How To Use Zip-Ties in An Emergency Situation

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How To Use Zip-Ties in An Emergency Situation Your imagination is the key to survive an emergency situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re stranded in the woods or in the concrete jungle. Putting your mind to good use and using the items you have can save the day. Having a few simple zip-ties in your …

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20 Long Lasting Foods That Should Not Miss From Your SHTF Pantry

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20 Long Lasting Foods That Should Not Miss From Your SHTF Pantry I recently realized I never really thought about how to stay alive during a long term survival scenario such as an EMP that could wipe out the entire electric grid for many, many years or an economic collapse like in Venezuela. It’s only …

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5 Wise Ways To Use The Last Few Weeks Of Winter (No. 2 Is The One Everyone Forgets!)

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5 Wise Ways To Use The Last Few Weeks Of Winter (No. 2 Is The One Everyone Forgets!)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Transitioning from winter to spring is an exciting time around our homestead. We have used these last few months to research and plan new ideas to incorporate on our land throughout the coming growing season. Right now, we are seeing the last remnants of snow and ice melt away, creating a soggy mess of our land, but there are still plenty of things we can do inside to prepare our homestead for the busy spring season.

Using these last few weeks of winter to prepare for spring weather allows us to work efficiently during those first weeks of spring when life around the homestead becomes increasingly busy. As with any project, creating a plan, even if it is a simple list, enables us to establish what needs finishing before the weather breaks and it helps us take full advantage of the warm winter days that come our way. So, what will we be doing to ensure we are using these last few weeks of winter wisely?

1. Preparing for seeds.

This year we are going to use newspapers saved by neighbors, family and friends to create seedling pots. Cutting and folding enough pots for the seeds we are planning to start indoors this year will take some time, but the materials and labor are free. Additionally, using newspaper pots will allow us to place the whole thing into the ground. No chasing down plastic seedling trays blown about by the wind or finding a place to store them in the offseason. If you are using traditional plastic seedling trays, use this time to clean them, inspect them and replace them if necessary. Or consider newspaper pots!

2. Implement maintenance.

Now is the time to be sure your tools, mechanical and otherwise, are in sound, working condition. For hand tools, sharpen the edges, oil the blades and repair or replace splintered or broken handles. Sharpening the blades of mower decks, tillers, plows and other implements now will allow spring ground-breaking to get off to a smooth start.

Are You Prepared For A Long-Term Blackout? Get Backup Electricity Today!

5 Wise Ways To Use The Last Few Weeks Of Winter (No. 2 Is The One Everyone Forgets!)

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In addition to the array of outdoor tools that need to be maintained, sharpen and oil your scissors and knives. Sharpening butchering tools in these last few weeks of winter will save you time during the busy harvest season.

3. Stocking up on the essentials.

If you produce your own soaps, detergents and other household products, stocking up now will ensure you make it through the busy spring and summer months without setting aside precious time to whip up more. Estimate the amount you will need to have on hand until after harvest, and set aside a day to complete multiple batches. This is also the perfect time to rotate food storage supplies while cleaning and reorganizing, if necessary.

4. Preparing soil amendments.

Not all of the prep work can be done indoors, so take advantage of those warmer days in the last weeks of winter to work outside. Enrich garden soils by adding a top layer of compost to the rows. This will allow the compost to begin breaking down before you till it under in a few weeks. If you are planning on adding new raised beds, begin marking off dimensions, or even start constructing them, weather permitting.

5. Building and fence maintenance.

Inspect your outbuildings and fencing for damage due to wind, ice buildup or other weather-related activity. Wet winters can cause wood rot, as well as mold and mildew issues if the temperature remains above freezing for long. Repairing buildings and fencing now will ensure there are no untimely accidents later due to escaped inhabitants or ruined food supplies.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

The Livestock Feed That Grows Even During Droughts

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The Livestock Feed That Grows Even During Droughts

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When you think of natural livestock feeding, what do you picture? A smooth, green pasture with animals grazing on grass and clover? That provides a large part of what’s needed. But trees and brush also can be valuable livestock feed. They have several uses.

Woody plants provide extra fiber/roughage and can help to settle digestions upset by too much rich food. Their deep roots bring vitamins and minerals up from lower levels of the soil and make them accessible to livestock. In dry years, these deep roots are especially valuable. During the long rainless summer of 2016, when my family ran drip irrigation on the gardens 24/7 and watched the pastures turning brown, the deep-rooted trees and bushes remained green and growing, giving us something fresh to feed our livestock.

Who Wants Brush?

Goats are champion brush-eaters, and they naturally prefer browsing to grazing. Sometimes, ours get diarrhea when they’re turned out on lush spring pasture. Feeding lots of branches gets enough fiber into their systems to settle their digestions. Sheep also enjoy a certain amount of browse. Some farmers report that heritage breeds of sheep are much more willing to eat browse than recently developed breeds. Horses and cows are primarily adapted for grazing, but some browse can be a useful fiber/vitamin supplement for them, as well. Rabbits should have some woody plants to add fiber to their diets and to keep their teeth from overgrowing.

What Can You Feed?

Willow (Salix spp) and mulberry (Morus spp) are particularly nutritious high-protein feeds. They can grow very rapidly in favorable conditions, which makes them easy to coppice for continual growth (mulberry is even considered invasive in some areas). Willow is also pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory; salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, was derived from willow bark. We feed plenty of this to our goats after kidding. Siberian peashrub (Caragana arborescens) is a hardy legume with protein-rich leaves and seedpods. It’s supposed to cope well with drought, poor sandy soil and other challenging conditions.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer

The Livestock Feed That Grows Even During Droughts

Image source: Pixabay.com

Other palatable trees and shrubs include apple, birch (Betula spp — which also has mild de-worming properties), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina — do not ever feed your animals poison sumac, Toxicodendron vernix), rose (another mild de-wormer), blackberry (also has some disinfectant and digestion-settling properties) and raspberry (beneficial to animals during pregnancy and soon after birth, and will do no harm at other times). Do not feed branches from stone fruit trees (peach, plum, cherry, apricot nectarine), yew, poison sumac, mountain laurel, or any type of laurel or rhododendron.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Check with your local Cooperative Extension and with your neighbors about what grows and what is palatable in your area. Be prepared for conflicting answers. There’s controversy over whether or not to feed some types of trees and brush. Some sources list maple as toxic; our goats sometimes eat dried sugar maple leaves as a treat alongside their hay and come to no harm. Some sources say to avoid feeding any kind of evergreens, but we give our goats small amounts of white pine branches when they suffer from worms, though we don’t feed pine regularly.

How Can You Offer Browse?

This depends very much on your animals and your land. Goats usually will eat any browse included in their pastures, so enthusiastically that they kill the plants — they’ll completely defoliate low shrubs, and girdle the bark of trees so they die. That can be useful if you have goats and you want a wooded/brushy area cleared; you can just remove toxic plants, fence the area and turn the goats loose in it. The other choice is to keep your goats on grass pasture, cut branches elsewhere and throw them in.

Browse, as well as grass, can be stored for winter. My family cuts willow early, when the leaves have just reached their full size and their nutritive peak. We then bundle the branches and hang them high in the barn rafters. After several months, they’re thoroughly dry and ready to go into a bin for winter feeding. We also bundle and dry raspberry plants.

For obvious reasons, browse for rabbits needs to be cut and put into their enclosures.

I haven’t raised cows or horses. Some sources say they won’t eat browse if they have access to plenty of graze. Others report that they will eat cut branches that are offered them and will nibble on trees or shrubs in their pasture without killing them. So far as I can tell from reading, sheep’s willingness to browse depends on the breed and the particular flock. In a dry year when fresh graze is less available, most natural grazers may show more enthusiasm for branches. I hope that some of you who raise horses, sheep and cattle will comment on this post and tell us about your herd’s eating habits.

Have you ever fed your livestock trees and bush? Share your tips for doing it in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop

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Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop This multi-purpose DIY project can serve as a great greenhouse or chicken coop. Easy to build for a very frugal price! There are loads of garden DIY projects on the web, the difference between this and others is that this is a multi-purpose garden addition, You can add …

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How To Make Whiskey Step by Step

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How To Make Whiskey Step by Step Who doesn’t like a shot of whiskey on a cold night? I love it. My granddad has been taking a shot of whiskey every night before bed for over 50 years and he swears it keep him healthy. I did a post on how to make watermelon moonshine …

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7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions

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7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions Onions are on of the crops every self sufficient Gardener should be growing each year.  Even if you only have a small garden it is possible to grow and store enough onions each year so that you never have to buy another onion again.  Onions are …

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Beyond Paracord: 8 Other Cordage Types You Need to Know

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Beyond Paracord: 8 Other Cordage Types You Need to Know It’s no secret that 550 paracord is the most versatile cord you can include in your bug out bag. It should not be the only type of cordage that you consider, though. Many types or rope, cord, and wire exist for many different uses and are …

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7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees

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7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees Did you know that you cold help save the bees in your own back garden? I found 7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees. I have been thinking about our poor bees for a while and I went hunting the internet to see if I could do anything to …

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70+ Preparedness Gardening Projects

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70+ Preparedness Gardening Projects Gardening has and always will be an important preparedness tool in aiding us towards self sufficiency and survival. With out it we wouldn’t last log in a SHTF situation. Having food stockpiled is great and will keep you fed but what would you do if the emergency you were in didn’t …

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How to Get a Free Survival Map of Your Local Area

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How to Get a Free Survival Map of Your Local Area A survival map is an important part of any survival kit. There is no excuse not to have one because getting one is quick, easy, and free. Print maps of all areas you may need in the event of an emergency. If you have a …

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How To Make A Simple Humidifier (And Why You Shouldn’t Use A Store-Bought One)

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How To Make A Simple Humidifier (And Why You Shouldn’t Use A Store-Bought One)

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Sometimes, it’s nice to have at least a little moisture in the air. Between the annoying static electricity, the itchy flakey skin, and sudden nosebleeds, indoor dryness can get a wee bit annoying — and that’s not even the worst of it. In some pretty bad cases, the lack of air moisture can dry out mucus membranes, which can lead to colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections.

