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.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Season of Hope…?

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

“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.

1

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…?

3

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

The One Precious Metal Investment You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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rhodium wikimediaFor the most part preppers are already very well acquainted with gold and silver. I don’t think you could study prepping for any significant amount of time without being inundated with opinions and analyses on what these metals may be worth during a crisis. However, most people are completely unaware that there are other precious metals you can buy. Aside from gold and silver, they might know about platinum and palladium, but would be dumbfounded if you ever mentioned anything else.

One precious metal that has been flying under everyone’s radar for decades is rhodium. You’d be forgiven for not knowing about it. Though it is occasionally used to coat jewelry, it has very little presence in the global jewelry market. Unlike silver, it’s not a critical component in electronics or industry. The only thing it’s widely used for is as a component for catalytic converters.

It does however have a lot of the qualities that would make it a good precious metal investment. It’s hard, durable, portable, and has a very high corrosion resistance. It’s definitely something you can buy and stash away without worrying about it degrading. More importantly though, rhodium is incredible rare. In fact, it’s the second most rare naturally occurring substance on Earth.

And that rarity is both an advantage and a disadvantage from an investing prospective. Annual production of this metal is very small, which tends to create an environment of price volatility. There’s a lot of potential here for profits, as well as horrendous losses if you buy it high. Not too long ago the price spiked to $10,000 per ounce before the financial crisis of 2008 dragged it back down to around $1000 per ounce.

rhodium price

But aside from those spikes, the metal has managed to keep pace with inflation, so it is still a decent store of value when it’s bought at the low-end.

rhodium price wikipedia

The other glaring problem with the rarity of rhodium is its liquidity. Since very few people know about it or own it, there aren’t very many sellers. That unfortunately means that there aren’t very many buyers. If you try to wait for the price to spike before selling it, there’s a decent chance that the price will plummet before you find a buyer.

One really nice plus with Rhodium though, is that you can’t buy it on the stock market. There aren’t any paper contracts for it. If you want to invest in rhodium, you have to buy it in its physical form. This means that large financial institutions can’t easily manipulate its price, unlike gold and silver. Its value is always reflected by solid economic realities.

Another positive aspect of Rhodium is that it isn’t tightly pegged to gold. Its price doesn’t normally fluctuate with that precious metal, and there’s a really nice opportunity there. If gold goes up drastically, you could probably sell it and put the money toward rhodium while it’s low, and wait for that price to go up before selling.

But the most interesting aspect of this metal is what could influence its price in the future. Because it’s so rare there are only a handful of countries that produce it. South Africa produces more than 80% of the world’s Rhodium supply, followed by Russia with around 9%. You might notice that these are both very problematic countries.

Given current geopolitical tensions between the West and Russia, it would be no stretch of the imagination to assume that at some point, their rhodium supply could be cut off from the rest of the world. But that’s small potatoes compared to South Africa.

This is a country run by radical leftists that is teetering on economic collapse at any given time. Both public debts and inflation are at record highs, and their infrastructure and public services are crumbling at an alarming rate. To top it all off, South Africa is rife with ethnic and political tensions. The country is a powder keg slipping into a third world status. That instability could result in a serious rhodium supply crunch in the years ahead, which would of course result in very high prices.

So keep a close eye on this metal. While rhodium lacks the stability and historical precedence of gold and silver, there’s no denying that its price has a really good chance of reaching astronomical levels in our lifetime.

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 Medicinal Plants Growing Like Weeds Right Now

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Wild garlic (pictured) has hollow leaves; wild onion has flat ones. There are similar plants that are harmful to eat. These two edible ones smell like garlic or onion when you cut them.

Wild garlic (pictured) has hollow leaves; wild onion has flat ones. There are similar plants that are harmful to eat. These two edible ones smell like garlic or onion when you cut them.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

I’m baaack. I’ve been moving and have taken some time off blogging. But now I’m ready to go.

My new home is out in the Southern countryside, way outside a city, and I’ve just started exploring the property. What I’m finding is a virtual pharmacy of medicinal plants. Some I can use now. Others, maybe if I had no access to anything better.

1. Wild Garlic

The one I like the best for now is wild garlic (Allium vineale), an invasive plant that grows in most states. While you might think of this is as an unsightly weed (and it is), the bulb and leaves can be eaten just like the store-bought variety. But do make sure none have been sprayed with poison lately. For that reason I’m avoiding the plants close to the road.

Garlic is rich in antioxidants and helps bolster your immunity against viruses and other germs. It also has a mild effect on cholesterol levels, helping lower them. But it can thin the blood, so watch out if you easily bleed or are taking a blood thinner.

2. White Pine Tree

I have an abundance of pine trees. Steeping a bunch of fresh green pine needles in water for five minutes makes a unique tea loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A. The horrible disease scurvy is rare these days because we have access to foods with vitamin C. But if we didn’t, pine needles could be a lifesaver.

The needles also contain a bit of shikimic acid, which is the prime ingredient in the antiflu medicine Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate). OK, drinking enough pine needle tea to equal even one Tamiflu dose is close to impossible, but if it’s all that’s available who knows? It doubt it will hurt. That is, unless you pick the wrong type of pine tree.

Needles from some types of pines are poisonous. These include the ponderosa, lodgepole, juniper, yew, and several others. The type that seems to be cited and safe is the white pine. But again, as with the poisonous ones, there are plenty other nonpoisonous ones. The point is, as with any wild plant, know what you’re ingesting, and avoid it completely if you have doubts.

As with the garlic, I’d avoid any near a road or anywhere that could have been sprayed recently. And avoid them completely if you might be pregnant. They’ve been linked to miscarriages. Just for safety I’d avoid them if you’re breastfeeding and limit the amount of or avoid giving the tea to small children.

A gum ball from a sweet gum tree.

A gum ball from a sweet gum tree in my yard.

3. Sweet Gum Tree

Sweet gum trees grow mainly in the East and South and in California. If you live in one of these areas, you know them as those trees with the horrible thorny “sweet gum balls” that fall and cover the ground in a prickly mess.

The seeds inside the balls contain a small amount of shikimic acid. In fact, a variety of the tree found in China contains a lot more of the stuff—so much that it is refined to make the actual Tamiflu. Apparently Native Americans used to chew sweet gum tree sap, and I’ve heard of people using a twig as a toothbrush. It’s supposed to be good for your gums (the gums around your teeth, in your mouth; the wording can be confusing). Like the pine needle tea, I’d not give much to children and avoid it completely if you are breastfeeding or might be pregnant.

4. Dandelion

Another weed I have plenty of is the dandelion. It seems to grow about anywhere it wants to in the yard. The leaves are delicious in salad, but don’t eat too much. They can have a mild laxative affect. Good if you’re constipated of course. Again, avoid any that might have been sprayed.

