How To Best Prepare Yourself For The Coming Financial Crisis

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Many financial analysts believe the United States economy is in a dire situation.  Peter Schiff, who accurately predicted the 2008 recession has come out and declared we will all live through another Great Depression, only this time, it’ll be much worse than before.  But there are ways to prepare for such an event, and we’ve gathered some helpful tips and tricks to help make the process a little more smooth.

“The bad news is, we are going to live through another Great Depression and it’s going to be very different. This will be in many ways, much much worse, than what people had to endure during the Great Depression…This is going to be a dollar crisis.”

When you are talking about the magnitude of the debt we have, that extra money [raising interest rates] is big. That’s going to be a big drain on the economy to the extent that we have to pay higher interest to international creditors…a lot of this phony GDP is coming from consumption, while the average American who is consuming is deeply in debt and they are going to impacted dramatically in the increase in the cost of servicing that debt…given how much debt we have, and how much debt is going to be marketed the massive increase in supply will argue for interest rates that are higher.” -Peter Schiff

According to Financial Times, it is becoming clear that the global monetary policy is now caught in a debt trap of its own making. Continuing on the current monetary path is ineffective and increasingly dangerous. But any reversal also involves great risks. It stands to reason that the odds of another crisis blowing up continue to rise.

So how can you forecast this economic disaster and best prepare?  For starters, you should pay off as much debt as possible. There are many reasons for this, the obvious being if it truly belongs to you and you have the title in hand, no one can take that property from you.  Pay off your unsecured debts first and as quickly as possible, however.  Credit card debt will become more expensive as interest rates rise, making those already only able to make a minimum payment stuck choosing between a credit card payment or another bill. Make sure you stop putting things on a credit card in order to pay it down with the goal of eliminating that debt. Cut things out of your budget if you must to pay things off. A good tip from Surviopedia is to tackle your debts one at a time starting with the smaller ones. Once the smaller one is paid off, apply the money for those payments to the next biggest debt, paying it off early. Once things are paid off, you’ll also have the added benefit of having extra money to buy things of value that can be used as currency during a crisis, such as gold, food, or ammunition.  Remember, when paper money is of no value, food or ammunition could very well be a powerful form of currency as bartering for goods and services inevitably returns.

Everyone knows they should store a little extra food “just in case,” even if it’s only to wait out a harsh storm. But accumulating ammunition is a great way to prepare for a post-apocalyptic world, especially one in which no one has money (or money is worthless) and grocery store shelves are empty. This is a great primer article to learn more about SHTF Firearms. Rifle and pistol cartridges will always have value if you store them right because ammunition could mean the difference between life and death.  An unloaded gun is merely a club, while a loaded gun can kill an animal for meat or protect one’s life from a violent attack.  Hoarding ammunition and having a safe and dry place to store it could be almost seen as a “savings account.” Even if you don’t own a gun capable of shooting a cartridge you are storing, someone else likely will. One strategy to use, though is to arm yourself with firearms and ammunition using very common cartridges. This will increase the chances that someone else, will have a gun that can shoot what you are offering. The most common pistol cartridges are 9mm, 38 Special and .45 ACP. The most common rifle cartridges are .22 Long Rifle, 7.62x39mm, and 5.56x45mm.  Ammunition is often overlooked as a possible form of currency during a financial crisis but it will be necessary and difficult to come by making it a highly valued currency.  Make sure you have a safe place to store your ammunition and keep its availability quiet to prevent theft or violent attacks against yourself. Rifle cartridges will represent months worth of food, even if you don’t own a rifle. The trick is to find someone who does and trade them for something of equal value.

The final tip to best prepare yourself for a financial crisis is to learn how to make things, such as biodiesel or vegetable oil. Vegetable oil can be extracted by the proper processing of corn and other seeds of your choice and during Venezuela’s collapse, this was one of the first staples that disappeared from the market. Most of the oil producing companies were seized and nationalized. Now their production is a small fraction of what it was when they were private, and the military controls the supply and sales in the black market. Once the vegetable oil has been used for cooking, it could be used as fuel, to improve the heat output of wood stoves, or even as a makeshift a water heater that runs with WVO (waste vegetable oil).  But you should also consider learning to make biodiesel, especially if you own a vehicle or a generator that will run on diesel fuel. It is possible to make biodiesel using vegetable oil too.  If you’d like to try it, Thoughtco has put together a helpful guide that will walk you through the process. 

Remember the three things that will be the most impactful during an economic collapse: having no debt, having items that will serve as a currency, and being able to produce things of value.  If you can accomplish all of those, your chances of survival will go up.

 

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

U.S. Disaster Zones: Are You Living In A Place Where Disasters Are Common?

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The great east Japan earthquake

With constant media bombardment of fears of a nuclear war, many have begun to prepare for a disaster.  But government uncertainty isn’t the only thing on the minds of the masses.  Volcanic activity appears to be increasing and earthquakes seem to be getting more severe.  That begs the question: do you live in a disaster zone?

In just the past 16 years, parts of Louisiana have been struck by six hurricanes. Areas near San Diego were devastated by three particularly vicious wildfire seasons. And a town in eastern Kentucky has been pummeled by at least nine storms severe enough to warrant federal assistance.  These are obvious red flag areas, but what about the rest of the country?

The New York Times has put together a map showing which areas in the United States were subjected to the most disasters which caused monetary losses by ZIP code between 2002 – 2017.

                                    $150,000                         $500,000                           $1 million                       $5 million

All the maps in show losses verified by the Small Business Administration for disasters in which a presidential disaster declaration was issued. The values of the losses are expressed in 2017 dollars.

The statistics for living in the “red zones” in the above map are not comforting either. About 90 percent of the total losses across the United States occurred in ZIP codes that contain less than 20 percent of the national population, according to an analysis of data from the Small Business Administration.

In the first three months of 2018, billion-dollar storms hit the United States three times. By contrast, in the first three months of an average year, just one disaster that causes more than a billion dollars in damages occurs, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records dating back to 1980.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) attempts to calculate the full cost of major disasters, namely those that cause more than a billion dollars in damages. It estimates that 2017 was the costliest year on record, with 16 billion-dollar disasters that together cost the United States more than $300 billion. While natural disasters are often unpredictable, the annual losses from billion-dollar disasters, which were adjusted for inflation, have increased over the last 40 years.

Because the federal government continues to use taxpayer funds to subsidize the disaster zones, critics feel that the money is being wasted by continuing to help people live in places that they know will be hit by a hurricane or deadly storm.  Christina DeConcini, the director of government affairs at the World Resources Institute, said that instead of just being responsive, the government should stress building for resilience against the disasters that continue to cost people money.

About 4 percent of all hurricanes that make landfall globally hit the United States, said Robert Mendelsohn, an economist at Yale University who studies the damage caused by hurricanes. However, 60 percent of worldwide damage from hurricanes happens in the United States. Dr. Mendelsohn attributed this partly to federal government programs that discourage citizens and local governments from building walls to protect housing near the coast. Only in the United States do relief programs and subsidized insurance make it attractive for people to move toward disaster-prone areas, he told The New York Times.

People continue to live in disaster areas mostly because of their financial situation, whether it be a lot or too little money. Phil Klotzbach, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University, said that the rise in population and wealth near the coasts was contributing to most of the increase in the destruction caused by hurricanes.  Bigger and more expensive homes require more money to repair in the event of a natural disaster, and many even in the middle class are being squeezed out of coastal areas due to the cost of living.   In 2016, there were more than 3.6 times as many homes in states that border the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as in 1940, according to the Census Bureau.

Others say that their family ties and lack of funds to support a move are keeping them in areas prone to natural disasters. Linda Lowe, the president of a historical society in flood-prone Olive Hill, Kentucky said that rather than move the town, “it’s easier to throw your hands up and say, ‘Forget it.’” Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University said rationality often goes out the window when discussing things like disasters and their destructive potential on a person’s life.  “Abandoning a location and moving a city makes sense from a scientific, risk point of view, but the fact is that to get to a place culturally and psychologically where that conversation can be tolerated is a difficult thing to imagine,” said Redlener. “It’s not all that rational — but I guess a lot of these things are not really rational,” he added according to The New York Times.

But some residents have decided to stay in disaster zones and use their time between hurricanes to prepare themselves for the next storm.  It’s often the best way to protect against monetary and life losses, said one Louisiana resident. Susan McClamroch, who works at a museum in Slidell, Louisiana, said that locals joke that they “start eating everything in the freezer” this time of year because of the likelihood of a power failure after a hurricane.

If you cannot relocate, or do not wish to relocate, consider storing some food and water in a safe place just in case disaster strikes.

Since it’s hard to take that first step and prepare, especially for a year-long power grid failure, a handy guide we’ve often suggested is called The Prepper’s Blueprint.  Written by Tess Pennington, it’ll walk the reader through a prepping regimen with a guide and easy to follow instructions and give beginning preppers a foundation to build on.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Almost Completely Erase Your Digital Footprint

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Although its almost impossible to completely wipe out your entire digital footprint as if you’ve never had access to the internet, but you can get close. If you’d like to make an attempt to completely remove yourself from the internet, we’ve got a few tips and tricks that could help you along the way. 

To go the full off-the-grid route, “it’s cash, barters,” Bradley Shear, a lawyer specializing in social media told The Washington Post. “Do not use any electronic device that can lead back to your whereabouts.”  Which leads us to the first item to consider.

The first thing you want to do is the hardest for some, but its the most obvious. You need to quit appearing online.  Stop posting on Facebook or Twitter and no longer use search engines.  All of those will track your location and Internet usage leaving behind your digital footprint. Of course, just not using the internet isn’t quite enough if you’d like yourself completely gone in full-off-the-grid fashion.

The next step would be deleting your online accounts. Every single one of them. Having a social media account is, more or less, ensuring your active participation in letting the Internet learn more about you. Facebook, in particular, knows a lot about you and is very good at tracking what you do across the rest of the Web, even when you’re not actively using it. If you need help deleting your accounts, consider JustDelete.Me, which provides tips and links to remove accounts.  But you can’t just remove your accounts and expect that it’s done and over with. You will also need to remove any and all information and content that is posted about you by others.  This can get a little trickier, but you could consider trying Abine’s DeleteMe, which for a fee can assist in removing your personal contact information and your photos and will provide you with a regular report and updates.

Next, you want to search for yourself on the Internet.  This will help you discover if there are any old accounts (does anyone even remember MySpace?) that you may have forgotten you had just lingering around. If you happen to come across an account you cannot delete, just start falsifying the information.  Change the name on the account to whatever you want it to be, that’s different than yours, obviously. Change the city and state and leave the gender “unselected” if possible.  The less information you put in, the less you have to falsify.

You are also going to want to unsubscribe from all of those mailing lists you’ve accidentally signed up for during your Internet travels. That’s usually pretty easy to do.  Go into your junk folder and open up the advertisements.  Scroll to the bottom of the email and click the tiny word “unsubscribe.”  When it directs you to, make sure you choose to no longer receive ANY email that you’d consider “junk.”  Afterall, that’s why it was in that folder, to begin with anyway, right?

If you still need the Internet for work, you may have to stop here.  Having removed social media and cleaning up your email will go a long way in minimizing your online trail.  But for those who wish to continue on and “go dark,” your next step would be deleting search engine results. Google has a URL removal tool that could help. The next step would be contacting webmasters of websites you have no control over.  Be kind, and let them know you’d like your information and comments removed.  Be prepared to be told by some that all public information should remain public, in which case, you may be out of luck.  You’ll also need patience.  Not every single webmaster will get back to you in a timely manner.

Once you’ve completed everything listed above, you should consider removing your information from data clearinghouses.  Many companies track your online behavior and sell that data to others.  Intelius, Spokeo, and People Finders are a few examples of such data clearinghouses. In order to remove your information from these, however, will take up a lot of your time.  You’ll need to make a lot of phone calls and fill out tons of paperwork.  A paid service called DeleteMe could be considered if you’ve got some extra cash laying around.  For all others, you will need time and patience and determination to get through this step.

Once you feel you’ve gotten yourself removed from data clearinghouses, you should contact the phone company and be sure to make your phone number unlisted.

The last step would be to delete your email. “Every time you access it, they have your IP address,” Shear said.  This is last simply because, during the completion of the previous steps, an email address is likely going to be required at some point.

If you’ve decided you cannot completely “go dark” as far an internet use is concerned, consider protecting your data and information by using an encrypted email service such as ProtonMail. And if you want your activity not to be tracked across the Web, you would have to essentially use a virtual private network, or VPN, every time you access the Internet unless you exclusively access the Internet from public machines (such as those at a public library). For searching online, you can use sites such as DuckDuckGo instead of Google or Yahoo, or any other search engine that tracks you. Also, consider Signal, a text and phone-call encryption app that comes with a recommendation from Edward Snowden himself.

Although it seems it may be futile to attempt to “go dark,” you just might be successful. Best of luck to those who have the desire to disappear from the Internet, because you’ll need it, and all the patience you can muster.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Best TSA-Approved Multi-Tools For Survival Or Self-Defense

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Traveling can be fun, but going through the Transportation Security Administrations checkpoints can leave you feeling exploited and defenseless.  The TSA’s rules are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to know what you are allowed to have on a plane.  Because of this, we’ve broken down the best survival and self-defense tools TSA will allow in this handy guide.

All of the tools shown below are 100% TSA approved, meaning they will allow you to carry them in your carry-on bag on a flight without hassle. Unless things change again. (I had half plastic, half metal baby fingernail clippers seized from me once.)

Just in case the TSA gets overzealous, you can prevent your multitool from being stolen from you. One travel hack that works for some is to open up all the tools and place it in the change tray. If that doesn’t do the trick, another quick tip is to pack an envelope with pre-paid postage. That way, if you run into any problems, you can avoid confiscation by mailing it home or to a friend instead.

*All images courtesy of Amazon

1. Gerber Shard Keychain Tool

Backed by a titanium nitride coating to help prevent corrosion, this shard keychain includes a wire stripper, bottle opener, lanyard hole and more. It also comes with flat and Phillips head screwdrivers. It’s small and easy to carry. The Shard, made with a unique keyhole, can easily attach to a split ring or key ring, which lets you keep the multi-tool handy at all times.

Size: 3.1 x 1.3 x 0.6 inches and weighs .0.32 oz., with lightweight easy to grab-and-go functionality you should imagine from a great keychain multi-tool.

The best news is that this little tool won’t break the bank either.  You grab this one for $6.95 on Amazon.

2. Gerber Dime Multi-Tool Travel, Bladeless

This handy multi-tool includes needle nose pliers, wire cutters, scissors, a zipper hook, small and medium flat screwdrivers, tweezers, a bottle opener and much, much more. Built by Gerber again, it’s definitely one heck of a quality carry-on tool. This tool is bladeless for travel-friendly use, features a butterfly open design, with comfortable ergonomic handles, stainless steel construction, and a convenient keychain ring.

Size: 0.7 x 5.5 x 6 inches

This handy tool will cost you $14.95 on Amazon.

3. TREAD Wearable Tool

Made in the United States, this multitool is “ready for anything. With the functionality of a Leatherman, all in one stylish package, The Tread’s modular design is fully customizable to fit your needs and your wrist. The Tread is fully adjustable to fit your wrist. Simply add or remove links in quarter-inch and half-inch increments to fit.  It also has a variety of box wrenches, hex drives, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, oxygen tank wrench, carbide glass breaker, sim card pick, cutting hook, socket drive adapter, and bottle opener. This one is meant to be worn everywhere, not just on the airplane. 

Size: 3.9 x 5.9 x 9.4 inches

This one will set you back a bit coming in at $174.95 on Amazon.  However, it comes with a 25-year limited warranty.

4. Piranha 2 Multi-Purpose Pocket Tool

The Piranha 2 multi-purpose pocket tool features  7 tools, which include a scraper, bottle opener, 1/4″ hex bit driver, medium screwdriver, open wrench (English), box wrench (Metric), and box opener.

Size: 4.9 x 2 x 1.1 inches

This one is not as pricey as the wearable tool.  Amazon has it listed for $14.99.

5. Leatherman Style PS Multi-Tool

The Style PS is the ultimate pocket-sized multitool. Put it in your pocket, clip it on your bag, and even take it when you travel right in your carry on bag. It’s lightweight and compact size makes it easy to take with you anywhere. The Style PS features spring-action needlenose and regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters and scissors, flat and Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, nail file, and combination carabiner and bottle opener. Style PS also only requires one hand to open and use all the tools.

Size: 3.1 x 2 x 1.3 inches

The Style PS is selling for $29.95 on Amazon

6. NiteIze DooHicKey

This keychain multitool is inexpensive and can tighten bolts and screws or open a bottle. It features a box Cutter, a bottle opener, wrench (.25”, .3125”, and .375”), ruler (inches and centimeters), carabiner, and flathead screwdriver.

Size: 2.6” x .7” x .1”

You can snag one of these on Amazon for only $3.98!

7. Zootility Tools Wildcard

This folding credit card knife is TSA-approved. Made entirely of heat treated stainless steel, it features a replaceable blade, built-in screwdrivers, a pry-bar, and a bottle opener.  Since it’s the size of credit card, it also easily slides into your wallet.  Zootility WildCard™  knife is TSA compliant, however, if you get in a confiscation situation, you can just surrender the blade, and keep the handle, which features built-in screwdrivers, a pry-bar, and bottle opener, making it the ultimate tool for everyday carry and replace the blade later. 

Size: 2.2 x 3.2 x 0.1 inches

This multi-tool is available on Amazon for $35.00

*All Amazon prices are current to when this article was written and may change after publication.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Ways To Stay Alive in a Post-Collapse Society

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There have always been times where we inadvertently put ourselves in precarious situations. In this case, your best bet is to trust your gut. If you don’t feel the situation is right, find the nearest exit and leave the area. We covered some of these times in our most recent article regarding attackers and how to handle them individually or en-masse.  In the article, we covered a lot of ground for scenarios that may occur during these “Good Times” prior to a societal collapse or nuclear war.  This article is taking those suggestions and applying them in a collapse environment. Before we begin, you must understand that the biggest difference is that in a post-SHTF scenario there are no rules.

In a SHTF world, it’s a different story.

The sad thing with laws and rules is that they only help protect the citizen from the law-abiding citizen: the system focuses on self-discipline and restraint.

7 Ways To Stay Alive in a Post-Collapse Society

Life will definitely be different when the SHTF. You will not be able to rely on the law to protect you; however, you will also not be prosecuted under the law for some superficial or superfluous reason: your life and your family’s lives take precedence.  That being said, what do you do?  How do you handle these attackers…people that are intent on taking you down and taking what you have?  Let’s outline some basics that you can use post-SHTF.

  1. Never travel anywhere alone: always go in pairs with one to guard and watch over the other one.
  2. Never go anywhere unarmed: preferably with a rifle or shotgun, a main sidearm (pistol), a backup sidearm/piece, plenty of ammo for all of them, a fixed-blade knife, and a folding (lock-blade) knife at a minimum. Read more about SHTF firearms in this article. Yes, that is a lot of stuff.  Let’s make some further suggestions on these.  Mossberg 500 series 12 gauge shotgun.  .45 ACP main pistol.  .22 cal lr revolver or pistol…suppressor is optional but highly recommended.  Gerber Mark II fixed-blade knife.  Spyderco police model folding knife.
  3. Never travel anywhere without the rest of the family/group knowing where you’re heading: Don’t mess around with this one. If trouble arises, you cannot go off wandering on your own and expect anyone to come to your aid.
  4. Consider all strangers armed and potentially dangerous: If you wish to be the “Good Samaritan/Mister Rogers,” this is your choice. After the SHTF, however, the rules are off, and it is (paraphrasing Jack London) back to the Law of Club and Fang.
  5. Keep your distance when talking to strangers: As President Reagan phrased it so eloquently, “Peace through superior firepower.” Watch their eyes, watch their hands, and conclude your discussion in a businesslike manner.  Don’t waste time: get to the point and then get going. Along those lines, pay attention to the way you carry yourself in public. Your body language can be very telling. Predators normally watch their victims before they strike and look for key indicators.
  6. Meeting strangers: You may wish to have a couple extra people roaming around at a distance to watch for the approach of an ambushing force. Many attacks begin by placing people at ease and using a larger force held in reserve to swoop in when the parlay has begun, and everyone’s guard is down.
  7. Territory: You need to stake it out, post it (warn others), and enforce the fact that it is your territory. Many times, attackers will be “persuaded” to find a softer target: one that is less organized with people not in a readiness stance at all times.

Related: 10 Ways To Avoid Marauders and Looters After the Collapse

These Post-Collapse Rules Will Keep You Alive

There are some rules to follow that are hard rules, but will serve you in good stead.  They apply in a wartime situation, and they will apply equally in a disaster such as an apocalyptic event with societal collapse.

  1. Everybody Wants Something: they aren’t traveling toward your home turf for nothing.  They want something: food, water, clothing, shelter, tools, or interest in the opposite sex.  This last we’ll cover as an “individual item.”  You need to find out what they want, and if they’re willing to trade something for it or if they’re just out scouting to raid (the more likely of the two choices).
  2. Discretion is the Better Part of Valor: Keep a cool head, a steady hand, an unflinching eye, and the ability to go into fighting mode in an instant.  An aggressor will notice these things.  He will want to assess your abilities.  This also means keeping your cool.  It doesn’t mean shutting up and allowing yourself to be verbally bullied into a corner.  The enemy can sense weakness, as well.  Mr. and Mrs. Hallmark?  You’re going to have to step up and do your own dirty work…your own fighting for once.  Better be smart and don’t bite off something that is bigger than you can chew.
  3. Interest in the Opposite Sex:  This is a fact of life.  The primary groups will be groups of men that are correlated directly with ancient hunting parties of old.  These groups of men will no longer have rules they have to follow and they will want your wife, your daughter, or your sister.  They will adhere to no rules or propriety.  They will want children as well: girls or young boys.  Let me be perfectly clear: you will have to kill them when they come for such.
  4. Cannibalism: Yes, cannibalism is always something you may have labeled as a “fluke” event, such as “Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors,” but it is not.  There was an Army study years back that found that 1 human out of 1,000 will actively hunt other humans for food.  I’m here to tell you, that number is grossly underestimated.  Cannibalism begins almost immediately, at least within the first 1 to 2 weeks following a disaster.  There is plenty of history out there to document it, such as the Donner Party, as well as a presentation done by the Discovery Channel.  Be aware of it: they’ll be out there, and you need to be ready for them.

You need to continuously assess your fighting skills and training.  Assess these realistically, and take into account your shortcomings.  Learn to “pair” your preference with what is most effective.  Although I can more than handle myself in a knife fight, I prefer to meet an attacker carrying a blade with a nice 24” Aluminum T-Ball bat.  I’m here to tell you, when the bat is swinging?  The bat is singing, and the song it’s playing is all mine.  You have to find your own personal weapon of choice for “close encounters” where a firearm may not be able to be used.

In the end, taking care of yourself is a stance, and when the “S” hits the fan, the rules will disappear: they are as fragile as society itself, as fragile as cobwebs drenched with dew in the summer sun.  A strong wind will blow them away, just as an event will blow down the Hallmark houses made of straw and blow away the thin veneer of civilization masking the underlying, atavistic barbarism along with it.  Now is the time to assess yourself, make your plans, and execute those plans to strengthen your body, mind, and spirit to prepare for the times to come.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Brute Ways To Protect Yourself From Barbarian Hoards in a Collapse

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ReadyNutrition Readers, we did a segment on some positive actions and strategies of the Roman Army to incorporate into your SHTF battle plans.  But what about the barbarians?  Yes, the Roman war machine was the penultimate fighting unit down to the individual level.  It was after the Republic (and then Empire) decayed through overextension, greed, corruption, and moral turpitude that the Legions lost their effectiveness.  By the early 5th century C.E., the Legions were a shadow of their past.

This brings us to the barbarians.  The term was an all-encompassing one that meant “foreigners,” more than anything else…specifically to non-Romans.   Those who were not Roman citizens, is the most accurate rendition.  By the middle of the 4th century, the Legions depended heavily on conscripts from Gaul (now France), the Germanic tribes, and many nations such as Greece and Spain.  With service, Roman citizenship was obtained, along with grants of land.  This became a two-edged sword, however: the discharged auxiliaries of the foreign nations returned to their homelands.

The Barbarians and Their Effective Fighting Skills

They brought back to their tribes and clans the knowledge of the fighting ways of the Legions, incorporating many of their tactics into their own ways of fighting.  To a point.  These barbarian tribes had many effective ways of fighting peculiar to themselves that proved of great merit…lessons we can incorporate into what we do today.

Let’s list some of these ancient tribesmen and some of the tactics that enabled them to succeed, and we’ll draw a correlation as to how we may emulate some of these tactics.

  1. The Saxons: They are the ancestors of the Germans today. Indeed, Saxony is a famous geographical area in Germany between the Elbe and Rhine rivers.   The most common weapons of these people were spears: a lighter one for throwing a long distance, and a heavier one for close-in combat.  In Saxon poetry the spear was referred to as the aesc (which is derived from the make of the shaft, fashioned from ash wood.  The aesc-berend was the “spear-bearer,” the term given to a Saxon fighting man.  Saxon warriors (contrary to Hollywood portrayal) did not all have chain mail: they had thick embossed leather armor, as well as hides.  They did have helmets of iron and plates of horn with nose-guards.  Their infantry traveled lightly, and swords were not as widespread as commonly portrayed.  The Saxons gathered about warrior chiefs and kings, giving him their loyalty and in return they received a share of what was taken in conquest in the form of arms, monies, and livestock.
  2. The Vikings: the term coming from the word vikingr, an ancient Norse word that means “sea rover” and the Scandinavian nations such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark were the points of origin of these warriors. They relied on their raids on narrow, sturdily built, and swift long ships.  These Northmen interacted with the Romans by trading and occasionally by mutual visitation.  It was not until after the Empire had fallen that the Northmen assumed the “Viking” mantle and began their raids throughout Europe that lasted for several centuries.  A warrior culture, they had the Jomsvikings…the elite of their warrior tribes who trained incessantly for the raiding seasons and lived for battle.  These Jomsvikings were supported by the communities they lived near within compounds.  They were without wives for the period they served in this manner and concentrated their focus upon hand-to-hand combat in preparation for raids.
  3. The Britons: The peoples of the British Isles were conquered and occupied for several centuries by the Romans, but eventually Roman rule disintegrated as the Legions departed in 406 C.E., leaving all their forts, edifices, and infrastructure intact. The Britons were masters of the chariot and proficient with spear and lasso.  Often their chariots would act as a “shock unit” and ride into closely packed formations of infantry to disorganize the ranks and then create gaps through which their own infantry could penetrate.
  4. The Huns: the ancestors of the modern-day inhabitants of Hungary and the steppes and plains of western and central Asia, the Huns were the consummate horsemen of their day. They rode, ate, slept, and lived (among other things) on the back of a horse.  They were excellent archers and spearmen, and their ferocity was so great as to cause entire nations of Germanic tribes in the area of what is now known as the Black Sea to come stampeding onto Roman territory to escape the Huns.  These Huns had a habit of killing just about everyone who did not submit to them, and many of those who did.  They could ride great distances and appear seemingly out of nowhere to battle with vigor and endurance.  It took the combined efforts of the Romans and the Visigoths to stop them from conquering all of Europe.

7 Brute Ways To Protect Yourself From Barbarian Hoards in a Collapse

So, what can we learn from all of this?  Let’s go over it, then.

  1. It is better to be lightly armed and completely proficient in the use of weapons than be encumbered by a bunch of gear that may just slow you down [Saxons].
  2. A lightning raid executed perfectly will shock, demoralize, and defeat an opponent who is unprepared for it [Vikings].
  3. Train without ceasing, and train to the peak of your proficiency [Vikings].
  4. Vehicles have a distinct advantage over infantry if employed properly [Britons].
  5. Find a good leader whose aims exemplify those of the group…a leader with ability, humility, and humanity…who is not afraid to lead by example [Saxons, Vikings].
  6. Speed and timing in an engagement are very difficult to counter by your enemy if you have mastered them and mastered their employment in an unpredictable manner [Huns].
  7. Violence of action in an engagement often carries the day: 100% commitment with vigor. [Vikings, Huns]

Although appearing outwardly disorganized, these people had structure to their societies, and their cultures have contributed much to the mindset and makeup of the world today.  They supplanted the Roman Empire with their vigor and tenacity.  We can learn much by studying them: their seriousness, their stern demeanor and taciturn ways.  Chances are these are some qualities that have been passed on to you, their descendants that you might never have been aware of unless you studied them.  They have much to teach us, if we pay attention to what they did and some of the positive aspects of their lives.  So, raise those drinking horns high, and take a step back in time to study their history…your own family’s history, in many cases…and translate it into a tool for today…as it is also the history of all of us.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Wealth Preservation: Understanding Silver and Gold Content for Collapse Investing

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Investing in precious metals is a great way to diversify and preserve your wealth. You can even find it on eBay! While this article is by no means an exhaustive treatise on gold and silver buying, it is more of a “primer” to give you some basic information you need to get started (if you plan on going into this area) or to provide knowledge to arm you in your dealings with people.  Some of this may be useful for you in purchases of precious metals, but the scope of this is mainly to cover things that you may find when out hunting in the flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, or other areas of the “secondary shops.”

First, we’ll cover gold measured in terms of purity that is expressed in karats, symbolized by the letter “K” and “kt” with jewelers.

24 Karat                                 100%, or pure gold

22 Karat                                 91.7% gold

18 Karat                                 75.0% gold

14 Karat                                 58.3% gold

10 Karat                                 41.7% gold

Now let’s cover silver, a metal marked with a purity mark.  Here are the marks and their percentage of silver contents that correspond:

999                                          99.9% silver

958                                          95.8% silver

925                                          92.5% silver (known as Sterling silver)     

800                                          80.0% silver

We are referring mostly to jewelry or decorative pieces and keepsakes here (such as silverware, candlestick holders, or other things that may bear a stamp to show their precious metal content).  Coins are a little bit more involved and beyond the scope of this article, as there are too many to list here.

One of the problems that people run into with jewelry and their great-grandmother’s candlestick holders is that most businesses that buy them will usually pay according to their melt value.  This is especially true with silver.  Most of these dealers will estimate the silver content of your item by weight, and then will pay you roughly 15-25% under value to cover their handling and melting charges.

Learn how to test your junk gold and silver

For coins there can be a numismatic value attached to the coin…that is, its worth as a collector piece…that is greater than the melt value.  There is also the little problem that although the coins are no longer in circulation, well…they are.  All coins and currency are (technically) the property of the U.S. government…and to melt them down without proper authorization would be considered destruction of government property.

Jewelry doesn’t have that problem.  The real problem is that you will receive a fraction of what it is worth when you take it to a dealer who will hand you nice, crisp, approved, Federal Reserve Notes in exchange for your silver or gold.  Here’s how to figure out the “melt value” in silver:

Take your weight in silver (usually in grams) and convert to troy ounces, multiplying this weight by the percentage of silver in the silver content of your item.  Then you will have the amount of silver in troy ounces.  Then it’s a simple matter to look up the spot price of the silver (what silver is trading for that day on the commodities exchanges).  Divide the weight of your silver by the spot price to find out the worth in dollars.  Then multiply this figure by the percentage that the dealer will pay you minus his handling and melting fees.

Now, many people do this routinely as a business.  Others hold onto their finds.  Your actions will be determined by your purpose: to turn a “quick” Federal Reserve note out of some metals, or to garner a supply little by little as a hedge against either a currency collapse, or as a barter material in a future time.  Either way, this piece will get you started on researching an area you may choose to enter or specialize within.  Good luck and remember to lay your groundwork before you act.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Ways To Avoid Approaching Attackers

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I know this has been covered before by everyone, but I’m compelled to state it again: what is in his hands? Hands empty? And he’s about to attack you? Go through him, do damage, and leave. As an unwanted side effect of deep training in self-defense, too many people wait for the attack…”

Comment by Miro, a Ready Nutrition Reader

Excellent comment by Miro, substantiating a point I made in a letter to Readers about how important the comments sections can be.  Read them and learn about others’ points of view, as well as picking up some tips and good information you can use.  Good job, Miro.  I suggest everyone go to the article Immediate Actions You Must Take If You’re About to be Attacked,” and read the rest of what Miro wrote.  We’re going to get into those actions in Part 2.

It is especially important because it characterizes vital points about threat assessment, the critical component in your actions.  What you must do is often characterized by what threat you face.  In this light, observe the actions of the individual or people approaching you.  What are they carrying?  Do they have any weapons, and is it obvious that they are going to be a threat?  Facial expressions, gestures, speed of movement, and stance (approaching you, trying to cut you off, etc.) all need to be considered to determine threat level.

Staying Safe and Escaping a Dangerous Situation is Your Main Priority

In the article previously mentioned, the three factors are Equalize, Distance, and Escape.

  1. Equalize – this means to use whatever you have on hand to make the situation more manageable for you. An assailant comes at you with a knife, and you have an umbrella…you can use the umbrella to interdict between the knife and yourself (if it’s opened) or as a striking tool if it’s closed.  A pocketbook can be used as a “Morningstar/mace” against an attacker with a club or knife.  A jacket carried in-hand can be slung upon the attacker’s face or weapon.  Here are seven improvised objects that can be used for self-defense.  These actions take you to the next step:
  2. Distance – this means to place as much distance as possible between you and the attacker. This can also include getting into a car or vehicle and locking the door behind you.  Your objective with this step is to separate yourself from your attacker and his weapon.  “Distance is your best friend,” as they used to say in the Army.  It is your best friend.  By using that “friend,” you can progress to step number 3.
  3. Escape – Yes, get out of that uncontrolled situation. What you do afterward is your business, but the first rule is to survive and succeed.  Suppose there’s a dozen of these guys, right out of the movie “The Warriors?”  What then?  There’s no use getting into semantics.  Just GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) while the getting is good!  Escape, call the police and deal with them if you must ON YOUR TERMS, not on theirs.

5 Ways to Avoid an Approaching Attacker

Emphasis should be placed on “escape” here, because you’re dealing with 2 scenarios: 1. The everyday/now, and 2. A SHTF/disaster-stoked scenario.  In the scope of this article, we will deal with the first scenario…and this is where threat assessment is more critical.

The reason: the law.  Laws more often protect the criminal more than the victim.  If you are going to engage one of the morons who is attacking you and you must do it alone, use some of these tools to your advantage, and keep some points in mind:

  1. In this CCTV/omnipresent camera age, try to maneuver into an area where there is some sort of security camera. This can dispel doubt and give credence to your case of self-defense and provide evidence that you were defending yourself
  2. Make it loud and summon others. You’d be surprised how loud a small air horn (they make them not much larger than a tube/vial of pepper spray these days) can be.  Attract attention!  Most of these hoodlums do not want to be seen.
  3. If you must engage, fight to win. Be as effective as possible and use “Fabian Tactics,” in other words, “hit and run.”  Inflict the maximum amount of damage with the minimum amount of effort and get out of there.  We have covered the vital areas to strike for, as well as improvised weapons in previous articles.  It would behoove you to refresh on these.
  4. “Any Old Port in a Storm” – be smart: duck into a business or make a break for an area where there are plenty of people. The probability is high that the pursuer(s) will break contact and discontinue the chase.
  5. When it’s done, it’s not done – Yeah, that sounds contradictory, but you cannot let it go and think if you’ve escaped them that it’s all over. Best thing to do: file that police report and get them involved.  You pay for the “system,” so make it work for you.

Take note of the attacker(s) after you have concluded that an attack is occurring.  How are you being approached?  “Blocking” is the key word here…placing something in between you and them.  A line of cars, a narrow alleyway where they cannot come at you except in a single file, a busy street full of traffic.  Put something between you and them.  Part of avoiding them from channeling you into an area they can deal with you is your preparations.

Start Actively Practicing Situational Awareness

What this means is simple: don’t park in an area that has “blind spots,” or areas where a goon can hide.  Don’t enable said goon by being complacent in your activities.  Part of prevention is observation: you need to see who is lurking around, potentially following you, watching you, and planning something.  When several people are in an area where you park, and they look at you and begin talking to themselves and continue to look at you…the odds are not in your favor with this.

Avoidance is not being a coward.  Avoidance is gaming the situation correctly and assessing it for what it is.  Even if you beat the daylights out of them if they attack, what is to be gained from it?  Better yet, what can you lose?  When they say they were the victim and then bring criminal and civil charges against you.  All for something you could have avoided.

Sun Tzu: The apex of a general’s skill is when he wins a battle without fighting fight.

Sage advice.  Avoid at all costs, and break contact to continue the mission.  The mission is to survive and to keep yourself, your family, and your home intact.  Assessing the threat at the level that it is and meeting that threat head on only when there is no alternative will give you better odds at staying out of problems from being hurt, being sued, or having the law on top of you.  In Part 2, we will cover what to do when there is no way to avoid the attackers, and go a little more “in-depth” than the basic article mentioned previously.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hurricane Expert Warns: “Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario”… U.S. Could See Up to 5 Major Hurricanes in 2018

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Before 2017, there was a relatively quiet period for hurricanes. In fact, a decade went by without a major hurricane. But all of that changed in 2017, when monster hurricanes Irma and Harvey hit. Due to their unprecedented damage, the 2017 hurricane season became one of the most expensive on record. With nearly 200 billion dollars worth of damage, many were hoping for another quiet lull for this year, but forecasters say otherwise.

Two primary factors are critical for determining how active the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season will be. One is whether El Niño develops and the other is the configuration of North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. When El Niño conditions are present and ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific are warm, the Atlantic hurricane season tends to be less active.

Increased sea levels could also be indicative of more severe storm damage. “Higher sea levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges push farther inland than they once did, which also means more frequent nuisance flooding. Disruptive and expensive, nuisance flooding is estimated to be from 300 percent to 900 percent more frequent within U.S. coastal communities than it was just 50 years ago.”

The U.S. Could See as Many as 5 Major Hurricanes in 2018

When combined together, these indications could create a conditions perfect for hurricane formations. AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski is predicting the United States will see 12-15 tropical storms, 6 to 8 are forecasted to become hurricanes and 3 to 5 are forecast to become major hurricanes.

2018 atlantic hurricane season forecast 

“According to Kottlowski, conditions are ripe for early season development in the Gulf of Mexico due the warm water already in place in that part of the Atlantic basin.

As for the rest of the season, historical records and the projected pattern suggest the area from Houston to Florida and up through the Outer Banks of North Carolina will be more favorable for direct impacts from tropical storms and hurricanes.

‘Anywhere else along the coast, everybody should still be vigilant and prepare for a possible direct impact,’ Kottlowski said.

‘You should have a hurricane plan in action. In other words: If you had to evacuate, what would you take with you? And if you were staying home, how would you deal with a storm that may knock your power out, may knock your water service out,’ he said.

‘You want to prepare for the worst case scenario – that’s called having a hurricane plan. And the government and local officials do have guidelines on how to create such a plan depending on where you live.’”

Hurricanes are Unpredictable and Preparation is Key

In the United States, almost 40 percent of the population lives in relatively high-population-dense coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding and hazards from storms. With so many living near hurricane-prone areas, it is important for everyone to be prepared.

It is emphasized in The Prepper’s Blueprint how unpredictable hurricanes can be and how this type of natural disaster is truly one of the most difficult emergencies to prepare for simply because there are so many variables to account for. These storms can range from mild to severe, cause wind damage, flooding, and tornadoes. You can be fully stocked with provisions and then your home is flooded in a matter of minutes. For example, before Hurricane Harvey made landfall it was predicted as merely a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane. In fact, many living in the area did not think much of it in terms of severity and only stocked up on supplies for a few days. Within those few days, it had developed into a Category 4 with 132 mph winds.

Related: 20 Hurricane Survival Tips From Real-Life Scenarios

5 Ways to Get Prepped

Having an emergency plan and some simple supplies on hand can help you get through a disaster unscathed. If you can start gathering supplies now, you won’t have to deal with panic buying or going home empty-handed. This hurricane primer has essential articles with supply lists that may be essential in your preparedness planning.

Here’s how to start!

Have a plan. Making a plan ahead of time will keep you organized and ensure that all of your needs and supplies are accounted for. This short-term emergency checklist is good for getting necessary supplies in place. At a minimum, keep an emergency bag filled with supplies to last for 72-hours. This is good for peace of mind, as well as, in the case of having to evacuate on a moment’s notice. If you want to go “full prepper” you should really have multiple 72-hour bags packed for places where you spend most of your time: the home, vehicle and workplace. This ensures all of your bases are covered. That said, it is also imperative to research and learn about the aftermath of hurricanes.

Get some supplies. You want to create a short-term emergency supply of not just food and water, but critical items that will disappear after a hurricane. Many of the items that often disappear as a result of a disaster are items that protect your basic needs. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, six items disappeared almost immediately due to the shortage of supplies: gasoline, water, food staples, bleach, toilet paper, and home repair items. To ensure you have all that you need, read the 52-Weeks to Preparedness to get prepared for short-term to longer-term emergencies.

Prepare for all family members and don’t forget your petsOne of the reasons planning for emergencies before they occur is so important is that when panic sets in, you tend to forget needs of others like prescription medicines or food for pets.  Consider having all members of the household knowing some simple first aid and CPR.

Get supplies to protect your home. Having pre-cut boards and supplies prepped and on hand can save valuable time when you are under a hurricane threat. This checklist for preparing the exterior of the home should be printed out and put in an emergency binder for essential protocols to follow.

Plan for the worst-case – There are consequences to those who fail to prepare for disasters. They are listed in detail in this article and should be read.  There are immediate threats that hurricane victims must be aware of and be prepared to encounter. Water contamination, infectious diseases, sanitation emergencies, and looting could all pose a problem for victims of hurricanes. While prepping for hurricanes at the last-minute can be a gamble, it is possible. Here are some tips for last-minute preparations for sheltering in place.

Hurricanes are unpredictable in nature and the 2017 hurricane season was a brutal reminder of how quickly your world can change and have the capacity to level homes, flood neighborhoods and cause massive amounts of damage to communities. Experts are warning communities to prepare accordingly for this season.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Lessons from the Roman Army for Post-SHTF Combat Operations

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Alright, we have done a couple of articles on “Knowing Yourself,” and “Knowing Your Enemy.”  Now that everyone knows one another, let’s take it to another level.  As a single individual, as a family member, or operating in a group, after it hits the fan, you will have to fight eventually.  You will not be able to avoid it and hunker down until the cavalry comes, because it will be in your neighborhood and the cavalry isn’t coming to your rescue.

We’ve discussed Fabian Tactics in previous articles.  These were based on the exploits of Quintus Fabius Maximus in the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome. “Hit and Run” tactics exemplify their description: strike a numerically superior larger force at a time and place of your choosing, and then break contact.  Fade back into the forest, hide, and avoid further combat until the next engagement of your choice.

Lessons from the Roman Army for Post-SHTF Combat Operations

Let’s “fix” ‘em: set the enemy up and zap ‘em!  Let’s do a few things that the Romans were famous for…using these techniques here and now.