Dry air may initially seem like a mere inconvenience, but given the right factors it can get just downright hazardous — especially for those of us who live in the sticks and are a long drive to a doctor’s office.

Which brings me to the main reason why I decided to discuss this topic in the first place: Dry air is often a very common nuisance on a homestead. From the late fall to early spring, homesteaders continually rely on that trusty wood or coal furnace — and those have a way of just sucking the moisture right out of the air.

So here’s an interesting solution to this arid conundrum, and honestly, I didn’t realize just how simple it really was. But first, we should address: Why not just go and purchase an actual humidifier contraption? Well, a few glaring issues come to mind …

“The Big Book Of Off The Grid Secrets” — Every Homesteader Needs A Copy!

While standard retail humidifiers certainly can be quite useful in more urban settings, these things can cause major problems on a homestead:

  • Humidifiers use electric-powered pumps and fans. Since electricity is often in short supply, a homesteader will have to add that cost to the energy budget. Solar panels can only supply so much power, and humidifying the air may not necessarily be on the list of top energy priorities.
  • Homesteaders cannot afford to risk compromising their air quality, because they are incredibly dependent on maintaining good health for people and animals. However, even if a humidifier reservoir is cleaned regularly, those darn things can still build up mold and bacteria inside their internal components.
  • Humidifiers usually require filters that will wear out and need to be replaced, and since Walmart is not likely going to be a mere stone’s throw distance away … well, that’s just another thing we don’t want to purchase on the monthly run to town.

Here’s What to Do

How To Make A Simple Humidifier (And Why You Shouldn’t Use A Store-Bought One)

Image source: Bed, Bath and Beyond

Which brings me to why I’m confused that humidifiers even exist, because apparently, a simple boot tray is actually a better humidifier than those contraptions that they sell on store shelves. Here’s how it works:

  1. Grab a large boot tray that’s, say, at least three feet across and a foot wide. (Seriously, it’s an arbitrary dimension. As long as it can hold about a gallon of water, you’re good to go.)
  2. Fill it with water.
  3. Place it under your wood stove or bed, and just let it sit there …
  4. … Because, well, water evaporates.

And with that, you’ve just solved your dry air problem without using electricity, cleaning a store-bought one, or stocking up on filters.

The boot tray humidifier, depending on how dry the air happens to be, can go through about a gallon of water every three to four days. That’s a gallon of evaporated water in less than a week, which somehow outpaces most retail humidifiers.

 

 

So it seems that at the end of the day, we don’t always have to overthink these things, because it might all just come down to a tray full of water that keeps us from nosebleeds and coughing up a lung. Just remember to refill it every so often, especially if the dog keeps thinking he owns the world’s biggest dog bowl.

How do you keep your air humid during cool weather? Share your tips in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

How To Make a Stun Gun With a Disposable Camera

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How To Make a Stun Gun With a Disposable Camera This is the guide to make a device which runs on a battery and produces sparks at tens of thousands of volts very rapidly. DO NOT use this for any other reason then self defense. A stun gun is a very handy thing to have …

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How To Make Natural Tiger Balm

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How To Make Natural Tiger Balm The time-proven blend of herbal ingredients in Tiger Balm provides safe and effective topical pain relief for sore muscles, arthritis, neck and shoulder stiffness, and just about any other minor muscle or joint aches or pains that may come your way. Tiger Balm is a topical analgesic (pain reliever) …

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14 Prepper Items To Look For At Garage Sales

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14 Prepper Items To Look For At Garage Sales Garage sale season is here! This is the time of year when people do their spring cleaning, clear out their basements and attics, have garage sales, and sell valuable items for next to nothing. If you haven’t been to any garage sales yet this year, you …

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20 Amazing Uses For Soap You Never Thought Of

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20 Amazing Uses For Soap You Never Thought Of I haven’t used soap in years, it makes my skin dry and itchy BUT I read this fantastic article from modernsurvivalblog.com that goes over 20 amazing uses for soap. I never knew soap could be so useful. I will for sure buy some cheap soap now to …

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February Seed Starting Schedule

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February Seed Starting Schedule February is the month when indoor seed starting begins for most gardeners.  Even those of you that live in some of the coldest parts of the country will be able to start a few seedlings in February.  A few basic supplies and a simple shop light are all you need to …

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DIY Mason Jar Bee Hive

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DIY Mason Jar Bee Hive Making a mason jar beehive is super easy and the benefits of having one will help you out beyond belief. These are so simple this hive thrives in urban areas too. If you know anything about bees you know that having your own hive can be as easy as a …

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$3 DIY Bamboo Longbow

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$3 DIY Bamboo Longbow The long bow! One of the earliest weapons made by man. You can make your own from Bamboo for around 3 bucks! This is pretty powerful and will be plenty adequate to hunt small game and maybe even mid size animals. I found a great tutorial that shows you how to …

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The Cricket Trailer: RV with Low Costs to Combat High Gas Prices

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The Cricket Trailer: RV with Low Costs to Combat High Gas Prices The Cricket trailer is a great option for a camping or bug out trailer. Low cost, lots of usable space. This trailer will quite literally rock your world. Before you start reading this could I trouble you to vote for this website as …

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Essential Oils for Common Sense Disaster Preparedness

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Essential Oils for Common Sense Disaster Preparedness Essential Oils have become very popular in the past 5 years not only to heal ailments, freshen rooms naturally and clean the house but in the preparedness community especially. I have been looking for a great article on essential oils for a while now and as I only …

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20 Tiny House Plans You Can DIY

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20 Tiny House Plans You Can DIY Tiny house living basically means living minimally in a small home with a size of under 500 square feet. If you’ve never heard of this concept before, you might think that it’s weird because isn’t it better to live in a modern, big house like those celebrities’ homes you …

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How To Build The Best Bug-Out Bag

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Life can throw a lot of different situations at you in a hurry, situations you might never see coming. With the world in the state it’s in, it can be easy to get scared and start feeling like you need to be prepared for “the worst.” The secret to having some peace of mind is being prepared ahead of time for the unpredictable. Because the very worst that can happen is a disaster in which you are unable to care for yourself or the ones you love. That’s where having the best bug-out bag comes in handy.

Article Originally published by Kelli Warner

The best bug-out bag is ready when you need it and contains everything required for living away from civilization for at least 7-days. A bug-out bag assumes that there may come a time when, for whatever reason, you have to leave your home and not return for at least a few days. It also assumes that, should things be so bad that you have to leave your home, you won’t be able to drive down to the local Wal-Mart and stock up on everything you’ll be needing. So it’s important to spend some time ahead of the disaster, assessing your current situation and needs, as well as anticipating your needs down the road. Creating the best bug-out bag you can for your family

 

What Is A Bug Out Bag?

Several types of emergency preparedness kits are commonly referred to as a Bug Out Bag or BOB. Each serves a different, though sometimes similar, purpose in being prepared for whatever might come your way. An everyday carry kit contains emergency essentials that you keep on your person at all times. These are items that will help you survive emergency situations and daily challenges more easily. A get home bag is designed to do just what the name implies, to get you home. It contains more gear than you would carry on your person every day, and you would typically keep it at your office or in your car. A bug out bag is an emergency kit that provides everything you need to survive for up to a week without any outside contact or resources.

It may help to think of the three types of bags this way: In the event of a disaster, your everyday carry gear gets you from where you are to your get home bag. Your get home bag gets you to your bug out bag. And your bug out bag is designed to keep you safe for an extended period of time.

 

Identifying Your Needs

Different factors mean different needs. Things to consider when mapping out your bug out bag should include:

Where do you live? Living in a rural or urban environment will influence your needs during a survival situation. If you’re likely to face survival in a disaster-stricken inner city environment, you may require self-defense and demolition tools more than shelter and fire starting materials. However, most people will likely attempt to make it to a wilderness area to wait out whatever situation they’re getting away from.

 

Where would you go if your home were no longer safe? Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the land and map out various strengths and weaknesses. If you require a map for your chosen area, you’ll want to include one as you pack your bug out bag.

