Hunting vs Buying Meat: The Traditional Hunter in the Modern World

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This article was originally published by J. Townsend  on harvestingnature.com

This whole thought process was derived from a conversation about the sustainability of hunting in modern times. Many people feel that hunting for food has outlived its use in modern America. Well, with the recent changes in our eating habits, as in searching out fast food instead of fresh food, hunting had been surpassed. There is still an emerging group which believe we should kick the fast food and revert to the traditional “Farm to Table” way of eating. I agree with much of this philosophy and wish to take it a step further. I am here to represent those who feel that a family can sustain a portion of their diet with game meat. I know many of you see this and think you would have to spend your every day hunting and fishing in order for that to work. Simply not true.

In thousands of rural areas (and some non-rural areas) there are people who either are supplementing their diets partially or fully with game meat. I have to admit that when I was younger there were many things that I though you could only shoot or catch to obtain. It wasn’t until I got to college when I realized that you could buy catfish from the store. I had believed, due to my outdoor upbringing, that if you wanted catfish, you went to the river/lake/pond to catch it.

I have also heard the argument that many people could not live a lifestyle where you sustain yourself on wild game. They say that they prefer to not see where their food originates. They cannot stand to eat food with bones in it or eyes staring at them. My only advice to these people is that they trust too much in the grocery store to get their food. Those same people have not seen the cramped dirty feed lots or the packed chutes of a slaughter-house. They could not handle the sights and many would revert to vegetarianism. Me, I prefer to get my meat from the wild.

I offer up hunting and fishing as an alternative to the dependency upon store-bought meat to those people who don’t mind processing your own animals or eating a fish that looks up at you from the grill. Simply put, hunting and fishing is a healthier and more economical way of providing the necessary proteins that you need for your diet versus going to the store and buying a package of ground what-ya-ma-call-it.  I don’t wish to deceive anyone, it is certainly a lot more challenging to track and kill and animal then it is to go to the super market. But where is the independence in that?

In the end, the total cost of hunting and fishing enough meat for a family of three will be substantially lower than the cost of buying a somewhat equal product at the store. You can sustain yourself by simply securing a selected amount of five different game animals (Deer, Elk, Turkey, Rabbit, and Wild Pig) and three different fish (Tuna, Catfish, and Trout). The animals you choose to hunt can be changed to suit your specific region. Let’s break it down.

The USDA recommends the average person (children, women, and men) consume 5 – 7 ounces of protein a day broken down into 2-3 servings. So we will use is 6 ounces of protein a day for the average person. This gives us 2184 ounces of protein consumption for the entire year. Converting this to pounds will make it easier for our calculations. The average human should consume 136.5 lbs of protein a year.

Here is an average breakdown of the yield from my selected game animals.

Quantity 

Animal

Live  Weight

Edible  Yield

1

Deer (Buck)

165lbs

58lbs

1

Elk

400lbs

197lbs

2

Turkey

20lbs each

22lbs

12

Rabbit

3lbs each

18lbs

1

Wild Pig

150lbs

90lbs

2

Yellow Tail Tuna

30lbs each

30lbs

4

Trout

2lbs each

5lbs

10

Catfish

5lbs each

15lbs

Total = 435lbs of meat

435lbs of meat is enough to sustain three individuals for a period of about a year. As an alternative, if the choice to hunt an elk is not reasonable then you could exclude this from the equation. You would then have 85% of your total protein consumption for two people from game meat. The other 15% would include the consumption of other sources of protein such as eggs, nuts, and beans or the addition of another fish or game animal.  There is certainly room to play around with the figures. This model serves merely as a base line for the sake of debate.

Deer and Elk would take the place of beef in your diet. Turkey and Rabbit would replace chicken. Wild Pork will substitute store-bought pork and hand caught fish would replace that fresh/frozen purchased or canned. Average prices for the store purchased meats will be combined with the total yields of wild game and fish.

 

Quantity  

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield

1

Deer (Buck)

58lbs

255lbs

1

Elk

197lbs

Store Bought Beef (Average price $4.71/pound) x 255lbs = $1201.00

 

Quantity 

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield

2

Turkey

22lbs

40lbs

12

Rabbit

18lbs

Store Bought Poultry (Average price $1.37/pound) x 40lbs = $54.80

 

Quantity  

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield

1

Wild Pig

90lbs

90lbs

Store Bought Pork (Average price $3.15/pound) x 90lbs = $283.50

Quantity 

Animal

Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield

2

Yellow Tail Tuna

30lbs

50lbs

4

Trout

5lbs

10

Catfish

15lbs

Store Bought Yellow Tail Tuna (Average price $18.00/pound) x 30lbs =  $540.00

Store Bought Trout (Average price $6.50/pound) x 5lbs =  $32.50

Store Bought Catfish (Average price $3.99/pound) x 15lbs =  $59.85

  Total: $ 632.35

 

Total Store Bought Meat for one year for a household of three = $2171.65

I know, you are thinking to yourself, that’s not that too bad for three people. Here is how we will figure the benefit of landing your own meat. This example works for me here in California. For others it may be cheaper or more expensive depending on where you live. There will still be a substantial difference in the totals.

The total for all the necessary licenses and tags for the state of California equals $164.53. The cost of a deep-sea fishing expedition out of San Diego is $46.00. California hosts a random drawing for the Elk tags so I chose Washington for my Elk meat because the state allows an open purchase. In Washington, a Non-Resident Elk Tag is $497.00 and a Resident Elk Tag is $50.00. So that gives us a Grand Total of $260.00 or $707.00depending on how you play your cards. That is a savings of $1688.00/year on average.

There are really only two variables present in the equation. If you do not have the necessary equipment then you would have to purchase such equipment prior to hunting or fishing. This would be an upfront cost which would diminish over time as you acquired the equipment. The second would be your success rate. This model is based upon a 100% success rate. Each year you would be hunting for your food for the following year. If you failed to meet the quota for a specific season then you could modify your plan to encompass other game animals or supplement the remainder of your diet with other sources of protein depending on the time of the year.

The health benefits are certainly present. Game meat has been proven to be leaner and more beneficial to your body than domesticated livestock. The condition from which wild game is harvested is much cleaner, environmentally safer, and healthier than its domesticated counterparts. As an added bonus, the general worry about injected hormones, toxins, steroids, and additives are eliminated. What you harvest is safe for your body. Now your food is as organic and local as it gets. Not to mention, the pursuit of game requires some level of active participation which forces you to live a more involved lifestyle as you pursue your food.

So, in the end, it is more sustainable, healthier, and more economical to hunt and fish for your meat versus purchasing them from the store. What are you waiting for? Grab you pack and get outside!

The Lost Ways is a survival book that shows you how to survive using only methods that were tested and proven by our forefathers for centuries. The best way to survive the next major crisis is to look back at how people did things 150 years ago. This book is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread—like people did when there was no food—to building a traditional backyard smokehouse. Watch the video below:

 

Source : harvestingnature.com

 

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25 Unusual Lessons From Long-Term Camping

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long term camping

If you’ve ever gone long term camping, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement, and then will have plenty more observations to add to this list. The more camping and outdoor skills you have, the better. Just a few days ago, I was contacted by a man who is now homeless and plans on living in his car as well as a tent, when the weather is conducive.

  1. Snails can CEMENT themselves to nearly anything, and often they will do it in the least expected places.
  2. You MUST make peace with the giant spiders. They eat mosquitoes.
  3. Raccoons have no respect for personal property. They can taste pretty good, though!
  4. If you fall asleep in in the open, don’t be surprised if you wake up with wildlife curled up with you or on you. Of course the wildlife could range from a squirrel to an ant swarm.
  5. Nothing shiny is ever safe in the open from raccoons.
  6. Armadillos like to lick plastic and exposed toes.
  7. Make peace with skunks or your life will stink (literally).
  8. Always look where you’re taking a squat (answering nature’s call) at least three times before going. You’re pretty vulnerable in that position, so you want to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises.
  9. Make sure you know what bull thistle looks like. Sharp thorns but, surprisingly, quite edible.
  10. Don’t allow people to throw cigarettes in the latrines, if that’s what you’re using.
  11. Cedar smoke may be hard to live with, but mosquitoes are much harder to deal with. Burning cedar bark is a natural insect repellent.
  12. Don’t camp by still waters. If you do, you’ll only do it once. (See #11 above.)
  13. Clear well the area where you put your tent. Rocks, briars, and twigs don’t disappear just because you put a tarp over them. If your camping is truly long term, weeks or longer, every bit of gear you have needs to be treated with care. You may not have the money or opportunity to get it replaced.
  14. Racoons will chew through things they cannot open easily. It’s easier to appease the raccoon than to keep buying new things.
  15. Given time, mice and rats can chew through things you might think were rodent proof. Be on the lookout for telltale signs of their chewing.
  16. Shake your clothes and shoes well before putting them on.
  17. Wet tobacco makes fire ant stings stop hurting.
  18. You may not react to the first, second or 100th fire ant bite, but someday you will and get huge welts from them. Chigger bites are almost as bad.
  19. Don’t camp anywhere near fire ants and know what their mounds look like. You’d be surprised by how many problems can be avoided just be carefully selecting your campsite.
  20. No matter how awesome that spot in a valley looks, and no matter how much your significant other likes it, don’t camp there. Water ALWAYS goes to the valley.
  21. Do not attempt to burn American literature books. It won’t work. However, over time you’ll develop survival hacks that DO work, or you can just buy a book like this one from expert Creek Stewart.
  22. Raccoons can chew through sterilite containers. (Yes, raccoons again.)
  23. You cannot protect your valuables from raccoons unless you half bury a box in the ground and set a small boulder over it.
  24. Dont piss off blue jays. They remember and have no inhibitions in attacking you.
  25. ALWAYS, I repeat, ALWAYS check your shoes before putting them on.

What do you have to add?

The post 25 Unusual Lessons From Long-Term Camping appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Bushcraft Mushrooms: 5 Uses of Polypores and Other Mushrooms

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polypores_bushcraft_7

otzi_ice_man_mushrooms-2Mushrooms were among the earliest survival essentials of man.  Otzi, the Ice Man, had two mushrooms with him.  One, the Tinder Polypore (Fomes fomentarius), used for firestarting and the other, the Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus), was quite possibly being carried for medicinal reasons.  The fire-starting and fire-carrying properties of Tinder Polypore and others like Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) have been well known since ancient times.  

By Nathaniel Whitmore a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

As punk, dried Polypores can be lit and hold the ember very well.  It is for this reason that their benefits begin with the first spark of the fire, which will stay aglow easily on good punk.  Tinder Polypore, Artist Conk (Ganoderma applanatum), and others have a felty interior when the hard fruiting bodies are broken open.  These mushrooms are also called conks, shelf mushrooms, and bracket fungi and are perennial, developing layer upon layer, year after year.  This type of mushroom is very good for tinder.  The felt can be teased with your knife.  There are other types of shelf mushrooms that are not perennial.  Often, they will be more moist and fleshing, or otherwise maybe not the best for tinder… perhaps because of their texture.  Also, there are Polypores that aren’t shelf mushrooms.

polypores_bushcraft_1Polypores (many-pored, or many-little-holes) produce their spores in tubes that are usually under the “shelf” of the mushroom, though many species take on more of the form of the “cap & stem” mushroom.  They are common, seen even in winter because of the persistence of the perennial species and of the dried remains of the tougher annual species.  Even as I write this, I can count several species of Polypore on my eclectic assortment of firewood piled by the wood stove – dried, so even though the wood is punkier than desired the mushrooms will burn with it quite fine.  Earlier today I noticed a Polypore I am not used to seeing on a Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida), along with several other species of Polypore that I see regularly.  I also saw the crumbled remains of an annual species that was edible in the fall.  In fact, now that I stop to think about it, that’s a lot of Polypores for a short walk along the road and through the woods!

Related: Emergency Storage of Wild Plant Foods

It is especially the Polypores that are of interest to the bushcrafter and survivalist.  They are a pretty safe group for edibles.  Many are not considered edible because of toughness or taste, but the majority of poisoning is relatively mild.  Of course, many well-known “choice edibles” and some of the most sought after mushroom delicacies are Polypores.  They have medicinal uses.  Many of the most important herbal medicines come from Polypores.  They can be used to start fire.  Because they keep lit well and burn slow they can also be used to carry fire (potentially very useful without matches or a lighter on hand), and can also be burned for insect repellant.  The dried fruit bodies, or slices of them, can be used to maintain an ember when not feeding wood to the fire.  Polypores can also be used to make torches.  They can be made into charcoal.  They can be pounded into felt (another trait the Tinder Polypore is particularly known for).  They are great for storing fish hooks.  And I am sure there are countless other uses.  

Edible Mushrooms

edible_mushrooms_mycophilic-2Mushrooms are sometimes abundant and are very important survival foods.  It is an interesting thing that mycologists consider cultures to generally be either mycophobic or mycophilic – mushroom fearing or mushroom loving.  Some cultures favor mushrooms that most others avoid.  I have often wondered if this and the deep appreciation some cultures have for mushrooms is due to ancestors being repeatedly saved from famine by mushrooms, which has certainly happened throughout the ages.  

I myself have eaten massive amounts of mushrooms, especially Polypores like Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus spp.), Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa, Maitake, Sheep’s Head, etc.), and others that grow very large and are delicious.  Many times I have eaten more than one meal a day that consisted primarily of mushrooms.  I have often felt very revitalized when doing so, particularly during Morel (Morchella spp.) season when eating lots of Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus), Morels, and wild vegetables.  Mushrooms are very nutritious foods.  Since ancient times they have been revered for their rejuvenating properties.

The all too well known problem with mushrooms as edibles is that some are deadly.  Coupled with the fact that mushrooms in general are difficult to identify, eating mushrooms can  clearly be risky.  Do your research before starving to death so that you can be certain to take the time to seek out knowledgeable people as well as good books.  There are many excellent mushroom websites.

Mushrooms can be dried.  Though, it is a funny trick of nature that they tend to grow when there is more humidity and can be difficult to dry.  Those in the Rocky Mountains will have a much easier time of it than I do down in the Delaware River Valley between New York and Pennsylvania.  For off-grid sites, consider a solar dehydrator, such as passive solar using glass to trap heat.  For sites with electricity consider one of the many commercially manufactured dehydrators, or make one with a simple heating unit such as a light bulb.

Medicinal Mushrooms

polypores_bushcraft_3The medicinal properties of mushrooms have been getting increased attention lately, though they were well-known before the modern world.  Many of the medicinal uses of mushrooms pertain to first-aid care, so this subject is well worth learning for the survivalist.  If the notion of medicinal mushrooms seems strange, consider that out first antibiotic drug, penicillin, is fungal.  

Indeed, primary traits among the medicinal mushrooms are antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties.  Polypores in particular, like Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) and Agarikon (Fomitopsis officinalis), are known for benefiting immunity and fighting off pathogens.  They are used for lung ailments, respiratory infections, systemic infections, cancer, and even auto-immune diseases.  As in the case with Otzi, ancient people all over the world have probably recognized the medicinal benefits of mushrooms.  Today they remain primary ingredients in herbal medicine.  Many cultures have long-held reverence for medicinal mushrooms.  China, for instance, has an extensive and ancient lore surrounding Ganoderma spp., called Lingzi, which means “Longevity Mushroom” or “Spiritual Mushroom” just as the Japanese name, Reishi, does.  For a well-researched reference on many species of medicinal mushrooms see The Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Rogers.

While Reishi is too tough and strong tasting to be eaten (rather, it is decocted into a “tea” or broth), many medicinals are good food.  Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is another name that seems to reflect a long-found reverence.  In Japanese it means “Dancing Mushroom”, which some say is because it was worth so much (so revered were such medicinal mushrooms) in ancient Japan that you would dance for joy upon finding one.  Or, perhaps if you were suffering from a life threatening illness that Maitake was known to cure you would have even more reason to dance.  Locally, Grifola is one of the most commonly picked mushrooms, known as Sheep’s Head or Ram’s Head – largely an Appalachian name.  American field guides and grocery stores (this one is also cultivated) usually call it Hen-of-the-Woods.  It is so abundant in certain Oak forests that people will often eat more than their fill and still have plenty to dry, can, or freeze.

Mushrooms even have antifungal properties.  If this seems strange, consider that you are protected by pathogens by your skin.  Fungus has no such barrier, but must still protect itself against pathogens… including fungus!  Fungus tends to prefer dark, damp, dirty areas where other fungus also likes to grow.  Much of the immune-boosting potential of mushrooms is explained in this way.

Many mushrooms, especially certain Polypores and the Luminescent Panellus (Panellus stipticus) can be used to stop bleeding.  The species name stipticus is from styptic, meaning that it is used to stop bleeding.  And yes, the common name is because it glows in the dark- at least the North American variety.

Fire-Starting with Fungus

polypores_bushcraft_6As already mentioned, mushrooms can be very good for “catching the spark” when starting fire with flint or maintaining the ember when starting with the bow drill and the like.  A nice dry piece of Polypore can be used in the middle of your tinder bundle.  Species with a felting interior, like the Tinder Polypore, can be fluffed into very nice tinder by scraping them with your knife to tease the fibers into fluff.  While it can obviously be very helpful to have nice downy tinder, it is not always necessary as even chunks of dried Polypore can stay lit with just a spark.

Transferring a “coal” from bow or hand drill methods is simply done by contacting the mushroom with the ember so that it keeps lit.  One might even use larger flat polypores underneath the fireboard so that the hot wood dust falls directly on the mushroom.

Polypores are like punk, meaning that they stay lit easy.  Punky wood (dry and rotten) might very well stay lit for hours from only a spark or ember, but generally wood requires sufficient heat to keep burning or it goes out.  Polypores can stay lit for many hours, often slowly burning from just a small ember until all the mushroom is burned up.  This has several uses.  Such as in primitive times, lit Polypores can be bound in leaves and bark so that the fire could be carried to the next spot.  I have also maintained embers in the firepit by setting in them a piece of Polypore during times when I did not desire to build up the fire by adding more wood.  Obviously, the standard rule is to keep watch on a fire at all times, but we are talking survival here.  Perhaps, you are lost in the woods with no fire-starting implements and need to spend the day hunting, fishing, or gathering mushrooms.  You certainly don’t want to lose your fire, but you don’t want to build it up either right before leaving.  It could be much safer to feed the embers with mushrooms than to pile on firewood.  

Also Read: How to Start a Fire With Your EDC Knife and a Shoelace

Mushrooms don’t have the tendency to burst into flame, even though they stay lit well.  In order to produce flame, hot pitch can be poured on the Polypore and then lit to produce a torch.  Alternately, clumps of pitch can be set or stuck (depending on consistency) on a Polypore and then lit.  The pitch will melt down into the mushroom and this makes good fuel.  

Polypores can also be made into charcoal in the same manner as making char cloth.  I have used the leathery Polypores, like Turkey Tail, as well as slices of thicker species like Tinder Polypore and Reishi.  I usually use tins, such as old Altoids tins, to fill with the mushrooms and then place on the hot coals until smoking ceases.  Then remove, let cool, and add to your tinder box for later fire-starting.

Fiber from Polypores

tinder_polypore-2Tinder Polypore can be made into felt.  This can be done by boiling and pounding the interior portion (which looks felty even when fresh).  A friend of mine has hats made of the felt, similar to that worn by the famous mycologist Paul Stamets.  I have also seen purses and other crafts from the felt.  It might be a stretch to consider making an outfit out of Tinder Polypores in a survival scenario.  Small pouches and such, on the other hand, could be very realistic and handy.

At the New Jersey Mycological Association’s yearly Fungus Fest they set up a paper-making station.  Violet Tooth Polypores (Trichaptum biforme) and other similar mushrooms are blended in water in order to produce a fibrous mush that is strained, pressed, and dried to produce a sturdy craft paper.  Violet Tooth Polypores work well for fiber extraction because they are thin, like the well-known medicinal Turkey Tail and other mushrooms that comprise the “leathery” group of Polypores.  

Taking Care of Tools with Polypores

polypores_bushcraft_2Pieces of dried Polypores can work great for storing fish hooks.  I like to slice the fresh mushroom into thick strips before drying them.  This makes them handy for decocting into medicine, for stashing in tinder boxes, and for piercing a selection of fish hooks into in attempt to keep a tackle box orderly.  It also makes them ready for making charcoal if, for instance, they are cut so that they fit into an Altoids box or some other vessel that can be used to make charcoal.  Have a line-up of fish hooks in a small rectangle of Polypore makes it easy to grab a few hooks to throw in your pocket or in your sack.  If it keeps dry, you’ll even have fire-starting material with you.  If it gets wet, just toss it – you have plenty more stashed away.

Apparently Birch Polypore can be used for stropping.  An alternate name commonly cited for the Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) is Razor Strop.  I have never tried it, but the dried fruiting bodies certainly seem to be the correct consistency (usually leather is used for stropping).  

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5 Ways The Native Americans ‘Read Nature’ To Survive

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5 Ways The Native Americans 'Read Nature' To Survive (No. 2 Might Be The Most Important One)

Artist: Frank McCarthy

 

For most of us, finding out the day’s weather is as easy as turning on our television or checking the forecast on our smartphones, but the native people of North America had to rely on what they were taught.

They simply read the signs of nature – a skill we should practice more.

Learning to read the signs of nature, which are often right in front of us, can help us track animals for food, find safe sources of food and water, and even predict the weather.

In fact, most indigenous children were able to survive on their own at a very young age because they were taught the signs to look for almost as soon as they could talk.

Unfortunately, many of these skills have become forgotten by most in our society over the last few centuries, but you can still pick up these important survival skills and learn directly from nature.

1. Following the Weather

No matter what part of the country you are living in, bad weather can sneak up on you. Indigenous people were always aware of their surroundings, knowing that dangerous animals, enemies or storms could be just around the corner.

Get The Essential Secrets Of The Most Savvy Survivalists In The World!

By paying attention to nature’s signs, native people knew that one can almost feel bad weather before it starts. Before a big storm, the wind generally picks up, making the leaves on trees twist and showing you their lighter-colored underside. Look into the distance and see if you can see rain further out. Take a deep breath. Native people find that you can smell rain in the distance, even if mountains prevent you from seeing it. Birds will fly lower to the ground and begin to gather in the trees, even though it is still mid-day. Crickets will stop chirping. Fish sometimes come to the surface and even leap out of the water. If wildlife around you suddenly disappear or if you spot seagulls farther inland than normal, a storm is surely on its way.

2. Finding Water5 Ways The Native Americans 'Read Nature' To Survive (No. 2 Might Be The Most Important One)

Over the centuries, native people relied on the same water sources year after year. But for non-nomadic tribes, or when traveling, finding water was a skill no one could afford not to learn! To find water, native people learned to look for green-leafed trees, such as aspens or cottonwoods. The presence of birds, dragonflies or other animals usually means that there is water somewhere nearby. Native people learned to watch for animal trails, such as deer paths, and to follow them downhill. Since animals need water as well, you can bet that a trail will eventually lead to a watering hole. Also, if animals were drinking it, the water was most likely safe to drink. Canyons that face north are more likely to have watering holes, even in the summer, as the sun does not penetrate that far inside the canyon. Natives knew that a dry river bed might still have water. They would look for green plants clinging to the edges and dig right next to them. Chances are that water was just a few inches below the surface.