  1. Choose the Ground: Yes, you choose the place you will engage them.  Along with this, you pick the time of day, the formation of the attack, the objective, and the criteria for withdrawal.  You choose it.  As an individual, you would be sniping.  As a group (depending on your numbers and composition), you can engage in operations limited by your size.  Choosing the ground means also to actively recon the enemy and not allow him to choose it and catch you unawares.
  2. Prep the Ground: The Roman Army were masters of this task. They scouted the area and with thorough intel, they knew where their enemies were, actions these people planned on taking, and avenues of approach.  They cut timber and created obstacles of logs interlaced with natural “barbed wire” in the form of thorns and thistles…along with spikes and stakes, to limit enemy cavalry.  Long before William Wallace of “Braveheart” was ever a thought, the Roman legions spread out hay soaked with pitch and oil in areas where enemy foot soldiers would move, and applied flaming arrows when the time was right.  They always took the high ground when possible, and used the natural terrain features (cliffs, rivers, etc.) to form boundaries to help them channel the enemy.
  3. Always Fight with the Sun at your Back: The Romans positioned themselves and attacked to place the sun in the eyes of their enemies. I know, I know: the enemy has “Ray-Bans,” right?  No, it worked for the Viet Cong as well.  When they’re looking into the sun, they’re at a severe disadvantage.  Use the sun.  Use the terrain.  Live with the land and live.
  4. “SPECVLATORES”- the Speculatores…the deep-cover operatives…the Special Forces and Reconnaissance warriors of the Roman Empire. You need operatives in your “unit” with the ability to do “deep penetration” of an enemy’s defenses…whether in their midst unsuspectingly or observing them from a nearby locale…operating on their own ground unbeknownst to them.  You need one or two people who can get the job done…and provide you with the deep-cover intel you’ll need to make decisions.
  5. Alliances – “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Not always so, but you can use such rifts to your advantage…with other groups who your enemy is at odds with.  Here is where diplomacy, teamwork, and political acumen/savvy comes into play.  These “non-combat” skills are just as important to “fixing” your enemy as any of the actual missions you will undertake to defeat him.  Be skilled at making alliances, and do not make them just for the sake of socializing.  It is an art that we will cover more in-depth in future pieces.
  6. Feed Them Disinformation: Yes, the Romans were very adept at sending messages or planting information that was false. This regarded their strengths, their movements, supplies, and reinforcements.  Sun Tzu was not the only one with a knowledge of how to monopolize disinformation, and he wasn’t the first to employ it.
  7. Lure Them and “Stake” ‘Em – the Roman Army would plant different things out in front of an approaching enemy force in order to delay and distract them…making them ripe for an attack or ambush. You can do the same, and make it fall “in line” with the enemy you’ll be facing.  Quick question: How many of you have Russian or Chinese canned delicacies, such as Borscht or caviar for the former, or imported Chinese canned foods and fineries for the latter?  Because you may be able to use it to lure such if they ever come to this country…and set a trap on or in it, or place shooters in an overwatch position overlooking it.  Because you may need prisoners, and what better way to lure them in than with a carton of their own cigarettes, their own liquor that they would think to be safe?      Be advised: SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS FROM THE STORE YOU BOUGHT IT!  This is because in the times to come if anyone ever suspects you of collaborating with them…you can show the receipts that you bought it all long before the conflict began, and give them an explanation of why you bought it all.  This may keep you from being shot by your own countrymen.
  8. The Violence of Action in a Controlled Manner – the Romans did not win their mastery over all of Europe and most of the Middle East by conducting drill and ceremony. They were trained, skilled killers and understood that the thing that made the Empire possible was the discipline and aggression of the individual legionnaire.
  9. A Perfect Chain of Command – Modern militaries all have a chain of command and an order of succession for someone to fill the “vacancy” at all levels when a commander “buys the farm,” so to speak. You need to enable each member of your team to be able to step into the shoes and position of the leader and take charge to continue with the mission.
  10. Discipline: this encompasses all areas. A “guerrilla fighter,” whether fighting off marauders from a neighboring town post SHTF, or a tyrannical, oppressive government, or a foreign invader…the guerrilla needs to be disciplined.  Physical toughness, adherence to standard operating procedures (SOP’s), a cool head and iron nerves, and endurance…the ability to keep this up for years…to go the distance.  These are the things that the Romans kept focused upon and central to their legions for many centuries.

In conclusion, small unit tactics are more than just a matter of either superior arms or numerical advantages.  They are based on common sense and knowing how to plan out your objectives, as well as a plan of attack.  You will have to be the “David” going against the Goliath, and although not shirking from battle, picking the time and place of your engagement, and the conditions and standards you will set to achieve those objectives.  It is no guarantee of success, but you are guaranteed to perform better with the proper planning, training, and clarity of purpose prior to a battle.  It can mean the difference between success and failure, life or death.  In this vein, I highly encourage you to study more about the Roman Army and the warfare in ancient times.  Take the time to clean the tarnished pitcher and you may just find a silver piece made by Revere.  The knowledge is there: seek after it and make your future rather than just allowing it to happen to you.  That’s what it’s all about.  JJ out!

 

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

FEMA: “Each Family Needs To Have a Central Rally Point”

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this is going to take some planning on your part, as each person and family’s geographic location and other demographics (number of family members, etc.) are going to determine courses of action.

One of the problems that may be faced is that nobody will be home when the SHTF, and there may be a considerable distance for everyone to travel to reach home when that happens.

One way to lower your risks in traveling is to plan out and create rally points and hide sites.

FEMA also emphasizes the importance of having a family rally point.

“During many emergencies family members may be easily separated, and the confusion or chaos during any disaster often makes it more difficult for families members to find each other. Each family needs to have a central rally point that is reasonably secure and relatively easy for each family member to reach, adjusted for individual means of transportation. Such a rally point starts with a safe location near a family’s home or apartment … a location outside the residence where everyone agrees to meet in the event of fire or other threats. Think about other types of emergencies you might expect, and select the rally point providing the greatest safety during any one expected emergency. Families who have agreed, in advance, to help each other in time of major emergencies, also need to select secure rally points. I’m sure you may have heard all of this advise before, but too many of us forget survival essentials.”

When Comms are Down, Each Family Should Have a Rally Point

A rally point is nothing more than a predetermined location that you and all your family members agree to meet up or link up.  We will also address hasty rally points that can be used when you’re all together.  Hypothetically, let’s say that the Anderson family consists of Working Dad, Working Mom, 15-year-old Johnny and 19-year-old Susie.  Johnny is in high school, and Susie is a student with a part-time job in a drugstore right next to the school.  Here are the distances for all of them from home:

Dad – 10 miles       Mom – 8 miles       Johnny – 10 miles       Susie – 7 miles

Everyone is our hypothetical family is working and studying on the West Side of town, and home is to the East of town, for convenience’s sake.  Let us also say that the SHTF event is an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack.  The optimal location would be for the rally point to be established nearest to Susie, as she is the closest to home.  The others could make their way to this rally point…. let’s say it is a large oak tree in the park…where they would link up with one another and then attempt to reach home together.

Family’s Who Have a Hide Site Can Regroup More Efficiently

In addition to this, just in case things become too “hairy” you should establish a hide site.  A hide site is nothing more than a place to rest and regroup (possibly with some supplies that are hidden or cached) before continuing your movement home.

With everyone firmly rooted in the mentality of English property law, this may require you to establish a hide site that may be located on someone else’s property, such as a business or an abandoned/dilapidated structure.  You make the call and be the judge: when the SHTF, you can write a check to the property owner if you feel the need for sleeping in the abandoned barn with only three walls and half a roof.

The point being, if you’re going to use such things to facilitate your travel home, this means you will have to plan on them beforehand and perhaps conduct a rehearsal.  The more you practice, the better you will be.  You can then formulate a plan that will remove the uncertainties out of what all of you do.  What uncertainties can you avoid?  How about these, for starters:

“Oh, my word, where’s Johnny?” or “What about Susie?  My cell phone’s down…I can’t reach her!”

Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and family can take all the guesswork out of worrying for one another by having a premade plan that has been practiced.  A good deal of security and sense of confidence will come just from having a basic plan that each family member knows, and each family member knows that all of the other family members have the plan memorized and are going to carry out their parts.

You can aid each other in these plans with Motorola’s in the vehicles, shielded by a Faraday cage.  Turn on your agreed-upon preplanned family frequency when it’s safe to do so…and make communication when you’re able.  Now, back to a hasty rally point.  When you’re traveling toward the house?  A hasty rally point is a point that is identified by the group leader of your family as a fallback location while in the middle of movement/ traveling.

The hand-and-arm signal for “Rally” in the United States Army is to extend your right hand straight up, palm flattened, and make a circular motion above your head, fingers extended and joined.  Make sure all of your family members see it.  Then point to the exact location you have in mind: a small hollow at the base of a hill, a large boulder next to a creek, or whatever is decided upon.  Make sure each family member sees both the sign for “Rally” and you pointing to exactly where it is.

If trouble arises and everyone has to run, you will meet up at this rally point and then determine if you will proceed as you were going, or what alternate route you’ll take.  Planning is everything in this, and rehearsals will make it as perfect as it can be.  Help one another and take time to consider the best locations you can use, and give yourself a better chance.  Anything that will tip the scale in your favor even a few percentage points is worth your consideration.  Fight that good fight, every day.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

3 Places Preppers Would Never Think to Scrounge For Survival Supplies

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This is a segment that you can take for ideas and build off of for yourself.  Survival is all about improvisation, and adaptability: those who adapt to the situation have a better chance at making it through the tough times.  This is a different kind of segment, though.  The information here is how to make it on what you can scrounge in the wintertime. Sounds simple, right? It isn’t.

We Live in an Imperfect World That is Not Prepper-Friendly

The reason is the “perfect” world we live in does not present you with many opportunities to train. For that matter, there isn’t a lot of encouragement either. Certainly, no one will encourage you: not your family members, your neighbors, or community in general, let alone the government…local, state, or federal.  That’s not “life.”

No, most of these guys just mentioned are only concerned with you playing to the system by getting up in the morning, going off to your work (to earn taxable income) so that you can pay your taxes, consuming foods, materials, and other necessities (with taxes), driving (using fuel that’s taxed) home…the one with your mortgage and property taxes, that have, well…a nice, “established” way for you to keep your lawn, grounds…you know…how to live, right?  In an acceptable manner, right?  A small cog in a giant machine, working and consuming until it’s time to call your number in.  Then your money and property… what you have left, that you paid taxes on all the way?  Time to tax it again until the government (kicking and screaming) magnanimously gives what’s left to your heirs.

The Only One Who Will Help You Succeed and Excel is You

As a general reminder, you never know when the next emergency will happen, so make sure you have the basic necessities to get through the most unpredictable situation.

3 Places That Preppers Would Never Think to Scrounge For Survival Supplies

Remember: these suggestions are SHTF/emergency suggestions…as most of this stuff is illegal, and if it’s not?  You’ll be “marginalized” until they come to remove you from Fisher Price-ville.

  1. Auto Wrecking Yard/Junkyard: It’s amazing the number of supplies you can come up with here. Seatbelts can be pulled out to their length and cut to use as straps.  Upholstery sometimes has fabric that can be cut or fashioned for makeshift shoes or clothing.  The number of field-expedient weapons you can find or fashion is limited only by your imagination.  Mirrors and glass are found here in abundance…glass for lenses to concentrate light and make fire…mirrors for signaling or channeling light.  Copper wire can be pulled out of the insides.  Metal antennas can make useful tools or weapons.
  2. Construction Sites: You can find lots of preparedness supplies here. For instance, wood for shelters, for lean-to’s, and to fashion snowshoes or fuel for fires. Insulation can be wrapped up in plastic bags and used.  Hardware and other construction materials, such as rebar can be used to make field-expedient tools and weapons.  In addition, construction sites are sometimes tapped into a water supply.  Don’t sleep in the building!  Everyone and their brother will be “grasping” such an idea!
  3. Dumpsters/Trash Sites: often the source of fuel for burning, scrap/discarded clothing, cheap items to harden your home, and cardboard…plenty of cardboard…plenty of plastic. The cardboard can be “sheathed” in the plastic, and stacked to make a ground cover (preventing conduction of heat), and cardboard also burns.  Do not discount the use of paper to insulate your body…newspaper crumpled up tightly gives loft to what you wear…more airspace.

The way to do it is to perpetually scrounge, and utilize things for purposes that they can fill, but were not originally designed.  This takes some practice.  You have to blend what you can pick up that is used or cast away by a man with what you can forage from the woods.  We did some pieces on how to find food during the wintertime, and how to make shelters for yourselves.  I give you this one extra caveat before closing the topic:

If it looks as if it can be lived in and is unoccupied, you may have it…but you’ll have a “visitor” eventually.

It is better to take materials and supplies (either man-made or natural) and establish a camp and shelter for yourself away from the haunts of people, out of sight…thence, out of mind.  This for safety and security, your first and foremost concerns.  Camouflage and conceal your shelter, and keep your supplies out of view, whatever you have with you and what you scrounge.  Perhaps you’re “gaming” this in your mind and thinking about challenging yourself with a training exercise.  Excellent thought!  Plan it out in advance and run with the ball.  Remember: Millions will tell you “you can’t,” and millions will not adapt and make it in the long run.  Step up to the line of scrimmage, and make the pass.  Good luck, and happy scavenging!  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Would Your Apartment Walls Stop a Bullet?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com   A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine we shall call Jim sent me a text message he had to leave his apartment in a hurry as he heard about ten gunshots in quick succession from the apartment building behind his complex.  He thought they sounded like 9mm gunshots.  Jim lives a few blocks away from me, in a street that is dotted with large apartment complexes. He called 9-1-1 and […]

The post Would Your Apartment Walls Stop a Bullet? appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

When Survival is at Stake, Your Animalistic Instincts Could Save Your Life

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ReadyNutrition Readers, I have mentioned the work, Go Rin No Sho” (Book of Five Rings) by Miyamoto Musashi for study.  Musashi, as he is referred to informally, was the consummate swordsman of his day, and arguably the greatest swordsman Japan ever produced.  He was a Samurai, and he wrote the book to summarize what he had learned in his life.  He passed away just weeks after Go Rin No Sho was completed.  Musashi also made beautiful paintings and drawings of ink and watercolor.  He sculpted metals and wood.  He wrote poetry, and the mentioned work was his masterpiece: so important, it became the central instructional doctrine for Kendo, combat with the sword.

Look to Nature to Learn About Survival

One of the doctrines that he held dear was to look to nature for the forms used in practice, as well as for philosophies on life and how it works. 

I have written several articles on the advantages to studying animals, both in the wild and those you have with you as pets and even livestock.  Let’s focus on a few of the animals and take a closer look.

The Cat: As you already know, the cat is my favorite animal…and this fact has targeted me for innumerable insults and jibes.  No matter.  There is a reason the cat is my favorite: I had the opportunity to work as a volunteer for fish and wildlife when I was a teenager, and I took care of a mountain lion every day for four years.  He had lost a foreleg and been found.  For all intents and purposes, he was mine.  Eventually, he was placed with a man who had his own private preserve just for injured animals that couldn’t be in the wild anymore…not for any kind of public viewing.  I learned much from that mountain lion: he gave me an understanding of cats that I could never have found on my own.

The cat is the ultimate solitary hunter.  He relies on keen eyesight and smell, speed, and good judgment.  What can we learn from watching him?  Watch how he is on the heights: the cat doesn’t worry about how high up he is…but finding a place that is firm for his feet to stand upon, and making his way.  The cat attacks when he is ready: not before.  He sets himself in a position to make the most of his charge.  He charges the prey and conserves: perhaps he’ll chase a short distance, but he will not waste all of his energy, as he relies on stealth and cunning.  The cat will defend himself to the death when cornered.  He’ll place his back to the sturdiest feature and fight with all his weapons, all his strength.  Your housecat is this way: he is the same, with all of the qualities of his wild siblings.  Watch him and learn, you’ll see.

The Dog:  Fiercely loyal, often termed “Man’s Best Friend.”  The dog is highly intelligent, very outgoing and a good companion to have around in an emergency.  His intelligence can be relegated to the background: when he’s “into it,” and fighting?  His ferocity is almost unbelievable.  He is usually good-natured unless he’s been mistreated.  Nevertheless, we can learn that there is a time for all things, as with him this holds true: a time to be your friend and time to be the protector of the house.  He is brave, and at times reckless.  When he is loved as a member of the family, he will die to protect that family from harm.  He knows when to back off when to circle and hold his ground.  He flattens his ears and sets his forelegs to make a charge, and then a quick leap to strike the leg or go for the throat.  If he’s been taught to serve man as such, he’ll track his quarry…the one man sets for him…until he’s run to death.  With a pack, he is almost invincible: relying upon the strength of the pack…as his brother, the wild wolf.  He will go with man: to the mountains, on the sea…he is as bold as the man who leads him, and he will follow that man to the end.  Loyalty we can learn from him, and perseverance.

The Crow, or Raven: Once believed to be the very eyes of the gods, he is much more than just a carrion bird.  He is intelligent, purposed, and opportunistic…taking advantage of every option presented to him.  He can work alone or with his fellows.  His intelligence is mirrored by his alertness, his keen senses always ready to react to danger.  Excellent eyesight, excellent hearing, and the ability to solve minor problems…a problem-solving animal.  A crow will use a stick to dislodge a piece of food.  He shows solidarity: he works as a watch-crow, a lookout for his fellows.  He summons them when he finds a large quantity of food.

Now, take what has been mentioned and reflect on it.  Examine the qualities of these animals, and find that you can examine other animals and see things I have not mentioned.  In the wild, the waterfowl can alert you to the presence of water, the deer grazing on the hill suddenly bolt for the woodline: an intruder must be near.  A flock of birds taking off from one section of trees will tell you that something has disturbed them.

And more.  Study how they walk, how they feed, and the positions they take when they rest.  Many forms in martial arts are based on the forms they present.  Study survivors who rely upon all their heritage in the form of instinct…something we have denied ourselves unless we take hold of it.

Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard, and learn its ways and seek its wisdom.

Stay in that good fight: with knowledge, with instincts, and with study.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

Mantracker: Covering Your Tracks and Avoiding an Ambush

Urban Survival: When the Cities Fall Apart, These Strategies Will Keep You Alive

Land Navigation: Finding Your Way in an Urban Environment SHTF Style

ManTracker: How to Be One and How to Avoid One

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Ambidextrous Shooting: How to Train Your Weaker Hand for a Gunfight

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Image result for ready nutrition shooting gunReadyNutrition Readers, you are all well-aware of charity…where your left hand should not know what your right does.  In survival, it is the opposite: you need to train yourself bilaterally…that is, to be ambidextrous to a certain degree.  In the manner that you lift weights and exercise, should you train in survival skills. When you do bicep curls, do you perform them with only your dominant hand?  No, of course not.  You train with both hands and both arms and develop yourself symmetrically and equally.

Active Shooter Body Armor – Serious Stopping Power

How about things that require you to perform to survive?  Firing a rifle or pistol, for one.  If you’re right-handed and (God forbid) you are wounded in the hand, or suffer from a broken finger, then what?  Then you must follow after Gunny Highway’s advice (Clint Eastwood’s Marine Gunnery Sergeant in the movie “Heartbreak Ridge”).

Training for Ambidextrous Shooting Abilities

We’re going to talk through it for a right-handed firer (since most people are right-handed).  Lefties, just do the same thing as I’m instructing here with the opposite hand.  Pistol first.  You are going to fire your pistol with the left hand, as your right hand is badly broken.  With a revolver, this is simpler, but with a semiautomatic handgun?  Well, your spent brass ejects from the right.  Therefore, your point of aim has to be the same…from your right eye…but you’re firing with your left hand.

This is going to take some practice for you.  You’re going to be firing the semiautomatic pistol with your left hand, but “crossing over” to use your right eye…and fire from your right-hand side.  Your sight picture is the same as it would be if you were firing with your right hand…but it will feel a bit different, as it is with your left, now, and your arm still needs to be outstretched and straight.

Aiming at Your Target

Your target needs to be in alignment with the muzzle of your weapon, and your arm needs to be straight out, and aligned with your firing eye (in this case, the right eye).  This is going to take some practice on your part, and practice makes perfect.  It has to be such that you can shift at a second’s notice and fire just as true with your left hand as your right.

Now to develop your other eye: use the revolver.  Yes, you can practice a good sight picture and proper aim with your left eye with a revolver, as you don’t have to worry about a hot piece of brass in your face.  You must train to be ambidextrous.  With many years of practice, you should be able to take on a target with both eyes, and both hands.

The rifle is a bit different.  Remember a long time ago how I said that all rifles should have a bipod?  Well, you’ve just been injured with a broken right wrist, and you’re a right-handed firer.  Now what?  Well, with the bipod…you have support.  Then it’s just a matter of positioning yourself behind the weapon.  You can seat the weapon on your right shoulder and fire with the left hand.  This, too, takes practice.  Same thing as before.  Semiautomatic rifles will kick brass in your face if you fire with the left shoulder.  You can pick up a brass deflector for an AR-15 that will help in this department.

Bolt-actions and lever-actions are good-to-go in this regard.  Practice firing with the left hand with these, so as not to distract your progress with brass flying in your face.  Same thing here.  Your point of aim must be developed on the left-hand side.  This will take time, practice, and patience, with emphasis on that third factor.  You aren’t going to master it overnight.  You can start out with an air rifle.  The air rifle fundamentals of marksmanship…Aiming, Breathing, and Trigger-Squeeze…are the same as with a firearm.  It is less costly, however, and easier to manage in a home-indoor range.  You can develop the skills with air rifle or air pistol to become an “ambidextrous” firer.

Practice this concept for all things…the use of hand tools, the use of cooking utensils and implements, and other weapons, such as the bow and arrow and the knife.  It is a form of preparation that will improve you overall.  Don’t be limited by an injury.  Don’t allow an injury to keep you from defending yourself or performing a task necessary to stay alive or save life and limb.  It is all part of your training, and let the training never stop!  Stay in that fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Collapse Investing: 7 Clever Ways To Prepare for a Cashless Society With Precious Metals

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is a little bit of a different flair.  A basic “how-to” guide to garnering some precious metals to have on your person.  Why?  Let’s take a hypothetical view.  What if some major disaster occurs and you need to take a cab somewhere…it’s your only option?  It is just before the major panic sets in.  Everyone else has the same idea.  Cab to the highest bidder and you have a heavy sterling silver chain to go along with that cash.  Guess who gets the ride?

7 Ways To Pick Up Some Micro-Marketed Precious Metals

It’s as simple as that.  So, let’s take a look at how to pick up some “micro-marketed” precious metals.  There are plenty of different sources that (most of the time) will bargain with you or will be oblivious.  Let’s list some of them:

  1. Consignment stores: often have jewelry at basement prices and will bargain with you, especially if the goods belong to the store’s owner.
  2. Thrift stores: that’s right! Thrift store personnel (from the manager on down) do not usually have a clue as to what jewelry comes into their establishment.  Here look for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings…most of the time silver, and occasionally gold.
  3. Storage Units: each month they turn out a bunch of people who can’t pay…placing (or throwing) their stuff outside of the unit and giving it 24 hours or so to pick it up. At times you can even cut a deal with the owners to go into a unit “blind” and take care of what’s in there.  Drawback: you’re responsible for the stuff…but you’d be surprised about what people throw into these things.
  4. Flea Markets: Once again, you’ll be among the oblivious (fellow shoppers and vendors), and you’ll find a deal…it just takes time.
  5. Want Ads: yes, often you’ll pick up jewelry, coins, and ingots (silver or gold) at pennies on the dollar.
  6. Estate/Deceased Person’s Sales and Auctions: Yes, indeed, especially when the person is not some multi-millionaire…that’s when you must bid against a plethora of social debutantes that can outslick you.
  7. EbayThat’s right, I said Ebay. They happen to have a very active silver market, where you can find a large selection any time or day of the week. After spending a lot of time hunting down junk coins on Ebay, writer Joshua Krause perfected his procedure for spotting and procuring the best price for silver and wrote about it. You can read more here.

Coins and jewelry are the best types of PM’s to pick up and are great for bartering.  This is not because they’re always the highest precious metal content, but because of the form they’re in.  For more on that, research Frankie the Dead Roosevelt (or FDR’s) executive order of 1933 going door-to-door to confiscate the gold.  That’s right: in these United States.  This gives you a little bit more “insulation,” as you can wear the jewelry, collect the “coins,” and hide both.

It would behoove you to have a few items at your disposal.  Firstly, knowledge of the grades of silver and the carats of gold.  With silver, shoot for sterling (.925 mark on it), but with coins, you’ll need to know the type of coin and the year to be able to determine the silver content.  Same for gold.  Don’t become “gypped,” because crooks will take little ringlets with a stamp of “14-carat” on them…and they are…and attach them to a chain that is at best 14-carat gold paint. Learn more about testing your precious metals.

A magnifying glass is a great aid.  A word of warning: most of the oblivious will suddenly have their pupils change into dollar signs and their fangs will come out.  If you are looking at something with a magnifying glass and they see you?  You can bank on them checking out what you run right up to the counter to buy for one or two dollars.  Be smart and be incognito…and you’ll prosper.  If you feel this is dishonest, then tell them what you’ve found, and they’ll thank you every time you do it.  Sink or swim, it’s your decision.

Keep a small “stash” of these items on your person.  Naturally, other things such as diamonds, precious, and semi-precious stones will need more of an eye and knowledge to assess.  These you can carry on you to an extent.  Just make sure they’re real.  Another thing: before you deal with someone, make sure they’re real before you give the piece of jewelry to them.  Ignorance is not always bliss, especially where the ignorance is feigned.  When you buy?  Hey, they put it out, and it’s not your job to look out for the store’s welfare.  Trust me: the store will be there with or without your purchase.  The thing was a donated item anyway…and 501-C-3’s are non-profit corporations that all make a profit…every one of them.

Think of these things and about building up a small personal supply of such precious metals you can carry around with you for when the “S” hits the fan, or when you have need of an edge.  Good hunting and keep your eyes open…the bargains will jump up for you.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Ancient Remedy Is Still One of the Most Powerful Compounds for Health

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Herbal foods that are taken beyond just a culinary reason and are consumed for naturopathic purposes are a beautiful thing.  Why?  Because they aren’t invasive…and you are supposed to follow the least invasive path to taking care of ailments.  Curcumin is the focus of this article.  It will help with heart disease, with Alzheimer’s, with joint pain, with diabetes.  What I’ve listed there is far from exhaustive.Let’s clear up the confusion about it first.  Curcumin is not an herb but is a component of one: Turmeric, or Curcuma longa.  The herb’s root forms into a rhizome, an “L” shaped underground protuberance.  The spice Turmeric usually contains only a small amount of curcumin: anywhere from 2-5%, which is not much and is not necessarily bioavailable.  This latter term refers to the ability of the body to utilize it.

Curcumin has been used in India and the Far East for thousands of years quite effectively against dozens…I repeat, dozens…of different ailments, from Crohn’s disease to Cancer.  Curcumin is an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, and it is a cancer-fighter.  In previous articles, we covered oxidation (the tendency of a “free radical” to “steal” an electron from a healthy cell) and how it is a process of aging and disease.

The yellow color of curcumin is responsible for the orange color of turmeric.  It is more than 200 times more powerful than blueberries as an antioxidant.  It increases HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) in your system…the “good” cholesterol…that helps move fats and lipids out of cells and prevents blood clotting in the arteries and veins.

Its anti-inflammatory properties are extremely useful in helping digestive disorders.  More than 60 million Americans are afflicted each year with some type of bowel disorder, and curcumin is extremely effective against all of them, from ulcerative colitis to cancer of the colon.  In addition, it is effective against lower and upper respiratory infections.

The best curcumin can be found in your better health concerns.  You guys and gals know I’ve recommended Wal-Mart for many herbs for both quality and affordability, but not with this one.  The dose will be dependent upon the quality and concentration of the curcumin.  If you buy it as a powder, you can load it into gel-caps or tincture it.  For the latter, it’s good to use grain alcohol, but you can use other liquors.  Just remember that the alcohol concentration varies between them, and you want to have a minimum of about 52% alcohol or higher to preserve it longer and keep that freezing point very low (we’ve covered that topic in other articles).

One last consideration is that if you use curcumin, you also want to use black pepper.  Yes, black pepper contains piperazine that potentiates the effect and effectiveness of the curcumin.  As we know, black pepper is about as rare as glass and probably less expensive.  This is a combination that is not invasive, and you can easily blend in with your routine and meals.  Try it out: do some more homework and see how you can use this remarkable compound simply, effectively, and affordable.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Surviving a Mad Max World: How To Avoid Marauders and Looters After the Collapse

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[Editor’s Note: A mad max scenario is one of the worst-case scenarios one can prepare for. The adage “if you can’t protect you don’t own it” rings true in this case. Long-term survival plans that reflect this type of disaster suggest preppers getting away from urban and suburban living and heading for hills. While this would be the safest option, there are dangers that lurk for those who plan to “live off the land.” Because in a post-collapse world – they will come for all that you own.]

 

Seems almost self-explanatory, right?  I mean, what could be so involved with the term “living with the land,” right?  There is a lot to it.  There’s a reason to do this:

Living with the land will help you to live, and avoid the greatest hunter of all: man. Men…mankind…has the same instincts as you, the same success in the generations as you.  Although this is not an “anthropological” treatise, it holds a lot of anthropology within it, because there are a few key points you must keep in mind: Your weakness is a weakness shared by other men; your strength is a strength possessed by other men; what you can do can be done by other men.

The commonality is both your strength and your weakness.  You become cold, and so does the man (or men) hunting you. The dark poses impediments and unknown dangers, and it does the same to your hunters.

Turn the Hunters Into the Hunted

You can turn the hunters into the hunted…for you are a hunter: it is “hard-wired” in you through a thousand generations of successful hunters, warriors, and killers. You need to eat, and so do your pursuers.  You need water, and so do they.  You can track, and so can they.  You have senses that can detect man, and so do they.  All of this, yes, you know, I’m sure.

But have you considered it all?  Really considered it?

The land: to blend with it, and to live with it without being obtrusive is the key to avoiding the hunters…and remember that they have the same limitations as you.  The more pure and “clear” you keep your senses, the better they’ll work for you.  We have done some pieces on the way the eye works, and the sense of smell.  This is the time to do your work…your training to use these senses to their maximum capabilities.  Let’s cover some basics as to what to expect when you’re living with the land and avoiding marauders, foreign soldiers, forces of a dictatorial government, and so forth.

10 Ways To Avoid Marauders and Looters After the Collapse

  1. Don’t travel the heavily-traveled: stay off of paths and trails and cover your tracks, as most people (and anyone hunting you) will use them. Busting brush will ensure you’re safer.
  2. What’s easy for you is easy for them: taking the harder path will oftentimes confuse and discourage them.
  3. You lay a trail for dogs or men: your scent for the dogs and your tracks for the men. Defeat both: use “blue” (water) features to disguise and throw off the scent, being careful not to leave footprints in banks or mud.
  4. Opposite actions and times: You sleep during the daytime, travel at night. I have emphasized this (to the “chagrin” of naysayers galore) in previous articles…you have to develop the ability to move at night.  When they’re eating, be on the move.  When they’re awake, you stay in a hide site.
  5. Boobytrap all avenues of approach and high-traffic areas: punji stakes, pits, and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices). Heaven forbid!  Do you want to win, or just play “good guys and bad guys” in the woods?  There is going to come a time to act and not just sit around with all of your canned fruits and stored supplies.  Hopefully, that time will come later, so that you can prepare for it.
  6. Key choke points use for an ambush, and to circle around them: As they pass through a defile, backtrack on them.  Or ambush them in the defile.  A rock slide is a beautiful thing that can be initiated with a minor amount of explosives
  7. Use the animals as cover: following them will throw off the trail of the dogs. It will also say something for your tracking ability to be able to follow a small herd of deer or elk.
  8. Your pursuers can be “distracted”: I’ll leave it to you to figure out what to leave for them….the standard fare can be imagined. Your job is to avoid them or to “deal” with them, not to “win them over to your side.”
  9. Do not underestimate their tenacity: they may have you greatly outgunned, with multiple “shifts” to put on you to allow you only a scant amount of rest and sleep. This is where endurance and physical training comes into play: the “thing” that nobody wants to hear about.
  10. If it looks as if it’s a good hide site in plain view?  Then it’s not, and they will be sure to check it.  Don’t put yourself underground even before they catch you.

One of the things you’re going to have to do is practice, as well as reinforce your plan of action for when the time comes.  Sound boring?  It’s better than going to some mall and spending all day meandering around with a herd of beeves.  You have to develop these skills so they’re ready to employ at a moment’s notice.  The knowledge is not enough: you have to put it into practicum.  That’s the only way to test yourself and know your capabilities.  Falls in line with the Army saying, “Know yourself and seek self-improvement.”  Don’t stagnate: improve.  Learn to live with the land, or you may not make it through…when “the man” comes around.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Top 10 Prepper Articles of 2017

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This time of year takes me into deep contemplation. Have I accomplished all that I set out to do this year? Was I the best person and example I could be? Was I a good friend? How can I strive to be a better in the coming year? While I know the answer to some of these questions, I can honestly say that I did not accomplish all that I set out to do.

A friend wrote to me the other day saying that “2017 was quite the year, almost impossible to summarize and filled with many successes and many challenges.” I can so relate! In the blink of an eye, 2017 went by and although I had goals of my own, there were times they had to be put on the back burner so that my family could grow into better versions of themselves.

My Greatest Blessings

One of my greatest blessings is my sweet husband, Mac. While many of you know him as the man behind SHTFPlan who gives his take on economic and financial happenings, he’s my amazing husband (of almost 15 years!) who works tirelessly and will bend over backward to make sure his family is cared for. I gotta say, I’m such a lucky lady!

My children are also counted as some of my greatest blessings. I am so lucky to have these little kids in my life. I have overwhelming pride in the individuals they are growing up to be and thank God for blessing me with them.

I am also blessed that my dear friend, Jeremiah Johnson has been writing so much for Ready Nutrition this year. As a veteran and long-time prepper, he offered valuable, out-of-the-box wisdom that no doubt helped you in your prepping endeavors. The time he spent sharing his indispensable knowledge freed up time for me to focus on the backend of Ready Nutrition and allowed me to launch a long-time dream of starting an heirloom seed company, Ready Gardens.

What’s New for 2018?

What I want to focus on, and something I believe that many of you are interested in is finding more sustainable ways of living. I live on a small homestead with a garden and acreage – everything we preppers say we must have to thrive in long-term disasters. But it takes a lot of planning and energy to get your land to work for you. A big success I had this year was my garden. After years of working the soil and finding the right areas to plant, we had an amazing summer harvest and our chickens laid so many eggs we didn’t know what to with them. It’s nice to be able to gift produce from your homestead to friends. That said, I’m still learning, still growing and still searching for living a self-reliant lifestyle.

I want to take the things that thrived this year and make them better. Some things I want to accomplish in 2018 is more success with our homestead, expanding our medicinal garden, fortifying the livestock area so that it is more protected (If you haven’t seen on my Facebook page, we’ve had a bear visit us) and spending more time training with my firearm and continuing on with self-defense classes. As I’m writing this, I’m wondering how in the world there will be enough hours in the day of finish everything in a year’s time, but, like I always say, focus on one small area until you’re proficient and move on to another. Small steps!

Top 10 Articles in 2017

I’ll be writing about what I’ve learned along the way, so keep visiting Ready Nutrition. In the meantime, here are Ready Nutrition’s Top 10 Articles of 2017:

  1. 10 Foods You Should Not Feed Your Chickens
  2. When Grocery Stores Go Empty, These Four Foods Will Help You Survive
  3. 5 Ways to Make Candles From Household Items
  4. Vacuum Sealing Could Be Hazardous to Your Health
  5. 25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now
  6. It Ain’t Just For Smoking: Known But Beneficial Uses For Tobacco
  7. 6 Critical Items That Have Disappeared in the Immediate Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
  8. Never Drop Your Guard: 7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness
  9. Survival Food Series: 3 Ways To Naturally Make Yeast
  10. 15 Tips to Get Safely Home Following an EMP

I wish all of you a very blessed and happy new year. Thank you all for allowing me to keep you informed and for visiting Ready Nutrition. You are all wonderful and it gives me peace of mind knowing how many good-hearted people are out there.

Tess

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Post-EMP: How to Get Out of Dodge in the Snow

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 Evacuating during the harsh winter elements is already a difficult feat, but what if you find yourself in a post-EMP environment while driving and have to bug out in the snow? There is no vehicle to comfortably take you to your bug out location. For many, you will be on foot and all you have to get you through this disaster is what is in your car. Do you have the preps and the skills to make this icy trek?

Honestly, ask yourself, what will you do?  Well, there are some options, and we’re going to cover them.  Naturally, many of these will not apply if you live in a state that doesn’t receive much snow, such as in the deserts or the more “balmy” states.  Still, you may be able to take a few things away from this.  Let’s do it!

How to Get Out of Dodge in the Snow

First, are your “Go/Bug-Out” bags ready?  If you’re traveling somewhere together as a family and the distance is more than a few miles, emergency bags and gear should be in the vehicle for every member of the family: no exceptions!  We’ve covered bags until we’re blue in the face.  Here are some essential gear must-haves (just to “refresh” your memory):

Protecting Your Feet is a Top Priority for Winter Survival

Remember, your basic survival needs are your top priority when the conditions are harsh. Now, the snow!  Myself?  I cannot (repeat, cannot) go anywhere at all unless I have my snowshoes with me. Another option and one that I mentioned before is to find the kind of snowshoes made of durable plastic and either orange or yellow, used by the utility and electric companies for a song.  Yeah, they’re not exactly “tactical” in color, but if you desire, you can paint them with spray paint.  They’re that color to enable guys who are working to be able to find them after their lunch break is over, not to run with…but they work and are strong.

There are plenty of other “high-end” snowshoes, and you’ll have to shop the market.  You want a pair that can carry your weight and at least 20 lbs.  The contractor ones will do this, and they’re not very large or cumbersome.  Keep them together with 2 D-hooks, and throw them in the back of the vehicle.  Next, you need to practice on them.  If you’ve never done it, walking on the snow is a different task, especially if you’re carrying gear.

Winter Clothing

Gore-Tex is ideal for shielding your body from the relentless winter weather. A word to the wise – if you can cover yourself in Gore-Tex – do it! Just one below freezing night out in the backyard without it, and you’ll run to the store when the day comes.  That Gore-Tex enables you to stay warm and dry, and it “breathes,” keeping you from being a humidifier and soaked to the skin.  You need good, thick socks and quality boots…I recommend Rocky Gore-Tex boots with at least 1000 grams of Thinsulate, for starters.

On a side note, make sure a good ground pad is with you.  In the wintertime, you’ll need all the insulation that you can get from the ground.  I jump back to the toboggans again: if you have a light rucksack as a “go” bag, you may be able to tote it…and haul other stuff in the toboggan, such as tools, clothes, and have space for extra food and supplies you may pick up on the way.

Bug Out Considerations

There are a lot of considerations before you head out on foot. What’s your plan? First of all, keep a map of the area you’re driving, and have it handy before you go.  If things go south and the “S” hits the fan, you need all the intel you can get on site…where you’re located at the time it happens.  Knowing where malls, stores, gas stations, pharmacies and the like are will help, and you can mark them on the map.  Depending on where you are, you may choose to stay with the vehicle for a while, but if this is done?  You may want to get it off the main road and camouflage it somewhat.

We talked about a Toboggan before for a load around the house…but what about the vehicle?  Well, how about a kid’s sled/toboggan?  You can find some sturdy ones that can take a beating…use your own judgment.  If you have a big family, you may wish the one I recommended from Wal-Mart that is about $50 and can haul about 500 to 600 lbs.  This one is where you can put the gear inside and drag it behind you on a nylon tow rope that comes with it.  Strap it to the top of your vehicle, or throw it on the bed of the pickup.  The kid’s toboggan would be of use for 1 person or one for each.  The sides would enable the gear to be stowed without slipping off.  Drill holes in the sides and use bungee cords to strap the gear down all the same.  Better safe than sorry.

If you stay with the vehicle, make sure you have a plan: you can’t stay with it forever.  It may be good for a night or two to come up with a plan (especially if you have kids, to help them get over the initial shock and disorientation).  The “end of the world” is usually bad on the nerves.  Use that time to focus the family on what you will do.  You may have to leave the vehicle immediately, as you want to return home as quickly as possible.  The situation is going to be your call, and what you believe your family can handle…and how you function as a group.

Finally, don’t forget “Yak-Trak’s” or some other type of devices to slip over your boots to enable you to walk or run on ice.  They range in price and quality, but you should be able to find them in your sporting goods or big-box stores.  So, plan ahead, make evac from your vehicle in the winter a training priority, and stay frosty!  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Guide

Winter Wilderness Survival: Take Care of Your Feet and Your Odds of Survival Increase

15 Items That Should Be In Your Vehicle During the Winter

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Easy Ways You Can Recycle a Christmas Tree

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According to several sources, between 35 to 40 million natural (real) Christmas trees are cut down and sold in the United States, and roughly 1 million more are cut down and exported to Mexico.  A statistic in Wikipedia shows that in 2012, over 24 million trees were sold: a total retail value of over $1 billion.

Yes, survivalists and preppers, you read that correctly: with 24 million trees, a retail of over $1 billion.

The weight?  More than 54,000 tons for (average) 36 million trees.  One of the problems with statistics such as these…they “deaden” the conscience…as they are such staggering numbers as not to be able to be held in the mind.  They just become a statistic.  The real focus is the retail value…$1 billion.  If the trees sell for that much, then the state and federal government are “pocketing” about half a billion dollars, or $500 million.  Wow, that’ll provide for a lot of Congressional dinners of shrimp and steak, and sumptuous feasts for our honored representatives!

It’s also great for that all-important period even greater than the week of Christmas…the last fiscal quarter of the year…the “sacred” Fourth Quarter earnings!  Yes, sir, this is where the U.S. economy faces its “make or break” mark, as 75 – 80% of our economy is based on consumption.  Replete with numbers from the happy expenditures, the merchants joyously ring in the New Year without sleigh bells, but cash registers jingling and the ringing of silver-like and copper-like alloyed coins clinking happily in the black plastic compartments!

Seriously, for a sobering look at all that is “produced” in terms of consumption and waste, try this article, entitled “Christmas Waste Statistics – Making Christmas ‘Green’

5 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

So, what to do except do what everyone else does, right?  No, how about for starters, try and recycle some of that tree for other uses instead of simply throwing it out.

1. Pine Needle Tea – After all the “accouterments” have been removed, and the ornaments packed away, cut down the boughs.  Take some of them and the leaves (yes, those coniferous needles are really leaves) and boil some of them up…as mentioned in past articles.  More Vitamin C in them than you can shake a stick at, no pun intended.

2. Emergency Shelter – You can also practice with those pine boughs.  Practice?  Yes, practice making a lean-to out in the backyard.  Here’s your chance!  They can’t get you for doing such…the tree isn’t a “tree” anymore, it’s your personal property!  No license or certification required! Practice building a lean-to, and making groundcover using the interlaced boughs out in the backyard.  Use all the boughs.

3. Firestarting Material – Dried boughs and needles burn extremely well and make excellent fire-starting material. Here are some other fire-starting ideas.

4. Wood Carving – Next is the tree itself.  Cut it up.  Do you like to carve wood?  Pine is nice and soft.  Practice whatever (if anything) comes to mind.  Or cut it up and set it aside to cure and be used for firewood or kindling.