How will you get there? Depending on the type of disaster, there’s the possibility that you’d be on foot. You may need two destinations, one you can reach by car and another by foot. If you were able to “bug out” in your vehicle, all the better, but you want to pack your bug out bag with the thought that you’ll be carrying it a long way. Keeping that in mind will help you to make realistic weight limit decisions. You could always keep an extra bag of “nice to have” items close by to throw in the back of the truck or car if you can drive.

Who depends on you? Few people live in a vacuum. If disaster struck, who would look to you for help? Do you have children in the home? A spouse or partner you need to consider? Keep these people in mind when planning your bug out bag. Involve them in planning and have them, or help them, pack a bug out bag for themselves, as well.

Unique medical needs? Do you, or those you care for, have any unique medical needs that should be considered? Rescue medications like inhalers and Epi-pens should always have a priority place in any emergency preparedness.

Once you’ve identified your needs, along with the people who will need you, make a plan with your family or extended group. Choose an area where you’ll gather should the need arise. Each person should have prepared their own bug out bag and be able to get there independently. For parents with children, consider their age and capability when creating a family disaster plan.

What Should Go In The Best Bug Out Bag?

Water – the human body can only last up to 72 hours without water. You should plan for at least a liter of water, per day, per person. Carrying all that water may not be practical, but you should have at least some packaged water in your bag, as well as ways to sanitize water for future use. Water sanitation tablets or a simple filtration system can be the easiest and lightest to pack.

Food – You’ll want food you can eat now, and ways to get food in the future. Protein bars, MREs or other dehydrated meals, jerky are great. Canned goods may be considered, but they add weight and bulk. There are many pre-packaged emergency foods available commercially. When choosing food, remember to take into account any food allergies or severe sensitivities. One of the last things you want to deal with in the bush is a severe allergic reaction.

Food preparation – Don’t forget that you’ll have to prepare your food. Be sure to include things like:

Clothing – This is a variable component, depending on your personality, region, time of year, etc. Layering is the name of the game. Some suggestions:

  • Lightweight long sleeve shirt
  • At least one pair of long pants – you might consider “zip off” convertible pants
  • Hiking boots (on your feet) and an extra pair of shoes, if possible.
  • Underwear – a change or two, it’s up to you
  • Good socks – several pairs of moisture-wicking socks
  • Fleece jacket – medium weight jacket for layering
  • Hat with brim
  • Gloves – winter or work gloves
  • Poncho
  • Neck protection – A scarf or gator, for sun or cold

Shelter and Bed

  • Tarp – must have
  • Tent – optional
  • Sleeping Bag – must have
  • Ground pad – optional
  • Extra blanket – optional

Fire – You really can never have too many methods for starting a fire. Choose at least three to pack in your bug out bag:

Tinder – You’ll want to pack several types of tinder, just in case:

  • Cotton balls coated with Vaseline (keep them in a baggie, or they’ll make a mess)
  • Paper
  • Pine chips
  • Cedar shavings
  • Dryer lint
  • Commercial fire starters, there are many

First Aid – There are several very good first aid kits available commercially. If you want to put together your own, you’ll need at least:

  • Alcohol pads
  • Band aids
  • Bandages with tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Vaseline
  • Sunscreen – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that
  • Insect repellent
  • Super glue for closing wounds
  • Medical needs – Inhalers, Epi-pens, blood pressure medications, etc.

Hygiene

  • Wet napkins
  • Hand sanitizer
  • All purpose camp soap (dish soap or bar soap, whichever you prefer, or both)
  • Mirror (hygiene and signaling)
  • Small towel and a cloth
  • Toilet paper (you’ll thank us later)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene needs – deodorant, feminine hygiene products, a brush or comb, ponytail holders if you have long hair, etc.

Tools – It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to tools. Because it’s important to keep the overall weight and bulk down, you’ll want to choose combination tools whenever possible:

  • Survival knife – you may already have one as a part of your everyday carry gear, but make sure you have a backup.
  • Multi-tool – there are many on the market, get one that gives you the most bang for your buck.
  • Hatchet or machete – you won’t want to do everything with your knife, so taking something heavier makes sense.

Lighting – Always have at least primary and one backup light source:

  • Flashlight
  • LED lamp
  • Headlamp
  • Glow sticks
  • Candles
  • Extra batteries

Communication – Consider that your cell phone may not work in an emergency. You might want to have a short wave radio, or some other means of communication with you, as well.

Cash – Travel funds. It’s a good idea to have some cash, and perhaps some gold or silver bullion coins, as well.

Local Map – Even if you’re familiar with the area take a map. Not having one could be disastrous.

Compass – you may already have a compass combined with your analog watch. If you do not, include one in your bug out bag.

Notepad and pencil – This is a good place to keep important numbers and addresses. Without a cell phone, many of us wouldn’t remember a phone number to call if we got the chance.

Self-defense – The need for a bug out bag implies that you are trying to survive. Take with you the best means of self-defense that you have. Include non-lethal means, in addition to whatever weapon you might choose to carry: whistle, pepper spray, etc. If you carry a gun, take extra ammunition, 25 rounds minimum.

Misc. items – Make choices based on your abilities, lack of ability, carrying capacity, space, etc.:

  • Paracord – Must have – 50′ is a good start
  • Bandannas – several cotton bandannas will come in handy for a variety of uses.
  • Duct tape
  • Garbage bags – 55 gal contractor bags are best
  • Resealable bags – four or five, gallon and quart size
  • Sunglasses
  • Sewing kit
  • Fishing Kit
  • Binoculars
  • Face paint (optional)
  • Snare Wire

How to Choose

The fact is, unless your bug out bag is a camper hooked to a truck, you just can’t take everything. That would be camping and not bugging out at all. So at some point you’ll have to make choices based on space and weight limitations. You’ll need to consider the distance you’ll be traveling, as weight can really add up over miles. Being able to get a pack on your back and walk across the yard is no test of your ability to get from point A to point B with it. Remember, the best bug out bag is the one you have when you need it. Having more than you can safely carry, could force you to make decisions about what to leave behind, while already under stress. That won’t set you up for success.

The weight recommendation for men is up to 20% of their body weight. This is an outside max, and assumes peak physical condition. Ten to 15% is a much more realistic weight goal. The weight recommendation for women is 10% to 15% max.

Everything has weight and takes up space. Refer back to your planning phase; remember to choose those items that you are most likely to need first, and add to it as space and weight allow.

Choosing a Good Pack

Keep a couple of things in mind: a compact bag, packed full, with no extra space, is going to be the easiest to carry. A larger, loosely packed bag, even with equal weight, is more uncomfortable. So choose the smallest bag that will still accommodate the volume and weight that you’re targeting. Remember, too, that the bag itself weighs something. Choosing a light but durable bag will be vital to having the best bug out bag possible.

Assembling Your Bugout Bag

Packing things flat, or rolled very tightly, will allow you to fit more in less space. Make a list of items along with their weight. Start packing the most important, keeping track of the overall weight as it grows.

Don’t overestimate your ability to carry your pack for hours at a time. This is a costly mistake that may land you without the survival gear you need. Once you’ve carried a too heavy pack as far as you’re able, you’ll have to lighten it beyond the recommended weight in order to finish your trek. That’s lose lose. Proper packing, keeping your weight limit in mind at all times, is a vital part of preparing the best bug out bag possible.

Be Prepared, Not Scared

Once you’ve packed your bug out bag, take it out for a weekend of camping and survival training. Practicing your survival skills in a non-stress environment insures that you’re ready, physically and mentally, when the challenge arises. Skills that are only in your head, may not serve you well in the field. After a weekend of surviving with your bug out bag, unpack, re-evaluate and repack. Did you find that you needed things you didn’t have? Did you have things you didn’t need, or that would have been better traded out for a different item? Preparing for the future, and whatever eventualities it may hold, allows you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the here and now. If you’re prepared, you don’t

The post How To Build The Best Bug-Out Bag appeared first on American Preppers Network.

How To Make An Archer’s Thumb Ring From Bone, Antler Or A Spoon

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How To Make An Archer’s Thumb Ring From Bone, Antler Or A Spoon I am no expert what so ever on archery or hunting with bows… That being said I did a little research and learned that you can have a steadier aim and hold the bow drawn longer than most people who do not …

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A Life Without Bills: Middle-Aged Couple Builds $30,000 Off-Grid Cob Home

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A Life Without Bills: Middle-Aged Couple Builds $30,000 Off-Grid Cob Home

Image source: YouTube

If you are intrigued by off-the-grid living but are put off by the expense of building your own self-sufficient house, you need to take a look at a couple’s home in Bisbee, Ariz. They built their 600-square-foot abode for only about $30,000.

Today, they are debt free and pay no bills for water, heat, trash pick-up or electricity, and they are gaining expertise as gardeners. Their only regular bills are for Internet service and property taxes.

Karen and Bill, who were both in their 50s when they began building their home in the fall of 2010 and moved in about 18 months later, did all the work themselves. They were profiled on the YouTube “Life Inside A Box” channel.

“We are loving it every day,” Karen says. “It was a lot of hard work, but we chose to do it.”

A video tour begins outside the front door where Karen and Bob explain that the home is made of cob and straw. They have experimented with different forms of plaster over the straw to help defend the home against Arizona’s unrelenting sunshine.