3. Knowing Which Wild Plants Were Safe for Eating

This is another skill that native people passed down to one another, and it varies greatly depending on where you are. While indigenous people knew that cattails were quite edible, there were not many in the deserts or dry valley areas. Non-nomadic tribes, such as the Ojibwa, raised crops on family plots, but nomadic tribes learned over the centuries which plants were safe to eat and when to harvest them. Native people learned to watch the animals for reliable food sources. Squirrels, blue jays, crows and other animals sometimes hide food — such as acorns — for later consumption. If food was scarce, these were dug up and eaten. Many tribes knew that when birds, deer or other animals were eating berries, these were generally safe for humans as well. Many wild berries, such as blackberries, grow near the forest edges. Plantain is found almost everywhere in the U.S. and can be eaten raw or cooked. Dandelions are another edible plant. (But don’t ever consume mushrooms unless you are 100 percent certain you know what you are choosing, as many are poisonous.) The indigenous people looked to the trees to find nuts or fruit. Native people learned to avoid plants that smelled like almonds, or any plant that has thorns.

4. Finding their Way Home

5 Ways The Native Americans 'Read Nature' To Survive (No. 2 Might Be The Most Important One)

Artist: Alfred Jacob Miller

Ever wonder how the native people of this land never seemed to get lost? Even when a single young man would walk out into the woods to hunt, they never seemed to have trouble finding their way back. How did they do this? Again, indigenous people were always aware of their surroundings. They knew a marker (such as a mountain or a particular growth of trees) that would help to guide them back. Also, without a compass, they still knew the four directions.

New ‘Survival Herb Bank’ Gives You Access to God’s Amazing Medicine Chest

Even without sunlight, they would know that the north end of a gorse bush, for example, had the thickest tufts of “flowers.” They also knew that trees tend to grow longer or grow more branches on the side that faces south. Before they even left camp, indigenous people knew what direction their camp lay in relation to their journey, so finding their way back was pretty easy.

5. Finding Meat

Native people ate quite a bit of meat when they could find it. Since animals tend to migrate or move about to find their own food, meat choices for indigenous people varied, depending on the season. Fishing was always a good source of food. Nets, not poles, were the preferred method of fishing, although spears were also sometimes used in deeper water.

Many women made traps near water sources or along known animal trails. Birds, such as ducks and geese, were often caught using traps, bolas or slings. Even small children learned to use slings or slingshots to kill rabbits, raccoons and squirrels.

For most of us, skills such as these would take a lifetime of learning, or at least several years of classes, plus practice. However, for the native people of North America, reading the signs of nature was as normal as putting on moccasins in the morning.

What skills would you add to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think

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15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think via The Survival Mom

We don’t believe in waiting until our kids are “old enough” to camp.

My first child was 6 months old when we set up the tent in the back yard and spent the night. My second child was 10 months old when we managed to pick the hottest weekend of the entire year to go to a campground. And my youngest was a co-sleeping, nursing infant when we packed her off to the campground with her siblings.

Camping with kids is not easy. But it’s also fun and probably not as hard as most people think. Camping is a sure-fire way to find quality family time. It’s a chance to really put your skills to the test, like fire starting and plant identification, and teach those skills to your kids. And it can be a chance for character-building, too, as you solve problems together, engage in campsite diplomacy, and make do with what you have with you.

Anyway, I’ve learned a few things over the last decade of tent camping with children. Maybe my trial and error method can give you a head start with your learning curve.

      • Use disposable everything!  Even if you use cloth diapers, washcloths, and real plates at home, camping with kids is the time to go disposable. Pack paper towels, disposable diapers, plastic grocery sacks (for trash or wet clothes), and paper plates with plastic utensils. You’ll have enough to do without washing extra camp dishes or trying to haul home extra laundry.
      • Pack extra clothes. Pack even more clothes per child than you think you’ll need. If you do this camping thing right, they’ll need them!
      • Keep a change of shoes and clothes in the car. Reserve at least an extra pair of shoes and a full change of clothes for each member of the family in your vehicle. More than once, we’ve had the unexpected rain storm, or discovered a new leak in our tent. If nothing else happens, at least you’ll have clean clothes for the ride home. And you avoid a major car cleaning chore after your adventure, too!
      • Familiarize your children with your tent ahead of time. Each year before the first camping trip, we set up the tents in the front yard to play in them, or even have at least one nap time in the tents. If you’re planning to use a Pack N Play for an infant or toddler, make sure they’re used to sleeping in it, too.
      • Do a backyard trial run. If it’s the first time camping for your family, or for the newest famiy members, consider “camping” in your own backyard for a night or two before hitting the actual campground. This will give you an even better idea of what to pack and plan for.
      • Plan familiar foods. Camping with kids is probably not the time to try that fancy 17-ingredient recipe. Stick with hot dogs and hamburgers or something equally easy. If you’d like to expand your camping menu, try to add just 1 new recipe each trip.
      • Go with a group. If you can, coordinate your camping experience with another family, or several! We’ve found that having lots of adults around makes it very easy to keep track of all the kids, share meal responsibility, and even give each mom and dad a bit of time together.  For example, each family could take a meal to cook and host for the entire group. Camping with a group also helps to keep the kids occupied—they have friends to go bike riding or exploring together.
      • Pack a battery-powered fan. If you choose to ignore all the rest of the list, at least pack a fan! Not only will it help keep the hot summer air moving, it can also help mask some unfamiliar night noises. A better nights’ sleep will make all your day time experiences much more pleasant.
      • Give them a gift– to use while camping. Depending on your child’s maturity level, consider giving them a tool to use while camping. Even a younger child could probably handle a very small pocket knife. Older children could learn to use fire-starters, tent peg mallets, or even hatchets. And if they own it, they’re much more excited about using it to help out.
      • Establish clear rules around the fire. This is the one area where we are very strict. No running around the fire. No lighting sticks on fire and waving them. And have a containment plan for any mobile infants or toddlers. To date, we’ve never had any serious fire-related injuries, and we plan to keep it that way.
      • Have a wide-ranging first aid kit. We use a plastic tackle box as our camp first aid kit. If you un-package items, you can easily fit everything you need for burns, bug bites, scrapes, upset tummies, and allergies. Placing items in zip top baggies will keep them organized and water proof.
      • Don’t do everything. Don’t send the kids off to play while you set up the tent and start the dinner fire. Give everyone a task, such as holding tent poles, or collecting a certain size stick. They won’t learn unless they’re involved, and in the long run, your job gets easier. Just imagine 5 years from now, sitting in your camp chair while the kids set up and get dinner on the fire.  
      • Let the kids get dirty and give them the freedom to explore.  Camping puts you directly in contact with nature, and nature is messy. If the kids are sweaty and muddy at the end of the day, you’ve probably done things right.
      • Teach respect for others campers. Camping etiquette means going around, not through, someone else’s campsite. It also means being aware when riding bikes or playing catch in the road and observing quiet hours at night. And when you’re by the water, be aware of people fishing.
      • Don’t be afraid to pack up early. Last summer, there was a severe line of thunderstorms moving in on our last night. It was just me and 3 kids, so I made the decision to pack it up early and head home. Good thing, because we had severe weather all night long—one of the worst storm systems of the season. You don’t have to prove anything—there’s always next time.

Camping teaches kids survival skills in a fun way. It builds their confidence as they realize how much they know and can do. It gets them away from screens and in touch with nature. And it creates family bonds and life-long memories.

Camping in general gets easier with experience. People give all sorts of excuses why they can’t take kids camping.   “Oh, I’d love to take my kids camping, but not while they’re in diapers!”  But if not now, when? What if you find yourself “camping” someday after an unexpected event? You’ll be glad you practiced now!  Besides, it’s rewarding to hear your kids telling their friends, “We had the BEST time ever camping!”

15 Ways to Make Camping With Kids Easier Than You Think via The Survival Mom

 

Book: Mask of Command

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See larger image The Mask of Command John Keegan’s brilliant look at the meaning of leadership In The Mask of Command, John Keegan asks us to consider questions that are seldom asked: What is the definition of leadership? What makes a great military leader? Why is it that men, indeed sometimes entire nations, follow a single leader, often to victory, but with equal dedication also to defeat? Dozens of names come to mind…Napoleon, Lee, Charlemagne, Hannibal, Castro, Hussein. From a wide array, Keegan chooses four commanders who profoundly influenced the course of history: Alexander the Great, the Duke of Wellington,

The post Book: Mask of Command appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Call of the Wild: Why Living in Nature is Good for Your Health

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hikingIn the big scheme of things, human civilization is a blip on the map of history. We’ve been around on this planet for between 50,000 and 200,000 years depending on how you define modern humans. And as far as anyone can tell, advanced human civilizations have only been around for about 6,000 years. You may be asking yourself, why is that so important?

Because, it explains a lot about many of the predicaments that humans find themselves in today, like why so many people living in modern civilization are so unhappy and unhealthy. In fact, it seems like the more advanced our civilization becomes, the more unhappy and unhealthy we are, which is kind of confusing when you think about it. How could we be so messed up, when we’re living in an era that provides us with such an abundance of wealth and resources?

How are we so sick when medical care has never been so advanced? How are we so depressed when we’ve never had such a wide selection of entertainment? How come we feel so unfulfilled when we have more career choices than anyone else in human history? How are we all so stressed out, when by compared to the lives of our ancestors, we’ve never had it so easy?

If I were to venture a guess, I’d say that many of these problems can be blamed on civilization itself in one form or another. This provider of so much material good is what’s messing us up, because we don’t know how to handle it. We’re walking around with caveman brains and caveman bodies, but we’re living in a world that is light years ahead of what any hunter gatherer could have imagined. We’re out of our element, living in an alien world. Civilization, our greatest creation, has out-evolved us.

One of the ways we know that civilization is tripping us up, is how it has separated us from nature. Our species was raised in the dirt and the trees and the sunshine. Now most of us spend our days huddled indoors, staring at electronic screens, and traveling through concrete jungles in temperature controlled vehicles until we reach other indoor locations. It’s not the kind of environment that our minds and bodies have evolved to thrive in, and according to recent research, people who are living in that kind of environment aren’t living as long as people who reside in rural areas.

The research relied on data from a vast long-term Harvard study funded by the National Institutes of Health called the Nurses’ Health Study, which has collected health information biennially on more than 100,000 female registered nurses in the U.S. since 1976. The new paper analyzed participant data from between 2000 and 2008, taking note of any deaths that occurred and their causes. At the same time, the researchers used satellite data to assess the amount of green vegetation surrounding each participant’s home during the study period.

The researchers found that people living in the greenest places — that is, people who had the most vegetation within 800 feet of their homes — had a 12 percent lower rate of mortality from any non-accidental cause than people living in the least green places. Specifically, they found that the relationship was strongest for deaths related to respiratory disease, cancer and kidney disease. These results were the same regardless of the participants’ income, weight or smoking status and also did not significantly change between urban and suburban locations.

There were several reasons for this, most notably was the fact that greener areas produce less pollution, and can actually help clean up any hazardous materials that might present themselves. But more than that, people living near nature are more likely to go outside, interact with other people, and get more exercise, all of which increases our mental well-being. And since stress and depression can affect us physically, it’s no wonder that living near nature can keep you alive longer.

In fact, just being in nature is enough to lift your spirit. It’s a means to it’s own end. It doesn’t matter who you are or were you come from, even a lifelong urban dweller can be left in awe of nature. There’s something primal and ancient within us, that allows us all to feel better when we’re in the presence of the wilderness. It’s always been with us, and if we don’t make room for it in our lives, then civilized life will always put us in an early grave.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Primitive Skills, Better Prepared

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Primitive Skills, Better Prepared
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live

3-20-16 Primitive Skills ShowThis week on Herbal Prepper Live, we’re talking to Michael Douglas of the Maine Primitive Skills School. Hear from one of the field’s experts how primitive skills can help you both in good times and in bad.

Michael Douglas is a Registered Maine Guide.  His passion for nature, awareness, tracking, primitive skills, and philosophy, has taken him around the globe in search of teachers and opportunities to learn new skills. He is a former student of Paul Rezendes, Tom Brown Jr., Jon Young, and many others.

3-20-16 Mike-BioMike’s passion for both learning and teaching “primitive” techniques has earned him a unique reputation in the scouting community and among professional educators. After pursuing survival skills as a U.S Marine, he started his own Survival School in 1989 at the University of Maine.  In 1993 he was the recipient of the Marion Rich Waterman Mayer Award from the University of Maine College of Education.

Since then he has been a consultant for Discovery Channels’ “Dual Survivor” and was featured on National Geographics’ “Doomsday Preppers”, where he received the highest “Survivability Score” of the shows first season. He has also coached reality television participants on Naked and Afraid and has been a mentor to college students, professors, professional educators, Eagle Scouts, and television personalities.

His apprenticeship program is internationally known, offering participants from all over the world immersion in Tracking, Survival, Awareness, Bow Making, Wild Edibles, Medicinal Plants, Hunting, Trapping, and much more.  August, 2016 will mark this school’s 27th year of sharing skills with people globally.

Currently, Mike is working with the Sami of Sapmi in present day Sweden to revive their cultural tools in the context of our modern society. He also directly trains the apprentices, and instructors at the school as well as a consultant in educational, corporate and entertainment venues.

Mike credits his patient wife Karen and his children, Ryan, Dakota, and Emily, with their love and support in helping him realize his lifelong dream – teaching outdoor skills to all levels from beginners to military instructors of the craft.
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3 All-Natural, Easy-To-Find Cures For Poison Ivy (And Poison Oak) That Really Work

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3 All-Natural, Easy-To-Find Cures For Poison Ivy (And Poison Oak) That Really Work

Poison ivy. Image source: Pixabay.com

 

If you are an avid outdoorsman or an avid camper, it is very likely that you have come into contact with the infamous poison ivy plant at one time or another.

Consequently, you are undoubtedly aware of just how miserable the swelling, irritation and incessant itching the oils that this plant exudes can make you. In fact, it can ruin your entire outdoor adventure! But fear not and venture forth with confidence, because nature has a cure for what ails you.

The three most effective and most abundant natural cures in the wilderness for poison ivy – or its cousin, poison oak – are:

  1. Tap root of the wild burdock plant (serves as a natural antiseptic).
  2. Witch hazel bush (serves as a natural astringent).
  3. Jewelweed (serves as a natural cure).

While most of us can see and recognize large, hairy vines growing vigorously up the sides of trees and realize that they are a poison ivy vines, many outdoorsman are unaware that this plant also likes to grow in small patches of ground, hugging plants that commonly reach a height of one to two feet and, of course, display the signature, spear-shaped, tri-foil, leaves.

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3 All-Natural, Easy-To-Find Cures For Poison Ivy (And Poison Oak) That Really Work

Burdock

Because these plants exude an oil (urushiol — which is what irritates the skin and causes the rash) in order to defend itself from predatory insects, your first line of defense after coming into contact should be to get to a source of water where you can wash it off of your skin. But most of us are so absorbed by our surroundings that we are blissfully unaware that we have come into contact with this infamous plant until the rash appears, a different remedy is required.

Wild burdock is a biennial plant common in Asia, England and North America and appears as a flower approximately two to two and a half feet tall, growing in open fields and, when mature, displays beneath the flowers round seed pods covered with small spikes designed to cling to fur or fabric. It’s a “free ride” in order to disperse their seeds. To use this plant as a cure for poison ivy, start by digging up several of the tap roots and then boil them in water for 20 to 30 minutes. Next, remove the roots and allow the infusion to cool. Soak a cloth in the infusion and apply it to the affected area for five to seven minutes and repeat this process every two hours.

3 All-Natural, Easy-To-Find Cures For Poison Ivy (And Poison Oak) That Really Work

Witch hazel. Image source: Pixabay.com

Another effective natural cure for poison ivy is the witch hazel plant, which is a deciduous shrub or small tree common in North America. To create a cure for poison ivy using witch hazel, start by harvesting either a portion of the tree’s bark or some of its leaves and boil it/them in water for approximately 30 minutes. Then, remove the bark or leaves from the water and allow the resulting infusion to cool. Soak the infusion up with a cloth and apply it to the affected area whenever the rash starts to itch.

3 All-Natural, Easy-To-Find Cures For Poison Ivy (And Poison Oak) That Really Work

Jewelweed

Although wild burdock and witch hazel do work and are certainly better than nothing at all, nature’s most effective cure for poison ivy is a plant called jewelweed (aka spotted touch-me-not), which seems to serve as a natural antidote for poison ivy. In fact, it commonly grows right alongside patches of poison ivy! It is predominately found east of the Rocky Mountains but does occur incidentally further west.

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Wild burdock prefers to grow in shady spots where there is moist, sandy, well-drained, soil, and therefore, you will find it in lowlands, wetlands and fens, and adjacent to streams, ponds, lakes and bogs. Jewelweed appears as a smooth annual flower that grows three to five feet in height and has oval leaves with serrated edges. The funnel-shaped flowers are suspended from a single stem and appear yellow with red spots.

But unlike both wild burdock and witch hazel, which have to be boiled to create an infusion, to use jewelweed as a cure for poison ivy all you have to do is harvest and crush the plant and then spread the resulting expressed juice directly onto the rash five or six times a day for five days or until the rash subsides. Therefore, not only is this natural remedy significantly easier to prepare and apply than the other two remedies, but many people have described nearly miraculous results when using this plant to cure poison ivy. In fact, it is so effective at curing the rash caused by poison ivy that some local, hometown drug stores actually carry a soap containing an infusion of this plant.

So, the next time you find yourself suffering from poison ivy while enjoying the great outdoors, give one of nature’s all-natural cures a try.

What all-natural cures for poison ivy do you use? Share your tips in the section below:

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Wednesday’s Lunar Eclipse: Best Viewing Conditions to Unfold in Western, Southern US

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Survival World News

By Katy Galimberti AccuWeather

A minor lunar eclipse will provide a treat for skywatchers this week.

Though subtle, this lunar eclipse will be visible on Wednesday morning, reaching peak around 7:47 a.m. EDT (4:47 a.m. PDT).

This event is known as a penumbral lunar eclipse, meaning the moon will move on the outer edge of the Earth’s shadow. Though a dark, crescentlike shape will not appear, a dark, shaded section will be visible for those with clear conditions.

Wednesday’s Lunar Eclipse: Best Viewing Conditions to Unfold in Western, Southern US

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Filed under: Nature, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather

The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

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The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

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Living close to nature in the great outdoors is an appealing lifestyle to many.  Fresh air, sunshine, privacy, simplicity, old-fashioned values, freedom from alarm clocks and business suits, delightful proximity to flora and fauna — it all sounds great.  Where do I sign up?

As one who has spent much of my life immersed in various aspects of the great outdoors, I can testify that it is indeed truly wonderful.  Mostly, anyway.

Many lifestyles embrace a closeness with the outdoors.  Homesteaders, farmers, forest workers, preppers, hikers, campers, backpackers and others devote at least part of their lives, either for fun or out of necessity, to rubbing elbows with nature.

Much of the time the relationship between humans and outdoors works well.  But sometimes it wasn’t meant to be.

Following are a couple of anecdotal stories to explain what I mean.

When my son was in high school, he and his friends wanted to try winter camping. Or at least they thought they did. I should clarify that by “winter camping,” I do not mean trekking through winter conditions to spend the night in a heated lodge or a primitive cabin, or even in a camper.

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The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

The boys wanted to spend the night in sleeping bags, in a tent, on the snow, in Maine. It took them a while to talk their parents into giving it a try, and it turned out to be only me and my husband who consented to attempt it. We decided to do it together.

Not one of the boys enjoyed it. They had been allured by the idea of outdoor winter camping and the way it seemed like life on the edge. But in the end, it was cold, and awkward, and the block of cheese froze solid and we were unable to cut it, and the flashlights tucked into our sleeping bags with us overnight — to keep the batteries working — were every bit as uncomfortable as it sounds.

Years later, my husband and I were spending the night at a public campground in much warmer weather, and glanced up from our morning coffee to see a man striding down the road past our tent site, anger and purpose in every step. He was carrying an armload of camping gear. We watched, mesmerized by the drama unfolding before us, as the man flung his load into the dumpster and went back for another. By his third trip, my husband quipped that this was probably the guy’s last time camping.

Outdoor life is not for everyone. Of all the hikers starting out in Georgia intending to hike the Appalachian Trail, only 10 to 15 percent make it to Maine.

A major key to success at living life outdoors — or to success at any lifestyle for that matter — is to ease into it. If your future plans include bugging out to a cabin in the woods or pulling up city stakes and relocating to a commercial dairy farm, you might want to have a dress rehearsal before the curtains go up on the performance that really counts.

It is certainly possible to dive into an outdoor-oriented life and succeed without any prior experience. But what if you hate it? The loss of face or of thousands of dollars’ worth of gear by quitting early would be difficult, and failure at an outdoor life when you have sunk your entire life savings or preparedness plan into it could be even worse.

Please consider trying out the great outdoors on a small scale before you commit to a life there.

Maybe instead of investing in expensive camping gear up front, you could try renting or borrowing what you need for a few test runs. You may even want to start with something moderate, such as a furnished hut or wilderness bed-and-breakfast, before loading a tent into the back of your car or packing up a backpack for a week in the backcountry. It might be a good idea to do some research before you go, but always bear in mind that things can be different on paper than they are in real life. If you can find an experienced outdoorsperson with whom to tag along on your first few forays into the wilderness, that’s a bonus. Many areas have outing groups, which are also a great option.

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The Biggest Blunder New Homesteaders Often Make

Image source: Pixabay.com

If farming or homesteading is your dream but you haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time off the pavement, consider taking classes or finding a mentor. You might watch for programs offered by local organic or permaculture groups, public adult education departments and cooperative extension programs. Attending expos, demonstrations and trade shows are also good possibilities.

I recommend immersing yourself in your future community of choice as much as possible, even before actually practicing their activities. To do this, you can get to know the vendors at your farmers’ market; most of the ones I’ve met are friendly and open about their farming background and willing to give free advice. Many of them welcome farm visits and volunteers as well.

Another way to become involved in a community of homesteaders is through social media. In addition to informational and educational pages such as this one, there are plenty of local groups in most areas which focus on gardening, livestock, homesteading, preparedness or survival.

Volunteering is a great way to get involved, as well. Consider helping out at the livestock barns or judging tables at an agricultural fair, working with youth groups, or doing odd jobs behind the scenes at an agricultural trade show.

If you are devoted to preparedness and plan to escape to a wilderness location in case of disaster, spend time there before it is your only option. If you absolutely loathe everything about being outdoors — the bugs, the snakes, the mud, the humidity, the isolation, the boredom, the cold, the heat or the workload – then ask yourself if spending the remainder of your life in those conditions is worth it.  A bug-out to the woods might be the very best option for some people, but not necessarily for everyone.

Reading is always an excellent way to go. Books, magazines, instruction manuals, how-to brochures — all of them offer something to everyone. Even if you find conflicting information among sources, it’s worth reading all you can.

Remember the winter camping kids? The ending turned out happy. The boys had the chance to try something new, and had very little invested in it. We adults invested in a little gear, had a good time, and went on to enjoy many more winter excursions thereafter.

I can only hope that the story of the man seen throwing his camping gear into the dumpster also turned out well.

For everyone else trying to carve out a life in nature, it’s always a good idea to try life in the great outdoors before committing to a lifetime of it. And when it’s time to make the move into all that fresh air and freedom, it will be with confidence that it will be a great fit.