5. Firewood – Those urban and suburban city convenience stores and grocery stores sell those little packets of “firewood,” all wrapped up in plastic with a carrying handle for the exciting family fire and “roughing it” in the ‘burbs.  Why not save that 5 to 7 dollars and use the tree? Read more on how to efficiently acquire firewood.


Here’s a novel concept: collect up the trees of neighbors who just want to throw it out, and do something with them.


Training is Where You Make It and What You Make of It

Prepping and survival are more than just consumption and storage of supplies and materials for the day it hits the fan.  You don’t have to be a “tree-hugger” to utilize a Christmas tree after its holiday utilitarian function has passed. Have a nice holiday, and think beyond it in all that you do.

 

To rekindle a fire, you just may have to carry the torch, or blow on the embers and refuel it yourself.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Ancient Weapons and their SHTF Uses

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This article dedicated to A Arizonian: 360 24/7!

ReadyNutrition Readers, we wrote a piece on the warrior mentality in a previous article, and this was to return you to the basics that covered skills and a mindset that has enabled our species to survive throughout the ages.  We’re going to add onto that by mentioning there is a time for technology and a time for the primitive.  Well, there have been a number of comments suggesting such weapons, and we’re going to run with the ball here – mentioning a few weapons besides the standard bow and arrow, and the knife – and then suggesting how to go about using them in your arsenal.  Let’s do it!

5 Ancient Weapons and their SHTF Uses

Spears

Yes, a spear.  There are several different kinds, depending on the function you want to use it for.  My personal preference is to make your own or have it forged to your specifications.  You want to be sure of a head that is sharply-pointed and well-bladed, preferably three or four blades, and the base is about twice as wide as the shaft.  This will permit the head to penetrate with a larger hole than the shaft.  What use, you may ask?  Hunting on the QT, and also defense in like manner.  A heavy spear will penetrate deeper brush than an arrow shaft.

These had heads that tapered to a point, as you can see, but a middle grip with two formidable ends that enabled it to be thrown or used here in close-quarters.  Watch the movie, and you’ll see how effectively it was employed.

Sword

A matter of preference here.  The Scottish Claymore, the German or Viking Broadsword, the Arab Scimitar, or the Roman Gladius.  All swords have different techniques for their use.  Someone is bristling at my leaving out the Japanese Katana.  There it is.  Each sword must be trained with differently, as they perform quite differently in battle and require practice in varied methods to be effective.  If you’re going to pick up a sword, you need one that is fully-functional and either comes edged or can take an edge.  Pay particular attention to the type of steel offered in it and research it for its hardness and tempering.  Such weapons can be worn strapped to the back, to the belt, or carried in its sheath and attached to a rucksack or backpack.  Remember this: cheap you buy, cheap you get, to coin a tried and true phrase in the vernacular.  If you’re going to a Halloween party, then it’s your call, but if you may use it to fight?  You don’t want one manufactured in Pakistan for $20.

Morningstar, or Mace

The ones attached to a continuous handle are a little easier to use than the ones on a chain.  Yes, these are the weapons you saw on Bugs Bunny as a kid employed by Yosemite Sam and friends.  The ones on the chain can propel and swing the actual ball of the mace with great force; however, you need to practice with them, as you can seriously injure yourself if you don’t have control over the swing and arc.  Purchase the ones with the spikes, made out of steel or heavy iron…they leave a lasting impression!

Boomerang

The “Feral Boy” in the movie “The Road Warrior” used one made out of metal.  Once again, you need to practice with this to be effective, and in this, you need two of them…one for practice and one to use when the “S” hits the fan that is in mint condition.  Give yourself a wide open area such as an uninhabited field as a practice ground.

Throwing Knives

Throwing knives are also considered an ancient weapon and if your accuracy is on point, they can be deadly. As well, the Chinese throwing star, also known as “Shuriken” are a part of any Oriental Ninja’s weaponry…a must-have for villains and heroes alike!  Seriously, these things can be highly effective…if you practice with them and make yourself an expert in their use.  I’ve heard plenty of comments about “How are you going to use that if you come under fire?” or “You’ll never be able to use that to hit a moving target in combat conditions,” yada, yada.

You are the warrior: you pick the time and circumstances of the encounter, and employ a weapon in the manner you’ve trained with it at the optimal time.

What we’re talking about here is the use of weapons after the complete breakdown of society, the complete collapse.  You’ll want to save that ammo unless you know how to make your own smokeless powder, your own primers, mold your bullets and have a lifetime supply of brass.  Even then, you’ll want to use weapons such as these in times that their silent employ could very well mean the difference between life and death.

Please keep this in mind: They can be just as dangerous to you (and others whom you do not intend them to use against) if you do not know how to use them properly and practice with them to acquire expertise in their employ.

Just a few suggestions, here, to get you started.  There are plenty of armorers and arms manufacturers that specialize in authentic, fully-functional ancient and medieval weaponry.  Do your research and find quality weapons and equipment, and train.  Don’t buy that mace for $20 and then be surprised when the spiked ball comes off and goes through the windshield of a parked car.  Don’t buy the $1,000 Katana, on the opposite end of the spectrum, and succeed only in cutting off one of your own feet while practicing.  If you can, practice with “dummy” weapons until you have the motions and fluidity down, and master the weapon fully before employing it in a real-world situation.  Be safe, stay in that good fight, and embrace “I can” as your core focus.

Oftentimes, the “I can’t/naysaying” crowd are telling you that you can’t do it…but they themselves have already done it…they just don’t want you to succeed with it.  Or, they tried it and didn’t succeed, and therefore don’t want you succeeding when they failed.  Either way, they’re not contributing to your success or survival.

The “I can,” is stronger than their “you can’t.”  The “I can” will enable you to survive and succeed where others fail.  If you conceive of it, study it, practice it, master it, and believe in yourself, you can do it: in anything in life.  You can!

Train intelligently, and train without ceasing.  Fight that good fight, and win it.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Think Before You Speak: Daily Situational Training

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Survival and preparedness entail a lot more than just acquiring a whole bunch of supplies.  You need to be in good physical condition, have some training under your belt, and be ready to use all your training, education, and experience at a moment’s notice when the balloon goes up.  One of the things we take for granted, however, is that daily situations can be used to our advantage and test how we respond.  Let’s start with this:

  1. Situations arise that require tact, diplomacy, and the ability to keep a cool head, and
  2. It is more than just a “test,” as it can train you to better respond to people and situations that arise.
  3. The situation can also let you assess how you did, and give you the basis to make an improvement in the future.
  4. There is an art of camouflage daily to be used prior to the “S” hitting the fan.

Let’s get started!  I want to give you an illustration of something that happened to yours truly.

I have an “out of the way” place in one of the local towns that I frequent to write.  On this day (no different than any other), I set up my laptop and materials in a quiet area.  I went out to my vehicle to grab my coffee.  As I came back, the person who owned this facility motioned me to come over.

“I just wanted to talk to you.  We have tenants who just took an office in this facility.  They see you writing and they’re afraid of you.  They think you’re homeless, and they’re scared of you.”

Shocked, I said, “Did I do anything that upset any of these people?”

“No, not at all,” said the facility owner, “it’s just that they see you sitting close to the entrance and they feel nervous.  We know you here, and I’m not asking you to leave: just to sit in that area over there where most of the other people sit,” the person said, indicating a common area with tables and chairs.

I was pretty ticked off, but I smiled on the outside and took in a deep breath on the inside.

“So, you just want me to sit over there?  Sure.  Anything else I can do?”

“Well,” said the owner, “we all know here that you’re a writer, but these people don’t know that, so in a few days when you’re set up, I’ll bring some of the supervisors around to meet you…you know, and then they’ll know that everything is all right.”

I smiled, and said, “No problem.”  I mentioned a thing I had done a week before to help this owner, and the owner acknowledged it.  “I’ll always be part of the solution, not the problem.  I’ll be more than happy to allay their fears.”

The owner beamed, thanking me and assuring me that it was nothing that I had done and nothing personal or against me.  The owner then mentioned a few other tenants in the facility that had spoken up on my behalf (since they had known me for quite some time), and then the owner thanked me once more.

As yet, I haven’t met any of these people, but it is business as usual, with me not making a big deal out of it (even though some of the people who had spoken on my behalf were mortified at what the owner had said…all of that in front of them.

Here is this for you as well:

“If you have overcome your inclination and not been overcome by it, you have reason to rejoice.” – Titus Maccius Plautus, Roman playwright

My initial reaction was one of anger.  Once again, a prime example of the superficial nature of our society manifested itself.  Not only that, but I am clean-cut, dress neatly and conservatively, and am quieter than quiet in my public endeavors.  I am not ever a “stand-out” in a crowd.  There was no reason for anyone to feel any “angst” with my presence, as the only thing I do when I’m writing is drinking coffee and pound the keys.  Yet they did.  Chalk it up to another stultifying experience that leaves one feeling as if they are shell-shocked when they did absolutely nothing.  Chalk one up to the way the “herd” mentality is of humanity.

What I did that kept the anger under control was that I thought of the situation, and I thought of the other people in the area.  I did not want to make them look bad because I was not in control of my anger.  As it stands, by listening to the owner, keeping my mouth shut, and agreeing to do what it took to make the situation right…. these were the elements that saw me through.

Camouflage yourself in your everyday life: anything “different” can be perceived as a threat against the herd, and the herd is not a herd of cattle but a pack of wolves.

There are not many places to work undisturbed if you come into any town for the day to do some work here in Montana…they’re few and far in between.  What’s more: why make an enemy or a malcontent?  I could stand up and protest, use the “First Amendment” clause, and still lose the battle.  But a little bit of diplomacy, tact, and discretion enabled me to not go around the problem, but work through it.

What we do in situations determines the shape of things that happen to us in the future.  I wished to share this example not to present myself as the “apex” of control, but to show that control of oneself can be maintained with effort, and it’s good training.  It is far better to be disciplined in this regard than allow things to fall apart in between the ears.  I leave you with this last thing, and bid you “good luck” in situations you face that are as mine.  Make them training events, and you’ll benefit from the challenge.  JJ out!

“Say not always what you know, but always know what you say.” – Roman Emperor Claudius

 

 

Additional Reading:

8 Prepper Principles For a Prepared Mind

How Do People Really Behave When Disaster Strikes?

Never Drop Your Guard: 7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Art of Reconnaissance: How to Improve your Viewpoint

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this article will cover some basic techniques for observation, as well as some information on how the eyes and mind work.  Why?  To fine tune your skills and give you an edge, as well as promote information for your further studies.  You can use this information when you are in a fixed position and watching…whether on sentry duty, or for reconnaissance.  These are not tips that are only for snipers or long-range shooters: they’re for the average guy and gal.  Let’s get started.

Gain a Better Viewpoint With These Recon Basics

Our eyes are the eyes of a predator: pointed forward, with the greatest focus in our field of vision being directly in front of us.  We see the following in order: movement, color, and the silhouette.  Movement is the greatest factor, and this is wired into our systems to detect threats against us.  Two eyes provide us with depth perception: the ability to gauge distance and determine where an object is in relation to us and to other objects.

One of the challenges for you is to develop your peripheral vision.  Take something such as a door inside of your house, and focus on it.  Maintaining the focus of your eyes on that door, allow the “softened edges,” or the unclear areas at the edges of your focus to come into view without moving your eyes.  Keeping your eyes riveted to that focal point, allow the whole eyes to see everything “on the sides of that focus,” and all of this without moving the eyes.

The “unclear area” is your periphery.  By unclear, I mean that you can see it, but the edges are not as sharp, and the detail is not as defined as the central focus.  Your practice is twofold.  First, practice trying to identify things on the sides of your focus without moving your eyes.  Next, see the limits that your eyes take in objects.  This is very important.

You can focus on a spot on the horizon, but if you keep that focus, guess what?  You will not miss an object moving into your field of vision is you train yourself well to see in the periphery.  This is because the movement will “register” in your eyes and on your brain, and then you can shift your focus onto it to see it more clearly and identify it.  Color, as mentioned above, means several things.  Color change is especially important: suddenly, a mound of snow lifts up and a bright yellow “thing” emerges…yes, a man in a ski jacket.  You will be able to detect changes in the color of the general surroundings, and with training to use the periphery of your vision can perfect it to be a valuable tool.

Silhouette is a little trickier: this involves seeing and identifying something by the outline.  Vehicles are usually easy, but personnel (especially if they’ve camouflaged themselves) are more difficult.  “Sneaky Pete’s” tend to break up their outline with foliage, artificial netting/wraps, and other niceties.  This is another reason that you want to know the distances you are observing, say, over an open area.  If you have nothing in front of you, the “speck” on the horizon…you want to know beforehand that the 1” speck is really a 6’ tall man at that distance.

Keep your eyes moving periodically, to shift your point of forward focus.  Left to right or right to left…as long as you keep it regular.  As we learned in Jumpmaster school in the service, don’t look for “deficiencies.”  Formulate images and impressions of the “normal” area you must observe.  Allow any variants (the “deficiencies,” as we had in school) to jump out at you.  If you have a perfect sight picture, you’re going to notice the Yeti emerging from the trees.  It is out of the norm.  His motion, his looks, and (yes!) his silhouette.

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face when observing is the change in light levels, especially dark to dawn, and dusk to dark.  Dawn and dusk are traditionally great times for an attack.  This is because the light is just appearing in the former, and disappearing in the latter.  The rods and cones of your eyes cannot clearly help you determine what your eyes are seeing in accordance with the light provided.  The challenge is from a lighted area into one of shadow.  Very tough to see what is going on.  Another problem is the time you spend on watch.  Everyone should have a “short shift” of about 2 to 4 hours, but realistically this never happens.

Eyestrain and fatigue turn the eyes into acorns with drooling and head-tipping sure to follow.  When watching over the snow-covered ground, be sure to wear 100% UV protectant sunglasses.  You can have long-term retinal damage when your eyes are exposed to reflected sunlight for a long period of time.  Protect your eyes, and train them to see what you are observing for.  Practice makes perfect, and in the end, you will perfect these techniques to improve your effectiveness in the areas we discussed.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

 

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Additional Reading:

A Green Beret’s Guide to Improvised Home Defense Strategies

ManTracker: How to Be One and How to Avoid One

Improve Your Natural Night Vision

Prepper Sustainability: How to Observe and Monitor Local Game

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Simple Shopping Trick Will Save You Loads of Money

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 Well, Guys and Gals, now that the holidays are upon us, the shopping has begun in earnest.  Whether for ourselves or others, the stores are alive with festive happy shoppers shopping away in the shops until they’re bereft of money, energy, senses, or all of the above.  One of the things I’ve noticed throughout the years is the propensity of people to buy things that others can use right then and there, in the winter-time.  But why not think outside of the box?  And if it’s not for someone else, then think for yourself in this vein.

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There are tremendous amounts of sales to be had from stuff that is not in the season, and you’ll find a lot of these things in sporting goods stores, military surplus stores, and thrift stores in general.  The prices for everything for the spring and summer are greatly reduced.  Why not buy it now, and save yourself the hassle of higher prices and scarcities later?

Consumer Reports has a great breakdown of which items are best to buy each month.

The technique: buying things you’ll use later in the times they cannot be used.

In the wintertime, you won’t find many bargains on wool socks, thermal underwear, or heavy Gore-Tex jackets.  You will in spring and in the summertime, though.  Why not buy it in the summertime and set it aside for the winter?  And now, in the wintertime…buy the stuff that will be used in five or six months.  You can talk to the managers and find good stuff, such as summer tactical vests, summer camouflage clothing and shirts, camping gear for the warm weather, and such.

Guess what?  Many of these stores (especially the thrift stores) have a large percentage of this stuff in the back…and the manager will be eager to make sales and generate profits for their district managers, VP’s, and along “up” the “food chain” of their concern.  Make a deal with these guys, to buy some nice stuff and come in on a non-peak time to buy some of it.  You can promise the manager to buy at least a hundred or two hundred bucks worth of stuff, or something along those lines.

He’ll be happy to clear out any inventory he couldn’t clean out before.  Also, remember: equipment (such as tents, cookware, etc.) is sold year-round.  You can find some good buys in all of the places just mentioned.  The “trick” is to know who you’re shopping for and what that person really likes.  A gift is a gift, and that person will feel even better knowing that you took special care to find him or her something that is unique to what their interest is in.  Use your judgement as to the condition of the gift and how it will be presented.

There are plenty of things you can find with the original tags still on them, if that is your main concern.  Do not discount the pawn shops and secondhand stores for things such as computers and software, as well as sporting goods and camping equipment.  If somebody has an interest in something that isn’t able to be done in this time of the year (such as a champion distance swimmer, for example), then find them some things they can set aside and use when they’re able to do what it is that they love to do.

I once knew a young man who lived near to me who was an outstanding athlete (football), and I found a really nice set of weights and a bench in the paper for sale…bought the whole nine yards at about 20% of what it would all cost…cleaned it all up, gave the bench a fresh coat of paint…and voila!  He and his parents were ecstatic.  That was ten years ago, and the kid is all grown up now, but he still smiles and tells me how much he uses (still!) that set of weights I bought for him.

You can do the same: find things that are unique and hard to come by.  If it won’t make a gift, then pick it up for yourself.  Remember, it is part of your preps if it’s for you, and good PR if it’s a gift for someone you know.  Having a good time should be part of the whole quest.  This is usually not the case for most, but it can be if you use this method for yourself.  Turn a shopping spree into a treasure hunt by targeting exactly what you’re going to buy.  Turn it into an occasion to hone your deal-making skills, and maybe even to barter.  Not using an “approved” Federal Reserve Note to make your purchases…wow, that’s a “fringe” thought, is it not?  Enjoy yourself and make it an adventure that can hone your skills.  Economics will always be part of survival, and everything can be a challenge that improves your skills.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Ready Nutrition Holiday 2017 Gift Guide

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Merry Christmas, Friends!

It’s time for our annual holiday gift guide. Whether you’re a prepper looking for some practical gifts for loved ones, a homesteader looking for more sustainable-oriented products or the tactician of the family – we’ve got you covered! These are some products that I personally own or have on my wishlist (Can somebody share this list with my hubby?)

This is the season of joy and giving to those we love.

Enjoy your holiday shopping! I hope you LOVE these amazing products as much as I do!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tess and Ready Nutrition Staff

 

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Preppers

High-Quality Sleeping Bag

Anti-Radiation Pills

Berkey Water Filter

Canteen

Zippo

Solar Charger

 

Tacticians

Gerber Mark II Tactical Knife

Monocular

Lock Picking Set

Submersible Amateur Ham Radio

Acme Crate Tactical Stocking

 

Homesteaders

The Ready Nutrition™ Brand Vegetable Garden-In-A-Can

Food Sealing Starter Kit

Sun Oven 

Mason Jar Fermenting Kit

 

Some other great gift ideas!

There are some great prepper fiction books out there as well as non-fiction. Whether your favorite prepper reads books on the economy, fiction, cookbooks, or off-grid living, there’s a book for them. Check out Amazon or Barnes and Noble for a complete list. Some of my favorite books I have on my shelf are:

 

Here are some shopping lists for Christmases past: 201320142015, 2016

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Stay in Shape: How to Winterize Your Home Gym

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We have covered a host of different articles on everything from protein intake to the use of supplements and vitamins.  One of the problems that occur with the advent of the cold weather is that John Q. Citizen slows his activities down during the winter and stays inside his home, becoming sedentary.  After the winter is thawed out, John is gone, to re-emerge from his house as the Michelin Man.

I have friends of mine that ask me all the time after the winter ends.  “JJ, I just don’t understand it…how did I get so heavy during the winter!”

It is not a mystery.

First thing you do, put down the fork.  Secondly, you have to exercise and train.  Nobody wants to in the wintertime, especially in their cold basement or if they have weights out on the back porch or in a shed.  The wintertime comes, and you have to keep up the exercise.  My gym is self-contained on the porch of my cabin.  I’ve lifted outside when it is -10 degrees F, straight up temperature.  There are a few things I do to lower the cold and its effects.  You can do these things, too, in your gym at home.

Take the bite out of cold outdoor winter workouts

If you have a basement gym or a porch gym, the first thing you do is close the gaps.  My front porch is wood, and I close up the gaps by laying down a rubberized mat…almost akin to a carpet.  It covers the floor/porch boards and prevents both moisture and cold from entering the porch.  I also have it closed off and weatherized for the winter.  I take a space heater and place it on a large piece of ceramic tile and heat it up for about 15 minutes prior to my workout.

I use weightlifting gloves, but when it goes below 32 F I need to use gloves that cover the entire hand.  I prefer mittens with leather-like palms.  Next thing, I place a blanket over the entrance to the porch and leave it just open a little on the sides to allow air to circulate.  I pre-prep all of my water bottles with warm water…and this way keep it from being bone-chillingly cold when I drink.

If you can’t pick up a rubberized carpet somewhere, you can take plastic (plastic sheeting or even plastic garbage bags opened up by slitting them at the edges), and lay it down on your surface, then cover this with a blanket.  It helps to keep you from losing heat into the floor and allows the room to be semi-insulated.  I wear full sweats and thermals during the dead of winter, a size too big to allow for a good “pump” when I’m done, and to allow me to move without tearing or shredding my clothing at the seams.

“Part of your survival will depend on your being in good physical shape.”

Remember to incorporate your winter chores into your workout!  I did several pieces on how woodcutting and snow-shoveling are more than just tasks…they are the exercise for you.  They should be factored into your routine for workouts.  The winter is not just a time to sit around and eat all of what you designate as “surplus” to be eaten instead of stored for preps.  Part of your survival will depend on your being in good physical shape.  Don’t stop training just because it is cold outside or that front porch seems so unfriendly to your routine.  Change that environment and make it work for you.  Stay in that good fight, and don’t stop the training!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Know Your Enemy: 9 Prepper Truths You Need for Defense Preparations

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ReadyNutrition Readers, we just covered a segment on self-assessment and knowing yourself.  I had mentioned a paraphrase from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” that covered that segment as well as this current article: “Know yourself and know your enemy.”  We are focusing on the latter part of that one: the enemy.  There are several subtleties attached to that short phrase.

9 Prepper Truths You Need to Prepare a Mental Foundation

1. As men are almost identical in many respects, if you know what you are, then you will know what your enemy is.

We’re going to really get into this one in a second.  Here is another subtlety:

2. By knowing your own weaknesses and shortcomings, you recognize things that can stop you in your tracks…where you become your own worst enemy!

We covered most of the thought of that in the first article.  But wait!  There’s more!

3. By knowing your weaknesses, you also understand weaknesses and shortcomings that other men are subjected to and suffer, just as you.

Oh, that’s a deep one!  The “drives” that you may have are the same weaknesses and drives that hamper other people…the ones you will have to face on the Day of Collapse.  Let’s summarize this and not “blow away” the English-speaking minds:

  1. By knowing your own qualities and capabilities, you can surmise those of others…for we are men (human beings).
  2. Recognizing your own qualities that are negative helps you to prevent them from making you your own worst enemy.
  3. Recognizing that where you are weak and fall short…others suffer from the same shortcomings.

Perhaps this sounds as if it’s a psychological treatise.  Perhaps.  Consider this: there’s a great deal that can be learned and accomplished in the application of this “pseudo-science,” as most people consider it…although many behavioral patterns and actions are spot on.  Know yourself, and know your enemy.  What are you?  What is your enemy?  Well, there was a psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow.  He came up with a “needs pyramid” with the “hierarchy of needs” as human beings run.  Here it is:

There is a lot of truth to this.  Analyze the pyramid.  Here is the key:  You need all of these things, and so does the enemy.

4. The true challenge is to identify the enemy…when he is not you.  What will we face?  A foreign invasion?  A government that lapses into total tyranny?  A band of marauders?  Or will we simply be faced with neighbors that band together to kill us and take our supplies?

In any of those cases, all of the men and women you face have those needs outlined in that pyramid.  It is not so much an “oversimplification,” as it is examining humans from an anthropological perspective and trying to determine what drives them.

5. If you have anything you can use (foodstuffs, medicine, tools, clothing, or weapons, among other things), then you can bank on the fact that others will want it, as well.

I will give you some of my personal stances.  I don’t believe in a policy of appeasement.  What this means is (if you’ve ever watched the movie “The Postman,” for example) you can’t give an aggressor something to “buy off” his or her aggression and think you’re done there.  If anything, it will just be the beginning.  It didn’t work too well for the allies prior to WWII kicking off.  It never works.  It may buy you a little time, but the raiders will be back, to demand more and more from you, until eventually they’ll just swoop in and take it all away.

6. Appeasement is a weakness that leads to conquest, enslavement, and death.

This is why you must follow Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War!”  It gives the answer (albeit I paraphrase, and from different sections):

7. “Where strong in numbers, appear weak.  Where weak, feign strength.  All of warfare is based on deception.”

These are true.  They work if you will employ them.  Part of knowing your enemy takes another form, an aspect that is just as much a key to your victory as knowing the general makeup of man/humanity:

8. You must conduct proper reconnaissance and know your enemy specifically.

What are his numbers?  What are his strengths?  What are his limitations?  What weapons is he carrying, how mobile is he, and can he call on any allies for support?  What drives him?  Is he driven as a wandering Vandal or Visigoth, simply plundering and stealing at will, or does he have greater organizational capabilities and some kind of “vision” for himself and his marauding band?  How committed is he?  How experienced is he?  How strong is his personal leadership?  Is it augmented by cadre, by “officers” as committed to his cause and to him as he, the leader is?

Do you see how much detail there is to this?  You can’t just go through the motions: you must follow through!  I emphasize this because I know from experience.

9. I emphasize these matters because you’re my countrymen, and when the battle comes to you, your homes, and your families… I want you to win it, and live.

If you don’t have all of these bases covered, these strategies and approaches worked out before you engage, then you’ll have your “fourth point of contact” handed to you on a platter.  Trust me: I was instructed how to do all of this, and I truly learned these things by making the mistakes.

To summarize, know how we are as men/human beings.  Know the things that drive us (from positive and negative drives), and understand these inherent weaknesses and drives are common to all mankind.  When you have that base covered, conduct good intelligence…it is not found…it is made.  Make good intelligence out of recon conducted on your enemy…those that threaten your home and family.  Know everything about them, and then know when to engage and when not to.  When to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away, and run…as Kenny Rogers would state it.  Fight that good fight, know your enemy, and most of all make sure you know the one who can be the greatest enemy: know yourself.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

Adaptability: the Key to Ongoing Survival when the SHTF

Little Victories: Lessons in Mental Preparedness from SERE School

Hardcore Walking Dead Survival Tips for Preppers

The Warrior Mentality: Controlled and Purposed Action in a Post Collapse Combat Situation

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Strategy: Vital Considerations When Planning a Bug-Out Location

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is meant to stimulate thought and action toward having a place to retreat to if the time comes.  I know, everybody is going to defend their piece of land to the death when the SHTF.  How about when the SHTF in another matter…akin to our fellow citizens with Hurricane Harvey?  Stands to reason that the numbers of the displaced and homeless are starting to mount.  Whatever the “end event” may be, there always exists the possibility that you must flee.  Let’s explore some criteria and options.

By this time (long in the tooth/late in the game) you should have already formulated a plan…a “Plan B” if you wish for where to run.  If you have not, you need to consider these criteria.  Many of you (especially the naysayers, skeptics, and trolls) will “what if” these criteria to death.  Use the basics and apply them to the situation that arises.

  1. How far away is either national forest or woods to retreat into?
  2. Does the area you plan on fleeing to have a water supply, food (in the form of game or forage), isolated from groups of people, and out of the radius of the initial event (hurricane, nuclear attack, etc.)?
  3. Can you reach it? This takes into consideration your route planning…using the road, waterways, or possibly an air escape.  Traffic patterns, viable roads, and gridlock must be factored into your planning.
  4. Will you be alone or will other families be with you, and/or waiting for your arrival?

This last part is very important.  It is one thing to plan on going to a safer area, but it is quite another to have one prepared and waiting for you.  Now is the time to act on things.  Now is the time to formulate a good, solid plan of action and stick to it when the time arrives.  Do not suffer from the “paralysis of analysis,” because you can plan for years and then fail when the time comes to make a decision to act.

There are too many factors to be able to list in under ten pages single-spaced.  We’re trying to generate some ideas and also to stimulate thought toward a viable plan.  When the SHTF arrives?  Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: Everybody will be “needy” and need what you have, and you will need the things that others have.

That house out in the country by the Everglades where your cousin lives?  Maybe a good time to see what you can contribute to it and what kind of alliance you can form.  You need to do your research and find out about uninhabited cabins in parks and recreational areas.  Do your research and find out about hotels or travel lodges that are beginning to shut down with the close of the summer.  As survivalists, you understand the physical needs of material support and safety for your families.  Now is the time to research a place to flee to if need be.

Here’s a “spark” for the mind: What if more than one thing happens?

Chances are one thing may spark other things, such as a nuclear war may trigger large fires of the likes of which we’re experiencing currently in the northwest.  You may have multiple problems to deal with, and if you have to abandon ship (your home) you want to have a place to go, already planned out if not stocked up and prepared.

Planning promotes a good follow-through.  Formulate that plan and inventory your equipment.  Don’t just plan on one location to flee to: you should have multiple locations.  You may flee your town to avoid a nuclear war, only to find you end up in an area where forest fires have been raging for months.  Game it out at every angle, and start gaming it now.  I can’t even tell you how many people e-mail me their desires to leave their home state.  I make a suggestion, and they say, “Well, we’ll have to wait and see.”  Then they give me their reasons.

When a disaster happens, the reasons for not preparing for it will not be good enough and do not provide for the bottom lines…what you and your family need to survive.  Having a place set up to run to is prudent, plain and simple.  Now is the time to put that backup retreat location in order, not after the SHTF.  In the end, when the music stops playing, you’ll want a chair to sit down in.  Keep fighting that good fight.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Immediate Actions You Must Take If You’re About to be Attacked

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this is a straight-to-the-point segment about some actions and things to keep in mind when you’re attacked by a hoodlum or punk without a firearm.  Most of these “winners” will come at you with a knife, club, pipe, or car antenna.  Actions to be taken if someone pulls a gun on you are different and will not be covered within this article.  This information is meant especially for those without any military or martial-arts training, so Bruce Lee disciples and naysayers, let’s try and keep this concept in mind.

When you’re leaving your place of work or the Happy Family Shopping Mall, you may be taken by surprise by some fool hiding behind a bush or the corner of a dumpster.  In any event, let us cover the main point:

Situational awareness is being aware of where you are at all times, what is happening, and your avenues of escape.

That means all the time, being conscious and cognizant of your surroundings and any “stooges” who wish to throw pies at you, or worse.  By training yourself to be observant, most of the time you can head off a problem at the pass before it materializes.  Now let us take it to the next level: you can’t avoid an encounter with a punk.  Here are some steps to keep in mind:

  1. Equalize
  2. Distance
  3. Extraction/Escape

These steps will help you to reach safety.  Your ultimate objective as an untrained individual is to disengage and escape.  If you wish to continue to fight or to “get one up” on your assailants, that is on you.  Without the proper training and preparation, I advise against it.  I also state that withdrawing from a situation, not of your own choosing is the best option.  It is better to fight only when you have no other choice.  Let’s go over those steps:

  1. Equalize – this means to use whatever you have on hand to make the situation more manageable for you. An assailant comes at you with a knife, and you have an umbrella…you can use the umbrella to interdict between the knife and yourself (if it’s opened) or as a striking tool if it’s closed.  A pocketbook can be used as a “Morningstar/mace” against an attacker with a club or knife.  A jacket carried in-hand can be slung upon the attacker’s face or weapon.  Here are seven improvised objects that can be used for self-defense.  These actions take you to the next step:
  2. Distance – this means to place as much distance as possible between you and the attacker. This can also include getting into a car or vehicle and locking the door behind you.  Your objective with this step is to separate yourself from your attacker and his weapon.  “Distance is your best friend,” as they used to say in the Army.  It is your best friend.  By using that “friend,” you can progress to step number 3.
  3. Escape – Yes, get out of that uncontrolled situation. What you do afterward is your business, but the first rule is to survive and succeed.  Suppose there’s a dozen of these guys, right out of the movie “The Warriors?”  What then?  There’s no use getting into semantics.  Just GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) while the getting is good!  Escape, call the police and deal with them if you must ON YOUR TERMS, not on theirs.

You should find yourself a veteran or a good martial arts instructor and take some classes or instruction on the finer points of these maneuvers.  We have presented several articles on field-expedient weapons from everyday/common items.  I strongly suggest that you review them.  Practice makes perfect, and there is no substitute for good training that is realistic in scope and conducted with serious intent.  You can use those steps to avoid an attacker.

As Kenny Rogers put it, know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away, and run.  Fight that good fight, and fight it smart.  You don’t have to be the smartest guy or gal in the world: just be smarter than the goof that wants to attack you, and remember that discretion is the better part of valor.  Keep calm, stay focused, and if you must fight, then fight to win.  JJ out!

 

Recommended Reading:

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Women Should Know

Fight, or Flight? Basic Self-Defense Tips

Blending In: The Secret to Keeping The Target Off Your Back

Fight Like Jason Bourne: 7 Key Points to Surviving a Serious Fight

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear: 10 Must-Haves to Stay Warm in the Harshest of Conditions

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is akin to a checklist with a few extra suggestions you can use to prepare for the coming of the cold weather before it arrives.  In past articles, we talked about the necessity of having go/GOOD/Bug-out bags packed seasonally.  Those preps for the seasonal changes are critical and can mean the difference between life and death when the need arises.

Read The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide for more information on surviving in extreme weather conditions.

A Prepper’s Guide to Cold Weather Gear

Let’s cover some of the important concepts of gearing up for the Fall and winter.

Proper sleeping bag: remember to switch off those lighter summer bags for a winter-weather/extreme cold weather sleeping bag, preferably with a Gore-Tex cover. Don’t forget a good, reliable ground pad to rest on…remembering the importance in preventing conduction (the passage of body heat into the ground, and cold from the ground into the body).

Gore-Tex “Monster”: That’s right! Become the Gore-Tex Monster!  You need a good Gore-Tex top and pants to protect you from the cold and the moisture.  Gore-Tex breathes and it is reliable. They have Gore-Tex jackets too. Just remember not to lean too close to the stove or the fire and melt it. Read more on what to wear in the harshest of environments.

Footgear/Thermals/Socks: All of these are vital to winter weather preparedness. Make sure that you pack heavy socks and have at least one change of each packed in a waterproof bag and stuffed in your pack. Read more about protecting your feet and how important it is.

Foods to pack: Stick with dried and dehydrated stuff, such as jerky, dehydrated vegetables, and fruits. The canned stuff is tough to protect from a freeze.  The dehydrated stuff can be reconstituted easily enough with water.  If you have snow, you have water.  Don’t forget “Vitamin R” …that’s Ramen!  Pasta is great stuff for a base and some carbs.  Load up also on vitamin c and multivitamins in your pack.

ORS: Oral Rehydration Solutions. I wrote a good bit about them in past pieces.  These guys are the next best thing to an IV and you don’t even need a catheter.  Dehydration is a biggie in the cold months…this is because people become cold and they naturally shy away from drinking water.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration.

Fire starting equipment: waterproof matches, lighters, and material to start it with. Another option is to buy a “fire log” and saw it/cut it down into manageable pieces.  That’s what Firestarter is that you buy from all these “pioneers” such as Coleman for 3 or 4 dollars.  The Fire-log costs you a little more and then supplies you with enough material for 100 of those Coleman packages.

First Aid supplies: remember that things freeze. Not alcohol!  There are your disinfectant pad and any kind of stuff for sanitation.  Also, pack some hand warmers to warm up IV fluids if you ever give one in the fall or winter.  It’ll take away the shock of that cold fluid hitting into your patient.  Also for thawing out water or IV bags if needed. Read more on requirements for cold weather injuries.

For water, if you’re going to be out for extended periods of time, you may wish to empty some of the water out of your canteens for if it freezes to prevent canteens from splitting (although I’ve never seen this with military issue canteens. During the winter months, I carry stainless steel canteens from WWII and fill them up ¾ of the way.  Should it freeze, then I’d just set it on the coals and thaw it out.

Radios: check out your commo gear and make sure your batteries are fresh with spares packed.

Ammo, knives, and weapons: safeguard and make sure (the former) is packed with protection from plastic bags. The latter two: ensure they’re cleaned and coated with a good coating of oil and fully operational.

Prepare all your gear now, while the weather is still fairly warm because you should always plan ahead and take care of things sooner instead of later.  Take the time to do this, because it is an investment in your well-being that could mean the difference in your survival.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Nuclear War: Challenges with Livestock and Farm Animals

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is to provide some food for thought for livestock and animals you may have, and therefore would need to protect in the event of a nuclear war.  Forget about the “Troll Army” that will undoubtedly say that “the article is pointless,” or “we’re all doomed,” or “nuclear war isn’t real.”

Learn How Tactical Gas Masks Can Save Your Life

Everyone who has succeeded first heard a hundred who said they could not.

This piece is designed to give possible solutions to problems you may face with your livestock that may not have been considered.

Naysayers are just an addition to the problem, instead of being part of the solution.

That being said, let’s start out with an excerpt from the government regarding livestock and poultry, just to show the mindset you must contend with.  The source is PubMed, and here’s the link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3895719

Farm livestock show no measurable effects from being exposed to ionizing radiation unless the level is greatly in excess of the natural background radiation. Possible sources of ionizing radiation which might affect livestock or contribute to radioactivity in the food chain to humans are reactor accidents, fuel reprocessing plant accidents and thermonuclear explosions. Most data on ionizing radiation effects on livestock are from whole body gamma doses near the LD 50/60 level. However, grazing livestock would be subjected to added beta exposure from ingested and skin retained radioactive particles. Results of attempts to simulate exposure of the Hereford cattle at Alamogordo, NM show that cattle are more sensitive to ingested fallout radiation than other species. Poultry LD 50/60 for gamma exposure is about twice the level for mammals, and swine appear to have the most efficient repair system being able to withstand the most chronic gamma exposure. Productivity of most livestock surviving an LD 50/60 exposure is temporarily reduced and long-term effects are small. Livestock are good screeners against undesirables in our diet and with the exception of radioisotopes of iodine in milk, very little fission product radioactivity would be expected to be transferred through the food chain in livestock products for humans. Feeding of stored feed or moving livestock to uncontaminated pastures would be the best protective action to follow.

There you have it!  The livestock and poultry are “all safe,” unless radiation is higher than levels in nature!  They just “casually” mention that some things can cause it to be much higher, such as…oh, a “thermonuclear explosion!”

Yeah, that just might cause radiation levels to go up!  Brilliant!  Still, even with stultifying information such as this, you can pick out useful information.  Let’s go with some basics that reach beyond their wisdom:

Obviously, if you don’t have your livestock or poultry in a safe location prior to the conflict, or a residence outside of the radius of a large city, you’re in trouble there. You’re also not going to be able to transport them all to another location.  This stuff needs to be in place before any hostilities start.

Livestock faces the same challenges that we do…except they’re animals and not capable of detecting radiation. Here is what needs to be done:

  • Suitable shelter needs to be prepared for them with some type of air-filtration system and enclosed with heat
  • All food and water need to be pre-stored for them and protected from the radiation, as well. This is a true challenge because a correct estimate of consumption needs to be prepared.  They need at least one year’s supply of food and water and must remain indoors under protective shelter for at least one month until most of the radiation decays.
  • Decontamination: supplies need to be pre-positioned, and there is also manure/offal to be disposed of regularly…perhaps in a location that is also secured if you’re to turn it into compost.
  • Existing structures need to be modified: Most barns will (depending on the roof type) at the minimum protect from Alpha particles. The windows need to be closed off and sealed, and the challenge will be to provide air that is filtered and circulating in their living quarters.  Henhouses and chicken houses need to be assessed for the ability to keep fallout from reaching the poultry.
  • Minimum subsistence and breeding stock: Your biggest challenge will be to support the minimum amount of a population of livestock to be used for breeding to replenish the herds and flocks. Your hens will still lay eggs that can be used for food, and unexposed/safe cattle for milk (watching out for U-238 and Strontium-90 that can go into milk).  This is a long-term goal of protection for you to undertake for them.
  • Mines, caves, and other possible shelters: You could use these if nothing else, should you not have the type of protection available on your property. Just a suggestion, but the last resort.

“The Earth Still Turns,” meaning: you still have to take into consideration the seasons and all of the related problems with them, such as frozen drinking water and extreme cold with (grid down following EMP or war) no electric heat.

Geiger Counters and Dosimeters: to be used to monitor radiation for them.

If you haven’t already done so, I strongly recommend getting a copy of Cresson Kearney’s “Nuclear War Survival Skills.”  Even though this piece discusses livestock, the principles of a nuclear war and the scientific breakdown of shelter construction and radiation hazards still applies to them.  Most of the country still has some time before winter sets in to obtain extra supplies for the livestock and take extra measures to protect them.  It is better to do something than just sit around behind a keyboard and skeptically inform others of how nothing can be done.  It can be done: you are the ones who can do it if you resolve yourselves to take action.  JJ out!

 

More Reading:

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

Learn How Tactical Gas Masks Can Save Your Life

15 Priorities You Need to Follow In the Event of a Nuclear War

How to Survive When a Nuke is Dropped

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

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Warrior Mentality: Controlled and Purposed Action in a Post Collapse Combat Situation

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This article is not for the faint of heart, but there is an important point to it that needs to be the central focus.  The focus is simple: We are a nation founded by citizen-soldiers who did not win freedom or liberty playing Yahtzee.  They won it by fighting.  When the time comes, the citizens of this country will need to fight again.  If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe that there is nothing new under the sun…and you don’t believe that what happened before will happen again.

I have written many articles on a wide variety of subjects from woodcutting to weightlifting, from herbal remedies to first aid.  Many times, I wished to go into greater detail regarding subjects of a military nature or pertinent to combat, but I am limited by the amount I can write: books can be written on the subjects, and we’re trying to introduce readers to concepts.  These will get you started…if you do something with them after reading them.

It is what you do with these concepts and articles that will determine how successful they will be in your employ. 

That being said, there will be a time to fight.  I want to emphasize a concept known in the Army as “Violence of Action.”  This covers precise, measured action…not a berserk, uncontrolled frenzy…but a purposed delivering of the most hurtful response you can muster in a home defense.

Your culture…our culture…is based on authoritarian rules of conformity that (at times) instigate complacency during an emergency.  “Wait on the authorities,” or “call the police,” or that ambiguous “someone will take care of it.”  No.  That “someone,” when the SHTF, will be you.  Successful actions depend on a good follow-through.

All of the articles I have written on physical conditioning, weight training and basics on combat both with a weapon and unarmed…. all of these are your “basics” to build off.  I have suggested different works to read to learn about the warrior mentality and ethos.  Why?  Why all of this preparation and development of the warrior mentality?

Because it is the warrior mentality that you will need to make it through, and protect you and yours.

Let’s cover a few concepts that can further your preparations…thoughts to consider.