Get The Backup Batter That Can Jump-Start Your Car!

“We used the basic principles of solar design,” says Bob, “with south- and southeast-facing windows.”

As they enter the home, Karen is quick to mention that everything in their home — except for the new energy-efficient refrigerator they purchased to fit in with their solar system — is either used, gifted or repurposed in some way.

Story continues below video

“We made a real effort to recycle as much as we could,” says Karen, pointing out salvaged tin, wood, sinks and furniture pieces in the colorful, inviting home.

The open floor plan and the home’s high slanted roof offer a feeling of spaciousness. The bathroom is the only separate room, with the bedroom partitioned from the main room. A small curtained area is the storage room. “We are minimalists,” Bob says. “We don’t have a lot of stuff.”

Outside, the couple displays their solar system, which, along with their septic system, comprised the major costs for the home. Six main solar panels are nearby. Another four smaller ones power the well. The slanted roof off the back of the house captures rainwater to help irrigate garden beds, trees and plants.

Also on the property are two trailer homes that friends gave to the couple and that Bob later refurbished for their use. One is a warm weather guesthouse, and the other serves as Bob’s workshop. He built a structure to connect to that trailer, which he calls his “man cave” and which also serves as a cold weather guest room.

In the workshop, Bob says he tries out other alternative home concepts, such as crushed paper walls, that he did not get to incorporate into his home.

Raised garden beds, many of which have shades to protect plants from the Arizona sun, are also on the property. Bob and Karen admit they are still learning about gardening, but they are eager to add more homegrown food to their lifestyle.

When asked for advice for others who are considering building an off-the-grid home, Karen and Bob both are quick to stress simplicity.

“Don’t overreach,” Karen emphasizes. “Make a simple plan and then stick with the plan.”

Bob says that he and his wife were motivated by the idea of having a debt-free lifestyle. “We did everything out of money saved, and then we sold half of our 60 acres when we needed more money. … Many people aim too high, and end up getting divorced or having a house that is simply too big to maintain.”

Both Bob and Karen stress that you can always add on another room or another building later if you have the need.

“You will find that you can live in a small space very nicely,” Karen adds.

Would you want to build or live in a cob house? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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How To Start a Fire in the Wilderness

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How To Start a Fire in the Wilderness I can’t overstate how critical it is to learn how to start fires in the wilderness. If SHTF you should endeavor to understand the fundamental skills that underlie the process. There exist several techniques which are used depending on the urgency of the fires, the expected impact that is …

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Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable?

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Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable? Before you even decide to get a chicken coop and buy chicken supplies, it is important to have a reason to raise chickens. Do you want them as pets? Are you capable of providing their basic needs? Which breeds suit your requirements best? Do you think egg …

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10 Car Problems You Can Easily Fix Yourself

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10 Car Problems You Can Easily Fix Yourself While modern cars are getting harder to repair and fix without the aid of mechanic (and a computer), there are still some car problems that you can easily fix and diagnose yourself. Simple things, like changing light bulbs are straightforward to do; others take a little more …

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How To Build a Gravity-Based PVC Aquaponic Garden

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How To Build a Gravity-Based PVC Aquaponic Garden Aquaponics, is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing …

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How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve

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How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve If SHTF or you are trying to be more natural and you suffer with skin ailments this is a great treatment for you. When making salve, it’s always best to first consider what you are attempting to treat. Always get the ingredients from a trusted shop or even …

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DIY Miracle Healing Salve

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DIY Miracle Healing Salve Healing Salves have been used to treat wounds and promote healing on every continent and by every culture for thousands of years. Even in modern medicine, different types of salves are used to treat burns (aloe based gels), keep infection down and promote healing (antibacterial ointments), and correct skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis). …

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A Return To The Old Paths: How To Make Pemmican Like The Native Americans

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A Return To The Old Paths: How To Make Pemmican Like The Native Americans Pemmican is a concentrated nutritionally complete food invented by the North American Plains Indians. It was originally made during the summer months from dried lean buffalo meat and rendered fat as a way to preserve and store the meat for use …

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar Most people think that if you don’t have a root cellar, you can’t store vegetables long term. That simply isn’t true! Each vegetable can be stored for longer than normal with just a few tweaks here and there, depending on which vegetables you want to store. You really don’t …

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4 Hidden Dangers Of Winter That Can Kill You

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4 Hidden Dangers Of Winter That Can Kill You

Image source: Pixabay.com

Even for the seasoned outdoorist, it’s good to review wintertime safety protocols so that they are fresh in your mind.

Too often we become relaxed, believing that nothing bad will happen to us. Yet things don’t always go as planned, and it is better to be safe than sorry.

Here are four wintertime safety and awareness issues that everyone should keep in mind.

1. Watch out for black ice.

Black ice is ice hidden under the snow. It can be on roads, walkways, steps or even in your yard where the ground is hard. Fresh snow can create the illusion that it is safe to walk on it. An unexpected fall on ice can lead to serious injuries – and if you hit your head, even death.

Sometimes, though, walking on ice in unavoidable. If so, walk like a penguin. Yes, a penguin! Waddling like a penguin allows you to maintain balance by centering your upper body over your legs. Simply hold your arms out at your sides, keep your feet shoulder distance apart, and take small, waddling steps. Remember to breathe and to stay limber, as well. If you do fall, keeping limber can protect your body from injury, as being too stiff can make injuries worse. Also, try to land on your bum or upper thighs where you have more padding, as opposed to trying to stop the fall with your hands, which can result in fractures or breaks.

2. Know the signs of frostbite.

Frostnip is the tingling feeling that happens first, and it is a warning sign that your body parts are becoming too cold. When you feel tingling in your fingers, hands, toes, feet, nose or ears, it is a sign that you need to warm up. If you ignore the signs, it can lead to frostbite. During this first stage, you will notice redness, and it might be painful, but permanent damage will not occur as long as you take action.

Crazy Gadget Turns Every Window Into A Cell Phone Charger!

4 Hidden Dangers Of Winter That Can Kill You

Image source: Pixabay.com

Frostbite begins when your skin becomes numb and starts to turn pale, or even white. You may start to feel warm, but this is not a good sign at this stage because it is an adverse reaction to the frostbite. If not treated immediately, the skin of the affected body parts will start to die and will turn black.

As your body tries to fight the frostbite, you may experience intense shivering, loss of coordination, slurred speech and drowsiness. It is imperative to seek warmth and emergency help as soon as possible.

3. Monitor carbon monoxide levels.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas. Without taking proper measures, you will not know it is present until it is too late. Therefore, it is imperative to keep a carbon monoxide detector in your home and any other place where you use a heat source.

Carbon monoxide can be produced from a natural gas or wood fireplace, as well as from kerosene and similarly fueled heaters. A good way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to have your equipment checked each season and ensure there is proper ventilation.

Here are the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • A dull headache.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Vomiting.
  • Confusion.
  • Loss of consciousness.

Don’t let these symptoms fool you into thinking you simply have the flu, especially if you use one of the heat sources mentioned. Get outside immediately in the fresh air. Call 911 as soon as possible and have your home and source tested for the leak.

4. Watch for the signs of hypothermia.

Don’t take shivering lightly. It could be a sign that your core body temperature is dropping. Shivering doesn’t mean you are in danger yet, however. You still have time to act. If the shivering becomes uncontrollable, more than likely hypothermia is setting in. It is imperative that you get to a warm place soon.

Know the signs of hypothermia:

  • You experience
  • You start to feel clumsy.
  • You begin to feel drowsy.
  • The shivering becomes uncontrollable.
  • The shivering stops
  • Your speech is slurred.
  • You notice you are making poor decisions.
  • Your energy levels are dropping fast.

Treatments for hypothermia:

  • Remove any wet clothing.
  • Keep moving. You need to raise your body temperature.
  • Move toward warmth and a shelter if possible.
  • Begin re-warming with dry clothing, blankets, heat packs or by a fire.
  • Drink hot liquids — but, not alcohol or caffeine, which can aid in heat loss.

Remember that other hazards are possible too, such as injuries from shoveling snow. Be smart, be aware, and do things as safely as possible.

It is better to be prepared for wintertime emergencies than not to be. You never know when you might find yourself in a survival situation.

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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Five Stages of Acceptance in SHTF Scenario

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Five Stages of Acceptance in SHTF Scenario The five stages of acceptance are the number of responses that Sheep will go through when placed in a SHTF scenario. I think it is important to understand them if you want to be good at dealing with people in a SHTF scenario. What are the stages of …

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The Prepper’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milk

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The Prepper’s Guide to Non-Dairy Milk Most preppers stock a significant amount of dry milk because it’s so highly perishable that it tends to be one of the first things that people run out of when a disaster strikes. But for someone who has difficulty digesting lactose, adding that kind of milk to their coffee …

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Lessons from History – Staying Warm in Winter

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Whether bedding down in a sturdy home, on the move, or making a temporary camp for the snowy season, there are a lot of lessons we can take from history to keep us safer and more comfortable.

