from a relatively closer range. This means you’ve to be as much careful as possible as you try to get closer without alerting your target of your presence. Most survival bows require you to stand around 30-50 yards from the target.

– Arrows usually occupy a lot of space – a typical quiver accommodates 6-10 arrows – and given that each bolt weighs around 20grams, it might be a bit cumbersome compared to your rifle.

 

Firearm for SHTF Weapon

Firearm for SHTF Weapon

 

A gun is probably the most powerful weapon. It’s capable of hitting a target 600 plus yards away accurately and effortlessly. The ammo can drop your target on the spot, taking away the need to track down the animal.

However, a firearm has one some top con that makes it an excellent choice for short-term survival situations only. And one of these cons is that they run out of ammo (and you can’t reuse the ammo), leaving you defenseless…

Pros:

– The firearms ability to take down your target on the spot with less effort is incredible! This is something you’ll not be able to experience with your bow as you’ll still have to track down the target after successfully shooting it.

– Unlike the bows, rifles are incredibly easy to pick up and even learn how to stop a target in its tracks. You don’t need to attend anyone’s class to learn how to use your rifle; just a few basics and you’re ready to go.

– With firearms, you’ll enjoy a wider range that with the bow. Of course, this will depend on the type of gun you use, type of metal used to make the bullet, and the weight of the ammo powder grain. Nevertheless, you’ll still be able to enjoy a wider range than a bow – even with the simple .22LR round.

Cons:

– Ammo shortages are the main drawback when it comes to the use of firearms. You ought to make every shot round count as you can’t reuse the ammo once it’s fired. This will not do well in your survival situation.

– Guns are pretty LOUD! This can present you with many challenges in a SHTF scenario, especially when you want to make your stand a secret.

– Guns require regular maintenance. If you fail to clean your weapon, you won’t be able to shoot with it in the long term. Rounds might get jammed mid-barrel, or they might blow apart your gun assembly. Such cases will damage your survival weapon beyond repair.

 

Final Verdict – Which Weapon Should You Pick?

For a long time now, the rifle has been regarded as the best SHTF weapon. However, bows are also viable SHTF weapons. The type of weapon you choose to go with really depends on the SHTF situation you’re in. For example, it would be wiser to use your bow for hunting for food as well as home defense.

Even when you’re using your gun, you would also want to have bow by your side to act as a backup weapon, just in case you run out of ammo.

So, start practicing archery skills since you never know the day you’ll desperately need to use a bow in a survival situation.

 

Selco’s Comments:

My simplest and shortest answer to this question would be that gun is better weapon than a bow when SHTF. My reasons are numerous, but most important is simply because gun’s are easily available to me, and a lot of ammunition too, and spare parts, and knowledge about it, more firepower etc etc. So simply it makes sense to me. Remembering I have „been there  done that“, I am not discussing this in an academic way, I am reaching into my personal experiences…

But it is not the end of the story of course. A bow as a secondary weapon, or in some specific situations as a weapon of first choice might make sense too (for example matter of silence, matter of making point, psychological impact of finding man with arrow in chest… or similar)

So yes, it makes perfect sense to say „Yes. I want to know everything about bow hunting (not only animals)“ it makes much more sense then to say “ I have a gun, I do not want to know anything about bow making or bow hunting because I have gun“

Guns are much better weapon for SHTF, but it make sense to know and have a bow for sure. Why would we not  think here in the in terms of“ two is one, and one is none“?

I have some doubts about making good and usable (urban SHTF settings ) bow, but again lot of people have doubts for example about usability (and value) of crowbar type tool (or weapon) in urban SHTF,  because lack of real life experience, so it my be my case too.

Actually why we would not have and know everything about gun, bow, knife and spear too for example. It is not about „what is best“, it is about more options.

I definitely appreciate any good (and real life experience) data and review about any tool and weapon usable for SHTF.

What is most important here is that as a survivalist, and some experience in that survivalism, my loyalty to the weapon goes only to the extent how good it serves me, it needs to be loyal to ME, it needs to get the job done.

I do not have any kind of attachment to that weapon other than to perfectly know how to use it and to make it happen (to finish that „job“ ), if I find better weapon I will start to use that better weapon, if in particular situation some other weapon will do better job( knife? Piece of rock? Sling?) I will use it without thoughts and concerns about loyalty and attachment to previous weapon.

Firearm is best weapon for SHTF, most commonly used, with best results, but yes, if there is situation for usage of other kind of weapon then use it (and know how) without thinking about loyalty and attachments.

We are talking here about tools to get job done, nothing more. Thanks Jennifer for a great article to provoke some thoughts and discussion. I look forward to reading the comments on your article…

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer is the founder of BuckWithBow, a great blog that focuses on helping you learn how to hunt deer with a bow. As an experienced bow hunter, she will guide you through the Do’s and Don’ts of the bowhunting world and transform you into a better hunter. Whether you are an experienced bow hunter or an absolute beginner, you will find BuckWithBow a gem!

Jennifer

Trump was elected the next US President

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I see the phenomenon that started with Brexit and moved to other EU countries now strike big in the US with the election of Donald Trump. God bless America.

Hopefully he will change America in such a way that the SJWs there will be driven out of power and our PC society will change. […]

Armistice Day

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Today at 1100 remember those that gave their lives in armed conflict to allow us to live in peace by joining in with two minutes silence.

And don’t forget our current bunch of troops out there putting themselves in harms way to protect us. Support our Troops.

[…]

Venezuelans Facing Severe Food Shortages and Malnutrition Turn to Urban Farming

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urban farmVenezuela is currently in an economic collapse. Food shortages have driven the now 83% of Venezuelans that live in cities to grow their own produce as a means of survival. Socialist President Nicolás Maduro’s calls for “food sovereignty,” meaning that he wants urban people to start small farms and raise chickens in their homes in order to feed themselves, but his policies have only caused economic depravity, resulting in starvation and homelessness throughout the country. To add insult to injury, many believe these urban “victory gardens” will fail due to the lack of gardening skills urban dwellers possess.

Learn about the 7 Laws of Gardening 

Too Little Too Late?

Venezuelans think Maduro’s strategy is a sorry excuse for a solution to solve the country’s dire food shortages and crippling inflation. Critics of Venezuelan economic policies have taken to social media to accuse government officials of downplaying the impoverished situation across the country.

An increasingly common sight in Caracas, a picture posted to Twitter shows a man and dog sifting through trash for food with the caption “Urban Farming in Venezuela. Thanks to @Nicolas Maduro.” Many people think that Maduro is not fixing the problem but ignoring it altogether.

Another tweet shows a picture of a woman shopping inside a Venezuelan grocery store with the caption “#ThisIsVenezuela”, and the shelves are nearly empty.

 

Others are enthusiastic about the plan. “If all communities began to cultivate, it would help to combat the high cost of living and food shortages,” said Luisana Galvis, 69, in a Reuters report. “If we sell and cultivate in our own home, nobody can take that away from us, and nobody is going to sell it to us. And so, we reduce the cost of living.”

In 3 months time, only 273 tons of food have been grown, and this falls far short of the 3,500 ton annual goal of Venezuelans to feed their country. Some seeds that the Venezuelans are most likely growing are those that are easy to cultivate.

‘An Impending Humanitarian Crisis’

This past week, lawmakers in Venezuela declared a “food emergency” after reports of widespread shortages in milk, meat, bread and produce.

Maduro blames an “economic war”, but many Venezuelans are condemning Maduro’s socialist economic policies for causing the inflation and subsequent market instability.

Phil Gunson, a member of the International Crisis Group based in Caracas, warns of an impending humanitarian crisis.

“At least one in 10 people is eating two meals a day or less. There isn’t starvation. We are not talking about famine,” says Gunson. “But we are talking about malnutrition, particularly in the case of children.”

With crime on the streets of Caracas at an all-time high, some are happy to be starting an indoor garden for the sake of staying away from thieves and violent crime. For Iraima Pacheco de Leandro, 54, a government opponent who was once kidnapped and held for ransom, farming is a great way to circumvent the chaos, but it may not be a long-term solution for Venezuela’s economic crisis. Her terrace is filled with vegetables as a measure of self-suffiiciency, but she still thinks that “agriculture should not be a solution,” and the real problem lies in government policy and the inflated markets they created.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Getting the balance right.

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After several years of looking at what I should be putting aside for an event and adding to my preps at least something every month I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never be ready.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t think I will be unprepared it just means that I don’t feel I […]

Where is your line in the sand?

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Still looking to learn more from the discussions about Venezuela and the socialist caused issues there and I was reading an article about how looters were breaking in and stealing from neighbours just to get some food and how some of these incidents led to fatalities.

I’ve thought about this type of scenario for a […]

Learning from others mistakes.

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As yet another socialist experiment fails with the collapse of Venezuela where a dozen eggs are selling for $150 and inflation is expected to hit 1200% we must watch and learn from what is going on there so we can adapt here.

Watching others as they deal with issues that may come our way even […]

Did You Know That You Can Reload Primers? Here’s How

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shell-casingSeveral months ago I wrote about some of the ways that you can make gunpowder from scratch if society collapses. Those methods were crude and could be used to create a product that doesn’t have as much punch as modern gunpowder, but is effective nonetheless. It’s nice to now that it is possible to create gunpowder in the absence of a modern civilization.

However, there is another component to ammunition that would be far more difficult to create if society fell apart for a long period of time. You can reuse brass and you can make your own gunpowder. A lot of lead can be found in ordinary places in our society, so depending on the firearm, you could cast your own bullets. But you’re going to have a very hard time making your own primers.

That’s because primers contain chemicals that for the vast majority of the population, cannot be sourced locally. Without a functional global economy, or at least a functional national economy, they won’t be made. Until society recovers, you’re stuck with whatever supplies you bought ahead of time. So if you like reloading, make sure you stock up on plenty of primers. It would be wise to have more primers than you think you would need. Even if you don’t get around to using them, primers would no doubt become a hot barter item.

With that said, a backup plan wouldn’t hurt. Though making a primer from scratch would be an incredibly difficult feat for most people, it is possible to reuse and refill primers. Again, the substances you need can’t be sourced from your local environment and won’t be produced anywhere immediately after a societal collapse, but there will be plenty of leftovers lying around in the form of matches.

For instance, the head of a strike anywhere match can be ground up and used to refill a primer (you might be able to do it with ordinary matches as well). Here’s how it’s done:

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

Here’s What’s Really Going On Behind the Scenes When Disaster Strikes

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wtc-attackWhenever a disaster strikes, most governments hide behind a veil of fortitude and authority. They make it clear to the population that everything is under control, and order will soon be restored by their efforts. Governments always do everything in their power to convince the population that they’re still in charge regardless of the facts. Which of course makes sense. After all, if everyone knew that the government couldn’t maintain order during a catastrophic event, then they’d want a new government.

As preppers know very well however, it’s often the case that governments aren’t in control of anything during a disaster. Their ineptitude and gross negligence doesn’t go away just because there’s blood in the streets. They don’t rise to the occasion. If anything, quite the opposite happens. The government’s inefficiency and bureaucratic nonsense usually hampers relief efforts, despite the best efforts of most low ranking first responders of course.

What most people don’t realize however, is that average citizens aren’t the only ones to be affected by the poor decisions made by their government. Even the highest levels of our government can quickly lose control of a situation when the SHTF. Disasters are inherently chaotic, and chaos doesn’t discriminate. No matter how much money, power, and expertise is at your disposal, your best laid plans can fall apart when things get real.

And that’s precisely what happened in the United States on 9/11. Most Americans like to think that our government was on the ball in every conceivable way on that day, and that the feds took swift and appropriate actions to deal with the crisis. However, that’s not entirely true. According to NBC, recently declassified documents have revealed that the tippy top of our government was running around with its head cut off on 9/11. Take a look at some of these revelations:

  • Three dozen live nuclear weapons were aboard U.S. Air Force bombers at three airbases when al Qaeda struck New York and Washington.

  • Because of inadequate communications equipment and procedures, top U.S. officials couldn’t talk to each other or to anyone else. Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to speak to Bush to know why the U.S. was preparing to go to DEFCON 3 — but the White House couldn’t put him through to Air Force One. Bush had no way to receive phone calls.

  • After Bush left Florida, where he had been reading a book to schoolkids, his plane was low on fuel but for hours had nowhere to land.

  • Most of the top 10 people in the president’s line of succession, including Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, either refused to follow the protocol and go to their designated secure sites, or were out of the country, or were never contacted.

  • Now-disgraced Speaker of the House Denny Hastert, third in line, observed protocol and was taken to an underground bunker in the Blue Ridge Mountains. But that left him out of touch with all other top government leaders.

  • Attorney General John Ashcroft was in a government plane and tried to return to Washington, but was turned away by the FAA.

  • Education Secretary Rod Paige, 16th in line to the White House, was left on the tarmac in Sarasota, Florida. He rented a car and drove back to Washington.

That second point is especially worrisome. We nearly went to DEFCON 3 and had no way of communicating with the Russians. Can you imagine how freaked out the Kremlin was on that day? Under different circumstances, 9/11 could have snowballed into an accidental nuclear war.

Keep that in mind for the next time our country is faces a major attack. The government and the media will put on a brave face, but behind the scenes it could be very different. Your politicians and bureaucrats could be quietly panicking or running in all directions in the face a rapidly deteriorating situation that they cannot fix.

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

Junctional Tourniquets Can Be a Lifesaver. Here’s How They Work

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ambulanceLearning 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

Why Are Childhood Cancer Rates Up 40% in 16 Years?

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cancer patientCancer seems like a plague of the modern world. While we know that our ancestors were capable of being ravaged by this disease, they didn’t seem to suffer from cancer at anywhere near the same rate that we do now. In the year 1900, only 64 out of every 100,000 people died from cancer. Now the death rate from this disease is approaching 200 out of every 100,000 people on a yearly basis. And if you examined any human society before the year 1900, you’d find that cancer was incredibly rare. By all appearances, there is something about modern life that makes us far more susceptible to cancer.