  1. You are going to be faced with a deliberate decision: to act or not to act when it hits the fan. This may take several forms: escape from a large city or suburb and fleeing to somewhere out of a target zone…with dangers along the way.
  2. In a SHTF situation, the resultant frenzy that begins 24-48 hours later (or even sooner) may force you to fight…and “Marquis of Queensbury Rules” will not be honored by those storming your house and front lawn.
  3. Fight or Flight: you must weigh the threats and see which are viable…that you will have to confront immediately, or that it is best to withdraw from. Discretion is the better part of valor.
  4. Are you “finger-drilling it,” or is it for real? Are you ready…really prepared physically, mentally, and yes, spiritually…to act?  On behalf of you and your family?  There: it’s the next door neighbor trying to jimmy your back door open with a crowbar, and his two sons with rifles behind him.  Are you ready for them?  Or are you going to “offer some of them your canned jellies, preserves, and fruity treats” from your larder?

“Finger Drilling” is a term we had in the Special Forces Medical Course.  One of the instructors was a skinny black guy who had served in Vietnam named Mr. R.V. Johnson.  He was a stickler for taking real pulses and really assessing the patient in a primary survey…not just playing the scenario with taking a “fake” pulse or seeing clear breathing when the patient was told to simulate sonorous breath sounds.  “Finger Drilling” was just going through the motions.

Are you going through the motions, or are you really preparing for what you’ll have to do…fight to protect your home and family?

  1. Take action on your training program…of marksmanship, of hand-to-hand combat, of physical conditioning. Take the action now.  Train with the heavy bag, train with family members.  Resolve yourself to carry out the defense of your family…in a controlled, purposed manner…with the violence of action and follow-through.  No finger drilling.  Resolve yourself to prepare.

Resolve yourself to fight, and when you do?  Resolve yourself to win.  Mentally preparing yourself to face the challenge is just as big a part of it as the actual engagement is.  Review all of your materials, find a good instructor or training partner and get to work.  We’re getting “long in the tooth,” and winter is getting ready to arrive in a short time.  Utilize every task of physical labor to prepare you physically and mentally.  We have a fight coming in the United States.  It won’t be in a foreign land on CNN.  It will be in our backyards and at our front doors.  Now is the time to prepare…so that you can fight that good fight well…and win.

“Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.” – Vince Lombardi

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Patrol Skills: Using Tactical Hand Signals to Communicate in Silence

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Law enforcement, corrections, probation, and military Special Operations teams worldwide use hand signals to communicate in the field to lessen their risk and to avoid compromising their position. Good security requires efficient forms of communication and when audible communication like speech and radio comms cannot be used, hand signals are a good alternative.

So, why signals?

  1. Helps teams communicate over near and far distances when they have to observe noise discipline.
  2. Helps small or large teams travel over terrain or through structures in a more organized manner.
  3. Helps to keep track of team members.
  4. Helps teams to move stealthily when noise discipline must be maintained.
  5. Helps teams move as a group even when noise discipline is no longer an issue, such as moving units over the sound of battle or when machinery noise is deafening.

As with any communication form, there are pros and cons. While natural elements like weather and terrain restrict your ability to effectively use this form of communication, the best time to use hand signals is if your group is nearby and in need of masking their presence from an enemy.  Keep in mind that hand signals can be misunderstood because you or group members may be at a distance or maybe in a confusing situation with lots of noise, therefore use clear, concise and exaggerated movements to help people understand what the next move is. Moreover, when you are making these signals, face your body directly at the person you are giving signals to so they can see them clearly. When you receive the signals always acknowledge with either “Yes” “No,” or “I don’t understand”

Learning hand signals is simpler than one would think, and at times, common sense. Keep in mind that hand signals can be misunderstood because you or group members may be at a distance or maybe in a confusing situation with lots of noise, therefore use clear, concise and exaggerated movements to help people understand what the next move is. Moreover, when you are making these signals, face your body directly at the person you are giving signals to so they can see them clearly. When you receive the signals always acknowledge with either “Yes” “No,” or “I don’t understand”

Some of the most common signals you will use in the field are:

    • Yes
    • No
    • I understand
    • Stop
    • Freeze
    • Get down
    • Stand up and move out
    • Enemy
    • I see the enemy
    • I hear the enemy
    • Cover me
    • Move to another observation point

*Click on image for larger version. Then click on full-size option

What you will find in the following videos are the basic tactical hand signals used by law enforcement and military personnel.  For more information, this Army Field Guide provides a more in-depth look at visual signals.

Tactical Hand Signals, Part 1

Tactical Hand Signals, Part 2

Practice Makes Perfect

As with everything, the more you practice this essential skill, the better and more effective you will be at communicating in silence. To move effectively, a group should consistently practice tactical hand signals. In fact, the more you use hand signals with a group, chances are you will come up with your own signaling moves.

Printing out the hand signals and keeping it stashed in your pack is another way to review the signals and correctly use them.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

3 Unique Tips for Finding Your Way Out of the Wilderness

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Wilderness survival is a vast subject that few people ever truly master. Even certain subsets of this subject can be daunting. Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources and books that can help. It’s a super popular subject that has been discussed at length by countless websites and authors, including yours truly.

But throughout my time researching this subject over the years, I’ve stumbled on a few survival tips that don’t seem to be mentioned very often. Perhaps their usefulness is a little too narrow, or there are better options that are little more versatile and applicable in more situations. However, I’ve always felt that there is no survival tip that is too niche, so to speak. I like to learn everything, even if some of that knowledge is only useful in rare circumstances. In that spirit, I’ve come up with a three survival tips on the subject of navigating your way out of the wilderness, that I don’t think get mentioned often enough.

Pay Attention To The Animals

We all know that certain animals can sense magnetic fields, and use that ability to navigate. What most people don’t realize is that observing some of these animals can help you figure out which way is north or south. If you’re ever lost in the forests of North America or Europe, pay attention to any deer you might run across. They almost always face magnetic north or south when they’re grazing.

Follow The Water

With advances in modern infrastructure, it’s a lot easier for a community to spring up where there is no water. However, most towns and cities that are around today were built a long time ago, when they absolutely needed to be near water sources. For that reason, one of the best ways to find civilization is to simply follow any rivers or streams you run across. Obviously, doing this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find civilization, but if you don’t know which direction the nearest community is, then following a river gives you the best odds of getting out of the wilderness. Plus, you’ll be able to stay hydrated throughout the journey.

Look For Light Pollution

One of the most noticeable side effects of modern civilization is the abundance of light it produces. Even at night, most communities have plenty of streetlights running until dawn. Depending on the size of these communities and how far away they are, you should be able to see the light they produce even if you can’t see the town itself. When it gets dark, try to find a high vantage point and scan your surroundings. If civilization is near, you should be able to see a glimmer of light over the horizon.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Crash Course in Preparedness – Week 2 – Medicine, Sanitation, and Surviving Disaster Diseases

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Welcome back to week 2 in our Crash Course into Preparedness. Last week we discussed the basics of survival and gear needed for a short-lived event. One of the comments from last week’s class mentioned that it isn’t hard to prepare, you just have to start. I couldn’t agree more! My only addition I would make to this comment is in order to start you must prioritize your needs and know what you’re planning for. This week, we are taking the same concept from last week – prioritizing, planning and preparing to another facet of disaster planning and highlighting the more dirty side of preparedness – medical and sanitation needs.

Some of the greatest threats in an emergency occur after the disaster. Lack of accessible clean water following major disasters can quickly escalate and create secondary problems in a post SHTF situation. Additionally, those unsanitary conditions can exacerbate the spreading of diseases, infections and health risks. In this preparedness course, we will cover the most common issues that occur following a disaster that relates to hygiene, sanitary and medical condition.

Sanitation, good hygiene, and medical preparedness all go hand-in-hand. But as you will see after reading this guide, it takes a lot of planning and a lot of preparation. Simply put, there are many wrong turns a person could take in the aftermath of a storm and their health could suffer as a result. Therefore it is paramount that you understand the magnitude of these types of disasters and how to avoid them. As Ready Nutrition writer, Jeremiah Johnson noted in a recent article, “hygiene protects you from germs and diseases, as well as preventing the body from falling apart.” In the aftermath of disasters, this needs to stay at the forefront of our priorities.

In this week’s course, I have compiled lists of preparedness items you may need for these types of disasters, but in no way is this list comprehensive. There is always some other items that someone will need. Therefore, remember to prioritize your household’s needs! If someone in your home has a preexisting condition – prepare for that. If someone in the household has mobility issues – make sure they have supplies to help them get around, or if someone has a suppressed immune system – prepare accordingly.

We have a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of prepper lists to review, so let’s get started.

Why your water sources become contaminated after a disaster and why you should avoid them

Water is one of the most necessary elements to sustain life, but when that water is dirty, it can quickly become one of the most dangerous. Following a disaster, municipal water lines will more than likely be damaged and can become contaminated with sewage, chemicals and, in particular, may also contain a number of pathogens that can cause illness. These contaminated waters harbor bacteria, different viruses, and fungi – all of which can make people very sick.

Diseases can be present in the water. Most notably, cholera, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and Leptospirosis. If massive flooding occurs in the area and homes are damaged as a result, mold could also pose a serious health problem and exacerbate asthma, allergies, or other respiratory diseases like COPD. Mold can appear in as little as 24 to 48 hours after flood waters recede. Experts suggest not to touch it. Wear rubber gloves, wear a mask when handling it and if you are in a dwelling where there is mold, you should leave.

Those who have open wounds or rashes should also avoid the flood waters as they can quickly become infected. If the water lines are damaged, or if the damage is suspected, do not use municipal water sources for cleaning or drinking. Likewise, throw out any food that has come in contact with contaminated water.  Avoiding contaminated water is your best bet, but at times unavoidable. Maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene will ensure your overall health and safety.

Fly infestations also pose a problem, and if the waste is left out in the open, then it will only lead to the susceptibility of epidemics such as Hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid or diphtheria. Having a means dispersing of human waste will ensure that in times of disaster, your family and neighbors will stay healthy.

As well, mosquitoes are notorious for harboring diseases. Some of which are:

  • Dengue
  • West Nile
  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • La Crosse Encephalitis

As well as a few others that mainly affect animals:

  • Western Equine Encephalitis
  • Dog Heartworm

So it’s important for homeowners in disaster affected regions to take certain measures to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes. This requires keeping an eye out for things on your property that might contain even the smallest puddles of water. As well, experts are recommending that homeowners drain pools and if you see mosquitoes in larger areas of standing water to alert authorities.

Make sure you clear any trash or debris in your yards such as tires or cans and don’t leave any water out in flower pots or water bowls. It’s also a good idea to secure any leaky pipes you might have outside of your home, and clear out any leaves in your gutters. In some cases, you may need to fill or drain spots that tend to collect water on your property.  As an added defense, build traps that will cull the local mosquito population.

If you are cleaning your home after a flood, make sure you follow these steps from the EPA on flood-related cleaning.


Sanitation

No one really wants to discuss sanitation because it’s… well, an unpleasant and dirty subject. However, it is one of the most important areas to focus on when preparing for a disaster.

Most disasters cause sanitation nightmares simply because following a disaster, there is a lack of sanitation facilities or water lines have been damaged or crossed with sewage lines. This can bring on serious health risks.

Here are a couple of necessary facts you need to keep in mind.

  • In the aftermath of a disaster where water sources are compromised, people within a 50-mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease just if one person handled the trash improperly. Let that sink in.
  • If the you-know-what has hit the fan, you must be aware that more people die after a disaster due to poor sanitation than from the disaster itself. This is due to individuals not knowing where or how to properly expel waste.
  • Infectious diseases from contaminated water can make certain groups very vulnerable – the very young, the elderly and people suffering from diseases that lower their immune resistance.

How to prepare for sanitation disruptions

When the trash cannot be picked up, it must be burned or buried by you; however, municipalities cannot risk contamination to the water source or soil from people who incorrectly bury their debris, so it is important to know how to properly dispose of your waste products and stay clean, as well. Typically, city officials will provide information on this after a disaster occurs.

One of your first lines of defense is to keep hands clean during an emergency to prevent the spread of germs. If your tap water is not safe to use, wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected. If needed, a temporary hand washing station can be created by using a large water jug that contains clean water.

How to clean water

Bring your drinking water to a rolling boil for 15 to 20 minutes before consumption or for cleaning purposes. At altitudes above one mile or 2,000 meters, you should increase the rolling time to three minutes. For an added measure, after boiling, you can chemically disinfect the water with chlorine bleach (minus additives). Use 16 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon, or 4 drops per quart of water.

The reason for taking added measures after you boil your water is that many water-borne diseases like giardia and cryptosporidium tend to encyst and can survive a chemical disinfection, especially with chlorine.  Most of your one-celled creepy-crawlies will bite the big one with it, but boiling is the only surefire method when you don’t have an advanced water filtration system available.

Calcium hypochlorite (HTH, also known as “pool shock”) is another method to use.  The concentrations are different per the manufacturer, but you can reconstitute it and make a slurry with a one-liter bottle and a teaspoon of the HTH. Then you follow the ratio for chlorine drops as provided above, keeping aware that it will deteriorate over time. Source

Wash your hands

Now that the water is clean, washing hands with soap and water are the best way to reduce the number of germs on the skin. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. According to the CDC, you should wash your hands after the following:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

Make a sanitation kit

As well, you want to ensure your house has a way of dealing with sanitation issues. Having a sanitation kit that is ready in times of disaster is essential to keeping your family and neighbors healthy. These kits can fit comfortably into a bucket, are affordable, and will not take up much space. Additionally, being educated on how to properly dispose of waste is a key factor in keeping everyone healthy during a disaster.

Some suggested sanitation supplies should be added to any short or long-term emergency kits are:

  • Disposable bucket or luggable loo
  • Toilet paper (two weeks worth)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Garbage bags with twist ties (for liners of toilets or luggable loo)
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Cat Litter or absorbent material such as saw dust or dirt
  • Baby wipe
  • Soap
  • Baking soda can be used to help eliminate odors
  • Vinegar
  • Bleach
  • Shovel
  • Women’s sanitary needs

Dispose of Waste

Properly disposing of waste products keeps water sources clean and cuts down on illness and disease.  If city water is still available, flush conservatively.  Grey water such as used dish water, bath water or water for cooking can be used to flush the toilet.  If water lines are damaged, or if the damage is suspected, do not flush the toilet.

If water services are interrupted, an easy way to utilize the toilet and keep it clean is to:

  • Clean and empty the water of the toilet bowl out.
  • Line the bowl with a heavy-duty plastic bag.
  • Once the bag has waste inside, add a small amount of deodorant such as cat litter, as well as disinfectant and securely tie the bag for disposal.
  • A large plastic trash can (lined with a heavy duty bag) can be used to store the bags of waste.
  • Once trash services begin, the city will come and collect these.

If a portable camp toilet is used, the above mentioned can also be used. However, if the trash crews are coming, carefully secure the waste bag and store in a designated trash can to be collected. If the trash crews are not coming in a given amount of time, the bag of waste will need to be buried (see the proper way to bury waste below).

Officials say to avoid burying your waste, but sometimes it is necessary. However, if the waste is not properly taken care of, pollution of water sources will lead to illness and disease. It also attracts flies and insects which will spread the disease further. Understand that burying feces takes up to a year to decompose. Therefore, finding the right spot to bury your feces is crucial. There are biodegradable bags that a person can put their waste into. These can usually be found in the camping department of outdoor stores, or on the Internet. The bags assist the waste in decomposing faster and assists in preventing the waste from hitting major water sources. If a person does not have one of these handy bags available, the feces should be buried in “catholes” far away from water sources, campsites and a communal spot where there are a lot of humans. If you find yourself in a situation where toilet paper is not available, you may have to resort to a more natural method of staying clean. Below is a list of toilet paper alternatives for an emergency situation.

Toilet Paper Alternatives

  • Leaves
  • Phone books
  • Unused coffee filters
  • Corn cobs (That’s right- Corn Cobs)
  • Dilapidated kitchen towels (no longer used for cleaning).
  • Bed linen strips
  • Mail order catalog

Hygiene

It is important to continue regular hygiene habits during an emergency. As well, a woman’s personal hygiene and ensuring children are clean is essential in making sure sanitation-related illnesses do not occur.Habits such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, combing your hair and even washing your body with a wet washcloth. This will provide a sense of normalcy, help prevent the spread of disease, as well as help to relieve the stress brought on by the disaster.

In a pinch, water can be heated outside using a sun visor for a vehicle or a sun oven. Use filtered potable water or fresh rainwater during times of emergencies. To prevent sanitation-related diseases, do not use standing water.

SHTF laundry

If your home was damaged by flood water, you will need to disinfect your washing machine. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set the washer to the largest load capacity and fill with hot water
  2. Add one cup chlorine bleach
  3. Set the washer to a full cycle with a hot water rinse. Allow washing machine to run through the entire cycle.
  4. Clean the exterior of the washer – top, front and sides – and all other surfaces in the laundry room with a solution of chlorine bleach and hot water. Rinse with clean water.

Additional Maintenance Tips:

  • If the washer has been through a flood, have a technician check the appliance before cleaning and using.
  • If a dryer has been contaminated by flood water, have it checked by a technician and then wipe down the drum and outside of the dryer with a solution of chlorine bleach and hot water. Always rinse well with a cloth dipped in clear water.

Once your washer is clean and ready for use, it’s time to get that laundry going.

  1. Sort clothes into appropriate piles.
  2. Check your care label to make sure garments are washable.
  3. If labeled hand washable only, then hand wash—do not put into the washing machine.
  4. If the garment is dry, brush off loose dirt and residue. Rinse in clean, cool water to remove mud and flood water. This will take several rinses until rinse water is clear. Work a heavy duty detergent (liquid) or paste of granule detergent into all stained areas. Let stand 30 minutes.
  5. Work a heavy duty detergent (liquid) or paste of granule detergent into all stained areas. Let stand 30 minutes.
  6. Follow care labels and wash in hottest water safe for the garment with detergent. Use bleach if recommended for the garment.
  7. Sanitize with a disinfectant. Always test on an inconspicuous seam to be sure it does not harm the garment. Add to washing machine before adding clothing.

Some disinfectants to try are:

  • Liquid chlorine bleach (Clorox, Purex) if safe. Do not use on washable wools and silks. Follow directions carefully.
  • Pine oil (Pine-O-Pine, Fyne Pine) is safe for most washable garments. Do not use on washable wools and silks since the odor will remain.
  • Phenolic (Pine-Sol, Al-Pine) is safe for most washable garments. Do not use on washable wools and silks since the odor will remain. 1 Hang garments to dry.

Off-grid laundry is another option to consider

As well, you need to consider some off-grid laundry sources if your home has no power. Some items you will need are:

First, gather your supplies.

  • Laundry soap of choice (liquid is easier to use in this case)
  • Borax
  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Sturdy scrub brush
  • Small bucket (I use a clean plastic kitty litter bucket)
  • Good quality janitor’s mop bucket with a press wringer
  • Large basin or clean bathroom
  • Drying rack and clothespins (or method of choice)
  1. Separate clothing into small piles.
  2. In a large basin, add laundry soap and begin filling with water with the hottest water. Mix the soap into the water until incorporated.
  3. As water is still filling up in the basin, add laundry. Turn off the water when water covers the soiled laundry.
  4. Add any disinfectants and mix to incorporate.
  5. Allow laundry to sit for 30 minutes to an hour to soak.
  6. When ready to clean clothes, fill the second basin up with water and set aside.
  7. Using an agitator, scrub clothes to get all stains off.
  8. Rinse clothes in the second basin to remove soap.
  9. Ring out clothes and set on dryer rack to dry.

Prevention is the key to spreading communicable diseases, so prepare appropriately.


Medical

Short-term disasters can bring on a myriad of medical situations and they can occur very quickly. Because of the disaster, roads may be impassable, or in some cases, the hospitals may be at capacity and cannot take in any more patients. With that in mind, it is important to know what the most common medical emergencies are and prepare accordingly for them.

In short-term disasters, prepare for water-related illnesses. This will be very common given the close proximity to contaminated water sources.

In The Prepper’s Blueprint, it states, “The relationship between communicable diseases and disasters exist and merits special attention. When there is a short-term emergency, there is an increased number of hospital visits and admissions from common diarrhea-related diseases, acute respiratory infections, dermatitis, and other causes. These type of medical issues are due to those coming in direct contact with flood waters contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. These contamination factors will cause irritation to skin and a host of other medical conditions.”

In longer-term disasters, burns, cuts, rashes and secondary infections will also be very common medical emergencies to prepare for. Folks, these are the disasters you will likely face and it is imperative that you prepare for this with proper medical supplies and knowledge.

I realize that there are a lot of medical conditions to think about. The best approach is to look at the basics and prepare for those. Many medical items can be used for multiple disasters, so take comfort in this and prepare accordingly.

Build the Ultimate 1 Year Medical Supply with These First Aid Basics

Experts suggest that each home have a basic medical supply that is unique to your family’s needs. Therefore, keep any pre-existing conditions and allergies any family members may have, as well as the above list of the most common medical conditions that hospitals see. It is within your best interest to ensure that you have any and all necessary medications that require prescriptions before an emergency happens.We all have our fair share of band-aids and antibiotic ointment, but do you have medical supplies that can help with true medical emergencies?

The following list is your basic medical preparations broken into sections of the need to help in your organization.


Hygiene

  • Laundry detergent
  • Disinfectant (bleach, pine-sol, etc.)
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Liquid antibacterial hand soap – 20
  • Disposable hand wipes – 20
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizer – 20
  • Feminine items – 12 packages
  • Extra baby needs (diapers, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, medicine, etc.) – in quantity
  • Exam gloves – 5 boxes
  • Rubber cleaning gloves
  • Extra mops and brooms
  • Large plastic bins (for doing laundry, clearing away debris or packing precious items in a pinch)

Essential Medical Tools

  • Trauma shears
  • Pen light or small flash light
  • Scalpel with extra blades
  • Stethoscope
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Foam splint – 2 per family member
  • Thermometer

Over-the-Counter Products

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever (for adults and children) – 5 bottles
  • Stool softener – 5 bottles
  • Electrolyte powder – 3 boxes
  • Cold/flu medications – 2 boxes per family member
  • Expectorant/decongestants – 3 per family member
  • Hydrocortisone – 3
  • Miconazole/anti-fungal – 3
  • Syrup of Ipecac and activated charcoal – 2
  • Eye care (e.g., contact lens case, cleansing solution, eye moisture drops) – 3 per family member

Natural Supplements

Wound Care

  • Disinfectant (Betadine, isopropyl alcohol, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) – 2 per family member
  • Band-aids – 3 large boxes in assorted sizes
  • Antibiotic ointment – 5
  • Instant cold and hot packs – 10
  • 1 week of prescription medications – as many as you are able to get with your prescription
  • Ace bandages – 10
  • Non- stick gauze pads in assorted sizes (3×3 and 4×4) – 10 boxes
  • Sterile roller bandages – 5
  • Surgical sponges – 5
  • Adhesive tape or duct tape – 5
  • Steri-strips – 5
  • Moleskin – 3
  • Respirator masks – 4
  • CPR micro shield – 1 per family member
  • Suture kit – 3 per family member
  • QuikClot® compression bandages – 2 per family member
  • Tourniquet – 2
  • Thermal Mylar blanket – 1 per family member
  • Antibiotics

*These are your minimum quantities. If you are able to do so, prepare for more.

One cannot become proficient at something without study and application. Going as far as to take medical courses in community colleges, local county extension offices, local fire departments, and with veterans groups, along with other civic clubs and organizations can give you a great edge on acquiring knowledge on medical emergencies and how to treat them. It should go without saying, but stock up on medical manuals like:

Taking medical courses would be very beneficial in preparing for this type of emergency. The Fire Department, American Red Cross or Medical Centers are local resources that offer classes to assist in medical emergencies. To further prepare, find websites online that deal with first aid care and go through each injury to see what medical instruments and items are needed.

Customize Your Supplies

Many believe that a basic store-bought medical kit will provide for all of their medical needs, but these kits tend to be overloaded with unneeded items (i.e., 500 band aids). Buying your own medical supplies allows you to customize your kit to fit your family’s unique needs and is more economical. In fact, you can purchase many of these items at your local Dollar Store to save money.  Customizing your family’s medical supply gives your family members the best chance at being cared for when a medical emergency arises. Further, take your preparedness a step further and organize your medical preps and create medical response packs for quick acting.

Store a first aid kit in the car (being careful with heat sensitive items) and also tuck some medical supplies into your 72-hour bag as well as at work. This way, you can be ready to deal with medical emergencies wherever they happen to occur.

Storing Medical Supplies

How you store your first aid supplies is every bit as important as having the supplies in the first place. Medicines can lose potency or spoil if they are subject to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and light.  For example, aspirin begins to break down when it is exposed to a slight amount of moisture.

Unless the instructions indicate otherwise, store medications in a cool, dark place that is out of the reach of children.   However, you still want to store the medical supplies in a place that is easily accessible to adults, who may need to respond very quickly in the event of a medical crisis.

Check expiration dates periodically to ensure the medicines are still good to use.  While most medicines lose potency once they’re past the expiration date, there are a few that will actually make a person extremely ill if taken after it spoils.  For example, tetracycline antibiotics that have spoiled can cause a severe, sometimes deadly, kidney ailment.

Signs of Expired Medicines

Although there is data that states most medicines can last longer than their expiration dates, it is important to understand that using medicine years past its expiration date can lose effectiveness and in some cases, change its chemical makeup. If you are in a survival situation where your life depended on an outdated drug, then it is wise to follow the cliché “better safe than sorry”.

Knowing the signs of expired medicine can help indicate when new items are needed.

  • Creams or ointments which are discolored or have changed in texture.
  • Creams or ointments which have cracked or separated.
  • The medicines smell has changed since it was opened.
  • Tablets are broken or chipped and have changed color

Bear in mind, there are some medications that should never be used after their expiration and could have severe consequences for patients. These include:

  • Anticonvulsants – narrow therapeutic index
  • Dilantin, phenobarbital – very quickly lose potency
  • Nitroglycerin – very quickly lose potency
  • Warfarin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Procan SR – sustained release procainamide
  • Theophylline – very quickly lose potency
  • Digoxin – narrow therapeutic index
  • Thyroid preparations
  • Paraldehyde
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Epinephrine – very quickly lose potency
  • Insulin – very quickly lose potency
  • Eye drops – eyes are particularly sensitive to any bacteria that might grow in a solution once a preservative degrades.

Source

What if you don’t have enough medical supplies?

Now, let’s take this a step further. What if you prepared your food and water for an emergency, but completely forgot about getting medical supplies? (It’s hard to remember everything when you’re planning for a disaster) There are some alternatives that you may be lucky enough to have in your pantry to use.

Some of your kitchen staples may have some medicinal value. For instance, did you know you can make an antiseptic (first discovered during World War I) made of a diluted solution of baking soda and bleach? It’s called Dakin’s Solution and has been proven to kill most bacteria and viruses. As well, vinegar, baking soda, baking powder and salt have medicinal values.

Honey has become a poster child for an alternative to antibiotics can fight multiple species of bacteria, fungi, and superbugs, making it a viable alternative to antibiotics.

As Ready Nutrition writer, Jeremiah Johnson recently wrote, “Honey is also good for wounds/abrasions/cuts of the mouth, as it is a demulcent that soothes abraded tissues, and it also is a medium that microbes do not live in.  Who doesn’t remember the time-honored honey and lemon mixture for a sore throat?  The thing of it is: it works, and if it works it should be employed. Read more on how to use honey to treat wounds.

Having access to health-inducing herbs is another essential for wound care. Herbs such as oregano, garlic, lavender, and thyme can help protect a wound from infection and promote healing. Along those lines, writer, Jeremiah Johnson recommends every prepper have the Three G’s: Ginger, Garlic, and Ginseng in their natural medicine cabinet. Further, knowing which herbs can be used for natural pain killers is also paramount in your medical preparedness knowledge. Some pain reducing herbs to add to your herbal first-aid kit are:

  • Aloe (Aloe vera)
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
  • Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
  • Tea (Camellia sinensis)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Common pantry items can also be used to help bleeding wounds clot. Many have found that cayenne pepper is an effective alternative and natural version of QuikClot. Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient, called capsaicin, which has analgesic (pain relieving) properties and various other medicinal uses.

As well, boiled and sanitized torn sheets can be used as bandages. Or, if the cuts are minor and you have access to an herb garden, consider placing a sage leaf or lamb’s quarters on the cut as a natural bandage.

In an extended disaster, bacterial infections and viruses are likely to be one of the reasons that people will die.

Historically, essential oils have been used as a natural therapy to relieve symptoms when modern-day medicine was not available. The most amazing aspect of essential oils lies in their ability to effectively kill bad bacteria while leaving good bacteria alone! Rather than targeting one symptom, as Western medicine does, it targets multiple symptoms.

There are two types of essential oils you should stock up on for SHTF planning:

Antibacterial – Due to the increase of antibacterial resistant illnesses, many are turning to essential oils such as basil, cassia, cinnamon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon, marjoram, melaleuca, myrrh, orange, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, and thyme.

Antiviral – Oils that have been studied to help control viral infections include: basil, cassia, cinnamon, eucalyptus, frankincense, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, Melaleuca, myrrh, oregano, and thyme.

I started out with a simple beginner’s essential oil kit and have found it of great use! Some more popular ways of using essential oils are aromatherapy, herbal soaks, compresses, tinctures, and salves.

Surviving Disaster-Related Diseases

In reality, the aftermath of a disaster is always to hardest to survive. We tend to find ourselves in third-world living conditions – off-the-grid, poor water conditions, lack of proper sanitation and poor diet.

Those conditions can create the perfect storm for outbreaks of disease and infection. And if you find yourself living in close proximity to others, those diseases can quickly spread, thus setting the stage for an epidemic.

Outbreaks

Let’s cut to the chase, epidemics are quite common following certain disasters. According to this publication, these are the most common diseases that follow a disaster:

  • Diarrhea-related illness (cholera, dysentery)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Hepatitis
  • ARI (pneumonia/influenza)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • TB
  • Malaria
  • Dengue fever
  • Tetanus

Many believe the misuse of antibiotics in the past has led to the dangers of super bugs such as the spread of MRSA and MERS virus. In fact, nearly all significant bacterial infections in the world are becoming resistant to commonly used antibiotics. This means that our current medical safety nets will be much smaller in the near future. Even the smallest cuts could pose a danger to our health.

To add insult to injury, the disease typhoid which is spread from contaminated food and water is also becoming resistant to antibiotics and could soon become an out of control nightmare. Why am I telling you this? Because superbugs are everywhere now and experts warn that “it’s almost too late.” In the wake of a disaster, we immediately fall back on medicines that have worked in the past. If we find ourselves with an infection and antibiotics don’t work, then a secondary infection will set in and your fate is sealed.

Phases of outbreak and classification of infectious disease

Infectious disease transmission or outbreaks may be seen days, weeks or even months after the onset of the disaster. Three clinical phases of natural disasters summarize the chronological public health effects on injured people and survivors:

Phase (1), the impact phase (lasting up to 4 days), is usually the period when victims are extricated and initial treatment of disaster-related injuries is provided.

Phase (2), the post-impact phase (4 days to 4 weeks), is the period when the first waves of infectious diseases (air-borne, foodborne, and/or water-borne infections) might emerge.

Phase (3), the recovery phase (after 4 weeks), is the period when symptoms of victims who have contracted infections with long incubation periods or those with latent-type infections may become clinically apparent. During this period, infectious diseases that are already endemic in the area, as well as newly imported ones among the affected community, may grow into an epidemic.

Source

When an outbreak occurs, those living in cities or in close proximity to others will be more at risk of contracting illnesses and spreading them. Any pregnant women, infants, elderly people, or those with chronic medical conditions are also at risk and could be the first of the population to contract the contagious illness. If an epidemic approaches, there could be long-lasting repercussions of such a disaster. The worst-case scenario in all of this is if the outbreak is widespread and extremely contagious drastic changes could be made to isolate the outbreak itself.

  • Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
  • Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
  • Payroll service interruptions
  • Staffing shortages in hospitals and medical clinics
  • Interruptions in public facilities – Schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings such as sporting events or worship services may close temporarily.
  • Government mandated voluntary or involuntary home quarantine.

While these are extreme points, I want to make sure you are prepared for a worst-case scenario and knowing what to expect will help you in your efforts. As I have mentioned, with any type of disaster or emergency, the responsibility falls more heavily upon our shoulders to ensure you can meet our needs. Instituting preventative measures in the home could also help you better prepare for injured or infectious family members.

  • Taking proper illness precautions – avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes during any pandemic.
  • Create a sick room for the home.
  • Keep your immune systems up by getting lots of sleep, having a good diet, exercising and taking vitamins and antioxidants to protect your health.
  • Stay inside and avoid contact with others.
  • Get pandemic supplies to have on hand at a moments notice.

Some items to consider when stocking a sick room are:

  • Tyvek protective suit and shoe covers
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Bed with linens, pillow, and blanket
  • Small wastebasket or a bucket lined with a plastic garbage bag.
  • Gallon-sized zip-loc bags
  • Pitcher or large bottle for water
  • Large plastic dishpan
  • portable toilet and human waste bags
  • Clipboard with paper and a pen for writing in the daily log.
  • Clock
  • Hand crank or battery-powered radio
  • Good source of light
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • 1 clothing hamper or a garbage can that is lined with a plastic garbage bag used to collect soiled clothing and bedding items before they are washed.
  • A bell or a noisemaker to call for assistance.
  • Thermometer
  • Tissues
  • Hand wipes or a waterless hand sanitizer
  • Bleach or disinfectant
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol, disinfectant or bleach
  • Measuring cup capable of holding 8 ounces or 250 ml
  • Over-the-counter medications for use in the sick room
  • Protective eye gear
  • Protective clothing
  • Disposable aprons or smocks (at least 2 cases)
  • Duct tape for sealing off doorways and vents
  • Latex household disposable cleaning gloves
  • Disposable nitrile gloves (2-3 boxes)
  • Garbage bags
  • Trash can
  • N95 masks or N100 respirator masks for use when the sick person is coughing or sneezing

To conclude, there will always be the threat of completely unanticipated disasters, but your overall understanding of the disasters we face and the dangers that lie in the aftermath will help you maneuver through these types of emergencies.

 

Course Discussion

We all have a way to help others prepare. One of the most wonderful things you can do is to help someone prepare. New preppers, if you have questions, leave them in the comment section and as a community, we can help to answer them. You’re not in this alone. I know this information provided is a lot to take in, just pace yourself and we are all here for you if you need it.

 

Sign Up For This Week’s Giveaway!

To help some readers get prepared for sanitation-related emergencies, we’re giving away a copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint – widely popular and highly rated preparedness manual and a sanitation kit.

All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly National Preparedness articles about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. Good luck everyone!

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

A Crash Course in Preparedness – Week 1 – The Survival Basics

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We’re ushering in National Preparedness Month with the first in a series of four preparedness guides. This crash course into preparedness will help you plan a strategy, position critical assets and greatly increase your chance of surviving many of the most common emergencies. While the subject of preparedness is an extensive one, we are going to break the basics down as much as we can so that you can stay focused and on track.

Before we start, I want to share my philosophy with you. A disaster of any kind rarely stops with the initial event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life for a much longer time than we intended. This can last days, into weeks and even longer (depending on the circumstance). Because of this, it’s important to have a well-rounded approach to your preparedness efforts. I wholeheartedly believe in a layering concept when it comes to preparedness. You start at the beginning and slowly add more “layers” on preparedness until your family is fully insulated from the disaster itself. By accumulating items slowly and mindfully, you will stay organized and know that all of your bases are covered. I’ve broken the layers down into three groups.

  • The first layer is the preparedness endeavors that prepare you for emergencies that have shorter-term effects. This is what we’ll cover today and basically, covers your 3-day emergency into two weeks. Having supplies in place to last up to two weeks will carry you through some of the most expected types of disasters.
  • The second layer of preparedness encompasses the disasters that turn out to be much longer-lasting: job loss, extreme weather events, economic collapse, long-term power outages, and pandemics, to name a few. This requires more planning on your part but is a crucial investment in order to be prepared for these longer lasting disasters.
  • The third layer of preparedness is acquiring supplies for those far from equilibrium events that have long standing consequences. In this type of disaster, you must prepare for the long haul and a complete change of lifestyle. These are events that encompass the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it and we have to learn a new way of life including new skill sets that reflect an off-the-grid lifestyle.

While there are a lot of subjects in between the highlighted layers, we must keep this prepper truth in mind: How we choose to be prepared for a disaster event is solely our responsibility, and no one else’s.

In this course, the responsibility lies with you. I will provide you links to important articles, suggestions and even checklists to further your research but it is up to you to apply the information to your lifestyle. Let’s get started!

How prepared do you want to be?

Disasters of all types are an undeniable part of life, and the only thing you can change is the way you react to them. Having supplies in place to weather the storm is a great start, but far from the desired end result. To be prepared, and I mean fully prepared, requires planning, anticipating the worst-case scenario, and training for skill sets you will need while living through the event. You can’t just waltz into your local grocery store, grab some food, batteries, and water and then be done with it. You need to prioritize, plan, and prepare.

Prioritize your needs

Ultimately, the easiest way to begin preparing is to decide what types of disasters you are planning for (weather-related, natural disasters, mass evacuation, economic or personal disasters), and prioritize what your emergency plans will be based on those emergencies. The best way to begin assessing what your needs are is by reading and researching the disaster you are planning to survive.

Ready Nutrition has an immense amount of articles pertaining to specific disasters, so do a search and start your research. Many people start by preparing for the most likely emergency to occur in your area.

Map provided by Redcross.org and Noaa.gov

Do not limit your emergency planning to natural or economic disasters. Go a step further and plan for personal disasters that also tend to occur without warning (unemployment, divorce, death in the family).

Plan

Researching and creating an emergency plan is the best way to stay organized and on point with your prepping.

Having a plan in place to determine what steps need to be taken by you and your family members when an emergency arises will ensure that all preparedness needs are covered. Now that your plan is beginning to come to life, it’s important to check and prepare the home. To start, every home should begin their preparedness endeavors with this checklist.

Complete this prepared home checklist

  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home if you plan on evacuating. Do you plan on bugging in or bugging out? If you are having problems deciding whether to shelter in place or evacuate, answer these two questions and you will know what you need to do.
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Ensure that your family’s important documents are backed up and in a safe location.
  • Before you begin investing into your preparedness supplies, take steps to get out of debt. Debt only enslaves you further, and simplifying your lifestyle can help break those shackles. Learn about these 6 ways to simplify your lifestyle.
  • Create an emergency fund to begin funding your preparedness endeavors.
  • Plan for the worst case scenario and have emergency I.D. cards made for each family member (including your pets) with current information provided.

Planning is the key to survival and the best way to start is with a “list of lists”

This list will become your Master List of preparedness needs, so keep it in an easy to access location. Your list will also help to navigate you through your preparedness plan. Ask yourself these pertinent questions and realistically answer them. After you determine what disaster you are planning for, sit down and begin to map it out. The way I started was by writing down all the main categories I needed to plan for. Here’s an example.


Short-Term List of Needs for Sheltering in Place for Two-Weeks After a Hurricane

  • Water
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Communication
  • Tools
  • Fuel
  • Skillsets
  • Resources

When planning for a disaster follow these beginner protocols:

  • Choose an evacuation location and let family members know where your destination is, the contact information, a secondary destination, etc.).
  • Decide on the duration of the disaster you are planning for (3-day, 2 weeks, extended or longer-term disasters).
  • Create a financial plan on how much money you can contribute to your preparedness budget. Keep in mind that prepping can be expensive initially, so it’s best to start investing in your basic needs first: food, water, shelter, clothing, safety, and communication. You can add additional prepping items once the basics are covered.
  • Try and find items that are light weight, functional and versatile so that if you have to carry them for long periods it will not be a strain.
  • Ensure that you have contingency plans put in place in case your first plan does not work out.
  • Plan and prep for the environment you are living in.
  • While we all make mistakes, the ones made during a disaster can be very costly. This is why it is essential to plan out a worst-case scenario and know which mistakes are the most common.
  • Essentially, you want your beginning preparedness list to look like this short-term emergency checklist.

Prepare

You need to understand the disaster you are planning for, how to be mentally and spiritually prepared for it and, ultimately, what supplies and skills you need to thrive.

Many of the items that often disappear as a result of a disaster are items that protect your basic needs. While a popular prepper adage is to prepare with the 3 B’s: beans, bullets, and band-aids, there are more concepts to consider. Therefore, it is best to begin with these fundamental disaster items to meet your basic needs: food, water, clothing and shelter and then add more preparedness layers onto this initial foundation. However, many decide to expand their disaster supplies to encompass a longer duration so that if a delayed emergency response occurs, it has little effect on them. This is why preppers believe in having “back-ups for their back-ups.”

As well, do not forget about preparing items for your pets! They are depending on you to make sure they have everything they need to.

Water

Image result for ready nutrition and waterFirst and foremost, you need a dependable water source following a disaster. Your initial line of defense would be the two week supply of bottled water that is recommended, but because this need is your top priority, it is highly recommended that you get a water filtration system like the Katadyn water filter or a Berkey Filtration System. That said, many believe the suggested amount of water by disaster organizations is grossly underestimated.

If we go by the suggestion from emergency organizations and have 1 gallon per person per day, a family of 5 will need 35 gallons of water per week.

Victims of previous disasters say the suggested water amount stated by disaster organizations is not nearly enough to get through a disaster. Conway Yee’s family went through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and were without power or their well water supply for a week. To keep hydrated and clean, “we went through 20 gallons a day” for drinking and washing, he says. That’s 120 gallons of water for the week after the hurricane. With that in mind, you want to consider these alternate solutions to boost your short-term water supply.

With water being one of your most important preps, play it safe and double the amount of water needed. The extra water can be used for other purposes like sanitation, cleaning, etc. As well, because many water sources are questionable following a disaster, water can quickly become scarce, so it is important to remember there are hidden water sources found in the home to fall back to. As well, it is also advisable to have alternate ways to treat your water.

As a precaution, keep a bottle of unscented liquid chlorine bleach with your water supply for cleaning and sanitizing and for disinfecting water.

Food

Image result for ready nutrition and food supplyOnce you have your water supply in place, it’s time to begin stockpiling some food for emergencies. The overall goal of having an emergency food pantry is to have a wide array of nutritious foods stored away in order to carry us through an emergency. Start out with a supply of non-perishable food that doesn’t require a lot of cooking time (if any).

Ensure that you have foods suitable towards survival. Foods that have the sustaining energy sources to burn slowly. Finding foods that are high in complex carbs and dietary fiber are far more efficient from a dietary standpoint and will keep you feeling “fuller” longer. This could go a long way if you are planning on rationing your food in an extended emergency. Also, stay away from overly salty or sweet foods. This will only increase your need for water and since your food stores are a precious commodity, you will want to try and avoid these types of foods.