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Sew Your Own Dog Pack

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Sew Your Own Dog Pack If none of the commercially available dog packs strikes your fancy (or if they’re too expensive), try putting together your own using the pattern and directions provided below click here to get all the info and the pattern you will need

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Insta-Fire Lights On Water, Works As Tinder, Kindling And Fuel

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InstaFire Lights On Water, Works As Tinder, Kindling, And Fuel Insta-Fire is a safe, simple, and versatile new Charcoal briquette lighting and fire starting product. It has water-repellent properties, 1/2 cup of Insta-Fire has a minimum of 10 minute burn time, and is super light weight – weighing 1.8 oz. Use it to light campfires …

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How To Prepare Your Zippo For A Survival Kit

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How To Prepare Your Zippo For A Survival Kit If someone ask you if a Zippo is good to put in survival kit you would probably say – no it isn’t ,put a bic instead of zippo, a Zippo is good if you are about to use it in harsh weather ,but fuel evaporates. Read why having …

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7 Invasive Weeds You Can Turn Into Livestock Feed

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7 Invasive Weeds You Can Turn Into Livestock Feed

Stinging nettles. Image source: Pixabay.com

Most homesteaders have to deal with some kinds of invasive plants. On our farm in upstate New York, the main culprit is multiflora rose. People planted it as deer feed back in the 1960s and now, it’s everywhere, taking over hayfields and pastures with its sprawling big-thorned fast-growing stems. Multiflora rose removal was one of my least favorite chores: heavy, prickly and never-ending. Then we discovered that our goats enjoyed eating multiflora rose. And then we learned that it was actually good for them.

I still spend time every summer hacking down multiflora roses in the orchard and pasture, but my attitude has changed. Instead of endlessly beating back a useless nuisance, I’m harvesting a forage crop.

Deciding What’s Safe To Feed

I’ll discuss some specific nutritious invasives below. I likely won’t include all the invasives in your area, so you’ll need to do some of your own research. This may be complicated by the fact that there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Some plants, for example, appear both on lists of safe food for rabbits and lists of plants toxic to rabbits. Here are a few factors to keep in mind as you decide what to feed your animals:

Many plants are safe when fed as a small portion of the overall diet, but become problematic in heavy concentrations. It’s generally not a good idea to offer only one or two types of forage to your animals, or to feed huge quantities the first time they’re introduced to a new food. Offered free choice, as part of a varied diet, many weeds can be safe and healthy. Some, like mountain laurel or locoweed, are truly poisonous and should be completely avoided. But if you find a lot of recommendations and some cautions around a particular plant, you might try offering your animals a small amount of it and seeing what happens.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer!

Toxicity and nutrition may vary depending on your location and soil type. Try asking local farmers and/or your local Cooperative Extension about the effects of plants grown in your area.

Some plants are healthy at one stage, problematic at another. For instance, we feed young leaves of burdock and curly dock to our rabbits, but after the plants have flowered we stop feeding; older plants may accumulate nitrates to the point of mild toxicity. If you keep cutting plants off before they go to seed, you can harvest young leaves over a long season.

Plants that are safe in themselves may be unpalatable or unsafe if they’re diseased. Clover is generally a safe and healthy feed, but in my region in wet summers it can develop white mold; we take care not to feed any of this to our rabbits, since rabbits are highly mold-sensitive.

Many different plants may share the same common name. Use Latin names in your research to be sure you have the right plant.

A Gallery Of Gourmet Weeds

1. Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora), the thorny invader previously described, contains 10-13 percent protein, and it can help ruminants to expel worms. Goats, sheep, cows and horses can eat it. Our goats don’t mind the thorns. After the rose has flowered, our goats may get diarrhea from eating too many of the hips at once. I’ve seen one report of a horse injuring its eye on the thorns.

2. Kudzu (Pueraria montana). Farmers south of us have reported great success with feeding kudzu to cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and horses. It’s high in protein, and apparently highly appealing to many animals. Given its legendary growth rate, it’s a nearly inexhaustible food supply.

7 Invasive Weeds You Can Turn Into Livestock Feed

White Mulberry. Image source: Pixabay.com

3. White mulberry (Morus alba) is an invasive tree in many states. Its protein-rich leaves and stems are a valuable feed for cows, goats, sheep and rabbits; pigs and chickens will eat its fruit.

4. Burdock (Arctium spp.) is a nuisance in pastures. Its flat leaves spread widely, killing everything else; its burrs tangle in animals’ hair. But young burdock leaves, cut before the plant flowers, are rich in protein and minerals. We feed tender small burdock leaves to our rabbits, who tolerate them, and larger leaves to our goats, who relish them. Chickens and cows also will eat burdock leaves, up to a point. Older leaves may accumulate excessive nitrates, so don’t feed them heavily.

5. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) does just what its name suggests. I was very displeased when it started taking over a corner of our pasture. Then I learned that it’s rich in protein, iron, calcium and vitamins. Once it’s dried, it no longer stings. We give our dried nettle to nursing mother rabbits in the early spring before other rich foods are readily available. Chickens, pigs, cows, horses, sheep and goats also can benefit from eating dried stinging nettle.

6. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) self-seeds copiously and comes up in dense mats. Since it starts to grow earlier than many other annuals, its leaves can provide an early treat and a vitamin boost for chickens, rabbits, goats, cows and sheep. Later in the year it may be less palatable—and any way you’ll want to cut it or graze it before it goes to seed. Some sources say it shouldn’t be given to horses.

7. Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) takes over garden beds and farm fields. It’s widely agreed that young plants which haven’t yet set seed are safe and nutritious feed for chickens, rabbits, pigs, sheep, cows and goats. We’ve fed seeded redroot pigweed to our rabbits with no ill-effect.

What are a few of your favorite weeds to feed livestock? Share your tips in the section below:

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List of ‘Collapse’ Medical Supplies

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List of ‘Collapse’ Medical Supplies Over at modernsurvivalblog.com  Dr.Bones has a list of Collapse medical supplies with natural remedies included (we should have these as back-ups or for first use supplies to save commercially made items!). Dr.Bones  spend a lot of time and energy researching “back-up” plans for traditional medicine. They want YOU to have the …

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Straw Bale Homes

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 Straw Bale Homes You may look at this post and say this is ridiculous, and that is the very thing I thought before researching into this concept more. You may think that you can huff and puff and blow this house down, but unless your name is Superman, think again.  The Straw Bale hasn’t been around nearly …

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The 4-in-1 Woodsman Axe

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The 4-in-1 Woodsman Axe The 4-in-1 Woodsman is like a Swiss Army knife for the bushy-bearded, flannel-clad set. Instead of the usual set of blades and implements, the Woodsman gives you a bigger set of tools that can turn a tree into kindling and a barren piece of woods into a campsite. click here to …

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10 Ways to Use Castor Oil

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10 Ways to Use Castor Oil When you think of castor oil, you probably think about the vile tasting liquid your grandma used to insist that you take. But in reality, the external uses of castor oil are extremely impressive. Did you know that many modern medications have castor oil as an ingredient? It is …

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Now Your 4×4 Can Go Anywhere With Track N Go

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Now Your 4×4 Can Go Anywhere With Track N Go Turn almost any vehicle into the ultimate bug out machine with Track N Go. I have to share this AWESOME product with you, I first saw a grainy video on Facebook and I was in awe! I couldn’t stop watching… So I did some digging and …

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Useful Machines Made From Bicycles That Could Be Very Handy

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Useful Machines Made From Bicycles That Could Be Very Handy Bicycles will be a much-needed commodity if SHTF. Fuel will have run out after a couple of days and bikes will probably be the only form of transport easily available.I Would even suggest investing in cheap older bikes just for this post! I couldn’t believe how …

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How To Disinfect Water With Household Bleach

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How To Disinfect Water With Household Bleach As everyone knows, many municipal water systems use chlorine to disinfect water.  Often, the use of chlorine is combined with other purification systems such as filtration and ultraviolet treatments.  All you have to do is sniff your water tap water – it’s no secret.  Why chlorine?  Simple – …

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How to Make a Power Outage Bearable

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How to Make a Power Outage Bearable Power outages are actually a common occurrence, especially if you get a lot of snow in the winter or a lot of storms in the spring. The refrigerator stops running and everything starts to defrost. If you live in the tropical climate, the air conditioning is the first …

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10 Essential Skills Every Prepper Should Master

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10 Essential Skills Every Prepper Should Master Many people concentrate on stockpiling necessary supplies, without taking the corresponding time to stockpile the essential skills to go with them. Without the skills, those supplies may not do you any good. Those who don’t want to study say, I have all the information in books. Would you …

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Tactical Pens for Survival and Self-Defense

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Tactical Pens for Survival and Self-Defense   Although many people rely on guns for self defense even when they’re away from home, others cannot for a number of reasons. It could be that firearms are illegal where they live, or that they’re afraid of owning them, maybe even against it. In such circumstances, you’re left with …

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Make a Solar Oven Using a Pizza Box

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Make a Solar Oven Using a Pizza Box You will need: Large cardboard pizza box (most local pizzerias will give you one for free) Ruler Marker Aluminum foil X-ACTO knife or similar cutting tool that can cut through cardboard Electrical tape Black construction paper Non-toxic glue (i.e. Elmer’s Washable School Glue) Thin stick about 10” …