What advice would you add for someone looking to “dive” into a life outdoors? Share your tips in the section below:

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DIY Fertilizers: The Cheap & Easy Way

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As I’ve touched on the subject of survival gardening many times before and I’ve advocated growing your own, private vegetable or even fruit garden, I’m sure that my suggestions have resonated with many of my readers. And if you share my view that your private garden will be your main source of getting fresh produce once the big markets close down, you’ll like what you’ll “see” next. Of course, serious gardening requires some knowledge, skill and preparation. You’ll need a bit of practice, as I’ve said before, to actually get the desired results. And you’ll need a bit of financial investment too. But even so, survival gardening can still be run on a tight budget, especially in the fertilizer department. The last thing you’ll need to throw your many at is professional fertilizing agents. Don’t get me wrong, these products work, they get the job done, but there are plenty alternatives you’ll find around the house that will work just as well. And most of the stuff you can use as fertilizer would normally be considered waste, and you’d be throwing it away without being aware of its life-sustaining properties.

First and foremost, you need to understand what fertilizer actually is and why it is so important. Plants, in order to grow and develop require certain amounts of nutrients. Sometimes, what the soil provides just isn’t enough. Fertilizer is added to make sure that plants won’t stagnate and that the crops will be plentiful, counteracting a possible depletion of nutrients in the soil. There are 3 major ranks of nutrients that your garden will need:

  • Rank I nutrients (that are needed in large quantities): P (phosphorus), K (potassium) and N (nitrogen)
  • Rank II nutrients (that are needed in moderate quantities): Mg (magnesium), Ca (calcium) and S (sulfur)
  • Rank III nutrients (that are needed in small quantities): Fe (iron), Mn (manganese), Mo (molybdenum), Zn (zinc) and B (Boron)

If you wish to have healthy and nutritious plants, you’ll have to assure that they get most of these beneficial elements during their development. The lack of nutrients won’t allow the plants to develop normally and may even cause their premature death. So fertilizer it’s a must! Let’s have a look at some of the best DIY fertilizers you can find around the house.

 

Egg shells

As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. But after the omelette is done, don’t throw the egg shells away, they’ll make a great addition to you gardening plan. Egg shells contain a great amount of Ca (calcium), which is extremely important for cellular growth and development. Calcium is one of the elements in the soil that get depleted fastest while plants are growing, so adding some back into the circuit would be extremely beneficial to you garden. Grind the shells into a thin powder and sprinkle them on the ground; that should do it. The shells also contain N and phosphoric acid.

Banana peels

The banana peel is yet another object you’d be tempted to discard right away. But bananas are rich in potassium (K), and so are its peels. Adding banana peels to your garden would ensure rich and well-developed crops, as potassium (K) is a rank I ingredient, which plants can’t get enough of. Not only is it beneficial to all sorts of fruit and veggies, but ornamental plants are loving it also. Don’t throw the peel on the ground directly, rather rip it into shreds and place it in the hole before planting for optimum efficiency.

 

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are an excellent source of magnesium (Mg) potassium (K) and nitrogen (N) and would make great ”food” for the plants. But adding them to the soil will increase the overall pH, so it’s generally recommended to use them more for plants who strive in a more acid environment like tomatoes, avocados, blueberries, azaleas etc. Before scattering them on the ground, it’s best if you let them dry first. You should scatter them lightly, around the plants.

 

Fire ash

As long as you have ash leftovers from the fireplace or if you’ve been camping all night, you also have a good means of fertilizing your garden. Ash is rich in potassium (K) and calcium carbonate, which will do wonders for growing fruit and vegetables. The ash method works best for plants that love alkaline surroundings; so don’t use the ashes on acid loving plants. And if the ashes are the result of a fire to which charcoal or lighter fluid was added, don’t use them. The residual agents will harm the plants. So use 100% wood ashes only.

Hair

Yes, that’s correct: hair. Any sort of hair will do, be it from people, dogs cats and pretty much any other creature you can think of. Hair is naturally packed with nitrogen, so if you’ll sprinkle it across the garden, you’ll supply the growing plants with a much needed nitrogen (N) boost. Get hair wherever you can find it: scrap it off brushes and save the trimmings from cutting your hair; you can also visit your local barber shop for great amounts of hair that they would otherwise just throw away. Just offer to get it off their hands for free and they’ll most likely let you have it.

And there you have it, some of the easiest and cheapest methods of ensuring the right nutrients for you survival garden. Not only are these methods cheap and convenient, but they’re also very efficient. If it was money that was in your way of getting your hands dirty and your thumbs green, problem solved! You can now have your garden, and on a budget too.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post DIY Fertilizers: The Cheap & Easy Way appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Amazing: Insects Solving World Hunger

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The total of human population at the beginning of 2016 is roughly around 7.6 billion. And if it’s one thing that’s characteristic for us, is the speed in which we’re depleting our resources; not only are we fast, but we’re constant as well. There’s plenty of us already, and in the near future, there are many things we’ll need to learn to do without. The world reserve of petrol won’t last more than 20, maybe 30 years before its completely depleted. But even more important, it’s finding an alternative for when the food runs out. You can live without petrol and other commodities, but you can’t live without food. The best solution at hand is to throw aside culinary “traditions”, toughen up and accept the fact that the insects solving world hunger. They are the best source of food for dark days! Whether you’re the survivor for a massive World War, scouting the remains of a destroyed society or you’ve been stranded in a hostile environment, you’ll still be surrounded by insects. Most insects are good for eating, just don’t go for the poisonous and venomous ones. It’s their high concentration of protein (can go even up to 75% protein), but also saturated fats (the good kind of fats), minerals and fibers that put them at the top of the list; about 70% of the world’s population is living of insects already, so how long until the rest of us join in? Even the UN launched and official recommendation which encourages insect consumption. Not only is insect consumption healthy, but insect farms would be far less costly and pretentious than any other type of animal. If I’ve got your attention, let’s see some of the best insects across North America that you can get your hands on if SHTF, or if you simply want to experiment.

ANTS (the Formicidae family)

There are plenty of ants to choose from. They’re widely spread and within reach all the time. Just take a bit of patience to scout around the place and you’ll find some sooner or later. Most of the ants you’ll come across are harmless. But if you come across red ants, means you stumbled across some fire ants. They’re bite is really painful, so be as cautious as possible. If we’re talking about an extreme survival case, you can simply reach in the anthill and grab the ants or even better, use a container. I’m sure that if you’ve been starving for a while, you won’t mind their vinegary taste or the fact that you ingurgitate some soil. But if you have the time, boiling is the way to go.

 

TERMINTES (the Termitoidae family)

Termites are colonial insects, just like ants, they can often be found in large number at ones and their diet consists mainly in eating wood (xylofagous diet). In many places around the world, they live in regular fortresses; termite mounds that are run by all sorts insects devised in social ranks: workers, soldiers, scouts and the queen. However, the mound type structures are no longer found in North America; only fossils are left. Finding termites is really easy, just look for any signs of decaying wood, tree stumps and most of all, damp dead wood.

 

 

CATERPILLARS

The caterpillar is not a genus of insect, but rather a transitional form for all sorts of butterflies and moths. Before reaching adult state, moths and butterflies are found in caterpillar form. They don’t have wings, are rather slow by nature (which means they’re easy to catch) and are full of all sorts of nutrients and beneficial substances: vitamin B, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron. Whether they’re hairy or not, they’re still a fully nutritious food source. Some reports I have come across suggest that some of the caterpillars you might come across are potentially toxic, but I have found nothing conclusive in this regard. But just to play it safe, I strongly advise you to stay away from the brightly colored ones. In nature, bright colors mean imminent danger.

 

CRICKETS / GRASSHOPPERS / LOCUSTS (the Orthoptera order)

The insects in this order are some of the most popular amongst people. And with good reason too. They’re everywhere, easy to catch and sometimes swarm in large numbers; they can be devastating to crops, so if you add humans to they’re natural predatory lists, means less damage they’ll be able to produce. Start eating them, before they’ll eat what you worked so hard for. Besides, they are very nutritious; they have a good overall taste, which is similar to peanuts. Frying them accentuates the flavor, and because they’re packed with protein, you can also dry them up and grind them into a fine powder, which you can store in a cool and dry environment.

 

 

Be warned, procuring insects is not as easy as it seems. You really need to know what you’ll be going against. If it’s small and it’s crawling, it’s good to eat. BUT if you see bright colors, stay away. Bright colors mean that the insect is probably poisonous or venomous, so move on and keep looking. You also must be aware of you “hunting ground”. You should gathering insects from urban areas or large crop fields, as these are very likely to have been sprayed with all sorts of insecticides, which can be very toxic.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Amazing: Insects Solving World Hunger appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

WINTER FUN!

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Do you like Winter?

Folks ask me often the same question since I’ve been here, “Do you like winter?” It may sound surprising but I do! I like the change of atmosphere, the crisp of the snow and the fresh air. I like the smell of wood burning from the woodstove. I consider myself blessed to be able to experience the four seasons of this beautiful country, Canada.

During my first year in Quebec, Mike & I lived in a country where we used to get a lot of snow. It was a beautiful place from the Lord. Back then I saw many wild animals that passed by our road and that was amazing!

During the winter time, we would suit up and go outside and have fun. Even the simple task of shovelling was fun & exercise at the same time. I think my favorite was sliding on a crazy carpet ending up on the frozen pond; that was great!

A few years later when the house was sold we moved to a new location and sure enough we still had to do outdoor stuff. Mike initiated me to Snowshoeing. I personally like it better than skating.

Yesterday was an amazing day, a full perfection of everything; thank you Lord. The sun was beautiful, not too cold. Perfect weather, not windy at all; it was a very mild winter day.

 

THINGS THAT WE ENJOY ABOUT WINTER

 

SNOWSHOEING & MAKING A TRAIL

snowshoeing

 Snowshoeingsnowshoeing

 

WINTER SCENERY, BIRDS SINGING, WATCH ANIMAL ACTIVITIES, RELAX & LISTEN TO THE RUNNING WATER FROM THE RIVER

Winter Scenery

hammockTarp Tipi

 

SETTING UP CAMP

Winter Camp Setup

 

TESTING SOME NEW GEARS

Condor Parang

Pocket Boy Saw Condor Parang

 

OUTDOOR COOKING AFTER A HARD DAY’S WORK :)

Winter Outdoor Cooking with BushcraftBartons  Winter Outdoor Cooking with BushcraftBartons

 

A NICE FIRE, RELAX & SOME PICTURE TAKING

Winter Fun with BushcraftBartons

 

I know that it’s WORK! But after doing it  you will be glad that you have done something in the forest and breath some fresh air, change your mind a little (refresh), have something to eat, play around with your gear and gadgets, and finish it with a good bonfire enjoying the good company of your friends or family.

It was a perfect beautiful day for Mike & I! I hope that you can enjoy the great outdoors & have fun even in the winter!

 

You may also like: Spending Time in the Woods

 

The Importance Of A Pocket Chainsaw For Surviving

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I am well aware of the fact that most of us that deal with prepping and take surviving in a SHTF situation seriously are familiar with the pocket chainsaw. Many of us have repeatedly used one, no doubt about that. And with good reason too. The motorized chainsaw is an essential tool to have around the house. It requires very little effort from your part when it comes to cutting down trees or chopping wood (mainly). The chainsaw comes in a lot of shapes and sizes and make the work as easy as possible; all it asks in return is fuel and occasional maintenance. But no matter how efficient it is in a day-to-day situation, it’s not very reliable when it comes down to a survival scenario. The fuel it requires will stop being a commodity and will become harder and harder to find; same goes for the oil and other parts that are required for maintenance. Fortunately, there’s an alternative available. It’s called the pocket saw, and it’s basically a chain similar to that of a chainsaw, but it has 2 handles attached at each end. This gadget will require a lot more effort from your part in cutting wood, as you’ll need to become the engine that drives the chain; but it’s the best option you got. And if some manual labor doesn’t scare you, it will be extremely efficient in a survival scenario, when you’ll need to cut wood for building a shelter, firewood or surpassing and obstacle that might be in your way.

The Chainmate pocket chainsaw

This particular pocket chainsaw is one of the simplest and easy to use models that are available on the market. Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s not efficient. It has a bi-directional carbon steel chain which is pretty resistant and comes in 3 sizes: the 24 inch version, a longer 36 inch version and the longest, the 48 inch version. Because the chain is made from carbon steel and the teeth are thinner than those of a regular pocket chainsaw, the product is overall lighter than its counterparts. Although the chain is not as polished and refined as what you get from its counterparts on the market, it will do its job. Just make sure you keep it lubricated at all times; spraying it with WD40 will do. The handles are simplistic, made up from a tough fiber. They’re not very refined either, but they’re strong and require very little to no maintenance at all. The down side is that they will become very uncomfortable on the hands after using them for 10 – 15 minutes, so wearing a pair of gloves and wrapping the handles in a soft cloth would be a good idea. Careful with the cloth wrapping though; it may cause the grip to break and you’d end up hurting yourself. The Chainmate pocket chainsaw should cost around $20 – $25 and as a bonus, you also get a pouch made from the same materials as the handles; it’s rough, but tough.

The Supreme Products pocket chainsaw

The pocket chainsaw put out by Supreme Products also has a bi-directional chain, but what makes it stand out is that the product is modular. The saw can be detached from the handle, and if stored in its box, it weighs only 4 ounces and it can easily be fitted safely inside any pocket. The chain is made of carbon steel that has been coated with an anti-rusting agent. The blade is 28 inches long and the teeth are placed every 1/4 of an inch. At each end of the saw you get a stainless steel hook, to which you can attach the plastic handles, which are more comfortable than the handles made out of fiber, especially when you’ll be using the saw for longer period of time. The purpose of making this chainsaw modular is that you can add extension if you want to rich high limbs; just add as much rope as you like in-between the hooks and the handle. It’s very reliable and sturdy, easy to carry and to assemble and because the blade cuts both ways, you can go through a 3-inch diameter limb in about 10 – 15 seconds. Getting one won’t cost you more than $21.

The SaberCut pocket chainsaw

The SaberCut is released by Ultimate Survival Technologies and it’s a very efficient and qualitative tool. The 24 inch blade is bidirectional, cutting both ways easily because it’s very flexible and durable. The saw weighs in at about 4.5 ounces. It’s one of the easiest-to-maintain pocket chainsaws I ever came across. The teeth are self cleaning and they can easily be sharpened with a standard 1/8 chainsaw sharpener. The handles are made from the same material as the pouch it comes with, which is pretty durable and strong enough. Although this particular saw is not modular, you can always add as much length as you want tying cord to the handles. Not only is the SaberCut efficient and trustworthy, but it’s also one of the cheapest pocket chainsaws you can find, as it costs no more than $11.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post The Importance Of A Pocket Chainsaw For Surviving appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario

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When finally SHTF and the whole world falls apart, surviving each day at a time will be the key issue, as I have stated so many times before. Apart from staying safe and getting the right resources as far and food and water goes, keeping healthy will be just as important. I’ve advised you time and time again on being vigilant and avoid accidents at all costs, as have I advised you on keeping the right supplies in your personal survival medical kit. But as far as medical supplies go, they’ll run out eventually. And vigilance just won’t be enough to stop accidents from happening entirely. When it comes down to it, you’ll need to improvise, and fast. No matter what type of accidents we’re talking about, be it a minor one (a bruise, a cut, bug bites etc.) or a more serious injury (burns, fractures etc.), a real important part of the treatment is avoiding infection. For such occasions you’ll need to have antiseptics in hand. They are substances (that come in liquid, powder or ointment form) and get applied locally to help prevent infection, sepsis (harmful bacteria and toxins) and even putrefaction. Medical kits usually have Betadine (aka. Povidone-iodine), which is one of the best medical products when it comes to fighting off infection. But if you don’t happen to have any, there is still plenty of substitutes you can you use. Let’s have a look at what they are.

1. Mouthwash

You might have run out of Betadine, but if you still have some mouthwash lying around, you should be set. If you have a mouthwash that is set on fighting plaque and gingivitis, it should be able to do the same with any sort of pathogens that tend to build up on an open wound. Most of the products in this category have substances like zinc chloride, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription) etc., that are nothing else but antiseptic agents. If it’s set to fight off germs in your mouth, it should do the same for cuts, bruises and flesh wounds.

2. Lemon juice

For those of you that have a high tolerance to pain, you can use lemon juice, or even better, lime juice to disinfect and clean open wounds. But be advised that the stinging sensation will be intense. Not only will lemon juice kill off potentially harmful bacterial agents, but it will also stops the bleeding. The juice is effective against pathogens thanks to its acidic properties that act like an alcohol-based disinfectant: it kills of germs, it cleans the wound and it dries up the area all in one swoop. If you can stand the pain, it’ll be worth it. But be advised, excessive use can damage healthy cells as well.

3. Garlic

Garlic is known to be one of the most potent natural antiseptics across many cultures throughout the world. But in order for it to work, the wound needs to have stopped bleeding. Once the bleeding stops, clean the afflicted area with water and gently dry it off with a clean piece of cloth. The garlic can be crushed and applied directly or you can make a concoction by adding red wine. Let it sit for 3 – 4 hours and apply to the wound. However, garlic can be damaging to the skin, so don’t leave it more than 25 minutes at a time.

4. Potatoes

I bet not many of you knew that potatoes have a natural ability of healing open wounds. Well, they do. And it’s all based on their ability to attract and draw out all sorts of infections. The first thing you’ll need to do is to shred a potato or two and spread them over a thin, clean cloth. Add this to the wound and let it sit for 5 hours at a time. When changing your potato bandage with a fresh one, you’ll need to clean the wound with some salt-water. Potatoes will keep the inflammation to a minimum and will keep pathogens at bay.

5. Chamomile

Chamomile is an ancient cure for so many ailments, that its notoriety has lasted through the ages. The plant’s dried flowers contain high levels of flavonoids and terpenoids that make it one of the most curative plants to have been discovered. If chamomile-based ointments or medicine isn’t available, you can easy get some tea bags or simply find fresh flowers, dry them and make them into tea. Once the tea is done, get a clean cloth and soak it in. Drain the excess liquid and apply directly on the wound; if you have chamomile tea bags, even better, as they’ll contain plant parts which will speed up the healing process even more.

6. Cayenne pepper

The Cayenne pepper works amazingly as open-wound treatment. Not only does it have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it also stops the bleeding in a heartbeat, as it makes the blood clot way fast than normal. The bleeding of a superficial wound should cease in about 15 seconds after the pepper was added; if the wound is more severe, drink the concoction made up of 8oz water + 1oz cayenne pepper daily. This will help you cause.

7. Pine sap + needles

The pine sap is considered as one of the most easily procured natural antiseptics there are. If you happen to have some pinesin you vicinity, getting some sap will be child’s play. Look on the body of the tree for lumpy formations. They or sap pockets witch you can easily pop or stick with your knife. Once the sap is out, simply take it and spread it over the wound. If you wish to strengthen the effect of the sap, you can grab some pine needles to snack on. They are edible and also have mild antiseptic properties.

8. Cactus bandages

This is the best option for all you desert-dwellers out there. The prickly pear cactus (Oputia sp.) has flat round pads, which have excellent antiseptic and astringent properties. Grab a pad and either split it in half or peel it. Place it directly over the wound, but assure yourself you have removed those pesky needles first. You can let it sit, even secure it with a gauze. The cactus will speed up the healing process.

Whether you’ll need to resort to such improvisations or not, is hard to tell. But if it ever comes down to it, at least you won’t have to endure a slow and painful death caused by infection. Nature is lending us a hand every here and there, just keep your eyes open.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post The Best Natural Antiseptics You Can Use In A Survival Scenario appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane

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The U.S. has had its fair share of hurricanes in these past decades. Hurricanes Sandy, Rita and Katrina have hit pretty hard. They took so many lives and the process and produced massive infrastructural damage. No matter how far we’re willing to go as far as preparations go, we will never be completely safe from nature’s wrath. But every precaution can be a small battle won and +1 when it comes to our chances to survive in case of a hurricane. In order to beat the storm and come out on top, we must understand what a hurricane actually is. Hurricanes are immense storms that cover great areas. Because the winds blow in a swirling motion, powerful air currents are created that can be strong enough to pull out trees out of the ground, lift cars and even lay whole cities to the ground. Wind speed is a major factor in considering how devastating the hurricane is going to be; according to wind speed, hurricanes fall into the following categories:

  • Category 1: winds reach speeds of 74 mph – 95 mph
  • Category 2: winds reach speeds of 96 mph – 110 mph
  • Category 3: winds reach speeds of 111 mph – 129 mph
  • Category 4: winds reach speeds of 130 mph – 156 mph
  • Category 5: winds reach speeds of speeds of over 157 mph

Hurricanes will most likely form over warm ocean surface, and they sometimes have the tendency of going towards land. When this happens, it also sends a wave formation (storm surge) towards land alongside heavy precipitation. These two combined can cause major flooding to urban or rural areas. Even though hurricanes cover large areas at a time, the intensity of the storm is not constant throughout the entire area, but it’s rather varied from zone to zone. Based on intensity, hurricanes are comprised of the following parts:

  • Zone 1: the eye of the hurricane is the portion in the middle of the stormy area (central zone); it’s the zone that’s least affected, where wind and precipitations are at their lowest
  • Zone 2: the eye wall is a circle of thunderstorms that swirl around the central zone (the eye); the wall is where storm activity is at its highest, with heavy precipitations and strong winds
  • Zone 3: rain bands stretch from the eye wall towards the outside; they’re a weaker reflection of the eye wall, comprised of storm clouds, precipitations and possibly tornadoes

 

Preparing for an incoming hurricane

As I’ve said before, there is nothing you can do that is 100% hurricane proof, but every measure of precaution you take might just be enough to save you or your property. First and foremost, my main advice is to consider of building your very own underground bunker or disaster-proof room somewhere in the vicinity of you home and have it filled with as many provisions as you can. Just be sure to consider flooding and the need for oxygen. If such a room would be too much trouble, you can also reinforce a room in the house (possibly the basement), turning it into a safe room and hope for the best. If you want to save as much of your property as possible and limit the damage, cover your windows with special, permanent storm shutters; if you can’t find any in your vicinity, just use some plywood instead. Roof straps will reduce the damage and maintain the structure of the house as whole as possible. Trimming your bushes, trees and shrubs around the house will make them less likely to fly off and damage or even kill somebody; the trimmer they are, the less “grabby” their surface will be when it comes in direct contact with the wind. Rain gutters should be unclogged, in order to fight off flooding.

What to do during the storm

If there’s a massive storm coming your way, you need to stay informed. Follow any sort of alerts and directions the authorities issue on the tv, radio or internet. Secure your house as best as you can by closing all the doors, even those inside the house. The less the air flows through, the safer you’ll be. Any sort of small object left in your shed or front lawn should be moved in the house. If they get picked up the storm, they could become serious projectiles that can do permanent damage or even kill. When the storm hits, turn off all the utilities and keep away from the phone as much as possible. Propane tanks should be switched off, as well as the refrigerator. If things get serious, go to your panic room or your provision room. Keep enough food and water supplies. You cars should be fully fueled, because if the opportunity should arise, you must be able to drive without stopping as far as you possibly can. Also keep cash on you; banking and ATM systems will most probably be shut down. If you’re eager to evacuate, take a moment and think things through; acting on impulse might cost you your life. Wait for things to settle down a bit and listen to the directives given by the local authorities.