Using a food storage calculator will help you to determine how much food is necessary. It is important to factor in your caloric intake, especially during an emergency. Your activity level could drastically increase in a disaster due to aftermath cleanup and other activities. These are some considerations to keep in mind before purchasing the food items:

  • It’s best to find items that have expiration dates that are 1-2 years away from expiring, unless that item is used frequently in the home, and can be rotated frequently.
  • Typically, the best sales are advertised in the newspaper flyers.  There are stores that have 10 items for $10, or 2-for-1 offers.  You don’t have to break the bank to get stocked up.  Just get a little each time you visit the store.  In season vegetables are typically cheaper.  Larger volume packages are often a better price
  • Shop with the number of people in the household in mind. Also consider their preferences, food sensitivities, and appetites.
  • Get a wide variety of food to help reduce food fatigue.
  • Don’t rely on junk food. It’s especially important to keep your strength up and remain healthy during an emergency. Purchase supplies that are loaded with nutrients.
  • Store food in a dark, cool area of the home and protect your food investment by reducing oxidation of foods, bug infestations, and exposure to increase temperature and moisture levels.
  • Be aware of any special health considerations for family members.  Make sure you have supplies for family members with allergies and intolerances, as well as issues like hypertension or diabetes.
  • Store what you eat, and eat what you store.  By following this adage, you will not end up throwing away expired food, and you won’t serve up something completely unpalatable during a crisis situation.

Here are some suggested food items to have stored:


  1. Peanut butter

  2. Whole wheat crackers (consider vacuum packing to prolong freshness)
  3. Nuts and trail mix
  4. Cereal
  5. Oats
  6. Pasta
  7. Plant-based cooking oil
  8. Power bars and granola bars
  9. Dried fruit
  10. Just add water meals (Hamburger helper, pasta meals, etc.)
  11. Canned meat such as tuna, salmon, chicken, and turkey
  12. Canned vegetables such as beans, carrots, and peas
  13. Canned soups and chili
  14. Sports drinks
  15. Sugar, salt, and pepper
  16. Coffee, tea, hot cocoa
  17. Powdered milk
  18. Powdered drink mixes
  19. Seeds for sprouting
  20. Multivitamins

Here are 25 must-have foods to put in your pantry.


Canning meals is also an option you should consider. This gives you more control of your dietary requirements, gives you more meal options, helps provide “normal” food during difficult times. One thing I hear a lot from disaster victims is how they wish things would go back to normal. Having some of the family’s favorite foods canned and stored away would do wonders for morale.

As well, I highly recommend storing a variety of heirloom seeds. These can be to grow sprouts for emergency nutrition and for gardens for long-term food sources. You could also plant edible flowers. Not only will they be lovely to look at, but they will provide sustenance when you need it the most. Alternatively, if you can locate food packing plants or warehouses in your city, that may be a good place to allocate additional food reserves if yours runs out. This article can provide information on foraging for weeds.

Find the best deals so you don’t blow your budget

Mentioned earlier is the importance of having a budget for prepping. It’s easy to go crazy wanting preps to get your home ready. But you can do this without blowing your budget. The large volume supermarkets typically have better deals than the smaller stores. Map your shopping route based on local ads from the large supermarkets to save on gas money as well as on shopping time. Even dollar stores carry canned goods and food products for short term/long term food supplies. Look for the best sales and buy as much of the item as your budget will allow. For a more in depth first time shopping list for your prepper, consider adding these items, as well.

You can also pack your own MREs to save money and to ensure your family has foods they will eat. Here are some tips and suggested foods to do this.

On another note, there may come a time when you run out of your food stores and need to go to the store in the aftermath of a disaster. If this occurs, be prepared for regular food staples to be in limited supplies. Foods like bread, milk, and eggs usually are the first items that run out. We saw that during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  If you find yourself in this situation, look for alternatives to those foods.

Start with a 3-day food supply and keep prepping

I have found that when starting your preparedness measures, it is best to start at the beginning in order to ensure you have everything you need to build up your preparedness foundation. Start your preparations with a 72-hour kit and then create a vehicle 72-hour kit. Once that is complete, you can begin ensuring your basic needs are met for longer periods or begin targeting other layers of preparedness. This is the foundation of your preparedness supply.

A 3 day or 72-hour kit is small enough that items can be added to a backpack to take with you in the case of a sudden disaster that comes without warning. These preparedness kits should be made for all members of the family that can account for their basic needs for 3 days. Once your 3-day supply is secure, you need to move on to expand disaster supplies to encompass more areas of preparedness.

Communication

Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. What would our lives be like without access to communication channels telling us what is going on? How vulnerable would we feel not knowing what is going on around us? For that matter, how would we get in touch with loved ones to let them know how we are?

Communication during a disaster can be quite troublesome given that the power grid goes down during most natural disasters. Sadly, during these types of disasters, family and loved ones need those communication channels up the most and it can be quite frustrating when they aren’t.

Prepare ahead for this!

According to the CDC, families should develop different methods for communicating during emergency situations and share their plans beforehand with all those who would be worried about their welfare. Options for remaining in contact with family and friends if a disaster strikes include:

  • Phone contact with a designated family member or friend who is unlikely to be affected by the same disaster.
  • Email notification via a family distribution list.
  • Registration on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website.
  • Use of the toll-free Contact Loved Ones voice messaging service (1-866-78-CONTACT).

Types of Emergency Communication Channels

Cell Phones/Computers

At first glance, there is little potential for these devices when the grid goes down. Without the multitude of servers that are scattered around the globe and the electricity that feeds them, our computers are nothing more than bulky hard drives. Cell phones might still work for a little while since some cell towers have backup batteries and solar panels, but their use might be short lived.

However, don’t be too quick to scoff at the prepping potential of these devices. Computers might still be useful for communicating in some cases. It’s fairly easy to create a local wifi network (aka ad hoc network) between computers that are within range of each other. This would allow people living on the same street or in the same apartment building to talk to each other, provided they can generate their own electricity.

The better solution would be to create a local network for cell phones that isn’t reliant on any infrastructure. Their energy demands are far less than other computers, their range is longer than wifi, and they are of course, mobile. The technology for creating a peer to peer network between cell phones has existed for some time now, but unfortunately, it has yet to be sold to the public. Companies like Terranet have been perfecting it over the past few years, and they estimate that about 30% of cell phones will be capable of making these networks with a simple software change. So right now, cell phones will be pretty much useless when the grid goes down, but that may change before the end of the decade.

Ham Radio

When most preppers think of communications, ham radios usually come to mind, and for good reason. They can communicate to other radios over hundreds of miles, and they may be the only form of very long distance communication when all else fails. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be very useful for the average person.

They use a lot of electricity, the equipment can be pretty expensive, and only about 700,000 Americans are licensed operators. Still, if even a fraction of them are up and running after a major disaster, they will play a crucial role in the relief effort. Due to their limited numbers and the amount of resources that are required to keep them running, you won’t see them being used for casual conversation, but you will see them used by communities for conducting commerce and coordinating reconstruction efforts.

CB Radio/Walkie Talkie

I suspect that CB Radio’s and Walkie Talkies will be the main form of communication for the average person, and they are the best candidates for filling the gap that cell phones and internet providers would leave behind. If anything, CB radios were our parent’s version of the internet. They were affordable and accessible, you had to learn the lingo to use them, they allowed you to communicate anonymously, and much like the internet, they were used to skirt the law from time to time.

There are millions of CB radios lying around, and many of them are still being used by truckers today, so they will be available to many of the survivors. More importantly, they don’t use too much electricity, they’re more user-friendly than ham radios, and some of them are portable. Depending on the conditions you’re using them in, their range can extend anywhere from 1 to 25 miles.

As for walkie talkies, I don’t have to tell you how useful they could be. Much like the wifi network I spoke of earlier, these will be pretty handy for staying in touch with your neighbors. Together, CB radios and walkie talkies will be most common form communication after a disaster.

Courier

If the grid is down long enough, eventually some enterprising citizens would start to provide courier services. Whether it’s by foot or by bicycle, they will fill an important niche that other items on this list can’t provide, and that is a secure form of communication. If you had to send a message to someone who lives out of the range of your radio or wifi network, and you needed that message to remain a secret, writing that message down and sending someone out to deliver it by hand would be the only way to do it. Wifi just doesn’t have the range, and radios are too easy to listen in on.

Fuel

Image result for ready nutrition and fireSo, the power is out. You have all of this wonderful food stored away but no way to cook it. Before you resign yourself to baked beans at room temperature out of the can, consider your options. You may not have a functioning kitchen but you can still do some cooking.

As with all things related to prepping, you should have a backup plan, and a backup plan for your backup plan, and if you can, one more for good measure. Further, having an ample supply of items to use to create fire with will be paramount in an emergency situation. Therefore, keep the following items stocked up in your supplies:

  • Stock plenty of fuel for your cooking methods. (Be sure to store your fuel properly and in accordance with local fire regulations.)
  • Store matches in waterproof containers.
  • Lighters
  • Dry wood
  • If you have a place to store them, tightly roll newspapers and magazines to use for fuel. You can also use newspapers to biomass logs.
  • Fireproof cooking vessels

If a fire is not an option for cooking there are several alternatives you can turn to. Here are some popular options for alternative cooking sources

  • Camping propane stove
  • Rocket stove
  • Solar funnel cooker
  •  Propane or charcoal BBQ grill
  • Charcoal Hibachi (you can burn nearly anything in this as long as it is non-toxic)
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • #10 Can cookstove
  • Sun Oven
  • The Wonderbag

Whichever type of cooking vessel you use, make sure you have an ample supply of fuel to use. Whichever fuel you decide, store an ample supply. For example, if you choose to grill food using a BBQ grill, understand that one large bag of charcoal briquettes will last for about 4 cook outs. If you’re preparing for a 10-day emergency, you will need 10 bags of charcoal. As well, temperatures can affect the amount of fuel you use as well. For instance, low temperatures and the wind can greatly influence the amount of propane you use on camping stoves. It can increase the amount of fuel used by three! My family has an indoor wood burning grill,

In such a case, I like to have multiple ways to cook emergency food. My family has an indoor wood burning grill, we also own a rocket stove and a solar cooker. We have an outdoor grill too but in a dire emergency situation, we want to maintain OPSEC (operational security) and do not want all the neighbors knowing we have food. A fear of many preppers during the beginning stages of a true SHTF event is how our smells, as well as the aromas from foods we prepare, could attract unwanted visitors. Cooking food can be smelled in best conditions up to a half mile or so. Further, those who have gone without food for days on end will have a heightened sense of smell and will use this to their advantage. Keep this in mind when choosing how you will be preparing food.

Tools

The right tools are a valuable commodity when it comes to survival and essential items to have on hand for hunting, digging, cutting, communicating and navigational purposes. A 72-hour bag should have all items necessary to survive for 3 days. Bottom line is your preparedness tools are your life line and without them, you could be ill-equipped in a survival situation.

The ten tools listed below are some of the most important survival tools that should be in your 72-hour bags. Of course, other items can be included, but these essentials are a must-have for every survival pack. Practice using these tools regularly so that you know their capability and their strength.

Read more about essential survival tools here. As well, consider having separate supplies for your vehicle.

Not only will you need the above-listed tools, but you will also need tools if your home has been damaged by a disaster. In the backbreaking early stages of rubble removal, simple hand tools will play a vital role in transporting and removing debris. Acquiring basic hand tools—shovels, axes, and hammers—meet immediate demolition needs and then take on a long-term role once construction resumes. The tools used in the first phase of reconstruction were:

1. Round point and square nose shovels, preferably heavy-duty variety with extra long blade socket.
2. Pick axe
3. Pulaski Axe
4. Rig builder’s hatchet
5. Axe
6. Bow saw
7. 24-oz. framing hammer
8. Sledge hammer
9. Digging bars, preferably both pointed and chisel tip varieties; crow bars.
10. Leather or synthetic work gloves
11. Protective eye wear
12. Hard hats
13. Dust masks
14. Contractor-grade wheel barrows
15. Bolt cutters
16. Large-diameter heavy-duty weatherproof rope; small-diameter light-duty line
17. Rope hoist/pulley, minimum 250-lb. capacity
18. Folding knife

Quite simply, having these tools and equipment on hand will help you operate in a non-technological environment. The bottom line is your preparedness tools are your life line and without them, you could be ill-equipped in a survival situation.

Written Survival Information

Image result for ready nutrition and survival booksIn a high-stress situation, it’s easy to forget the basic how-tos of tasks that you don’t perform every day. Many survival manuals and printouts can easily be downloaded onto a flash drive to be taken along in your bug out bags. Don’t underestimate the value of a spiritual book to boost the morale. You want books like:

I like to have hard copies of important books on hand at home. If the power is out, you may not be able to access e-books or websites.

Security

The reality is that the vast majority of people have about three days of food and water at home and when a prolonged disaster strikes it upends the stability of the entire system of just-in-time delivery. When those delivery trucks stop delivering, things can be pretty dicey.

Most people strive to make their homes safe and secure. We install motion lights, fence the yard and make windows difficult to open. We have good quality locks on the doors and sometimes burglar alarms, as well. But all it takes is opening the door to the wrong person, or someone throwing a lawn chair through a glass window.

In a disaster situation, these security measures may not be enough. We need only to look at the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters to see that looters are out in full force, taking advantage of the people who have already lost so much. As we’ve said here before, “If you can’t protect it, you don’t own it!”  This is a common human response to disasters and most preppers know this which is why they have guns and ammunition with which they will defend their homes and families.

But let’s explore some other ways you can protect your home and belongings. One way is to understand the mind of the criminal. An MSNBC affiliate out of Atlanta recently did just that. They sent letters to 86 people who had gone to prison for burglary and asked them a variety questions about their crimes. Their answers could tell you a lot about how to protect your home from this crime. What they told reporters included the following:

  • Don’t advertise what you own. One burglar admitted to looking for homes that had cars with NRA bumper stickers, which would indicate that there are plenty of guns to steal there.
  • Burglars don’t just look in obvious places. If they feel safe, they’ll tear everything up looking for hidden valuables.
  • The best time to break into a house was between 12:30 and 2:30, because it’s rare for both kids or adults to be home at that time period.
  • Not all burglars are intimidated by security alarm signs and cameras, and many admitted to knowing how to disable alarms. Some suggested that cameras would indicate that there are valuables in the home.
  • As you might expect, burglars are terrified of large dog breeds.
  • Burglars aren’t typically killers. They don’t want to a serious confrontation with a homeowner, so any sign that someone is home is a deterrent.

You can read more about that here, but essentially, if you know what to expect, then you can better prepare for it. Remember – prioritize, prepare and plan for what may come.

Preventative measures can be put in place to keep criminals far away from your home.  Minimize the threat of a home break in or home invasion by adding layers of security to prevent your home from being a possible hit.  Security layers are preventative measures put into place that will advertise to possible intruders to avoid your home altogether.

Having firearms on site will help you reinforce these security measures and continue protecting your home. By training with these weapons, you will be familiarizing yourself with firearms you will definitely see in one way, shape, or form in a SHTF scenario.  Learning how to operate these will stimulate you to develop skills and perhaps to purchase one or more in civilian/legal ownership form.  There are also plenty of qualified instructors to be found in these ranges, and a high-end range that is worth its salt will provide one for you to familiarize you with the weapon free of charge before you fire it.

The 3 Security Layers for the home

Layer 1: The Outside Layer

  • Reinforced doors and locks.  There is only 1 ” of wood protecting you in normal door locks.
  • Invest in heavy duty door hinges and secure door frames with 3 ” screws.
  • Barred windows or European-style security/storm shutters.
  • Doors that are not glass or see through.
  • Install a peep hole for the door.
  • Never rely on a chain latch as an effective barrier (they are easily broken if the door is kicked in).
  • Install infrared flood lights or motion detector lights around the perimeter of the home.
  • A gate at the front of the driveway that has spikes at the top to prevent someone from jumping over the fence
  • Never leave a spare key hidden under a rock or door mat.  Too many people do this and it is the first place a criminal is going to look.
  • Cut back large trees or bushes near the windows to provide concealment.  Additionally, putting thorn bushes and other types of plants to further secure the home would be advantageous.
  • Have a guard dog trained to attack.  And place “beware of dog” signs on the front and side gates of the home.

Layer 2: The Inside Layer

  • Consider adding a 2-way voice feature to the existing alarm system.  This feature enables your security system to communicate directly with the control panel.  This feature also allows you to call into your system and be able to listen to any activity or speak to your child or other family members who are home.
  • Position web cams strategically in hidden areas.  Place the computer that is monitoring the locations in a hidden spot so the criminals do not walk off with the computer.
  • Have emergency plans and protocols set up where children or teens can see them.  Additionally, have important contact phone numbers next to the plan.
  • Teach the household how to call 9-1-1, and have a script ready for them to read to the dispatcher.  This will help keep them explain calmly to the dispatcher what the emergency situation is.
  • Teach members of the home different escape routes to use in case they need to leave the home, as well as a code word to use for the family to immediately leave the home to go to a safe location.
  • Close all curtains and blinds at night time and set the alarm.
  • Keep purses, car keys, money and jewelry away from windows where burglars can look in and see.  This only makes them want to break in more.
  • If a gun is in the home, have it locked up or put away so that smaller children do not try to use it.

Layer 3: The Personal Layer

This is the most critical layer.

  • Teach family members to be observant of their surroundings when coming home and be aware of suspicious activity.
  • Never open the door to strangers.  Teach children not to be easily persuaded by strangers who look professional or have badges.
  • Teach children to call “safe” adults, such as neighbors for help in cases where parents are not home.
  • Get to know your neighbors and have their phone numbers on hand in case the child needs help from a nearby adult.
  • Or, arrange a neighborhood watch program.
  • Never be afraid to call the police if a stranger or solicitor is acting suspiciously.
  • Teach children how to use the security alarm and where the panic button is.
  • Find a bug out location for family members to go to for safety.
  • If someone is trying to break into your home, activate your car alarm or panic button on the security alarm to draw attention from the neighbors.
  • As a last resort, teach older members of the home and older children how to use weapons against intruders.

In many cases, the local officials will be just as confused as you and may give mixed messages on how serious the situation is. In their defense, the information they are getting is constantly changing and informing the public is difficult at best.  Knowing this will help you ensure your preparedness plans are solid.

In an even longer-term situation, more plans for defense would need to be made, with perimeters, night watches, and an organized plan.

Skills

Once you move past the basics of prepping, the best thing for your plan is to learn a new skill or two. Remember, in an emergency situation there won’t be a repair shop to take your tools to or a grocery store to buy more food from. When the SHTF (Stuff Hits The Fan) you’ll be left to rely on the skills you have, and with no Internet available to look up information on, you might be stuck.

Mastering some basic off-the-grid skills will greatly enhance your survivability

Because many people are not adequately trained to handle the disaster situations in which they find themselves in, having the proper skills and training will provide an individual with a well-diversified knowledge base to help them survive during and after a disaster.

Not all Skills Are Created Equal

It is important to emphasize that some skills are more important than others. The first I would recommend are those skill sets that will enhance your off-grid environment.

  • Outdoor survival course
  • Medical training
  • Disaster classes
  • Canning and food preparation
  • Firearm training
  • Amateur radio classes
  • Exercise and weight training (get your body into shape)
  • Gardening/food production classes

Basically, any class that fits your basic survival needs, take it! As well, don’t neglect the primitive skills one can learn too. Many of these skills will carry you into longer-term preparedness measures, so the more you know the better.

One area of skills we all need to focus our attention on is self-defense. Self-defense is a crucial skill that we all should know, and it takes time to develop these skills. No doubt there have been times where you may have found yourself in a situation where you looked around and didn’t feel comfortable, and in some cases, the situation had the potential to quickly become dangerous. It’s important to have situational awareness and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you do not feel comfortable, don’t feel bad about getting out of the situation altogether. As well, trust your gut. When your intuition is making your “Spidey senses” go off, it’s time to get out of there.

In many cases, predators watch their potential victims before they strike. In a study regarding how predators selected their victims, pedestrians were videotaped walking down a street and had incarcerated convicts view them. Within seven seconds of viewing the pedestrians, the convicts had selected their targets. Selections were not based on gender, size, age or race, but rather on the body language exhibited. The convicts identified the following body language cues used as their basis for victim selection:

Posture: People that walked with shoulders slouched or slumped were selected as victims as opposed to those who walked with their chin up.
Gaze: Those avoiding eye contact were chosen as victims because of the perception that they were preoccupied. Making eye contact naturally communicates confidence.
Stride: People who walked with a stride that was too long or too short, or those who shuffled or dragged their feet, were selected over those who had a smooth and natural gait.
Rate: Those who walked slowly with no apparent purpose, and those who walked fast as if they were uncomfortable, were selected over those who walked naturally and deliberately.
Fluidity: Those who demonstrated awkwardness in their movements were chosen over those who seemed to glide as they walked.
Wholeness: Those who swung their arms wildly while walking were selected over those who moved from their center, with coordination and balance.

Physical impairments may prevent some people from projecting confidence. If they fail, victims must decide whether or not defensive action is necessary and appropriate. Carrying a concealed firearm can level the playing field, but retrieving it may not always be possible. Introducing a firearm into a volatile situation isn’t always the best response. That determination is dictated by the totality of the circumstances. Two studies may provide helpful insight when making that decision. (Source)

Learning how to fight is your last lifeline of protection. Learning escape and evasion tactics, self-defense strategies like Krav Maga or even learning to use everyday objects to protect yourself can enhance survival. The most important aspect to learn is not to hesitate when confronted. Again, this skill set takes time to master but may save your life.

Conclusion

Disasters do not just happen to other people – they can happen to you.  When you are prepared for a particular scenario, then you already have tools in place for when you need them the most. While many feel that preparedness is an enormous endeavor, when you break it down into organized lists, it’s not so daunting. Keep prepping and keep an eye out for our next preparedness guide.

Remember to fall back on your list of lists to ensure that you are purchasing the needed items for the disaster you are preparing for. Have a well rounded short-term supply to compliment your long term food items.  Store your emergency supplies in an easy to access part of your home where natural elements such as sunlight and moisture are not an issue.

As well, keep in mind that once you get your preps, you will need to maintain them to ensure your emergency items are ready to go. Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now.  Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it.  It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function.  It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice. You can’t do that unless it’s ready.

Course Discussion

We all have a way to help others prepare. New preppers, if you have questions, leave them in the comment section and as a community, we can help to answer them. You’re not in this alone. I know this information provided is a lot to take in, just pace yourself, have fun with it, and we are all here for you if you need it.

Sign Up For This Week’s Giveaway!

We’re giving away The Prepper’s Blueprint – widely popular and highly rated preparedness manual and a 72-hour kit at the end of this week to a lucky winner.

All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter and leave a comment in one of our weekly Crash Course guides about what you feel the most important aspect of being prepared is in the bottom of the article. Good luck everyone!

 

Additional Reading:

52-Weeks to Preparedness

Essential Prepping Calculators

20 Preparedness Articles To Help You Get Prepped

The Prepper’s Blueprint: A Must-Have Preparedness Manual

20 Additional Preps You Want in the Car for Urban Survival

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Security: Principles for Patrolling Your Property

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OK, all of you Readers out there in ReadyNutrition Land, we’re going to kick off this article on basics of how to patrol your property.  Sounds easy enough, right, I mean, you have two eyes and a brand-new popgun right out of Cabela’s, right?  And a licensed, approved, NRA-certified instructor at the gun range to show you how to shoot, right?  Sure, when it hits the fan, you and the family are just going to prop up a couple of sandbags in the windowsills and watch your lanes, right?  No, on all counts.

Patrolling is more than that, and you’ll need to patrol your property.

The Army Field Manual, FM 7-8 for Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad, Chapter 3 will give you all you need.  You can also reference the Ranger Handbook, SH 21-76 for the info.

That being mentioned, let’s break it down to make it a little more simplistic for you.  Patrolling (in the case of the happy family defending their home when the S hits the fan) will amount to giving yourself and your family a “buffer” to engage hostiles before they reach your house.  There will be many parameters that cannot be addressed, simply because of the complexity and individuality of each situation.

Patrolling means that you will range out (usually on foot, but for large tracts of property, on horseback or with some type of vehicle) and observe everything that happens to protect your home and family.  It requires a routine for you to follow, as well as a schedule and an ROE (Rules of Engagement).  We’ll cover that last part later.  The main thing: you’ll need to rove and range around your property night and day to ensure your house isn’t approached and surrounded in an assault.

The more people you have in your family or group, the easier it will be to conduct scheduled patrolling operations.  The time to practice these operations is now before anything happens.  You need to find out how many people will be on your guard roster, and how frequently you will patrol.  It is different from military patrolling because you won’t have to establish a patrol base or occupy one: you have a house.

Patrolling Fundamentals

You must do the following for your property to follow good patrolling fundamentals:

  1. Draw a map of your property: this is a sensitive item! Do not allow it to leave the property.
  2. On the map, outline all natural and man-made terrain features, as well as what is adjacent to the property.
  3. Determine danger areas: these are areas that would enable an enemy or attacker to make maximum use of the terrain to gain the advantage. Examples of this would be a hilltop overlooking your house, or a large boulder near the end of the driveway with a view of your front door on either side of it.
  4. Determine the route and area you would patrol, and how many people this would need. You may have someone who always observes (a guard station) in the third-floor attic; however, that person can’t see everything…where a roving patrol can “flush” out someone hidden out of the view of the sentry.  Will you walk the whole perimeter of the property?  Or will you zig-zag back and forth, covering it that way?  You’ll have to determine what is optimal.
  5. Fighting positions: you may need to set up or construct some hasty fighting positions near your patrol route. Keep in mind: any fortified hasty position can be used against your house by an opponent, as well.  You can find all that you need on this in the infantry field manual.  These can suit purposes of defending a property.
  6. Measure distances and note azimuths from the house to different points on the property: I’ve done articles on sector stakes and sector sketches in the past. They work, and they’ll work for you as well.  They take the “guesswork” out of things and give you an edge to work with.

You need security 24/7 after the S hits the fan.  You’ll have to work out a schedule.  Basically, patrolling the property for 2-4 hours is monotonous work.  You’ll need VOX’s (voice-activated radios) or Motorola’s to use, and a schedule of frequencies to hop back and forth with.  Remember: if you can speak on a radio, someone else besides your team/family member can listen in as well.

NVG’s: Night Vision Goggles/Night Vision Devices – these are great to use until the firefight begins.  If they’re on your face when that happens?  Well, you’ll be hard pressed just to recover seeing.  The best ones to use are hand-held ones that you can take a quick peek and then take them off.  This way you don’t lose your night vision completely.


Just please keep this in mind: double up on that equipment and stick one of each item in a Faraday cage.  If an EMP hits, you’ll be glad you did.


You will need to range the property and the perimeter, checking for any vehicles, suspicious individuals moving in the area (all individuals are suspicious after the SHTF event), and individuals or groups making a move (incursion) onto the property.  This is where ROE (Rules of Engagement) come in.  Depending on the size and spread of the intruders, you need to determine the maximum you (as an individual or a group) number of hostiles you will engage and when you will break contact.

SALUTE for Safety

Before you make any contact, you want to radio in a SALUTE report to whoever is on radio watch.  This is to alert the family/team that there is going to be a problem and to provide them with as much intel as possible prior to contact being made.  Here is the “refresher” on SALUTE:

SSize: the size of the group/unit

AActivity: what are they doing?  Are they engaged in any other activity besides approaching the house?

LLocation: Exactly where are they on the property?

UUniform/Unit: Any distinguishing clothing/headgear/patches that mark them as a group or gang?

TTime: The time you observe them doing all of this

EEquipment: what weapons/special equipment are they carrying?

You’ll be coming up with procedures and plans to deal with different types of threats in accordance with what you learn.  Patrolling is a combination of scouting/reconnaissance and being a guard/sentry.  You’re ready to defend, and yet you’re performing intelligence-gathering as you safeguard your property.  Your focus is to conduct the patrols and yet be as non-obsequious as possible.  Stealth and guarded movements will keep you out of the limelight.  A sentry stays put, maybe walking to and fro a short distance.  When you patrol, you have a lot more ground to keep an eye on.  This (and those references) will get you started.

JJ

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: 5 Immediate Threats Victims Will Face and How to Prepare

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After more than 50 inches of rain dumped on the greater Houston area, these coastal towns and cities face a new set of problems – the aftermath. The damage caused by this hurricane is expected to cost in the tens of billions of dollars. While city and state officials believe the recovery will be quick, there is a lot of work ahead and more problems to face before it is all said and done. While some threats will be short-lived, there will be issues that will be long-standing, and the gravity of the situation is dangers don’t end once the storm has passed.

There are immediate threats that hurricane victims must be aware of and be prepared to encounter. Not mentioned is the economic ramifications this disaster will have on the fifth-largest economy in the United States. This could be another disaster in and of itself. But one thing is for sure, this disaster could be felt throughout the United States with the increase of gas prices or shortages. Only time will tell, but the following are the most immediate threats to be aware of.

5 Immediate Threats Hurricane Harvey Victims Will Face

1.Water contamination – This environmental threat is very typical following a hurricane, but because of the mass scale of the flood damage, it could be an even larger concern for those living in the greater Houston area. Typically, utility facilities that remove contaminants from drinking water are usually unusable if they’re inundated with floodwaters or the facilities that clean the water supply may not have the power needed to run their pumps or an ability to get fuel for their generators. (Source)

What it might be contaminated with ranges from unpleasant but relatively harmless gastrointestinal hazards, such as norovirus, to rarer, more serious bacteria — including Vibrio, a potentially deadly micro-organism naturally found along the Gulf Coast. Vibrio can make you sick both by ingesting it and also through wound infections that come in contact with flood water. Your best bet at this point is to ensure your water is properly filtered and stay out of the flood water.

2. Infectious Disease – Floodwaters may also contain a number of pathogens that can cause illness. According to an article at CBSNews, “Flood waters harbor bacteria, different viruses, and fungi, all of which can make people sick,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News.

One of the biggest concerns with flood water is the possibility of cholera, a highly contagious bacterial disease-causing severe diarrhea. Cholera can spread when water is contaminated with infected feces and then others ingest it, either by drinking the water or consuming food that has come in contact with the water. While cholera is far more common in third-world countries, Glatter says the possibility of it occurring in Texas “wouldn’t be impossible.” “These types of bacteria can live in mixtures of murky water,” he said. “It’s possible to have this type of infection, especially if the water supply becomes contaminated.” Other infectious diseases that can be passed through flood water include hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that can cause muscle aches, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

As well, due to the excessive flooding in many homes, mold could also pose a serious health problem and can exacerbate asthma, allergies, or other respiratory diseases like COPD. Mold can appear in as little as 24 to 48 hours after flood waters recede. Experts suggest not to touch it. Wear rubber gloves, wear a mask when handling it and if you are in a dwelling where there is mold, you should leave.

3. Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes are notorious disease breeders. And it goes without saying that dealing with itchy bites won’t be the only concern for Texans. Mosquitoes are notorious for harboring diseases, of which the following have been known to show up in that state:

  • Dengue
  • West Nile
  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • La Crosse Encephalitis

As well as a few others that mainly affect animals:

  • Western Equine Encephalitis
  • Dog Heartworm

So it’s important for homeowners in this region to take certain measures to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes. This requires keeping an eye out for things on your property that might contain even the smallest puddles of water. As well, experts are recommending that homeowners drain pools and if you see mosquitoes in larger areas of standing water to alert authorities.

Make sure you clear any trash or debris in your yards such as tires or cans and don’t leave any water out in flower pots or water bowls. It’s also a good idea to secure any leaky pipes you might have outside of your home, and clear out any leaves in your gutters. In some cases, you may need to fill or drain spots that tend to collect water on your property.  As an added defense, build traps that will cull the local mosquito population.

4. Mental Health – Depression, PTSD, and mood disorders are very common following a disaster and it is essential to assess yourself and your loved ones realistically and objectively and call a medical professional if you see signs. As well, children will be adversely affected by the traumatic events they have gone through. For the most part, children are not going to be able to process and adapt to the major changes as quickly as adults will. Experts say that in a situation where children are faced with too many changes in a given period, their sense of normalcy and security is disrupted, thus causing unwanted fear, anxiety and psychological distress. A child can also show signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read more on helping children adjust to a major disaster.

5. Looting – While looting has been at a minimum at this point, nevertheless, it is still a threat. When people begin running out of their provisions and grocery stores unable to restock store shelves, more and more will go looking for them and this includes breaking into homes and businesses. A common saying in the preparedness world is “if you can’t defend it, you don’t own it.” There will be people looking at taking things and the best way you can prevent them from taking your provisions and belongings is to stay vigilant of what is happening in your neighborhoods and defend yourself if necessary. As well, do what you can to fortify your home from looters using these steps. One report stated that the volunteer organization Cajun Navy claims that looters fired on their boats as they attempted to rescue people. On a personal note, my sister, who is a victim of the hurricane, has said that looters had made their way into her neighborhood looking to pilfer through people’s homes that had been evacuated. It is a threat and one that people should prepare for, especially when the water begins to recede.

While the hurricane itself is one of epic proportions, the aftermath could be just as bad and just as destructive. Knowing what to expect will help an already battered community prepare for the next set of challenges they face.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Blackout: How You Can Act Decisively If an EMP Strikes at Work

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[Editor’s Note: One thing is for certain if an EMP occurs while many of us are away at work, the city quickly can become a death trap. As writer“, Jeremiah Johnson warns, “Definitive action taken at the critical point is critical to your survival.” Having a plan in place and supplies will give you that critical edge you need to survive.]

 

ReadyNutrition Readers, this is Part 2 of a 3-part series dealing with immediate actions to be taken in the event of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack.  You can read Part 1 here. In the last segment, we covered what you should do if you’re on the road heading to or from work, or traveling.  Now we are going to detail some actions and preparations for your workplace.  Keep in mind: there will be a “blending” of these parts in actual practice, as to move from one locale to another, you will use the information presented in Part 1 when traveling.  All the parts should complement one another.

I also think it would be a good idea to take listed items and burn off an extra copy as a form of a “checklist,” as not many people have perfect memories (myself included), and it could help you out in the time of trouble and eliminate the need for guesswork.  Let’s start off with a scenario.

Let’s start off with a scenario.

You are an office worker in Anytown, a small midwestern city who works in a 7-story building located on the eastern 1/3 of the town.  The direction of your home from work is toward the East.  You are sitting at your desk with a window facing the west, and it’s about 10:00 am.  Suddenly, a flash of light catches your attention in the sky, and then it disappears.  Simultaneously, all the lights in the office go out, as does your desk computer.  No backup lights come on.  You look at your watch, and it’s dead.  You pick up your desk phone, and there is no dial tone.  There are murmurings from coworkers, and people are shuffling into an open area with a conference table.  You have just been hit by an EMP attack, and it appears that you have already punched out early, and probably for good.

The scenario will be played out throughout the United States.  Now is the time to act. Those who are preparedness minded must keep this in mind: Definitive action taken at the critical point is critical to your survival.

10 Emergency Items to Have in Your Workplace

I have written articles similar in nature to this subject that you may wish to peruse.  What is on your person?  In your desk?  In a locker (if you have one) on the premises?  Let us examine some of the items it would be beneficial to have on your person at all times:

  1. Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  2. Watch (that will not be affected by an EMP or need batteries)
  3. Leatherman/Gerber multi-tool
  4. A good folding knife with a locking blade
  5. Matches and/or a lighter
  6. Some type of firearm for your defense with ammunition for it… (Note: this is, to paraphrase Alice in Chains, Your Decision…you will have to weigh your options)
  7. Pen and writing paper/note cards
  8. Transistor radio that works with a battery and an earphone-attachment
  9. Having an NBC gas mask and anti-radiation pills in your workplace could be a lifesaver if an EMP may be followed by radiological and nuclear consequences.

Flashlights

You are going to need a light source if battery-powered lights do not switch on and there isn’t any backup power source.  That small Maglite in your pocket may do the trick: the simplest of circuits will probably be safe and still working…a flashlight is one of them.  All the rest of the items are self-explanatory, except for the pen and writing paper.  These you’ll need to either make calculations, leave a note for someone, or copy any kind of relevant information that you may find.

Transistor Radios

Regarding the transistor radio, you will want to see if you can hear any kind of emergency information that you may be able to use.  The earphone/ear-buds you want to have for OPSEC…you don’t need to advertise that you have a radio.  More.  You don’t want anyone to hear where you are or give away your position with the noise from a radio.

Emergency Exits

Now, in previous articles, I had recommended walking the route and counting the steps from your desk to your vehicle, or from your desk to the front street, if you don’t have vehicle parking in your building.  You’ll have to do it in the dark, and you want to prepare as much as possible for this.  You’ll be taking the stairs.  You should be able to estimate how long this will take you.  Speed is of the essence.

Workplace Gear

Now, what’s in your desk?  You will either want to have a small bag with you with some dried food, a small first-aid kit, and some essentials.  Maybe a couple bottles of water and a few canned meals (prepared meals are the best…focus on high protein and high carbs…you’ll be burning all of it off with the energy expended.)  There should be some room in the bag, because also, you’ll want to change (if you’re not already wearing them) into good boots/hiking shoes, and a good set of clothes instead of the Happy Western Consumer Clown Suit of tan pants, loafers, button-down shirt, ad infinitum, in all the ensemble’s color variances.  DX’em (that means get rid of them) …. you won’t need them anymore.  They’re not worth the weight to carry.

Move quickly and with a purpose: your mission to leave the building without incident and without fanfare.  Your vehicle?  If it doesn’t start, and its electronics have been “fried” by the pulse…then salvage that “go/bug-out” bag from the trunk, along with any weapons and equipment you packed.  Food and water, medical equipment, and prepositioned supplies…tote as much of it as you can.  This is where a large rucksack (or Alice pack) comes in handy, as it can take the weight, take a beating, and hold a ton of stuff.

For a long-gun, I strongly recommend a scabbard-sheath that will enable you to reach up and grab it, while keeping it sheathed.  You’ll be relying on your sidearm, hopefully, a semiautomatic pistol or a powerful revolver of some type.  Get your stuff, get it up on your back, and get out.

There will probably be vending machines in your building.  There won’t be electricity, even if you have coins or bills.  On the other hand, a backup power system may kick in.  You may wish to pick up as many dried/packaged goods as possible.  Just remember this: on the Day After Doomsday, there will be no more of those packaged goodies.

To paraphrase Jack London, the “law of club and fang” just emerged as the new norm for society.  As you leave the building, you need to have several points where you can rest or take refuge.  You should have already planned these out in advance, as well as the route you will be taking.  This route must also take into consideration any rally points for the family, points for resupply (food, water, and medical supplies), and places you may need to shelter in for more than a few days.

Success regarding this segment will completely depend on what you have planned for in advance and either stashed in your now-defunct vehicle or at work.  Good intel is the key to making it through this one.  You’ll have to consider sections of the city/town where you work you must “traverse” through, such as a “bad” area with gang or criminal activity, or such.  For those with the ’67 Mustang Convertible or the ’54 Ford pickup who have working vehicles, then refer to Part 1, and get out of that town as quickly as you can.  If you’re on foot, also refer to Part 1 for techniques, such as traveling when it’s dark, if possible, and things to look for/avoid on your way.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Additional EMP Reading:

A Green Beret’s Guide to EMP

Protect Your Vehicle From an EMP with this Simple Strategy

A Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing for Emergencies

Prepper Home Defense: 10 Ways to Create an Impenetrable Home Security after an EMP

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Simple Tip Can Make Your Online Passwords Nearly Impossible To Hack

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If you’ve been using the internet since at least the mid-2000s, you’ve probably noticed a slow and inexorable change occur on almost all websites that ask for a password. Where once you could make your password anything you want, over time websites began to demand that you add capitalized letters, numbers, and symbols.

As frustrating as it may be, it seems to make sense. These websites want you to make a password that is more sophisticated, and thus more difficult to hack. The only problem, is that much of the advice we’ve been given on password security over the past decade is just plain wrong. But don’t take my word for it. Take it from Bill Burr, the guy who first introduced the idea that our passwords should have these characters.

Bill Burr worked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2003, where he wrote a guide on password security that has since become the standard by which most websites set up passwords. Now he’s telling people to forget about everything he recommended.

Nearly 15 years ago, Mr Burr wrote guidelines for password security for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. It included suggestions that passwords should be changed every three months and be made up of a range of different characters.

That document led to stipulations for computer and online accounts that require people to abide by the rules. But he said that they don’t work and people still pick terrible passwords – but now they’re just harder to remember.

“Much of what I did I now regret,” Mr Burr told the Wall Street Journal.

“It just drives people bananas and they don’t pick good passwords no matter what you do.”

The problem wasn’t that this advice was necessarily wrong. If you make a password that’s a random assortment of characters and change it every few months, it’s doubtful that anyone will guess your password. The problem is that it’s incredibly difficult for people to go through that procedure.

So they make passwords that are easy to remember, and incorporate a few numbers and symbols. As an example, a password like “bassfishing,” might be written up as “b@ssf!5h1Ng”. Then when they change their password, they only change it slightly so that again, it’s easy to remember.  Unfortunately what’s easy to remember is also very easy for hackers to guess, and since everyone uses this strategy it makes life even easier for hackers.

In other words, his original advice didn’t factor in human nature (or human laziness).

So how can we make a better password? According to Burr, “It’s probably better to do fairly long passwords that are phrases or something like that that you can remember than to try to get people to do lots of funny characters,”

As for why that’s a better way to set up a password, ever since Burr came out with his apology and revised recommendations, there’s been a comic strip floating around the internet that perfectly explains why simple long phrases make better passwords. It shows how Burr’s original advice led us all to adopt passwords that are a pain to remember, but easy to hack.

In a nutshell, a password that is a phrase consisting of a random, nonsensical assortment of words, is many times more difficult for a computer or a human to guess than a password that is just one word, and consists of a random assortment of capitalizations, symbols, and numbers. That’s because in the latter case, it’s not really all that random. The former, which really is random, is also far easier to remember.

So the next time you need to change a password, it would be wise to take this advice. Obviously you’ll still need to incorporate a few numbers and symbols since that’s what most websites these days force you to do, and they’ll probably continue with that policy for a few years. But you can still make lengthy phrase based passwords that will do a far better job of protecting your information online.

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

Prepper Blades: Which is Better the Blade vs. Tomahawk?

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, the stores are flooded with the types of knives and axes you can pick up.  So, what to buy, and why?  A simple question, fair enough.  One of the problems that people face is that they like an “all-around” tool with multiple functions, when there are different, specialty tools and weapons for diverse functions. Let’s compare tomahawks and knives, and see where we go to, alright?

Firstly, whether it is a knife or a tomahawk, the first essential is to know your tool and train with it to maximum capacity.  You should follow this principle in all you do with weapons, tools, or gear.

Here’s a rule to follow.  You need to be able to use your tool or weapon: 1. specifically, and then 2. generally

I will explain.  When you have an OSS Fairbairn-Sykes stiletto dagger, this blade is primarily a combat knife.  That is its specific function: to fight with, plain and simple.  In addition to this, you need to know the other capabilities the knife possesses and how to employ them.  An example is a “thrower,” or throwing knife.  The Fairbairn-Sykes can be thrown; however, this takes practice and it is not the knife’s primary function.  Its primary function is close-quarters combat and for stealth (such as sentry takedown, etc.).  I mentioned that you should always buy such tools and weapons in pairs: one to practice with, and the other to have in mint condition for use in the “real” world and when the SHTF.

Same for a tomahawk.  Oh, there are some that are really high-end, such as those made by Hibben, Schrade, Kel-Tec, etc., that can run you into the hundreds of dollars.  This is a combat weapon, and needs to be trained with as such: buy two and use one to train with and the other for when the SHTF.  That is the specific purpose of a tomahawk: not to cut sector stakes or firewood.  The tomahawk is not to be used for pounding in tent poles and then making kindling for your campfire.