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How to Create an Urban Emergency Evacuation Kit for Work

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How to Create an Urban Emergency Evacuation Kit for Work Natural and man made disasters can force offices full of workers to evacuate. In big cities a disaster may also affect public transportation. In an emergency, you may be on your own and forced to improvise. Here’s how to create an Urban Emergency Evacuation Kit …

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How To Make Your Own Flea Repellent

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How To Make Your Own Flea Repellent Making your own flea repellent will not kill those pesky fleas, but it does a dandy job of keeping her less full of them after we bathe her and apply that awful toxic vet-obtained goo. I know its winter but they are still lurking around, this is a …

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Trash Can Storm Shelter

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Trash Can Storm Shelter Laura Nell Britton shows one her inventions, the trashcan tornado shelter, at her Rolling Greens mobile home park home on Friday, July 15, 2011. She buried two trash cans, surrounded them with cement and furnished them with pillows and storm supplies click here to read and see how she made this …

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Most Common Seedlings Problems and How To Fix Them

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Most Common Seedlings Problems and How To Fix Them To become self-sufficient, gardening becomes a necessary task. Seed starting is one of the most exciting activities of every gardener. However, it can also be the most critical one and failing to care for your seeds and seedlings can spell disaster. If your sustenance is directly …

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Things To Make With 55 Gallon Plastic Barrels

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10 Awesome Things To Make With 55 Gallon Plastic Barrels With Spring just around the corner I wanted to go hunting for some fun upcycling projects for my self. I came across a lot of new and interesting projects, but non as awesome as this one I am sharing with you all today. Because I …

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How To Pitch A Tent Without Poles In An Emergency

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How To Pitch A Tent Without Poles In An Emergency Knowing how to pitch a tent with no poles may not sound like life saving knowledge.. but if you think about things for a second it actually is! Say you are camping and you forgot the poles, what happens if a bear ruins the poles …

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Why You May Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF

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Why You Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF I am not a doctor or a medical professional this is for information purposes only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or you start to take any supplements. Even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help to prevent vitamin and …

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Do It Yourself Sweet Cream Butter

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DIY Sweet Cream Butter Making butter is really easy, I make it all the time when I am home over the summer! I personally LOVE sweet cream butter over any other butters. I love the rich flavor it gives and again it’s so easy to make. Knowing how to make butter if SHTF is a …

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9 Tools the Practical Prepper Should Carry Every Day

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9 Tools the Practical Prepper Should Carry Every Day Everyday Carry is not a new concept. Whether you are a prepper or not, you carry items on your person each and every day. Adding useful tools to what you carry every day can make you more prepared for more situations. Focusing on what you happen …

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How To Make Hot Ice Using Homemade Sodium Acetate

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How To Make Hot Ice Using Homemade Sodium Acetate Before you attempt this please do it with safety glasses on and be careful, as with any chemicals. You do this at your own risk please take the time to read our disclaimer Sodium acetate or hot ice is an amazing chemical you can prepare yourself from …

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5 Ways to Take Your Coffee Off the Grid

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5 Ways to Take Your Coffee Off the Grid Imagine that you wake up one morning and you find out SHTF…. I know coffee would be the last thing on your mind but what if you had to give up real brewed coffee – cold turkey. When the lights go out one day in the …

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SHTF vs TEOTWAWKI?

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SHTF vs TEOTWAWKI? We often use SHTF and TEOTWAWKI almost interchangeably but they are not the same thing.  For the first week or two, they may be almost identical.  Law enforcement may still be in place well into the TEOTWAWKI event.  In many scenarios we won’t know if it is TEOTWAWKI for weeks or months. …

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Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

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Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

Are you as impatient as I am, waiting for the frost-free planting dates to arrive? As the days get longer and spring inches closer, it’s hard not to get itchy fingers for gardening. Still, at this time of year, many of us need to wait for several more weeks, or even months, before we can start planting outdoors. But what if you didn’t have to wait that long? What if you could start gardening about five weeks prior to your traditional frost-free date? You can do it with a cold frame.

A cold frame is basically just a low bottomless box with a translucent top. It protects plants from the elements and provides solar heat to keep them warm.

Creating a Cold Frame

Cold frames are easy to build with found or repurposed items, and unless you want to, there is no need to use tools. It’s true that they’re often built from lumber, with distinctive sloping tops that are covered with clear poly sheeting, polycarbonate sheets or glass. It’s easy to find plans for these kinds of cold frames, like   or  . If you are recycling windows or other material to use as the lid, you can certainly modify the plans to fit the dimensions of the cover.

If you’re not handy with tools, don’t despair. Start by finding something that will work as the translucent cover, so that you know how large the frame should be. To create the frame itself, you can use things like straw or hay bales, cinder blocks, or bricks.

Need Non-GMO Herb Seeds? The Best Deals Are Right Here …

Although having a sloping lid is ideal, as it captures more sunlight and facilitates rain runoff, it’s not necessary. The cover can just rest flat on top of the frame. Make sure the lid fits well, though. To best protect the plants, there shouldn’t be any gaps between the cover and the frame. A well-fitted lid will also increase the humidity levels, which will keep your plants happy.

Choosing a Location

The weeks prior to your last frost date can be nippy. To keep your plants toasty and flourishing, position the frame so that it faces due south and gets full sun.

Traditionally, seeds are planted right in the ground inside the frame. However, the frame can also be used as a mini-greenhouse, if you prefer, where you can start seeds in trays or pots for later transplanting. In this case, the frame even could be placed on a deck or patio if necessary, but take care to protect the area underneath.

Best Plants for Cold Frames

Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

Image source: Green City Growers

Cold frames are widely used to grow lettuce, which are cool-weather crops that flourish in temperatures of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Other greens work well, too, such as beet greens, chard, kale and spinach. If you want to branch out from leafy greens, give carrots, leeks, radishes, kohlrabi or turnips a try.

Managing the Temperature

Cold frames are easy to build with found or repurposed items, and unless you want to, there is no need to use tools. It’s true that they’re often built from lumber, with distinctive sloping tops that are covered with clear poly sheeting, polycarbonate sheets or glass. It’s easy to find plans for these kinds of cold frames, like this one at Better Homes and Gardens or this one at Popular Mechanics. If you are recycling windows or other material to use as the lid, you can certainly modify the plans to fit the dimensions of the cover.

If the outdoor temperature is consistently lower than 40 degrees, insulate your frame by heaping soil or mulching materials like leaves or wood chips around its perimeter.

Using Your Cold Frame Beyond Spring

Although most commonly used to start vegetables early in the spring, a cold frame can be used year-round. It provides a good home to heat-loving vegetables like peppers and eggplants until the extreme heat of summer hits. During the hottest days of summer, simply remove the lid to keep using the space. The fall growing season can be extended by replacing the cover at that time. Frames also can be used to overwinter plants.

For the minimal cost and effort needed to build them, cold frames provide a big payoff.

Do you use a cold frame in your garden? Let us know your tips in the comment section below.

Are You Making These Common, Avoidable Gardening Mistakes? Read More Here.

Does your gun technique need improvement?

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More and more people around countries who legalize gun ownership purchase their own guns. Some people have them for security purposes. It makes them feel safer knowing that they have a very effective way of defending themselves in case they encounter criminals or muggers.  For hunters, having a handgun became very important due to the growing popularity of handgun hunting. Whatever your reason is, if you own a gun, you should be able to use it properly. However, shooting well and using proper gun technique is not as easy as it seems. A lot of things can go wrong. Are you having problems using your handgun? Are you owning a handgun for quite some time now but still can’t get the hang of using it? Feeling like there’s something wrong on how you handle your gun but can’t point out what it is? Are you bad at using a handgun? Let me give you 8 reasons you’re bad with a handgun.

 

# 1 – You’re Holding it Wrong

For you to have fundamental shooting skills, it is very important that you know how to properly grip your gun. How you grip your gun affects your aim, your balance, your ability to pull the trigger right, and your ability to receive the recoil with less discomfort. It also prevents you from “limp wristing” which is the tendency of your gun to jam because of a loose or weak grip.

One of the mistakes in holding your gun is what we call “tea cupping”. This is putting your support hand under the handle and holding it together with your shooting hand. This type of grip is unstable and will make it hard to control recoil.

 

Another is what we call the “crossed thumbs”. This is crossing your support hand thumb over your shooting hand thumb while placed behind your gun’s handle right under the hammer. This type of grip may seriously injure your thumb when the slide moves backward which is very painful.

Other wrong ways of gripping your gun are: holding your gun too low, wrapping your dominant hand around your support hand, interweaving your fingers, pointing your support hand’s index finger, and putting your support hand’s index finger in front of the trigger guard.

 

The best way of gripping your gun is what we call the thumb-forward grip. This grip allows your palms and fingers to be in contact with the entire surface of the handle. This grip gives you a good control of the muzzle and helps you to speed up your aim.