Of course, mainstream science has offered a few reassuring explanations for this trend, and they’re not without merit. It could be that modern humans suffer from more cancer, simply because we’re capable of living longer. No matter how healthy you are, your chances of dying from cancer go up as you age; and before the industrial revolution, most people didn’t live very long.

Another factor to consider, is the limitation of medical science in the past. Without modern technology, there were a lot of cancers that would have been difficult to diagnose. And until the 20th century, dissection was considered extremely taboo, or was outright forbidden in many societies. So unless the symptoms could be seen on the surface of a body, it would have been difficult to diagnose someone with cancer postmortem

However, there is a problem with both of those ideas. Though they certainly explain a lot of the cancer cases in our society, they’re not applicable to the cancer rates that are seen in modern children.

Researchers with the charity Children with Cancer UK published data on that subject for the very first time this week. They found that there are now 1,300 more child cancer cases in the UK than there were in 1998, which is roughly a 40% increase. The rise was most apparent in teenagers and young adults aged 15-24. According to Dr. Denis Henshaw, an adviser with Children with Cancer UK:

Air pollution was by far the biggest culprit, accounting for around 40 per cent of the rise, but other elements of modern lifestyles are also to blame.

Among these are obesity, pesticides and solvents inhaled during pregnancy, circadian rhythm disruption through too much bright light at night, radiation from x-rays and CT scans, smoking during and after pregnancy, magnetic fields from power lines,  gadgets in homes, and potentially,  radiation from mobile phones.

“When you look at cancers such as childhood leukaemia there is no doubt that environmental factors are playing a big role,” said Dr Henshaw. “We were shocked to see the figures, and it’s modern lifestyle I’m afraid.

“Many items on the list of environmental causes are now known to be carcinogenic, such as air pollution and pesticides and solvents. There has been good research to suggest a mother’s diet can damage DNA in cord blood. Light at night we know is very disruptive for the body, which is why shift workers have such bad health.

Childhood cancer rates throw a wrench in the idea that we have more cancer because people are growing older in the modern world.  These statistics also dispute the notion that cancer rates are increasing because medical technology and awareness are making it easier to diagnose someone with cancer.

Dr. Henshaw argued that some of these cases could be accounted for because of that, but we’re talking about kids living in a developed country in the modern world. How often do children in that situation go without receiving the level of medical care needed to identify cancer? I doubt it happens very often. So if childhood cancer rates are going up, it’s obviously from environmental sources, and those sources are also hurting people of all ages.

It’s safe to say that cancer doesn’t happen naturally in most cases. It happens when you live in a world where being exposed to toxins is nearly inescapable.

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

Four Signs That Suggest Europe Is Preparing for War

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russian soldiersThese days, it seems like there are no shortage of existential threats bearing down on Western Europeans. They barely managed to pull themselves out of the global crash of 2008, by burying themselves in debts that can never be repaid. They’ve accepted millions of immigrants from cultures that seem incompatible with their liberal values. As a result of that, over the past year the continent has seen some of the most horrific terrorist attacks in recent memory. They also have nations like the UK trying to free themselves from the EU, and fast growing nationalistic movements that threaten to tear the EU apart.

However, those are just the internal problems of that region. Amid the fraying of Western Europe, there is something far worse brewing in the East. You can almost hear the war drums pounding in Eastern Europe, as tensions grow between Russia and NATO. Putin himself has warned that Europe, and by extension the world, is being pulled into an “irreversible direction” towards war.

But don’t just take Putin’s word. There are several signs that Europe is either preparing for war, or a massive social upheaval of some kind.

  • French civilians are reportedly stocking up on guns, in preparation for a potential civil war with the migrant populations in their nation. High ranking French officials have also expressed fears over a potential civil war, and reports show that German civilians are also stocking up on weapons.
  • After a string of terror attacks rocked Germany this Summer, their government put together a civil defense plan for the population. It includes instructions for the German people to stock up on a 10 day supply of food and water, which makes this the first German civil defense plan to offer that suggestion since the end of the Cold War.
  • Several European nations are considering re-instituting a military draft, which again, was a common practice until after the Cold War ended. Polls show that in countries like France and Sweden, a majority of the population would support bringing back conscription. The reasons cited for this move include heightened fears over domestic terrorism, and a resurgent Russia.
  • In August the Russians claimed that they had foiled a Ukrainian terrorist attack in Crimea. Within days, the Russian government mobilized 40,000 troops along the Ukrainian border. Oftentimes the Russians use these military training exercises as a cover to move their troops close to a nation before invading, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has suggested mobilizing his military and declaring martial to counter any potential incursion.

Obviously it’s impossible to know what is going to happen next. The sabre rattling between Russia and the West has been going on for so long now that it’s difficult to discern the difference between war preparations and bluster.  However, this tit for tat can only go on for so long before one side pulls the trigger for real. Hopefully, sanity will prevail before that happens.

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

General Mills Recalls Multiple E. Coli Tainted Flour Products

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flourA lot has happened over the past three months. There was a mass shooting at a night club in Orlando, Hillary and Trump were nominated to run for president with their respective parties, there was a coup in Turkey, and the UK voted to leave the European Union. And amid all of these crazy stories, the media largely forgot to mention that there have been multiple food recalls for flour products over the summer.

General Mills, one of the most popular flour producers in the United States, has issued four separate recalls for their flour products since May. Maybe I’ve just been living under a rock, but I was surprised to learn this. With the exception of a handful of news articles, this story has pretty much flown under the radar for three months. It hasn’t “trended” at all.

I digress.

The products were tainted with E. coli, which has plagued America’s food supply for years. Fortunately, these products can be made safe if cooked properly. As we all know however, sometimes baked goods don’t come out of the oven perfectly cooked. Where normally you might be inclined to overlook something that’s 99% cooked, in this case it would be best to not to take any chances. According to General Mills, if you happen to own any of their tainted food products, they should be thrown out.

You can find a list of their potentially tainted products on their website, which includes brand names like Betty Crocker, Gold Medal, and Kitchen Signature. The items in question are listed by their UPC number, and better if used by dates.

Of course, not everyone is going to heed their warning. If you’re confident in your baking skills, and you don’t plan on throwing out your flour, then look out for the symptoms of E. coli, which typically show up between one and five days after eating tainted food:

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is the type most commonly heard about on the news because of the outbreaks it causes. An intestinal infection by STEC — which typically lives in cattle and migrates to humans after animal feces contaminate human food — results in:

  • Nausea
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea, which can be severe and bloody
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting (rare)
  • Low-grade fever (rare)

People generally recover from STEC infections after about a week. But some individuals, particularly children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems, may develop complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening form of kidney failure.

Early symptoms of HUS include:

  • Bloody stools (typically diarrhea)
  • Vomiting
  • General weakness and lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Fever

If the condition progresses, it can lead to:

  • Bruising and spots on the skin (petechia)
  • Decreased urination
  • Pale skin
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures (rare)

If that doesn’t convince you to take this product recall seriously, then you’re a hell of a lot braver than me. It may be tedious to throw out a sack of flour, but these products are pretty cheap. Would you risk coming down with some of those symptoms over a couple of dollars?

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

4 Reasons Why Drinking Coffee Is Great For Your Health

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coffee healthReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is to laud the many wondrous benefits of coffee.  Really, I love it without all of the benefits that we’re going to mention, and drink it by the gallon.  There are a few studies that came out about coffee that I think you’ll find interesting; therefore, there’s a little in this article for everyone.  Let me take a sip of my coffee, now, and then we’ll continue.

Ahh, that’s good!  Now, coffee beans happen to be the seeds of Coffea arabica, a cash-crop harvested in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.  The beans are harvested nine months after the plant is in its flowering stage.  Then they are dried, either by the sun for about a month, or with machines.

Why many say this beverage is unhealthy is all the “extras” you put in your java. Cream, artificial sweeteners add extra calories and fat to coffee. If you drink it without any of these, then you receive the most health benefits.

Coffee Has Naturopathic Tendencies

As a naturopathic aid, coffee has quite a few uses.  It can be used to treat nonspecific, acute diarrhea.  This is diarrhea that isn’t long term, and could come from a number of different stressors, most of them not disease-related, such as severe fatigue and overwork, or a sudden change in diet.  Caffeine (the main constituent of coffee) is also a diuretic, which means it causes urination.  For this reason, it isn’t used in diarrhea caused by diseases of the stomach and intestines, as it will help with the diarrhea but cause you to lose water through excessive urination.

Coffee Provides Mental Alertness Seconds After Drinking

The caffeine restores mental alertness, and these stimulating effects occur within just a few minutes after ingesting it, in this case with your cup of coffee.  Although we’re primarily concerned here with it as a drink, caffeine as well as ground coffee is available in other forms, such as tablets and as an ingredient in a mixture.  It takes a lot to overdose, and the lethal dose for an adult is 150 to 200 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight.  To place this into perspective, if you weighed about 120 lbs., you would have to drink about 75 cups of coffee before you checked into the big Starbuck’s in the sky.

Drinking Coffee Helps To Lower Health Hazards

An article by Maggie Fox entitled Study Finds More Evidence Coffee Can Be a Life-Saver,” explains some little-known benefits of drinking coffee.  The study comes from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, in which it explains that coffee can actually help you live longer.  Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology helped run the study, and he and his colleagues found that coffee consumption helps with diabetes, cardiovascular problems, feelings of depression/suicide, and can lead to an overall lowering of mortality risk.  The study found that having 3 to 5 cups per day can lower the risks associated with these health hazards.

Coffee Is Full Of Antioxidants

Coffee happens to be the Number 1 source of antioxidants in the American diet.  Antioxidants are chemical compounds that offset the damage by free radicals to your cells that occurs on a daily basis.  The studies went on to tell how inflammations in your body’s system and resistance to insulin is diminished in diabetic patients by several ingredients in coffee, such as quinides, lignans, and magnesium, among others.

The reason the study is very reliable is this: it was taken from a sampling of 200,000 doctors and nurses over a period of a decade that tabulated their habits.

Statistically speaking, those are pretty good numbers, when you consider the persons being sampled are in a high-stress, high-pressure work environment.  This is not to say that coffee is for everyone, but the really good news about the coffee intake is this:

The beneficial effects were with (regular) caffeinated coffee as well as (“unleaded”) decaffeinated coffee.

In addition to the points made above, you can make your coffee even healthier by adding these superfoods to your favorite brew. It must be mentioned that your coffee grounds can do wonders for your garden. Here are 14 genius ways to use coffee grounds.

The Final Say-So

The final say-so rests with your happy, smiling, family doctor.  Obtain his smiling permission before undertaking any regimen of therapy suggested in the referenced article or using any information in this one.  If coffee is something you normally enjoy (such as I’m enjoying this very moment), then this article should have given you some food for thought that is positive reinforcement to “our” indulgence in coffee.  So, bottom’s up, and keep up the prepping and learning!

 

JJ

 

coffee health

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Survival UK Sites – Update

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As per my previous post where I was looking to do something about the forum and was looking for input. I’ve been receiving input and thinking about this during my time off and have had several discussions, including during the NW meet this weekend (Report to follow later this week) and the input is fairly […]

3 Reasons I Don’t Teach Surgery—Even to Survivalists

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3 Reasons I Don’t Teach Surgery—Even to SurvivalistsEveryone deserves the chance to survive. If you’re a longtime reader, you know that motto propels my mission. Much of the information I share here and in my books and training course is normally reserved for trained medical personnel. But I believe you have a right to know it.

Even so, sometimes I get complaints about what I don’t teach—namely major surgery. The complaints usually go something like, “How can you claim to give information on when help is NOT on the way without providing such?”

Here’s my answer: There is a limit to how much help a layperson—sometimes even a surgeon—can give. I cannot responsibly teach most surgeries. Here’s why.

1. Bleeding and Blindness

Surgery is harder than it looks. First, there’s the bleeding.

Consider this scenario, which readers often ask about:

Your friend has been shot in the abdomen. There is internal bleeding. You can’t stop the bleeding with pressure. Can you perform surgery to stop it?

Well, sure, anyone could slice open the abdomen, but that’s just the first step in a complicated process.

After your incision, you’d find that you’d caused additional bleeding not just in the skin but in the muscles and fat, which also contain blood vessels. If you hit a larger vessel, there would be a lot of bleeding.

Let’s say you knew that would happen and planned for it: You recruited someone to help—to apply direct pressure to the bleeding area—and you had the ability to clamp or suture the vessels bleeding the most. Great.

But as soon as you got into the abdominal cavity, you’d still find one big pool of blood from the original internal bleeding, with many feet of intestines stuffed in it.

Somehow, you’d have to keep the abdominal wall open (which can be a lot thicker than you’d think, due to fat), wade through the intestines and blood, and basically blindly find the often tiny source of bleeding.

2. Cutting, Closing—and Surprise!

If, instead of internal bleeding, you were concerned about something like an appendix or gallbladder—another scenario readers often ask about—you may not encounter as much blood, but you’d still have to keep the wall open, wade through those intestines, and cut out the problem.

As I explain in The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook (which tells how organs can be palpated—pressed on externally—to find signs of appendicitis and such), even if you know anatomy, an appendix or gallbladder can hide. It’s often not in the place the textbooks show.

If you do find the problematic organ but you cut too much or too little, you could cause an intestinal leak. Or you could nick an artery.

Oh, and it’s not uncommon for even surgeons to think one thing is causing the problem and, during surgery, find out the culprit is totally different, requiring different treatment.

But let’s assume your diagnosis was correct. You’ve addressed the problem. Next comes suturing. You must close:

  1. The cut from where you removed the organ. You’d have to suture the thin bowel wall but not poke the needle all the way through it, exposing the bowel contents.
  2. The big hole in the abdominal wall. For the body to heal properly, you’d have to suture the wall back layer by layer: first the thin membrane (called the peritoneal wall), then muscle, then fat and skin.

3. Infection

This operation would likely not be sterile. In fact, in surgical terms, it would be downright dirty. Severe internal infection would be certain, and IV antibiotics would be a must for survival.