And yet it can be used as such, as a general use if called for.  When would that be called for?  When you’re freezing to death and need to build a fire, and that’s all you have to cut dead fallen timber.  The need outweighs the original specialty use.  Tomahawks take a lot of practice to use.  Personally, I prefer throwing knives over tomahawks.  They cannot be used the same to cut wood and kindling or to chop, but as fighting implements, they are (for me) more accurate and reliable.  Also, you can mount one on the end of a staff and turn it into a spear either for defense or hunting (a secondary, general function).

As I mentioned in another article, Hibben makes (in my opinion) the finest throwing knives that money can buy.  Another factor about throwing knives that I like is the fact that they can be mounted on your vest and employed more easily and quickly than the tomahawk can be drawn.  On the other side of the coin, the tomahawk generally provides you with more reach on your opponent if you swing it rather than throwing it.  The decision is one of preference, but the point of effectiveness is the same for each weapon: training.


You need to be as one with your weapon and know it inside and out…all of its capabilities primarily as a weapon and secondly as a tool.  Your life may one day depend on mastery of the weapon.  It may be all you have.  There is no substitute for proper training.  You can have the best equipment in the world but without the ability to employ it?


When the SHTF, you may just have gathered up those supplies for someone who knows how to use them…and will take them away from you.

My preference is to have a tomahawk strapped to the outside of my rucksack…a backup weapon that could be turned into a tool if needed, and my primary is a set (no less than 3) throwing knives…Hibbens being my blades of choice, nd on my person.  Whatever your choice…tomahawk or knife…become and expert with it.  There is no substitute for training to expert standards.  You must set the standard for yourself, and the life you save first may well be your own.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Harden Your Home Using the Cheapest Materials on the Market

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Purchasing sandbags have always been sold in late summer early fall as a preparedness product that is associated with the flooding attached to the fall rainy seasons and hurricanes.  The time to order and purchase your sandbags is now, but for a different reason: to harden your house if possible.  Those sandbags can be filled with more than just sand and can be used to stop more than just water.  Look at the world situation right now with North Korea, China, and Russia: need I say any more to encourage you to prepare and fortify your homes for a SHTF event?

There are charts ad infinitum that will give you the amounts of layers of sandbags that are needed to stop a bullet, depending on the caliber.  Most fill them with sand; however, unless you live on a beach, sand may be something not found out in your backyard.  You can fill them with dirt, but the stopping factor is significantly reduced.  It’s up to you: your decision (to paraphrase “Alice in Chains”).  You can make them permanent with concrete.  You can convert a front porch into a semi-fortified fighting position with three layers of sandbags about 3 to 4 feet high.

I don’t care to hear naysayers complaining at how the front porch will collapse, the room will collapse, yada yada.  It is up to you the homeowner to find what the weight-bearing structural load is for your porch or any other room you intend to fortify.  The main point is that there are steps you can take at home to make your property harder to enter and to enable you to defend it.

One of the big problems is that it’s hard (or impossible) to “scrap” different types of building materials or construction supplies out of the dump.  The days of “dumpster diving” for materials are just about over.  Salvage companies save everything to sell back to China, to be sent back (and sold) to us…as the salvors are raising money that is taxed by the local government…the same local government that will not permit you the citizen to “dumpster dive,” as it cuts into the “chain of events” just outlined…and their profits.

You’ll have to pick up some rolls of heavy-gauge fencing wire to cover over your windows.  Nail them right to the frame with fencing staples, and ensure they’re taut.  In this way, the Molotov will not go through.  Also, ensure that you have at least 1 inch between this fencing-grating and the glass from the window.  The Molotov may hit and allow the glass to break by bending the wire in enough so that the bottle’s weight impacts the window.  Then you’ll have to cover the busted window with plastic.

And since we’re on the subject, you can pick up rolls of 6 mil plastic, 25’ x 10’ for about $10 at Wal-Mart…could come in handy to close those windows if needed.  If you pick up the fencing wire rolls with rectangular apertures, say 2” x 4” it will facilitate you using the window as a firing port if the window is able to be opened from the inside and not a fixed window.  I wrote several articles a couple of years ago for SHTFplan detailing how to harden your home; I highly recommend reading them if possible.

A good door brace (also referred to as a New York Lock) for the entry doors to your home will help out.  It won’t completely prevent a break-in, but it’ll slow it down enough for you to deal with it.  Consider a good brace-bar to go across the door.  You want to make sure you have a solid frame.  If it is one of those premade “cookie-cutter home” frames, you may have to reinforce it.

Plywood sheets should be measured and cut for the event (or eventuality, depending on your viewpoint) that your windows will disappear.  Cut out your sizes to be able to nail or bolt into the frame on the outside of the window, and mark the pieces to enable you to match them up to the appropriate window.  I suggest (at a minimum) ½” pressure-treated plywood.  Also: measure and match up with those pieces pre-cut 2” x 4” sections, to put together as a “T” or multiple “T’s” to brace up the plywood in the center when it is in place.  You never know when some fool will try to smash out the center of the plywood and enter the house.

Cut apertures for firing ports and viewing ports at the appropriate levels in your sheets.  You can cover these up with pieces of plywood either on a screw or on a hinge to the side, to enable you to use your firearms to deal with Mr. Moron who just won’t take “no” for an answer.  Make sure you take down and remove any trees, bushes, or anything that can provide marauders with cover and/or concealment.  Cut down these things and use them for firewood later.

Now is the time to place any building materials and supplies you can on your property for use in repairs later.  Most of this article applies to those who live in a house, and it has not yet taken into consideration the plethora of neighbors, neighborhood associations, and other assorted worthless groups that try to infringe on your rights and safety in the interest of keeping their property values high and in conformity.  You may have to do it all on the q-t, and keep the OPSEC at a high.

The best thing you can do: conduct a thorough assessment of your home and determine likely avenues of approach for invaders foreign or domestic, weak points in the house, and areas where you would most likely make a stand.  We’re getting “long in the tooth,” so to speak, with world events, and you need to harden all of the points of your home now while there is still time.  An ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why We Freeze When We’re Scared And How To Overcome It

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Pretty much everyone is well aware of the flight or fight response. Whenever humans encounter a dangerous situation, their sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear. Adrenaline is dumped into our bloodstreams, our senses are heightened, our reflexes quicken, and we become relatively immune to the sensation of pain. Then we make a decision. Depending on what we’re dealing with, we either fight what is threatening us, or we run from it.

It’s time to prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-selling preparedness manual

However, there is another aspect of this fear response that isn’t talked about as much. It should really be called the “fight, flight, or freeze” response because there’s a good chance that you’ll freeze under pressure rather than act. It’s not uncommon for people to do absolutely nothing when something or someone is threatening them, and it’s a response that you can’t really control. When it happens, it’s like being paralyzed.

At first glance, it sounds like a cruel joke, courtesy of evolution, and is often seen as a sign of personal weakness. In reality, it is neither of those things, though it is a natural biological response to danger that can be beneficial in certain circumstances. Just as we evolved to have an extreme physical reaction to danger that includes fighting or running away, we have evolved to involuntarily stop moving in certain situations, and there are a few reasons why we do this.

One is that when we freeze under pressure, our senses are just as heightened as they would be if we were running or fighting. We freeze to assess the situation before we act. We also freeze in the presence of predators, which is a kind of defense mechanism. If an animal or person is stalking us, by freezing we aren’t making sounds and we aren’t giving away our position.

And finally, humans freeze in situations where they perceive a threat that appears to be too strong for us to fight or run away from. The brain enters a dissociative state that can’t process the environment when you feel like your situation is absolutely hopeless. In this state, you can’t really hear or see what’s around you, and you can’t feel what’s happening to you. Your brain basically forces you to play dead, so that whatever is trying to hurt you will hopefully give up, and so that your psyche is protected from physical and emotional trauma.

Of course, this response isn’t always helpful. A classic example that is found in nature, is how deer often respond to seeing the headlights of oncoming traffic. They freeze when they obviously should run or retreat. Likewise, your brain isn’t a perfect judge of dangerous situations. Sometimes you can freeze when it would be smarter to run or fight (or if you have anxiety or PTSD, you might freeze under totally harmless circumstances). You can get stuck in that mental state, unable to act on avoidable danger.

As for how to overcome this biological response, it’s not an easy task. You don’t really control when you freeze, and your options for slipping out of this state are pretty limited. The only technique scientists have discovered, is taking deep, controlled breaths.

The new findings from research team at Bristol offer helpful insights for better understanding the root of paralyzing fear coming from deep inside the brain. Fear-evoked freezing is a universal response. Luckily, each of us can flex some cognitive muscle to override these innate neurobiological impulses.

Taking a few deep breaths in any fearful situation will stimulate the vagus nerve and the “rest-and-digest” aspects of the parasympathetic nervous system. This relaxation response unclamps the neurobiological grip of fear and allows us to “unfreeze” and move freely.

And that’s pretty much it. Unfortunately, it’s not clear if that will work in all circumstances. If for instance, you’ve reached the point where your mind is dissociating from the outside world to avoid mental trauma, it doesn’t seem likely that taking deep breaths would help you snap out of it. And even if it could, would you want to be aware of a horrific situation that you have no control over?

There’s only one way to avoid the kind of freezing that is caused by situations that make you feel completely helpless. And that is to not be helpless, by preparing yourself for dangerous encounters before they happen. You have to be thoroughly prepared for a wide variety of situations. You have to learn how to save yourself when faced with predatory animals, and you have to train yourself in many different self-defense techniques. And of course, it helps immensely if you have the right tools and weapons for these encounters.

In short, the more options you have to save yourself when your life is in danger, the less likely you are to curl up in a ball and hope for the best when your life is on the line.

Additional Links:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

What Should You Do When A Bear Attacks?

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Woman Should Know

5 Everyday Items That Will Double As Defensive Weapons

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Stay Sane When You’re All Alone in a Survival Situation

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When most people imagine various survival scenarios that they could find themselves in, many of those scenarios include isolation. That’s not surprising, considering that many of the survival stories we hear about in the media, involve people who escaped the hazards of the wilderness all by themselves. Those stories are often the most harrowing and interesting.

But when people consider prepping for those scenarios, they usually don’t think about some of the difficulties that come with surviving by yourself. I’m not talking about the difficulties that are associated with pulling off challenging tasks without the help of a friend. I’m talking about the crushing mental anguish that is inevitable when you haven’t seen another person for days or weeks.

The average person probably doesn’t appreciate just how important social interaction is for their well-being. They know it’s important to some degree, but they don’t realize that it’s vital. It’s just as important for your health as food, water, and shelter. Maybe you don’t believe me. You think that you’re an introverted loner who doesn’t need people. Or maybe when you think about an apocalyptic scenario, you have romantic notions of being some lone wolf badass who can take care of himself (it’s almost always a “he” who thinks that).

But consider this. In prison, how do guards punish unruly prisoners when all other forms of discipline have failed? They throw them in solitary confinement for days, weeks, and sometimes even years, where their only contact with other people is through letters (if they’re lucky). In a place that is brimming with murderers, liars, thieves, gangs, drug pushers, and rapists, the absolute worst punishment you can inflict on a prisoner, is to separate them from those dangerous criminals.

Let that sink in.

Social isolation can be crippling. It can cause depression and anxiety, and can deplete your self-worth. When it’s coupled with a lack of stimuli, (like say, from hunkering down in a shelter for days or weeks) it can cause insomnia, paranoia, poor impulse control, aggression, hallucinations, and memory loss. In other words, it causes you to behave in ways that are not conducive to survival.

So if you’re going to prep for any survival situation, you have to prep for the possibility that you’ll be on your own for a long period of time. You have to figure out how you’ll stay sane when you’re your own company. And how do you do that? Take it from prisoners who have actually been locked up in solitary confinement for long periods of time.

Wrongly convicted inmate Shujaa Graham found solace in routine while he was in solitary. Graham, who’s now 62, spent three years in solitary on death row after he was framed for murdering a prison guard.

“I kept myself occupied,” he said. “I programmed myself.” He woke up at 5 a.m. every day and did exercises like jumping jacks and push-ups. Then he’d sponge himself off in his sink. Later in the day Graham went into a deep meditative state, pretending to visit his mom and other family members.

Vietnam prisoner of war Tom Moe didn’t see, hear, or talk to another American for months during his captivity, according his account in Notre Dame Magazine.

During his time as a POW, he made sure his mind was always occupied. He designed and built 10 houses in his mind, he wrote. And he constantly made lists — ticking off candy bars, countries, and the capitals of those countries.

And in most accounts of people who have survived solitary confinement, you’ll find similar themes. They use their imaginations to challenge themselves, they meditate, they find some way to express themselves through writing or drawing, and they exercise.

They maintain a strict routine, which is very important since isolation makes you feel like you’ve lost control of your life. A routine establishes that feeling again. And perhaps more importantly, a lot of prisoners plan for the future. Not only would that make good use of your time in a survival situation, but again, it helps you feel like you have control again.

Make no mistake, social isolation is no joke. It can utterly destroy the mind. If you don’t take any measures to exercise your mind and body in a survival situation that leaves you all alone, then nothing else will keep you alive.

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

Your Ancestors Had Some Hard Core Survival Instincts… This is How You Can Get Back to Your Roots

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One of the biggest drawbacks we suffer from as a species is our lack of focus on our immediate environment utilizing all of our senses.  I just recently penned a piece on the importance of “reconnecting” with the olfactory sense.  When we were hunter-gatherers and even after human settlements such as towns and villages were established thousands of years ago…our ancestors used all of their senses.  All of them.

We can still do it now.  It only takes practice.  This doesn’t mean that you have to dive down into the prone and sniff a trail out.  Although you can!  Yes, you can!  Your nose has that capability if you train it, as I pointed out in the other article.  But take a look at the title for a second.  Do you know that precept of maintaining things in balance?  You need to train all of your senses, and allow each of them to complement and supplement one another.  Let’s discuss it!

Increase Your Survival Instincts With These Tips

  1. Eyes:  You already know how to see things.  Now think of components of sight that you may have either been unaware of or not really given much thought to.  How about peripheral vision?  That is the type of vision where you see things from the corners of your eyes.  You have oculomotor muscles that you need to train and condition to see in such a manner.  How about in levels of low light?  Train your eyes to adjust to the conditions around you.  Motion?  Our eyes key in motion before anything else.  Right behind that comes contrast in color. There are two types of targets: point and area.  Point targets involve one individual thing, and area a group of things/multiple items conglomerated in one location.  Train your eyes to see these things and differentiate between them.
  2. Ears: Most of us have selective hearing.  We hear what we want to hear and “drown out” the background sounds/noise.  What we need to do is differentiate between things and allow the range of our hearing to be utilized.  Watch a young cat.  Their ears are always moving, at the slightest sound.  The older cat is different: he hears more selectively and doesn’t lurch or flinch at every car engine or step outside the house.  Train yourself to identify as a “matter of fact” and correlate what needs to be reacted to or to be acted upon.  The best training you can receive is to go into the woods by yourself, take a seat, stay still, and shut up.  You will be amazed by what you will hear, and what you will learn.  What you thought was quiet?  There’s a great cacophony of sounds…all you need to do is listen to them.
  3. Smell: I covered this in the other article, but in a nutshell, you need to train your nose to do what it can do.  Studies show that dogs do not possess olfactory powers much greater than man.  The difference is that dogs use their sense of smell, and we have a “mental block” about using it to do anything other than smell perfume on our significant other or smell dinner as we come home.  Develop by being aware and using it…compare and contrast, and experiment with different aromas.
  4. Touch: Be able to differentiate between things…light touch and firm touch.  Be able to do tasks, such as disassemble your firearm blindfolded or in the dark, group the different parts, reassemble it, and perform a “functions” check.  Touch and rote memory are the keys.  Feel different plant in the woods, and know what they are by feel.  Yes, complement this with smell, when applicable.  It takes practice.
  5. Taste: This one you must take greater care than with most of the other senses, as taste can lead to poisoning or a “hurt” tongue if the surface of something (such as a plant) is rough.  Be advised: something with botulism or another foodborne illness does not necessarily reveal the presence of microbes by taste!  It is the least relied on sense because it is something that does not necessarily decide a choice…it is a sense that usually is affected as the result of a choice.

So, what is all of this good for?  It’s good for a lot of different things.  You will be able to move through your environment with more and deeper awareness of your surroundings and things in them.  You will alert yourself to dangers more readily.  It is an art that all of us have the ability to perform.  We’re “hard-wired” for it.  We just need to reconnect with those abilities.  Just takes practice, and practice may not make perfect but it helps to perfectUse your senses and train not just to use them…but to listen to the information they are conveying to you!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Rip Currents: How To Survive This Hidden Danger At The Beach

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For most us, a trip to the beach is synonymous with sunshine, swimming, and lots of leisure. It’s one of the best ways to take a break from the daily grind, and have a simple good time with the family. Plus it’s far more relaxing than other kinds of outdoor excursions, like hiking, camping, or hunting. One reason why, is that we don’t typically associate the beach with danger. The beach seems rather calm and safe, compared to setting up a tent in the middle of the wilderness.

But we should treat the beach like any other outdoor adventure, and by that I mean it’s not necessarily a place where we should let our guard down. That’s because there’s a hidden danger at the beach, that causes 46 drownings per year in the US, and is responsible for more rescues by lifeguards than any other incident.

It’s called the rip current, which is a type of water current that actually moves away from the beach. They’re difficult to spot as well, because they’re usually quite narrow compared the waves around them. These currents often cause drownings when they sweep unsuspecting swimmers away from the shore, because they exhaust themselves trying to swim against the current. And you don’t need to swim very far out to get sucked in. People have been known to be swept away by rip currents in only 3 feet of water.

Fortunately, there are several precautions one can take to stay safe from rip currents. In fact, anyone who’s a moderately competent swimmer should be able to survive a rip current. The people who drown, tend to do so because they panicked. But if you stay calm and follow the advice in this video, you’ll be able to escape this hidden danger.

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

Could Our Parenting Style Be Damaging Our Kids? This Author Thinks Some Changes Could Be Made.

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Layout 1Raising kids has changed dramatically over the last century. Children once acted as helpful additions to the family farm or as caretakers of the homestead and younger children. In more recent times, kids were simply little people who were meant to explore the world around them, alone, from sun-up to sunset. Today “parenting” is a full time job replete with a strict schedule and a dozen extracurricular activities, rigid play dates, teams of specialists, and a library full of books about the best techniques. Alison Gopnik wants to change the way we view parenting in this country. The word parenting “is not actually a verb” Gopnik challenges in her book The Gardener and the Carpenter, and too much emphasis on the actions of parents is stifling our kids’ abilities to grow up as healthy, self-sufficient individuals.

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Parent Without Parenting

Gopnik’s central argument in this book is the notion that modern parents (particularly affluent ones) are approaching child-rearing in a way that is potentially damaging to children. “Parenting” Gopnik, treats children as work, not love, and it places undue pressures on parents to “do it right.” The metaphor of the book’s title sums this up: rather than imagining raising children as being a carpenter, a person who chisels and shapes who a child becomes, Gopnik encourages parents to think of raising children as being like gardeners. You plant the seeds, you set the conditions for success (proper nutrients and water, a place to grow), and then you stand back a watch what emerges from the soil. No amount of standing over or shouting or nagging will cause those flowers to grow taller or more colorful—the plants will simply become who they were meant to be. The goal of a good gardener is to provide a safe space and let nature take its course, not to “create” a flower through sheer will or desire.

Gopnik is a developmental psychologist and she uses studies and the results of learning experiments to make her points in this book. By decreasing parental involvement, Gopnik shows how we allow our children to learn from their mistakes, make better decisions, and use their imaginations. This notion is refreshingly counter to much of what parents are being fed these days from the so-called experts. Gopnik hopes that the metaphor of carpenter and gardener will be applied freely, both for the relief of miserable parents who believe they are failing at their “job” and for the children, who really need space and love much more than guidance.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Are Running Shoes More Superior to Hiking Boots? Here are 3 Good Reasons Why They Are

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 My family and I are just embarking on the journey that is long-distance hiking. We’ve lived in an urban setting for so long that we knew we’d need a lot of gear to really take advantage of the wilderness that is now all around us. I’ve always assumed hiking boots were necessary for proper, safe hiking. I thought you needed the sturdy ankle support, deep tread, and waterproof uppers of hiking boots. It turns out, though, that most thru-hikers (those who cover thousands of miles every year) reach for their running shoes instead of hiking boots.

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Light is Right

If you have ever picked up a pair of hiking boots, you have probably noticed that they weigh quite a bit. Running shoes, on the other hand, are designed to be light so you can move quicker. It seems like a no-brainer that extra weight slows you down, but carrying around extra pounds on your feet, specifically, burns up to six times more energy than carrying that weight on your back. Since hiking boots weigh an average of three pounds, trading them in for running shoes (which usually weigh around a pound or less) can save you 8-12 pounds from your pack. For the serious hiker, this makes a huge impact, but even for a weekend warrior, this can mean the difference between going strong all day or calling it quits after lunch.

Your Feet Are Never Really Dry

The other big (supposed) advantage to hiking boots is that they are waterproof, allowing you to walk through streams and tackle inclement weather. This is all well and good, but there are two problems.

First of all, very few pairs of hiking boots are truly waterproof. Most have seams that let in water if your feet are submerged. Even if you have one of the genuinely waterproof brands, over time small tears in the fabric will let water in. And even if you manage to avoid that, in truly wet weather, water will run down your legs and into your shoes. In addition, your feet sweat in waterproof boots because there is no airflow. Now you’ve got soggy feet trapped inside a moist shoe, which can lead to blisters, foot fungus, and other treats. Add in the fact that wet hiking boots weigh even more than usual and you’re dealing with a heavy, wet mess.

You’re better off in running shoes that breathe, particularly the mesh or woven designs that dry quickly. Even if your feet get wet, they’ll dry quickly and be much more comfortable than a hiking boot.

Ankle Support Comes From Within

One of the things hiking boot proponents harp on the most is ankle support. The idea is that the rigid, high-top cut of the boot, along with lacing hooks and padding, helps to protect your ankle from injuries. This sounds good in theory, but studies show that unless you already have an ankle injury, you don’t need additional support (and if you have been injured, chances are you’d need a medical brace, not a standardized boot).

Besides this, since boots are heavier and more awkward than running shoes, they may actually cause more injuries. You become clumsier in heavy boots, especially those that aren’t broken in yet.

Doctors insist that if you really want to have supported ankles, make sure to do stretching and toning exercises to build up muscles and protect your ankles. This support keeps your joints strong which prevents injury.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Is Your Car Bug-Out Ready for Summer Emergencies? These 8 Items are a Must!

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is to formulate some preps for you and your vehicle for a daily basis during the months of summer.  Why?  Because the summer months hold some potential for problems that are quite different from the winter months, and the S can HTF at any time, that is why.  Dehydration, sunburn, sunstroke, and other dangerous events can happen in addition to the EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack that turns your 2016 Dodge Ram pickup into a motionless slab of several tons.

First, let’s address the issue of dehydration.  Water.  Simple solution, right?  Wrong.  Should a disaster occur, all the existing water lines may either be contaminated and/or non-functional.  And there you are on the highway.  Do you know how to procure water in the wild? Humans need 1 gallon per day on normal/non-stressful days.  You will need a couple of gallons of water in your vehicle in sturdy containers.  Your “bug-out”/go bag is already in the car.  Make sure you have a three-day supply of food and a method to purify water, in addition to a method to tote it.  Many prefer the Camelback drinking systems.  I stick with the issue canteens.  Whatever method you choose, you’ll need to add a couple of gallons into them eventually.

In your backpack, you want to either have a poncho or some type of “space” blanket, preferably (with the latter) containing grommets.  If you can’t find one with the grommet holes, there is a grommet-making kit available in Wal-Mart or another big-box store for around $10.  The poncho comes with the grommets.  You will also need (5) bungee cords.  In this matter, you can use the 4 grommeted corners and the middle of the poncho/blanket to construct some kind of shelter to shield you from the sun.

Yeah, I know, Mr. Negative…if there’s trees to attach the bungees to, then why would a person need to spread out a shelter at all?  Simple.  Just because you may make it to a wooded area doesn’t mean that the trees provide adequate protection from the sun.  In addition, yeah…next is, what if there are no trees?  Then you use the bungee cords and attach them to other things, such as the bumper of that now-defunct Dodge truck, or a chain-linked fence…to make a lean-to and take you out of the sun.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Here’s a short (and by no means complete) list of some things to have with you on your daily commute, some of which we have covered in previous articles:

  1. Electrolyte packets
  2. Small (compact) first-aid kit
  3. Knife (folding/Swiss Army)
  4. Fire starting materials with matches or cigarette lighter
  5. Radio
  6. Flashlight
  7. Firearm(s) and ammo
  8. Tools

The situation is going to dictate the actions you take.  Obviously, if a nuclear war is what occurs, then you are going to have a different set of dangers than if a viral pandemic is occurring.  You will make the determination about what you will do, but you should have these basic supplies with you and readily accessible at all times.  If you are parked in a parking garage and you still must walk three blocks or more to reach the office, this is not near enough.  In such a case, have multiple bags…one in your vehicle, and one within the workplace by your desk, as I have stressed in the past.

You’ll also need good sunglasses with a 100% UV protection factor.  Along with this, a strong sunscreen, with an SPF of 50 or greater.  A floppy hat would also do you some good for any kind of walks that will shield both your head and face from the sun.  Also, don’t forget a bottle of good bug repellant.  You don’t think the bugs will stop bothering you and take a break while the disaster strikes, do you?  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Take all of these things into consideration, remembering that the summer sun can be more than just a happy shining face on a box of cereal.  It can also be a deadly furnace trying to turn you into jerky.  On that happy note, keep fighting that good fight and have those supplies ready for when you need them.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading Material:

5 Ways To Keep Your Vehicle Evacuation-Ready

Vehicle 72 Hour Kits

The Preparedness Guide that will Get You Ready for Any Disaster

Emergency Evacuation Checklist

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These Are the Jobs That Will Survive the Next Wave of Automation

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Every time our country enters a recession, it seems like another piece of the middle class is eroded away, and never returns. There are widespread layoffs and pay cuts, but when the economy recovers, we don’t have as many well-paying jobs as we had before. There are probably multiple reasons for this, most notably the outsourcing of jobs. However, there’s one reason that most people don’t want to consider because there’s no one to blame for it.

Many jobs don’t come back after a recession, because of automation. When money is tight during a recession, there’s more incentive for companies to automate parts of their workforce. Every economic calamity sows the seeds for a new wave of computer automation and labor-saving inventions; and after the recession has passed, a certain percentage of the population gets left behind. For whatever reason, they fail to learn new skills that will help them adapt to the new economy, so they are either left jobless or are stuck working low paying jobs that may not survive the next recession.

And make no mistake, this is going to keep happening at a rapid pace for at least the next generation or two. By some estimates, half of the jobs we have now may be automated over the next few decades, and it’s not exactly clear how many of those jobs will be replaced.

There’s only one thing you can do to guarantee that you’ll thrive in this future. You have to learn skills that can’t be automated. And when you look at the kinds of careers that are difficult to automate, you’ll find that most of them fall into a handful of categories.

Advanced STEM Careers

These are the biologists, the physicists, the statisticians, the engineers, etc. Just about anyone who attains anything higher than a bachelor’s degree in a STEM related field, is probably going to have a job for the foreseeable future. Though computers will certainly have some impact on these fields, the people who are in them are among the smartest in the world. Unless someone builds a computer that is more intelligent than any human (which isn’t guaranteed), these jobs aren’t going anywhere.

Careers That Guide Automation

If you can’t beat em, you can always join em. One of the best ways insulate yourself from automation, is to find a job that involves creating, running, or maintaining the machines. Think mechanics, computer programmers, and mechanical engineers. While the smartest people in our society are going to occupy the advanced STEM fields, the average Joe’s are going to dominate these jobs, because they don’t require nearly as much education. These are jobs that usually either require a 4-year degree or lengthy on-the-job training. They will probably be the last bastion of high-paying middle-class jobs.

Careers That Revolve Around Human Behavior

One of the biggest obstacles for a computer is interpreting human behavior, and making use of that information. Computers are really just glorified calculators, so despite how advanced they’ve become, they’re about as good at comprehending humans as we are at comprehending God.

So any job that involves sophisticated interaction with humans is probably safe from automation. And fortunately, there are a ton of jobs like this. It includes doctors, nurses, teachers, physical and mental therapists, salesman and marketers, public relations experts, clergymen, etc. Wherever there are people with uniquely human problems and aspirations, there are jobs that a computer can’t touch.

Craftsmen and Artisans

I’m using these terms loosely to describe more than just people who make products with their hands. What I’m about to describe is a unique category of jobs that survive every labor-saving invention, long after they’ve been technically rendered obsolete.

Think about everyone who runs a successful store on Etsy. Most of the stuff they sell aren’t crucial to the modern economy, but there’s still a demand for them. People don’t need highly ornate, handcrafted products. They could probably buy a far cheaper equivalent on Amazon, but they choose to buy handcrafted products because they’re special. Things that come off of an assembly line are practical, but humans have a need for products and services that have a human touch. We have a love of things that are well crafted, but imperfect. And since automation tends to introduce more wealth into society, there will be more demand for these luxuries.

And like I said, it’s not just jobs that involve making things. Any field that can be automated, will have a few holdouts that never die. How much do you want to bet that many years after driverless cars eliminate all of the truck drivers, cab drivers, and delivery jobs, there will still be people you can pay to drive you around town. If you don’t believe me, then consider the companies that still offer horse-drawn carriage rides in New York City, a century after cars made these carriages obsolete.

There is only one caveat with these kinds of jobs. If you decide to enter an obsolete field, you have to be the best at it. The only people who make money with these jobs are the people who offer the highest quality products and services. The runner-ups make a pittance, and everyone else is taking a loss. But if you do put in the effort to be among the best, you can make a lot of money in these jobs.

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

Can You Reload A Pistol With One Hand? Here’s How It’s Done

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There’s a big difference between going to the range to shoot a few paper targets, and having to use a firearm to protect yourself. A gap exists between those two situations that can be measured in miles. So even if you’re a really good shot, you’re not necessarily proficient with a firearm. You have to be prepared to use a firearm in real world situations, and those situations can be unbelievably messy and chaotic.

One thing you should prepare yourself for is the possibility that in an actual gunfight, you may only be able to aim and shoot with one hand. For instance, what if you were shot in the hand? That’s a very intricate appendage, and even a small caliber round could disable it.

That’s why you should learn how to fire and reload a pistol with only one hand. It’s very easy to learn, and could easily save your life one day. Here’s how it’s done.

And, it’s not just pistols that can be reloaded with one hand. The same can be done with AK-47 type rifles.

To prepare for a firefight in the real world, you have to consider the worst case scenario, and train yourself to overcome it. You have to abandon any immature fantasies you have and accept reality. No matter how good you think you are, you can still get shot in places that can significantly hinder your ability to shoot back. So don’t settle for just shooting at paper targets. Become genuinely proficient with your weapons, and learn how to stay alive in even those direst situations.

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

If You’re Bugging Out, Avoid Fatigue and Have These in Your Supplies

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ReadyNutrition fans, we’re going to talk about something that may seem simple, but it can make a big difference for you when the SHTF and the situation arise that you must bug out and be “on the move” without respite.  By “respite,” I don’t mean a half an hour break, or an hour to nap.  I’m speaking about when there is continuous activity for many hours (8-12) that may run up to a day or even longer.  If such a thing occurs, you’re going to need all the help that you can get.

Your Body Will Be Under a Tremendous Amount of Stress

There are several things that happen under stressful conditions from a physiological perspective.  As explained in earlier articles, your body burns off stores of glycogen (stored in the muscles) until it runs out.  Without replenishment, the body cannibalizes its muscle tissue and “manufactures” its glucose and glycogen requirements.  After “hitting the wall” (your body’s limit, usually reached within an hour or so), you burn off muscle tissue during this cannibalistic phase at a rate of 5 grams of muscle protein for every thirty minutes of prolonged effort.

With epinephrine and norepinephrine going haywire during your “fight or flight” metabolic reactions and with adrenaline pumping levels to the moon, your body will consume a tremendous amount of energy.  When there is any kind of a lag, the body kind of “sags” as it attempts to relax.  Notice how I wrote “attempts” here?  So, how do we solve this one?

Some kind of snack would be beneficial, and keeping in mind what we wrote earlier, you may not have the time for it.  Remember what I wrote for you a few articles back:

You need to ingest protein and carbohydrates within 20-30 minutes of a strenuous workout, and more if the workout is protracted.

That being mentioned, many people turn to things such as power bars to make up for the protein and carbs.  Those are OK, but make sure you have plenty of water when you eat them, or else they’ll pull water right out of your cells in order for your body to digest them…leading to dehydration.

If You’re Bugging Out, Make Sure You Have These Energy Enhancers

Even then, you may still be “lagging” for a while waiting for your body to extract what it needs.  In the meantime, try the caffeine.  Instant coffee can be consumed in an instant, just as the name implies.

While in the service, our MRE’s came with packets of coffee (Taster’s Choice, to be exact).  We “stocked” up on them and kept those packets handy for when we might need them besides just (if we could do it) the proverbial “morning cup of Joe.”  Be careful not to take in too much…but if you’re in a bind and don’t have a lot of time to restore your mental alertness, the caffeine in a helping of instant coffee (either in a happy manufactured packet or one you make up yourself) can do you some good.  I’m going to cite the PDR for Herbal Medicines, page 215, for Coffee for you:

“Quantities corresponding to as much as 500 mg of caffeine daily (5 cups of coffee) spread out over the day are toxicologically harmless for healthy adults accustomed to drinking coffee.”

The PDR goes on to state that dosages of 1,500 mg per day can lead to problems, but unless there are underlying health concerns such as arrhythmias, there is normally no real concern.  Consult with your friendly and happy family physician before using the coffee.

Many people extol the virtues of guarana, and if it works for you, that’s great.  Understand that guarana seeds (from which the energy drinks are made) main constituent to provide that energy is none other than caffeine, as well as theobromine and theophylline, two purines that are also stimulants.  Guarana is listed as a tonic for fatigue in the PDR.  Caffeine overall is also an appetite suppressant.

Keep this in mind: caffeine is also a diuretic, meaning that it works against ADH (anti-diuretic hormone) and increases the frequency of your urinations.  Care must be taken when using it so as to prevent dehydration.  Ensure you take in enough water to prevent it from occurring.

Please let me clarify one final time with all of this: I’m referring to a situation that you’re not going to get any real rest for a long period of time.  All of these items in the form of premade beverages, dried product, or tablets can be purchased in advance and stocked aside for the time you may need to rely on them.  Let’s hope that need never arises and still plan for it nonetheless.  Keep in that good fight, drink some coffee (just because it’s good!) and take care of one another!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Everyday Items That Will Double as Defensive Weapons

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So, ReadyNutrition Readers, in another article we presented some everyday items normally carried that can be converted into defensive weapons.  Let’s elaborate with some others that you might not readily think of as being able to be utilized in your defense.  Let’s jump right into it, as this is a time of uncertainty with civil unrest and rioting being the norm and not the exception.

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These Everyday Items Can Quickly Become Improvised Self-Defense Weapons

  1. The baseball bat.  For playing baseball, of course.  Throw a couple of gloves and a ball in a plastic grocery bag for that time you run into your buddies for a friendly game of ball.  And while you’re waiting…when a couple of hoodlums with knives come “sauntering” up to you, it might be a good idea to have that baseball bat handy.  My personal choice is a T-ball bat, made of aluminum, and it works.  Once again, you have to train with it, but I guarantee you’ll be just fine with some practice.  Do they want you with knives?  I assure you, the bat will deter them…one way or another.
  2. The cane. What a pleasant walking accouterment!  Something to lean on, and help you brace yourself as you walk uphill.  Oh, and remember those hoodlums we discussed in “number 1” here?  Once more, the proper training and practice will have you serving those knives up to them ala carte.  I prefer the ones made from aluminum to the wooden ones, although wood will work.  These are just pure canes, now, not “sword” canes or other specially-outfitted devices.
  3. The umbrella. This one is a little riskier, for the sole reason that it must be sturdy.  They make them, but you’ll have to do some searching for the really strong ones.  As a striking or a stabbing weapon, you’ll have something to work with.  If you wish to do some special work on them, just use your imagination.
  4. Walking stick. Different from a cane, due to the length.  This one (unless you’re in New York City where nothing is considered weird) you may have to be in a different setting to employ.  Nevertheless, that walking stick is really a staff, and there’s where real training will come in handy.  Get a good one that is sturdy and somewhat ornate/art-decorated.  This last feature will give you more of a cover, as unless you’re auditioning for a “shepherd” position or the lead role of “Moses” in the “Ten Commandments” remake, it’ll be hard to pass off your “staff” in an urban setting.
  5. The crowbar. This one will have to stay in the vehicle.  Be smart: make sure it’s not the only tool in the back seat.  Always think ahead in that regard.  If you’re in the trades, it’ll be a little simpler for you.

With all of these examples, the crowbar and the baseball bat are the ones you’ll have to leave in the car.  The rest you can carry with you with relative impunity, with the Walking Stick being the only one that may arouse attention in an urban or suburban setting.  Your objective is not to be a Ninja: it is to be a camouflaged citizen not looking for any trouble.  These suggested weapons are to allow you to have a “distance” weapon: a tool to be able to deal with someone who wishes to hurt you.

In the following video, pay attention to the strike zones and areas on the body that will inflict the most damage to your attacker. Accurately striking in the right areas on the body will drop your attacker and give you time to distance yourself.

Now, you should practice using these items, gripping your selected tool and taking the right swings. Practice in front of a mirror and then with a heavy bag.  Know your striking areas and how to deal with an attacker who has a weapon such as a knife or a club.  Practice with a family member.  I’m not advocating violence.  Nevertheless, I am advocating taking a stand when you cannot either diffuse the situation or avoid it by withdrawing.  Still, it is better to have an option than to offer them a smile and hope for their goodwill.  There is a time to fight.  Perhaps this piece will give you an idea when that is your only option.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading Material:

Hard Core Chicks: Eight Self Defense Tactics Every Women Should Know

Disarmed? How to Create DIY Self-Defense Tools With Items in Your Home

Fight Like Jason Bourne: 7 Key Points to Surviving a Serious Fight

6 Non-Lethal Weapons to Carry Instead of a Gun

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Typewriter: A Post SHTF Printing Press

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ReadyNutriton Guys and Gals, we have “gamed” a bunch of different scenarios for the S hitting the Fan, such as electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, a good nuclear war, or a natural ELE (Extinction-Level Event), such as a meteor impact or a solar flare Carrington event.  Loss of power in all of these is almost a foregone conclusion.  So, then what?  Do we run around akin to “Korg 70,000 B.C.” without the ability to use computers or send information via the phone or the Internet?  Yes and no.  Certainly, the electricity will not be there to spare to use computers (if they are either hardened or protected to see it through) other than for brief moments.  The typewriter, though, is another matter.

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A Post-SHTF Printing Press

Now is the time to pick one of those manual typewriters up.  If you have formed any type of intentional community/survivalist group you will need one of these.  It will be necessary to disseminate instructions, records, and messages to other communities.  Those old typewriters will then become “state of the art,” as it could be decades before there is (if ever) any community-type power or electrical supplies.

As a community, you’ll need to keep records…vital ones, such as births, marriages, and deaths.  You’ll need some talented writers to record the history that is happening.  The news is simply history that hasn’t played out yet and is happening now.  This may seem a small thing, but it’s really a big deal.  Unless you’re going to take the tedious time to write out everything clearly and legibly in print, that typewriter is your best bet.  I still have mine: a 1962 manual Olympia that I typed all of my papers in college with.  Still runs as good as new.

You will need several things for your typewriter, and they are as follows:

  1. Extra ribbon: believe it or not, they can still be ordered. If not, find a ribbon of comparable dimensions to the one you found, and unspool it onto the ribbon that fits your typewriter, securing both of the ends.  You can also re-ink the ribbon to stretch out the life expectancy even more.
  2. Ink: for what I just mentioned. There are also “roll-on” bottles available that you can fill with a metal or plastic “roller.”  Fill the bottle up with ink.  Make sure the roller is slightly wider than the ribbon you’re re-inking.  You’ll have to test it to come up with the optimal way and amount to spread on your ribbon.
  3. A small tool kit and oil: to maintain that typewriter. With mine, I find keeping it covered if it sits out, or in its case is the best thing possible.  A light dusting and a coating of oil down at the “roots” (where the keys connect with the actual typeset-arms) will help.
  4. Plenty of paper: use your own judgment, but you can never have enough. Go with plain white paper.
  5. White out and erasing supplies: most of the older manual types don’t have a correcting ribbon. You can also use “correction paper” that you just slip in between the key/ribbon and the paper, and just retype the letter you messed up on.
  6. Carbon paper: yes, good old carbon paper to make 3 or 4 copies at a time. Remember: You may now be the newspaperman/woman for your community!  Bulletins, flyers, and the like take time.  You can save some of that time with carbon paper.fo
  7. An instructional book on typing: yes, how to type. This valuable skill I learned in high school for one year…one of the best investments I ever made.  You will have kids in those communities, and those kids need to learn the art of typing.  Even taking a class in it (if you don’t know how) may benefit you down the road.

There are a lot of different places to look for typewriters.  Manual is what you want.

Manual is what I learned on, and electric became a snap.  Do kids today learn to type in school still?  We have keyboards on computers, after all.  Some of you parents drop me a line and let me know if they still teach it.

Read “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” a science-fiction tale by Miller.  It shows a post-apocalyptic descent into the Dark Ages, followed by a rise, and then another fall.  There is nothing new under the sun.  Still, we make it from Dark Age to Dark Age by preserving our knowledge.  The typewriter may do just that for you in the years to come after the SHTF.  What you manage to put away now, your grandchildren will thank you for in the years to come.  Stay in that good fight, and keep your focus!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Family Preparedness Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Disaster

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One of the most important characteristics of survivalists, preppers, and their ilk is the ability to concede that no matter how improbable it may be for a situation to arise, it is still possible.  With the current state of affairs of the world being the way they are, there is nothing in the news that can truly dissuade a prepper from this concept.  That being said, what if a nuclear war occurs?  No, really: what will you do, and what actions will you take when it begins?

Learn How Tactical Gas Masks Can Save Your Life

We have covered the topic of preparedness for a nuclear war before, but we have not discussed immediate actions to take within the first hours that such a nightmare becomes a reality.  First, let us mention again Cresson Kearney’s work Nuclear War Survival Skills,” and can also be downloaded from the internet.  It is the end-all, be-all for information on preparedness for a nuclear war.

Immediate Actions a Family Must Take to Survive Nuclear War

The topic for this article is immediate actions to be taken when nuclear war present itself; however, stress and emphasis must be made on preparations beforehand.  You want to garner all of the supplies possible beforehand and prepare a fallout shelter before the football game kicks off.  This will cut down on the scrambling when it all comes about.  There will be enough confusion in the works, and you don’t need to make any more for yourself through a lack of readiness by not having supplies you need in place.  Let’s cover some basics questions you need to answer for yourself and your family.