The plants I’ve mentioned are just the ones I’ve noticed at first glance of the property. I’m sure there are many more.

What about you? What wild plants in your area have medicinal uses?

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8 Powerful Liberty Quotes That Will Inspire You To Live Free

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freedom-in-the-shape-of-a-crossBy Joseph Jankowski

Within the United States today, we see ever increasing bureaucracy with a strong stranglehold on the personal liberties which we are supposed to believe we are in total possession of.

With the rise of the police state, NSA spying, and extremely dangerous executive orders, America has fallen in many of the metrics that rank countries based on their level of freedom.

The American way of life that once looked at government as an entity which the people should avoid being parasitic to, and as an institution that should remain as small as possible, has gone completely to the wayside.30

A profound example of how large the U.S. federal government has grown is the fact that the Department of Health and Human Services is set to spend over $1 trillion in 2016. That is just one agency out of hundreds.

Our once free society now labors to pay off big government.

In America today, it is those who cherish freedom who are labeled as dangerous.

According to this Department of Defense manual, people concerned with “individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place” are potential extremists.

Freedom is under siege in America.

Of course, the only way to turn this around and restore our liberties is to get motivated.

Here are 8 liberty quotes that will surely get you in the spirit to live free:

6dc591cd1c8398ea949c07c9e0101d7af06d423e86371fa295214255a475bab4858e2d4e0f97a759cf91d4e4129fa6c8EmilysQuotes.Com-inspirational-great-liberty-freedom-George-Washington4a57db361090221ecb7fe62bbe2361c3Benjamin-Franklin-Quotes-On-Liberty-And-Security-1Lew-Rockwell

 quote-people-willing-to-trade-their-freedom-for-temporary-security-deserve-neither-and-will-benjamin-franklin-54-46-44

 

 

 

Joseph Jankowski is a contributor for PlanetFreeWill.com. His works have been published by recognizable alternative news sites like GlobalResearch.ca, ActivistPost.com and Intellihub.com

Follow Planet Free Will on Twitter @ twitter.com/PlanetFreeWill

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Vegetarian Diets Linked to Genetic Mutation That Causes Cancer

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vegetables wikimediaThe debate between meat eaters and vegetarians has been raging for years. One side has often claimed that the human body never evolved to eat meat. The other side points out that some nutrients are nearly impossible to obtain without a meaty diet. Truth be told there can be health consequences for both diets, especially in the modern world where most meats are processed and loaded with preservatives.

However, the health issues associated with vegetarian diets doesn’t receive nearly enough attention. While it can lower blood pressure, as well as decrease your chances of having diabetes and some forms of cancers, there is definitely a trade-off. Aside from the fact that you’ll be more likely to be deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and protein, vegetarians are also known to have lower bone densities, lower sperm counts, and more mental health issues.

On top of that, there is an issue with vegetarian diets that has puzzled scientists for years. Even though past studies have linked excessive meat consumption with colorectal cancer, vegetarians are 40% more likely to have the disease. Recent research may be able to finally explain why this happens.

Researchers from Cornell University in the US compared hundreds of genomes from a primarily vegetarian population in Pune, India to traditional meat-eating people in Kansas and found there was a significant genetic difference.

“Those whose ancestry derives from vegetarians are more likely to carry genetics that more rapidly metabolise plant fatty acids,” said Tom Brenna, Professor of Human Nutrition at Cornell.

“In such individuals, vegetable oils will be converted to the more pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, increasing the risk for chronic inflammation that is implicated in the development of heart disease, and exacerbates cancer.

“The mutation appeared in the human genome long ago, and has been passed down through the human family.”

Essentially, vegetarian diets have created a mutation in the human genome that becomes more prevalent with each generation of vegetarian eaters. The mutation helps digest plants, but it comes at a cost. Not only does it increase inflammation and cancer risks for vegetarians, but it also stifles the digestion of omega-3 fatty acids. The research points out that this could increase the risk of heart disease, but that’s not all. Omega-3 is responsible for preventing a host of health problems, such as depression, asthma, and Alzheimer’s.

The fact that this genetic mutation developed is very telling. It shows that being vegetarian isn’t the norm for our species. Our bodies had to adapt to it over many generations, and that adaptation is giving us health problems. Without this gene your body will have a harder time on a vegetarian diet, and with it you’ll be at risk for several diseases. This research proves that vegetarianism is not ideal for humans.

That’s not to say that a vegetarian diet is all bad, but it may not be a diet that you want to turn into a lifelong pursuit. Going on a vegetarian diet for a short period of time could probably help you sort out several health problems, but sticking to it is not going to be good for you, regardless of whether or not you carry this mutation.

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 to Make a Powerful Bow in Your Garage for $15

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arrow target wikimedia

One of the benefits of archery is that in the long run, it’s not a very expensive hobby. Unlike firearms, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on ammunition to maintain your proficiency. And since bows aren’t as loud or destructive as firearms, there’s a good chance that you won’t need to pay to visit an archery range unless you live in the city. Your backyard would be sufficient for that.

However, there can be some steep up front costs. Still not as bad as the cost of a firearm in most cases, but a really high quality bow can you set you back. If you’re just starting to get interested in archery and you’re not sure if you want to commit to those costs, check out the video below. It’ll show you how to make a very powerful and effective bow with little more than PVC, paracord, and driveway markers.

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

Trouble Sleeping? Here Are 6 Tips That You Need to Know

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sleepThe modern world has done a number on our sleep cycles. While surely there have always been sleep disorders, living in a high stress world filled with lights, gadgets, and on demand entertainment has turned many of us into sleepless zombies. About 10% of the American population has chronic insomnia, and between 45% and 55% of us experience it infrequently.

Clearly this is a widespread problem. Calling it an epidemic would be an apt description, since it’s so common and incredibly bad for us. Sleep is like food and water. If you don’t get enough of it, every function in your body will be hindered in one form or another. And that of course, can put you into an early grave.

Fortunately there are a few simple (though not always easy) things you can do to finally get a good night’s rest. If you don’t want to be among the sleep deprived masses, consider the following:

Tobacco, Alcohol, and Caffeine

Everyone knows that caffeine can keep you awake and shouldn’t be ingested before going to sleep. Tobacco is another stimulant that can keep you up, and not just because of its brief energizing effects. If you smoke once or twice every waking hour, then that’s what your addicted brain is used to. But when you try going to sleep, all of sudden you’re going several hours without smoking. This often leads to restlessness and waking up in the middle of the night.

And finally, alcohol is one of the worst substances you can ingest before bed. Initially it will help you fall asleep fast, but like tobacco it hurts the quality of that sleep. You’ll get less REM sleep, and it may cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.