Likely Surgical Outcome

In summary, the chance of anyone surviving an abdominal operation done in field, with minimal instruments, is slim. Throw in the fact that someone with zero experience is performing the surgery, and the chance is very close to none.

Surgery to the chest would be even worse because you’d automatically collapse a lung or two and very likely nick a big artery.

There’s not usually much need for lifesaving surgery on arms and legs, other than amputation. The question on amputations would be when to perform one, and the answer would be dicey. In addition, trained surgeons might try to repair a muscle or nerve. We can talk more about amputations in another post.

What Happens With No Surgery

Surgeons go through four years of medical school and five years of extra training. They do multiple, multiple surgeries with an experienced surgeon showing them and being around in case something goes wrong.

Yet even a trained surgeon may opt not to perform surgery in a survival situation. The decision would depend on the surgeon and location. They’d need a clean place, and they’d need at least some local anesthetic or ether for pain.

Yes, the chance of survival with a ruptured appendix or severe internal bleeding is dire, but I submit it’s better than with amateur surgery.

With the bleeding, there is a prayer, however slim, that the vessel might clot off. For someone who has never performed surgery to try to stop it surgically, the chance of survival is very close to zero (in my opinion).

In the instance of appendicitis, the chances are a little better. Sometimes the body walls off the area of infection and it doesn’t spread. Or, as I inferred earlier, the diagnosis could be wrong. Maybe all they have is a bad stomachache.

I would never, ever recommended delaying expert evaluation and treatment, but if that’s absolutely impossible, I think watching and waiting, while providing appropriate supportive care (which The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook covers for these issues and others), along with antibiotics if available, is a better option than having an amateur do major surgery.

What About Those Surgery Survival Stories?

When my father was young, the local country doctor performed an appendectomy on him on my dad’s kitchen table. This was relatively common back then. But the doctor had experience doing such things. Even then, my father was lucky to survive.

And it is true that there have been some successful instances of people performing, and surviving, self surgery. Take the case of Dr. Leonid Rogozov. He was stranded at a base camp in Antarctica and performed an appendectomy on himself. But even then, he had basic medical equipment, along with assistants to hand him what he needed. In addition, he was in a fairly clean environment. And he was a surgeon who had performed appendectomies before, according to BBC News. Still, he must have had quite the pain tolerance and ability to focus. More than I, for sure.

One of the things people forget about surgery is the fact that there are often unforeseen complications: a nick in the artery, a puncture in the intestine, anatomy in the wrong place, some unexpected problem such as an abscess or cancer. So not only do you need a detailed knowledge of anatomy and of how to perform surgery, but you need to know what to do if something goes wrong. There’s a reason surgeons train for years—much of that hands-on.

So instead of worrying about the fact that you couldn’t perform surgery in a survival situation, I suggest doubling down on learning what you can do. There’s plenty of that to study.

Thoughts?

Photo: Flickr/Thomas Quine, “Antique Surgical Instruments,” shared via CC BY 2.0.

Survival UK Sites next steps

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Well after my previous post I received several comments on this site, several comments on the forum, a couple of emails and a couple of phone calls. Thank you all for your input.

A bit of history before we look at what was said.

I started the sites with several ideas in mind.

To provide […]

How Much Time Would You Have to Prepare for a Supervolcano?

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volcano wikimediaMost preppers probably don’t spend very much time getting ready for a supervolcano like Yellowstone to erupt. Or at least they don’t if they’ve done their research. While there are a handful of these volcanoes on Earth, each of which could devastate our planet’s environment for years, the time between each eruption can be measured in hundreds of thousands of years. In all likelihood, we’re not going to see one of these volcanoes erupt in our lifetimes.

On the other hand, supervolcanoes are still pretty scary, because they can erupt at anytime. They’re kind of like those old jack-in-the-box toys. They spend a lot of time building up pressure before unexpectedly blowing up in your face.

Which has to make you wonder, how much warning would the public get before one of these geological beasts blows up? Even if a supervolcano is overdue for an eruption, that could mean that it’s going to blow its top tomorrow or 10,000 years from now. Is it really just going to go off one day without any warning, or will there be signs that will tip us off ahead of time?

It turns out that yes, supervolcanoes would provide a few warning signs that would give us a fairly definite timeline before they go off, but unfortunately it’s not a very comforting timeline. According to a recent study, you’d have about a year or less to prepare.

Right before any super eruption though, there is one final stage — the decompression stage — characterized by the release of gas bubbles at the eruption site.

So, the study researchers decided to analyze quartz crystals at the site of one of these massive eruptions that erupted in California about 760,000 years ago, creating the Long Valley Caldera. Quartz crystals cover surface rims of eruption sites, so by analyzing them, the researchers were able to determine the rim growth rates times of the volcano based on the concentration of titanium in the crystals. By measuring the size and growth rates of these rims, they were able to determine the length of time it took for an explosion to happen once the decompression phase had begun.

Their analysis showed that more than 70% of rim growth occurred in less than a year, indicating that the quartz rims grow mostly in just the days or months prior to an eruption.

At first glance, most preppers would find that kind of warning to be a relief. After all, if someone told you that say, a nuclear war was going to happen in a year or that a tsunami was going to wipe out your home in a few months, you would have plenty of time to either get ready or get out of dodge.

But with a supervolcano, you’re dealing with a disaster that people and governments would need more time to prepare for. Depending on where the volcano is positioned, millions of people may need to be evacuated, which even with a year’s heads up could turn into a massive humanitarian disaster.

And then there’s the ash that would spew over an area that could be as large as nearly 200,000 square miles, and piled several inches deep on the ground after it settles, screwing up crops and clogging rivers and streams in the process.

And finally, the volcano could expel massive amounts of gasses like sulfur dioxide, which would reflect the sun’s rays away from the Earth. That would likely cause unusual rain patterns and freezing weather, in regions and seasons that wouldn’t normally have those conditions. There’s no doubt that we’d be faced with massive crop failures all over the world. And if that’s not bad enough, this scenario could play out over the course of a decade.

There are already hundreds of millions of people who don’t have food. There’s no telling how many of them would die within a decade, or how much geopolitical insecurity that could cause. When you think about it, a supervolcano could totally shatter the current world order, for better or for worse, and that’s not really something any person or government could prepare for in less than a year.

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

Do You Live in a Flood Zone? You’ll Want to See This.

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flood-truck_RNLiving in a flood zone is a lot like living next to a time bomb. You have no idea when it’s going to go off. Though some areas are flooded on a routine basis, those communities tend to be more prepared for such events. The real danger lies in living in a 50 year or a 100 year flood zone. The threat is great enough that it will probably happen in your lifetime, but not so great that you can expect local authorities and the local infrastructure to handle it properly.

But regardless of where you live, if there’s any chance of water reaching your home, you’ll want to do whatever you can to prepare for that event. Aside from fires, floods can cause the most expensive damages to your home, and that’s assuming your home isn’t completely destroyed.

Thankfully, there is a rather unique method for guarding your home from flood water. Though it’s pretty expensive, it pales in comparison to the cost of flood damages. It’s called the Aqua Dam, and it made headlines last month when Texas was being inundated with flood waters.

According to the company that makes the Aqua Dam, it’s actually cheaper per square foot that sandbags, and is far easier and faster to install in an emergency. As an added bonus, the Aqua Dam can be used for storing potable water, which can be hard to come by if a storm damages local utilities. With attributes like that, I have a feeling that this product is going to be a hot commodity among preppers in the near future.

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

How You Could Save Lives in a Mass Casualty Situation

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Note: Due to recent events, part 2 of my gunshot wounds treatment series is postponed to next week. (See part 1 here.)

The START adult triage algorithm from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Click the photo to enlarge. (If you don't have medical training, it will make more sense if you've taken my course or read my latest book.)

Click the photo to enlarge. This is a START adult triage algorithm from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (If you don’t have medical training, the chart will make more sense if you’ve taken my course or read my latest book.)

For the past week, mass tragedies and mayhem have dominated U.S. news. In Dallas, a man shot and killed five police officers and injured seven more during a protest. In Nice, France, a man murdered more than 80 people when he plowed through a crowd in a transport truck. And in Turkey, hundreds were reportedly injured or killed during an attempted coup.

What if you were caught in a mass casualty situation? What if you weren’t injured but dozens around you were? Would you know what to do? How to help? Where to start?

Here’s a simple four-point plan to have in place anytime you’re in a crowd.

The 4 T’s of Mass Casualty Treatment

Whether it’s from gunshots, a truck driving through a crowd, a tornado, or an earthquake, multiple-trauma situations initially result in chaos and panic. But within that, there are opportunities for uninjured survivors to save lives of the injured.

In a nutshell, here are my four T’s for helping to save lives in a multi-trauma situation:

  1. Take cover.You can’t help others if you’re killed. So make reasonably sure the imminent danger to you has passed before venturing out.
  2. Take action. Don’t wait for someone else. Just do it. Many people freeze (through no fault of their own; it’s the way the brain works sometimes). Others don’t have the knowledge needed to help. Still others are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start or can’t calm down enough to help. Emergency responders are likely on their way, but they may be delayed or blocked.
  3. Triage. Find a person you think you can best help. The START system can help you decide (see below), or just choose the closest person.
  4. Treat. For instance, if someone is alive but bleeding badly, apply pressure or a tourniquet. After that, move to the next victim. If no one is alive, start chest compressions on someone.

How to Triage: The START System

If there are a lot of people with severe injuries and you can’t help them all, you may have make some hard decisions about who can use your help the most. Many first responder teams go by the START system. It stands for Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment. It’s not perfect, but it can give you guidance to avoid the paralyzing enormity of it all.

The START system technically involves using colored tags to triage (sort) people according to how injured they are. You probably won’t have tags, but the general guidelines can help you decide who you should spend your main time on. The categories are:

  • Black: Are so severely injured they’re unlikely to survive no matter the treatment
  • Red: Have life-threatening injuries that need immediate treatment if they’re going to survive
  • Yellow: Have injuries but can likely wait for treatment until the red group is treated and transported
  • Green: Have fairly minor injuries—sometimes called the walking wounded

For instance, here’s a situation you might face: A person shows no sign of life. You know that the treatment is immediate chest compressions until expert help takes over. But do you spend your time on that person, who is very unlikely to survive, or do you help the other one who will die if her bleeding is not stopped? Or the one with severe difficulty breathing?

The START system can help you make those horrible choices in a more objective manner. At the least, it will give you a place to … start. In the end, it’s a judgment call. But please, unless you are hurt or in danger, help someone. If you do, in my opinion, no one has the right to judge that you were wrong.

And then there’s the walking wounded. If they’re alert enough, you might even be able to get them to assist in saving the others.

Questions? Does this make sense?

If you’ve experienced treating victims on-site in a multiple-trauma situation, please share your experience to help other readers.

Source for triage algorithm: https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/startadult.htm#illustration.

The Four Essential Steps to Rebuilding Civilization

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ruined cityPreppers spend a lot of time and energy figuring out what they need to do to protect themselves and their families in a wide variety of situations. However, their preps usually have more to do with basic sustenance than they do with prosperity. This is by necessity of course, since when disaster strikes, mere survival is often the best any of us could hope for.

But if we want to really thrive after a major disaster (and in this case I mean a truly cataclysmic disaster that throws us into a new dark age), hunkering down in our homes with weapons and freeze-dried food isn’t going to cut it in the long run. At some point after the dust settles, we’re going to have to come out of our bunkers and start rebuilding the kind of civilization that we want our children to grow up in.

Which, when you think about it, is an incredibly daunting task. A civilization that could provide even a fraction of the amenities that we have now, would rely upon millions of people carrying out thousands of unique services, any of which can derail civilization to some degree if they’re not fulfilled. And when you think about it that way, it almost seems impossible. Where do you even begin?

The truth is, that while civilization depends on everyone carrying out countless (and often thankless) jobs, there are a few core pillars of civilization that are more important than anything else. If after a disaster, these tasks are taken care of, everything else will eventually fall into place. Once it’s safe enough for you and your family to start engaging with what’s left of your community, these are the problems that will need to be solved first:

Re-establishing Order

As much we preppers like to criticize the government, we all know that if there isn’t some kind of system that punishes people who murder and steal, then we don’t have a civilization. Nothing will be rebuilt if people don’t feel safe enough to leave their homes.

After any kind of collapse however, there is a brief period of time where just about anyone could come to power, including people who have no business telling the rest of us what to do. You see this all the time in developing nations, where bandits, warlords, and drug cartels are often the only form of authority for some communities. The actions taken by you and your community after the collapse, will determine whether or not you will live under criminals, or live under a system that respects your rights, protects your property, and appropriately engages with neighboring communities.

Rebuilding Communication Networks

A civilization is only as advanced as its mode of communication. If after the collapse, the only way to send a message is by written letters delivered on horseback, then your community will have all the luxuries of an 18th century village. But if you can establish some kind of electronic communication, you’ll be in pretty good shape.

Obviously, the survivors of the collapse won’t have the resources or know-how to get the internet up and running again. Instead, ham radio operators will likely be the best candidates for rebuilding global communications. Even though these radios can’t send or receive signals globally, they still have a range of dozens of miles, and sometimes hundreds of miles in perfect conditions. A network of these operators working together, could help small isolated communities relay messages across any given continent.

Opening Transportation Routes

It’s been pointed out before that once the trucks stop delivering goods, civilization will grind to a halt. One of the first orders of business for any fledgling survivors, will be reopening and repairing transportation channels, so that goods can once again reach their homes. This may require the removal of abandoned cars from crumbling roadways, or if nearby bridges have collapsed, survivors may have to construct pontoons or makeshift cable ferry’s to transport goods until the bridges are rebuilt.

Producing Trade Goods

And finally, any community that wants to thrive after the collapse will have to produce some kind of tangible good or useful service that the world around them needs. If your community can make something that other communities need, it will be on the fast track to full recovery after the collapse, because then you’ll be able trade on a wider market and attain desperately needed supplies and labor for rebuilding civilization.