Dealing with a hurricane is a stressful and life-threatening situation. Take all the necessary precautions you can in order to limit the damage, but remember that nothing’s more important than saving your life. You safety should come first, before everything else. So if you’re taken by surprise, flee for safety and don’t waste any time in securing your property.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post How To Prepare And Survive In Case Of A Hurricane appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Improvise A Fishing Rod

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Every serious fisherman knows the importance of owning the right fishing rod. Whether you’re fishing for sport or you’re simply trying to feed yourself, there’s no better way than doing it the old fashioned way. But in a SHTF situation (whether you’re lost in the wilderness or you’ve found yourself trapped in an end-of-days scenario) you might not have you trusted fishing rod on you. But you won’t necessarily need to. You’ll need nothing more than a knife; having a small tackle box with the right assortment of hooks and some spool of monofilament will make things easier. If you’re lucky enough to have these items on you, you’ll need to improvise the fishing pole only, which it’ll be more than enough to feed yourself in desperate times. If not, well, you’ll need to improvise the whole thing. The rest of the materials you can easily find in your surroundings. And here’s how to do it.

The pole

The first thing you’ll need to find is the pole; any 6 – 7 foot-long branch will do, as long as it’s no thicker than a human thumb. Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll have to break it off from the tree. Once this is achieved, you’ll need to break it again to the desired length. If it’s dry enough, you can snap it in half against your knee or against any hard surface; but if it’s not dry and it’s still rather flexible, you can try cutting it with the knife. Using dead branches is a bad idea because their durability is very low and break easily. You can test the tip by banding it to the point of snapping. If it snaps, fine; the more it does snap, the stronger the remaining pole gets. As soon as you got the pole to the desired length, use the knife to remove any remaining branches, leaves or shoots. Make it as smooth as possible in order to improve weight and handling.

 

The fishing line

If you happen to have some monofilament fishing like on you, your job gets much easier. If you don’t, sewing thread could get the job done as well. But in sewing thread isn’t an option either, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and look for thin green vines in ground cover or in the undergrowth found around various bushes. The greener the vine, the stronger it will be. If you find a vine that’s about 10 feet, look no further. Remove any tendrils by pulling carefully so you don’t damage the line. For safety, the line should be tied midway down the pole and wrapped as many times as possible towards the tip, where a simple overhand knot will suffice for holding it in place. This way, if the pole breaks, you can immediately catch the line with your hands.

The hooks and the bait

Some professional hooks will work extremely well, provided of course you brought some along. If not, you can always use paper clips, safety pins or soda can tabs. Another viable option is to carve your very own V-shaped hooks out of wood (green wood preferably). A one end you’ll need to carve a groove, in the hook-eye area. This will allow you to tie fishing line onto. As bait you can use pretty much any insect you can get your hands on. The easiest things to get are the earthworms, which can be found underground, under rocks, around moss and in other moist areas. Once you’ve baited the hook, you’re pretty much ready to go. From here on in it’s all about patience and skill.

When it comes to fishing is a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, fishing areas are very important. It’s absolutely necessary to procure the maximum amount of fish with as little resources as possible. So it’s not all about the gear that you have or that you’ve crafted. It’s just as important to know where, when and how to fish. If you’re fishing in stagnant waters, you’ll need to go after still pools. The stillness of the water will make the bait as visible as possible, thus increasing your chances of catching something fast. When it comes to running waters, the area behind exposed boulders would be the best location to catch anything, as fish have a tendency of gathering in such places. You might also want to consider bank fishing, as standing on the water’s edge can also be a very productive fishing method.

As you can see, improvising and entire fishing pole is a rather difficult task, but not impossible to achieve. As previously stated, having line and hooks on you will spare you a lot of trouble. But if not, you’ll just need to put some extra effort into it. Just follow all the steps and you’ll have your DIY fishing rod in no time.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post How To Improvise A Fishing Rod appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Solar Flares, Complex Sunspots Coming In | S0 News Dec.22.2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Dec 22, 2015

SpaceX Dominates! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T_Cm…

Book/Conference Videos
https://otf.selz.com

http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org
http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
http://www.MagneticReversal.org
http://www.ObservatoryProject.com
http://www.EarthChangesMedia.com

Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Today’s Featured Links:
Core Temp Paper: http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1…
Enceladus: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php…

Filed under: Climate, Earthquakes, Environment, Nature, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity, Weather

The Sun is Waking, Electric Events Continue | S0 News Dec.21.2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Dec 21, 2015

Observing the Frontier Conference Phoenix: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/otf

Book/Conference Videos
https://otf.selz.com

http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org
http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
http://www.MagneticReversal.org
http://www.ObservatoryProject.com
http://www.EarthChangesMedia.com

Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Today’s Featured Links:
Watch Space X Tonight: http://www.spacex.com/news/2015/12/11…
China Landslide: http://www.theguardian.com/world/vide…

Filed under: Climate, Earthquakes, Environment, Nature, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity, Weather

The Best Types Of Camouflage Gear For Survival Situations

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If you ever find yourself on the brink of existence, struggling for your very life (in your own home or in hostile territory), or you’re simply hunting for sport, your greatest asset you can bring to the table is the element of surprise. Not being detected depends a lot on you moving silently and cautiously, but you’ll need to make your presence as hard to detect as possible. Wearing the right type of camouflage gear for survival in the right settings can make you virtually impossible to spot, provided you don’t attract any unwanted attention to yourself. To my surprise, I’ve noticed that many preppers don’t know much about camouflage patterns, which could be very detrimental in a survival situation. If you’re hunting, you risk getting seen by the prey; it flees, and you remain hungry. But in the case of a combat / war / invasion scenario, wearing the wrong type of camo could get you captured, tortured and ultimately killed.  There are plenty of manufacturers that produce a lot of patterns, so there’s plenty of variety to be ha when choosing your gear; and this is some of the best gear the market has to offer.

 

Multicam

The MultiCam pattern is probably the least specialized camouflage pattern you’ll find. As most patterns tend to work specifically well in particular surrounding, the multicam is based on the “one size fits all” idea, meaning that it was designed to keep you out of sight in most (if not all) situations and environments. The design is similar to classic camouflage models, but it will do well in many settings and scenarios; it’s hard to detect even in nightvision mode. Check out some multicam gear here.

 

 

Realtree XTRA

Realtree XTRA is one of the most versatile camouflage patterns ever produced. The pattern itself combines the images of various natural elements (tree trunks, tree branches, vines, leaves etc.) in order to create a very complex final result; the 3D effect the Realtree XTRA creates is amazing and it works in a lot of natural surroundings and it can fool all the eyes that are out scouting for you, be it man or animal. Get it here.

 

Realtree MAX-5

This type of camo gear is excellent for those that find themselves for some reason or another (whether hunting water fowls or escaping some sort of search party) mash-like zone, mud flats, prairies or agricultural fields. The camo pattern itself is very efficient in these types of surroundings, creating a great deal of depth that breaks the outline and makes you virtually part of the scenario. If you want to find out more about it or if you want to buy your very own MAX-5, try here.

 

 

Vertigo Grey

The Vertigo Grey camo pattern is undoubtedly the way to go for those of you that hunt or seek sanctuary in elevated blinds. Your whole silhouette will fade in the natural surroundings, as the pattern that consists of colors that mimic the sky, branches and leaves can render virtually invisible to any animal that man that happens to pass by. Stand perfectly still and quiet, and whoever is out to get you won’t even notice you’re there. If it’s the right stuff for you, take a look here.

 

Concealment Open Country (by OptiFade)

The Concealment Open Country camouflage pattern is done by OptiFade but it was the brainchild of W. L. Gore, who had a lot of money on developing a camo pattern based on scientific studies of the animal vision (especially deer). Even if the animal detects movement and sees you, it won’t recognize you as a direct threat for a while, so it gives you a lot of time to react. It’s one of the most efficient lines of clothing for hunters, especially for those that hunt in mountainous areas. If you wish to purchase this type of gear, simply click here.

 

 

Seclusion 3D

This is one of the most intriguing, complex and efficient patterns ever to be created. Cabela’s Seclusion 3D consistsof a multitude of shapes, sizes and various degrees of contrast and focus. Thanks to its complexity, it doesn’t project a two-dimensional scene, but rather a very realistic illusion of depth that will make you very invisible even to the keenest eyes. If you won’t settle for anything but the best, go here.

 

Seclusion 3D Winter

This particular camo pattern is very unconventional for snow / winter camo gear, and its strength lies in its uniqueness. It has nothing to do with the ordinary winter camo style (all white or white combined with various shades of grey), but the image it produces is of rather high photographic quality. The design itself consists in mimicking trees and branches; the design is so effective, that in winter conditions it can break the outline and it renders you immediately invisible. Get your very own realistic snow camo here.

 

The first thing you should keep in mind when buying camo gear is that most camo patterns are specialized for certain surroundings. Plan ahead and decide on what’s the right type of camo gear for you, based on your activities and surroundings. And never think that camo gear is the only thing you’ll need to become totally invisible. It depends a lot on the way you act as well. Be vigilant, cautious and stealthy in a hunting or SHTF situation and don’t move more than you absolutely have to.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post The Best Types Of Camouflage Gear For Survival Situations appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

5 Seemingly Harmless Animals You Should Avoid in Wilderness

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Nature is very diverse. And we all know (roughly) the dangers that lurk in the wild, especially when it comes to wild animals. We all have the common knowledge and common sense to stay away from big fangs, sharp claws or insects with stingers. It’s as clear as day that an encounter with a creature that posses such tools will result in a harmful or even fatal outcome. But nature goes beyond of what the eye can see and some animals you should avoid, even though apparently harmless, can still deliver a world of hurt if we’re naive enough to get in their way. As an adaptation to survival, many animals use the element of surprise as a very efficient tool. Certain self-defense mechanism will not be evident, but are still present. Other animals may simply be disease carriers or territorial in nature, and if you’re not aware of their behavioral patterns, you’re in for a nasty and painful experience. Let’s have a look at some of the animals that are apparently harmless, but actually dangerous.

 

The swan (Cygnus sp.)

The sawn is a gentle creature that not many of us would consider dangerous under any circumstances. But they’d be dead wrong. Most nesting birds, like the swan, have a very acute parental instinct, meaning that if they feel that they’re nesting ground is danger they’ll fight off the attacker. Most nesting birds will fight only up to a point; if they fill they’re losing the fight or that the attacker is simply too strong to take on, they’ll flee and leave the nest and eggs to chance. But things differ in the swan’s case. The swan is relentless in defending its nest and territory and will keep going until either the attacker or the swan itself is dead. It will attack viciously: it can scratch, bite and poke and if the attacker is a push over, and angry sawn will even try and drown its opponent if they find themselves near water. The bird itself can even grow as heavy as 30lbs, so taking on a defensive mother swan it’s not a thing you’ll want to do.

 

The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus)

Experts consider dolphins to be the second most intelligent creatures on the face of the Earth, after humans. And rightly so: an adult dolphin has the intelligence of an average 4 year old human. Not only that, but their societies are some of the most evolved on the planet. They are fast learners, work together for common goals, communicate efficiently and even have a sense of humor, as studies have shown that dolphins will regularly play jokes on each other or even on people. But they’re intelligence comes with a price, as they tend to have a larger-than-normal tendency toward violence. They’ll hurt or maim for no apparent reason; cases have been recorded when dolphins kill just so that they get to play with the carcass of they’re victim. They have a higher than average sexual driver and will attack human males for territorial reasons.
Although friendly most of the times, dolphins tend to be unpredictable and should be avoided unless you’re in the presence of trained professionals.

 

The slow loris (Nycticebus sp.)

The slow loris is a tiny, fury mammal, with big eyes and it’s extremely shy by nature. It makes a great pet because its cuteness is undisputable. But despite being one of the cuddliest animals in the world, it’s also one of the most poisonous. They have an active gland inside the elbows that produces a very powerful toxin. They use this toxin mostly to smear their young, which makes them less likely to be attacked and eaten by predators. The toxin itself, if ingurgitated, produces terrible stomach aches and even death. If attacked, they’ll suck the contents of the gland into their mouth and bite the attackers. This way, the toxin gets injected into the attacker’s bloodstream. If there’s an allergic reaction involved, the bite victim can die in a matter of hours if the left untreated. So think twice before making a move towards a slow loris; it might be the last thing you do.

 

The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibious)

This big and gentle herbivore is known as one of the biggest mud lovers on the face of the Earth. Because they live in arid places, where temperatures rise intensely, they’re beast means of cooling themselves is to roll around in the mud or muddy waters. Although they’re not violent in nature, they tend to get very territorial and will stop at nothing in protecting they’re mud ponds or females and young. Don’t let they’re funny looks throw you off. Despite their heavy structure, they can run to speeds of up to 20 mph and have a bit of 6,000 lbs of pressure, which is more than enough to snap a human in half. If you find yourself in their presence, thread carefully. You do not want to find yourself in the crosshairs of an angry hippo.

 

The chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

The common chimpanzee has been proven to be the closest relative modern man still has in the animal kingdom. There are many similarities between us and our not-so-distant cousins, like opposable thumbs, facial expressions, cerebral activity and many more. They mostly live in small societies or groups (rarely solitary) and they tend to often manifest violent behavior for one reason or another. They’ll attack each other for dominance, territorial feuds or simply if they don’t like someone or something. Their violent nature can’t be completely overridden by training, as there have been many documented cases in which trained chimps have viciously attacked and maimed humans.

It’s plain to see that nature is not meant to be cute. Nature is primarily meant to be persistent. No matter how cute an animal might seem to you, don’t throw yourself directly at it, unless you know the species you’re engaging and you’re absolutely sure that nothing bad can happen. If you’re planning a trip of some sort in a wild location, educate yourself on the animals in the region so to have an idea of what you’ll have to face along the way.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post 5 Seemingly Harmless Animals You Should Avoid in Wilderness appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes

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Owning a pair of binoculars for survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario is not only meant to make every day life easier for you, but it could also save your life. Most binoculars are very precise and will let you spot from afar all sorts of dangers that might be coming your way, leaving you with enough time to react. It could also be used for hunting (spotting wild game), guarding your property or simply scouting new territory. So no matter the scenario, binoculars would be always welcome. A good pair of binoculars (and a bit more expensive one) will work fine even in low light or moon light. There are plenty of companies on the market that have specialized in making quality products and are well-known for it, like Olympus, Pentax, Steiner, Brunton, Carson, Zeiss, Leica, Nikon and more. There are plenty of counterfeit products (coming mostly from China) that cost far less but are worth less than the plastic they’re made up from, so stay away from such devices.

To fully understand the importance of such a device we must comprehend what it is and how it works. There various types of binoculars for survival on the market and they come in a great variation of shape and size, but in principle they are all the same:  they’re comprised of two telescopes that are linked together by an adjustable mechanism. The most important factor you have to consider when buying your own binoculars is a sequence similar to, for example, 9×35. These numbers are giving you a lot of information on the capacity of the product, as the number before X (9 in this case) is the magnification factor. A 9X binoculars means that the image will appear to be 9 times closer than it actually is. The number following X (35 in our case) is a specification of the front lens, which is responsible for the light intake capacity. The greater the light intake capacity, the clearer the image is going to be.  So the bigger the number following X is, the more suited the binocular will be for lower light conditions. The RBI (the relative brightness index) is responsible for image brightness. It’s determined by a simple mathematical equation. First we need to figure out the exit pupil in our case, for the 9X35 mode we used as an example. The exit pupil is 35 / 9 = 4 (roughly). The RBI is the square of the exit pupil: 4 x 4 = 16. It’s commonly known that the best binoculars for low lighting conditions are those that hold an RBI bigger than 25, so our example wouldn’t do so well outside proper lighting conditions.

Lens coatings are responsible for light transmission; they’re purposes is to prevent hazardous light reflection and to deliver a clear and focused image. There’s single coating, or a single layer of antireflective coating (Coated), the whole lens to lens surface is coated (Fully Coated), some surfaces have multiple layers of coating (Multi-Coated) and last but not least, all surfaces are covered in multiple antireflective coating layers (Fully Multi-Coated).  Now that we covered the basics, let’s see some of the best binoculars for survival scenario.

 

The Olympus Outback 10×21 RC 1

This particular model by Olympus is one of the best binoculars you can find if you consider the quality / price ratio. It’s only about $125, and it’s not much if you consider its capabilities. Its field performance is simply outstanding, as it can produce superior imagines to those of binoculars that are twice as big or pricy. It has great sharpness and definition thanks to its high quality roof prism, which is made out of a very high quality optical glass. But like most 10x devices, it requires a steady hand for maximum efficiency, because it also magnifies movement. If you’re interested in buying or finding out more, you can click here.

The Carson Raven RV-826

The Raven RV-826 is real bargain and possibly the best deal for budget preppers. It’s an 8×26 binocular that despite its tiny size, (4.5 x 4.25 inches and 10oz) it delivers quite a clear and steady image. It’s perfect for hikers who simply want to observe their distant surrounding or for people that are out nature watching. It will allow a steady and focused image without making your presence known to the animals you’re watching. These tiny binoculars are really tough and resistant; they come with a waterproof housing that is just impenetrable. And as a bonus, you also get a microfiber cloth for lens cleaning. If the Raven RV-826 is the right tool for you, know that it’s no more expensive than $79 and that you can find it here.

The Brunton Eterna Compact 10×25

The Eterna Compact 10×25 by Brunto is worth mentioning because of its image clarity and focus despite its tiny frame. Despite its small carcass, it’s pretty heavy, weighing in at 1lb 1oz. The excessive weight seems to justify if you consider the toughnes of the Eterna Compact 10×25. It has neoprene lens covers that are easily removed (even if you’re wearing gloves), it has a padded neck strap and a very efficient and functional focusing dial. What sets it apart from regular, cheaper binoculars is the adjustable diopter setting for each eye that allows precision focusing for maximum clarity. It’s not a cheap device (it costs about $360), but it’s precise, well built and durable. Those that are interested, click here.

There are many options, and the prices vary from tens to hundreds of dollars. What you ultimately buy is entirely up to you. Just know that for survival purposes you don’t need the latest and greatest, so you don’t have to necessarily spend a lot of money. You can find good binoculars even on a tight budget that, if need be, we’ll undoubtedly provide you with an advantage in a SHTF scenario.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post Best Binoculars For Survival Purposes appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

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We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

 

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation

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Those of you out there who have done hiking before or any sort of expedition, be it on moderate or rough climates and settings, will no doubt understand why having the right shoes in a TEOTWAWKI situation could mean the very difference between life and death. If you’ll find yourself obligated to travel a lot and carry heavy stuff with you, you’ll need to have the right provisions and gear for the job; and the right pair of shoes or boots is no exception. When it comes to survival footwear, wearing the right pair of shoes or boots will spare you a lot of trouble. There is no universality in this case, there is no one pair of shoes or boots for all scenarios and settings, but rather specialized products that will suit the wearer’s needs based on terrain, weather and distance. When choosing yours, looks will be the last thing to consider. You’ll have to take into consideration insulation, durability, shoe size (make sure you get the right size or walking in the wrong size shoes will take itstoll very soon), the type of socks you’ll be wearing (normal or hiking socks), the terrain and weather conditions you’ll need the shoes or boots for and ultimately the fact the sturdy footwear will need to be broken in. They might not feel comfortable at first, but in time, you’ll get used to them. Price is also an important issue, especially for tight budget preppers like me, who never feel like spending more than they absolutely have to. There many products available on the market and the prices vary a lot. But know that “expensive” is not necessarily equivalent with “best” when it comes to survival footwear, so you won’t have to sell your soul just to afford a pair of trail shoes or boots.

 

Hiking boots

Hiking boots are the right shoes bring along for planed trips, especially if you’re planning on staying a bit longer outdoors; they work extremely well and will be very comfortable if you’re dealing with moderately rough terrain. They should be well built, fairly insulated and if you’ll be carrying some weight, they’ll be the best option you have. The sturdier the boot is, the more resistant it will be in the field. The taller boots are usually more durable and will offer better ankle protection. The best ones are partially waterproof and will be as comfortable as possible even after long walks on rough terrain. The Durand Mid WP is what I’ve been using lately and it’s probably the best pair I’ve had so far: it’s waterproof, breathable and it has an integrated heel cushion and midsole for better comfort.

 

Heavy duty hiking boots

This particular type of hiking boots takes the hiking game to a whole new level. They’re the best option for those who spend more time on the go then they do in their homes. They’re generally used for cross-country backpacking, be it on normal or very rough terrains. They might not be as light as regular hiking boots, but they’re the better option, as they’re tougher and better for people that are carrying heavy loads throughout rough terrains and settings. Choosing a pair of heavy duty hiking boots will require a great deal of attention from your part. These types of boots don’t necessarily feel comfortable at first, you’ll need to break them in first. So try them on carefully before purchasing and analyze whether they’re worth the money or not. The most serious stores have small areas that will simulate the boots performance on various terrains. The Asolo backpacking boots, with Gore-Tex inserts and Vibram outsoles are some of the best heavy duty hiking boots on the market; they’re pretty light too, as they weigh less than 2lbs.

 

Mountaineering boots

They’re the epitome of survival footwear, and  the first clear sign you get is in the price, as even the cheapest pair of mountaineering boots will cost no less than a couple of hundred bucks. As the name clearly shows, they’re suited for hiking in extreme and rough alpine terrain, at high attitudes and low temperatures.

They’re built to be heavy and rigid, but with good reason. Even the standard models have very stiff soles and shanks (in order to provide maximum protection to your feet and ankles), a multi-layered build comprised of rigid shanks for stability and protection, an insulating inner lining and a waterproof lining. The soles are very thick and rigid, built for maximum grip even on slippery surfaces. The Nepal Evo, by La Sportiva, is everything I just mentioned and more, with durable leather and metal lace loops and with an impressive overall built that will make it suitable for even the roughest conditions.

 

If what we’ve been looking at so far is a bit much for you, worry not. If you’re nothing more than an amateur hiker that goes on light hikes only, you can always buy a simple pair of regular hiking shoes. These are nothing more than improved sport shoes that will do well on regular strolls in the wild.

Unless you’re facing rough terrain on bad weather, you’ll have nothing to worry about. But whether you’re considering buying the simplest pair of hiking shoes or a state-of-the-art mountaineering boots, always try them on before buying. Unlike regular pairs of shoes, hiking footwear will require some wearing arround the house before you’ll get completely used to them.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

The post Survival Footwear : Choosing The Right Shoes For The Right Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Survival Tents: DIY Shelters For Critical Situations

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Whether you’re simply having a camping a trip or you’ve found yourself fighting for your life in a post apocalyptic scenario, you’ll need to have a tent with you in order to make your situation just a bit more bearable. If it’s a trip in the local surroundings or you’re exploring uncharted territory due to some sort of unfortunate event that forced you to leave everything behind, it doesn’t matter that much. As long as you’ve packed the right tent before setting off, you’ll have a proper shelter that will offer your insulation and protection. Those of you that aren’t that knowledgeable in the area, let me tell you that there is a great variety of products to choose from. There is basically a tent for every hostile situation that you can think of: tents for low temperatures, tents for flood situations, above ground tents (that will keep you safe from ground predators, etc.), simple hiking tents and more.

Upon purchasing your very own tent, there are many things to consider apart from the price. You should consider first of all the type of situation you are trying to counter (cold climates, high temperatures, wild animals, excessive precipitations etc.), and once you have this figured out, you can start looking into the size of the tent, the material it’s made up of, the price etc.  I’ll show you some of the most affordable and versatile tents on the market.