Light and Dark

It’s common knowledge that a dark environment is ideal for a good night’s rest. Even the slightest speck of light can hinder melatonin production (even with your eyes closed too) and throw a wrench in the gears of your circadian rhythm. It could be the numbers on your alarm clock, the lights on your TV, or the street lamp outside your window. Anything can throw you off. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy a sleeping mask and/or blackout curtains for your bedroom. Most people don’t even realize how much these tiny lights are ruining their sleep until they try out these options.

What most people don’t know however, is that experiencing daylight is just as important for your sleep. Research has shown that seeing and feeling more sunlight throughout the day helps you sleep better at night. When you stay inside all day under artificial light, your body doesn’t really know when it’s day-time and night-time. Thus, it doesn’t know when to sleep.

Electronics

And while we’re on the subject of how light affects your sleep, you should avoid all contact with electronics for at least an hour before bedtime. As I said before, any form of light can hinder your sleep to some degree, but computers and cell phones are the worst. The light from these devices, as well as LEDs and fluorescent bulbs, is often tinted blue. That color actually induces wakefulness and focus, and it can hinder your sleep for several hours after you see it.

Skip the Snooze Button

The problem with hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock is that it interrupts your sleep cycles, which typically lasts about 90 minutes and consists of 5 stages throughout the night. Hitting the snooze button causes that cycle to restart unnecessarily as you drift back to sleep. You would feel more restful if you had just set your alarm clock a few minutes later. Not only that, but the snooze button has a tendency to disrupt your hormones and your circadian rhythm.

And when you think about it, you shouldn’t need an alarm clock either unless your work schedule changes from day-to-day. If you need an alarm clock to wake you up every single morning, then you’re not getting enough sleep. Set it every night anyway just in case something disrupts your sleep, but don’t rely on it. If you’re really getting plenty of consistent rest, and you’re disciplined enough to go to bed at the same time every night (which your body loves), you’ll wake up at the same time every morning a few minutes before that alarm clock goes off.

Exercise

One of the best remedies for occasional insomnia is a workout. If you sit on your butt all day, your body will have an abundance of energy that it wants to burn off, and that will keep you awake. If you really want to conk out fast, then you need to feel exhausted at the end of the day, and obviously exercise can do that. Even moderate exercise like walking and jogging can help take care of your restlessness. Keep in mind however, that this works best for the majority of the population that doesn’t have a sleep disorder. If you have chronic insomnia, then you should know that exercise may not have the same effect on you.

Find the Perfect Temperature

We all know that a hot muggy evening or a freezing cold night can make it difficult to sleep. However, the temperature range that provides the best sleep isn’t as broad as you might think. Anything between 65 and 70 degrees will put most people to sleep the fastest, and help them feel more restful when they wake up. To fall asleep, the temperature of the human body needs to decline slightly, and that aforementioned temperature range helps your body maintain that state. If the room temperature drifts too far from that range, then your body will have to work extra hard to maintain the lowered temperature, and you’ll struggle to sleep.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Importance of Illumination

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Candle

In a previous article we discussed details of Everyday Carry Items (EDC) We started with the premise of a ‘layered’ EDC system, distributing items between pockets, small containers and bags etc depending on their importance and access requirements.

 

I, like many, am constantly reviewing, revising and amending my EDC, not least of which because of the amount I travel but also due to the extreme environmental fluctuations we have here in the far north of Scandinavia! Every year sees the long lazy summer days pass, the dismal vestiges of late autumn then break to a dark and cold winter, not only here, but in many other regions as well. Even if you are not entering a winter phase, it cannot be lost on us, as sure as the sun rises it sets, and dealing with the dark is a topic often overlooked in defensive circles. In this article I’m going to briefly but comprehensively take you through some of the considerations when it comes to the Importance of Illumination and some EDC options.

 

As a serious minimalist when it comes to equipment carry, to the extent I am very rarely subscribed to the ‘multiple redundancy carry’ mindset often espoused  (I do genuinely have my reasons) a review of my Level 1 and 2 EDC (On my body or within arms reach) reveals 4 separate illumination devices(!) This may seem extreme, so what am I carrying and why?

For an overview I am carrying, in order:

  • A small red LED light on a paracord neck chain. (Left of Picture)
  • A small blue LED light on my keychain. (Centre Left of Picture)
  • A Tactical Flashlight (Eagletac P20C2) in my pocket (Centre Right of Picture)
  • A (Petzl brand) Headtorch in my small ‘Manbag’ (Right of Picture)

 

illumination 1

 

Before I continue, I want to highlight a twofold advantage of this approach. Not only does this EDC offer a good, robust and resilient approach to many issues, both small and large, but it has proved, to date, to be one of the best ‘conversion strategies’ I have had in terms of spousal/family type ‘buy in’, not only for my family but for students of mine as well. While this is a significant issue of its own that I will write about further in a separate article, it definitely is worth mentioning here at this time!

 

So why am I carrying this? This I’ll answer by item, but in reverse order:

 

The Headtorch (or Headlamp)

Not only in my capacity as a professional outdoorsman, but on numerous occasions throughout my regular daily activity, I will need to illuminate a specific area AND want to keep my hands free. While deepthroating a maglite is eminently doable, I can’t say it enables one to focus well on any given task. That, combined with the fact this action, when performed at extreme low temperatures will result in your mouth being frozen to the flashlight for ‘some time’, normally ensures alternatives should be sought (I reserve the right to provide no further detail on this particular ‘fact finding story’, thank you very much) However you get to this end result, we can be happy with the idea that being able to provide light and keep our hands free is often a very good thing. From writing notes, changing a tire by the roadside, tying and untying knots, using tools, sharpening knives, or fiddling in the fuse box to fix the ‘blackout’ and much, much more not having one hand ‘occupied’ holding a light is a tremendous bonus.

 

One other, slight aside, but VERY useful tip on the headtorch. Look at the picture again. You see on the right hand side of the torch pictured the ‘battery box’? You see between the battery box and the light itself a small green colored object? This is a complete set of spare batteries secured to the strap of the headtorch with cloth tape. More on this a little later, but this tip has helped me more times than I can now count!

 

The Tactical Flashlight

For those of us living under heavy legal restrictions ‘weapon carry’ is exceptionally problematic. Even small folding knives in some countries will be dealt with in the most draconian way. A tactical flashlight has travelled with me through numerous countries, multiple security checkpoints, including American airports, and has never once been questioned or raised concerns. As well as offering a good, solid, white light source, useful for a wide variety of things. The strobe effect, hardened metal body, size and shape of this tool do give it some valuable ‘weapon level’ features. A lot of this tools power lies in its ‘pre-emptive’ ability. A good bright, light shone to the face is, at worst, distracting, can buy time and distance if used properly and can be used to conceal a whole bunch of other movement if you need it to. This is if you use the light when when directly facing a threat, but the ability to search an area more thoroughly (especially indoors) indicate or mask your location and clearly indicate your ability to see something are all additional and valuable uses. Even if living in a permissive environment where additional weapons carry is allowed, I still carry a tactical flashlight (as do many others I know) because of the advantages it offers.