It could be something as simple as producing a surplus of food, or reopening a mine that went out of commission when everything fell apart. Communities that can’t produce something that the global economy needs, will be mired in poverty for years, and may resort to unsavory practices to survive. So if you’re thinking about moving to a rural area that will be safe from the chaos of a social collapse, take a good hard look at the local economy, and make sure that community produces something tangible that the world needs.

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

How California Still Isn’t Prepared for the Next Big Earthquake

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earthquakeCalifornia is well-known for its diversity. The state is home to every race, culture, religion, or ideology that you could possibly think of. But if there’s one thing that all of these millions of people have in common, it’s that they are all well aware of the dangers lurking underneath the state. Everyone knows that someday, the “big one” is coming, and it’s going to bring California to its knees.

And not only is everyone in California well aware that the state is overdue for some major seismic activity, but everyone has known this for decades. It’s a very basic fact of life that is even taught to Californian kids when they’re in school. It’s not just something that Californians hear about on the news from time to time, it’s a story they tell to each other over and over again. The impending threat of the next big earthquake is ingrained in California’s culture.

Everyone knows what’s coming.

And yet, somehow, California isn’t equipped to deal with this disaster. Despite having a wealthy economy that rivals most first world nations, and despite having decades of advanced warning, California has still failed to prepare for the next major earthquake in several critical ways.

According to a recent report put together by several prominent business and policy leaders, California’s aging infrastructure is going to result in widespread destruction that would have been preventable with basic safety features. Most notably:

One of the biggest vulnerabilities, the report states, relates to the Cajon Pass, a narrow mountain pass where the mighty San Andreas Fault intersects with key lifelines, including freeways, railway lines, gas and petroleum pipelines as well as electric lines.

A major on the San Andreas, one of California’s most dangerous faults, would cut most lifelines in and out of southern California, preventing critical aid from reaching some 20 million people and hampering recovery efforts, experts say.

The quake would also rupture flammable pipelines, triggering explosions and fires that could burn out of control.

“Anything that comes into southern California has to cross the San Andreas Fault to get to us—gas, electricity, water, freeways, railways,” said seismologist Lucy Jones, who acted as advisor for the Southern California Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative committee, which issued the report.

And on top of that, California’s building codes are not robust enough to handle a major earthquake. Most of the state’s structures are sturdy enough to prevent the deaths of their inhabitants, but that’s about it. In the hardest hit areas they’ll still be destroyed. Unfortunately, most of California’s homes and buildings haven’t been reinforced sufficiently to handle a major quake, which would cost a fraction of what it would take to rebuild them.

So brace yourselves for the “big one” even if you don’t live in California. It’s going to kill thousands of people within the state, and cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damages, which will surely have an effect on the rest of America’s economy and food supply. California’s lack of foresight and action in the face of a well-known threat is going to hurt everyone.

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

Ancient Secrets to Relieving Back Pain

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backBack pain is a big deal. It will affect almost every American over the course of their lifetime, and in many cases, it goes on to become chronic and untreatable. Back pain drives up the dependency of painkillers, it causes loss of sleep, loss of work, and it leads to a sedentary lifestyle (which can in turn lead to obesity, heart attack, or even death).

But acupuncturist and author Esther Gokhale turned to an unlikely source to investigate back pain in her bestselling new book: 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. Gokhale spent an immense amount of time investigating indigenous populations (from those in Portugal to Ecuador to West Africa and elsewhere). This is because, in these populations, the instance of back pain is extremely rare and is often even unheard of, despite the fact that these people use their backs for hard labor every single day. So how do they avoid back pain? Gokhale says it all comes down to spine shape.

J versus S

Most Americans have a spine that is shaped like the letter S. It curves at the top, goes inward at mid-back, and curves out again at the base. In indigenous populations however, the spine is shaped like the letter J. It is mainly flat from the top downward, until it curves out at the base (where the back meets the buttocks). This is also the spine shape of young children. Gokhale, herself a long-time sufferer of back pain, wondered if the shape of the spine had anything to do with pain. Over the course of her studies, she determined that getting back to a J-shaped spine could prove to be extremely beneficial to everyone, especially those already dealing with pain.

Lifestyle

We know that as children our spines have that J shape. So what happens over time to cause the S curve? It’s largely because of lifestyle choices. Americans spend massive amounts of time hunched over computer screens. Unlike indigenous populations, we often sit in chairs for 8+ hours a day and we almost never squat or sit on the floor while working. Our core muscles are likely not as strong as they could be, leading to sagging bellies and sloping spines. Besides this, Americans are much more likely to be overweigh than indigenous populations, and this weight leads to stress and curvature of the spine.

How to Get Back to J

So how do we get back to that ideal J spine shape? Gokhale says there are a series of exercises and postures in her book that can help people reform their spines. These exercises aren’t unlike those found in yoga and pilates programs, but Gokhale says they are specifically targeted to restructure the spine. Core muscle strength, lifestyle choices, and weight are all factors in her program, but the benefits of having a healthy back are not to be understated, and the results (spine shape that you can see evolving over time) are less abstract than a diet or exercise program alone. Even those of us with no back trouble at all should shoot for the J spine—and prevention may prove to be critical as we age over time. Better to stave off pain entirely than to have to go through the work of rehabilitation.

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Strange Things That Can Boost Your Immune System

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tissueNobody likes to get sick, and nearly everyone is open to any trick or habit that will boost their immune system. For most people, this means eating better food and getting more exercise and sleep. Or if someone is already coming down with a cold, they’re quick consume as much vitamin C as they can, or engage in whatever immunity boosting fad is making the rounds on the internet.

However, the human body is an unbelievably sophisticated machine, and improving your immune system isn’t so simple. In fact, there are some rather strange ways of boosting your immunity, which you probably would’ve never guessed are effective, such as:

Cold Showers

You’d probably assume that cold water would make you more susceptible to illness, considering that you’ve been told your whole life to bundle up in cold weather, lest you fall ill. But studies have shown that when you’re drenched in cold water, your body increases immune cell production.

Looking at Images of Sick People

If you’ve ever had an ailment that you couldn’t quite explain, you’ve probably tried to diagnose yourself by looking up your symptoms on the internet. Doing so will inevitably lead you to a Google Image search, where you will scroll through hundreds of ghastly images of sick people as you try to identify what’s bothering you. It turns out that you’re really doing your immune system a favor.

As part of a study in Canada, subjects were told to endure a 10 minute slide show that consisted of images of people who showed visible symptoms of illness. Afterward their blood was tested, and it showed signs that their immune systems had been temporarily boosted. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. People who could boost their immune systems by simply looking at a sick person probably outlived anyone who lacked that bodily response.

Fasting

While most trendy cold and flu treatments involve consuming popular superfoods (some of which do have merit) it turns out that abstaining from food can help keep you from getting sick in the first place. Fasting for three days causes your immune system to completely regenerate. It prompts your body to start eliminating damaged immune cells, and to start generating new more efficient cells. After three days without food, your immune system is completely rebuilt from the ground up, which is helpful for anyone with a damaged immune system, such as the elderly or cancer patients.

Physical Contact With Your Pets

If you can believe it, studies have shown that petting your dog can boost your immune system, though an explanation for this effect has never been found. If you happen to be a cat owner, don’t be discouraged. There’s a reason why cats often purr when they’re sick or injured, and it’s because their purring vibrates at a frequency that has a documented healing effect in mammals. It can help heal bones and tissues, and can even boost the immune system. It’s been theorized that holding or petting your cat while he or she purrs could transfer that effect to you.

Get Dirty

And finally, one of the best ways to boost your immune system is also one of the least intuitive. We live in a germaphobic society that has taught many of us from childhood to avoid contact with anything that isn’t sterile, and to constantly wash our hands. But it turns out that kids need to come into contact with dirty substances, so that their immune systems can develop properly. Kids who grow up in uber clean environments tend to have more allergies and autoimmune diseases.

As for adults, it’s not really socially acceptable for us to play in the dirt and eat bugs off the ground anymore. However, we do have our own version of introducing bacteria into our bodies. One of the best things we can do to boost our immune systems, is to consume probiotic foods such as yogurt, raw milk, and fermented vegetables.

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

Why Drones Could Save Your Life When The SHTF

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quadcopter wikimediaDrones have a rather negative reputation these days, and for good reason. They bring to mind government surveillance and extrajudicial killings in foreign countries. And in the civilian world they are at best a nuisance, and at worst they can be used by hobbyists to spy on their neighbors. And among the more paranoid members of our society (though in all fairness, being paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong) drones bring to mind the possibility of automated killing machines taking over the human race in the near future.

But truth be told, drones aren’t all bad. And for those of you reading this who are drone hobbyists, I should add that the vast majority of private drone users are responsible people who respect the privacy and safety of their neighbors. Drones are just like any other technology. They are neither good or evil, nor are they positive or negative for society. Drones are only as good as the people who wield them, and when used ethically, they have the potential to enrich our lives.

As for preppers, drones are a highly underrated tool for surviving the potential collapse of our society. Having one of these machines would give any survivor an edge over anyone who would take advantage of the chaos brought on by such an event. Drones have all of the advantages of a security camera, such as the ability to watch your surroundings in real-time without exposing yourself, without the disadvantage of that camera being stuck to a fixed location.

If you live in a rural area with wide open spaces, you could easily provide perimeter security for a large property, and spot any bad guys in your neighborhood without ever stepping outside of your home. And if you live in a city, a drone could help you safely navigate a chaotic and barricaded urban environment, filled with obstacles. Or if you live near a major roadway, which is a situation that most preppers would agree is not ideal for protecting your home from looters, a drone could help you spot threats long before they reach you.

And due to their popularity, there is a wide variety of drones on the market today. No matter what your situation or budget requires, there is probably a perfect drone for you. The larger and more expensive drones are better suited for situations where you are hunkering down in your home, and you need a bird’s eye view of your neighborhood.  In some cases, these models can fly more than a mile away from their users, though video quality may suffer or be nonexistent at those ranges. However, being able to capture real-time video from several hundred yards away is not uncommon with a high quality drone.

But for bug out situations, some of the smaller and cheaper drones are more suitable. They’re portable, lightweight, and use very little energy. The cheapest models have a range of about 20 yards, which is ideal for looking around corners in urban environments or over vegetation in rural and suburban areas.

For the most part, it seems like the prepper community has overlooked drone technology, which we can’t afford to do any longer. As time goes on these devices are becoming very cheap and common, which means that the bad eggs in our society will likely have access to them if the grid goes down. With that said, it would be wise for preppers to reconsider this technology. It could be just the thing we need to even the odds against people who would do us harm after the collapse.

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

Why Every Prepper Should Have Five Gallon Buckets

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5 gallon bucketsPreppers have a habit of extracting as many uses from any given object as they can, and for good reason. Prepping is an activity that takes up a lot of space, and it’s done to prepare for emergencies that may or may not happen. It’s difficult to justify this activity if it displaces things that you know you’ll need, so preserving space by finding more than one use for your belongings is essential.

Also, it just comes naturally to preppers due to our mindset. We regularly prepare for chaotic and desperate situations that require improvisation and creativity to survive. Coming up with multiple uses for an item is child’s play for us.

However, some things are better suited to being modified for multiple purposes. Everyone knows that duct tape and paracord can be used for countless applications, but there’s another item that has nearly as many uses, and that is the humble five gallon bucket. Here are just a few of the ways you can use this simple product:

  1. Use them for carrying water, washing clothes, or harvesting rain water.
  2. Food grade buckets are also quite versatile. You can use them to store dry goods such as rice, beans, flour, or even dog food. Or since plastic is a fairly good insulator, you can use them as a cooler to store perishable food.
  3. If you own anything that needs to be buried for short periods of time, five gallon buckets can help.
  4. You can use them to build gardens, worm composting bins, or composting toilets.
  5. They’re great for storing any supplies that shouldn’t get wet, such as charcoal, paper towels, or kindling.
  6. With a few modifications, these buckets can be made into biosand filters for cleaning water, or you can drill holes in a bucket to make an improvised camp shower. If you’re exceptionally handy and live near running water, you can even build a hydroelectric generator out of a five gallon bucket.
  7. And of course there are a few odd tasks for five gallon buckets that most people would never consider. They can be turned into very effective mouse traps, and with the right gear they can even be used as backpacks

And to be frank, this is just a short list. Five gallon buckets are arguably one of the most versatile tools for a prepper, and their applications are endless. They’re also cheap and plentiful, and you can often get them for free from friends, neighbors, and local businesses. I’d be so bold as to say that you’re not really prepared unless you have a short stack of these buckets somewhere in your home.

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

The EU referendum

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We won. It’s been a hard slog but worth it. Thanks to all that supported Brexit.

It’s now over to our useless politicians to sort out the exit strategy. First of all though we need to get rid of Cameron and Osbourne. We want to move on lead by people who believe in the UK […]

How to Harvest Clean Drinking Water From a Tree

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water-300x225You’ve probably seen it countless movies and TV shows. Some poor guy is stranded out in the desert, and is in desperate need of water. So he cuts into a cactus, and harvests an abundance of lifesaving H2O. In the real world however, most cacti don’t really provide much water. The fluid they do provide is far from potable. In all likelihood it will induce vomiting and delirium rather than quench your thirst.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t gather water from other plants. In fact, there are several tree species you can tap for fresh drinking water, in much the same way you would tap a cactus (if you had a death wish). While everyone knows that you can tap maple trees for their syrup, birch and walnut trees can also be tapped. They will produce a fluid that has a much lower sugar content than maple, though all three are good sources of hydration in case you’re ever stranded in the wilderness. Here’s how it’s done:

Or if you’d rather make a less intrusive mark in the tree, you can use this slightly different technique.

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

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

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nuclear silo wikimediaThese days we are all well aware that nuclear technology provides plenty of ways to disrupt our society. There are of course, an abundance of nuclear missiles in the world today, as well suitcase nukes and dirty bombs. There is also the ever looming possibility of a meltdown occurring in a nuclear power plant. However, there is one nuclear threat that very few people are aware of, and we have the Russians to thank for it.