 

The Trango 3.1

The Trango 3.1 is a semi-professional product from Mountain Hard Wear, built especially for those who take wilderness adventures really seriously. It costs about $559. It’s pretty sturdy as a tent and it packed form it weighs about 11lbs 4oz. It’s roomy enough for 3 people and it was built to withstand much of what nature can throw at him: it has welded guy clip anchors, welded corners and it’s waterproof and watertight. The DAC Featherlight NSL poles used by these tents are extremely resistant despite they’re light weight, and make for a great foundation. The structure itself is more intricate than what you’d expect; it has a vestibule in which you can change you wet dirty and wet clothes before entering the main, warmer chamber of the tent. It does way a bit much and it may become strenuous to carry it over long distances, but it makes up for it in quality and toughness. Be it cold, windy, rainy or hot, this tent won’t let you down.

 

 

The Tentsile Stingray 3-Person Hanging Tent

Well, the product name says it all: this is less of a tent and more of a tree house, all for the price of $675. The idea is that you
can suspend this tent from trees and have a hammock-type, covered structure, large and strong enough to shelter 3 people. The ratchet buckles and straps are about 19.5ft long and the manufacturer assures us that they can withstand about 2.5 tons of weight. So unless you’re planning to park your car inside, you have nothing to worry about. The floor of the tent is made up of a certain 240D composite that is wide enough for 3 people to sleep comfortably. The whole surface of the tent is coated in 190T PU polyester rain fly, which not only makes it completely waterproof, but also resistant to all sort if insect stings or bites. The rain fly can be extended down to ground level, making a rainproof vestibule for your gear. Once the tent is set up, you can gain access through 2 doors. A side door is available, but if you’re too high from the ground, you can also use the center floor hatch. This tent is perfect for survival scenarios which involve predatory ground animals. Not only will you be safe, but the experience of camping in such a tent is unique.

 

The Sundome 2-Person Tent     

This is a fairly simple tent released by Coleman, which weighs in at about 8lbs. It costs $64 and it’s the optimum choice for serious campers. If camping is your lifestyle, look no further than the the Sundome 2-Person Tent. It’s a one door tent and it can easily accommodate 2 people. The tent is pretty stable even in tougher weather conditions thanks to its 2-pole system; it also is very easy to set up, as an untrained camper can put it together in no more than 20 minutes.  The outer coating, the material on the outside of the tent wall (aka. the outer fly) is waterproof, so precipitations won’t bother you much. But keep in mind, although it’s a perfect camping tent, it’s not all that great when it comes to expeditions to remote and extreme areas; using it as a survival tent will not be a good idea. It’s not well ventilated, and this may cause dampness on the inside as a result of moisture buildup. I’ve been using this tent myself for a while now, and as an occasional camper myself, I think this is the best camping tent when it comes to quality / price ratio.

Camping for fun or survival requires some education in the matter and should be done properly. Whether you’re just a casual camper, an avid one or you find yourself in need of shelter in order to survive the harshness of the wild, you should always be prepared and leave nothing to chance. DO serious research in the matter and you’ll find one or several tents to suit your needs.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

 

 

The post Survival Tents: DIY Shelters For Critical Situations appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

NASA Study Reveals Carbon Dioxide Emissions Make Trees Grow Faster – The Key To Reforestation And Food Production?

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Climate change

By Jonathan Benson – Natural News

(NaturalNews) As advanced as modern science professes to be, it has taken a new study to reiterate what practically every child learns in kindergarten — that plant life uptakes carbon dioxide as food, releasing oxygen for animals and humans to breathe. And this process, known simply as photosynthesis, helps balance atmospheric ratios of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and other gases in order to maintain a livable planet.

In terms of climate change, this means that trees and other plant life thrive from the carbon released into the atmosphere, and that man-made “global warming” may not be as big of a threat as is often claimed. Rather than portend to undo life on this planet, atmospheric carbon is actually helping to restore areas of dense flora such as tropical rainforests, which absorb some 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to the Daily Mail.

Dr. David Schimel from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory found in a recent study that, contrary to popular ignorance, carbon dioxide isn’t necessarily destroying the planet as we’ve all been told. Any carbon surpluses resulting from natural warming or cooling cycles are actually helping improve biodiversity in many of the world’s most remote ecosystems, including in the great rainforests of South America.

Continue reading at Natural News: NASA Study Reveals Carbon Dioxide Emissions Make Trees Grow Faster – The Key To Reforestation And Food Production?

Filed under: Climate, Environment, Nature

8 Overlooked Survival Skills That Kept The Native Americans Alive

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8 Overlooked Survival Skills That Kept The Native Americans Alive

I have a lot of respect for Native Americans — those who populated this land before the first European white man set foot on these shores.

History rarely mentions it, but countless thousands of those Indians were killed by disease and carried in the boats of those early traders. But before that, the American Indian had a thriving culture, in tune with nature and appreciative of the beauty around them.

Of all the cultures referred to as “primitive” by supposedly civilized society, this is the culture we know the most about. Yet at the same time, we know very little about them. Sadly, history and Hollywood has not treated the Native Americans fairly, portraying them as a barbaric culture, mostly responsible for attacking white settlers and committing atrocities on them.

There are probably countless things about survival that we can learn from the American Indians. Here are several:

1. Nature Has Everything You Need

The Indians had to get everything they needed from nature, and they did. Whether it was flint to start a fire or animal skins to make clothes, they found everything they needed in the world around them. Few of us would be able to survive if we were just dumped in the wilderness with nothing. But for the Indians, that was just everyday life.

It is important to note here that the Indians were satisfied with what nature provided. While many Indian cultures used gold and silver, they were not seeking to amass wealth to themselves. They were satisfied with the lives they had, and not wanting anything more.

2. Fathers, Teach Your Children

Survival was an all-encompassing task for the Indian. One of a father’s responsibilities was to teach his sons how to survive. There wasn’t a school to which they could send their children; they had to teach them on their own. If a father was negligent in teaching his son, the son would most likely die.

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The number of skills the average American Indian needed to learn was actually rather extensive. Since they had no trade centers as we know the term (although they did have trade), they had to make everything they needed. An Indian who needed a canoe had to know how to build it himself. Same for his bow, his arrows and his knife.

8 Overlooked Survival Skills That Kept The Native Americans Alive

Image source: Pixabay.com

If you and I don’t teach our children the survival skills we are learning, we are preparing them for failure. You won’t be there forever to protect them. At some point in time, they will have to make it on their own. That will be the test of whether you’ve trained them well or not.

3. Live in Harmony with Nature

If there were ever a people who lived in harmony with their surroundings, it was the American Indian. They took what they needed from nature, but did so without destroying nature. They learned the sounds and movements of the animals and could read their signs. More than anything, they studied everything around them.

There were always tribes which were friendly to the white man. We all know the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant and cultivate. Had it not been for the knowledge of the Indians, and their understanding of nature, the United States would have died aborning. Their knowledge of nature was unsurpassed and became the foundation of many learned works, written by scholars who learned from them.

4. Waste Not

When American Indians killed an animal, they used every bit of it they could. They were not wasteful. You never saw an Indian village with a garbage dump beside it. Everything had its use and the Indians were amazingly clever in finding those uses. Even internal organs from the animals could be used, making containers out of them to carry water or to store medical herbs.

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The Indians also understood that what they had today may not be there tomorrow. When they had food to eat, they ate well, banking up extra for the time when they would not have food. Winters were hard on them, but they made do mostly by preserving food in the summer and fall.

We see this in the westward expansion as well. The early pioneers didn’t throw anything away. An old shirt which couldn’t be repaired anymore became a rag. A burlap sack became a towel. People brought their baskets to the General Store to go shopping and they used everything they had. The waste in our modern society, especially the ideas of disposable items and planned obsolescence, simply add to our ultimate downfall.

5. Make it Yourself

Probably one of the worst things that white men did to the Indian was to teach him to be dependent on manufactured goods. While those goods were in many ways superior to what the Indians had, that dependence played a part in their ultimate downfall.

Indians made what they needed; they didn’t buy it or trade for it. If a man needed a knife, he would make one. If he needed a teepee, he had to kill enough animals to have the skins. In a culture where everything is handmade out of materials gleaned from nature, one can survive alone, without the huge infrastructure that we depend on today. We would be better off at surviving if we were able to do more for ourselves, rather than depending on others.

6. Be Aware

The Indians may have been the inventors of situational awareness. They knew when enemies were about by the reactions of the birds and squirrels. They could tell when a storm was coming. Indians would see things in the world around them that you and I would pass over, without a moment’s notice.

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Living in harmony with nature requires knowing her moods and truly seeing what is happening around you. Survival makes this a requirement. Often, the only difference between the living and the dead is who sees who first. This is true for animals and it is true for humans, too.

7. Blend In

8 Overlooked Survival Skills That Kept The Native Americans Alive

Image source: Pixabay.com

The Apache Indians were masters of guerrilla warfare. Stories have been told of Apaches who crept up on a man dozing, holding the reigns of his horse, and stealing the horse, while leaving him sitting there sleeping. How could they do this? By blending in with their surroundings and moving slowly.

The whole idea of camouflage is one that came naturally to the Indian. Their skin color and attire lent itself to hiding in the environment. They knew how to move without attracting attention and had the patience to move slow enough so as not to catch the eye.

Blending in helps us to avoid attracting attention. In a survival situation, that can be invaluable. Just avoiding being seen by others can greatly increase chances for survival. That means learning how to look like the environment around you, as well as moving as part of that environment.

8. Learn the Medicinal Value of Plants

The only medicine that the Indians had was the plants around them. While they had their medicine men who were experts in using those plants, most Indians had at least some rudimentary knowledge of herbal medicine. After all, they would be observing everything the medicine man did.

Modern medicine is an evolution of herbal medicine. In the past, doctors gathered herbs and plants which they used as medicines. Many of today’s modern medicines are merely artificial copies of things found in nature. Many of the medicines we need are there waiting for us. We just need to learn which plants to use and how to prepare them for treating our needs.

What would you add to this list? Share your thoughts on the Native Americans in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life

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Let’s assume for a moment that you’re out hiking or exploring. Or even a worst case scenario: you’ve been stranded due to an unfortunate accident or event into an unknown place, far from civilization. Even if you’re a bit familiar to the wilderness or have a clue where you are, it’s still bad; not knowing is even worse. The first reasonable thing to do is to try and locate where you are and start moving towards a safe zone. Many of you will consider the modern approach to navigation, based on a GPS system. But what if your electronic device (phone, tablet, GPS device) gets damaged or it simply runs out of battery? You should be fine as long as you remembered to pack a survival navigation tools, a map and a compass as a backup. Every serious prepper should have a compass in his private survival kit. There’s a great variety of compasses on the market, to suit the needs of even the keenest explorers. The beginners or light travelers could always get a basic compass, one that’s cheap, works great but it doesn’t have some bonus features, such as a mirror or a declination adjustment etc. For the more serious hikers and preppers, there are more advanced compasses, with many additional features (magnifier, mirror etc.) that make navigation easier and are perfect for those who wonder regularly into unknown territory. It all comes down to choosing the one that works best for you. Let’s have a look at what’s available on the market.

 

How a compass works

A compass has a tiny plastic bubble filled with liquid, a damping fluid, which is mostly oil based and treated with antifreeze so the compass can work even in low-temperature environments. Its role is not only to protect the pointer needle from outside interference, but also to prevent the needle from excessive jiggling and trembling caused by the magnetic forces of the earth. If you find yourself in a cold environment or at high altitudes, the liquid will contract creating a bubble inside the plastic casing, but this won’t affect accuracy. When you return to normal conditions, the air bubble will disappear.

The magnetized needle encased in the plastic liquid-filled transparent bubble is the one that’s responsible for telling directions. It has 2 pointy sides, one of which is strongly attuned to the earth’s strongest magnetic field, generated by the magnetic North Pole. So at any point, this needle (which is normally red) will point north. However, the magnetic north is different from the geographic north. The magnetic north is situated in a chain of islands in the Canadian Arctic. So you must compensate and calculate the differences when traveling by map and compass.

There are also electronic compasses available on the market, which are easier to read thanks to their displays. But they’re less reliable than traditional ones for the same reasons every other battery operated GPS device is: they’re fragile and are dependent on an external energy source that will run out soon or later.

Compasses to consider

The Suunto A-10 field compass is a very simple and efficient compass that works great.  It’s lightweight, made from a scratch-resistant and shock-absorbing transparent material and it has an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold and handle or to fit in a small pocket; it also comes equipped with a detachable snap lock. It supports a two-zone reading (covering the entire north hemisphere) for an extra accurate reading, which can be done in both inches and centimeters. The needled is not flooded in liquid, but this doesn’t seem to affect the overall performance of this compass in any way.

 

The Cammenga Phosphorescent Clam Pack Lensatic Compass is a very established name in the field. It’s a very sturdy field compass that is completely waterproof and it’s has a very tough aluminum frame. You can carry it tied to your wrist, clipped securely to your belt or just have it sit in its own carrying pouch. It weighs about 8 ounces and the dial includes both degrees and miles. It has phosphorescent paint to make for easy readings at night and for those who don’t mind spending twice the money, there is also a tritium version available. This tiny navigation gadget has been approved by the DoD, so that tells us a lot about its quality and efficiency.

 

The Suunto KB-14 360R Pro Compass it’s absolutely state of the art as far as accuracy goes. It’s a professional compass, which means great investments have been made and excellent materials went in the making of this particular model. It’s extremely accurate, down to a third of a degree or 0.5 degrees when it comes to graduated intervals. The shell is made from a durable anodized light alloy, it has superior damping fluid (which stay consistent even in extreme conditions) and a nylon pouch for protection. This model is highly used by professional cartographers, surveyors and foresters. It’d be the perfect compass if it had the declination correction feature; luckily this feature is available on the improved (and more expensive) KB-14D model.

There are still plenty of models out there for you to check out and chose from. But make no mistake about it: we’re far from that technical breakthrough, when electronics can replace classical gadgets in a survival scenario. I’m not saying that the GPS systems are completely useless, far from it. But when the computer systems fail, you’ll need to revert to a simpler way if you want to survive.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Survival Navigation Tools: A Compass Will Save Your Life appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation

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Believe it or not, no serious prepper should go without one of the best radios in his personal survival kit. And this is because when modern society fails and crumbles (and our means of communications will be amongst the first to go) or if you simply find yourself stranded, you’ll need to keep in touch with the latest news. Information will be vital for your very existence in such a scenario, and you very own survival radio device will get the job done. So whether hostile armed forces are marching in towards your location or whether a natural disaster is heading your way, you’ll hear it all and have enough time to take whatever precautions are necessary. Choosing a radio for a SHTF situation won’t be as easy as choosing one for everyday life.

These tiny gadgets can be very complex, but their complexity is a plus if anything. You can have radios that are set to pick up certain wavelengths that transmit the status of natural disasters. Some support multiple power sources, some can charge your small appliances (phones, etc.) and others have a crank system that will allow them to work when there is no energy left. Here are some of the best choices that are available on the market.

The American Red Cross FRX3 is a radio made to work indefinitely, despite the fact that there might be no electrical power running through the plugs anymore. Of course, it does have the capability to stay plugged in, but when the plugs fail to deliver, you can use the crank shaft to power up its internal NiMH battery. And if your hand gets tired, you can just point it towards a strong enough light source and the solar panel will do the rest. It’s not just a radio, it’s an intricate device that gets AM / FM bands, all the NOAA (National Weather Service) bands, has a flashlight attached and a USB port to charge up other devices. If you’re the type of person that often losses things, you’ll be happy to know that the Red Cross FRX3 is very hard to misplace, as it has a glow-in-the-dark locator and a flashing red beacon.

American Red Cross FRX3

The Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager is a radio that is very light, well built and comes with many gadgets that can prove very useful in all sorts of situations. It has many choices when it comes to power sources (AC, Battery, computer, hand crank and solar), ensuring its autonomy in all sorts of environments. The solar panel is situated at the top of the device and it’s adjustable at a 180° angle. This feature is very convenient, as you won’t have to turn the whole device towards light sources. But its strongest feature by far is the array of lightning options you get with this radio device: a flashlight, a red strobe and if these weren’t enough, it also has 5 LEDs for reading light. It gets all sorts of wavelengths (even shortwave broadcasts). And for those of you for whom esthetics matter just as much as anything else, the radio comes in black, red, blue, green or yellow.

Kaito Electronics Inc. KA500BLK Voyager

The Grundig S450DLX is an excellent digital radio device, very strong and reliable. It’s very good especially when it comes to shortwave signals. It has a preset channel function that will allow you to preset you favorite radio channels and to access them with the push of the button; you get 50 slots for preset channels (10 per each band). The large LCD display is clear and easy to read and the knobs work perfectly (both the normal tuning and fine-tuning). It receives a high quality signal, with very little background noise, mainly thanks to its excellent anti-interference. And if somehow you’re still having trouble getting a clear signal, you can attach an external antenna. Aa a power source, it uses DC IN (9V) or 6 D batteries.

Grundig S450DLX

The Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio is a radio similar to the model used by the Red Cross, except theirs is smaller. Personally, I’m having doubts whether this is a radio or a flashlight first, as the 3 LED lights fitted on this device are very powerful. As power sources, the internal batteries can be charged by USB, hand crank or through the solar panel. The display is easy to read and the radio picks both AM / FM bands, as well as all 7 NOAA weather bands. Most of the device is incased in a rubber-like housing, which acts as a shock absorbent and also waterproofs the circuits.

Epica Emergency Solar Hand Crank Digital Radio

The Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum is one of the most versatile tiny radios on the market. It’s small, very light and you can carry it around everywhere by either throwing it in your backpack or a pocket, or simply by keeping it tied to your wrist. It has an incredibly large number of features such a small device: it has LED lights (low beam / high beam), emergency flash (bright red), 144mm diameter compass (oil based), crank charger, USB charger, security alarm (that’s motion activated) and state-of-the-art Li-ion batteries. As you can plainly see, it has EVERYTHING except the kitchen sink. But that’ll hopefully be included in the next model.

Swiss+Tec ST84500 BodyGard Platinum

Staying in touch with the world is a must for all of us. But a simple radio just won’t do. As you can see, there are plenty of choices out there for preppers when it comes to survival radios. And there are plenty more models to check out in order to find the “perfect fit” for you. But get your very own radio, and fast. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next.

By Alec Deacon

The post 5 Of The Best Radios To Stay Connected In A Survival Situation appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases

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Food! We all do it, we all eat. Not only because we have to in order to survive, but also because we like it. Most cultures are unique when it comes to culinary treats, with at least a couple of dishes to set them easily aside from the rest of the world. Cooking may come in different shapes and sizes, but the raw material is (more or less) the same everywhere. We need organic material as fuel. But the organic material we ingurgitate may sometimes be infected by pathogens that will cause us harm. The food of beverages that contain certain bacteria, viruses, parasites or even chemicals will cause great distress and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the gastrointestinal afflictions are acute; they manifest themselves rapidly, with fever diarrhea and vomiting and won’t last more than a few days, even without medical treatment. Others, on the other hand, will manifest themselves way more severely, and will cause a rapid death if left untreated.

 

Salmonella

This tiny bacterium (Salmonella enterica) is one of the most common and wildly spread foodborne pathogens on the face of the Earth. It lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and it’s transmitted to humans through food that hasn’t been properly washed and that previously came in contact with animal waste. What makes it dangerous and so wildly spread is the fact that it’s practically impossible to detect. Diseased animals manifest no exact symptoms; nor will the food products that get tainted. It’s not resistant to high temperatures, so cooking the food properly will destroy the proteins that make up the bacteria. If not, hell will soon follow. Within 12 to 72 hours from infection, the pathogen will make itself “visible” through acute abdominal pain and cramp, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea is severe in this case, so drinking plenty of fluids is a must, in order to avoid dehydration. In a strong and healthy individual, the disease shouldn’t last more than 5 – 7 days. Medication is necessary only if the infection has already spread to the intestines; also if the infected person has a compromised immune system or is an elderly citizen, that will have problems fighting the disease on his own. It can sometimes lead to a complication known as Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis, which causes painful joints, painful urination, eye soreness and chronic arthritis. The best way to avoid salmonella infection is it to cook your food carefully, especially meat and eggs.

Salmonella enterica

 

Trichinosis

Also known as trichinellosis, is a disease that’s easily contracted by humans that consume meat infected with the larvae of the trichinella worm (Trichinella spiralis), be it from domesticated pigs or other wild animals. The larvae are incased in a cyst in animal meat. After ingestion, it gets in a human host, where the digestive acids found in our stomachs dissolve the cyst and release the worm. They mature in a couple of days in the small intestine. They will mate, lay eggs and from these eggs small worm will result that will make their way to muscle tissue (through the arteries), where they’ll incase themselves in cystic form again. In an attempt to fight the invasive creatures, you’ll body will suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acute stomachaches in the first 2 – 3 days after eating the tainted meat. After the worms have matured and start reproducing (2 – 8 weeks), you’ll also experience fever, chills, coughing, eye-sealing, headaches, itchy skin, joint pain and irregularities of the digestive system (constipation or diarrhea). It’s a disease that should not be left untreated. The best way to avoid getting trichinosis is to cook meat at about 160°F, temperature that will destroy the cysts. You can also freeze you pork for 20 days in order to kill the worms, however this might not work when it comes to game animals.

Trichinella spiralis cysts in muscle mass

 

E.coli

The Escherichia coli is a large group of bacteria, out of which most are harmless. The one that’s able to cause havoc is called the O157:H7, and is part of the STEC group (the E. coli that produce the Shiga toxin). They’re mostly found in the intestines and stomachs of ruminant animals (cattle) but also in sheep, goats, elk, deer etc. When the animal is eviscerated, the intestines might get cut and spill out on the meat, immediately infecting it. The most common method of spreading the bacteria is through ground meat, but it was also found in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables or fruits that come in contact with infected animal waste will also get tainted. Although it doesn’t manifest itself in any way in the animal hosts, in humans it can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and even bloody diarrhea. The infection spreads rapidly, so that about a third of the people infected will get hospitalized; about 10% of those that get hospitalized will die. It’s most dangerous when it comes to children ages 5 – 10. They risk of developing hemolytic-uremic syndrome as a result of the E. coli infection, which can lead to kidney failure. You can avoid E. coli infection by regularly washing your hands, washing vegetables and cooking your meat at a temperature of at least 160°F.

The O157:H7 E. coli

 

 

To avoid getting dangerous foodborne diseases, hygiene is a must. Always wash your hands, your food and avoid eating from unreliable sources. If you manifest any of the symptoms that I’ve listed above, check with your doctor immediately and don’t leave anything to chance. Most of the incipient symptoms are common in most type of food related infections, so it’s hard to tell on your own whether you’ve contracted something that’s life-threatening or not.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post 3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Here’s Why Your Should NEVER Rake Your Leaves

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Don’t Rake Your Leaves This Year! (Here’s Why)

Image source: Pixabay.com

In preparation for winter, many homeowners go through the grueling task of raking and bagging leaves. Maybe it isn’t a big deal for those with very small yards in the city, but it can be quite the workout in large yards or around rural homes.

Well, as it turns out, raking your leaves can lead to a more attractive yard but may not be the best idea. Why? Keeping leaves in your yard not only helps the creatures around the tree, but also boosts the health of your lawn, too. Read on to find out how to do it.