 

The LED Keychain Light

In the first instance this is most useful when trying to find the right key and access locks. Having a light, right there on your keychain, prevents a whole lot of ‘fumbling around in the dark’. We are aware approaching our residences and vehicles is a time of particular risk, so minimizing any ‘faff’ time in these areas is highly desirable. I particularly like a ‘non white’ light here so it is not overly conspicuous and is not compromising my eyes adjustment to the dark as much. In this regard red or green light is preferable, but I am using blue for now for a specific, but separate reason.

 

The LED Neck Chain Light

Having a small, discreet, easy to access light source is very useful. I typically use this light for signaling short distances at night when I want to remain quiet, or if I have a quick job I need to complete and do not need or cannot access my headtorch. You will see from the close up picture this LED light not only works by being squeezed (typically between finger and thumb) but also has an on/off switch.

 

illumination 2

 

So it is simple and easy to switch ‘on’ and be held lightly between the teeth to illuminate an area immediately to your front but also keep the hands free. Why not use the headtorch? It’s a good question, and I’ll tell you a little, frequently occurring experience of mine. I’m using my headtorch very often, now ask yourself, when are the batteries most likely to ‘die’?  Why when it’s in use of course, is the obvious answer! Now think, is it typically light or dark when using it? Hmmm, dark… And herein is the problem. Changing torch batteries in the dark is not the easiest of things, so with this set up, a battery change becomes easy, especially when I know exactly where the spare batteries are (Taped to the torch strap, remember!?!) As and when my illumination device fails, I use the small LED light that is immediately available to complete a quick and easy battery change. The same method could be used for any number of similar, small tasks.

 

I mentioned earlier the ‘spousal conversion’ benefits of this EDC setup. To touch on that again, briefly. Many of us committed to learning and training for conflict, face varying levels of resistance or concern from our families and frequently little ‘buy in’ from our spouses. This may be a general lack of interest to an active vilification of our lifestyle choices (“What do you need another (insert defensive tool name here) for, you already have so many???” is a frequent refrain heard by many)

 

While I will address this more in a separate article, I’ve found illumination devices a great ‘start point’ in getting greater understanding in families as to some of the benefits in EDC, and with these type of ‘small wins’ the stepping stones to greater acceptance and involvement are paved. I typically ‘gift’ these small LED lights to friends and family (especially kids), and often will actively put them on the keychain for them, so they ‘have it right there’. To date, no one has ever failed to understand the value in doing so. For a few this has then led the conversation to, ‘what would you do if you need a better, slightly more powerful light source, for instance in a blackout or if you had to quickly step out the house, for example to check something?’ Again, this logical progression makes sense to many and can quickly lead to the purchase (or gifting) of a tactical flashlight, especially given there are many excellent priced ‘entry level’ models now on the market.

 

Once they have become a proud owner of a tactical flashlight, almost everyone I know has enjoyed and been fascinated by it features and potential additional uses and most are very satisfied at the idea of carrying something that has ‘more than one use’. From this point, often, more ‘small steps’ can be taken in a positive direction. A number of people within a short time of owning a tactical flashlight have come back with some story of how it proved to be ‘so useful’ in some sort of situation they have faced, and this is one of those great occurrences that can lead to even more productive conversation and understanding of some of the benefits not only of EDC but development of a well rounded ‘resilient mindset’.

 

I’ve highlighted the main uses for my illumination devices and the details of my EDC here, but remember the possibilities are limited only by your imagination! I’ve left LED lights on and ‘discarded’ too lure students into ambushes, attached them to foliage for navigational way points, performed an impromptu shadow puppet show to calm a child after first aid treatment and seen the slickest deployment of CS gas ever, masked by a flashlight. As always, we should be challenging our equipment and our minds to perform above and beyond our expectations.

 

If you have a great story too share with regards to your use of an illumination devices be sure to post it in our forum or the comments below, as we love hearing from our readers and learning from their experiences!

 

8 Nutritious Foods You Can Afford When You’re Practically Broke

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free_range_eggsIf there’s one thing we all learned from the crash of 2008, it’s that any one of us could be dragged down into poverty. No one is really immune to that anymore. In the Western world, economic prosperity has been crumbling for years, and stability is rapidly disappearing for a variety reasons. Truth be told, you’ve probably read about countless disasters and survival situations on this website, but the one situation that is most likely to affect you, is a financial calamity in your family.

And if that happens, one of your most pressing concerns will be food. Every resource you consume will have to be restricted, and every day you’ll be forced to triage your finances. You’ll have to choose between paying for your rent/mortgage, utilities, debts, medical bills, and of course groceries. And even if you accept assistance in the form of food stamps, you’ll likely struggle to afford nutritious food.

That’s why I’ve compiled this list of low-cost groceries. Keep in mind however, that this isn’t a list of the cheapest foods. Things like taste or long-term health implications aren’t a priority either. These are foods that simply provide the most nutrients for the least amount of money, and you should keep them in mind if you ever find yourself in the poorhouse.

Butter

In terms of the number of calories you get for every dollar, you can’t beat butter. The only thing that would surpass it is refined sugar, but obviously you don’t want to make that a significant part of your diet. Butter is cheap, and brimming with saturated fats that will keep you sated for hours.

Whole Grain Wheat Flour

Grains have fallen out of favor among health conscious eaters in recent years, and for many very good reasons. But again, long-term health isn’t the priority of this list. Despite its faults, whole grain flour is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and is incredibly cheap. So cheap in fact, that even the organic brands often only cost a few cents per ounce.

The main drawback to wheat, and most grains for that matter, is that they contain phytic acid. This substance is known to prevent the absorption of many different nutrients. However, if you’re planning on using the flour to make bread, pancakes, or even hard tack, you can soak the flour dough in lemon juice overnight, which will eliminate most of the phytic acid.

Eggs

Lately eggs have been pretty expensive due to a rampant avian flu epidemic that wiped out millions of chickens last summer. At one point, prices rose so high that ounce for ounce, the protein in chicken meat was cheaper than egg protein. Most of the time however, eggs provide one of the cheapest sources of protein and fat. However, not always as cheap as…

Whole Milk

While milk can provide plenty of protein, fat, and sugar at a low price, unlike eggs it has far more vitamins and minerals. Milk contains an abundance of vitamin D, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B12, and for minerals, it provides plenty of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and selenium. It also contains a very good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which eggs do not.

Beans

White beans, Lima beans, Kidney beans etc. They all have a few things in common. They’re usually light in vitamins, rich in minerals, and contain a moderate amount of protein. They aren’t always cheap, but their high shelf life allows you to cut down costs by buying them in bulk.