In short, they have a bona fide doomsday machine. No, this isn’t science fiction. At first glance it probably doesn’t sound very exotic, since this machine delivers ordinary nuclear weapons. What’s so unique about it, is the conditions that could cause it to activate. The Russians refer to it as the “Dead Hand,” and it operates similarly to the fictional doomsday device from Dr. Strangelove.

Developed in the 1980’s, the Dead Hand is a system designed to ensure that no matter what happens during a nuclear attack, the Soviets would always be able to strike back. They feared that the United States would be able to decapitate their leadership with a preemptive nuclear strike, so they built an automated nuclear command system that requires very little human input.

The Dead Hand is a computer system that is connected to a network of seismic, radiological, and air pressure sensors distributed throughout the country, as well as the government’s communication infrastructure. If the Dead Hand detects a nuclear blast on Russian soil, then it will check to see if communications are still open with the upper echelons of the Russian government. If that connection is ever severed, (say by a nuclear attack against the Kremlin) the computer will initiate the launch of every remaining nuclear missile in Russia’s arsenal.

What’s so scary about this system, is that it has little human input. In any nuclear arsenal, there are typically multiple layers of politicians and military officials that a launch order has to pass through. If the Dead Hand however, decides that it’s time to launch a nuclear assault against the US, then that authority is passed to a handful of midranking officers hunkered down in a bunker. It’s widely believed that this system is still in operation to this day, and believe it or not, many of our government’s leaders are unaware of its existence.

The technical name was Perimeter, but some called it Mertvaya Ruka, or Dead Hand. It was built 25 years ago and remained a closely guarded secret. With the demise of the USSR, word of the system did leak out, but few people seemed to notice. In fact, though Yarynich and a former Minuteman launch officer named Bruce Blair have been writing about Perimeter since 1993 in numerous books and newspaper articles, its existence has not penetrated the public mind or the corridors of power. The Russians still won’t discuss it, and Americans at the highest levels—including former top officials at the State Department and White House—say they’ve never heard of it. When I recently told former CIA director James Woolsey that the USSR had built a doomsday device, his eyes grew cold. “I hope to God the Soviets were more sensible than that.” They weren’t.

That secrecy should be alarming, because we don’t have a very good idea about what could trip up this aging system. The very existence of the human race is in the hands of a 31-year-old computer and a few Russian officers, and that leaves a lot of scary questions unanswered.

Is this aging computer system still reliable? How about the sensors that its connected to? Can the select few people who man it be trusted to make the right decisions? Under the right conditions, could the Dead Hand initiate an accidental nuclear strike?

If say a dirty bomb temporarily severed communications with the Dead Hand, would it know what really happened? Or would it just sense the radiation and assume the worst? What about an asteroid, or a solar flare? We don’t know if all the sensors need to be giving readings that are consistent with a nuclear attack, or if they only need to identify a handful of conditions. We don’t know if the officers who check on the system are going to simply follow the computer’s instructions, or if they will rely on their own judgement.

There’s a lot of scary stuff that we don’t know about the Dead Hand. It just goes to show even though humans are far too scared and reasonable to launch a nuclear attack against another nuclear armed nation, the possibility of such a conflict happening accidentally is always present.

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

How Would You Survive Hyperinflation in Venezuela?

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printing-moneyVenezuela is currently in the throes of a devastating economic collapse that was spawned by the ignorant socialist policies of the Chavez/Maduro government. Everything is falling apart there. The water system, the roads, the electrical grid, the hospital, and especially the food distribution system. Venezuelans are so desperate that they are forced to scrounge for food in dumpsters and hunt down cats and dogs. Crime is rampant as well, and the capital city of Caracas now has the highest murder rate in the world. Mobs of vigilantes are frequently seen picking up the slack of the corrupt police; that is, when they’re not busy looting grocery stores. Venezuela is practically a war zone now.

However, the worst part of this economic collapse is the rapid inflation of Venezuela’s currency. That may sound minor when compared to soaring crime rates and dumpster diving, but the diminishing status of Venezuela’s currency (the bolívar) is what enables so many of the moral and financial tragedies in that country. To one degree or another, inflation is related to every facet of Venezuela’s collapse.

In 2003 the situation was quite different. A dollar could be exchanged for 1.6 bolívars. Now the exchange rate is 172 bolívars per dollar, but that’s just the official exchange rate. That’s what you would get if you walked into a Venezuelan bank. On the black market, it would take 996 bolívars to buy a single dollar. With an inflation rate of 180% (and those are just the official numbers) Venezuela’s currency fits the definition of hyperinflation.

Considering how much damage this hyperinflation has done to the economy and the very fabric of society, it has to make you wonder. What would you do if this happened in your country? What steps could you take to survive when your money becomes worthless?

Much has already been written on the subject, and most preppers are already familiar with this sound advice: take your rapidly diminishing currency, and buy something that will at least hold its value no matter how many zeros show up on your money. The most common assets that are recommended for preserving your wealth include:

  • Precious metals
  • Cash held in other currencies
  • Land
  • Non-perishable food
  • Drugs and other medical supplies
  • Weapons and ammunition

However, I would say that what you need to survive hyperinflation is the same thing that is crucial to your survival in any disaster. You need to have the right skills, which for this scenario, would fall under two categories. First, you need to know how to do things that will help you get by when society at large is falling apart. The kind of skills that aren’t as essential when you live in a prosperous nation, such as:

  • Growing food
  • Hunting and gathering
  • First Aid
  • Car Repair
  • Self Defense
  • Bartering

And second, you need the kind of skills that will make you money no matter how bad things get. Just because hyperinflation tends to screw up society, doesn’t mean everything is going to completely grind to halt. People will still need basic goods and services, and they will still desperately want to live in a functional society, even if it’s just the shadow of a functional society. You’ll still be able to find a job.

However, just as hyperinflation diminishes the value of a currency, so to will many jobs pay less during and after a collapse. That’s not just because the money isn’t worth the same. With so much widespread poverty, everyone will be desperate to enter the job market, including the very young and the very old. In other words, the labor pool will have lots of supply and very little demand, so employers will have the economic leverage to pay their workers a pittance. However, some jobs will be able to retain some of their value, such as:

  • Just about anything to do with the medical field
  • Farming
  • Private security
  • Mechanics, plumbers, electricians, or repairmen of any kind
  • Teachers and tutors, especially if they can impart money-making skills

At the end of the day however, your skills will only get you so far depending on how long the crisis lasts. In the case of Venezuela, the situation is about as dire as it can get. Sometimes an economic collapse merely destroys any chance of prosperity for the average citizen. But in Venezuela, the economic climate hasn’t just killed prosperity. It has made it damn near impossible for anyone to survive.

So at the end of the day, the best way to survive an economic collapse is to flee the country. Everyone in your family should have their passports, and enough money to leave the country before the SHTF. In Venezuela, everyone who could leave did so a few years ago. Now most people can’t even afford to leave their city, much less the country.

Be prepared to lose most of the money you’ve spent your whole life saving, because even before the collapse occurs, the government will likely have laws in place that will prevent you from taking money out of the country. However, that may be a small price to pay in exchange for not living in hell hole where you have to eat trash to survive. Cut your losses and start a new life in a new country if you can. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your homeland collapses, because it is always better to be a poor man in a rich country, than a dead man in a poor country.

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

Top-10 Survival Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

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Top-10 Survival Gift Ideas for Father's DayFather’s Day is close at hand. How about getting the old man something a little different this year? Something he can use—that might even help him survive the unexpected.

Here are 10 survival gift ideas for Father’s Day that I think any man would relish. Whether Dad is a camper, fisherman, hunter, hiker, prepper, DIYer, homesteader, or even a traveling businessman, there’s something in this list for him. And I bet he doesn’t already have everything on it.

Full disclosure: Most of these links are Amazon affiliate links. But the products are simply examples, not meant as specific recommendations. Short on time? Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, and you can get many of these gifts within a couple of days.

Five Inflammatory Foods That You Should Eat in Moderation

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donutsThese days, most people associate the word ‘inflammation’ with ‘unhealthy.’ Truth be told though, inflammation can be a very good thing. It’s your body’s way of healing. When you’re sick or injured, your body flushes the effected area with blood, immune cells, and nutrients, in an effort to combat pathogens and heal what is damaged. Obviously, this results in pain and discomfort, but in the big scheme of things it is exactly what you need to survive and live a healthy life.

When someone says that inflammation is bad, what they’re really talking about is chronic inflammation, which is a bit more insidious. It doesn’t always make you feel like you’re sick or in pain, but it is highly damaging to your body. Chronic inflammation has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even cancer. It can be caused by a lack of sleep, stress, pollution, certain allergies, or a poor diet; and it can add more damage on top of whatever is causing the inflammation.

However, diet is often associated with inflammation more than any other cause. Certain foods and can do a number on your body, and if you’re eating them every day, you may be on the path to an early grave. Foods that you should either eliminate from your diet or consume in moderation include:

White Bread

You’ll find that most foods that are “refined” typically have a higher glycemic index, which causes inflammation. White bread is one of the worst examples. It causes your insulin levels to spike, creating the perfect environment for inflammation to run rampant. Whole grain foods however, can reduce inflammation.

Sugar

Of all the inflammatory foods that you eat, sweeteners are the most notorious. The human body simply did not evolve to process straight sugar. Rather, our digestive systems were made to take sugar in small amounts, preferably bound in whole foods like fruit, which take much longer to digest. The consumption of white sugar gives your body a massive spike in blood sugar, which is highly damaging and inflammatory. Not only that, but refined sugar leads to weight gain, which is also inflammatory. Artificial sugars can also create an immune response, since your body does not recognize them.

Fried Foods

Foods like french fries, potato chips, and donuts are cooked at a high temperature, which creates advanced glycation end products, or AGES. Your body doesn’t recognize these compounds, so they are treated to an immune response upon ingestion. Not only that, but fried foods are also often cooked in vegetable oils, which typically contain very high levels of omega-6 fats. Normally these fats are good for you, but if they’re not balanced with omega-3 fats they are inflammatory.

Alcohol

Not only does alcohol often contain inflammatory gluten and sugar, but by itself it can initiate your body’s immune system. The way your liver breaks down alcohol produces toxins, and alcohol can make your intestines more porous, which allows bacteria to spread throughout the body. On top of that, alcohol can have a devastating effect on the good bacteria in your digestive tract, which plays a significant role in your immune system. Overall, alcohol is pretty hard on your immune system. It weakens your immune response while simultaneously giving your immune system more to fight, both of which can be inflammatory.

Meat and Dairy

While meat and dairy products provide an excellent source of nutrition, they should be consumed in reasonable portions. They both contain saturated fats, which while essential to a healthy diet, are also inflammatory. They contain arachidonic acid, which your body produces naturally when it needs to create inflammation. Meat is especially inflammatory, since like fried foods, it is often cooked at a high temperature which produces AGES. Again, these foods can be quite good for you, and their pros typically outweigh the cons, but only when you don’t go overboard on them.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

3 Toilet Paper Alternatives That Will Get You Through The Collapse

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toilet paper wikimediaIn modern America, going without toilet paper for even a single day is unfathomable. The thought of it is cringe-worthy to most people. That’s why any time a major storm is about to hit, and everyone rushes to the store to buy up supplies, one of the first items to run out is toilet paper.

However, for any situation that results in the break down of society and lasts more than a couple of weeks, stocking up on toilet paper is not a viable option. The average family of four goes through about 240 rolls of toilet paper per year. So unless you have a large home, keeping anywhere near that much toilet paper is only going to take up precious space that would be better used for essential survival supplies.

As sacrilegious as it may sound, toilet paper is not essential to your survival. In fact, it’s only been in common usage around the developed world for over a century. Many of the alternatives that humans have been using for thousands of years are, shall we say, unpleasant. However, a few of these old school methods are bit more palatable, and much more sustainable, such as:

Reusable Cloth

In the past, it was typical for the wealthy to use strips of wool, hemp, or cotton to clean up after a bathroom visit, while the poor were stuck using, hay, moss, or even stones. The most obvious advantage to using these fabrics, is that they can be cleaned and reused. But more than that, they’re also more comfortable and provide a thicker barrier for your hand.

From a prepping perspective though, there is one downside to this idea. Cleaning these reusable wipes would require a considerable amount of water. Unless you have a well on your property or live near a river or creek that flows year round, reusable wipes are not economical. If on the other hand you do live somewhere that has a natural source of water, you do have another viable alternative to toilet paper…

Another alternative would be to repurpose old bits of cloth that have been tattered or torn. This gives the cloth a new purpose and can help you conserve your preps. Many old-timers have been collecting these strips of cloth and saving them in their “rag bag.”

Water

One of the most common methods of cleaning your rear throughout the world, is to simply rinse it with water. In India, the vast majority of the population will simply rely on a splash of water or a hose, while the Japanese and the Europeans use bidets. Since you’re preparing for a situation where running water may be out of the question, you’d have to rely on the Indian method of scooping water out of a bucket and repeatedly splashing it on your behind. Not exactly sophisticated, but it is somewhat effective. At the very least it could help prolong what toilet paper supplies you do have.

Leaves

For thousands of years humans have been using leaves in lieu of toilet paper, and in most parts of the US, you’ll find leafy plants that can provide one of the best alternatives to toilet paper almost year round.  Unless you live in the heart of a city where plants need to be constantly maintained and watered to survive, you won’t have any trouble finding trees and bushes that provide an abundance of leaves after any prolonged collapse.

That of course means that, unlike the other two toilet paper alternatives, this one won’t suck up your water supplies. Leaves are clean, abundant, disposable, and quite effective. The most common plants that are used as a toiletry include Mullein, Corn Lilly, Thimbleberry, Large Leaf Aster, and Wooly Lambs Ear. However, pretty much anything that doesn’t cause rashes and isn’t abrasive, will work. If you do happen to use the wrong leaf, here are 5 natural remedies to soothe rashes.