Let me explain to you how to do this. First, place your dominant hand high on the grip and hold it firmly. The “V” between your thumb and index finger must be positioned as high as possible in the back strap. This aligns the barrel with your forearm which reduces recoil. Your three remaining fingers, on the other hand, must be wrapped around the base of the grip just below the trigger guard. Next, wrap your support hand over your dominant hand while placing your support finger’s thumb right below but slightly forward to your dominant hand’s thumb and parallel to the frame. Your four other fingers must be around the base of the grip wrapped around your dominant hand’s three fingers. When you have perfected this, you will be ready to learn how to shoot a handgun.

# 2 – You’re Doing a Wrong Stance

Having a good stance allows you to acquire a strong and stable platform, proper sight alignment, and trigger control. This will help you manage recoil and shoot accurately. There is no one stance that fits all shooters, but there are wrong stances that prevent you from shooting properly.

One usual mistake some shooters make is leaning backward which puts them off balance as recoil comes. Another is having one of their arms dropping which will make it harder for them to absorb the impact of the recoil well. The proper way to do this is to slightly lean forward towards the target with your arms extended straight and leveled with your shoulders.

I won’t be talking about all the possible shooting stances in this article, but let me teach you the two ways of proper foot placement. I will leave it up to you to make the proper adjustments which will be dependent on your own features. The first one is having your strong leg placed at the back and slightly on the side of your weak leg, your feet, slightly extending outward forming an L shape. This stance lets you have a strong foundation. The second is positioning your feet parallel to each other and extending them slightly wider than your shoulder, your knees, slightly bent and your body, squarely facing the target. This allows you to get hold of the target faster.

L-Shaped Stance

Square Foot Placement

# 3 – You’re Focusing on the Wrong Thing

When aiming at our target, there are three things that we consider: the front sight, the rear sight, and the target itself. However, it is not possible for us to focus on three things at a time. Some tend to switch their focus from the front sight, to the rear sight to the target, and back as rapidly as they can but this will still lead to focusing on either of the three in the end. Many naturally focus on the target since it is where we picture our bullet to land. The problem with this is that we leave both the front sight and the rear sight out of focus making it prone to misalignment. Some tend to focus on the rear sight because it is the closest to the eye. However, this leaves the front sight and the target out of focus.

The right thing to do?  Focus on the front sight. Everything else will follow. Why? Because the front sight will be the final basis of the projectile. Just make sure that it is properly aligned.

# 4- You’re “Putting too much Finger” on the Trigger

Many shooters commit the mistake of putting too much of their finger in the trigger that it goes across the other side. Their tendency is that they pull the gun to their strong hand’s side. The result? Their bullet lands off target.

Before pulling the trigger, you must make sure that your finger is on the right placement. To do so, contact the facet of the trigger using the part of your finger which is underneath the nail bed. Together with the right stance and grip, you will now be ready to pull the trigger.

# 5 – You are “Jerking” the Trigger

Jerking the trigger means pulling the trigger fast and sudden. The tendency is that you put too much force in pulling the trigger causing your gun to move slightly and your bullet to land off target.

Pulling your trigger just right is critical for you to shoot accurately. To do this, you must squeeze your trigger with slow, steady pressure until you hit the trigger’s break point.

One reason that you are jerking the trigger is that you are anticipating the recoil or the bang caused by your gun firing. If you find it hard to avoid it, you can practice by dry firing your gun. And always remember, when squeezing the trigger, only use force on your index finger. Never apply force with your entire hand.

 

 

# 6 – You are flinching

Like jerking, your tendency to flinch is also because you are either anticipating recoil or anticipating a loud bang from your gun. It is our body’s natural reaction to the thought that we are about to receive an impact. However, in shooting, anything that causes us to lose our target should be gotten rid of.

If you want to avoid flinching, one thing that you can do is to concentrate well on your sight alignment and trigger squeeze that you will forget to bother on anticipating the recoil. However, this requires serious concentration. The better thing to do is to acclimate yourself to recoil. To do this, practice doing rapid fire. As time goes by, you will get used to the noise and pressure caused by your gun. And don’t forget to relax before starting to shoot.

# 7 – You are using the Wrong Gun

If you are following all of the things mentioned above and are still bad with your handgun, maybe you are using a gun which is just not right for you. Like having the best IWB holsters for your guns is the answer to your problem in quick drawing when in concealed carry, sometimes, choosing the right gun that suits you is also the answer to your problem in bad shooting. Mostly, the factor that is considered here is your size and your hand size. Maybe, your hand is too small to properly reach the trigger of the gun, or maybe it is too big that it prevents you from having a good grip. Maybe your figure is too small to take up the impact of your gun. Whichever it may be, you have to choose the gun that suits you and that you can handle.

# 8 – You need more Practice

Shooting is not an ability that you just get instantly. It is not a talent. It is a skill. It is acquired through thorough practice. You don’t purchase a gun and just use it when the need appears. Or you just learn the basics, try to shoot a few times, and that’s it. Practice is important. One thing practice does for you is that it allows you to familiarize yourself with your handgun. It gives you a feeling that your body – your arms, is one with the gun; it helps you to control it easier. It also builds your confidence knowing that you have more than just the knowledge in using a handgun. You have the experience. Another is that practicing allows you to be accustomed with the noise and impact caused by using a gun which will prevent you from problems like flinching and yanking the trigger. So practice. Practice with a dry fire. Practice with a smaller caliber gun. Practice with your handgun.

Conclusion

Many people are now owning a gun for security or hunting purposes. However, not all know how to use them right. Some people know that they are not using their handgun right or that they have a problem in using them but they somehow can’t point out where the problem is coming from. That is why in this article, I pointed out my 8 reasons why you’re bad with a handgun.

 

Did you like this article? If so, please leave a comment and share it with your friends. Thank you for reading!

Joseph Gleason is the founder of Captain Hunter. We provide guides on how to hunt effectively, answer reader questions, and reviews of the latest hunting gear. We specialize in providing expert information that does exactly what it claims.

Our dedicated staff members are each seasoned professionals with a passion for hunting built upon years of in the field experience.

 

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Emergency Lighting Under 9 Bucks

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Emergency Lighting Under 9 Bucks Affordable emergency lighting is now at your fingertips! The Luna LED Light is an awesome, very cheap prepping item I would highly recommend to have not only for the home, in case of a power cut, but to keep in a bug out bag and for camping! As you can see …

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How to Make Stone Blades for Wilderness Survival

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How to Make Stone Blades for Wilderness Survival Knowing how to make a sharp edge or a knife in a survival situation is paramount when studying wilderness survival. I think I have just found the best website on the internet  that explains and shows you how to make a stone knife. The information on the …

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5 Ways To Heat Your Home For Free

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5 Ways To Heat Your Home For Free Staying warm for free… I love these projects! With all things that involve flame, please remember to be responsible and do not leave these burning with no supervision. The last thing I would want is you to burn your house down. That being said, in a SHTF …

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5 Techniques To Preserve Meat In The Wild You Should Practice

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5 Techniques To Preserve Meat In The Wild You Should Practice There are several methods to preserve meat in the wild and before we look at them below. I’d like to remind you that while a preservation method or technique you use to keep your meat safe for days, or even weeks, it’s ultimately pretty …

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10 Overlooked Ways To Keep Livestock Warm During Winter

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10 Overlooked Ways To Keep Livestock Warm During Winter

Image source: Pixabay.com

When the mercury is dropping and the wind is blowing a gale, most people would rather be indoors than outside braving the elements. The same is often true of livestock. I am among those  who prioritize keeping all of my animals as comfortable as possible throughout all seasons, and have developed a repertoire of effective ways to keep them warm during the cold of winter. Even if your motivation to keep livestock warm is centered more on avoiding a drop in production or merely basic survival, the following list is a good reference for livestock safety in winter.

1. Time grooming and treatments with intentionality. Avoid shearing and trimming coats when cold weather is approaching, of course. But beyond that, it may not be a bad idea to limit shots, hoof-trimming, and other routine procedures in winter as much as possible. Anything that causes an animal stress can detract from the energy it uses to stay warm and healthy. I am not suggesting a moratorium on livestock handling, but only to try and do the bulk of it in late fall and early spring so as to keep it to a minimum in winter.

2. Give easy access to shelter. Laws in some states specify minimum housing required for livestock. Whether a certain level of shelter is mandated or not, even animals that are adapted to cold often do better if they can get in out of the wind and precipitation. Insulation is great, but could be considered extravagant. If a barn is well-insulated and airtight, it is important to allow for ventilation in order to prevent excess moisture buildup inside and keep healthy air circulating.

3. Provide plenty of clean dry bedding. Depending upon your infrastructure and the type of animals you have, this may include cleaning out waste every day or two before applying fresh shavings, straw or other litter.

Diatomaceous Earth: The All-Natural Livestock De-Wormer!

Conversely, the dung of certain livestock such as goats and sheep is sufficiently small and dry that it can be allowed to build up over the winter. This creates a thick mattress of composting material which contributes to the animals’ comfort. Whether you clean out regularly or not, a clean dry space is important.

4. Increase protein intake. For ruminants and other herbivores such as cattle, sheep and goats, this is usually accomplished by way of grain. This can be done by switching up to a higher-percentage grain, adding a top-dress of kelp or other supplement, or increasing the amount of grain. Protein for omnivorous animals like pigs and poultry can be fed meat fats as well.