Canned Salmon

I don’t normally recommend any processed canned foods, but canned salmon is one of those rare foods that are healthier than the fresh version. Aside from being expensive, fresh salmon is usually farmed, which means they are typically contaminated with PCBs, and fed chemicals that turn their flesh pink (which happens naturally in the wild). Canned salmon is almost always caught in the wild, and is usually very affordable. It provides an abundance of omega-3, vitamins, and minerals, and unlike other canned sea food like tuna, the amount of mercury in salmon is negligible.

Bananas

While the cost of groceries has gone up significantly in recent years, bananas are still remarkably cheap. They also contain a well-rounded dose of nutrients like vitamins C and B6, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium. Contrary to popular belief, bananas don’t contain the most potassium (see beans above) but they are one of the cheapest ways to consume that mineral. Though most westerners aren’t aware of this, you can actually eat the banana peel as well if it’s properly prepared, which will double your potassium intake.

Beef Liver

There’s no doubt that the taste and texture of liver renders it unpalatable to most people. Unless you grew up eating it, there’s a good chance that you will absolutely hate beef liver. However, the widespread unpopularity of liver means that it’s usually pretty affordable. The nutrient profile of this organ is also amazing. It might give you the best bang for your buck, compared to everything else on this list.

In fact, some of the nutrients in beef liver are so high, that eating a single serving every day might actually be bad for you. That serving would include 431% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, 137% of riboflavin, 800% of B12, and 486% of copper. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep very long in the fridge, so you may want to skip liver if you live alone. But if you live with a family, you can easily divvy up a single slice between everyone.

Have any great ideas for highly nutritious foods that won’t break the bank? Let us know in the comments 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

Warning: Some High Carb Foods Can Give You Lung Cancer

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bagelsWe all know that bad habits like smoking can often lead to lung cancer. In fact, in our culture, the association between lung cancer and tobacco is so strong that we often forget that there are other causes of this disease. We’re usually surprised when we hear about a nonsmoker getting lung cancer, as if it’s some kind of anomaly.

In truth, there’s more to it than just “abuse this one organ and it’ll fall apart.” Our diets play a much bigger role in our long-term health. You could live a squeaky clean life without any addictions or vices, and still have cancer if you don’t eat the right foods. And since the food we eat affects every cell in our bodies, a poor diet can fuel cancer in any organ.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that science has just discovered a new link to lung cancer in nonsmokers, and it has everything to do with what these otherwise healthy people eat.

Could lung cancer be one of those malignancies? Dr. Xifeng Wu, chair of cancer prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, conducted the new study to help answer that question.

Her team looked at the health and dietary histories of more than 1,900 people with lung cancer and more than 2,400 people without the disease.

The investigators looked specifically at the intake of foods with a high glycemic index, such as the white bread and potatoes cited by Jain.

Overall, people who registered in the top fifth in terms of a high-glycemic diet had a 49 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer versus those in the bottom fifth, Wu’s team reported.

And when the researchers focused solely on people who never smoked, the link was even more compelling. Those who had the highest glycemic diet were more than twice as likely to get lung cancer as those who had the lowest glycemic index scores.

Dr. Wu made it clear that the study wasn’t 100% conclusive. It’s likely that there are other factors involved. People who eat a high glycemic diet are also more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which can contribute to cancer. Just having a high insulin resistance can do the trick. But regardless of whether or not these factors are involved, the result is the same. Some high carb foods can really mess you up.

And it makes a lot of sense. These high glycemic foods often have an effect on your body that is similar to eating candy and drinking soda. And as we all know, sugary processed foods fuel cancer growth.

We often think that there’s a big difference between foods that are laced with simple sugars, and those that are filled with complex carbohydrates, and we assume that the latter of the two is safer because those carbs are digested and broken down into sugar at a much slower rate. However, it isn’t always that simple. Milk is loaded with simple sugars in the form of lactose, but is low on the glycemic index, whereas potatoes with their abundance of complex carbs, are ranked very high on the index.

So if you want to stay healthy, do some research on your diet, find out which foods are high on the glycemic index, and consider cutting back on them (though many of them are still good for you in moderation). You might just be surprised to find that your healthy diet, isn’t so healthy after all.

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

“Stay Tuned“

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broken-news

„In the last 48 hours, 4 people have died in a local hospital from flu type „xyxz“. Hospital representatives state that there is no reasons for panic, and they have formed a special committee, that will closely monitor the ongoing situation and keep the public informed.

From our anonymous sources, we have found out that 4 more people are in same hospital, currently in a very bad condition. These patients are suffering from the same type of flu virus. Our source states „they (hospital managers) do not know really what’s happening or how dangerous the developing situation is“.

Experts we have contacted, state that people need to protect themselves with masks and avoid public places with large crowds.

Stay tuned…

Our channel will give you latest updates about the situation…“

 What Does it Really Mean?

Imagine this news shows on your local TV station, and background images show people in BIOHAZARD suits carrying some heavy looking objects in big black bags, and a man who is supervising burning a big pile of something.

You are a prepper (obviously) and this news story causes you great concern, you may conclude that it is time to get „out of the town“, go to your Bug Out Location (BOL) wearing your masks, or bio suit if you have it, ready to shoot at whoever may try to stop you.

Nothing too bad with that, if you feel it is time to run, then you run, that’s it…

The likely reality to this ‘story’ though, is that 4 people did die from flu, but just like every year. A huge number of people dying from the same annual flu, mainly older folks with chronic illness (not mentioned by media), or patients in already poor condition.

The Hospital did really form a special committee to take contact with media, simply because the media pushed the hospital staff really hard with a lot of questions about ‘this situation’.

The „Unofficial source“ in these stories is often some guy who wants to have his piece of „fame“ by telling simple fact that there is „more people in the same bad condition“ (just like in any hospital, anywhere, anytime).

The ‘expert’ who the media contacted talked about simple and common sense fact that „you should have mask on and avoid public places“ if you want to stay healthy, and protect against flu or cold or anything similar.

But if you put that statement with background pictures of people carrying big bags in bio suits, the same statement now has a completely different ‘sound’, yes?

You’ll likely find the background pictures were a couple of years old, showing some dead cows being disposed from a local farm, because of cow disease.

The point of this story is not to tell you to ignore ‘news’ if you hear that people start to die locally, but to think first about two key points:

 

  1. Research or try to research what is really going on. Have your sources, or know people (trusted) who have their trusted sources.
  2. Understand that media is usually not there to help us, they are there in order to make more money, and nothing is more cool like big fat headline of ‘dramatic’ news.

 

Sometimes reasons behind running such a story can be really simple and „funny“, like selling 100,000 masks that someone have stored somewhere, or to provide vaccines etc, sometimes it is nothing, just big ‘headline’.