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

Five Awesome Multitools That Can Get You Through Anything

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multitool shovelMultitools are just plain awesome aren’t they? They let you save a ton of space by wrapping multiple functions into a single item. And since most little problems don’t need super specialized solutions, a few multitools can fix pretty much any problem around the house.

That’s not to say that single use tools aren’t as useful. If anything they’re far more efficient. If you have the money and space to accumulate a wide range of tools, then you should absolutely do so. But multitools fill a very important niche in our lives, especially for those of us who are preppers. We need more space in our homes to store our preps, and with the ever looming possibility that we may need to bug out some day, we need tools that can give us the most utility with the least amount of weight and space.

However, not all multitools are created equal. Most in fact, are either made out of shoddy materials, or are encumbered with tools that would interfere with each other during normal use. If you’re looking for awesome multitools that get things done, consider the following:

Axe Shovel Combo

fobachi axe shovel

Nothing can beat a standalone axe, but if you’re backpacking or bugging out, its size and weight isn’t ideal. Neither is a standalone shovel for that matter. You’ll want a portable lightweight shovel that can do some hatchet work in a pinch, and the Fobachi folding shovel delivers. It also has a saw and weighs less than one and half pounds.

However, if you want a shovel that has more substantial axe capabilities, you should go with something that is longer and heavier like the Pagreberya folding shovel, which weighs about 2.6 pounds. It also includes a knife, magnesium rod, compass, and hex wrench cutouts.

Carabiner Multitool

true utility

The True Utility carabiner packs 20 different functions in a compact tool that only costs about 4 bucks as of this writing. It has four different wrench sizes, four different screwdrivers on a rotating disc, a bicycle spoke wrench, a file, bottle opener, pry bar, and a ruler, among others. It comes with a leather carrying pouch, or you can use the carabiner function to clip it onto a belt loop. Alternatively, you could use the clip to attach more tiny tools to the device.

Leatherman Tread Bracelet

leatherman tread

Almost everything Leatherman makes is useful and durable, and their tread bracelet is no exception. It consists of a series of interchangeable links that can be unscrewed and removed with a penny. Each link contains two tools, most of which consist of screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and box wrenches. It’s perfect for travelers who are tired of having their multitools confiscated by airport security.

Honeydoo Hammer

honeydoo hammer

They say that if all you have is a hammer, then all of your problems will look like nails. That’s not the case if you have the Honeydoo Multitool. It includes an adjustable wrench, pliers, screwdriver, knife, file, and 12 different screws and bolts. While a small hammer like this would be inappropriate for serious nail work, it’s perfect for solving lots of little problems around the house.

Innovation Factory Axe

innovation axe

It should go without saying that while the axe shovel combo would be useful, you probably can’t split wood with it very easily. It’s only an “axe” in the vaguest sense of the word. But when you ditch the shovel and build a multitool around an axe head instead, it is a thing of beauty.

The Innovation Factory All Purpose Axe comes in two different varieties; one that was designed for truckers, and another for fire and rescue workers. Both include an axe head, hammer, nail puller, and pry bar. It’s a very simple and resilient tool that isn’t overburdened with too many gizmos. It only has a few tools that do their jobs very well. And at a little over two pounds, you could take this axe just about anywhere.

Also See:

Five Cool Multitools You’ve Probably Never Heard of

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

Coal: An Underrated Fuel Source that Preppers Should Consider

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coal wikimediaIf you’re living in a rural area and you happen to have a wood stove, you’re probably living the dream. Not only are you experiencing the joys of living so close to nature, and the peace of living so far away from the city, but you’re also sleeping easy knowing that if the grid ever goes down, you can always cut down a few trees for the winter.

But wood isn’t the only thing you can put in your wood stove. These days most people have forgotten that there is another source of fuel that is far more attractive: the much maligned rock known as coal.

Though coal is still widely used as a source of fuel for power plants, its house-warming applications have fallen out of favor over the past few decades, likely due to environmental concerns. Even if you don’t believe all the arguments about Co2 and global warming, the smoke and ash from a coal fire can contain radioactive materials, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals. Coal is not something you want to burn in your house every day.

It should however, still of be of interest to preppers for occasional or emergency use. For starters, it has a very high energy density. It doesn’t have quite as many BTUs per pound as gasoline or propane, but it has at least twice as much energy density as wood. And unlike those aforementioned fuels, it doesn’t really require any special storage methods, and it’s not going to go bad. You can just leave it around somewhere on your property. Though it can catch fire, it’s not that easy to get it burning on accident. All in all it’s a very low maintenance fuel, but most importantly, it’s really cheap depending on where you live.

The location of your property is very important to keep in mind. Out of the ground, coal is nearly dirt cheap. The cheap stuff costs about $40 per short ton, or 2 cents per pound. But the cost of shipping can quickly dwarf the cost of the coal itself. If you live anywhere in the eastern half of the United States, then you don’t have much to worry about. The Western United States on the other hand has very few coal mines, so it’s probably going to cost significantly more for you there. You probably won’t be able to get a hold of any significant amount of coal in the West without incurring heavy costs.

Not only that, but you may not want most of the coal that is produced. The bulk of the coal that is produced around the world is known as bituminous coal. This is the stuff that contains a lot of those nasty substances I mentioned before, and it does not burn cleanly. You can still use it, but it would be wise to do so sparingly and mainly for emergencies.

If you can get a hold of it affordably, anthracite coal is what you want. In the United States it is only produced in Pennsylvania, and is a far superior coal compared to bituminous. That’s because it has a higher energy density, and burns with very little smoke.

Whatever you use, make sure that your stove is capable of handling coal. You don’t want to use some rinky-dink burner made of thin steel. Unless a stove is advertised for its ability to burn coal, you probably don’t want to trust anything other than cast iron. Otherwise you can use a fireplace, so long as you purchase and install a wood/coal-burning insert.

All in all, coal is a great fuel source for preppers living in rural areas. It’s something that can be cheaply and easily stockpiled on your property, and left on its own for years until an emergency occurs. You don’t have to worry about it rotting or going bad like wood or gasoline, and it doesn’t have the same storage dangers as propane or natural gas. You can just set it by your house and forget it till you need it. It will burn for a lot longer than wood too, sometimes for up to 24 hours, so you won’t have to stay up all night feeding that fire. If you want to have your home heating needs taken care of when the grid goes down, a big pile of coal is your best friend.

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

EU Referendum

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As we get closer to the EU referendum in June we are seeing all sorts of claims by the traitors on remain as to what is likely to happen when we leave ranging from WWIII by that useless git Cameron to costs of £1500 a year increases in the cost of living from the bean […]

The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook Excerpt: How to Remove a Fish Hook

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The Survival Doctor's Complete Handbook

Available now, wherever books are sold!

Today’s the day. The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook: What to Do When Help Is NOT on the Way goes on sale. As I told you a couple of weeks ago, this is my most in-depth book yet. It’s the one I’ve been itching to publish since I began my quest to provide information about what to do for medical problems when expert help is not available.

With The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook, you’ll have my most important tips at your fingertips anytime—when the electricity goes out, the Internet goes down, or 911 is not a phone call away.

And here’s even more good news: If you buy the book this week (by May 23) through the Reader’s Digest store, at Amazon.com or anywhere books are sold, I’ll include, for free, my PDF guide to preventing infectious disease. Just email your receipt to communications [at] thesurvivaldoctor [dot] com to get the guide.

If your favorite bookstore doesn’t have The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook, please ask if they will get it for you. The more who ask, the more places it will be available.

Book Excerpt

Below is a sample of what you’ll find in The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook—a timely excerpt for fishin’ season.

If you’ve ever even thought of going fishing, you need to know how to remove a fish hook. It’s not easy. That barb that keeps the fish from pulling the hook out works just as well on human flesh.

Below is one of the many illustrated how-to procedures in The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook. Illustrations are one of the main elements I insisted on to my publisher, Reader’s Digest. I’ve always found that they really enhance my understanding of how-to procedures, and overall understanding of medical problems and solutions. Reader’s Digest agreed. You’ll find over 90 illustrations in this book.

Embedded Fish Hooks

Excerpt from "The Survival Doctor's Complete Handbook"If you’ve ever stuck a fish hook into your flesh, you know they do a good job of digging in to stay. It happens all the time. You hook either yourself, your fishing partner, or some poor soul who just happens to be in the way of your casting. I’ve seen hooked fingers, hands, faces, legs, and cheeks (both front and rear).

Clean the area first. If the hook has more than one barb, put tape around the loose one so it won’t become embedded during the procedure. Find some strong string, such as fishing line or dental floss. Place a length of string around the curve of the embedded hook. Press down on the back of the hook so the barb will dislodge and pull the string quick and fast. The hook may come flying out, so watch your own body parts.

If that doesn’t work, you can advance the hook through the skin and cut the barb off. Ouch. Of course, this is going to damage more flesh, but it is a way to get the hook out.

If you unfortunately hook your eyeball, leave the hook alone and get immediate expert help if at all available. It’s your best chance of saving some vision.

 

Editor’s note: The Amazon.com link is an affiliate link.

How to Make Gunpowder the Old Fashioned Way

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(Full disclosure: This article doesn’t contain an exhaustive list of every method of making gunpowder/black powder, nor does it contain every minute safety precaution you need to take in that process. Do your research and seek out expert opinions. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.)

gunpowderIt’s one thing to prep for the next hurricane or tornado or economic calamity. There are a lot of really basic skills and supplies that will get you through those situations, and pretty much anyone can acquire them. But the scenarios that are truly difficult to prepare for, are the ones that involve the total collapse of our society for any given period of time. That’s because surviving those scenarios requires you as an individual, to pick up the slack of everyone else in society.

By that I mean you really have to do everything yourself if you want to survive. You have to grow your own food, heal your own wounds, fix your own gear, procure your own energy, and possibly even build your own shelter. When the commerce and infrastructure of society breaks down, you’re truly going to be on your own for a while.

Fortunately, it wouldn’t take long for a society to start functioning again in some capacity. Working together, communicating, and trading is in our nature as human beings. We’d be eager to put the pieces of society back together again. But if a particularly cataclysmic scenario comes to pass, it could take years before our world is back in business. In that time, there would be one substance that would be in short supply, and that is gunpowder.

Reloading spent shells and casings would become a necessity after a collapse, and gunpowder would be particularly difficult to procure. In the modern world, producing gunpowder is child’s play, but when society breaks down it will be an arduous, dirty, and time-consuming task. And it won’t be high quality gunpowder either. You’ll most likely be stuck making black powder, which isn’t as good as what ammunition manufacturers use now but it will be effective nonetheless. Here’s how it’s made:

For starters you’ll need three ingredients. Potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur. All of these ingredients should be ground into a fine powder if they haven’t been already. The ratio of these ingredients is 75% potassium nitrate, 15% charcoal, and 10% sulfur, and that ratio is by weight, not volume. These ingredients should be ground up separately before mixing. Grinding them together could cause an explosion. It should go without saying that throughout this process, you shouldn’t let any sparks, static, or open flames get anywhere near your materials.

As far as mixing them together, first add a small amount of water to each ingredient to reduce the risk of combustion; just enough to give it a dough like consistency. Now you can grind them all together with a mortar and pestle (don’t use any utensils or containers made of metal). Most people will use a ball mill to both grind up the materials and mix them together. It’s a bit safer, and will make a higher quality powder.

This moistened paste can then be pressed into a single solid mass, and as it dries you can grind it up again into tiny pellets. This is a process known as “corning.” The product this produces will burn better and will be a bit more stable and consistent, than if you just mixed all these ingredients together all willy nilly with a bowl and spoon. After that, you’re pretty much done.

gunpowder wikimediaIn an apocalyptic scenario however, making black powder is the easy part. What would be really challenging is attaining these ingredients in the first place. Charcoal would be the easiest, since it’s fairly easy to make on your own. Willow, soft pine, western cedar, and cottonwood trees are most commonly used for making black powder.

Sulfur is bit trickier. Depending on where you live, you may or may not be able to get a hold of it in a grid down scenario. Fortunately black powder can still be made without sulfur. Simply mix the potassium nitrate and charcoal together with a 80/20 ratio. It won’t burn as well, but it will still work. Sulfur can also be substituted with iron-oxide (rust).

Your most challenging obstacle will be finding the potassium nitrate. The only natural source of this material can be found in bat guano, and I’m willing to bet that you won’t have an easy time finding that. You’ll have to make your own.

Traditionally this was done by what’s called the “French method.” You have to mix urine, manure, and straw together. Periodically, more urine is added and mixed over and over again over the course of several months to a year. Then water is poured through the mixture and filtered through wood ash, causing potassium nitrate crystals to appear, where they can then be separated.

A more modern method involves a metal drum with a drainage valve near the bottom. A screen mesh is placed inside, and manure, water, and urine is dumped in and mixed on top of the mesh. You seal it up tight and let it sit outside for 10 months. Then you drain the liquid into a wood ash filter, and let it set in a shallow, wooden or plastic container to dry. Once the water dries, potassium nitrate crystals will remain.

These aren’t the only methods though. There are countless more, so it would be a good idea to do some research and find something that works best for you. The Army’s Improvised Munitions Handbook has a recipe for making potassium nitrate that is a lot faster than what I explained above, and it also contains its own procedure for making black powder.

As you can see, making your own gunpowder can be incredibly dirty and dangerous, but having this skill under your belt is certainly empowering. Firearms are among the most useful tools in a prepper’s arsenal, and knowing how to make your own gunpowder means that you can keep on shooting no matter how long it takes for society to be rebuilt.

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

Got Mosquito Problems? Here’s an Easy Way to Wipe Them Out

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mosquitoMosquitoes and the diseases they carry have been in the news quite a bit lately. Everyone has been talking about the Zika virus and the tremendous health consequences it causes. But truth be told, Zika is just a drop in the bucket. Mosquitoes have been killings millions of people with dozens of different diseases since the beginning of human history. In that regard, they are technically the most dangerous animal on the planet.