5. Allow communal living. Animals will group together for warmth if they need to do so. Snuggling into the hay, or even moving about in close proximity to one another, will help them create and retain body heat. Sometimes the animals within a herd need to be split up for management reasons, but they all need at least one or two buddies during frigid conditions.

10 Overlooked Ways To Keep Livestock Warm During Winter

Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Allow them to rely on their own instincts. Animals will gravitate toward warm areas on a cold day if they can. If they have access to sunny barn windows, draft-free zones, or spaces up against buildings or solid fences that reflect the sun, you are likely to find them availing themselves of nature’s hotspots.

7. Use a plastic livestock curtain in doorways. These vertical strips of heavy plastic purchased from farm equipment catalogs — or made at home using clear shower curtains — hang in doorways and are effective barriers to inclement weather. They allow animals to move freely in and out, are loose enough to provide crucial ventilation indoors, limit snowfall beyond the threshold, draw the sun’s heat on cold clear days, and help retain interior warmth.

8. Maintain some dry ground outdoors if possible. Livestock often balk at fording deep snow, possibly because as prey animals they do not want to get bogged down, or because their instincts cause them to avoid expending unnecessary energy, or perhaps they just do not like it. A roofed outdoor area, plowed paddock, or even some shoveled paths to their favorite locations are a plus.

9. Use added heat if absolutely necessary. The best way to do this is to provide heavy-duty water jugs — tightly closed and kick- and chew-proof — of hot water, or bricks heated near the wood stove, for the most frigid snaps. Another way is by using heat lamps, but only with extreme caution. I see at least one news story every winter about a barn fire that started from heat lamp use. It is so easy to make a mistake or for accidents to occur — they end up too close to combustible materials, or the hanging apparatus breaks, or animals knock them over or chew the cords, or the outlets are bad. Except for extenuating circumstances — compromised newborns, animals that are sick or must be isolated, or other extreme situations — the use of heat lamps is probably not worth the risk. Choosing the right breeds, maintaining infrastructure, and facilitating a way for the animals to keep themselves warm naturally are all better choices. If heat lamps must be used, it is vital to use only those that are high quality and are designed for use in a barn.

10. Choose the best breeds for your climate. Some breeds of livestock are more naturally suited to extreme temperatures than are others. Animals with thick coats or other cold-weather adaptations are more likely to thrive in colder regions, but obvious physical attributes do not always tell the whole story. It is helpful to consider where the breed originated or was developed — did it come from the desert, or the tundra? Another consideration is the size of the animal: Very generally speaking, larger animals tolerate cold better than smaller ones, due to the ratio of skin surface to body mass.

Short of bringing livestock into the house, these are some of the best ways to help keep farm animals safe and comfortable in the harshest of winters. Due diligence and a little forward thinking can work together to create an atmosphere that will provide the best possible care for animals and peace of mind for owners.

How do you keep your livestock warm during winter? Share your tips in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

The Dutch Raise The World’s Happiest Kids – So What Can We Learn?

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The Dutch Raise The World’s Happiest Kids – So What Can We Learn?

Image source: Pixabay.com

What does it take to raise happy, well-adjusted kids? A UNICEF study broke this question down into five factors: housing and environment, behaviors and risk, education, health and safety and material well-being. They used these categories to determine which industrialized countries were getting it right.

A 2013 UNICEF report found that American kids ranked 26th – just above Lithuania, Latvia and Romania — out of 29 countries, and children in the United Kingdom ranked 16th. Kids in the Netherlands ranked first.

The report is a follow-up to a 2007 study that also showed the Netherlands in first place, with the U.S. and U.K. in the lowest two slots.

Those study results come as no surprise to Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison, the authors of the new book The Happiest Kids in the World. Acosta, who is American, and Hutchison, who is British, have first-hand experience in how differently the Dutch raise their children as compared with their native countries.

In their book, the two mothers, who are both married to Dutch men and are living in the Netherlands, identify several factors that are responsible for the sunny dispositions of Dutch children. The factors include more sleep for Dutch babies, less emphasis on academic achievement, more focus on family time and more involvement in childrearing by fathers.

More Sleep for Dutch Babies

Dutch parents guard the sleep time of their babies and are more careful not to overstimulate their babies than many American parents.

Awaken Your Child’s Love Of Learning And Put God Back Into History! Read More Here.

This extra sleep may help Dutch babies be well-adjusted. According to a study by Washington State University that was published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, Dutch babies appear to be more contented than American babies are.

In addition, Dutch parents use toys less frequently to play with their babies than do American parents.

Less Emphasis on Academic Achievement

In the Netherlands, academic education begins after children turn six. Grades are not emphasized, and children in primary school rarely have homework.

The Dutch Raise The World’s Happiest Kids – So What Can We Learn?

Image source: Pixabay.com

Dutch children play outdoors all year round in all weather, and they are usually unsupervised while they play. A popular parent saying is, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”

Children are given a large amount of freedom as compared with American children, often riding their bikes to and from school and visiting friends on their own.

More Focus on Family Time

“The Netherlands have a reputation for being a liberal country with a tolerance of sex, drugs and alcohol, yet beneath this lies a closely guarded secret: the Dutch are actually fairly conservative people,” according to the authors in an article they wrote for the UK’s Telegraph.

“At the heart of Dutch culture is a society of home-loving people who place the child firmly at the center. Parents have a healthy attitude towards their kids, seeing them as individuals rather than as extensions of themselves. They understand that achievement doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness, but that happiness can cultivate achievement.

“The Dutch have reined in the anxiety, stress and expectations of modern-day parenting, redefining the meaning of success and wellbeing. For them, success starts with happiness – that of their children and themselves.”

The authors stress that Dutch families value togetherness and do not attempt to outdo their neighbors with lavish birthday parties or fancy gifts.

Dads Are Very Involved

Dutch families seem to be ahead of the international curve when it comes to work-life balance.  With the average Dutch worker spending an average of 29 hours a week on the job, Dutch parents have more time to spend with their kids.

The Dutch Raise The World’s Happiest Kids – So What Can We Learn?

Image source: Pixabay.com

The authors also report that competition between mothers – or “Mommy Wars” – occurs far less in the Netherlands than in the U.S.  and the U.K.

Dutch dads take an equal role in raising their children, and Acosta and Hutchison say it is as common to see a father wearing a baby-carrier or pushing a pram as a mother.

Dutch parents strive to give their children clear directions, not options. They say, “I want you to…” rather than something vague.

Two common Dutch expressions that reflect this clear sense of discipline are “parenting is practicing what you preach,” and, “what the old cock crows, the young cock learns.”

If you have seen photos of bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked Dutch kids, you now know a few reasons why those kids look so happy.

And there is one more thing that may contribute to those fresh-faced smiles. It’s “hagelslag.”

Dutch parents and children alike frequently eat chocolate sprinkles on toast for breakfast. Sprinkles have a way of putting anyone in a good mood.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

The Happiest Kids in the World by Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison was released in January on the UK, and it is set for an April 4 release in the U.S.

Awaken Your Child’s Love Of History And Put God Back Into History! Read More Here.

How to Safely Spend a Night in Your Car

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 How to Safely Spend a Night in Your Car Anyone who drives faces the possibility of spending an unplanned night in a vehicle.  Bad weather, breakdowns, running out of fuel, getting stuck are some of the more common reasons why a driver might have to bed down for the night (or perhaps for several nights) …

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What Is A Rocket Stove? Why Do I Need One?

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What Is A Rocket Stove? Why Do I Need One? Rocket stoves are fabulous! Easily built but capable of producing a hot flame that you can cook, I suppose, everything over. You can even bake bread with a little modification. Knowing how to build one from bricks or stones is practical knowledge, that if held …

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6 Ways to Avoid Being Herded into a FEMA Camp

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6 Ways to Avoid Being Herded into a FEMA Camp Having everything you own reduced to a numbered cot in a FEMA camp is not how you want to find yourself in an emergency. It is not only a terrible position to find yourself in, but it could also be a dangerous one. The camps are meant …

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Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens

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Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens Winter is a tough time to grow food, we all know that. This article shows us how to grow winter lettuce and micro greens inside over the winter months. If SHTF this may be all we can gather, especially if you get a lot of snow and freezing …

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Tactical Gear List & Considerations for SHTF

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Written by Orlando Wilson on The Prepper Journal.

The below personal tactical gear list is taken from a proposal I put together for counterinsurgency / tactical team in West Africa a few years ago, this should give you a few hints on kit etc.

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Bugging Out – Will You Make It There?

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Bugging Out – Will You Make It There? When disaster happens, will you stay or will you go? How will you decide which to do or when it’s time to do it? If you decide to bug-out, where will you go and how will you get there? There are lots of questions and they require …

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How To Estimate The Width Of A Stream Or River

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How To Estimate The Width Of A Stream Or River Let’s suppose that you wanted to cross a stream using a rope or a log. You would need to know the distance across the stream so that your materials would reach completely across. This method uses simple trigonometry and a few sticks. How To Estimate …

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