And yes, sometimes it gonna be real. If you do not have other sources then yes, trust your instinct.

But please, do not „stay tuned“ in front of the TV waiting for the next update… Go  research on forums, ask friends, find sources… do something, or just run, just do not „stay tuned“  as popular media understand it.

Timing , Places, Reasons and Examples of (Mis)Information

One of my fears and at the same time an essential ‘decision point’ when I (and you) should go into full survival mode is not when SHTF, but when folks realize that Shit Is really hitting the fan.

From that moment rules are changing, and you can expect anything.

What does that mean?

It is good when you realize, as a prepper, that the SHTF ‘moment’ has occurred, and act accordingly, even if other people did not realize that yet. It is not so good when you realize this fact later, at the same time as the ‘general population’.

I have seen people burning other people houses, sometimes with people inside, just because they like that: They had an expression of joy and happiness on their faces,they wanted to do that for their whole life, but of course they did not had chance for that, simply because system was there to punish them hard even for trying to do similar things.

But they did that and similar things when they realized that SHTF, and there is nobody to punish them.

They enjoyed it.

You want to be there when they realize that?

So, an example would be that you could (and should actually, as a good prepper) realize that SHTF way before those kind of people begin to realize.

Use of that timely information could save your life, the big difference between you (prepper) and a non prepper is that you should have that information before them and react to it.

And you are most probably not going to get that information by using „regular“ media,  at least not in time to have advantage over the other folks, especially bad kind of folks.

You should plan to use the maximum information in the best time, to go into the let’s say „stealth“ survival mode and leave the area, while there is not yet a need to go to the ‘full’ survival mode of needing to do bad things to achieve your objective.

At least that would be the most desirable outcome.

Information and misinformation have value, value of it can rapidly change depending of the timeline when you get it (or give it). Just to repeat ‘valuable information’ is often very ‘time sensitive’.

Let’s say the story from the beginning of the article is true, in that a pandemic is really starting, and you received that information before chaos happened, before everything fell apart, all city services stopped, before people start stampede out of the town.

In that case you could have enough time to easy leave the area to your BOL, or to even stop by the stores and buy everything that you need in case you did not prepared enough.

You know that S. Is going to hit the fan in 3-4 days and you can prepared very well for that, and watch from your BOL how world is going to shit through the chaos.

Or you know that the pandemic ‘news’ is serious misinformation, you could just go and buy huge amount of face masks, and sell it to the folks who think pandemic is really happening if you want to make that kind of money.

In both cases information is valuable because (again) you get it before others did.

(Mis)Information (Rumors), Myths and Fear

Fear is a thing that moves people in different directions. It is natural thing and let’s say that almost everybody has fears or gonna experience fear in some situations.

In terms of SHTF fear can be „coped“ or minimized with activities like training, confidence (in your skills, preparedness etc), or simply some of us gonna experience more fear than others.

One of the biggest fear that I experienced and saw other people going through,  during the SHTF was fear from the unknown.

That „unknown“ was many different things, but most of the time it was induced by lack of the information or wrong information.

What does that mean?

It  works on many levels.

For example, some time after the SHTF, rumors started that poison gases were used in some parts of the region.

You could not point out clear sources who was their or experienced it, but everybody talked about it, and people feared this a lot.

As a result, in one period you could easily „conquer“ one building full of folks by throwing in a smoke grenade only, they all just run of the building in panic.

In some cases people just set rugs on fire in order to make smoke.

Yeah, it sounds stupid now, but what do a bunch of civilians know about poisonous (military) gases and how they look or work?

Fear is big thing.

In your case it can be something else, do not underestimate power of misinformation and fear when you are thrown into the collapse.

When SHTF, myths and rumors take places, because people use it as a advantage. For example in situation when information is planted that 500 armed people coming to your part of the town and that they killing everybody they find.

Or like popular myth, like „fact“ that drinking strong alcohol will help you not to freeze in cold environment.

Local „warlords“ used to plant rumors in order to take business from each other in things like selling smuggled food, or smuggling people out of the town in exchange for gold.

In among all this you will also be strongly tempted to lie to yourself, by telling yourself that everything is going to be OK, things are not going to go to shit because the  world cares what is going on, and little babies can not die because lack of simple medicines at the end of 20 century.

As a conclusion, false and real information are there before and after the SHTF.

And it is weird, but sometimes it is harder to find good info. in „normal times“.

Point is that you need to follow what is going on, but not just run for the information, rather to carefully choose and check every piece of it.

When SHTF you are gonna work based on small pieces and bits of info’s, and errors are gonna happen, you cannot avoid it.

What you can avoid is your need to trust in some information simply because you are too well prepared for that.

You are gonna know how to survive in the cold and be ready for that. You are gonna know what are the poisonous gases and how they work, or simply you are gonna have your small garden somewhere and you are not gonna have a need to go and check some suspicious info about guy who is selling food somewhere.

Preparing is (again) the key, and in many scenarios Knowledge truly is ‘Power’.

 

 

 

 

 

Learn From a Pro: A Beginner’s Guide To Archery

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archer

Archery is undoubtedly one of the most useful survival skills. Even though the bow and arrow has been largely replaced by firearms as the weapon of choice for most hunters, it is far from obsolete. Unlike firearms, bows are quiet, lightweight, and affordable. The “ammo” is reusable, and it’s much easier to find a safe place to practice.

But more than that, archery is also a deeply fulfilling hobby. That’s not to say that firearms aren’t as fun, but archery is fun in its own unique way. It’s a much more physical activity that will test your strength, endurance, and focus, in ways that a firearm won’t. In short, archery is a lifelong pursuit that is tons of fun, and mastering it will leave you feeling gratified in more ways than one.

Like any challenging skill however, getting started is the hardest part. Shooting a bow isn’t as simple as pulling a string, and there’s a few tips and techniques that you need to know right off the bat. If you’ve ever been interested in getting involved in the fine art of archery, take a look at the video below.  It’s a beginner’s guide made by Jake Kaminski, a professional archer who won the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics. After watching this, your first time at the archery range won’t be any more difficult than it needs to be.

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 Is Why You Shouldn’t Shelter Your Children From Guns

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child with gunWhen it comes to the subject of children and firearms, there seems to be two prevailing schools of thought. One says that if you have children, all of your firearms need to be locked up and hidden away, and kids shouldn’t even be aware of your firearms until they’re old enough to respect them. The other school of thought suggests quite the opposite. Kids need to be introduced to firearms at a very early age, even if they don’t quite understand what they’re looking at. They need some familiarity with guns, so that it kills their curiosity.

It’s hard to argue with the former sometimes. Little kids don’t mix well with firearms unless they are under strict supervision. It’s not uncommon for children to stumble upon their parent’s weapons, and accidentally shoot themselves or others. Every year, over 2000 kids are accidentally injured with firearms in America, and among kids aged 10 and under, accidents account for 75% of all firearm injuries.