Still, it’s difficult to ignore the impending threat of Zika. Most of the US is relatively free of the worst diseases that mosquitoes carry; diseases that frequently ravage the developing world. And unfortunately that may be about to change. This virus is spreading fast, and is expected to proliferate throughout much of the United States in the near future.

So what can you do to control these disease ridden creatures? Heck, even without the threat of being infected, you’d probably be willing to try anything to get rid of any mosquitoes on your property. They’re already a nuisance, even when they don’t make you sick.

There’s a new method you can utilize that was recently developed by a Canadian professor by the name of Gérard Ulíbarri. It works by turning the mosquito’s favorite breeding ground into a trap. That breeding ground is of course, the humble car tire. When left outside and filled with rainwater, tires are known to attract mosquitoes for reasons that aren’t exactly clear. It’s believed that the heat retention qualities of rubber may be to blame, or perhaps the tires give off a scent that is irresistible to these creatures.

Whatever the case may be, mosquitoes love laying their eggs in wet tires more than anywhere else, and there’s a way you can use that against them. It’s called the ovillantas, and it looks like this:

ovillantes

It’s an attractive breeding ground for sure. It’s filled with water in the bottom half where they can lay their eggs, but is still covered to protect them. About once every three days to a week, you drain the water into a container covered in fabric, so that the eggs and larvae can be separated and killed. You pour the water back into the device, since it is now filled with pheromones that will attract more mosquitoes.

So just how effective is it? After testing it in Guatemala, Professor Ulíbarri found that it was 7 times more effective than traditional mosquito traps. If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, here’s how you can make the ovillantas yourself.

One thing to keep in mind, is that much of this process can be done without power tools if they’re not available to you. You can wing it with a knife or a boxcutter, but obviously it will take longer, and will be a heck of a lot harder.

There will likely be a bundle of steel wires running along both of the inner edges of the tire, which can be cut away before you cut the tire in half. If you have the stamina and patience for it, you can do the rest of the cutting without power tools. But like they say in the video, this can be done without cutting the tire in half. Just so long as you can cut a hole for the valve, it will still work fairly well.

Unfortunately, most tires in the United States have a belt of steel wires running just under the tread. This belt is nearly impossible to cut through even with power tools, and in all likelihood will damage whatever blade you’re using. However, the steel belt doesn’t run along the walls of the tire, only under the tread. I’m willing to bet that you can place the water valve on the side of the tire instead of beneath it.

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

Introducing The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook

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The Survival Doctor's Complete Handbook: What to Do When Help Is NOT on the Way

Click the book to preorder, or buy wherever books are sold!

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

For the last 13 years, I’ve made it my mission to teach as many people as I can how to handle medical problems when they can’t get to a doctor. You shouldn’t have to go to medical school to be empowered to help yourself and your family.

Today, I’m proud to announce the culmination of my efforts to date. On May 17, Reader’s Digest will publish my best book yet: The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook.

And we’re publishing with a bang. If you preorder The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook before May 17, you’ll also receive my PDF guide to preventing infectious disease. Plus, you’ll be entered to win a package of medical-survival goodies valued at over $100.* To receive the PDF and drawing entry, simply email your preorder receipt to communications [at] thesurvivaldoctor.com by May 17, 2016.

Why This Book?

Ever since I started practicing medicine in the 1980s, I’ve noticed that so many intelligent people don’t have their facts straight about how to handle medical problems. There are simple steps for almost every common treatment that everyone can and should know. You’re not always going to have cellphone or Internet service, but if you keep this book with you, it will be there when you need it.

At almost 300 pages, The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook is a book I’ve envisioned for years. It’s in-depth, covers numerous problems, goes well beyond typical first-aid books, and features more than 100 illustrations, to make the information easy to follow.

I wanted a well-known publisher for it so it would be distributed as widely as possible. Reader’s Digest has been very generous in doing this, and I think they realize the importance of a book like this being available for the general public.

In my opinion, everyone should have one to several of these books so they’re easily available in situations when you might need them. I’m keeping one in my safe room, one in my bug-out bag, and one in my hiking backpack, in case someone needs it because I’m the one needing help. I advise you do to the same.

The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook makes a great gift too, even for the kids. I receive many comments and questions from children ages 10 and up on my posts. They’re interested in their health. Why not buy them a book they can use?

Preorder for Bonuses!

Preorder The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook before May 17 at http://www.readersdigeststore.com/survivaldoctor.html or wherever books are sold and get a free guide to preventing infectious disease! Just email your receipt to communications [at] thesurvivaldoctor.com by May 17, 2016.

Plus, you’ll be entered* to win a grand prize of:

  • Membership in The Survival Doctor’s Emergencies Training Course, a video-based series
  • An autographed copy of my book Duct Tape 911: The Many Amazing Medical Things You Can Do to Tape Yourself Together
  • One of my favorite survival medical supplies—to be announced soon!

Five runners-up will receive an autographed copy of Duct Tape 911, and another five will receive the survival supply.

Here’s the deal, just between you and me: If The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook does well, you can expect to see more books on different topics. And if we make it a best seller, we’ll show the world that this is information people want and flock to. You and I already know that’s true. Now it’s time to shout it from the rooftops—and make one of the best investments you can make for yourself and your family. Are you ready? I am. Here we go.

 

* Limit one entry per receipt.

 

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You’re More Likely to Die in a Global Disaster Than a Car Crash

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Nuclear warIf you’re a prepper, then you’re probably inundated with doomsday alarmism on a fairly regular basis. It comes with the territory. While in the process of staying informed on all of the possible threats to civilization, you will inevitably run into fear-mongering claims that the sky is going to fall on our world tomorrow. These outlandish claims not only distract us from genuine threats, but they also make the prepper community look silly and paranoid to mainstream society.

However, there are real threats that we have to worry about. Real threats that the mainstream often thinks are just as crazy as the alarmist threats. Most people look at preppers and think that they’re crazy for believing that civilization could be destroyed by many different threats, leading to the deaths of millions of people, but it’s a very real possibility. It’s worth preparing for.

As a matter of fact, you might be able to scientifically prove that it’s worth preparing for.

See, most people would look at the countless threats to society, both the legitimate ones and the crazy ones, and just shrug their shoulders. “Why bother?” they would say, “why should I worry about this? It’s probably going to kill everyone anyway, and there are already plenty of normal things I have to worry about, like cancer and house fires and car crashes. Why should I spend any time, energy, or money, worrying about a pandemic or a nuclear war, which is far less likely?”

But they should worry about it, because statistically speaking, those catastrophic threats are more likely to effect them than some of the more mundane threats, like the aforementioned car crashes. In fact, a recent study looked at different threats that could lead to the extinction of the human race, and compared their likelihood to the threat of dying in a car crash, and the results were not what you might expect.

In its annual report on “global catastrophic risk,” the nonprofit debuted a startling statistic: Across the span of their lives, the average American is more than five times likelier to die during a human-extinction event than in a car crash.

Partly that’s because the average person will probably not die in an automobile accident. Every year, one in 9,395 people die in a crash; that translates to about a 0.01 percent chance per year. But that chance compounds over the course of a lifetime. At life-long scales, one in 120 Americans die in an accident.

The risk of human extinction due to climate change—or an accidental nuclear war—is much higher than that. The Stern Review, the U.K. government’s premier report on the economics of climate change, estimated a 0.1 percent risk of human extinction every year. That may sound low, but it also adds up when extrapolated to century-scale. The Global Challenges Foundation estimates a 9.5 percent chance of human extinction within the next hundred years.

Somehow I doubt that climate change could come close to extinguishing humanity, but nuclear war is certainly capable wiping most of us out.  And not only is that disaster becoming more likely due to current international tensions, but even during peace time there is always the threat of an accidental nuclear war.

But human extinction level events are hardly the only things we have to worry about.  The Global Challenges Foundation also looked at disasters that could kill 10% or more of the population. Pandemics are the most likely to cause those kinds of deaths, but they also explored some of the threats that aren’t talked about very often, like genetically engineered diseases, artificial intelligence, and geo-engineering.

Nearly all of the most threatening global catastrophic risks were unforeseeable a few decades before they became apparent. Forty years before the discovery of the nuclear bomb, few could have predicted that nuclear weapons would come to be one of the leading global catastrophic risks. Immediately after the Second World War, few could have known that catastrophic climate change, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence would come to pose such a significant threat.

Obviously it’s difficult to put a precise statistic on these existential threats, some of which may or may not even happen. However, when you put the likelihood of all these disasters together, as well as the number casualties they could inflict, it’s clear that they deserve just as much attention as anything else that might threaten your life.

So the next time someone tells you that you’re crazy for preparing yourself for a global disaster, you can confidently assure them that it makes just as much sense as keeping a fire extinguishers in the kitchen, or wearing a seat-belt.

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

Best laid plans for a Bank Holiday

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It’s bank holiday weekend. I’m all ready to go up to the woods and plant some more fruit trees and bushes as well as finishing off a few other things and it has been pouring down for the last few days and is even raining as I speak.

My plans did include down time where […]

5 Dangerous Medical Myths That You Don’t Want to Fall For

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defibMost people have a lot of really stupid ideas about what to do during a medical emergency. 90% of these ideas are probably gleaned from what we see on television. Even though we know deep down that movies and tv shows do not reflect reality, after seeing our favorite characters perform the same medical procedures over and over, we start to assume that they must be based in fact. The rest are old wives tales that simply refuse to die.

So if you don’t have any medical training, leave it to the professionals. And if a professional isn’t available, take note of the following:

Don’t Induce Vomiting

Most of you probably remember a time when it was normal to have a bottle of ipecac lying around the house, on the off chance that you would need to induce vomiting. It’s not so common anymore. In fact, ipecac has been discontinued. That’s because it’s no longer recommended as a treatment for accidental poisoning. Trying to vomit up a toxic substance is likely to cause even more damage to the esophagus, mouth, and lungs.

Granted, there are times when vomiting is the right thing to do. That’s why you should call poison control if you, a pet, or a child consumes a dangerous substance. They’ll tell you if you need to induce vomiting, let the substance pass, or go to the hospital.

Defibrillators Aren’t Magic

Based on how defibrillators are portrayed in movies, you’d think these machines run on the same principles you’d find in a Frankenstein movie. With enough electricity, just about any unconscious or near dead person can be jolted back to life. The reality of the matter is quite different.

Defibrillators are only useful in cases of cardiac arrest. Specifically they’re used to treat an irregular heart beat. In a nutshell, they temporarily stop the heart which gives it an opportunity to restart, hopefully with a healthy heartbeat. And unlike what you see in the movies, where doctors can bring a flat-lining patient back to life with their electric paddles, in the real world defibrillators don’t really work on someone without a heartbeat. In that case, CPR is probably in order rather than defibrillation.

Concussed Patients Need Sleep

For decades movies and TV shows have propagated this idea that a concussed person should never be allowed to sleep, lest they die or slip into a coma. However, the media didn’t necessarily pull this notion out of thin air. It was widely believed by the medical community until recently.

And it’s still true, but only to a small degree. If you have a concussion and you’re struggling to speak and walk, or your pupils are dilated, then you should avoid sleep and see a doctor ASAP. But most of the time that isn’t the case. For mild concussions, sleep is actually the best medicine.

How To Really Treat Nosebleeds

You’ve probably had a severe nosebleed at some point in your life, and I’m willing to bet that when it happened, someone told you that you need to tilt your head back. This is actually the exact opposite of what you should do to treat a nosebleed. You should lean forward and pinch your nose (unless it’s broken) for 5 minute intervals. You might have also been told to lay down, which again is terrible advice. It’s best to sit upright, which will reduce the amount of blood pressure in your nose.

It may not sound dangerous to lean your head back or lie down, but in some rare cases you can die from blood loss, or choke on the blood from a nosebleed (or pass out from blood loss and then suffocate). Nosebleeds are rarely serious, but they should always be treated as such.

Don’t Remove The Bullet

Whenever someone gets shot in a movie, this event is usually followed by a dramatic race against time to remove the bullet before the victim perishes. It’s never really explained why this needs to be done. In reality, trying to remove a bullet from someone is the last thing you want to do if you want them to survive.

For starters, once a bullet is lodged in the body, it’s probably done all the damage it can do. It’s not going anywhere. It’s probably not going to cause lead poisoning. And since bullets reach a very high temperature as they leave the barrel, it’s going to be completely sterile. If you were shot, you could probably leave the bullet in there for the rest of your life without experiencing any complications.

On the other hand, trying to remove the bullet outside of a hospital setting could lead to an infection. And bullets aren’t exactly smooth after they punch through soft tissue and bone. There are usually plenty of jagged bits that could easily rupture blood vessels upon removal. Taking a bullet out of the human body is a very delicate procedure that is almost always unnecessary; and when it is needed, it’s best done by a professional in a sterile surgical room.

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

Wattle and Daub: A Great Way to Build a House From Local Materials

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wattle and daub wikimediaBefore the 20th century, most people in the world had only one real option for building a house. It was a simple, though challenging option. They had to build their house out of whatever they could find in their local environment.

The process for building a locally sourced home was often uncomplicated and laborious, and the materials were usually quite simple. Depending on which part of the world these people were living in, this might include structures such as log cabins, sod houses, tents, or yurts. One of the most enduring structures that our ancestors built was the wattle and daub house, which has been used around the world for thousands of years, and continues to be used in some developing countries.

So what is wattle and daub? It’s a technique for building a house with walls that are made like a scaled up wicker basket (as seen in the photo above). Malleable branches are woven together (that’s the wattle) and oftentimes accompanied with a lumber frame, though a frame isn’t always necessary. Then the daub is smeared over the branches to fill in the cracks. This material varies widely by region, but usually consists of three ingredients:

  • A binder to hold everything together, usually clay and/or animal dung
  • An aggregate made of earth or sand
  • And some kind of reinforcement, such as straw or hay

Obviously, wattle and daub is no longer an ideal housing material. It doesn’t provide the same longevity, stability, or insulating qualities of modern home building materials. But just in case you need to build a cheap and easy structure after the SHTF, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to work with wattle and daub. If you’re looking for a quick introductory guide on building a house out of this stuff, check out the video below.