  1. A Plan: you need a plan to “kick into action” immediately, depending on where you are…at home, at work, or traveling. This plan needs to take into account what you’ll do if your engine dies (from the EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse), for example, and you’re still five miles from home.
  2. “Rounding Up the Tribe”: How will you gather your family together? Do they know the plan and are they both on board with it and prepared to act in accordance with it?  You need an ORP (Objective Rally Point), so to speak: a place to meet together in one location, if for the purpose of consolidating and traveling back home together.
  3. Assessing the Targeted Areas: this must be done beforehand, and if you are in a targeted area susceptible to attack, you better be prepared to move out of it.
  4. Personal Protection from Radiation: (in accordance with your assessment of how much radiation there will be) Do you have Geiger Counters (radiological survey meters), dosimeters, and a suit and mask to protect you from the radiation? If so, how will you get to them/into them when it occurs?
  5. [We’re using a “Shelter in the Home” Scenario]: OK, you made it home. Now, do you have backup measures in place for the loss of electricity that will occur?  Do you have a shelter where you can “hole up” for at least the next three weeks to a month?  Is it defensible?  Can you effect such a defense while radiation is still at a dangerous level?  Let’s review what needs to be in the shelter:
  6. Food and water supply for all members…at least six months’ worth
  7. Medical supplies and equipment
  8. Shielded electronic supplies (radio, night vision devices, etc., shielded until it is safe to expose them with no threat of EMP) in Faraday cages
  9. Weapons and ammunition to defend yourselves
  10. Tools and materials to repair or replace components of the shelter
  11. Equipment to monitor radiation levels inside and outside of the shelter
  12. Sanitation and hygiene measures (people don’t stop going to the bathroom or needing to clean themselves regularly)
  13. Books and reading material: survival oriented, and also for a diversion
  14. After the exchange has halted: What will you and your family do then?  Remain in place, or head for new ground?

Time is of the Essence

There won’t be a lot of time for action.  Hopefully, you’ll be at home, and able to take steps from there.  Such steps can include (but are not limited to): covering all of the basement windows with dirt, and if you have a basement or sub-basement shelter, securing all parts of it prior to relocating into it with your family.  You’ll already (hopefully) have your supplies ready and in position, but you can also run the water and fill up as many containers as possible to take down with you.  Same with food: any canned or dried goods that you can move from the upstairs into the shelter will be money in the bank for you later.

There’s never enough blankets and clothes: stock some of these down in your shelter.  Pets are a big consideration that we’ve covered in a previous article.  You’ll have to provide for them if you do indeed intend to save them.  Special needs members of your family, such as infants and toddlers, the elderly, and any family member with a medical condition…you need to provide for those needs well in advance.

Especially for them, you want to load up on whatever supplies you need to take care of them and move any equipment or supplies that you can manage for them into that shelter.  After the war commences, there won’t be any more deliveries of those necessities.  Research Cresson Kearney’s work and put these measures into place…stocking up on the supplies you need and coordinating all of your initial actions with your family prior to the arrival of that fateful day.  Hopefully, none of these measures will be needed, but if they are, it will give you a better chance if you determine them and implement them beforehand.  Stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading on Nuclear Preparedness:

How to Survive When a Nuke Is Dropped

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

A Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing For Any Disaster

What Happens to Nuclear Power Plants Following an EMP?

Mom, Could You Please Pass the Potassium Iodide?

How can I avoid radiation exposure?

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Take Action: How Immediate Action Drills Can Reduce Reaction Times in Emergencies

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If you notice with many of my more-recent articles, I’m trying to give you guys and gals information without “spoon feeding” it to you.  I’m still attempting to follow the “crawl-walk-run” principle for those who have not heard of some of these subjects.  It is important to understand that my intentions for “upping” the pace and content of it are to match the pace that the threats of the outside world keep mustering on us.  The S can HTF at any time.  Although we will never be 100% prepared, you want the margin of actual preparedness to the desired percentage to be as thin as possible.  This is serious stuff: the survival of you and your family.  That being said, let’s cover immediate action drills.

The first thing you will have to do is examine all the different particulars of your daily activities.  Break down the times you go to work, the times you eat outside of the home, the commute times, and the time you spend at home.  By conducting a thorough examination of these areas and charting them out, you can best incorporate immediate action drills effectively.  What are these drills?  Here we go.

Immediate action drills are practice runs for when the SHTF at any given moment.  They are not “time sensitive,” but rather reaction sensitive according to the situation.  All these particulars I outlined for your daily routine?  They will be scenarios that place you in different areas with different resources, amounts of people in the area, and avenues of approach and departure.

What you must do is simulate an event happening when you are in each of these different arenas…working, commuting, eating lunch in the mall, or at home…and take immediate action accordingly.

Read more on critical emergency protocols for family preparedness

We’ve covered “bug-out” bags and equipment and all the different supplies we can pack with us.  Now it’s time to find out the mechanics behind the area you’re in (according to these different arenas) and fine tune them accordingly.  Let’s say you work in the city, on the 10th floor of a building, in a cubicle situated in a corner of your floor.  Here’s your test.  The event has happened: now you have to put your plan into effect and see the basic mechanics of how to get out of there quickly.

“Work!  You want me to drill while I’m at work?” you may be thinking.  Yes.  Yes, I do.  You need to “game” it, and make it happen.  Have a day off?  Go to work and chat with some people…simulate that you’re at work, and then put your plan into action.  Are you skeptical?  Hey, this will help you, not me, so bear with me.

Here are some preparedness items to have at the workplace

Measure off how many paces to the nearest exit.  Not akin to a robot, but at a brisk pace without drawing undue attention to yourself.  Figure it out, and note it down.  If the primary/optimal exit is blocked, do you have a secondary?  Return to your cubicle as if you forgot something, and then walk to your secondary, pacing it off and noting the number.  On separate occasions, take both exits…the stairs…down to the ground floor.  Where do you park?  Find your way to your vehicle.  If you park in a garage, you should always park as close to the exit as possible on the ground/bottom floor if possible.  Why?  When 10,000 people are trying to leave at once, there may be a problem driving out, that’s why.

Note how many paces from the stairwell to your vehicle.  Each day (if you have a different space) this will give you a different number, but eventually (after time) you’ll know all of the spots by heart.  Now find the quickest route out of the building, and take that route back to the house.  You want to take copious notes: places where you can drive on the shoulder, places where traffic jams may occur.  “Game” all of these actions in your mind, and then do a dry run.  You want to know all of your times, and the optimal routes.

Find out if there’s ever a “scheduled” fire drill for your building.  This would be a perfect time to test out your escape plans…especially if you can arrange to have off that day, and then go into work.  Then you can have an immediate action drill for yourself complete with a stampeding herd of people.

Immediate action drills also take the form of “if this occurs, then I do this” type of scenarios.  In essence, you’re gaming everything.  Why the paces and counting your steps from point A to point B?  Because you don’t know if the power will be off, and what kind of visibility you’ll have in the confusion, depending on what happens.  The more you practice this kind of stuff, the easier it will be for you to react in a calm and level-headed manner when everyone else is going nuts.  You’ll be able to assess where problem areas arise, and how to place yourself into a combat-ready, Johnny-on-the-spot stance at a moment’s notice.

The only thing more important than reaction time is reacting effectively, and not suffering from the “paralysis of analysis,” or staying rooted in place and doing nothing.  Practice what you are going to do in a life-threatening situation in each of these areas of your day.  It will maximize your mechanics of avoiding danger/trouble spots, and smooth your movements down to make it easier when the real thing occurs.  Notice I wrote “when” it occurs and not if.  How you train is how you fight, so incorporate these immediate action drills into your preps and smooth out your plan for when the SHTF.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

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This piece is designed to provide you with a few ideas to stimulate your creative thought processes.  We’re all Constitution-loving, survival-oriented preppers who are always preparing for every emergency.  The problem is that emergencies are not able to be “compressed” into a format: they arise.  You plan the best you can, but there’s an age-old military adage that summarizes the whole situation, in a nutshell, “No battle plan ever survives the first five minutes of combat completely intact.”

This is true, and places emphasis on the quality that made man the dominant species on this planet and enabled him to survive as long as he has: adaptability.  In this light, there will be a time when you will need to defend yourself and do not have a weapon readily available.  When such a situation presents itself, you must follow the advice of “Gunny Highway”/Clint Eastwood in the movie “Heartbreak Ridge,” advice that holds brevity and clarity:           


“You improvise, you adapt, you overcome.”


That is eloquence swathed in simplicity.  Yes.  Two hoodlums, for example, are coming over to you at night in the parking lot after work.  You can’t avoid them and get into your car before they’re on you.  One clicks open a knife.  It’s time to act.  The action has to take place in a split second.  Let’s say you’re unarmed – no firearms or blades, and you can’t escape.  What now?

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

Common objects on your person may either be utilized or prepared beforehand and then utilized.  Let’s go through some of them you may have, and what to do with them:

  1. Keys: (this will take practice) – take three of them and slip them between your fingers with the keyed end (“blade”) facing out. Grip the rest in your fist and prepare to punch. An effective way to plan ahead for this encounter is if you attach a kubaton to your keychain.
  2. Pens: A good sturdy one made from metal is preferred; a plastic one may work, but you better strike effectively. Hold the pen one of two ways: gripped within your fist with the pen extruding from the bottom of your fist/hand, or with the pen between your middle and ring finger, the base on your palm and the point out from between the fingers.  “Method 1” is preferable because you can stab (a backhanded type of stab) with the pen, and still punch with the fist that holds it.  “Method 2” will take more precision as you strike for the vulnerable points.
  3. Belt: Use only if your pants won’t just fall down and they can stay on without the belt. Strip that belt off, and wrap it around your dominant hand and make a fist.  If you really know what you’re doing, you can wrap the knife hand of the attacker and disarm him.  You had better have practiced this unless you’re a really good athlete.
  4. Credit card/ATM card (handy): By “handy,” there’s no time to take it out of your wallet. You may keep a very rigid plastic card in your shirt pocket.  Hold the card tightly and the edge can be knife-like when striking an opponent…for a very effective strike.
  5. Jacket/windbreaker: Take it off and use it to shield you (in one hand as a shield) from the blade as you strike with the opposite hand. You can (if you’ve practiced) wrap up that blade-carrying hand of the opponent while you’re striking.
  6. Leatherman on that belt? Pull it out quickly, and in the manner of the pen (described in #2) hold it in the manner of “Method 1” where the pliers are extended past the bottom of your hand…to stab/strike in a backhanded method.
  7. Purse: Ladies, that handbag can be a lifesaver for you. Prep this beforehand: keep a 1-pound or ½ pound weight or little dumbbell in it.  Then no cop can get you for a concealed weapon.  You’ll even have a light workout during your day!  But when you swing that bag down and put a three-inch dent in your attacker’s head, you’ll be glad you put the weight in there.  Make sure your purse strap is strong enough to handle this action without losing your purse or snapping.

Now, of course, you should also look around (use your peripheral vision!  Don’t take your eyes off of or away from your attackers!) for boards, bricks, rocks, or anything else within your reach.  Do you have a car alarm?  Push that button and raise a ruckus.  I knew a woman once who was going to get jumped in this manner in the parking lot.  She didn’t have a car alarm, but she threw rocks at a couple of other cars before they closed on her and set off those car alarms.  Then she threw rocks at them and screamed, and others came to her aid.

The eyes and the face are your primary targets with the keys and pen.  Secondary are the sides of the neck and the throat: where the carotid and jugular are, and the airway respectively.  The face of the credit card: a slash maneuver. You’ll be surprised at how deeply into the flesh that card will slice.  Your objective is not to engage with them.  Your objective is to inflict the maximum amount of damage and pain on them and then break contact…get away…at the soonest possible moment.

Don’t let a pair “flank” you: if you must face one, try and step to his side so the other one is behind him…so your primary attacker is in between you and his buddy.  With these methods, you need to practice them to enable you to execute them.  It is different when the adrenaline is pumping and you’re faced with the threat.  Don’t be afraid to experiment; however, make sure your experiments and the “main event” are not the same thing.  The more practice, the more you will build your confidence and increase your chances for success should such a situation arise.  Hope it won’t, but if it does?  Go for the win.  JJ out.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These Simple Training Techniques Will Prepare You For Emergency Hand-to-Hand Combat

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So, Guys and Gals out there in ReadyNutrition Land, why not another primer on a tool you can use to develop the combat skills?  Yes, I’m referring to the heavy bag, that large, cylindrical/tubular “punching” bag with a slew of different uses.  As the name suggests, it should be heavy.  Such weight provides resistance for the training you will follow after, and it also gives a better chance for the longevity and durability of your bag.

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Here’s What You’ll Need to Start Training

A good heavy bag, like this one, can be made out of leather or canvas.  Avoid vinyl/plastic if you can.  The reason for this is manifold: plastic is subjected to changes in temperature that do not affect the leather and canvas bags, as well as a tendency to split/develop a hole more readily.  The leather and canvas ones can develop a hole, but it’s a lot harder.  That leather lasts a long time, and the canvas is durable.  The main thing is to keep both leather or canvas clean and free of molds that can eat through them if left untreated.  Wipe them down after training, and clean up the sweat and moisture.

Secondly, invest in a good pair of bag gloves and a good pair of kicking pads for the instep of your feet.  These can be found readily in your secondhand and thrift stores.  For gloves, I prefer the ones with the small iron/metal bar sewn in around the first joint of the fingers beyond the knuckle.  If you wrap the wrists (and you should), you tuck into the bag glove and go to work.  The leather gloves (again) are the more durable.  Wraps can be purchased (Everlast is a brand), or made from strips of cotton or linen sheets about 1 ½” wide and about three to four feet long.

These wraps come with a loop for the middle finger if commercial, and ties on the other end, to wrap the knuckles and wrist, protecting from broken knuckles or fractures of the wrist by giving support.  A good bag workout should be broken down into “rounds,” such as (for starters) 1-minute rounds with 30 seconds’ rest in between.  Three of these for starters, and if you’ve never done it before, it will “smoke” you.  With time, increase the number of “rounds,” and eventually increase the time of the round.

Training for Hand-to-Hand Combat

With the bag, you can concentrate on the body dimensions of a human.  Another way to improve this is to take either plastic/electric tape (1/2” wide) and “outline” a human head on the bag, and the torso, as well.  You can use masking tape, but this will wear out faster.  Then you practice boxing your heavy-bag man.  Kicking is the same.  The pads will protect both your feet and the bag.  You don’t want to strike the bag either with your unprotected fist or foot.

Watch These Videos

Beginner Shadow Boxing

Heavy Bag for Beginners

Adavnced Heavy Bag Training

A good bag will weigh between 40-50 lbs. on average, and can be obtained for heavier.  It is also possible to “load” your bag with other materials, such as sawdust, lead, or concrete dust.  Make sure your swivel is well-attached and sturdy.  Don’t hang a swivel on the doorframe of a non-bearing partition wall.  Use an outdoor area, such as a porch or balcony, or the inside of a barn or shed.  You must mount the swivel securely and then attach that bad boy preferably with a chain/chains.  This will prevent the bag from striking back.

You can also practice your knife-fighting skills with the bag.  If you do, don’t use a real blade.  Either purchase a “rubber” training knife, or make one of your own from a piece of rubber or plastic, and wrap it up with duct tape.  You want to protect your bag at all times.  Using that edged tanto will just butcher your bag and take the smile off of the would-be samurai’s face.  Perfect your motions for improvised weapons by using the bag as a simulator.  The more realistic you make it, the more effective you’ll be in the field.

Finally, as I’ve stressed before, keep regular and accurate records of your training, so as to vary it in the future and also to chart progress.  Think as a professional and you’ll perform as one.  The heavy bag is not just a bag filled with junk: it is a valuable training tool that will give you the opportunity to learn new skills and reinforce old ones in your repertoire.  It will give you a full workout if you will approach it in this manner.  Stay in that good fight.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

When Grocery Stores Go Empty, These Four Foods Will Help You Survive

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The only thing preppers fear more than masses of unprepared people during an emergency, is being one of those people. That’s why our ultimate nightmare scenario would be not having any non-perishable food on hand during a serious disaster. However, there’s plenty of reasons why an otherwise prepared person might not be prepared when the SHTF.

You could be out-of-town or out of the country, visiting family members who aren’t preppers. Or perhaps you’re having financial problems. So maybe you’ve had to dip into your food supply, or if you prefer buying canned food over freeze-dried food, you haven’t been able to restock items that have spoiled. Or perhaps you’re new to prepping, and you haven’t gotten around to building up a food supply.

Whatever the case may be, you should ask yourself, what would you do if you were one of those people who race to the grocery store at the last-minute during a disaster? Before you answer that, you have to consider the very real possibility that by the time you reach the grocery store, the shelves will be at least partially stripped.

The first food items that will sell out mostly consist of things that are already cooked or prepared in some way, including canned foods, frozen dishes, and bread. Fresh meat and eggs would also disappear pretty fast, despite the fact that they need to be cooked.

Ideally, you want to avoid this scenario altogether by prepping beforehand. In The Prepper’s Cookbook, Tess Pennington highlights key strategies for building an emergency pantry. This takes planning, so if you haven’t already done so, start today. Ideally, you want to store shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. These are the 25 foods she suggests that preppers should have in their pantries.

Have a Back-Up Plan For the Grocery Store

If you end up having to rush to the grocery store during an emergency, you should be prepared to employ a different strategy for finding food. If, when you arrive at the store, there are already a lot of people grabbing the low hanging fruit like canned foods, bread, etc., don’t join them. You’re probably only going to find the scraps that they haven’t gotten to yet. Instead, move immediately towards the food items that won’t disappear as quickly, and can substitute the foods that everyone is going to fight over first.

To employ this strategy properly, you only need one thing. Something to cook with that doesn’t require the grid, such as a camp stove with a few fuel canisters. You’ll need something like that, because many of the food items that disappear later in the game, tend to need some preparation.

These Four Emergency Food Alternatives Can Keep You Alive

So with that said, what kinds of foods should you go after when you arrive at a grocery store later than everyone else?

  • Instead of bread, go straight for the flour. Don’t worry if you can’t find any yeast. You can always make hardtack, tortillas or naan. You might also find that the sacks of dried rice and beans won’t disappear until after the canned foods go. When combined, these two make a complete protein and are perfect for emergency food meals. Keep cooking times in mind with the beans and go for small beans like navy or lentils.
  • If you find that the produce section is stripped bare, go to the supplement aisle instead. There you’ll find all of the vitamins and minerals that are normally found in fresh produce. Look for food based or whole food vitamins. You’ll also find protein powders that can at least partially substitute fresh meat. As well, look for seeds to sprout. Sprouts provide the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes of any of food per unit of calorie. Enzymes are essential because they heal the body, cleanse the body, prevent diseases, enhance the overall functioning of bodily organs, aids in digestion, and removes gas from the stomach.
  • If fresh meat or canned meat is gone from the shelves, a substitute for is dog food. Though this may disgust most people, desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s really cheap and packed with protein. The only downside, of course, is that pet food usually doesn’t face the same health standards as human food. If it can be helped, go for the wet food instead of the kibble. Though you’ll probably be fine eating any dog food for a couple of weeks, dry dog food isn’t as safe as wet food. Plus, the cans of wet food will be much more hydrating.
  • And finally, instead of trying to find butter, which will be one of the first food items to disappear, try looking for alternatives. Remember, you need fats in your diet. Healthy oils like coconut oil or avocado oil provide healthy nutrition and canI be used for cooking, added to coffee, oats, beverages, and other foods. In addition, one of the most nutrient dense foods that are often forgotten during emergency food planning is in the health aisle. Look for granola and nuts. Nuts are calorie dense and full of fiber to help you stay full longer. Due to the high protein count of this natural food, it can be an efficient meat replacement too. Look for non-salted nut varieties to keep you hydrated longer. It’s packed with calories and can go weeks without spoiling when it’s not refrigerated.  Read more about the ideal bug out meal plan here. Alternatively, if all the healthy oils and nuts have been taken, look for some lard. It’s sometimes labeled “manteca.” It will probably be overlooked, but has just as many calories as butter, and lasts a really long time.

Of course, many of these items aren’t the best tasting or the most healthy. They’re certainly not ideal. But then again, neither is being caught in a disaster without your food preps. If you arrive at the grocery store before everyone else, by all means, go after the good stuff. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to beat the crowds, now you know what kinds of foods you should grab first.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What If Your Preparedness Plan Isn’t As Sound As You Think

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Consider this a “coaching” segment and some advice on how to follow a Thomas Hardy “Far from the Madding Crowd” mindset.  Look at the world situation right now.  North Korea is rattling the saber as the U.S. naval armada sails toward the area.  We just gave Syria a foretaste of what is to come with the Tomahawk strike.  Relations with Russia just hit a low point, and the President is not backing down on Syria and North Korea.  Chances are good that we’ll be involved in a war very shortly.  The possibility also exists that it could become a world war.

What does that mean to you, the Reader?  It means that you’re going to have to assess yourself and correctly determine whether you’re prepared for the times to come.

Are You Appropriately Planning Your Preparations?

Part of that is to think outside of the box, to think differently in terms of planning and preparation.  Most everyone has the same type of mindset: “I’m going to acquire all kinds of supplies, practice hard, and when the time comes, I’ll be as ready as I can be.”

Did you ever stop and consider that everyone else has the same idea, to one degree or another?  Most people want to be “spoon-fed” everything, and the preparation is of the mindset that everything will be in place when disaster hits.  Most do not “war game” the situation realistically.  Everyone will have a rallying point of the closest park to hide.  The problem: everyone is thinking of that.  Everyone will take to the roads (Katrina was proof of that) if there’s advance warning.

The Art of Doing the Opposite of the Majority

In preparedness, you must “take the road less traveled by,” to paraphrase Frost.  When the IHM (Incredible Human Mob) is running in one direction, the odds are good that you should not be in their midst.  The art of doing the opposite of the majority is one of the things that will keep you alive and intact.  The mob all runs to an area where there are limited supplies, such as food and water.  What do you think will happen next?  A singing of Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to Be and American” with Bic lighters aflame?  No, they’ll rip one another to shreds for the last bottles of water.

So, how do we compress thinking and acting differently from the majority into one short article?  In reality, we can’t.  What we can do here, however, are consider some possibilities.  Perhaps you and/or your family can sit down and brainstorm some other options for yourselves.  Let’s take it from a SHTF-scenario, shall we?

  1. Safe House: Occupied or Unoccupied – This will involve a retreat where you either can meet up with someone you trust (occupied) or go there with your family (unoccupied) and set up camp.  English Property Law does not necessarily apply.  Do you know of an abandoned barn or shed in a remote location?  Do you know of an abandoned cabin or a partially-ruined building somewhere?  If so, it might be good to preposition some supplies or even a cache there.  If you have someone who you can meet up with…well, you can assure a place for yourself to flee to, and promise that person more…and a share in what you bring.  That will be for you to gauge as to whether or not to trust someone this much, as anyone can go bad in an instant.
  2. Move when they are stationary; Be stationary when they’re on the move: this will be a shock to your circadian rhythm. This step is necessary, however, to cut down on the “new friends” you may not want to “meet” along the way.  You and your family need to sleep in a covered and/or concealed location and post a guard…in shifts.  When it’s night, that’s the time to move and forage for food or supplies.
  3. Attractive to you? Attractive to them, too: Do you see a nice lake with a stream feeding into it in front of you?  Maybe a nice waterfall dropping into it?  A nice cleared area with a bunch of rocks and dead timber strewed about?  If it’s pleasing to your eye, it’ll be pleasing to another person’s eyes as well.  “Attractive” and “High Traffic” areas are almost synonymous.  Avoid what looks perfect, or you’ll bed down and have “guests” when (and if) you wake up.
  4. What you need, they need: This is the reason for a change in time of activity. Did you find food?  Others will need it, and others will come.  You must bank on that.  Just because you’re “paranoid” does not mean that the world is not out to get you…or your supplies.  If you find a food supply and a water supply, you’ll have to either hide it in some way, share it, or defend it.  If you pick “option 2,” that doesn’t mean your altruistic qualities are held by those you share with.
  5. Path of Least Resistance: A happy trail right into the woods.  The part of the mountain without the boulders and stickers all over it to climb.  The open field to cross, as opposed to the woods filled with stickers and thorns.  Don’t you take that path, as others will take it also.

Most will not be thinking outside of the box.  Most will see you and yours in a grid down/SHTF situation as their opportunity.  They will see your belongings as theirs.  For the greatest example of this, see the movie “The Time of the Wolf.”  The first five minutes of the movie tells it all…what happens to the family that packed it all up in a disaster (unspecified) and went to their retreat…that scenario is the “real deal.”  The movie is in French with English subtitles…adding to the horror of the situation.

The bottom line: you can’t expect to survive the disaster…and the mob that makes it through the “first gate” after the initial pandemonium…unless you think and do things differently from them.  Make no mistake about it: the time to prep is far from over.  You cannot trust your future and the welfare of your family in the hands of those who can enmesh us into a world war, and then…on your taxpayer dime…be whisked away to a mountain fortress replete with food, supplies, and an army to defend them.  You only have your wits and the guts to use them.  Stay in that good fight by thinking outside of the box.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

8 Sustainable Changes You Can Make That Will Have a Positive Impact on Earth

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It’s a cold, hard fact that Earth’s once plentiful resources are drying up. Climate change, food and water shortages, pollution, deforestation, agriculture changes are all being caused by the wasteful nature of humans. These impacts have directly altered the Earth’s surface faster than the natural process. We are at a tipping point.

One small act can have a far-reaching impact and it all starts with a single step.

Here are some interesting facts to put things into perspective.

  • An average of 230 million tons of trash that is thrown away each year in the United States, and many do not realize that the trash they are throwing away can be reused.
  • Commercial food sources have become corrupted with genetically modified foods, hormones/antibiotics, pesticides and neurotoxins.
  • On average, one household uses 350 gallons of water.
  • Running tap water for two minutes is equal to 3-5 gallons of water.
  • America uses about 15 times more energy per person than the typical developing country.
  • In the United States, more than 40 percent of municipal solid waste is paper — about 71.8 tons a year.
  • Some 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags—including large trash bags, thick shopping bags,and thin grocery bags—were produced globally in 2002. Roughly 80 percent of those bags were used in North America and Western Europe. Every year, Americans reportedly throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags. (Worldwatch Institute)

The way we live directly impacts our environment and, let’s be honest, humans are very wasteful in regards to using up precious resources. We must begin doing our part to prolong tho negative effects we have on this planet. Earth Day is the perfect time to reflect upon what we can do to live more in tune our planet. In the past, we have suggested ways to make more earth-friendly choices such as recycling, not using chemical cleansers and re-purposing items, but it’s time to take another step forward and begin to live in a more sustainable nature.

8 Sustainable Changes You Can Make That Will Have a Positive Impact on Earth

  1. Buy localFarmers markets are a great way to buy locally and teach your family about sustainability. It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate. Our dependency on far away food sources leaves a region vulnerable to supply disruptions, and removes any real accountability of producer to consumer. As well, nutritional value can quickly decline as time passes after harvest. Finding local food sources can circumvent this impending issue and, because locally grown produce is freshest, it is more nutritionally complete. As well, join an organic food co-op to get more good food for less. It’s a great way to start to dip your toes into the self-sovereign movement that is sweeping the US.
  2. Cut the crap out of your diet – GMO and chemically enhanced food is no way to keep your family healthy. This is a big change to make, but will enhance your health in the long run. The easiest way to cut out foods that are full of hormones, antibiotics or considered gmo is to buy organic. A study recently noted that eating organic foods is more healthy than conventional foods. found that organics contain 18 to 69 percent higher concentrations of antioxidants. This means that an organic consumer will ingest the antioxidant equivalent of approximately two extra produce portions every day, without altering food intake. In your new diet, you should also steer clear of artificially colored or flavored food, non-organic milk and meat sources. As well, corn and soy are almost always GMO. Foods containing neurotoxins like MSG, fluoride, or aspartame (along with other artificial sweeteners) should be avoided. By switching to organic and natural foods you are letting all the commercial food sources out there that you object to chemicals being put in your foods. Think of it as a silent protest – and when they can’t get you to buy their product, they’ll take notice and make necessary changes.
  3. Support the bees – Our basic way of life is largely dependent on those little buzzing bees busily collecting food. Bees have been in sharp decline in North America and in parts of Europe over the last several years. Many believe multiple factors are to blame for colony collapses, a few being chemical-based fertilizers, climate change and invasive parasites that attack the hive. This is causing massive amounts of damage to insect-dependent agriculture. As a result, food shortages are on the rise and many experts are quickly trying to find ways to help the bees. Another way to support thriving bees is to follow in the footsteps of Oslo and help create a “bee highway” or feeding stations in urban areas to help feed the bees. “The idea is to create a route through the city with enough feeding stations for the bumblebees all the way,” Tonje Waaktaar Gamst of the Oslo Garden Society told local paper Osloby. ”Enough food will also help the bumblebees withstand man-made environmental stress better.”
  4. Start a garden – America was founded upon an agrarian lifestyle, and farmers were the driving force behind America. Currently, people are trying to find ways to move back to farming in order to grow their own food, to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on the government. In fact, by growing your own food, you cut down on trips to the grocery, thus cutting down on gasoline, carbon emissions and save some money in the process. As well, a lot of attention on yardfarming in suburbia has started becoming very popular in many parts of the United States. Yardfarmers converts unsustainable suburban developments, urban food deserts, or other neglected land into sustainable, more resilient opportunities for people while building community. How great would it be if the yardfarming movement popped up in your neck of the woods? If you can’t wait for the yardfarms, start a community garden. Community gardens encourage an urban community’s food security, allowing people to grow their own food. They bring urban gardeners closer in touch with the source of their food, and break down social isolation by encouraging community interaction.
  5. Sustainable landscaping – 60% of a person’s household water usage goes toward lawn and garden maintenance. During times of drought, our lawn and landscaping can become a bottomless pit where we are throwing away money to keep grass alive. Rather than spending exorbitant amounts of money to maintain landscaping, think outside of the box and choose a more sustainable form of landscaping. As well, consider growing native plants in your area. This will cut down on water usage and encourage native wildlife, insects, etc. to hang out in your yard.
  6. Only use organic fertilizers when gardening – Despite what some corporations want you to believe, chemicals are not good for plants. The application of glyphosate around the world has increased 15 fold since these Roundup Ready crops were first introduced in the 1990s. Roundup Ready crops have created a problem in agriculture that is similar to the problems caused by antibiotics, whose overuse has bred highly resistant strains of superbugs. The overuse of glyphosate has bred superweeds, which are resistant to the pesticide. And the more resistant they become, the more pesticides that farmers have to apply. It’s an endless cycle that farmers have no idea how to break out of. Composting organic material for the soil is a healthier alternative. With composting, you are utilizing aerobic and anaerobic decomposition processes to break down the compostable material and invite beneficial organisms to assist in the process. The end result is a full spectrum soil conditioner that has many benefits.
  • Compost contains macro and micronutrients often absent in synthetic fertilizers.
  • Compost releases nutrients slowly—over months or years, unlike synthetic fertilizers
  • Compost enriched soil retains fertilizers better. Less fertilizer runs off to pollute waterways.
  • Compost buffers the soil, neutralizing both acid & alkaline soils, bringing pH levels to the optimum range for nutrient availability to plants.
  • A compost tea can also be used as a foliar spray on the plant or poured into the soil.
  1. Some natural fertilizers can be found in your garbage and can be composted and turned into natural garden amendments. Banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds are great for the garden! You can feed the soil with some of these soil amenders, as well: earthworm castingsphosphatepowdered oyster shell, and green sand.

7. Water conservation – Did you know that if a household started conserving water, you can reduce your in-home water use by 35%? This means the average household, which uses 130,000 gallons per year, could save 44,000 gallons of water per year. Learning ways to practice the art of conserving water now, will help you make the most of your water sources. Here are 22 ways to start!

8. Use less packaging – We are all guilty of using zip-loc bags and throwing them away after each use. It’s so wasteful! Luckily, there are lots of alternatives available to us. Some favorites are these paper sandwich baggies or this re-useable velcro sandwich bag. Both will reduce that dreaded carbon footprint. As well, purchasing re-usable lunch containers like these eco-friendly stainless steel containers are great alternatives to plastic. There are some foods like potatoes and oranges that come in their own mesh packaging and knowing how to reuse packaging can simplify your life. In addition, purchase grocery bags that can be reused. This will cut down on having an excess of plastic bags.

Find Alternative Uses For Some of Your Trash

Some of the trash we collect can serve other purposes, and changing your mindset is also an essential sustainability skill. Learning the art of using what you have around you to live is the core of being self-reliant – and what many of us are trying to achieve. Here are 50 of the most common items thrown away and ways you can reuse them. Creativity and resourcefulness can go a long way if we need to rely on what we have around us.

Whether you want to believe it or not, our current way of living is not sustainable. We over consume are wasteful and there is a better, more sustainable way to life. We can’t keep going on like this and if each of us where to make some minor changes to how we live, the earth would already be a better place to live. Let’s make Earth a better place!

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Shoot Like a Sniper: Simple Tips to Hone Your Marksmanship

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SNIPERReadyNutrition guys and gals, this article is presented in the hopes of giving you a method for being able to practice your marksmanship both on the cheap and (logistically) under “friendly” surroundings.  There are a host of different air rifles to choose from.  I must state there has been a marked deterioration in the quality of air-powered (or pneumatic, if you prefer) firearms over the past thirty to forty years.  No matter: you can still accomplish what you need with what is on the market today.

Fundamentals of Markmanship

Air rifles can be either powered by Carbon Dioxide (CO 2) cartridges, or with an internal pneumatic pump, either with multiple pumps for increasing power or a single pump (as with “break-barrel” models of rifles).  For the most part your standard air guns come in either .177 or .22 caliber models.  Beeman offers one that has interchangeable barrels in both calibers, with the velocity decreasing slightly as the caliber is larger.

There are many things you can do with an air rifle from a hunting and survival perspective.  You can hunt small game quietly without the need for a suppressor if you’re doing it on the q-t, and ammo for it is both affordable and (when the SHTF) able to be reproduced simply (refer to the recent article I wrote on how to build your own forge).

The air rifle or air pistol fires pellets and/or BB’s (little ball bearings) that can be reused repeatedly.  There are several “trap” targets like this one available with replaceable buffer materials on the inside.  These targets enable you to collect your air rifle ammo and use it again.  It is a simple thing to set up a range within your own basement or out in your backyard with an air rifle or air pistol.  Although the motion of the weapon in terms of recoil is reduced from that of a rifle, the fundamentals of marksmanship are the same.  Here they are:


Breathing: Before you pull that trigger, you need to control your breathing, and optimally should pull immediately after you have exhaled

Aim: Self-explanatory, but it involves you zeroing on your target to line up your sights with your eyes and enable you to hit that bullseye.

Trigger squeeze: Should be accomplished with the very tip/end of your index finger, and should be a smooth, non-jerky action akin to squeezing a lemon


This article is not intended to cover rifle marksmanship in general; however, you get the picture.  Hand-eye coordination and the employment of these three fundamentals can be accomplished effectively with the air rifle.  There are several European and Korean firms that manufacture air rifles in “big bore” calibers that can take down large game, if you wish to pursue air rifle marksmanship further.  For starters, you can take your pick from Daisy, Crossman, Beeman, Benjamin, even Ruger, among others in the two mentioned calibers.

Just remember to lay out your range in a professional and safe manner.  Treat your air rifle as a firearm at all times, as it is a type of firearm that can hurt someone severely, or worse if misused or used in an unsafe manner.  As a field-expedient trap, you can even make one out of telephone books/directories mounted in the front of a carboard box.  These work better for BB’s, as the pellets are usually made of lead and the strike tends to deform them.  Safety glasses or goggles are also recommended, as a ricochet can come straight back in your direction.

The air rifle or air pistol are great tools to introduce your kids to principles of firearms safety and train them in marksmanship.  It is quality time spent with them, in which they will learn how to do things the right way before they are old enough to fire that .22 rifle or that Winnie ’94 for the first time.  Affordable and effective, the air rifle is an excellent training tool that you never really outgrow, and can enable you to have your own indoor range during the winter months that is both safe and cost-effective.  Be safe, take care of one another, and happy shooting!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

10 Selfless Acts Amid Terrible Tragedies That Will Blow Your Mind

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

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

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


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


10 Acts of Human Kindness to Restore Your Faith in Humanity

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

Ken Bellau

Image courtesy of People.com

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

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

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

Reverend Bennie Newton

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

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

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

The Canadian Town of Gander

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

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

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

Liviu Librescu

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

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

Hugh Thompson

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

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

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

Father Thomas Byles

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

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

The Choctaw Nation

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

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

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

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

The Institute of Plant Industry

Image source https://cdn.rbth.com

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

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

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

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

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

Takeshi Miura and Miki Endo

Image courtesy of rt.com

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

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

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

Lieutenant Friedrich Lengfeld

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

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

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

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

A Civilization Worth Saving

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

SHTF Preparedness: How to Mask Noise and Light Signitures

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This article is an introduction on how to mask the signatures of light and noise that are given off if not controlled.  We are talking primarily about a scenario taking place in the forest, but the techniques can also be applied to an urban setting.  The tougher one of the two to overcome is the noise; however, each poses a challenge that if not handled can lead to a problem when you wish to remain incognito in the field.

How to Diffuse Light in SHTF Environments

First let’s deal with light.  The reason light poses a problem is we need light to see optimally, but in using it at night, the light can be seen by others, giving our position away.  Flashlights and any kind of hand-held lantern, battery powered or otherwise are the main problems here.  There are a few simple ways to cut down on these signatures, and all of them take practice.

  1. No white lenses with movement: you need to obtain a red lens for your flashlight. This will not defeat NVD’s (night vision devices), but it will cut down on being compromised by the unwanted naked eye considerably.
  2. When using the flashlight, cover it up: preferably a poncho over top of yourself and the flashlight, to perform whatever task you need to accomplish when moving at night, such as checking your position on the map, or fooling with equipment of some kind. Keep that light covered.
  3. Adjust your eyes and learn to move in the dark without a flashlight: this will take some practice, and some people may not have the night vision abilities to perform it, especially those with eye problems. For everyone else, practice makes perfect.  Most nights have a little illumination and are not pitch dark (except for the New Moon and a day before and after).
  4. Smokers: you must hide the signature of the end of your cigarette. Through NVD’s it appears to be a flare going off from a distance.  Either cup it within your hands, or inside of an aluminum pouch, such as found with MRE’s (Meal Ready to Eat).  When you light that cigarette you also tend to give off a big signature.  Best thing I can tell you is to quit smoking and really nip it in the bud.  Not to mention the fact that you can smell a cigarette from several hundred feet away.

How to Minimize Noise Levels in Dangerous Situations

Noise is an entirely different animal.  We make noise as we walk.  We can’t help it.

What we can do, however, is control the amount of noise we make…and reduce the amount that would give away our position.  You must practice noise discipline in order to perfect it!  Looking where you walk and where you take your next step is key.  Be keenly observant of where you are moving and through what.  Are you facing a large area covered in dry leaves, with dry weather?  Are there dried branches and twigs strewn all over the place?

How about sticker bushes and nettles in the summertime?  If you’re not crushing them underfoot, how about if one of them whips you across the face?  Unless you are prepared to take the pain of it, you may yell, curse, or cry out.  You should practice moving through all of these different types of substances.  In addition, how about the noise made just as a consequence of your movement?

Many people carry so much stuff, such as keys, change in their pockets, etc., that they mimic a tambourine when they walk.  Let’s not forget our happy, singing, laughing, chirping tracking devices…our cell phones.  Your cell phones: I don’t use one.  You can believe when Uncle Ed tries to reach you or you get a call from Gram-gram, or some other family member, and you’re out in the woods?  The whole world (animal, vegetable, and human) will hear that ringtone.  Clattering gear that is rattling around, the sounds of trampled branches and vegetation, the occasional grunt in fatigue or pain…all of these will give you away.

Any and all of your rattling gear needs to be silenced.  Everything that is loose must be tied down and secured.  This is not just prudent: this is survival.  “What is the situation?” you may ask.

The situation is anything: our happy “Betty Crocker/Holly Hobby” society can change with the blink of an eye into “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy.

Choose the situation.  The situation is unimportant.  What is important here is that you ensure noise and light discipline in order to avoid being obsequious and potentially to evade a pursuer.  Practice walking at night in the woods, and listen to yourself.  When you’re stationary, practice listening to the things that are around you.  If you’re patient and open your eyes, ears, and mind, the woods will come alive for you. Your senses will experience what your normal Western-Consumer marketing environment deadens them to.

Learn to pace yourself by the amount of noise you make and also practice leaving fewer tracks and/or a trail.  Practice negotiating close (thickly-vegetated) terrain and making as little noise as possible.  Skills need practice in order to master them.  Now that the weather is warming up, try some training that won’t cost you anything except time and effort to master these skills.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Seize the Moment: How Preppers Can Maximize Their Training Time

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Readers, many of you have been involved in prepping and survival activities for a long time.  The line from the Mel Gibson “The Patriot” Movie by Chris Cooper exemplifies the mindset we need: “Stay the course.”  Perhaps this is an oversimplification for a complex stance, however, sometimes in simplicity lies clarity…and when you’re clear and uncomplicated in your purpose?  It may help you to organize more effectively.  Your training is what we’re talking about in this article.  You are responsible for your training and the analysis of how effective it is.

There were a lot of things we did in the Army that (if mimicked or duplicated) would serve you well individually and as a family unit.  I did an article that emphasized how important it is to make every member of your family learn, and (eventually) perform as an instructor.  This piece is for an emphasis on you as an individual.  If you strengthen your abilities as an individual, then it makes it that much easier when you teach, lead, and train your family as a group.

We had a thing in the Army called “hip pocket training,” that (when as a group we had some down time, such as when we were all sitting around ready to go through a range, or an exercise) we would take that “down” time and try to fill it with something productive.  A lot of soldiers didn’t particularly like it, however, these were the ones who didn’t want to be proactive with their time or their military career.  During this down time, we would gather in small groups and study different subjects on the cusp…unprepared training…such as our Sergeants taking us through a 9-paragraph operations order from memory, or doing some practice disassembling and assembling weapons…blindfolded, and for time.

Maximize Your Training

The point: to make maximum and effective use of our time.  The ones who weren’t shortsighted could see that this contributed to battle readiness.

I have written this before, and I’ll mention it again: How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

What does this mean for you?  Well, to make maximum and effective use of your time.  This will involve some planning on your part.  What do you usually do on your “down time” during a workday?  Do you have the standard, ½ hour unpaid lunch break, or do you have an hour?  Do you set your own schedule and have (perhaps) some open or slow time in the morning that lasts an hour?  And then again in the afternoon?  How far do you live from work?  A long commute?

These are questions you can ask yourself to ascertain your free, or open spots that you can fill productively with some type of training.  We’re not talking about physical training or exercise…that is something entirely different, and your time with weightlifting or calisthenics needs to be a time that you concentrate only on that.  If you have a long commute to work (a drive of half an hour or more), why not put in an instructional cassette tape or CD with language lessons on it?  This is a good way to fill up that time and brush up on your Spanish or French.

So, that doesn’t seem like much?  Well, guess what?  If you have that half hour per morning…that would be 2 ½ hours per week.  With 52 weeks in a year, that would be 126 total hours, or 5 whole days of listening.  Do you know how much positive reinforcement that would yield?  Just listening passively to something such as that?  Can do you nothing but good.