But is sheltering your kids from firearms really the best way to keep them from hurting themselves and others? It’s hard to say since, to my knowledge at least, there haven’t been any studies made on the matter. And sometimes, even when parents familiarize their children with guns, accidents still happen.

However, a recent experiment conducted by KWWL News in Iowa found that it’s probably best to familiarize your kids with firearms, even when they’re really young.  Though the experiment didn’t set out to prove anything in that regard, it sure is compelling. Under the guidance of a police officer, they planted an unloaded pistol in a room full of toys to see how long it would take for several kids to find it, and play with it. If you’re short on time, you can get the gist of the video by starting at the 5 minute mark.

Though the sample size is small, the results are impossible to ignore. The only kids who didn’t play with the gun were the ones who grew in households that have guns. They’ve seen them before, and on some level they know that guns aren’t toys.

So with that in mind, it’s probably safe to say that it’s a bad idea to shelter your kids from guns, even though it can sometimes be a little nerve-racking to broach this subject with them. If you’re a gun owner with a family, show your firearms to your kids, teach them how they work and how to be safe with them. And if they’re old enough to understand, explain the lethal potential that is inherent in every firearm. Make it clear that these aren’t toys and they’re not for fun (until they’re old enough to have fun with them of course) and you should be able to stunt their curiosity.

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

Someday, This Humble Fungus Could Kill Millions of People

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stem rust wikimediaIn the 1960’s, a biologist by the name of Norman Borlaug created several strains of high yield, disease resistant wheat. He developed these strains in countries like India, Mexico, and Pakistan, and with the help of modern agricultural techniques, he helped these countries double their wheat yields in less than a decade. Borlaug’s crops were so successful at bringing food security to the third world, that it’s estimated his efforts have since saved over a billion lives.

That should give you a pretty good idea about how important wheat is to the global food supply. There are literally billions of people who are living right now, because modern civilization is so good at growing this stuff. Imagine what would happen if something threatened even a small percentage of the world’s wheat yields.

Unfortunately, that something exists and it goes by the name of Ug99, a strain of stem rust fungus that is known to kill wheat plants.

Since 1998, Ug99 has been sweeping its way across Africa to the Middle East from its origin in Uganda. Altogether, 11 confirmed races in the Ug99 lineage have been detected in Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe, showing that the pathogen has evolved and expanded widely, according to recent research by Singh, Hodson and collaborators.

Trans-boundary pathogens blown by the wind, spread by travel and commercial trade, pose an increasing threat to global food security. Emerging strains colonizing new areas can cause significant crop losses. Pathogen changes in one region can quickly migrate with serious consequences to more distant regions.

So just how bad is Ug99? When a single spore lands on a wheat farm, it’s been known to eventually multiply and kill 100% of the crop, before making the leap to neighboring farms. Though there are some breeds of wheat that are resistant to it, less than 10% of the farms in the countries where it has shown up, actually grow them. And many of these wheat strains are of the same variety that Norman Borlaug developed decades ago. Thus, the spread of this stem rust threatens to derail decades of agricultural progress in the third world.

But truth be told, it may not stay in the third world for very long. Much like a virus, stem rust can ‘infect’ people. The spores can cling to clothing and travel anywhere in the world. Each acre of stem rust infected wheat can create billions of spores, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched for someone to brush shoulders with one of these crops, and spread it to anywhere in the world.

In any case, it could still make the leap to the developed world even without human help. It’s widely believed that stem rust spores could conceivably be blown across the ocean and into Australia, one of the world’s largest wheat producers. And if it can make it there by natural forces, it can make it anywhere.

While the scientific community is busy trying to figure out a way to deal with this threat, the Ug99 fungus has always been one step ahead of them. It’s a rapidly evolving organism that has adapted to nearly every strain of wheat that it has come across. Fortunately, dozens of wheat genes that are resistant to it have been discovered, so there is some hope that it can be beaten in much the same way that it was beaten in the past: by breeding resistant strains of wheat with the ones that aren’t resistant.

However, a successful breeding program would take years to develop. In fact, you would probably need separate programs for different regions and climates. And once several highly resistant plants were created, it would take several more years before the world’s farmers could make the switch to the new wheat strains. Until that happens, Ug99 will loom over the global food supply, threatening to eliminate sustenance for millions, or perhaps even billions of people.

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

5 Tips That Will Turn You Into an Amazing Runner

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runningHuman beings are born to run. Compared to every other species on this planet, we are unparalleled. While there are countless animals that can run faster than us, none can run for nearly as long, nor can they run for such incredibly vast distances. Aside from our big brains, this is one of the few traits that makes us unique among every other species on the planet.

But for such a quintessentially human ability, many of us are quite bad at it, and I’m not just talking about how physically unfit many of us have become in the modern world. There are some very basic techniques that you can apply to vastly improve your ability to run, and most people are never taught them. Here’s what you need to know:

Run on the Ball of Your Foot

There’s a native tribe in Mexico that in recent years, has gained a reputation for producing excellent long distance runners. Many of them routinely outclass Olympic marathon runners, and even their elderly keep on running into their twilight years. While there are several reasons why members of the Tarahumara Tribe are such fantastic runners, one of the most significant reasons is that they don’t run like most Westerners.

When most of us run, we instinctively land on our heels first, before rolling our feet along the pavement until we spring up from our toes. The Tarahumara on the other hand, never land on their heels. They typically have a shorter, faster stride, and they always land on the balls of their feet. This is much more efficient for long distance running, and it doesn’t put so much stress on your knees or shins.

Just remember that if you’ve never done this before, it’s going to leave you incredibly sore after the first time you do it. Running on the balls of your feet activates a few muscles that you don’t typically use so strenuously. Start out by only jogging short distances like this, and work your way up until you can do it for longer distances.

Fix Your Posture

There are two major posture problems that you’ll see with inexperienced runners. They’ll either be hunched over like they’re sitting in front of a computer, or they’ll be leaning really far back with their chest in front of them. Neither of these are conducive to efficient running or breathing.

Ideally your torso should be straight, and only leaning a little bit forward. You should be perfectly aligned from your lower spine to the back of your head, and you should be looking straight ahead at the horizon, like so.

Breathe Through Your Nose

This doesn’t just apply to running. No matter what exercise you do, it’s important to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, or alternatively, breathe in and out with both orifices together. Breathing exclusively through your mouth won’t do you any favors, even when you’re not exercising. Of course, it’s easy to forget that when you’re huffing and puffing at the end of a long run, but breathing through your mouth will actually burn you out faster.