Why Leaves Fall

Deciduous trees lose their leaves in autumn as a survival method; no leaves means the tree can conserve water and energy to get it through the winter. As most aspects of nature, a tree losing its leaves doesn’t just help the tree but also assists the environment around it.

The many animals and insects around the tree are looking for shelter to get them through the upcoming winter. In a very wonderful way, the critters are able to use these leaves as a home until spring arrives. As with most things, this system works perfectly well in nature. But it’s a different story when humans begin to disturb this process by raking their yards.

The Problem with Raking

Raking leaves and bagging them destroys the homes these many creatures need. All homeowners should do their best to work with nature and support their local ecosystem. Not only is it part of being a steward of the land, but it also improves the lawn. Homesteaders will benefit from healthier beneficial insect and animal populations come spring, which will improve their gardens, woodlots, ponds, etc.

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This no-rake method has been used for decades by various homeowners but lately has made its way into the mainstream, including a recent USA Today article.

Examples of some critters that call leaf litter home in winter include:

  • Box turtles
  • Salamanders and other amphibians
  • Snakes
  • Spiders and other arachnids
  • Snails and slugs
  • Millipedes and centipedes
  • Beetles and other insects
  • Moth and butterfly pupae
  • Worms and other soil aerators
  • Soil-improving microorganisms
  • Important fungus and healthy bacteria
Don’t Rake Your Leaves This Year! (Here’s Why)

Image source: Pixabay.com

For example, when caterpillars have a safe place to live you will have a much healthier butterfly population in spring and summer — which will in turn help your garden, fruit trees and general vegetation. Healthy insect populations that rely on leaf litter in winter will also feed birds and predatory insects.

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While animals benefit from the no-rake method, so does the ground. It will act as a natural fertilizer, improving your soil and also suppressing weeds. Not to mention, skipping raking completely saves a lot of time and reduces costs from bagging.

What to Do Instead of Raking

So if you don’t rake your leaves, what do you do? There are a few options. Some people don’t rake their leaves at all, or just wait until spring arrives before raking them away to a new location. This is ideal, but it’s understandable if leaves covering the lawn bother you. If that is the case you can instead:

  • Rake up leaves and move to the outskirts of your lawn or just somewhere else on your property where it doesn’t bother you.
  • Rake up leaves and put them over your garden beds for protection.
  • Rake up leaves and leave them around the base of trees in your woodlot as mulch.
  • Mulch the leaves with your mower. Some homeowners use a mulch mower or a special mulch attachment, but neither are necessary. Most mowers will mulch leaves simply by driving over them.

This year, don’t think of fallen leaves as an annoyance, but rather an amazing way nature protects vulnerable critters in winter – and fertilizes your lawn.

Do you have any “leaf advice”? What do you do? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Fishing for Survival

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Most of us use fishing as a recreational activity. But fishing started out as a necessity for human beings rather than anything else. And what if a time comes when you’ll find yourself obligated to fish for no other purpose than to feed yourself or your family? There are plenty of survival scenarios that could happen and might force you to resort to fishing for survival. If the SHTF scenario finds you at home and prepared, with all the fishing gear you need at your disposal, good. That means one less thing to worry about. But what if you happen to find yourself stranded or you’re forced to leave your home without having enough time to pack your fishing gear too? There are water sources around and “plenty of fish in the sea” but nothing to catch them with. Well, you’re not doomed to starve, that’s for sure. There are plenty of primitive fishing techniques developed way before modern fishing that could very well be implemented today. Sure, fishing with the latest gear is preferable, but if that’s not an option, at least there are other ways that, although are unorthodox, at least they work.

 

D.I.Y. fishing spear

There is more than one way of improvising such a tool. If you’re aim is good enough and your hand is steady you can make a single point spear. Just find a branch or a piece of wood that’s long enough and simply attach to one end either a blade or a piece of bone that’s sharp enough to pierce flesh. A piece of durable plastic will do just as well. Simply carve enough space at one end of the branch (without breaking it) that’s wide enough to jam the point of the spear in. After you’re done, simply tie the end with a piece of rope or even duct tape and you have yourself a fishing spear. If you’re using a knife, know that exposure to water will deteriorate the quality of the metal in time, so you won’t be able to use it for much else. Another way of doing it is to simply carve the spear tip directly in the branch, by sharpening it with a blade or another sharp object at your disposal. But this won’t be a very durable result, especially if you miss a lot. Hitting the wooden tip on hard surfaces (rocks and sediments) will break it eventually.

But what if you’re a bad that can’t even harpoon a shark in a fish tank? No worries, this mean’s the multi-headed fishing spear is the right tool for you. Take a branch that’s durable enough and split one for about 6 inches long, as many times as you can. Sharpen the multi heads of the spear and tie them last 2 – 3 firmly with the rope, to prevent them from splitting further and eventually breaking. Now find a twig that’s strong enough to keep the “teeth” of the spear separated. You’ll not only hit your prey easily pierce it easily, but the shock from the hit will eject the twig, closing the “spear jaws”. That fish won’t know what hit him.

The multi-headed fishing spear

D.I.Y. fishing gear

Those of you who just can’t give up modern fishing or who simply find spear fishing too primitive can improvise their very own lures, lines and fish hooks. Hooks are easiest to make. If you have a soda can in hand, you can cut the tab a pair of pliers or strong scissors into a hook shape. Anything goes if you creative enough, from safety pins, nails or paper clips to thorns and bones. If you have a sharp knife on you and the patience to do it, you can make your very own toggle hook, used by our primitive ancestors. This is a 1 inch hook made from durable material (bone, sea shells or wood) that’s sharpened at both ends and curbed. It’s attached to the fishing line by its mid section and hidden bait. When the prey swallows the bait, the hook jams in its throat.

Bait shouldn’t be much of a problem, as there is plenty of natural bait around, even in urban environments. Fish tend to go for everything wiggling, so you’ll have no problem if you’ll be using grubs, ants, night crawlers, centipedes, millipedes, maggots, earthworms, caterpillars, beetles etc. If one type of bait doesn’t work, keep trying on until you find the right one. Considering you’ll be in survival situation, you might as well be fishing with multiple fishing lines. So trying out different types of bait and making a statistic shouldn’t be a long and lengthy process at all.

Fishing line is probably the biggest challenge you’ll have to face. Although it’s hard to improvise, it’s not impossible. It can be made out of clothing material (ripped or torn), wire, twisted tree bark, dental floss and pretty much everything else that’s thin enough to attach itself to the fishing pole and strong enough to pull a fish out of the water.

Improvised tab hook

D.I.Y. fishing nets

In some cases this method can be more efficient than the tradition line and hook method. You can use clothing material or pretty much any material that’s strong enough for the job. You can attach two pieces at the extremities and simply walk around with the improvised net submersed. This is very practical if you’re using it in a small lake or stream, but not if you find yourself at the ocean. You’ll have to start from the deepest spot and work your way with the net still immersed to the shallowest spot. When you get there, close the net and pick it up quickly.

Hand fishing

It’s probably the most primitive fishing method available. But still, it works. This activity goes by many names (hogging, graveling, noodling, fish tickling etc.) and it varies in technique from region to region. The easiest approach to hand fishing is to catch fish directly from their lairs or hideouts. Cat fish are easiest to catch due to their considerable size (which makes them easy to hold) and their slow response. Just find a fish lair and rich in and grab the fish out. It’s best if you can grab a direct hold of the gills and or on the inside of the mouth. Just make sure that whatever it is you’re grabbing doesn’t have teeth or spikes.

These are some of the easiest methods of fishing in a survival situation. There are more out there for you to discover. Many of them might not be legal in your state, but in a SHTF scenario, everything goes. So do not try them unless you don’t absolutely have to.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Fishing for Survival appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Solar Flare, CME Impact Coming | S0 News Nov. 10, 2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 10, 2015

Our Book, OBSERVING THE FRONTIER (Digital Download – PDF)
https://otf.selz.com

Observing the Frontier Conference:
Phoenix: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/otf

http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org
http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
http://www.MagneticReversal.org
http://www.ObservatoryProject.com
http://www.EarthChangesMedia.com

Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Today’s Featured Links:
Pluto: http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/fou…
Venus: http://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/im…

Filed under: Climate, Earthquakes, Environment, Nature, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity, Weather

Incoming Eruption Threats, Saiga Disaster | S0 News Nov. 9, 2015

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By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 9, 2015

Our Book, OBSERVING THE FRONTIER (Digital Download – PDF)
https://otf.selz.com

Observing the Frontier Conference:
Phoenix: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/otf

http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org
http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
http://www.MagneticReversal.org
http://www.ObservatoryProject.com
http://www.EarthChangesMedia.com

Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Today’s Featured Links:
Saiga Catastrophe: http://www.newswise.com/articles/mass…

Filed under: Climate, Earthquakes, Environment, Nature, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity, Weather

Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free

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I’ve been really into gardening lately, trying to find the best techniques and methods for growing fruit or veggies with as little effort or resources as possible. One method that really caught my attention was the straw bale method, a method that is based on planting into straw bales rather than in the ground. You prepare the bales thoroughly and that’s pretty much it. It’s cheap, requires very little care as the method is not pretentious at all and another bonus is that the plants are raised above ground level, which puts them out of the reach of various critters that could take a liking in whatever it is you planted. And not only that, picking the plants will from the straw bales, will be a lot easier than picking them from the ground.  The seemed perfect, but only until I stumbled across the alternative: the HAY bale gardening method, which made the straw bale method seem less appealing all of a sudden.

Hay bale gardening vs. straw bale gardening

For those of you who have very little to do with gardening, there is a major difference between the two. Straw bales are usually comprised from cereal crops stalks (corn, wheat, oat, rye, barley etc.). It’s mostly used for bedding livestock, and apart from carbon, it has no real nutritional value. It’s not inefficient as a surface for growing plants, but it will require regular watering and fertilizers to get the job done. Hay on the other hand, it’s nothing but rich grasses that are mainly a source of rich and
nutritious food for cattle during cold periods (winter time), when the fields are empty. They are filled with nutrients and minerals like nitrogen, potassium, phosphates etc. that vegetables require to grow. It’s exactly this natural cocktail of minerals and nutrients that require no additional fertilizing methods when it comes to hay bale gardening. Hay also holds water more efficiently than straw due to its density and chemical structure. So a hay bale garden requires watering once a day, whereas a straw bale garden will require watering 3 times a day.

Getting started

The first thing you’ll need to start your very own hay bale garden is getting your hands on hay bales. If you have nobody to turn to in your vicinity that could sell or give you the hay bales, you can always go on the internet and find farmers that have hay bales for sale. Once they’re delivered to you, pick a spot to your liking (preferably in your garden) and set them as you see fit. Next you’ll need to prepare the hay bales for the planting process. What’ll you’ll need is some 42-0-0 or even better, some nitrogen. You’ll treat the bales with nitrogen for 5 days; the nitrogen will break down bacteria, fungi and insects into nutritious compost that will serve as “fuel” for your growing plants. If you’re not that keen on spending money on nitrogen or fertilizers, you can just pee on the hay bales for the 5-day period; pee is rich in nitrogen and it’ll get the job done just as efficiently. However, the daily dose of pee a person produces will not be enough for this endeavor, so I suggest you start saving your pee in bottles or containers.

The preparation of the bales will be done over a period of 10 days total before planting. In the uneven days, the bales will be treated with half-a-cup of nitrogen and sprayed with water. During the even days of the 10 day period, the bales will be watered only.

During this process, the temperature inside the hay bales will rise dramatically, most likely to 120°F – 140°F. Although is very unlikely that the bales will simply catch fire, the risk still exists. So water the bales regularly I order to avoid any unwanted incidents. When the “ordeal” is over, the temperature will subside, from how to warm. Once this happens, you can start planting your vegetables. Just add regular seeds, water the hay garden once a day and you’ll be able to pick the fruits of your labor in no time.

Accurate temperature readings using a professional thermometer

 

Professional tips

  1. The bales should be tightly bound if you want them to hold. Synthetic twine works great and hold the hay bales together just fine during the growing season.
  2. A single bale of hay will hold about two tomato plants, two pumpkin hill, 3 cauliflower plants or 3 broccoli plants; plants cover the same amount of space in the bales as they do in the ground.

  1. Growing tall plants (sunflower, corn etc.) is not advised, as hay bales do not offer such plants the support they need. If you won’t provide these types of plants with a stacking system, they’ll most probably fall over.
  2. You shouldn’t water the bales more than two times a day. There is no danger of drowning the plants, because the water will evaporate quickly; the hay bales will not get drenched like soil would.

This method is very interesting and it seems to give great results even for the rookies. You don’t need much to get started. Just a minimum investment and the will power to get things done. If you’re looking for a cheap and fast alternative to gardening, look no further: hay bale gardening is the way.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Space Weather, Mars, Right Hook at Sugar | S0 News Nov 6, 2015

Click here to view the original post.

By Suspicious0bservers

Published on Nov 6, 2015

Our Book, OBSERVING THE FRONTIER (Digital Download – PDF)
https://otf.selz.com

Observing the Frontier Conference:
Phoenix: https://www.eventjoy.com/e/otf

http://www.Suspicious0bservers.org
http://www.SpaceWeatherNews.com
http://www.MagneticReversal.org
http://www.ObservatoryProject.com
http://www.EarthChangesMedia.com

Solar Alerts on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealS0s

Good Videos/Articles:
The Sun is Going to Sleep: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whL9…
Discussing Earthquakes with Kongpop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThCUZ…
Earth’s Magnetic Reversal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIayx…
Top 6 Climate Change Problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ew05…
Pause on Pausing the Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZH46…
Sun Series: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…
STARWATER Article: http://wavechronicle.com/wave/?p=1151
S0 Notes on Solar Shutdown: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/fo…
IPCC History: http://www.suspicious0bservers.org/se…

Today’s Featured Links:
Brazil Dam Breaks: http://www.weather.com/news/news/mari…
Mars Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX5JC…
Floods: http://floodlist.com

Filed under: Climate, Earthquakes, Environment, Nature, News/ Current Events, Science, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity, Weather

Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For

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Planning and setting up your own survival garden is no easy task. It requires knowledge, precision and a bit of practice to get it done. But once you got the project going, doesn’t mean you can just let nature take care of everything while you relax and await to pick the fruit of your labor. Mother Nature works both ways and that which creates, can also destroy. Leaving things to chance is not an option, so you have to take your role as a farmer seriously and watch out for those pesky insects, that if left to their device, can destroy everything you worked so hard for. It takes a bit of studying the phenomena in order to understand it, so you can identify the type of pest you’re dealing with and what’s the best method to apply according to the amount of damage that has already been inflicted. If the infestation is light, picking the insects by hand should suffice, but if we’re talking heavy infestation, you’ll probably have to resort to insecticides. Next I’m going to walk you through a list comprised of some of the most common garden pests and how to read the signs they leave behind.

 

Aphids

They are probably THE worst garden pest imaginable, as they have no preferences when it comes to garden vegetables; they simply go for everything that’s green. The easiest signs to read are visual: you know you’ve been attacked by aphids if you happen to find clusters of small, soft-bodied on buds and growth tips. Sticky secretions can also be found from place to place and leaves tend to get curly. Aphids never invade in small numbers and it’s very unlikely hand-picking will do you any good. The best way to deal with them is to spray insecticidal soap or neem oil. There are also specialized poisons that can be sprayed directly on the vegetables, but I strongly advise you to consult a specialist before purchasing or using such products.

 

Root maggots

They’re food of choice is usually cabbage, carrots, turnips, squashes, spinach and radishes. Their presence is clear if you happen to find wilted plants or yellowish quarter-of-an-inch insects on the root of the plants. The first thing you need to do is to actually stop the flies from laying their eggs near the seedlings: simply put plastic or paper shields about 4 inches in diameter near the plants. If the situation gets out of control, you’ll have no other option but to drench the soil in root maggot insecticide, but do so under the supervision of a professional.

White flies

4

 

These tiny flying insects have a real craving for tomatoes, peppers, egg plants and sweet potatoes. They’re easy to spot as they’ll easily fly around from plant to plant if disturbed. If in large numbers, they can cause serious damage to plants, because they’ll feed on the nutriments of the underside of the leaves. Light infestations can be easily dealt with by simply spraying neem oil or water. But if you’re dealing with heavy infestation, get the right poison for the job, according to a qualified professional.

 

Slugs and snails

They’re not the fastest insects out there (possibly the slowest), but don’t get fooled: they can inflict serious damage to your tomato, carrot, lettuce and turnip crops. They are voracious eaters and if you happen to find irregular patterns of holes in the plant’s leaves or stems, doubled by slime trails leading from plants to plant, you’re dealing with slugs or snails (or both). During the day they rest under all sorts of debris, so removing them out of the way and keeping the garden as tidy as possible will keep you out of harm’s way. But if you’re dealing with infestation, you’ll need more than just a tidied up area. You can simply attract and drown them in shallow pans of beer or special baits that are available on the market.

Borers

They prefer melons, pumpkins, squashes and cucumbers. If you stumble across wilted plants or just wilted growth tips, then you might suspect you have a borer problem. And if you happen to spot small holes drilled in the plants (usually where wilting begins), than you know for sure you have a borer problem. Plants can still be salvaged from borer infestations by simply cutting out the borer, but if they get to infest the base of the plant, it’s compromised and needs to be torn out. In order to avoid such an obnoxious parasite, spray the base of the plants with the right kinds of insecticide during late spring / early summer, but only under the supervision of a professional.

 

Beetles

There are many varieties of beetles out there and they can affect all sorts of crops imaginable. Beetles don’t need special methods when it comes to detection: they’re easy to spot as many are brightly colored and shiny, and they’re feeding methods leave irregular holes in the foliage. As they’re not that hard to catch, picking them by hand would be a cost-effective method if you’re dealing with light infestation. In the case of heavy infestation, just spray the area with the appropriate insecticide, recommended by a qualified professional.

Gophers

Gophers don’t have very specific cravings, and go for everything they can get their tiny paws on. They’ll voraciously eat any sort of root they’ll stumble across in their underground tunnels. But they also eat the above-ground plant if not disturbed; the mostly prefer carrots, sweet potatoes and peas. If left unattended they can ruin a whole garden in a matter of days.

The most eco-friendly approach in dealing with your gopher problem would be to encourage the presence of birds of prey in the vicinity, by placing bird baths or keeping the garden as tidy as possible so they’re easily spotted by the winged predators. But if the bird method seems a bit drastic, you could just let your dog or cat to roam freely in the garden. Gophers are easily scared and will behave if constantly pressured. Flooding their tunnels is also effective and easy to do.

Dealing with garden pests is no easy task, but it’s not impossible either. There’s a solution to any sort of problem you might stumble upon and nothing can stop you to achieve your goals in survival gardening. But I strongly advise you to never deal with poisons and insecticides on your own, always consult a specialist in the matter before doing so. You not only risk damaging your garden, but also your health. Pest poisons and insecticides are very dangerous if not handled properly.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Your Survival Garden Worst Enemies: Pests You Should Watch Out For appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

5 Most Nutritious Fish Found In The U.S.

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The most nutritious fish meat is considered very good for your heart, being rich in protein, minerals and vitamins (A, D and E), very important in maintaining good health. It also contains high-chains of omega 3 fats, selenium and it’s rather low in saturated fats (the bad kind of fats). A scientific studied conducted by professors Dariush Mozaffrian and Eric Rimm showed that eating a portion of 3 ounces of fatty fish (herring, salmon, mackerel etc.) 2 times a week reduces the chances of heart failure by 36%. The omega 3 fats in this case are key in protecting the heart from cardiac rhythm disturbances, maintaining a regular heartbeat. Erratic heartbeats can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. They also lower blood pressure, improve the functionality of blood vessels and lower the levels of triglycerides. The studies on fish benefits for the circulatory system are approved by the American Heart Association.

It was also demonstrated (through observational studies) that the same omega 3 fats are extremely important for brain development and activity in infants. Studies confirm that the nervous system and brain in children whose mothers consumed fish during the pregnancy is far superior in development to children whose mothers did not include fish in their diet during the pregnancy and breast-feeding period.

Fortunately, fish is abundant and available to Americans, who should reconsider balancing their diets and making more room for such beneficial and nutritious substances which are found in fish meat. Let’s have a look and see our options.

 

The farmed Rainbow Trout

(Oncorhynchus mykiss)

The rainbow trout is not only nutritious, but it’s also very delicious, preferred by many when it comes to cheap and affordable sea-food.
It’s not a particularly endangered species, but some varieties are not fit for consumption because they show signs of contamination with PCB chemicals (especially the species native to Lake Michigan and Lake Huron). It’s not pretentious when it comes to cooking. It’s best to leave the scales on while doing so, because this will remove the need of adding extra oil while coating or breading the fish. It’s excellent for simple recipes and goes great with mushroom sauces, spices or just lemon. Baking is best done at 400°F – 500°F, for 5 minutes on each side.

 

The wild-caught Alaskan Salmon

(Oncorhynchus kisutch and Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

The wild-caught salmon is considered bettered healthier and better than the farmed kind, sine the farmed ones have double the dosage of unhealthy saturated fats than the wild ones. The omega 3 fats levels are the same. Even marketing giants, such as target have been stacking up lately on wild salmon, selling only salmon certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This fish is perfect for salads or sandwiches, and it also goes great with white bean soup. There are plenty more recipes out there, each being tastier than the last.

 

 

The wild-caught Pacific Sardines

(Sardinops sagax)

It’s astonishing the comeback these tiny fish made after the late 1950, when the nearly went extinct. They don’t have a good reputation when it comes to creative recipes and food assortments, but don’t let that fool you. Just because they’re been eating straight out of the can for the last hundred years, doesn’t mean there’s no potential available. If you feel like experimenting in an “unorthodox” manner, you can make or buy a mouth-watering sardines & white beans salad. If you feel like keeping the traditions alive, there’s always the ever-popular sardine sandwich with either plain or marinated sardines (garlic, tomato sauce, olive oil etc).

 

The wild-caught Albacore Tuna

(Thunnus alalunga)

This fish has gained a lot of bad reputation lately because of the suspicion of high levels of mercury poison. After scientific testing, tuna caught in Canadian and Western U.S. coasts have in fact proven to have lower amounts of poison in their bodies than anywhere else in the world. This is because these fish are generally younger and were exposed to the poisonous substance for lesser periods of time. The Albacore is not the type of fish that you find at your local everyday fish market or store. It’s hard to come by, but it’s mostly available at online stores, like Heritage Foods USA. The best Albacore I have ever eaten came in ht shape of tuna kebab, easy to prepare and delicious to the maximum. Simply prepare like regular kebabs, using tuna meat (even the loins) instead of chicken.

 

 

The farmed Barramundi or Asian seabass

(Lates calcarifer)

It’s a very uncommon fish for most Americans, and with good reason. This white-fleshed fish is native to Australian waters, where aborigines firstly fished them by hand from their natural habitat, freshwater rivers. They are easy to breed and the U.S. farms have become highly specialized in doing so. They utilize land-based tanks in which the fish are being kept mainly on a vegetarian diet. It’s highly recommended to buy American, as the other countries farm these fish in ocean-based nets that are highly pollutant. The Barramundi can be simply cooked with lemon juice for dressing, whether It’s fried, grilled, or baked. But it can also be used for fancier recipes, like Barramundi with Swiss chard and roasted sweet potatoes.

As you can see, there is plenty of fish the sea! There are many unpopular species available throughout the U.S. that work wonders for the ones health, whether they’re bought off the internet or simply fished the old fashioned way.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

The post 5 Most Nutritious Fish Found In The U.S. appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

How To Naturally Preserve Meat

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Considering that in the near future energy will no longer be a modern day commodity, but a luxury hard to come by, learning how to preserve meat and store your own food is crucial for your very own existence. Your fridge will probably become just another shelf, useless without a power source. But there are ways to still keep your balanced diet, ways that help you preserve and store even the most important food group: meat!

Even if you survived the “fall of mankind”, doesn’t mean you have to give up on eating healthy. And by smoking and curing your meats, you’ll still be able to enjoy roast beef or bacon. I’ll walk you through the easy steps of keeping your meats fresh and tasty without a fridge.

How to smoke your meat

The process of smoking food is defined by exposing the meat (of almost any sort) to the smoke produced by burning plants, smoldering wood or other spices or organic materials. In the U.S. the most commonly used smoking woods are apple, cherry, oak and mesquite. The meat is smoked for long periods of time at low temperatures (180° – 225°F), reliant on indirect heat. Grilling is a similar process, but it’s based direct heat and high temperatures. The practice of smoking began purely out of necessity. Before modern day appliances, smoking was an excellent means of preserving meat because the smoke covers the surface like an acidic coating, a very inhospitable surface for bacterial agents. Furthermore, it also dehydrates the meat, furthering even more its resistance. Today, meat is smoked or cured purely for flavouring reasons, as modern means of conservation are preferred. But the way things are looking, we’re about to go back to old habits rather sooner than later.

Smokers today use all sorts of devices, based on different types of energy: propane, electricity, charcoal, and pretty much everything else capable of generating smoke. Some backyard kettle grills can be easily modified to become instant smoking apparatuses. But there are also professional smoking machines available on the market. Just make sure you have enough space for such an appliance before purchasing one.

 

There are 2 basic ways in which you can smoke your meats:

Cold smoking is used for flavouring rather than cooking. The process involves temperatures of less than 100°F and longer periods of exposure to smoke. It’s an excellent method of adding taste to already cured fish without actually cooking it. The same goes salami and other sorts of meat.

 

Hot smoking is different; it should be done in a closed appliance (be it grill or any sort for cooking gadget), so that the meat is not only being flavoured by the smoke, but also cooked by the generated heat. The temperatures in this case are considerably higher (140°F – 160°F). For safety, the meat should be cooked at first at 160°F for 45 minutes straight, to ensure the annihilation of any sort of parasites or bacterial agents.

Different types of wood give different results when it comes to smoking meat. Hard wood and fruit wood make for excellent savoury smoke, mesquite smoke gives an earthy flavour, fresh apple wood smoke is sweet and goes great with poultry and pork and hickory wood gives the meat a sharp and rich flavour. If you plan on gathering smoking wood, make sure not to gather any sort of toxic or poisonous plants.

How to cure your meat

Curing basically means preserving meat and fish in salt. Back in the days when refrigerators or refrigeration techniques hadn’t been discovered yet, curing with salt was the only way to maintain freshness. The abundance of salt created a more than inhospitable place for bacteria that, if left alone, would spoil and rot the meat in no time. But because due to modern day technological advances, curing (like smoking), it’s not longer used for preservation purposes, but only for flavoring. The process of curing doesn’t normally rely on salt alone. It’s more than common to use other ingredients to contrast the salt. Sugar (brown sugar, honey, maple syrup) it’s the best counter for salt, and adds unique flavor. There other frequently used herbs or spices as well: black pepper, coriander, bay leaves and more.

There is another important ingredient which you can’t do without, and it’s more than add flavor. Sodium nitrite (commonly found in spinach, lettuce and celery) it’s very important to the mix, because it inhibits the growth of the Botulism bacteria, which can be fatal.

Sodium nitrite will also give a specific savor and a unique color (bright red). This ingredient however, can be toxic in high dosage, so respect the following mixture recommendations: 6.25% sodium nitrite to 93.75% table salt (regardless if you’re using pink salt or fresh vegetable extracts as a source of nitrites).

Once you have everything ready, you can cut your meat into slabs. Afterwards cover each slab heavily with the salt mixture. After you’re done, pack the meat slabs tightly in jars and place them in storage space of your choice, where the temperature should ideally be around 36°F. Let the meat sit for a month, and afterwards take it out and wrap each slab in paper or plastic, making sure each one is air tight, so moisture doesn’t get in. The meat slabs can be stored again or consumed at your own will.

How to brine your meat

The process of meat brining is also known as “wet curing”. It goes by the same principle of meat preservation with salt. But rather than relying on dry salt, brining is about keeping the meat submerged in a saline solution. The meat needs to be cut in slabs and placed into jars or containers that have been previously washed and sanitized. One way of preparing the saltwater is by adding 1 pond salt + 1 cup sugar / 3 quarters of water. Spices and herbs can be added as well, according to taste. The meat should stay completely submerged in the saline solution. Once the meat is placed in storage you’ll have to check on it once a week, stir the brine or replace it if it thickens. The process will last a month.

These are some of the cheapest, easiest and most practical methods of naturally preserving meat. Each one is different and comes with its own unique flavor, so you should try them all out before deciding what works best for you. So get practicing while it’s still all in good fun rather than for survival reasons.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post How To Naturally Preserve Meat appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

Long-Term Fuel Storage for Preppers

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When it finally happens and the proverbial “stuff hits the fan,” it’s probably going to be bad. Say “goodbye” to fully stocked shelves at the grocery store, readily available medical care, and just about every other modern comfort you can think of. Everything as we know it today will change in the blink of an eye.

I’m not saying that overnight our society will be transformed into a post-apocalyptic scenario like in Mad Max where we all become War Boys scouring the wastelands looking for fuel and supplies while screaming, “For Valhalla!” I’m just saying it’s not going to be pretty, and preparation will be key when everything comes crashing down.
As in most apocalyptic movies there are usually three crucial things that every person needs to survive in a catastrophe: food, medical supplies, and fuel. I’m assuming most people are already aware of the need to stockpile food and medical supplies, but fuel is often overlooked. Many people are unaware of the need to store fuel. Not just for the family van, but for heat, cooking, electricity, and of course transportation. When I say fuel storage, I am not just talking about gasoline. We also have to consider kerosene for heating, propane and butane for cooking, and diesel and gasoline for generators and transportation.

Storing Kerosene
Kerosene should be stored in a container that is approved for this specific fuel. I’m sure you’ve seen the different colored gas cans in the hardware stores. There is a reason for the different colors; it isn’t just to make them look pretty. Blue is the color container that is earmarked just for Kerosene. Therefore, if you need a storage container for this fuel, you will need to purchase a blue-colored container.
As with most fuels Kerosene will start to degrade after about three months of normal storage. This degradation can be postponed though by following a few guidelines. First, when filling the container leave a little air in the top for fuel expansion from changes in temperature.
Always avoid using open containers. An open container can lead to water contamination and oxidation resulting in bad or poor performing fuel. You always want to store Kerosene in a cool and dry location. The use of fuel additives can also greatly extend the life of Kerosene. A fuel stabilizer such as PRI-D will extend the life of this fuel from several months to even years if the fuel is re-treated with a fuel stabilizer periodically.

Storing Propane and Butane
How do you store Propane and Butane? Aren’t pressurized containers dangerous? They can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to store them. Propane should always be stored in a dry and well ventilated area, preferably in a storage shed located away from residential areas. Never store propane containers in an area where there may be a source of ignition such as garages or a well/pump house.
How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage
You also want to be sure that propane and butane storage containers are not kept in any areas that may cause the container to rust. Butane specifically requires a cool and dry storage location, but it must also be stored indoors at all times and never placed in direct sunlight for any length of time. Be sure to watch for possible ignition sources with Butane such as electrical outlets, stoves, and other heat sources. Improper storage of these pressurized containers may result in an explosion, a runaway canister, or a dangerous gas leak.

Storing Gasoline and Diesel
Probably the most commonly used fuels we need are gasoline and diesel. It can be difficult to determine how much of these fuels you should store. Usage factor is determined on an individual basis. A single person may not need as much gasoline as someone with a family of six. I can get buy on a relatively small generator to power what I need, but someone with a large family may need a lot of gasoline or diesel to power a larger generator to meet their needs.
Storage of gasoline and diesel is very similar to that of kerosene. They must be stored in a location that is dry and cool to maximize the storage life. Remember, it is vitally important to keep condensation away from any fuel you are storing. Water and air don’t play well with stored fuels. Also, don’t forget to store gas and diesel in their appropriately colored containers. Red is for gasoline and yellow is for Diesel.
Gasoline can normally be stored for up to three months before it begins to break down and lose its effectiveness. Diesel can typically be stored for up to six months. As with kerosene, gasoline and diesel can benefit from the addition of a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers such as STA-BIL Storage and STA-BIL Diesel can keep fuel fresh and ready for use for an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, we can’t keep gas and diesel fresh indefinitely. The best way to keep a fresh supply of fuel is to use what we have stored when it is close to going bad and then replenish our stock. With proper rotation of stored fuel and proper storage techniques we can easily be prepared for just about any situation.

By Alex Vanover


Alex Vanover is an auto industry professional and avidly writes about the advancements and new technologies in today’s automotive industry. He is also the purveyor of Motorcycle Trading Post. In his spare time he enjoys reading, first person shooter video games, and riding his Harley Davidson.


 

 

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15 Essential Crops To Have In Your Survival Garden

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In a survival scenario they key word is self-reliance. The weekly trips to the local food markets or stores will cease to become an option. And even if available, the prices will most likely sky-rocket so that it just won’t be convenient anymore. What you need to do is consider the possibility to set up your very own garden, which will sustain and provide for you and your entire family. It’s a rather complex task, but it’s nowhere near impossible. And once you’ll get the hang of it, it will become rather relaxing and enjoyable.

It’s something that can ultimately be achieved by the average Joe, with enough practice, resources and dedication. You don’t have to be a professional farmer, you’ll just have to educate yourself a little in the matter. Be aware of the sustenance and nutrients each product has to offer, calculate how much land you’ll need for the endeavor and set your budget. Your best weapon (if you decide to pick up the shovel) is information: educate yourself on season crops, micro-farming, insect repellants, seed collections and storage and on the nutritional value of various crops.

And arm yourself with patience, because this type of activity requires a lot of practice if you’re starting from scratch. But you’ll get better at it with time, and at some point you’ll be become self sufficient, even though if you originally started gardening as a hobby. When it comes to choosing the right seeds, I strongly recommend getting non-GMO or heirloom variety seeds. These seeds will continue to reproduce, unlike the hybrid varieties that stop reproducing after the first season. Let’s have a look at different types of seeds that are suited for your very own survival garden.

Corn – it’s a warm weather crop, very intolerant to low temperatures, so you should plant it only after the last frost. It usually produces two ears per stack and it’s loaded with calcium, iron and protein. It’s easy to pick and to store.

 

Wheat – possibly the most common crop in the world, because of its large content of nutrients like copper, iron zinc and potassium. Spring what is planted in early spring and it’s the most common variety in the world. Winter wheat can be planted anytime from late September to mid October.

Potatoes – they’re high in protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s best if you plant your potatoes 4 – 6 weeks before the last frost. An average plant will hold somewhere in the lines of 4 -6 potatoes per sprout. When storing them, just know to keep them in a very cool and dark place, away from fruit.

Peas – it’s one of the most (if not THE) easiest plants to grow, because most varieties are not pretentious and grow very fast. Peas are rich in fiber, protein, potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and more. The best varieties to consider are the snap, the shelling and the sugar and snow pod. They will do just fine even during a harsh winter, as they’re resistant to frost.10 Foods You Can Store For 100 Years

Spinach – considered the original super-food, it’s a great source of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, iron and thiamin. It’s easy to grow, and most species grow best during winter. There are a few though that stray from the rule, so inform yourself before purchase.

Tomatoes – once again, we’re dealing with one of the easiest plants to plant and grow. It’s very nutritious as it’s abundant in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium, thiamine and niacin. To make sure you get plenty of them throughout the year, just plant a first batch in late spring and a second one in late summer.

Beans – they come in many varieties, such as kidney beans, pole beans, bush beans etc. They are rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and Calcium. Pole beans require steak firmly planted in the ground, on which the plant can grapple and grow. Their grow cycle is shorter than that of the bush beans and the yield production is better as well. It’s easy to grow and staggering the plant will give continuous yields.

Carrots – there are very easy to grow and prefer cooler weather. So the best time for planting would be during fall, winter or early spring. They’re rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, which is excellent anti-oxidant which does wanders for your eyesight, skin or hair.

Garlic and Onions – they’re a very rich source vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid (folate). They’re best planted in mid or late October, and can be pulled early in case you’re eager to have green onions or garlic.

Cucumbers – they come in all shapes and sizes, with many varieties to choose from. You can pick whatever you like, from large to small ones (which are excellent for pickling). They are very nutritious, as they are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. They are a crop for warm weather and if you pick them regularly, you’ll get increased production.

Lettuce – not only will it be easy to plant and grow, but is also one of the earliest harvests you’ll get. It’s best if you plant it somewhere at 6 – 8 before the first frost date for optimum results. It grows quickly and you can pick it partially simply by choosing a few leaves at a time. The nutritional content differs in case of variety, but mostly all contain proteins, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folic acid and iron.

Eggplants – it’s one of the most versatile vegetables when it comes to cooking, as it offers a lot of possibilities. It’s a warm weather plant and doesn’t do well during winter. So you should wait after the last frost is over in order to plant it. It’s high in fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B6 and anti-oxidants.

Broccoli – it’s a plant that grows rather easily. It’s usually planted mid to late summer and by the time fall is upon us, you’ll have your first broccoli harvest. It has however, the tendency to give yields even after the first harvest. It can withstand mild frost, but won’t survive a harsher climate. A far as nutrients go, it’s most commonly packed with vitamin A, vitamin K and protein.

Cauliflower – it’s a cool season vegetable, resistant to low temperatures. It’s quite fast to grow and gives extremely rich yields. It’s very nutritious and can be very versatile when it comes to cooking. It’s packed with vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fibers.

Turnips – the seeds are best sown in late may, but if you get caught in doing anything else and forget, early summer will do just fine. They’re easy to manage, as they’re very resilient to plant diseases. It’s very versatile too, as you can eat the whole plant, green and root alike. They contain calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron.

This list is a must for your very own garden, the plants that no survival enthusiast should go without during a crisis. Remember what I said before: take your time and practice, because it’s unlikely you’ll be successful right away. But once you get the hang of it, you and those close to you won’t go hungry a day in case SHTF. So get going, get your hands dirty and you’ll pick the fruit of you labor in no time… literally!

 

By Alec Deacon

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Home Essentials You Need for Survival

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With so many daily work, family, and personal distractions, it’s no wonder so many of us remain unconcerned and unprepared for a potential disaster to strike. But they do strike often, all around the world, and assuming you and your family will be exempt could endanger your lives.

Even though it takes thought and investment, preparing your home and your family for unexpectedly harsh conditions is well worth the sacrifice. In fact, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. If you don’t know where to get started, Modernize offers up a list of home essentials to build off of as you collect survival supplies.


Flashlights, Lanterns, and Backup Batteries
When anticipating a disaster, the last thing you should rely on is electricity. And there’s nothing more frightening than thinking of trying to keep your family safe in total darkness. Make sure flashlights and lanterns are handy in several rooms of the house, and always keep a good stock of backup batteries and bulbs. Solar flashlights are also a great addition, especially if you’re going to need to be on the move.

Hand Crank Radio
Staying tuned in to what’s going on could mean the difference between life and death. Procure a solar hand crank radio that will keep you updated on the news and weather while you keep your family locked up safe.

How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage


Solar Oven and Freezer
Nobody hopes that the aftermath of a disaster will be long-term. But it’s best to prepare for a longer time without electricity than you would like to imagine. Solar ovens are simple, effective, and can cook food in a variety of ways. Ready-to-go, just-add-water meals are very handy for a short term emergency. But a solar oven and a solar freezer to store your food stock could work in tandem to keep your family eating well in spite of the circumstances.

Coats and Boots
Being prepared for inclement weather is essential. Heavy-duty raincoats, winter coats, hiking boots, and rain boots will help keep them warm in dry in case of flooding or freezing weather. It will also help them travel more easily if traveling becomes necessary.

Water Purifier
Aside from shelter, water is the most immediate and vital need in many emergency situations. If you are not prepared to convert unsafe water into potable water, you’re not truly prepared at all. You need to both have ways to filter water and purify it. While you’re thinking of your water needs, it never hurts to set up a rain catchment system that will allow you access to running water—though you will still need to treat rainwater to make it potable.

First Aid Supplies
A well-stocked survival first aid kit will include gloves, surgical shears, antiseptic wipes, bandages, pain relieving medication, antibiotic ointment, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile
gauze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and several other items.

Make sure to thoroughly research and go beyond the basics for your first aid kit.


Pet Supplies
No one overlooks their kids when they plan for a disaster, but a pet isn’t always foremost on everyone’s mind. Pets need their own survival supplies including food, blankets, bowls, a leash, their own first aid supplies, and anything else you determine your individual pets’ need.

Sanitary Supplies
While weather disasters are more common in America these days, epidemics also pose a danger—as do unclean condition potentially caused by natural disasters. Supplies that would come in handy during a dangerous outbreak include: adhesive sealing masks with eye shields, anti-bacterial and anti-virus lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, bio hazard bags, bio hazard suits and gloves, and a supply of antibacterial soap.


Hygiene Essentials
Comfort and cleanliness isn’t usually the first thing on your mind in a survival situation. But if you prepare ahead, you can be more thorough about what your family needs and wants. Items like soap, toilet tissue, toothbrushes and toothpastes, feminine products, deodorant, and razors will come in handy even after just a day of relying on your survival supplies.

Sleeping Bags
Reflective sleeping bags that are cushy and can withstand harsh weather could mean the difference between a safe and good night’s rest and many sleepless, anxious nights. To protect your family from hypothermia, select sleeping bags that offer heavy insulation, fully waterproof materials, and low temperature ratings.

70 howtos for your preps


Emergency Preparedness Guide
No matter how much you prepare yourself and your family, any type of emergency or disaster is bound to come with surprises. Instead of relying completely on your supplies and knowledge, make sure you have the educational resources anyone in your family would need to know how to deal with in difficult disaster-related circumstances.

Multi-Tool Knife
Weapons are certainly an important aspect of a home survival kit, as are tools. Combine them into one item for optimum efficiency and ease of use. You never know when a screwdriver, pliers, or a mini saw could come in handy.

These are simply the foundational items for a home survival kit. Build off of your family’s anticipated needs and show them how to use the supplies in case of an emergency.  

 

By Mary Saurer


Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.


 

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Signaling For Help In Distress

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When we think of signaling for help in distress, we tend to think of fires and smokes. That’s why most of us are loaded on fire-starting devices – from primitive ones like sticks and stones, to modern ones like instafire and waterproof matches, we have them all stocked in our ultimate bug out bag.

Yet when things get tough, fire can turn out to be a heartbreakingly inadequate signal; you could be stocked on sticks and stones for a blazing beacon, and find out the weather’s too wet to get a fire going.
That’s why knowing alternative methods to call for aid is such a valuable skill to have, when disaster strikes. The tools you can use to signal for help are various, and your survival kit should include more than one. Here are five tools that can help you signal distress, when the most widespread fire-creation techniques fail.

  1. Whistles

Whistles make for one of the best audible distress signals in existence – they’re light, they’re loud, they’re long-lasting, and they hardly take up any space in one’s survival bag. Follow the internationally-recognized rule of threes when using a whistle: three short blasts, spaced five seconds apart for effective reach. You might want to attach your whistles to rings or clips to make sure you don’t lose them. Make sure to choose vibrant whistles that can be spotted easily if accidentally dropped, just in case you still lose them!

  1. Mirrors

A historical staple, the hand-held mirror is a simple but highly effective signaling device. Aimed right, it can create a beacon as long as 10 miles, catching the attention of people and aircrafts. It’s also a good way to scare off creatures that fear the light, especially when you can’t get a fire going. However, using a mirror to create a flare is a skill you need to practice in advance, to make sure you use it right when things get tough.

  1. Pen flare

Replace your regular pen with a pen flare, and you never know when you’ll be glad you made the small but significant lifestyle change. In terms of signaling distress, the pen flare offers an excellent combination of effective audio and visual signaling –  when fired, the pen-shaped device sounds like a pistol, while flashing a fire up to 150 meters high. The pen flare’s lanyard can even double as tinder, if you need to start a fire when in a tight spot. That’s thrice the protection, in an item that takes up very little space, and is light enough to even be worn around your neck!

  1. Waterproof strobe light

A midsized or pocket strobe light is always a great addition to a well-planned survival kit. Leave it switched on, and this lightweight device will create continuous flashes for hours, even while you rest or sleep. Depending on the model, strobe lights can even last for a couple of days when fully charged. Make sure you purchase a waterproof strobe light, making it an ideal addition to your survival kit for the literally rainy day.


  1. Cellphone with a power-pack

This might sound somewhat unconventional, but today’s smartphones can do a lot more than just make and receive calls – they can save your life when you’re in a pinch. If fire fails you, just turn on your phone torch; in 2012, a Maryland man actually used his iPhone’s flashlight app to help police find him in the pitch dark, after the rescuers had spent four hours searching for the missing man to no avail. Your cellular phone can also help you pin down and track your location through GPRS, as well as forward it to others.  Of course, your phone won’t be much use if it isn’t charged. So always carry a fully-charged power-pack, to make sure your communication gadget’s life-saving powers can last!

With these five additions to your bug-out bag, you will have a personal protection kit that won’t fail you when you need to signal for help, come hell or high water. Rain, slew, snow, heat, and zombies – together, these five items can fight them all. When the going gets tough, the tough get going; so add these items to your survival kit right now, and ensure you’re prepared to handle the worst of times, well in advance.

By James Smith


Author Bio:
James Smith is a survival expert, who loves to write about survival skills and techniques that can be extremely helpful and can prevent any bad situation in becoming worse. Follow him on twitter @jamessmith1609.


 

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How To Survive In The Woods

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If you happen to find yourself stranded in the woods, for whatever reason, know that making it out in one piece will require more than patience and dumb luck. Whether you find yourself stranded due to an unfortunate event while you’re out bird watching, whether you’re the survivor of a plane crash or you’ve ventured knowingly into the woods in order to escape a SHTF situation, the outcome is pretty much the same: it’s man vs. nature, and conquering nature is not easy task.

Before finding yourself in such an ingrate spot, do a little research on what wilderness survival actually means. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: information is power and you’re greatest survival asset. If you hit the bottom of a weal and you’re still alive, there’s no other way to go but up. Same here, if you’re stranded in the woods, don’t panic; keeping calm and focused is the first step of making it out alive. Once you have that covered, here’s what else you’ll need to do:

Pick your spot and build a shelter
Your campsite should be the closest thing you have to a sanctuary, so pick your spot wisely because it must be as safe as possible. For example, try not to get too comfortable in a place that’s crawling with insects. This means stay away from zones that are abundant in plants. Also, the vicinity of large water beds should be avoided at all costs. The waters can be an attraction to all sorts of animals, even dangerous predators. If you must take shelter under trees and rock formations, study your surroundings very carefully. If the trees are dry or the rock formation unstable, there’s always the danger of being crushed over night, be it by tree branches or rocks.

Ones you have picked the best camp spot available, you’ll need to build yourself a shelter; a well insulated one, that’s bound to keep you out of the cold and prevent hypothermia. The easiest way to go at it is to find a leaning tree (or set a branch securely against a standing tree) and stack smaller branches together on one side. The angled wall should be covered in leaves, moss and all sorts of debris you can get your hands on. Using the same materials (leaves and moss) make yourself a carpet to stand on (about a 6 inch layer of debris), so that you remain insulated from the cold ground.


Starting a fire

This is a fairly easy task if you have dry wood lying around (tinder), smaller pieces of wood (toothpick, Q-tips and pencil size) and fibrous material (Vaseline-covered cotton balls or lip balm would be great if you have some on you). Lighting the fire should be done progressively and with care. You can use a log (no bigger than a forearm) as base and windscreen for the tinder. The tinder should be lit first and once this is accomplished, stack the small kindling against the large log so that the oxygen can circulate in order to feed the fire. Once the flame starts building up, add larger and larger pieces of wood. If you don’t happen to have a lighter on you or the necessary means to starts a fire, you could generate a spark with a simple battery. If you short-circuit the battery by connecting the + and – with a wire, foil (like a gum wrapper) or steel wool, you’ll get a spark that’s potent enough to light up the tinder you prepared.


How To Survive The Upcoming Water Crisis

 

Procuring clean water

Thirst can settle in pretty fast and it can become a nuisance. The human body can go for days without food, but nowhere near that close without water. So what you need to do is act fast and make sure you never go without a potable source of water. Drinking directly from puddles or streams is a bad idea, as these waters are infested with all sorts of bacteria and pathogens that can prove fatal in no time. Boiling the water is the safest solution, but not always 100% effective. Precipitation water (the one resulted from rain and snow) is safe to drink and it can be easily harvested. But if nature doesn’t land you a hand in forthcoming rain or snow, don’t worry, as there are other options available. Clean drinking water can also be procured by squeezing vines and certain cacti. During the day, you can find yourself some leafy branches and cover the in plastic bags. The process of perspiration (present in plants as well) will fill the bags by night time with clean potable water, ready for the taking.

 


Procuring food

You’ll need to resort to hunting if you plan on having meat on the menu. If you don’t happen to be a skilled hunter, don’t worry. Gigging is a method devised for the unskilled hunters and it’s basically hunting with a multiple pronged spear; very effective in catching small critters and fish. Making this type of spear is real easy if you happen to have a knife on you: cut down a sapling (about 1 – 2 inches in diameter) and split the stronger end with the knife in four equal parts. Shove some sticks in order to spread the sections apart and simply sharpen the ends. But if hunting seems like too much of a headache, you keen simply feed on all sorts of fruit and plants from your surrounding areas. But only do so if you’ve documented yourself in the field, because many of the fruit and plants you stumble upon could be fatal.

Navigating  
                                       

If you’ve lost all means of communication with the civilized world, it still doesn’t mean you’re completely lost. The best way to survive in the woods is to determine the cardinal points is by observing the suns motion from sunrise to sundown, as it always rises approximately in the East and sets approximately in the West. You can also look for mossy formations on trees and rocks. These always grow facing the north and can give a clear hint as to where you should be heading. Navigating by night is a bit trickier, as you’ll have to find Polaris, the North Start (located in the Little Dipper’s handle).

 

Necessary equipment

In order to assure and ease your survival in unfriendly territory, it’s a must you bring the necessary tools along. No matter the reason for being stranded, you should never leave for any sort of expedition without these on you:

  • a survival knife
  • regular matches or fire steel (metal match)
  • first aid kit
  • a compass
  • a space blanket (thin sheet of reflective Mylar)
  • a SPOT Messenger
  • some 550 paracord
  • a signaling mirror
  • water purifying tablets

Before leaving, double check the list and make sure nothing is forgotten. All these items are crucial and at the end of the day, they could simply save your life.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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Top 5 Survival Knives: A Prepper’s Best Friends

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In case of a SHTF scenario your very own blade will come very handy. The scenario makes very little difference. It matters not if you find yourself struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic scenario; it doesn’t matter if (for some reason or another) you find yourself stranded in the wilderness and you’re being forced to fight for your survival. What matters ultimately is being equipped and prep’ed up to survive. And in every single scenario imaginable the most useful tool you can get your hands on (literally) is your very own knife, fit to suit your every need.

It can be used for almost everything in a survival situation: you can use it for hunting, skinning, cutting, chopping and even for self defense. The average survival knife’s blade varies between 4 – 8 inches, and their blades are either straight or serrated. Owning a serrated blade is debatable, as it can be extremely useful in cutting wood for example, but the serrated side can’t be sharpened. They come in all shapes and sizes and some have handles equipped with all sorts of instruments (compass, fire starter kit, etc.), only to make it just a bit easier for you to adapt and strive in a hostile environment.

There are basically two types of knives available: the ones with folding blades and the ones with fixed blades. A folding blade is excellent to carry around at all times, easy to deposit and to conceal, while a fixed blades are stronger and sturdier, durable and easy to maintain and clean. Finding the one that’s right for you is no easy task; let’s have a look-see at some of my personal favorites.

Gerber’s Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife

It’s a very practical knife, and it comes packed with a lot of survival gear. The blade measure 5 inches in length 7Cr17MoV stainless steel with a waffle-head hammer on the pommel. To add more variety, the manufacturer makes it available with a fine edge-version or a half serrated edge version, which makes it easier to cut through tough material. The handle is covered in a texture that makes it very easy to hold on to and to utilize in almost any scenario. It has a fire starting kit, based on a square striker notch located in the back of the blade and also an emergency whistle located on a rope tied to the end of the handle. It’s a very practical blade and you can easily purchase it here: gerbergear.com

Gerber’s Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife


Randall Model 18

This particular knife feels like the Cadillac or survival blades. It’s shiny, eye-catching, retro-looking and very well built. The blade varies between 5.5 – 7.5 inches in length (but in this case, the bigger, the better), made out of pure stainless steel. The handle is a tubular, stainless steel tube, completely waterproof.  The hilt and the butt are pure brass. The 5.5 inches one weighs around 12oz while the 7.5 inches one is closer to 15oz. As an extra option, you can order the one equipped with a compass and etching on the blade. This blade is very tough and durable and excellent for those who not only want to survive, but want to do it in style. You can order it here: randallknives.com

Randall Model 18

 

 

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

This is a Swedish survival knife produced by the company called Fallkniven. It’s a very tough blade and it will come extremely useful in case of a survival scenario. This knife is full tang and it comes with a 6.3 inches long blade (and .24 inches thick) that is laminated with VG10 steel, adding robustness and durability. The handle is about 4.7 inches long (which makes the knife of a total of 11 inches long) and it’s made out of checkered Kraton, and it comes with finger guard and lanyard hole. Get your own here: fallkniven.com

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife

 

Swiss Army Knife Adventurer Model

This is so much more than a simple blade, it’s an all purpose tool. It comes in different shapes, sizes and variations, and you can even get one with certain contraptions and gizmos you never even knew existed. The producer of the Swiss Army knife is a company called Victorinox which runs this type of market completely unopposed. The Adventurer model is a rather simple and more classic approach to the Swiss Army knife, and this is what you get for your money: a can opener, a bottle opener, tweezers, toothpick, an awl, 3 different screwdrivers and of course, a stainless steel knife blade. The knife blade itself measures 4.5 inches in length and the overall weight is about 2.9 ounces. Available for sale here: swissarmy.com

Swiss Army Knife Adventurer Model

 


Buck Hoodlum

This is the perfect survival knife for sword enthusiasts. It’s one of the longest survival knives available on the market, with an overall length of 15.5 inches. The blade alone measures a staggering 10 inches and it’s covered in 5160 steel, with a anti-corrosion powdered coat finish. The handle is made up of Black Linen Micarta scales over an open cavity, which gives the knife the ability to absorb shocks or even attach it to a pole, in order to use it as a spear. On the opposite side of the cutting edge, you find the blade to have a small notch. This allows you to cut wire or maneuver pots over the open fire. It weighs a total of 15 ounces, 22 when kept in sheath. It’s available here: buckknives.com

Buck Hoodlum

 

These are my personal favorites, but there are still many more out there that you might find to your liking. Before purchasing a knife, take your time and scout the market thoroughly, it’s the only way to assure you get what’s right for you. Take into consideration the material, the durability, the handle, the length of the blade and ultimately the price. Some may be cheap and some may be expensive, but when SHTF, you’ll realize that it was a buck well spent.

 

By Alec Deacon

 

 

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Animals To Catch and Eat For Your Survival

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In a survival situation you’ll have to feed yourself and food is not a matter to be picky about. Unless you’re a skilled hunter, with limitless supplies of ammo, you’ll have to change your options a bit, from delicacies to pretty much everything that has a heartbeat (or not even that).

The truth of the matter is: if it’s meat, you can eat it for sustenance. Almost all animals are fit for consumption, with the exceptions of course of those who are poisonous or detrimental in other ways to human health. But the list is not that long, and if you are trained a bit recognizing the poisonous species from the safe ones, you will not go hungry or jeopardize your health. Just prepare yourself mentally and accept the fact that you might find yourself animals to catch and eat; animals that not only walk or fly, but also crawl, swim, or buzz. If you are strong enough to overcome this mental barrier, you’ll find that meat is meat, no matter the shape or size it comes in.

In order to be as efficient as possible in gathering resources with the upmost of ease, you’ll need to read up a bit in the matter. Be aware of the animal life that’s native to your surroundings and know their lifestyle and patterns. So you’ll need to understand the behavior, food preferences, mating season and availability of a certain species. It’s important, as may prove very tricky to track down and hunt while others may be just sitting around for the taking.

Mammals

In principle, mammals are the best source of proteins available and to Americans is the food of choice. But hunting or

procuring mammal meat has disadvantages also. Most of them won’t come without a fight and the amount of damage an animal can inflict is directly proportionate to its size. So if you’re planning on hunting large game, it’s advised you do so with
professional hunting equipment. But it’s not always a matter of size, as even smaller mammals, like wild boars and even small rodents, can get very aggressive in order to protect their young. In a survival scenario, be very cautious as not to get bitten or scratched;
an infected open wound is the last thing you need. Almost all mammals are edible without boundaries, with few exceptions: scavengers (most of them are carrying diseases), the platypus (it has poisonous glands), the polar bear (has dangerously high levels of vitamin A in the liver) and more.


Birds

All species of birds are edible without boundaries and the only variables consist in size and flavor. As most of them fly, it’s very important to know and understand a specie’s habits in order to catch them easily. The best ones to catch are the ones that don’t put much of a fight. So during night time, pigeons can be easily picked up by hand out of their nests. And many other types of birds won’t tend to fly away when nesting, even if they sense the danger. So picking them up it’s just a mere formality. Most birds have a clear pattern, which is easily observable. If you study them carefully enough, you’ll know when and where they fly out from the nest area, in order to drink or procure food. If the nesting area is out of reach, the drinking or feeding spot could become a possible hunting ground. Catching them is easily done by setting traps and snares.

Nesting habits and patterns

 

Fish

Fish meat is extremely nutritious; not only is it an excellent source of protein, but also of beneficial fasts. They’re usually more abundant then mammals and most ways of procuring fish are way easier than hinting. Here too comes in play the knowledge of the patterns and behaviors of species. For instance, almost all species tend to feed abundantly before storms, because right after a storm the water tends to get muddy and impure.

So the best time for fishing is right before bad weather. If the water currents tend to get stronger than usual, fish tend to rest in “sanctuaries” where the water is calmer, like near rocks or other sturdy spots like logs, submerged foliage etc. They also have a tendency towards light during night time.

Salt-water fish can be poisonous, so you have to be aware of what you’re about to eat. Best stay away from species like red snapper, thorn fish, cow fish, puffer fish, porcupine fish etc. But the ones that are safe to eat, if you catch them further away from the shore, you can even eat raw. This is possible due to the high levels of salinity in deep waters, which prevents parasitic infestation.

It’s a whole different story when it comes to fresh-water fish. All of them must be thoroughly cooked before eating, in order to kill off all the parasites. As an up-side, fresh water fish are never poisonous. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have to be cautious when it comes to wandering into fresh-water. The catfish for example has very sharp needles in on its dorsal fin and barbels, which can deeply pierce into human flesh. So tread carefully and avoid painful wounds and infections.

The spikes in the dorsal fin and barbles (the Catfish)

 

 

 

Crustaceans

Most crustaceans are easy to spot and catch. The fresh-water shrimp can measure 0.25cm – 1 inch and can form large colonies or simply swim around vegetation. They can also be found in the mud vegetation of lakes. The larger crustaceans, like lobsters, crabs and shrimps are usually found where the water reaches about 30 feet deep. Lobsters and crabs are best caught during night time, with either a baited hook or a baited trap. Shrimp often comes at the surface of the water during night-time, attracted by light, making it easy for you to just scoop them up. Crayfish is also a great crustacean to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They’re akin to lobsters and crabs and can be found in the soft mud near the breathing holes of their nests or by round rocks in streams (but only during the day time, since they’re active at night). They have a hard shell (exoskeleton), 10 legs and large pincers.

       Crayfish

 

Insects

They’re the most spread life form on Earth, and unlike beef which consists in about 20% protein, insects can pack up to 65% – 80% pure protein. And the best part is that they’re everywhere and very easy to catch. Grassy spots are usually a great place to pick up all sorts of insects and it makes it very easy to spot them. A rotting piece of wood for example may also be a great source for a large variety of insects such as ants, beetles, termites, grubs etc. You can also scout many other places that could naturally provide shelter or nesting places for the tiny critters.

But many bugs do not come bug-free, as some of them (especially those with hard shells) will host a vast number of parasites. So if you plan on having beetles, grasshoppers or cicadas, don’t do so before cooking them. As much as they vary in shape as sizes, so do they in taste and texture. Eating them raw or cooked is one way to go, but another valid option is grinding them into a nutritious paste which you can mix with various herbs and spices, to add flavor.

The ones that you have to avoid eating are the ones that usually sting or bite. The larvae are safe to eat though, as they haven’t developed the stingers or poison glands yet. Also, if they’re hairy or brightly colored, keep away, not only by eating them but also from touching or interacting with them. Also spiders should be off-limits and all of the insects that are carriers of diseases like flies, mosquitoes, caterpillars etc.

If you ever happen find yourself in the situation of having to survive strictly on what Mother Nature provides, you’ll be just fine as you respect the basic set of written and unwritten natural rules. Just educate yourself in the matter, read up on specialized journals and articles in what’s safe to eat and what’s not and never take unnecessary risks. A wrong move might cost you your life.

By Alec Deacon

 

 

The post Animals To Catch and Eat For Your Survival appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

From Past to Present

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I am grateful that my husband Mike has showed me stuff that I didn’t know and encouraged me to love the great outdoors! It was not always that way. I remembered back when we used to live up on the mountain, we had a small piece of land behind our house and I was afraid to go in the woods by myself. I just told him that later!

We didn’t have this kind of setup in the Philippines. We have a jungle over there and I have never been to it either! I grew up in the city of Manila. Yes, a city girl! I remember when I was little, my mother would bring me and my siblings to grandma’s place for the summer. I liked it there although I felt that I was stuck there for two months! :)

What I did like about that place is… grandma Matilde had plenty of tropical fruits in her backyard. That’s all the forest was for me! But wait! I was a little adventurous girl! It does not stop me from going out and explore some areas by the river and hunt for more fruits to eat. I like to climb trees, harvest and eat up the fruits!

PRESENT

So, now I’m in Canada married to a woodsman and I’m glad that I can still cultivate that curiosity of a little girl. The only thing missing is that there are no tropical fruits to harvest but something else.

They have berries and all kinds of edible plants that I had never tried before; like for example the fiddleheads. Never thought in my life that we could eat “ferns!” I do now! :)  Oh, and I love wild garlics!wild edible - fiddleheadswild edible - fiddleheads

There are still so many things to try and I am still learning some more.

Last year I had some wild mushrooms (chanterelles) brought to me by Mike & Billy and it was actually pretty good. I would like to pick some myself now that I know exactly where they are and how to identify them.

wild mushrooms chanterelles

By the way please be careful and make sure that you know enough information concerning the edible plants that you are trying. Mike showed me which good fiddlehead to pick and I always cook them, same with the mushroom. Mike has always told me that if you are sure at 99% that it’s edible don’t touch it, it’s not enough. You have to be sure 100%!

Let me share with you something that I used to do with my grandma. She had pigs back then; grandma would bring me for a walk and we would pick wild plants (weeds). We would bring that home and cook it in a tin pot on an open fire with all our leftover meals mixed with some grains and then let it cool off and feed it to the pigs.

A few memories… eating young bamboo shoots; digging some sweet potatoes; and by the way the leaves are edible and we call them “talbos,” and we still eat them in the Philippines today and many other type of leaves like “kangkong, saluyot, malunggay,” etc.

If you click on each one of these names it will show you what it looks like. I must say that I miss eating them!

I was amazed how grandma knew her wild plants and what was edible and what was not. Now I could tell you many more stories but I will save it for another time.

I was curious and wanted to learn even as a little girl and I’m glad that I payed attention! I was actually blessed with two wonderful grandmothers who knew how to cook with what is available to them. I only realize it now how I wish that I had asked them more questions!

 

 

Cooking Food and Coffee

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What are we going to do without it? Cooking food and coffee! Everything smells better and taste better in the great outdoors as we all know!

I don’t know how many times Mike has told me, “Keep it simple.”

Well, first of all, define simple. :) I like to chop and I like vegetables and rice and meat to complete the combos and this is also one of the reasons that motivates me to go out. I like to cook my meals outside and it does not bother me preparing it. I just simply enjoy it and like doing it!

The Bartons and Food!

Coffee in the bushI like drinking my coffee before and after a meal, always a hot drink no matter what the season is. It just feels good to have a cup of coffee in the woods. It is almost a MUST!

I don’t remember going out with Mike without at least having a coffee, a fire, and a good meal. It has to be done absolutely! :)

It almost feels like something is missing if we do not do this heavenly routine! Weird but true!

I mean look at this piece of goodness below! How can you even think of not cooking and filling your mind with the aroma of this good meal! It is a gift and we must enjoy it!

outdoor cooking outdoor cookingIf you have never tried it, you must! If you can’t then bring a friend or a family member that can cook and share this wonderful time together with them in the great outdoors.

And of course, be safe and respect the rules and regulations of the places where you go and camp. The majority of our videos where we had an open fire are filmed in a private land owned by a friend, a brother in the Lord who has given us permission to use it. Ok, now for some reason I want a coffee and a good steak! I wonder why? :)

Steak for Mike and coffee for me!

outdoor cooking

Thank you for your time, we always appreciate your friendship and support.

Josie

 

Shelter, Food & Busy Hands

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We all know how a shelter is very important not only for cover but also for protection from the elements. I think that it is always a great challenge to me how to build a shelter whether making a simple or complicated one.

Here are some types of shelters:

Types of SheltersTypes of SheltersTypes of SheltersTypes of Shelters

Shelter always gives you that “homey” feeling of protection and comfort. I know that this is how I feel personally. I walk into the wilderness that is so big and so open that I feel so overwhelmed and lost. But whenever I make a shelter… it feels good like my homemade comfort zone :) my own little corner where I can be safe and rest.

Having your own space helps the mental thing a lot! It is very important to me to feel secure especially being a lady. :)

Don’t forget the FIRE! Shelter and Fire is a perfect combination! Food comes after remember? :)

Just look at these men what they had accomplished. It’s just the beginning of something great but still was a lot of work. When building shelters, it’s always worth it; it brings a sense of accomplishment. Now when these men go hunting in the fall, they will have a place to stay that will be warm and cozy after waiting and freezing patiently from the top trees! :)

Types of SheltersTypes of SheltersTypes of Shelters

Paul & Jeremy are brothers, young men from our church who go out with Mike sometimes. They worked hard to build this shelter, not very far from their hunting spots. Now remember what comes after? FOOD…. I LOVE FOOD!!

Building Shelter and CookingBuilding Shelter and CookingBuilding Shelter and Cooking

Whether you are with a family or friends, I think that it brings a smile to everyone’s face. Good memories are made!

CARVING

You may have seen Mike many times carving a spoon, just relaxing. Personally I like to see the hunt for that piece of wood before he transforms it into a spoon. The work that goes into it and the many hours spent carving it; perfecting every corner and edges.

Carving A SpoonCarving A SpoonCarving A SpoonCarving A Spoon

That is patience that I don’t think I have!  I tried, but I simply don’t have the gift to carve! :( I’ll just cook!

It is almost a perfect scene… a good shelter in front of a warm fire, meal cooking, water boiling for a coffee while Mike is finishing up a spoon. Amen!

20141117_120305 20150224_151405 20150424_172949

The sound of the wood cracking as it slowly burns and is being consumed by the fire is so relaxing to me. I am blessed that I have enjoyed many experiences like this with Mike. I am grateful and by God’s grace I am not DONE YET! :)

 

 

Spending Time in the Woods

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I like going out with my husband but he likes it more than I do. I know it and he knows it too! I look forward to going out with him curious where we will go, where we will set camp and what we are going to eat lol!

Whenever we are out together… he takes care of the camp and I take care of the food. We like it and enjoy doing it.

I like spending time in the woods because of the quietness that it gives, there is something so peaceful about it if you listen. The world is so busy and so loud. Someone told me once that it is too quiet here and scary! We get so used to the noise all around us that it makes us afraid to be still and do nothing.

The Word of God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” It is not an easy thing to do.”

Just because it’s quiet doesn’t mean that it’s boring!

I call it a PICNIC!

That’s why I get excited to go out. It is a DATE! A PICNIC for me and my hubby.

Spending Time in the WoodsSpending Time in the WoodsSpending Time in the Woods

I know when I go back home that I feel tired especially when it’s  a long hike but it’s a good tiredness. Breathing fresh air, drown my mind with pure thoughts, get in shape, but mostly refreshed. These are the some of the reasons why I like to go out and spend time in the woods.

The peace and rest that the Lord gives is a rest for a weary soul.

I find this easy but not for Mike! He is constantly moving, working, filming. I had to tell him often, can you relax. He tries but it is difficult for him because sometimes there are scenes that only he can see and he must absolutely get it on film!

I know that he needs to go out to film and to work but I have also heard him say to me, “I had a good talk with the Lord.” That is music to my ears!

Spending Time in the Woods Spending Time in the Woods  Spending Time in the Woods

This is the major reason why we go out, to DISCONNECT to be able to CONNECT with God. I hope that it will do the same for you. 

Mike & Josie

Spending Time in the Woods

Rough Beauty

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There is a kind of rough beauty out here. The kind that can kill you, or cure you, depending on how you step, how you breathe and how your heart beats.
One step can either break a leg or take your breath away with rapture.
That’s how it is out here.
The trees can whisper wisdom to you if you only stop and listen.
Of course you must stop yourself first.
Stop the mind-chatter, the ego, the judging, the “tapes” that lecture on your inadequacies….stop it all and just listen.

To the wind, the water, to the birds and to the voice of the Divine in everything around you.

If you can do that, you will leave this place a different person.

A better, less-fractured, universe-touched person.