Then on the return trip home, switch it off to something else equally productive.  Any subject under the sun…if it’s proactive and you’re learning something.  Maximum and effective use of your time is the goal…not to punch a clock, but to fill it with something that will benefit you.  Ben Franklin: “The best way to kill time is to work it to death.”

Those long lunch breaks?  Put your nose in a book for 15 minutes or so.  If you get a full hour, then even take one of those little portable DVD players with something instructional…it can be anything from gunsmithing to herbal remedies…first aid to land navigation.  Do this for four days on your lunch break.  Make that 5th day of lunch an “open” day…to fill it with either some type of reading, watching, or listening program, or to plan your training for the weekend and the coming week.

If you’re fortunate enough to work with a like-minded friend, well, get them involved. Why not?  “Iron sharpens iron,” we’re all so fond of saying.  How about living it?  Find a coworker with similar interests and bring up a thing to do for training for the pair of you.  Get him or her involved: get them to set up a time where they train you with something.

There are no limits to the scope of your training calendar except those you impose upon it.  That imposition can be through inactivity or procrastination.  Don’t do either.  Seize the moment, seize the day.  You can also give yourself 15 to 30 minutes each day before you go to work, and then again when you come home.  The bottom line: it really adds up to something in the end.  If you stick a dollar in a coffee can with the lid taped on through a slit in the top and don’t touch it for three years…if you do it every day…after three years, you’ll have over a thousand dollars.

Same principle here.  If you invest in yourself by filling your time with things that will fill you and improve you…then you’ll have something to show for it when you look at it down the road.  Training is important: to learn new things and to sharpen old skills and make them “current” again.  Let’s take a small scenario, say someone who lives in upstate New York.

Do you know French?  If you had to flee to Canada in the middle of the night, do you speak French well enough to get by?  Does your family…the wife and two teenage kids…do they speak French?  Do you know your route?  Ooops, an EMP just busted overhead, and New York City went dark, too…it became a glowing hole.  Did you stash stuff in Faraday cages?  Have your compass?  Are you guys ready to start that ’56 Ford pickup truck and roll out of there?

If you’ve trained and prepared for all that stuff, then it will make things easier (even if not less stressful) and give you an edge.  Take the time to make a definitive training plan that will allow you to maximize the amount of “free” time that you have…and then execute that plan.  The best plan in the world is of no use if you don’t use it when the time comes.  The time is now: time to formulate your training goals and implement them.  It has to do with your survival and the survival of your family.  Need it be emphasized any more than that?  So, buckle down, study and work hard, and implement that training plan, as the world is not becoming either any nicer or safer.  Stay the course, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Could This Be the Most Versatile Firearm to Use in a SHTF Scenario?

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Well, ReadyNutrition firearms enthusiasts, we are following up our .45 ACP article with another piece on a superb cartridge…the .357 magnum round.  Invented by Phil Sharpe and Elmer Keith, the .357 magnum (hereafter referred to in this piece as the “.357”) is a very versatile and highly-dependable cartridge that has been around for almost one hundred years.  Introduced in 1935, it is an “evolution,” so to speak from the .38 caliber round.  It has an interesting history that should raise more than a few eyebrows.

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During the Depression Days and the Bootlegging Era, the .357 magnum was developed (one of the reasons) because of the gangsters and gang wars that were rampant during the days of Prohibition.  The round was needed to be able to “puncture” both bulletproof vests and automobiles during these skirmishes of cops and robbers.  The vests were defeating any bullets (at the time) of under 1,000 feet per second (fps), and the only round that was overcoming them was the Colt’s .38 Super Automatic.

Smith and Wesson came along and jumped on the bandwagon.  They wanted to expand the .38 cartridge that was in use by law enforcement.  After many failures, the .357 finally came about.  For those of you guys and gals that mentioned in e-mails and comments about the recoil (“kick”) of the .45 ACP, the .357 magnum has less recoil, and yet does not sacrifice stopping power to attain it.  Your bullet weights range (generally) from 125 grains (gr) to 158 gr.

The .357 is an excellent cartridge for home defense, as well as for hunting and for target-shooting.  It is the smallest size magnum cartridge that will have effect against large game, and if firing +P rounds (with a brand such as Buffalo Bore), can be used in self-defense against large predators.  Mind you, in Grizzly country you prefer the .44 Magnum round, but the .357 +P round has been effective in stopping these monsters.

There are plenty of handguns and rifles to choose from for your cartridge.  I highly recommend Ruger’s SP-101 series revolver, with a barrel length to your choosing.  Although a five-shot revolver, that .357 is a serious round…a magnum round…and will more than serve your needs if your marksmanship fundamentals are followed.  You can find lever-action rifles chambered in .357 magnum, such as the Marlin lever-action carbine.  One that I am interested in is the Rossi Ranch Hand, that boasts a greatly-enlarged finger-loop for use by cattlemen and cowboys.

The Ranch Hand can be kept in a side sheath on a horse and then withdrawn to fire from a moving gallop and reloaded (re-levered) with the enlarged finger loop.  My interest is to remove the loop and replace it with a more standard-sized finger loop such as is found in the Winnie ’94.  The reason is because it is really a short carbine.  I was thinking of doing this to stick in a sheath atop of my rucksack.  I’m still deliberating, because the Ranch Hand also comes in a .44 Magnum cartridge.  I like both rounds for bear and mountain lion country.

The .357 cartridge is easily acquired and simple to reload.  You are getting the accuracy of a 9mm cartridge with a stopping power on a level with a .45 ACP.  Your velocity of the rounds is approximately 1,300 fps.  Want another “Bennie” for this equation?  No, not Benzedrine…a Benefit!  If you have a firearm that will fire a .357 magnum round, you are (99% of the time) also able to fire a .38 round through it, such as a standard .38 Special round!  There’s a plus for you…as you’ll have a weapon that can fire multiple calibers without a barrel change.


Caution!  It doesn’t work in reverse: your .38 is NOT able to handle the extra chamber pressure from the .357 magnum round! 


I’m highlighting, underlining, and isolating that sentence just so that you keep it in mind for your safety.  The ammo is very reasonably-priced and can be obtained in your friendly Wal-Mart quite availably and affordably.  It’s a good piece for men or women and the round will serve your needs well.  The .357 magnum round is quite reliable and has been dependable for a long time.  Happy and safe shooting, and we’d love any questions or comments you may send us.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Post-Disaster Wellness: Why Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments Should Be Avoided

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Hey there, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  We are going to discuss how alcohol affects your physical training, and what physiological effects you must take into consideration.  Please understand: I am not “demonizing” alcohol or alcoholic beverages, and am not scoffing or scorning anyone who partakes in them in a normal, healthy manner.  Indeed, the scope of this article is not “moralistic,” nor am I a spokesperson for abstinence.  The intent is to explain how alcohol diminishes your recovery time and performance regarding your physical training.

You, the readers are a very demographically-diverse group from all walks of life and all ages, some with special health care needs.  I implore all of you to analyze your status and with your doctor come up with an exercise program for yourself.


Physical training and exercise are your best tools for preparation, along with proper study, diet, and rest.


Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol in High Stress Environments

That being said, why am I writing about alcohol affecting training?  I do so because the proverbial “two drinks,” as well as the “after dinner drink,” and the “after work drink” are pervasive in our society and culture.  The Super Bowl just finished up, with hardly anything in the ads for your physical training, but a barrage from Budweiser to drink beer.  Consider me a quiet voice on the sideline, little more than a whisper in your ear recommending the physical training.

Alcohol deposits fat in your midsection, and also has a wasting effect on the thigh and gluteal muscles.  There was a study in 2000 done published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that found cortisol (a hormone we discussed in previous articles) rose 61% when alcohol was consumed after strenuous physical activity.  The reason for this significance: many people have physically-demanding jobs and wish to “wind down” with a beer or two, or a shot after work.

The cortisol (usually produced with stress) has an adverse effect on muscle maintenance and muscle growth.  See, alcohol has an effect that has gravitated man toward it throughout history: it holds similar effects to the drug Valium (or Diazepam, if you prefer) with calming, anxiety-relieving effects.  It also releases dopamine and endorphins within the first 20 minutes of consumption, substances that enhance pleasure when released by the brain…and in this effect, alcohol is almost akin to opium.

With low doses, alcohol increases stimulation in certain brain areas and the central nervous system, leading to feelings of euphoria.  So, with all of this, you may be thinking…shouldn’t I be taking an occasional drink of alcohol in conjunction with training?  The answer is an unequivocal “No!” on all counts.

Alcohol has the ability to severely depress brain function by interfering with the ion channels needed to fire neurons…that is, allow your brain to communicate to and with other important parts of your body…such as respiration, heart, motor control, and so forth.  Far from being a “sleep aid,” it can rob you of REM.  No, not the band from the late 80’s to early 90’s…but Rapid-Eye Movement sleep.  Alcohol can hurt your sleeping habits.  To say nothing of your love life.

Chronic consumption of alcohol is a libido-killer in both men and women.  It seriously lowers testosterone levels in men, and causes the testicles to shrink, as well as promoting impotence.  If you read the article I recently wrote for men on the importance of maintaining healthy levels of testosterone with weight and physical training, you’ll understand just how negative these alcohol-induced reductions are.

Alcohol increases the amount of recovery time that you need to heal and restore your muscles after hard physical labor or exercise.  Your liver works hard to excrete the alcohol and the toxins associated with it.  A substantial amount of energy is also needed to break down the molecules and process them.  If you work out for an hour in the gym and then go and have a beer or a glass of wine, you have just ruined or severely cramped the gains you may have experienced.

Tissue repair and the uptake of amino acids are also severely hampered by alcohol consumption.  Studies in the past have shown that a glass of wine will lower the triglycerides in the bloodstream and help prevent blood clotting.  This is true, but guess what?  So will a regular exercise program!  You can lower those triglycerides and build yourself up!  Alcohol also tends to reduce the uptake of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin C and calcium with long-term consumption.

Will it kill you or cripple you to have a drink every now and then, such as once a month?  Consult with your doctor first, but it probably will not harm you.  I still stand by the fact that you don’t really need it, and it can cause your training and physical fitness regimen to suffer.  I haven’t even mentioned the other negative effects that heavy drinking can cause, but you can figure them out if you haven’t experienced them yourself.

To summarize, alcohol has its uses and is not a “villain,” and neither are people who consume it responsibly villains.  Just keep in mind that this piece is not designed to “excoriate” alcohol, but to keep you informed of the negative effects it can have on your physical fitness training when it is consumed.  Feel stressed?  Put on the bag gloves and beat up the heavy bag for ten or fifteen minutes.  If you still feel that you need a drink, well, then down a big shake full of amino acids…that’ll serve you better!  Stay healthy, make gains, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Mental Preparedness: These Mental Gymnastics Will Sharpen the Mind

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this segment has to do with some simple things that you can do on a daily basis to keep your mind fresh and avoid the ravages of aging much better.  Naturally there is a lot to do with heredity and genes that go into such ailments as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that you cannot control.  You can do some things that will help to prevent these ailments from affecting you, and they are simple remedies that take up little time and cost almost nothing.

Numerous (almost innumerable) medical studies throughout the decades have revealed that the more active you keep your mind, the greater your mind will function in the years to come.  The mind isn’t a “muscle,” however, it is an organ that can be developed, conditioned, and exercised in order to carry out preventative maintenance.  Your risk factors for decreased cognitive function are improper diet, consumption of alcohol and/or legal or illegal drugs, inadequate sleep, overwork, and high stressors.

Meditation (as outlined in numerous articles at ReadyNutrition) is a way to help your mind overcome the stressors, and I had recommended it at least twice per day: once in the morning, and once in the evening.  Meditation can be in complete silence, or listening to quiet, soothing, relaxing music.  I may not have mentioned it before, so I will add regarding music that it should be instrumental in nature.  The music should be of a type that is soothing and relaxing without any words.  The reason for this is that lyrics and words tend to steer your mind toward something and make it think in a manner that is not necessarily relaxing.

When you listen to light or soft classical music, or musical instruments with soft tones and no singing, you free your mind from the human “word,” so to speak: you don’t introduce into your mind something that will cause it to focus upon or associate it with a concept embodied within the word or words.  Meditation is a time for your mind to escape from the confines of day-to-day activity and to relax, not be channeled into some form that limits it and perhaps even adds more stress by associating thoughts that are negative with a word that may happen to pop up in the song with lyrics.

So, that is what can be done to relax your mind.  Now let us discuss what you can do to strengthen it.  Some things may interest you, and some may not.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.  Reading is very beneficial to mental acumen.  When you get up in the morning, it can be a very productive stimulus toward beginning the day.  When you go to bed, reading just before going to sleep can help you to fall asleep more quickly and smoothly.  Before I go to sleep, I try not to read anything that can be classified as “current event” oriented, or day-to-day news/problematic.  I try to read short stories and light fare that enable my mind to rest.  Perhaps this will work for you.  Short stories by Jack London, or Ray Bradbury, or such are some ideas.

Next, we have exercises that we can perform mentally.  Crossword puzzles, word quiz books, mathematics problems, and word trivia books are excellent tools to use to fine-hone your mental “gymnastics” and practice “exercising” your brain.  Research this on your own, but it is proven that such things help to strengthen your thought processes and “work” your brain productively.  They stimulate mental activity.  The brain has billions of cells and neurons that in many ways “atrophy” from lack of use, misuse, or abuse, the latter especially when drugs or alcohol are introduced into your system.

It is part of your preparedness for your later years…not just right now, while you’re young and either resemble Payton Manning or Emily Blunt in youth and strength.  You’re doing these things to prepare for later, to keep your mind healthy later in life.  When you do these word challenges, keep a dictionary beside you and look up any word that you don’t know or understand.  In addition to strengthening your mind, you will be increasing your vocabulary and learning new things.

Just as a “matter of fact,” I tend to pick up the dictionary each day and look up words…either to confirm what I already know, or to find a new one that I haven’t heard or one that I’ve forgotten about.  Inadvertently, I always end up looking at multiple definitions and cross-referencing what I was originally searching for with other words in the dictionary.  A good dictionary has a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

Word games such as “Boggle” or “Scrabble” are games you can play with your family to work on the concept as a team.  It is a cheap but productive way to spend an evening, and translates into true quality family time.  In addition, you are all going to benefit from the increased vocabulary use (especially the kids), and the fun of challenging one another with the words.  In this last case, a “weird” word is attempted and you find out whether it is really a legitimate word or not by using the dictionary.  I stress it is not a way to “kill” time, but a way to invest your time in something that is worthwhile.

So, present challenges to yourself each day that are beneficial challenges with the development of your mental acumen.  Sharpen each other’s “iron,” and you’ll find that your mind will work better and more efficiently.  It is something that will benefit you both in the short term, and in the long run.  Take care of one another!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Prepared Home: 5 Prepper Projects to Start in the Spring

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, as many of you know, planning is an important aspect of emergency preparedness. Each year, you should make new plans and practice your new skills. I wrote an article a little while back about planning (and possibly starting) an icehouse/root cellar during the wintertime.  As of this writing, spring is just around the corner (officially), and the cold weather is starting to retreat bit by bit.  We’re going to cover a few ideas for you to pursue during the spring months for building projects around your property.  Let’s jump right into it, with a description of the projects and the reason for building them.

Here are 5 Prepper Projects You Can Start in the Spring

  1. The Icehouse: As mentioned in the earlier article.  If you plan on doing it, you may just have at least 2-3 weeks where you can obtain some freezing temperatures.  This would behoove you to act, if you rent out a small backhoe and dig your cellar/icehouse.  Remember to go below the frost-line!  Fill up bins with water and let them freeze.  When the icehouse is finished, fill it up with these huge blocks of ice.  Sawdust is an excellent insulator, as is pine mulch (brown needles, not green, if you use needles).
  2. The Greenhouse: If you don’t have one, well, now’s the time to put one into place just before it’s time to plant and sprout your seedlings. There are almost innumerable styles and sizes to choose from.  Once again, you have about a month to get that baby up and running. Here is one greenhouse project you can do for less than $300. As well, consider the convenience of cold frames to get a head start on your garden.
  3. Underground (hidden) vault/cache point: Now this one will take a little bit of explaining. Once again, going below the frost-line, the key here will be to make a little “room,” so to speak, under the ground.  Make a foundation of gravel after you’ve dug out a cubicle/rectangular chamber.  Position this away from the house, where some government clown with a metal detector will not tread.  All the same, you can pick up a precast concrete module, or make it out of a culvert pipe.  You want to cover it up in the end with about 6” of earth, so that it’s not too much that you can’t get through it in the wintertime.  If you’re interested and indicate so in the comments, I can give you a good plan that I know works in a future article.
  4. Storage shed: Yes, build your own, if you have the time and resources.  Those pre-made sheds for sale in the building supply big-box stores cost a fortune.  You can do better by stick-building it out of 4” x 4” s and 6” x 6” s with pressure-treated plywood.  Make sure all your lumber is pressure-treated.  When you’re done, make your roof out of corrugated steel instead of shingles…it’ll save you time and energy during the winter with snow removal.
  5. Smokehouse: Now’s the time to prep that smokehouse for meat…months (or many moons, if you prefer!) before hunting season comes around again. This will involve perhaps the emplacement of a wood stove or the creation of a barbecue pit-type structure.  There are plenty of plans and diagrams on the Internet that you can weigh and balance against your needs.

This is the time to lay out all of your plans and figure out what materials you will be using and the costs for all of them.  In our rigidly-controlled social structures, there may even be a friendly government permit man or inspection man to meet…to find out how much they will take out of you before you start building.  Factor all of this into consideration prior to actually building, as it will alleviate headaches later.  You may want to do some smaller projects, such as a place to store firewood, or a small toolshed or such.  Do not allow the 5 mentioned in this article to dissuade you from some kind of project in the good weather for building.

Hopefully the weather will warm up soon, but this is an excellent time to lay the groundwork for what you have been thinking of building during the winter months.  The only limit is your imagination and to actually take action on the project.  The best plans in the world are only plans until they’re executed.  Here’s hoping you have some good weather and start the ball rolling on whatever project you decide.  Let me know about that item #3 above, and you keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Preppers – If You Aren’t Doing This Annually, You Won’t Be Disaster Ready

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Well, it may seem cliché to say that spring is right around the corner, as in most of the U.S. there’s still plenty of snow on the ground.  Winter still seems “deep” to some (especially Yours Truly, as I have almost 3’ of snow on the ground), and the cold weather has not broken.  Nevertheless, everyone out there in ReadyNutrition Land, the early bird gets the worm.  I’m referring to all your gear that you’ll be breaking out soon when the cold weather breaks.

Stay on top of your prepper gear 

Maintenance

Your gear can best be maintained according to a maintenance schedule and you can get a start on it now.  Some preppers do it twice a year when Daylight Savings Time hits. But it’s more than giving it a glance and it doesn’t just mean cleaning it.  It also means inspecting it for serviceability and function.  It means making sure that it’s well organized and that you can pick it up at a moment’s notice to “rock and roll” with it…be out the door and on the moor!  You can’t do that unless it’s ready.  Let’s discuss it, shall we?

How’s that rucksack?  If you’re the way I am, you absolutely hate anything that can detract from your load-carrying capabilities.  Inspect that rucksack!  Has it been sitting out in the garage or in the basement, on the cement floor?  I hope not.  Are your straps in order, and are there any signs of dry-rot, mildew, or water damage?  You need to find that out now, and even more:


Preppers – The time to find out about deficiencies was yesterday, and there should be a “zero defects” policy regarding them.


What does this mean?  If you’re serious about survival and prepping, and you really want to survive a disaster/SHTF scenario when it happens (notice I wrote “when” and not “if”), then you’ll be on top of this…all the time.  The conditions for the rucksack I mentioned should never occur.  They won’t occur if you follow a regular schedule of checking it and correcting anything that surfaces.  For the nylon on your rucksack you can use a shoeshine brush or a medium to stiff bristle brush to clean off any dirt and dust.  Maintain the straps in the same way.

Dirt or mud, clean it off…if it’s not easy with the brush, then take some warm water on a clean towel or rag and “damp scrub” it off.  The nylon of the straps and the pack clean up well, but you don’t want to leave it too damp.  Always place the rucksack off the floor.  Don’t allow it to contact the floor surface.  Inspect the connecting points of the ruck, and inspect every piece that snaps or buckles.  Everything should be clean and working.  Canteens should be emptied and dried to prevent funk from going inside of them, or (as JJ does) if you’re going to store water in them the water needs to be changed periodically (say every month) to keep the “grand Funk railroad” from slipping in.

Familiarization

This may seem an oxymoron, however, unless you have a photographic memory you’re going to have a hard time remembering how you packed your gear…what is where.  One way to solve this (as I mentioned in other articles) is to keep an inventory sheet of everything, listed on an actual diagram of your rucksack.  This enables you to look at the diagram of the ruck and see how it’s made…where the pouches are, etc. …and know exactly what is in it.  Guess what?  It won’t be enough, because when you change seasons (in this case, Winter to Spring) you should have a full layout of all of your equipment you will tote.

Why?  For accountability (know that everything you think you have you actually have), and for serviceability (to know it is all in working order).  Along with that rucksack is that jungle hammock, that one-man tent and all of its accoutrements, flashlights, radios (don’t open that tube and find leaking batteries!), and all of your other gear and gadgets.

If it all comes to a halt, you don’t have the time to do all of this…and it’s on you…nobody else.

Tents have those “friction rods.”  How would you like to find out when you’re in the middle of a torrential downpour and setting up the dome that the friction rods are “ganked,” or broken?  Or you want to open up that poncho and string the bungees at the corners and top…a temporary shelter…and find that the vinyl is all eaten up from some kind of acid or rot, and there’s a giant hole in it?


Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


If you follow a regular schedule of inspection and maintenance, you won’t have a “can of snakes” spring open on you.  This seems overly simplistic, but it is the way of mankind to procrastinate…to move toward the path of least resistance.  It is the way of all of us…and what makes us win?  The ability to be able to fight that part of our natures and discipline ourselves…make ourselves do what it is that is right to do, although we don’t feel like doing it.  Your gear should be clean, serviceable, well-organized, and accounted for…in its place and you know exactly where it is.

I’ll fill you in on one of my techniques.  When I come across someone, I can assess them in an instant if they carry.  If I ask them to look at their weapon and it is rusted or dirty, or it has carbon on it, and is un-lubed?  Then I need know no more.  But if the bluing is worn-down where points of contact meet the holster…and it’s cleaned and oiled…and the holster appears a little worn, but clean and serviceable…I know that one “draws,” cleans the weapon…is one with it.  That individual I remember.

It’s a standard that I hold myself to every day.

In the 82nd Airborne, we had a saying (a mantra, if you prefer): “My weapon, my equipment, and me.”

Sound overly simplistic?  No, it’s ordered…I kept it with me in Special Forces…I keep it with me now.  My weapon’s continuity ensures that I can continue if under fire.  My equipment and gear enables me to live, to be sheltered, to carry food, medicine, and supplies.  These two taken care of, then I must take care of myself…eating, rest, and hygiene, along with physical conditioning.

See how much is in it when you take a really good look?  But I’m not trying to berate you, the Readers in any way.  I’m trying to give you of myself…in lessons paid for with time, experience, and much grief to learn them correctly.

Because iron sharpens iron, and in order to survive, you must be made of steel…you and your family.  Yes, President Trump is in, and we’re “riding the crest” of an upswing.  Remember: all is fleeting, and it can all change in the blink of an eye. Don’t blink for too long, or the moment will have passed.  You must prioritize.  Prep your equipment now, before the Spring hits, and follow a regular program of maintenance and inspection.  Be steel.  You can do it.  Fight that good fight, and fight it to win.  JJ out!

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Prepare for Job Loss

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Recently, a large grocery chain closed its store in our area.  I spoke with some of the employees and expressed my dismay that they were closing.  Although some of the workers managed to transfer to another branch, many were let go.  During the same week I found out that My Fit Foods a popular prepared food chain, abruptly closed all their stores nationwide, leaving many employees jobless.  I felt bad hearing about people […]

The post How to Prepare for Job Loss appeared first on Apartment Prepper.

10 Awesome Tips You Never Knew About Using Wood Stoves That May Change Your Life

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, we’re having a heatwave out here in Montana…it’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit while I’m writing this.  I hope you guys and gals are nice and warm and you have a good wood stove in front of you keeping it so.  You recall I wrote one on wood stoves not too long ago, and I wanted to supplement this for a few more things you can do with yours.  Aside from using wood stoves to stay warm and cook food on, here are a few tips you never knew on how to get the most out of your wood stove.

10 Ways to Make the Most of a Wood Stove

Ashes

One of the things you should consider is the potash that comes from your stove.  Yes, all that wood turns into ashes that can be recycled and used.  One of the things that you can do is to store them in a container (preferably a metal one that has a tightly-fitting lid) and use them later for producing your own soap.  The ashes are boiled down in water (yes, this too can be done on your wood stove!), and combined with lye and other ingredients.

Your ashes can also be used for metal polishing, for the likes of metals such as brass and silver.  It works really well straight up, or mixed with just a few drops of water.  The ashes can also be combined with your compost piles and used as a form of fertilizer to replace many valuable minerals and nutrients that comes from carboniferous materials being burned.  Why do you suppose a new forest sprouts up in a few years after a forest fire?   All of that burned wood goes into the soil and enriches it.  You can turn it into your gardens when you’re planting in the springtime for the same effect.

Charcoal

Charcoal is another product that you can take from your wood stove.  Used for a variety of things besides just cooking, charcoal can also be finely-crushed and added to your ash supply to make soap.  It can be set aside for use as cooking material or a fire-starting ingredient and even used to clean teeth.  Charcoal can also be used to filter water (see previous articles on water purification).

Soot

There’s also soot from the chimney (although you’ll probably have to wait until springtime to obtain it when you brush your chimney pipe).  Soot is the black substance formed by the combustion of your wood in the stove.  This is fine particulate matter that adheres to your pipe walls, and is blackened, consisting mainly of carbon that has not been completely burned. Soot is responsible for many chimney fires.  Soot can be mixed (in small quantities as needed) with a little bit of vegetable oil and some water to make your own ink.  A type of soot is called lampblack, and is used in enamels, paints, and inks from a commercial perspective.

That soot also has a great deal of unburned oils and resins in it (especially if you burn a lot of pine…don’t scoff…if you live in the Rockies, you will burn pine unless your last name is Rockefeller, believe me).  The oils, resins, and unburned carbon are excellent to mix with things such as sawdust and lint, with some wax for fire starters for the wood stove or camping and backpacking.

Dehydrate Food

The top of the stove is great for dehydrating food as well.  You have recipes from ReadyNutrition for pemmican and jerky.  You can make your own on top of the stove with small-aperture wire racks…of the type to cool off hot sandwiches and the like.  Lay your meat on top of the wood stove top on the racks and allow that heat to dry them right out.

We’d love to hear any suggestions of things that you have found to do with your wood stoves (along with heating your home and cooking, of course).  It is all part of your preps and homesteading and learning to economize and obtain the maximum use for all of the materials you have at your disposal.  Explore some of these and let us know what you think, as well as things you have discovered on your own.  Keep up that good fight, drink a good cup of coffee, and stay warm!

 

JJ

 

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

MARCH9G

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Totally Insane Things That Will Happen If Our Power Grid Goes Down

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power gridImagine if you will, what would happen if you pulled an American family from the 19th century, and plopped them in the middle of downtown Los Angeles during rush hour. They’re not given a warning, they’re not given any kind of primer on what they’re about to experience, and the occurrence is completely inexplicable. How long do you suppose they would last before they cried uncle? Would they even survive? The odds probably aren’t so good.

Of course, the reverse is probably also true. If you and your family were wrenched from the comforts of the present and hurled back into a previous era, you might not fare so well either. Your survival odds would probably be a little better since you have hindsight and an understanding of germ theory. However, it would still be a pretty alien world for you. It would be littered with pitfalls that most modern people can’t even imagine.

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

6 Totally Insane Things That Will Happen If Our Power Grid Goes Down

And that’s why it’s so important for everyone to prepare for the possibility that one day our grid could go down in a big way, whether it be from a terrorist attack, cyber attack, nuclear war, or solar flare. If our society suffered a widespread power failure that lasted for weeks or months, it would be no different for us than if we were suddenly sent back to the 1800’s. It would be a strange and dangerous world, and for the average person, it would catch them off guard in the following ways:

  1. All commerce will cease. The ATMs won’t work, the banks won’t open, and the cash registers won’t…well, register. For a while cash will be king, but if the crisis goes on for more than a few weeks, then people will view it as worthless. We’d be back to a barter economy in short order.
  2. Communications will shut down. If you think you can rely on your cell phone to work in a disaster, think again. In a crisis, when everyone instinctively reaches for their phone, that limit is quickly surpassed and the radios on the tower get sluggish, thus causing the fast-busy signal. Mobile analysts estimates that a cell site can handle 150 to 200 calls per second per sector. When a large group are making calls at the same time, the network can’t handle the amount of calls. More importantly, communications with police, firefighters, and ambulance services will cease. Many of the workers in these positions will try to soldier on, and keep doing the best job that they can for as long as they can. However, without ordinary citizens calling them to report crimes and emergencies, they’ll be helplessly watching their communities burn down around them. It won’t be long before they give up, ditch their posts, and return to their families.
  3. Without electricity, all forms of fuel that our society relies on will stop flowing. All of our vehicles will be dead in the water, and more importantly, the trucks will stop delivering food. The grocery stores will be stripped bare in hours, and will not be replenished for a long time. Even if you live in an area that is rich in agricultural resources, there may be no food to be had, since those farms rely on fertilizers and farming equipment that must be delivered by trucks.
  4. And of course many of those farms will lack water, as will your plumbing. For a couple of days after the power goes out, you’ll still have running water since water towers rely on gravity to feed the water to your home. However, electricity is required to clean that water and pump it into the tower. Once it’s out, that means that you won’t be able to flush your toilet. So not only dehydration be a major threat, but without the ability to remove human waste or wash your hands, every community will face daunting sanitation problems.
  5. When the grocery stores are stripped bare, the pharmacies won’t be far behind. Millions of people who rely on life saving medications could die in the weeks and months that follow. But perhaps more shocking is what would happen to the people who aren’t using drugs that are immediately life saving. 13% of Americans are using opioid drugs, which are highly addictive and cause horrendous withdrawal symptoms. Another 13% of Americans are on antidepressants, and likewise, the withdrawal symptoms are pretty problematic. In other words, within a few weeks after the grid collapses, about 25% of your neighbors are going to be in an awful mental state that is not conducive for survival.
  6. And finally, one of the most shocking things that people will have to deal with, is the lack of GPS. The GPS satellites will probably keep running, but eventually the devices that read those signals will give up the ghost. These days people are pretty reliant on GPS for directions, and there aren’t as many paper maps lying around. The average person is going to be utterly lost if the grid goes down.

In summary, law and order will break down at every level, and death will be around every corner. It’s one thing to grow up and live in an era that lacks electricity, but to be sent back to such a time on a moments notice would be one of the most challenging things that a person accustomed to modern amenities would ever face.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why Preppers Should Focus on Diversifying Firearm Calibers

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Ready Nutrition Readers, as you may have deduced from the title, this piece is a recommendation to acquire firearms of diverse calibers.  Let us discuss some of the calibers and the reasons why it is prudent to prepare in such a manner.  I’m not recommending any particular firearm, per se, except in one instance here that I’ll cover later for a reason that will be self-explanatory.

Firstly, forget about what will happen in the SHTF event.  Whatever it is, the reason for preparing by obtaining diversities among firearms calibers is to ensure you can obtain ammo for it.  This is not detracting from reloading whatsoever.  I guarantee, however, that situations will arise in which you have to load a firearm and don’t have time to sit around with your RCBS “Rock Chucker” press or your Lee Handloader.  You have a need to employ a firearm at the moment, and time is of the essence.

Common calibers ensure that you will usually have ammo for the weapon no matter where you go.  This is one of the reasons it is advantageous to own an AR-15.  Personally, I hate ‘em, because after 200 rounds or so, you have to clean the carbon off of them.  The AR-15 is so finely-tuned with so little leeway between moving parts such as the bolt group and bolt carrier that any severe carbon buildup is almost intolerable to firing the weapon.  That being said, we have had more than 5 decades of dealing with .223/5.56 mm ammo.  The military, law enforcement (state and local) all rely on the AR-15 family; therefore, ammo is obtainable.

The phrase “What if?” however, is your watchword.  If you have either a .308, or a 7.62 x 39 mm (AK), then you’ll also be in pretty good shape.  Law enforcement is switching back to .45 ACP, but there are still plenty of 9mm rounds to go around.  The .45 ACP round is a great round that is widespread.  Your .357 magnum and .40 Smith and Wesson rounds are not as common but are commonplace.  In essence, yeah, you need each of these.

One piece that I’ll finally mention is really unique.  It’s the P-320 Compact by Sig Sauer.  They have a system called the Grip Shell system.  This Grip Shell is the basis for the weapon, that accepts full size magazines and full length slide assemblies.  What’s so big about this?  You can switch out 9 mm, .357 sig., .40 S&W, and .45 ACP on the same frame: the frame will hold all four of those calibers.  Nifty, huh?  Not only that, but it is a “redefinition” of BATFE rules.

The Grip Shell is a modular frame that is a trigger group and receiver with a serial number.  Guess what?  It is this frame that has the serial number, and not each of the individual barrels that you can change out on it.  Ahh, I feel the gleam of many eyes reading these words now.  Isn’t that neat?  You can buy four calibers, but only one receiver is your serialized piece.  You run with the ball from there: imagination is the only limitation.

If you want prices, you’ll have to check with a gun dealer.  The basic piece will run about $700 more or less, and additional barrels will be more.  It’s all up to what you want, but you can pretty much cover the bases with it, as you’ll be sure to find something to fire through it no matter how short ammo may be in supply.  To take that “kit” and pack it up with you…well, that would be prudence and providence prepared by your own hand.  Just make sure to pick up a box of ammo initially for each caliber you decide upon.

For anything you shoot, you should also be able to reload, and I recommend a good stationary press akin to the one I mentioned before, as well as a Lee handloading kit with dies and accessories.  The latter you can pack in your rucksack, as you never know when you might need it.  So hopefully you’ll take some advice to stock up and “plow the field” on different calibers.  If you run across a supply that won’t feed your main piece, it would be good to have a backup piece that can fire what you find until your “lead sled dog” is “fed” and up and running again.  Keep that powder dry, no matter what the caliber, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Never Drop Your Guard: 7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness

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  This article you should not only save, but also burn it into your memory for the finer points mentioned.  As you Guys and Gals out there in ReadyNutrition Land have deduced from the title, situational awareness is a topic covered before in many different articles and it is important all the time.

You must blend that situational awareness with actions to take immediately upon the perception that a situation has arrived.  Notice I said “perception” and not confirmation.  Know why? Because you need to react accordingly with the perception: the confirmation may be too late.

Scoffers are already picking this one apart, thinking “OK, well, you react…what if you overreact and nothing was really wrong?”  Guess what?  I wrote “accordingly with the perception,” meaning that if you are acting accordingly, you’re not overreacting and therefore not responding/taking action with more than what is necessary.

React accordingly, and after you’re in the clear, then you can assess everything that has happened.

Here’s the reason I’m writing this article:

The other day I parked my vehicle and was getting ready to walk into an establishment.  Just as I left the vehicle, two state troopers pulled up: one in front of my vehicle (head to head) and another slightly off to the first vehicle’s left, but facing mine as well.  A trooper left each vehicle, and although they had sunglasses on their attention was riveted to me.  They watched me and began to follow me as I walked toward the establishment.

Having nothing to worry about, I continued toward the building; however, my logic is that the time to worry is when there is nothing to worry about.  This is a day and age when cops shoot first and ask questions later.  Mistaken identity doesn’t bring a person back from the dead, and it’s better to err on the side of caution.  As I walked toward the building, I angled my approach and immediately placed both of them in enfilade.

This means as I stepped in the front of one of them, both were lined up (in a “line,” if you will) before me.  Neither had drawn a weapon, but the motion I made is instinctive…or “muscle memory” if you wish to label it.  Both were, if it became necessary, in my line of fire, and the first one (closest to me) was masking the fire of the second if they wanted to play.  “Masking” means to block another’s line of fire by (stupidly/unknowingly) placing yourself in between his fire and a potential enemy/target.

Now, obviously these two thought they “had something,” and from their movements and actions, it was also obvious that they soon realized I was not their quarry.  Dismissing it and them (while keeping an eye on them), I entered the building.  One of them poked his head inside the door, and the manager/proprietor looked at him.

“Don’t worry, what we’re looking for is not in here,” he said, and then left.

There was no incident, but I stress this to you: this was a situation.

For those who love law and order, do not take this as an indictment against those state troopers, but keep this in mind: the days of “Officer Friendly” are over.  Sometimes warranted by fear (in the case of city cops constantly attacked by gangs and other miscreants), and sometimes unwarranted, many times they’ll pull the trigger and not mete out the force that is commensurate with the perceived threat.  My thoughts?  I’m not bothering anybody, but if I’m in the ground because of their mistake, I’m the one who really pays for that mistake, right?

It’s better to face a jury of 7 than to be carried by 6.

The situational awareness will help you to avoid complications.  Be aware of your surroundings, and who is in those surroundings.  My wife and I gassing up her vehicle, and as I pulled up to the pump, there were two young men and a young woman just acting stupidly…right in front of the door to the convenience store/gas station.  My wife was going to go in and pay while I pumped the gas.  I motioned for her to stay put while I both paid for and pumped the gas.

The men were carrying beer and the woman carousing with both while all played the fools.  No matter.  I kept my eye on them and paid for the gas, then came out and pumped it as they moved off (“staggered off” being a better term) across the parking lot.

Situational awareness.  I didn’t have to say anything.  I avoided a situation.  Most of the times avoidance is the best answer.  Move out of the area and away from the potential situation before it escalates.  It will all be forgotten in no time.  It is important in the moment for the threat it potentially poses, however, in the long term it is not even worth the time of day.


Situations accomplish nothing if they’re allowed to escalate: avoid them as much as possible.


7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness

Let’s cover some simple basics that you can use all the time.

  1. As with “Driver’s Education,” Get the big picture: see everything that is happening around you and take in the full view.
  2. Watch what people are doing, and what state they are in: whether they’re mad, inebriated, overly friendly…watch them and pay attention to their actions.
  3. Watch what people have in their hands or on their person (such as a knife strapped to their belt, etc.)
  4. Know where you are. Are you up against the wall as two men are approaching you from two different directions?  Do you have a narrow alley to walk through and a gang of thugs just took notice of you and they’re in motion?  Are you in the back corner of a dimly-lit diner, and in came the Hell’s Angels and they’re staring at you?
  5. Know what your escape routes are. In #4 above, do you have alternate routes to take?  Do the Hell’s Angels know about that small fire exit door beyond the restrooms?  Have a backup route to employ…in all things you do…whether walking, driving, or just sitting having a cup of coffee.
  6. Have a plan in place. If you’re attacked, how will you defend yourself?  Having a plan in place and knowing how you’ll execute that plan…rehearsing it in your mind…this will keep you from being completely unprepared.
  7. Avoid a situation by not allowing it to happen. You can leave the area.  If your bargaining skills/people skills are good, you may be able to talk your way out of it and defuse it before it occurs

Take it seriously.  Take each thing seriously, and remember that even the most harmless looking scenario can turn into a full-blown problem at any moment.  Think outside of the box.  Remember: lawbreakers aren’t worried about breaking the laws…the ones you are upholding.  You’ll have to assess the situation as it arises, and you must also assess it as it changes.  Take care of business when it occurs, and take care of one another.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Training: This is How to Prepare Your Body to Escape the Big City on Foot

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bugging out on footReadyNutrition Readers, this piece covers some of the basic fundamentals on road marching.  Yes, this is a typical military exercise, but it has several applications for you in terms of preparations and in training.  Road marches can be both physically demanding and challenging.  They should not be attempted without proper preparation, and if you have any underlying health conditions, consult with your doctor prior to doing them.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I prefer the large-frame Alice Pack of the US Army, the one I have been using for many decades, now.  It is both sturdy and affordable, and can meet a person’s needs from a training and a survival perspective.  That mentioned, it is up to you to find one that feels both comfortable and offers you the support you need to be able to move on the road or cross-country with weight on your back.

Don’t road march cold: you need to take the time to do some light calisthenics to warm your muscles up prior to the physical exertion.  The weight you will tote with you will vary according to your abilities and physical condition, as well as the needs of the exercise.  It is a training event: you need to keep it as such and hold it in that regard.  You need proper footgear and comfortable clothing, as well as a water supply.  You need to prepare for it the night before, with a good meal and plenty of rest and fluids prior to your start.

Your stretches can include (but not be limited to) the side-straddle hop (referred to as “jumping jacks,”) as well as half-squats, squats, hamstring and calf stretches, and so forth.  I prefer boots to support my ankles, although I have seen many people using tennis shoes and hiking shoes.  Whatever your preference, as long as it gives your arch the support it needs.

Start out small, with a lighter amount of weight.  That will be on you to gauge.  Start by doing a mile, and then work your way up.  A good conservative plan for a road marching “schedule” can be one per week with lighter weights and shorter distances.  As you “work your way up” you’ll want to make the road marches less frequent.  The reason being is you don’t want to damage yourself with a potential stress fracture or a hairline fracture from continuously pounding the pavement with your feet and heavy weight on the shoulders.  Shin splints are a common occurrence over time, as well.

Medically, they’re referred to as MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome), and are pains within the connective muscle and tissue surrounding your knee and the outside of your tibia.  It is a chronic “dull” aching feeling that arises in about 15 to 20% of people who run, walk, or (in this case) march long distances.  Ice packs and rest can enable you to recover in a short period of time.  For any question of it, consult with your physician if the problem persists.

The road marches will strengthen your legs and back, and also develop your cardiovascular capabilities.  You should time every one of them, and attempt gains each time you undertake a march.  Gains would take the form of quicker times, or more weight carried.  You have to do it gradually.  Eventually, your end goal is to carry what you normally would in a rucksack if the SHTF and you were out in the woods.  Cross-country is markedly different from doing it on the side of the road due to the uneven terrain as well as other factors, such as water, thick vegetation, an abundance of rocks, etc.

Weather is also a factor, and in the warmer months great care must be taken to ensure you don’t dehydrate yourself.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration, and means you’re already depleted when you feel thirsty.  It would also be good to undertake these marches with a partner, so that if an emergency arises you have someone with you to rely upon for first aid or to go for help.

Your endurance will improve with time, and it also takes adjustment for your feet to become accustomed to both your pace and the work.  It is an excellent lower-body exercise that still manages to work your upper body.  It requires discipline, determination, and preparation to accomplish.  Eventually you will see results, and can road march 2 to 4 times per month successfully as part of your physical regimen.

Remember to take account of the water you will carry when you initially weigh your rucksack.  You can pick up a good fishing and game scale that will enable you to find out exactly how much you tote.  Try it out.  It is cost effective and will give you some good results.  Happy rucking!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Green Beret’s Winter Survival Training Guide

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winterprep2Have you ever considered what you will do if you have to bug out in winter? Being exposed to the elements puts you and your family at risk and it is paramount to be ready for that scenario.

It’s time to learn the basics of surviving in harsh environments. These basics will help you to inspire confidence in yourself