Your nose isn’t just for smelling. The moisture in your nasal passages filters out particles and pollutants, and warms the air before it reaches your lungs. This not only reduces the irritation and dryness in your throat, but it helps your lungs take in oxygen more efficiently. Breathing through your mouth may put more air in your body, but it doesn’t necessarily put in more oxygen.

Breathing Deeper

Another habit you’ll see with exhausted runners, is their tendency to give short rapid breaths. When you’re running hard it feels natural to try and breathe as fast as you can, but when you do this you’re actually making shallow breaths that fail to expel CO2.  You need to take longer deeper breaths, even when you’re feeling exhausted. And the best way to do that is…

Breathe With Your Belly

I’m willing to bet that right now, as you’re breathing, your chest is moving in and out. In reality, that is not the optimal way to breathe, regardless of whether you’re running up a mountain or sitting on the couch. Most people never think about this because it’s hard to believe that there is a right and wrong way to breathe. The truth is, you should be breathing with your diaphragm rather than your chest. It should feel like your belly is being filled with air while your chest hardly moves at all.

Try it right now. Extend your belly as you breathe in and relax your diaphragm to let it all out. You’ll find that this is far easier than chest breathing, which is normally restricted by the weight of your chest and shoulders. You’ll also find that your lungs can take in a higher capacity of air. Belly breathing puts more oxygen in your body, and pushes out more CO2.

It’ll feel weird the first time you try it out on a run, but after a while it’ll start to feel natural. And doing this alongside the previous tips will make your running experience easier and more enjoyable. In a sense, they won’t make you a stronger runner. You’ll simply be removing the handicaps that have been slowing you down this whole time.

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

UN Fears Global Food Crisis Due to Mass Bee Deaths

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honeybee wikimediaWe’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate. Though science has yet to settle on a single cause for the bee deaths, the most likely culprit seems to be some of the pesticides we use on our crops; though it’s just as likely that there are multiple reasons for colony collapse disorder, and most of them are caused by human activity.

Obviously, this is a huge threat to our food supply. One third of all the food we eat comes from plants that are pollinated by insects, and 80% of those crops are pollinated by bees. This has big implications for our meat supply as well, since animal feed like alfalfa is pollinated by bees. If this mass bee die off continues unabated, we’re going to have a serious food crisis on our hands in the near future.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the bees that are in danger of disappearing. They get the most attention since they’re responsible for the most pollination, but the truth is, there are multiple pollinating species that are dying off all over the world.

The UN recently released a report on the subject, explained that not only bees, but butterflies and pollinating birds are also threatened on every continent. Two in five species of insect pollinators are threatened, as are one in six bird pollinators.

The report attributed several reasons for the population declines of these species, including urban sprawl, diseases, neonicitinoid pesticides, and of course, no UN report is complete unless climate change is blamed for something.

“The report confirms the overwhelming majority of the scientific opinion regarding pollinator health — that this is a complex issue affected by many factors,” said Christian Maus, of Bayer pharmaceuticals in a statement to AP. “Protecting pollinators and providing a growing population with safe, abundant food will require collaboration.” Bayer produces neonicotinoid pesticides.

Research has linked the use of neonicitinoids on certain crops to declining honeybee populations. The report points to agricultural pesticide management as a key area of concern for pollinators.

“Pesticides, particularly insecticides, have been demonstrated to have a broad range of lethal and sub-lethal effects on pollinators in controlled experimental conditions,” said the report.

The report also highlights monoculture agriculture, with wide swaths of farmland supporting a single crop, as another source of woe for pollinators. In England, the government pays farmers to plant wildflowers in their hedgerows, British scientist Robert Watson told AP. In the United States, the newly formed Pollinator Health Task Force is also looking into ways to encourage farmers to diversify plants grown on agricultural lands.

When you really break it down, the most significant threat to these pollinators, is modern agricultural techniques. The only way to prevent this disaster, is to return to traditional farming in at least some capacity. The world may have to look towards organic farming for inspiration. And that’s a big problem, because for all its faults, modern agriculture is able to feed a ton of people.

There’s no denying the fact that organic farming is also capable of producing high yields, but unlike industrial farming, it takes a lot more time and effort before a piece of land is fertile enough to produce a significant abundance of organic food. So regardless of whether or not most of the farmers in this world stay on their current course, or if they move to save these pollinators by switching to more traditional agricultural techniques, the global food supply is probably going tighten 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 to Retread Your Old Shoes With a Car Tire

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car tires wikimediaIn our throwaway culture, it’s no surprise that most shoes are poorly made. The average American is content to wear cheap tennis shoes that don’t last more than a few hundred miles of walking, and the shoe companies are more than happy to produce footwear that needs to be constantly replaced. And they get away with making these garbage shoes, because so many Americans live sedentary lives, and they don’t do a whole lot of walking in the first place.

But for those of us who do like to get off the couch every now and then, high quality footwear is a must. Personally, I could wear down a typical pair of Payless shoes in less than 6 months. It’s such a colossal waste of money to go through footwear like that.

However, even really high quality shoes and boots will wear down eventually. You can prolong their lifespan by having the treads replaced, which is sometimes fairly expensive. Or you can retread them yourself with an old car tire.

Most people have never considered doing this, but it’s a very cheap way to make footwear last a very long time. Consider the fact that your typical car tire is responsible for carrying thousands of pounds over tens of thousands of miles. If you could put that kind of rubber on the bottom of your shoe, there’s good chance that the tread will outlast the everything else.

So if you have a well worn pair of shoes or boots that you’d like to refurbish on the cheap, take a look at the video below. Since there isn’t any narration, afterward I’ll fill you in on a few important facts that you need to know.

The first thing you see these guys doing in the video is stripping the tread off the tire. As you can see, this is definitely a two man job, and can be done with a knife or a box-cutter, and a pair of pliers. This is an essential step, because modern car tires contain a belt of steel wires under the tread that is impossible to cut through without power tools. And even if you could cut through it, you don’t want all that steel to weigh down your shoes.

After tracing the shape of the boot print onto the tire, they sand down the back side of the tire tread and the surface of shoe tread. This will give the glue a better surface to adhere to. Unfortunately most people don’t own a belt sander as seen in the video, but a palm sander or a dremel tool with a sandpaper attachment would also work pretty well. I should add that it’s a good idea to wear eye protection throughout this process, and a disposable respirator wouldn’t hurt either.

Next is the part where the tread is glued onto the shoe. The guy in the video is not using ordinary shoe goo, and you shouldn’t either. That stuff is better suited for small repairs. The person who posted the video mentioned in the comments, that they’re actually using a product called Barge Cement, which is a popular adhesive for repairing shoes. And yes, hammering the tread does help it adhere to the shoe. Barge Cement is a strong product, but it’s also a bit tricky to work with. Read the instructions carefully and do your research before using Barge Cement. It will make the difference between a shoe that falls apart in a week, or lasts for years.

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