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

Stop Being a Slave to Technology: Here’s How to Unplug

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tech slaveIf you could pluck any of your ancestors from any period of time in history, and send them to the world we live in now, they would be in for quite a shock. All of the technology that we have at our disposal would seem like magic to them. The diseases we can cure and prevent, the speed with which we can communicate with anyone around the world, the devastating weapons we use to defend ourselves with, and the machines we use to travel from place to place, would all leave them in awe.

They’d have to pick their jaws up from off the floor after they see what kinds of energy we use, and I’m not even talking about nuclear power. For people who relied on firewood for most of their energy needs, the cost and energy density of crude oil would blow their minds. I’m sure that seeing the accessibility of food in our society would cause a similar reaction in their minds. The idea that some people in the West only need to work a few hours a week to cover their food and energy costs, would leave your ancestors shaking.

And then they would meet us. The residents of this magical high-tech world.

They would see people who spend more time staring and laughing at their ghostly screens, than they spend interacting with other human beings. They would meet us, a generation of people who are terrified of the sun, and who can’t step outside without slathering themselves in odorous creams (or who barely spend any time outside at all). They would be introduced to people who can’t find their way home or solve any practical problem without first consulting the computers in their pockets. They would come face to face with a society that is willing to sacrifice privacy for high-tech convenience.

They would see a society full of people who are completely out of touch with nature, and completely helpless without all of their gadgets. And more importantly, they would discover how incredibly stressed and unhappy many of us are, despite the wonders at our disposal.

Truly, we are slaves to technology. Here’s what you should do if you want to break free, and get back in touch with your humanity.

Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is the bane of the modern world. We clean the house with the TV on in the background, we text on our phones while we eat dinner, and we talk on those same phones while we drive. People in the modern world are obsessed with cramming as many tasks in their day as they can, and they pride themselves on their ability to multitask. And even though most of us like to believe that we’re getting a lot done and that we’re really good at multitasking, in reality we all really suck at it.

Every scientific experiment that has tested people on their ability to multitask, has shown that it’s not an ability any of us have. Anytime we try to tackle more than one task at a time, we perform across the board. Unfortunately, the gadgets we own have made it incredibly easy for us to get distracted. We use our gadgets as a crutch and an excuse for when we don’t want to do the task at hand. So stay focused and do one thing at a time. You’ll do a better job, you’ll learn more, and you’ll enjoy yourself more.

Get Back in Touch With Nature

Despite how far civilization has advanced over the years, human beings still have pretty much the same brains and bodies that we had when we were hunter gatherers. In a sense, we are an anachronism. We live in this sophisticated, high-tech wonder world filled with 9-5 jobs, cars, phone bills, taxes, and gadgets, but we’re still the same people who used to spend the majority of their days in nature.

At heart, the outdoors is where we really feel comfortable, yet we live in a time where most of us, especially our children, spend so very little time there. Our brains were never designed for the task of staring at screens for 11+ hours a day, and we’ll never be truly happy if we don’t set the phone down and spend some time outside. We evolved in the outdoors. It’s where we belong. If we don’t set aside time to be away from the hum our gadgets, and to enjoy nature, we’ll never really feel fulfilled or satisfied. It might even make us a little crazy.

Try to Remember How You Killed Time Before The Internet

If you’re old enough to remember what life was like before the proliferation of the internet and smartphones, or if you’re young but you remember what life was like before your parents gave you access to those technologies, then you’re in luck. You actually have some sense of how normal human beings are supposed to behave when they don’t have anything important to do.

Do you remember what you used to do when you weren’t working, doing chores, or studying? Did you doodle or write? Did you play the guitar? Did you tinker with stuff lying around the house? Did you go for a walk around the neighborhood? Those are the sorts of things that people used to do when they didn’t have anything important on their plates.

These days we feel compelled to fill every waking moment with electronic entertainment. We act like boredom is a crime, and the only way to stay out of jail is to check our email and watch another episode of whatever is on Netflix. We have to keep our brains in a constant state of hyper-stimulation. We fear quiet, contemplative activities. If you really want to unplug from technology for a while, then you have to teach yourself to not reach for digital entertainment every time you find yourself with an empty moment. You have to kill that knee jerk response, and learn how to enjoy the things you do, not the things you watch other people do.

Quit Using Gadgets to Solve All your Problems

Undoubtedly, the internet is one of the most useful things that humanity has ever invented. Having that vast library of information at our fingertips is a godsend whenever we have a problem that needs solving. It’s provided a voice for countless ideas and people who would never have had a voice in the past. Unfortunately, it’s also making us stupid.

Whenever we have a problem, we’re faced with two solutions. Figure it out ourselves and learn a thing or two along the way, or if this problem is out of our depth, we enlist the help of a friend or we hire a guy to fix it. If the problem arises again in the future, we know who to call. We all have a ‘guy’ that we refer to when a car or a computer needs fixing.

We also treat the internet as ‘that guy.’ We refer to it anytime we need to fix something, or find directions, or remember an obscure fact. Every time we do that, our ability to remember and our ability to learn, dies a little. We know that if any given problem shows up again, we can just look it up. Our brains don’t bother to retain knowledge when we know that it can easily be recalled for us at the click of a button.

In the future, always try to do it yourself first before you ‘look it up.’ Try to remember a phone number before you look for it in your phone. Try to remember that witty quote before you search for it on the internet. Take a shot at finding your way home before you refer to your GPS. Your brain is like a muscle, and if you never bother to use it, you will lose it.

Do Nothing At All

I dare you. No, I double dog dare you, to do nothing at all. Do you even remember the last time you just sat alone in silence for a while? Have you stopped to consider how crazy it is that most people can no longer stand to be alone with their own thoughts? That’s not an exaggeration. The inability to withstand silence is a sign that you’re a slave to technology.

Scientists have conducted experiments where they place people in a room with blank walls, by themselves for 15 minutes, and tell them to just sit and enjoy their own thoughts. A third of the participants admitted to cheating and checking their phones. Most of them admitted that it was an unpleasant experience. Then they introduced a device that would give these participants a voluntary electric shock. Two thirds of the men and a quarter of the women in this study chose to shock themselves out of pure boredom. Many of us would prefer physical pain over doing nothing at all. That’s freaking sad.

If you really want to stop being a slave to technology, then every once in a while you should take time out of your day to do nothing at all. You don’t have to fill every moment of your waking life with vapid entertainment. Meditate, or stare at a wall, or quietly think about your future. It’s a normal, healthy part of being human, and our technology has robbed us of our ability to quietly be ourselves. So take back the reins, unplug yourself for a while, and enjoy being human again.

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

Keep dipping into your BOB? Well don’t.

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Do you go camping? Enjoy a little time with nature, or a lot of time with nature? I’m going to assume so.

Do you have a Bug Out Bag (BOB) a Get Home Bag (GHB) or any kind of survival kit? Once again I’m going to assume so.

Like most prepper/survivalist/vigilant civilian’s we have survival […]

What To Do When You Have to Prep on the Fly

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empty shelves wikimediaPreppers who are truly diligent and committed have little to fear. They’re ready to tackle almost any disaster you can think of, be it natural or man-made. Truth be told, the only thing a dedicated prepper is really afraid of, is not being prepared. Unfortunately it can it happen to the best of us.

There are plenty of reasons why you, a person who is otherwise fully aware of how fragile society is, might not be prepared when a disaster strikes. Maybe you’re new to prepping and simply haven’t had the time to get started. Or perhaps you used to be well prepared, but haven’t been able to maintain your preps for financial reasons (here are 30 prepper items you can find at the Dollar Store). Or you might just be out-of-town and away from your preps when disaster strikes. Whatever the case may be, you need to know what to do when you have to prep on the fly. By that I mean you’re going to have to race over to the nearest stores in your neighborhood and buy up everything you need, as fast as you can (which is pretty a much a prepper’s worst nightmare).

Prepare for any disaster with this best-selling survival guide

Start Pooling Resources With Family and Neighbors

If you’re completely unprepared for an impending disaster, your highest priority will be finding other people who are in a similar predicament, such as friends, family, and neighbors. The more people you have working together, the more successful you will all be. As well, by combining forces, you can also combine supplies to help see each other though. As a side note, depending on what type of disaster you’re dealing with, it will probably be a good idea to start pulling cash out of your bank account, if that’s still possible.

Next, you will all need to start gathering supplies. Preppers do what they do to avoid this exact situation, but you won’t have a choice. You’ll have to wade through the mob of anxious people who are also trying to gather supplies at the last-minute. Plan for a worst-case scenario and concentrate your efforts on finding shelf stable foods. Societal breakdowns can quickly occur and happen when you least expect – even in a grocery store full of unprepared individuals – so know what you’re walking into. Before you read any further, I’d suggest you look up how to escape mob violence, how to blend in, and how to spot people who may be concealing a weapon.

Get Organized

Before you go out and brave the crowds, take an inventory of what you and any neighbors who will be riding out the disaster with you have. For a complete list of items that you will need to stay prepared, click here. Chances are, you will be able to eliminate a few items off your list. Going out to gather supplies under these conditions is going to be scary, which is why it’s important to find other people to work with. You’ll want every able-bodied person to be assigned to look for a specific type of item, such as food, tools, fuel, medical supplies, etc., and preferably you won’t have anyone venturing out alone. If possible, a minimum of two people should be working together at all times for efficiency and safety.

Avoid the Frantic Crowds

As for where to go looking for supplies, you’re going to have to think smarter than the mob to avoid the worst of the mob. Have you ever heard someone say “when the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m just going to raid the gun store and then head over to the grocery store to pick up everything I need?” Remember that, because that’s the kind of thinking most people are going to have.  They’re going to head straight towards the most obvious places and pick them clean before you get there. If you plan on going out, try getting to the stores as soon as they open so that you can avoid crowds as much as possible.

Granted, if you live right next to a grocery store you should be able to get there while the getting is good. Otherwise, start thinking about the stores that aren’t so obvious. By that I mean convenience stores, drug stores, mom and pop shops, and what have you. Other stores you might want to hit up include hardware stores, pharmacies, gardening stores, liquor stores, and gas stations. Again, avoid the big box stores if you can, and focus on the lesser known spots that are second or third on the list for frantic spree buyers and looters.

Finding less obvious solutions to your needs is the name of the game here. When you reach one of these stores, what do you see? Are they all out of toilet paper? Fine. See if they still have binder paper. Are they running out of canned foods? See if they still have dog food. This isn’t the kind of situation where you can afford to be picky or squeamish. You need to find as many vital supplies as you can, and fast.

Have an Alternative Mode of Transportation

You’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to get to any of these stores. If you live in the city, it would probably be wise to forget about driving. In all likelihood the streets will be far too congested, so consider investing in a bicycle or motorbike for ease through high traffic. As well, walking to your destination is going to be your best bet. Unfortunately that means you won’t have a vehicle to carry your supplies. You might have to steal a few shopping carts at some point. I know it’s wrong, but given the circumstances you can be forgiven for such a small transgression. As well, I would also recommend finding alternative routes to these stores.

And finally, if you have enough people working together, consider letting a few of them stay behind to protect everyone’s homes. Aside from fortifying and protecting these homes, these people should also be busy filling up bathtubs with water in case the taps stop working. With that said, make sure bleach is on your list of supplies, so that you can keep this water clean for the duration of the disaster.

As you can see, this isn’t a very pretty scenario. If anything, what I’ve listed above is the best case scenario for what you might have to do to survive. It’s just as likely that you’ll have to resort to some very unsavory measures to stay ahead of the herd. It’s best to avoid this situation entirely, and get prepared long before disaster strikes.

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

Escaping From Zip Ties. It’s Easier Than You Think.

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zip tie restraintsIf you try to think of all the scary situations that people can find themselves in, you’ll realize that most, if not all of them have something in common. They all involve a feeling of helplessness. That’s the common thread in just about every scary scenario and phobia, and that’s what really scares most people. And that fear is cranked up to 11 when another person is making us feel helpless. There is nothing more frightening than being at the mercy of a violent person that wants to do you harm.

And if you ever find yourself at the mercy of another person, there’s a good chance that restraints will be involved. Rope, duct tape, and handcuffs are all possibilities, and it would be wise for you to learn how to escape those restraints. You’ll sleep easy at night knowing that you can escape any attacker that might try to hold you hostage. You won’t feel helpless when you think about these situations.

But what about zip ties? Are there any special tricks for getting out of these restraints?

For anybody who has an average strength level, you can use the same technique that will get you out of duct tape restraints. By raising your hands above your head and forcing them down into your torso as hard as you can, you can easily snap a zip tie. However, that isn’t the only way out.

Shimmy the zip tie.

 Saw your way out with shoe laces

 Slip out of the zip ties.

Zip tie cuffs seem intimidating at first glance, but really, they’re child’s play.

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

Cook Like Grandma with these Bacon Fat Gingersnaps

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 I love finding news ways of using things I would otherwise throw out. The uses for bacon grease are too many to list, but I had to share one of my favorites – bacon fat cookies!

As if cookies weren’t good enough, adding some bacon fat to them takes them to an entirely different level. The smoky and sweet flavors of this cookie really stand out when you use spices like cinnamon and ginger. Best of all, you are making the most of the items you have around you. So don’t throw that bacon grease out – try this cookie recipe that grandma used to make!

Bacon Fat Gingersnaps

  • ¾ cup rendered bacon fat (from cooking 2 pounds bacon), chilled
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix until a stiff dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
  2. With hands, pick up small amounts (about a tablespoon amount) of cookie dough and roll into small balls.
  3. Drop the dough into a small bowl of sugar and roll the dough balls to coat with sugar.
  4. Place on a cookie sheet and bake the batch 10 minutes at 350°.
  5. Once cool, store cookies in an airtight container.

 

Happy Baking

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition