99 Relatable Things That Only Preppers Will Understand

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By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Prepping isn’t all about whiling away your hours in a bunker, reloading ammo. It’s about the everyday things we do and the differences in our mindsets from non-preppers, and these are things that only real preppers will understand.

Preppers know these are actually signs of sanity, but we get used to being misunderstood by the unprepared and the mainstream media, who all seem to think that we’re crazy. Sometimes it’s fun to have a good laugh about their misconceptions of what we actually do.

You might be a prepper if these signs relate to you.

Many of the following signs will be so relatable that they’ll probably give you a warm glow. Feel the prepper solidarity!

  1. Pantries are so mainstream…you have food stashed in strange places in every room of the house.
  2. You have enough toilet paper to get through a year of uncomfortable digestive upsets…occurring with 6 people simultaneously
  3. Speaking of which, you possess at least 3 different ways to use the bathroom, only one of which is an actual bathroom.
  4. Your kids know what OPSEC means…at the age of 4.
  5. You have topographical maps of your area…plural.
  6. When you’re forced to interact with “the others” you feel like you are awkwardly censoring your true opinions
  7. You think nothing of treating an injury or illness yourself because “what if there was no doctor?
  8. Paintball and laser tag are no longer just a fun way to spend an afternoon  …they are tactical training.
  9. You’ve purchased duct tape in bulk.
  10. With every major purchase, you contemplate going for the off-grid version.
  11. You have more manual tools than power tools.
  12. You’ve washed entire loads of laundry by hand for either necessity or practice. (And not just your dainties…we’re talking about jeans and stuff!)
  13. Your kids are not afraid of guns…or fingers pointed like guns…or pastries in the shape of guns…or drawings of guns.
  14. When house-hunting you look for multiple heat and water sources.
  15. You store food in buckets…lots of buckets…like, maybe even a whole room full of buckets.
  16. You garden with a determination and time commitment normally reserved for endurance athletes training for an Ironman triathlon.
  17. If you don’t have a water source on your property, you have put in miles of footwork searching for one nearby, and have mapped multiple discreet routes to and from the source, and figured out how to haul the water back to your house on each route.
  18. Your first instinct when hearing about some event on the mainstream news is skepticism. (False flag event, anyone?)
  19. You read articles about multiple ways to use white vinegar and nod your head throughout.
  20. You believe that FEMA camps are real and that you are most likely on “The List”.
  21. Instead of CNN, you have alternative news sites bookmarked in your favorites on your computer.
  22. You have enough coffee/tea/favorite-caffeinated-item-of-choice to last you through 3 apocalypses.
  23. You could outfit a small-town pharmacy with all of the over-the-counter medications you have stashed away.
  24. You have an instinctive mistrust of anyone working for the government.
  25. You could sink a ship with the weight of your stored ammo. In fact, you put it in the basement when you became concerned about your floorboards.
  26. Looking for a fun weekend outing with the kids? Forget amusement parks –  the shooting range is where it’s at.
  27. When the power goes out, you calmly light the candles and proceed with whatever you had been dong previously.
  28. A longer-term power outage is called “practice”.
  29. If a like-minded person comes over to your house, they’ll realize you are “one of them” by seeing your reading material. Other folks won’t even notice. The FBI might call your copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint and your A. American fiction  “subversive literature”.
  30. Your children carry a modified bug-out kit in their school backpacks.
  31. You can and dehydrate food with the single-minded fervor of an Amish grandmother facing a 7-year drought.
  32. Calling 911 is not part of your home security plan.
  33. You spend your days off digging an underground bunker in your backyard.
  34. You have more than a thousand cheapo lighters that you purchased in bulk, stashed away in the back of your linen closet…and you don’t even smoke.
  35. You eat a lot of survival food now, so there is no ‘system shock’ when you are forced to eat only the items you have stocked (or that you GROW – hint hint).
  36. You stock alcohol in mass quantities so you can comfortably numb after the SHTF.
  37. You stock alcohol in mass quantities – and you don’t even drink. (Barter, baby!)
  38. You know what? Forget stocking alcohol.  You have your own still.  You’ll make alcohol.
  39. You have enough salt to create another Dead Sea.
  40. You don’t move – you strategically relocate.
  41. You purchased 50 of these little EDC multitaskers already for stocking stuffers for your friends/family/workmates/neighbor/random stranger.
  42. Speaking of Christmas, you gave Conflicted to everyone last year.
  43. When your friends ask about your favorite authors, instead of Hemmingway, Tolkien, or Kerouac, you get a blank stare when you tell them it’s John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman.
  44. You know exactly how many Mountain House buckets it takes to make a base for a single bed.
  45. You don’t stock up on milk. You get an actual cow.
  46. Your family doesn’t dare take something from the food stockpile without marking it off the list.
  47. Your kids know how to don a gas mask in 30 seconds.
  48. Everyone in your survival group carries the same firearm so that ammo is standardized.
  49. You have non-electric versions of appliances like wheat grinders, washing machines, and coffee makers.
  50. You yell at the TV every time a commercial for Doomsday Preppers comes on.  Oh. Wait. You don’t have a TV. But if you did, you’d yell, because you know how positively ridiculous and unrealistic that show is.
  51. Your family is no longer surprised when you announce, “Hey, we’re going to learn how to make (insert anything here)!”
  52. You have more how-to books stored on hard-drives than most public libraries have on the bookshelves.
  53. Your children have a plan in case they need to bug out from school.
  54. Alternatively, you homeschool and bugging out is part of the curriculum.
  55. You have more than three ways to cook dinner if the power goes out: a woodstove, a barbecue, a sun oven, a fire-pit, and/or a volcano stove.
  56. First Blood and Red Dawn are basic training films for your family.
  57. You have long since accepted the idea that if you’re not on someone’s list, you’re probably not doing it right.
  58. Your 7-year-old knows Morse code.
  59. You’re secretly disappointed when the electricity comes back on after only a few minutes.
  60. You know more ways to make a homemade knife than the entire population of your local prison combined.
  61. You don’t just rotate food, you rotate ammo.
  62. You know the distance from your door to your front gate is precisely 207 yards.
  63. Moving to a new house is no longer “moving”, but “strategic relocation“.
  64. You have mapped out at least 3 different routes by car and 2 different routes on foot to get to your bug-out location.
  65. You know the difference between “Tyvek” and “Tychem” suits, and in which instance they should be used.
  66. Ditto the finer points of N-95 vs. N-100 masks.
  67. You watch The Walking Dead in order to critique their survival tactics. (And you were secretly delighted to see Beth building a fire in a Dakota pit.)
  68. Speaking of fire, you can start one in at least 3 different ways, and you always carry a lighter, a fresnel lens, and a magnesium firestarter.
  69. You have two (or more) of everything important, well, because “one is none.”
  70. You have a decoy food supply.
  71. Your kids think it’s a fun game to see who can find the most potential weapons in a room.
  72. Even your dog has a bug out bag – which she carries herself.
  73. You have elected NOT to purchase greater armament because you plan on upgrading with your future assailant’s weaponry.
  74. Your EDC includes a knife, firearm w/extra mag, flashlight, mylar blanket, Chapstick, and an ounce of silver — and that’s just for when you’re walking the dog.
  75. The trunk of your car has enough supplies to carry the family through an entire week during a major blizzard.
  76. One criterion for your new winter coat is that it fits over your body armor.
  77. Your neighbors separate their compost for you into a) chicken food b) garden food and c) other
  78. You scour travel size aisles because they fit better in bug-out bags and they make great barter items.
  79. You check out the garden center and pest control section for potential weapons.
  80. Your subscribed channels for YouTube and bookmarks now contain more prepper and alternative media sites than cute animal sites.
  81. Christmas and birthday gifts have a prepper theme.
  82. You actually know what the letters “EMP” stand for.
  83. Every time there is a small household “disaster” like a power outage or local water “boil order” you just grab your emergency supplies and remind dubious family members. “See, told you it pays to be prepared.”
  84. Your freeze-dried food has a longer expiration date than you do
  85. You know how to make bows out of skis and arrows out of garden bamboo.
  86. You have (or are seriously considering, buying) an old armored personnel carrier to turn into your RV.
  87. You know that Falling Skies has better idea for post-apocalyptic survival than The Walking Dead or Z Nation but you still watch them all just in case
  88. Your friend asks “Do you have enough bullets?” then you both laugh and laugh because you know you can never have enough.
  89. You changed your home page from MSN (or any other propaganda media) to Drudge Report or SHTFplan.
  90. You have no problem knocking on strangers’ doors to ask for fruit tree cuttings
  91. You have vacuum packed underwear in a plastic tub stashed somewhere in your house
  92. You just might have more medical supplies than the local ER.
  93. The Co-op and Costco recognize you but pretend not to. They know better than to ask questions about your purchases.
  94. If you’re a man you are no longer embarrassed to buy tampons and sanitary napkins because they make great bandages.
  95. If you’re a woman you know you don’t need to buy tampons or sanitary napkins because so many other options exist.
  96.  You actually own a toilet seat that fits on a bucket.
  97. You have enough wood cut and stacked to form a barricade around your whole property.
  98. Admit it. Every time the power goes out, you go see if your car starts so you can get the jump on hunkering down or buying out the store with case in the event that this one is actually an EMP.
  99. You have considered filtering water with a coffee filter or a t-shirt.

Do you have more prepper signs to add?

These signs that you might be one of those “crazy preppers” are consolidated from the hive mind of two previous articles and comments from the readers. (Find them here and here.) Do you have more signs to add?  Share them in the comments section below.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper99 Relatable Things That Only Preppers Will Understand

About the Author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

The post 99 Relatable Things That Only Preppers Will Understand appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap!

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Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap! Fruit trees are nearly mythical in some settings in America today. To happen across a tree that food grows on in an urban setting is absolutely amazing. We all have those stories of people who had an apple tree in their backyard. Its magic thing to those …

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Top 10 Aboriginal bush medicines

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The 10 most common Aboriginal bush medicines

1. Tea tree oil

(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Bundjalung Aboriginal people from the coast of New South Wales crushed tea-tree (or paper bark) leaves and applied the paste to wounds as well as brewing it to a kind of tea for throat ailments. In the 1920s, scientific experiments proved that the tea-tree oil’s antiseptic potency was far stronger than the commonly used antiseptic of the time. Since then, the oil has been used to treat everything from fungal infections of the toenails to acne.

2. Eucalyptus oil

(Eucalyptus sp.)

Eucalyptus leaves can be infused for body pains and fevers and chills. Today the oil is used commercially in mouthwash, throat lozenges and cough suppressants.

3. Billy goat plum/Kakadu plum

(Terminalia ferdinandiana)

The world’s richest source of Vitamin C is found in this native fruit from the woodlands of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The plum has 50 times the Vitamin C of oranges, and was a major source of food for tribes in the areas where it grows.

4. Desert mushrooms

(Pycnoporus sp.)

Some Aboriginal people suck on the bright orange desert mushroom to cure a sore mouth or lips. It has been known to be a kind of natural teething ring, and is also useful for babies with oral thrush.

5. Emu bush 

(Eremophila sp.) 

Concoctions of emu bush leaves were used by Northern Territory Aboriginal tribes to wash sores and cuts; occasionally it was gargled. In the last decade, leaves from the plant were found to have the same strength as some established antibiotics. South Australian scientists want to use the plant for sterilising implants, such as artificial hips. 

Fear Matters to Security: Control & Use It to Your Advantage

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Fear Matters to Security: Control & Use It to Your Advantage

If aliens exist and by happenstance were to glance down on our tiny planet, I think they would be shocked by the order of things. We humans are the dominant species on this little blue planet. Not lions, tigers, or bears, but us. Relatively small with inferior muscle mass compared to other predators and generally […]

This is just the start of the post Fear Matters to Security: Control & Use It to Your Advantage. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Fear Matters to Security: Control & Use It to Your Advantage, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

What Preppers Are REALLY Getting Ready For

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 What Preppers Are REALLY Getting Ready For This article is a great, no nonsense, look at the goals of prepping. I find that there are a number of conflated situations that we prepare for but as the author states, ‘we are all just preparing for an interruption in the day-to-day life we’re used to.’ This is …

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Hiding Out: The Real World Value of Hide and Seek as a Kid or an Adult

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Hiding Out: The Real World Value of Hide and Seek as a Kid or an Adult Its always nice to see an article that tells you fun things are the right things to do. This article comes from a great source and one of my favorites to read lately. Of course, this article isn’t all …

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Finding Order in the Middle of a Disaster

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Finding Order in the Middle of a Disaster If you can keep your sense in the event of a disaster you will have a leg up on much of the competition. Its important that you do your very best to remain calm and that sorta thing. Still, the only way to truly remain calm is …

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7 Collapsible Weapons: Packable Weapons for Your Bug Out Bag

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7 Collapsible Weapons: Packable Weapons for Your Bug Out Bag Weapons that disassemble or collapse are even more useful for bug out bags. Where every amount of space and weight matters, collapsible weapons can give you the opportunity to hunt and defend yourself as you could with a larger weapon. Not only do they take up …

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These Are the Conditions That Make the Best Cities for Preppers

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

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

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

City Size and Density

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

Conservative Values

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

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

Logistics

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

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

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

Are You Downwind?

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

Water

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

Energy

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

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

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear

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Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear

This article is a follow up of a post I made just a couple weeks ago asking you guys to recommend the prepper gear you use and love. The question came about because I’d made an article listing the best prepper gear I could think of without price point being much of a factor. I tried to […]

This is just the start of the post Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Reader Recommendations: Preppers List Their Favourite Gear, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

6 Comebacks To People Who Call You Crazy For Prepping

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6 Comebacks To People Who Call You Crazy For Prepping If you’re a prepper, then at some point–whether in person or online–someone is going to call you crazy for prepping. They might not use the word “crazy” and instead opt for words like “paranoid” and “conspiracy theorist”, but the meaning is the same. To them, …

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How To Make Dead Batteries Last 8 Times Longer

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How To Make Dead Batteries Last 8 Times Longer This is truely a revolutionary product. This little device could see you through power outages and even save your bacon if you are without a battery charger! Most new batteries contain 1.5V of energy when first bought. The problem is that many devices stop functioning at around …

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Build Your Own Earthquake Survival Kit

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

According to the USGS, Each year the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. Most of them are so small that they are not felt. Only several hundred are greater than magnitude 3.0, and only about 15-20 are greater than magnitude 4.0. If there is a large earthquake, however, the aftershock sequence will produce many more earthquakes of all magnitudes for many months. Scientists have not found a way to predict earthquakes and earthquakes have a nasty habit of occurring where a lot of people are living.

Just look at the image at the top of the page. Most of the western coast of North America is covered in earthquake activity. We don’t really doubt that if a big earthquake happens, our lives will be disrupted, but outside of the usual power outages and water main breaks, assuming our house hasn’t caved in, what other situations could we be looking at?

Earthquakes are probably the single most destructive force on the planet when you factor in damage caused by Tsunamis and the earthquake itself. In a serious quake, services such as power, water, communication, emergency response, gas, transportation could all be wiped out in a matter of a few terrifying seconds. If you live in one of those areas above with all the white circles, you have undoubtedly considered what you would do if an earthquake happens, but what do you need to plan for after the earthquake? I put together this earthquake survival list for those preppers who want to put a bag together and prepare for the possibility that their entire world comes crumbling down around them.

What do I do after an earthquake?

Before we get into the earthquake survival kit itself, you must first make sure everything is OK in the immediate minutes after the shock-waves have stopped.

  • The initial shock-waves may only be the first of many that could still cause injuries. Expect aftershocks and use the time between instances to get to a safer place. If you are anywhere near the coast, Tsunamis could occur so immediately seek higher ground.
  • Check your family or group for injuries and move injured people to a safe location.
  • Make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing, footwear and protection for your hands if there is a lot of debris.
  • Make sure any fires are extinguished as quickly as possible.
  • Check radios for extent of the damage and any emergency notifications.
  • You should already have stored water, but if not and the water is still working, it may make sense to fill your bathtubs (providing your house is safe) to use the water for hygiene if the water is cut off.
  • Stay away from power lines and out of damaged buildings as much as possible.
  • Contact your loved ones if possible and let them know you are OK.
  • Go to your prearranged rally point if you are able to do this.

 

Earthquake Survival Kit List

You may be asking how an earthquake survival list is any different from say a Bug Out Bag. For many it may not be much different as we are addressing the same basic needs we all have as humans for survival. The contents of your earthquake survival kit can be stored in a backpack which could make transporting it simpler. Optionally, you could store all this gear somewhere in your home, but with that you risk not being able to retrieve it potentially if the neighbors garage falls on top of your storage area.

A sturdy Backpack will give you the greatest flexibility with mobility. If the situation is so bad that your home or location is unlivable, you may have to make it to a safer location. I like something like the Osprey Men’s Atmos 65 AG because it is so light and holds so much. It was a major relief on my last backpacking trip, you can get much cheaper backpacks though like the TETON Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack – It’s a third of the price.

Food

  • I always recommend freeze-dried food for situations like this over something like canned food. It’s just lighter and only needs water for preparation. I go with higher-calorie options like Mountain House Chili Mac or Lasagna. Is this super healthy? Nope, but it’s light and will keep you going. Plus, you don’t need to bring along any bowls or plates – just eat right out of the bag. Bring enough for 5 days. You should augment with energy bars. You don’t have room to carry a month’s supply but you don’t know when the McDonalds is going to be back in business.
  • Cook Stove – Yes, you could just start a fire, but a good camping stove is light, relatively cheap and much simpler. For the burner, I purchased an Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking stove for my last trip. This replaced my JetBoil Cooking System and I was very happy with the results. The Etekcity is only $10 and folds down to about the size of two decks of playing cards. I am seriously considering purchasing 5 of these and throwing each one in the bug out bags that are in the car to replace current gear. Just screw this to your fuel canister – which I used my JetBoil 230g canister – turn on the gas, light it and you are in business. It even has little feet to sit your pot on.
  • Cook Pot – It’s much easier to boil water in a pot so I would throw my stove into a TOAKS Titanium pot. Super light and you can use this over a fire if needed.
  • Can Opener – I have a can opener on my Leatherman Wave(along with 16 other tools), but you can save a lot of weight and cost by purchasing a few P38 Can openers. You can get them on Amazon, but if you are ever near an Army Navy Surplus store, just run in. They are much cheaper.
  • Aluminum Foil – This can be used to grab hot surfaces or act as a cooking surface itself. Wrap food up in aluminum foil, set it near the fire for a little while, or even on top of your cook stove and give it a few minutes.

Water

  • Water Filter – There are so many water filtration options out there. I recommend a larger Platypus GravityWorks because it has no mechanical parts and will filter a lot of water quickly with not much effort. Optionally, the Saywer Mini is a great alternative. It’s smaller, but much more compact and the cost is much more reasonable for those preppers trying to save money. If you are only considering yourself, the Sawyer would be OK. For larger groups you need more capacity so I would go with a larger option like the Gravityworks.
  • Something to carry your water in. I have two options and it just depends on which I would rather pack in the bag. A BPE Free Nalgene is a great, relatively cheap, lightweight option. Optionally, you could just use any old plastic water bottle you find in the trash (wash it out first). You could go with a stainless-steel water bottle, which would be great if you needed to boil water, but you can use the TOAKS cook pot above for that. You don’t want to carry your water in the TOAKS though, so I recommend something with a lid. The Platypus has an adaptor that screws right onto any wide-mouth Nalgene bottles.

Shelter

  • Clothing – Bring a change of clothes and two pair of socks. Good walking shoes should be on your feet. Depending on weather – Hat and Gloves
  • Poncho and liner – This can double as shelter if you rig your poncho up as a shelter and with the liner will keep you warm. Or it makes a good pillow.
  • Emergency BIvvy – If I leave this off the list, someone is going to complain. I like these better than the simple mylar blankets, but if you already have those, use them.

Security

  • Concealed Carry Firearm – All things being equal, I prefer to carry a firearm if I am forced to defend myself. Your mileage may vary. Carrying while wearing a backpack is a little tougher concealed and you might be tempted to run that drop-leg holster but I would seriously consider whether or not you want to advertise you are armed in a crisis like this.
  • A good full-tang knife – Assume you already have a knife on you but a sturdier option would be better in this situation. I have the Gerber LMF II, but you can get a nice KA-BAR and save $10.
  • Shotgun – As a backup, I would have a shotgun if I didn’t have a better option. Shotguns are cheaper and easily deployed in a violent situation to serious effect.
  • Taser/Pepper Spray – For those who can’t or won’t carry a firearm, you can still protect yourself in many ways. Tasers are a good fall back, lightweight – non lethal, but you have to physically touch the person you don’t want to touch you. Pepper Spray is less effective but can still buy you time.
  • Axe Handle – When all else fails, you may have to go Babe Ruth on someone’s cranium. Swing harder than you ever think it would take to knock someone out.

Miscellaneous Gear and Supplies

  • Cash – ATM’s, Banks, Credit Card readers will all be out of commission for some period after the earthquake. Cash is still relatively easy to carry and store even in higher amounts. Diversify where you have your money (put some in each pocket and hide more somewhere else) so if you are pulling it out, nobody will see the whole wad.
  • Ham Radio – Tons of information about the superiority of Ham radio in a disaster if you want to read this post.
  • Backup ID, copies of Tax documents or bills proving your address.
  • First Aid – There are so many first aid kits out there. You can choose between something more for Boo Boos or go to the other extreme and build your own IFAK.
  • Spare Glasses – You could bring contacts, but I find that glasses irritate my eyes much less and are better in a pinch if there are eye irritants or injury.

Hygiene

  • Toilet Paper
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer

There are the basic items in an Earthquake survival kit that will give you an advantage if you ever find yourself riding out one in your life. These are just the most basic items I think could give you comfort in times of great crisis. There are always other items you could add.

What would you bring with you?

The post Build Your Own Earthquake Survival Kit appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

56 Essential Items for A New Homesteader

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56 Essential Items for A New Homesteader Starting a new homestead, especially as someone who has been living in the city the whole life, takes a huge amount of courage. It’s not easy, mentally and physically. But that’s not the only thing you need. Realistically, you’ll also need tools, equipment, and supplies to help you live …

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Why You Need a Survival Drone

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Why You Need a Survival Drone I am finding lots of solutions in tech lately. I think as preppers and survivalists its our duty to maintain survival skills, bush craft and master the natural world. Still, we cannot pretend like technology will not help us out with all of that. Tech should definitely be a …

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Paul Craig Roberts Rages “Are You Ready To Die?”

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 Paul Craig Roberts Rages “Are You Ready To Die?” The failings in Washington on foreign policy are adding up. There is no getting around it. We were all worried about foreign relations going forward as things heated up in North Korea, Syria and Russia. Its a terrifying thing. This article details a statement made by …

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13 Tips for Using Oatmeal from Your Food Stores

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This article was generously contributed by R. Ann Parris. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Oatmeal – Jazzing Up the Ubiquitous Prepper Cereal

Being inexpensive, rolled oats can help us save money now, and it’s a good one to stock up on for the same reasons – cheap, filling and full of endurance-granting slow-release energy. I’m not a big fan of “just” oatmeal as a hot cereal. It’s just … well, boring. Too, I anticipate plenty enough spoon-and-bowl meals from beans and rice, boiled wheat or barley, or soups in a crisis, whether it’s a personal crisis or a widespread disaster. I’d rather avoid more as much as possible. The humble rolled oats tub actually helps me there in a big way.

Using mostly things that are also already in my storage or that are easy and inexpensive to obtain, I can churn out desserts, snacks, sides, dinners and breakfasts that are interesting and varied, and don’t really taste like oatmeal. Oatmeal also has a lot of soothing and absorption properties that gives it some handy topical uses.

Using Oatmeal to Extend Meats & Meals

Mix in flakes of oatmeal and-or lentils and ground beans to extend things like meatloaf, meatballs and the hamburger in stews. Oats also make a fabulous replacement for breadcrumbs that would be used as binding or for coating meats.

Add it into Stovetop or homemade bread dressing or stuffing to increase the healthy fibers and calories, and the feelings of satiety from meals.

Grind coarsely or finely and add to flours for bannock, breads, muffins, and biscuits. Zucchini bread, carrot cake and other sweets can take as much as a quarter of the flour in oats without a significant change in texture or flavor. Pancakes, pie crusts, dumplings, cookies and cobblers can all have part of the flour replaced, especially with oats processed to a fine powder.

Fifty-fifty mixes or greater will be far more noticeable and may require additional liquids, but it also increases the heartiness of foods, helps us feel fuller and keep that satisfaction longer over stripped bleached flours especially, gives us healthier, natural arcs of energy, and lowers the glycemic index of foods while helping stomachs process.

Ground oatmeal can also be used to thicken soups, stews and gravy, just like ground beans or lentils that are too old to soak up water efficiently.

Easy Non-Cereal Recipes

Oatmeal has a lot of applications for cooking, without resorting to a bowl of hot cereal. Most of them can be done with a Dutch oven, campfire, rocket stove, or a solar oven or Wonderbag cooker if we don’t have access to our stoves and ovens.

Ash cakes can be made out of pretty much any flour. Using some salt, milk, egg or fats will improve flavor, but the bare-bones way of doing it is to mix just a little water at a time with flour or meal – or in this case, oats – until we can form a patty, then flopping it onto a cooler section of ash. Rolled oats will do best if they’re ground to a flour or if they’re allowed to soak a bit first. As a plain, just-salted version, they make a bread we can have with soups or meats. A little sugar or fruits, and we’re getting closer to a cookie. Alternatively, we can top them with honey or jams, fruits, sweetened cream, or something like a chili or bean medley.

Baked Oatmeal Muffins – A basic recipe with add-in’s for interest and variety is here https://brendid.com/healthy-oatmeal-muffins-no-flour-no-sugar-no-oil/ along with additional links. You can also find dozens of recipes as simple or complicated as you like, with and without other flours and oils, with just about any search. They turn oats into a fast, easy finger food that’s readily portable.

No-Bake Cookies are a staple in some lives. With just a few ingredients and few utensils dirtied, we can use up our oats to satisfy cravings for a fork or finger food as well as a sweet treat. Given the speed with which they disappear as either drop clusters or sliced squares at BSA and adult gatherings these days, during a disaster they’ll be a for-sure hit.

Oatmeal bars can be found as Amish Baked Oatmeal or other standard baked oatmeal, such as this one http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/baked-oatmeal. Oatmeal can also be turned into homemade granola bars. They’re out there in the internet world as soft chewy bars or crunchy options. All of them are adaptable to the fruits, nuts and seeds we have on hand or prefer. There are also homemade granola bars that make use of cereals that store well such as Rice Krispies, Cheerios, or Chex, which can increase the variety even more.

Crunchy granola clusters like this one that has healthier ingredients and a few extra steps and this one that uses lower-cost and easy-to-source ingredients with fewer steps in the process have a lot of versatility. There’s a lot to be said for the ability to turn out a nice snacking portion while using up inexpensive oats, today and later. And, if you’re giddy for it, making mini clusters to throw in as a homemade cold cereal can help provide a different breakfast meal even with a spoon.

Fruit crisps – A basic oatmeal crisp recipe such as this one has a lot of versatility, both now and during a personal crisis or a widespread disaster. We can use it with any pie filling we have, or regular canned fruits we strain or thicken the syrups. We can also use it to make stuffed apples, pears or peaches. It can go over cubed, mashed or pureed pumpkin or sweet potatoes as well, or can be used as a topper for a baked sweet potato. Oatmeal crisp is pretty versatile and forgiving, so we can add a quarter to a half extra oats to our recipe if we want a somewhat heartier and healthier version, or just to help us use up a few more of our rolled oats.

Cookies, Pizzas & Pie Crusts – Cookies are pretty cool as they are. Made thick and gooey, they can be a pretty hearty dessert by topping with dried or canned fruit or pie filling, with or without heavy or whipped cream. We can spread them out in a pie pan to make a quickie crust, use a crisp recipe for a pie crust, or we can bake them as a big, wide cookie to then slice up as a dessert pizza topped with cream cheese, frosting or glaze and then whatever fruit, nuts or morsels floats our boat.

Southern Oatmeal Cake – There are numerous versions of oatmeal cakes, although they’re pretty similar. It’s not the prettiest dish in the lineup, but it’s gooey happiness that can satisfy our sweet tooth without enormous expense. For an easier version that’s more storage friendly or to create some variety, we can alternate the topping with tubs of German chocolate cake frosting, reduced sweetened condensed milk, or just honey if coconut isn’t available. It’s also pretty darn nummy just with some heavy cream, whole milk, whipped cream, or clotted cream on top.

Fried Oatmeal is like fried grits. It starts with the cereal we all know, then it gets packed in a glass or a lined bowl, chilled so it sets up, and later, gets turned out and sliced, then fried in grease, butter or oil. The amount or depth of oil in the pan can change the texture some. The size of the slice both in thickness and width-by-height can affect whether it’s a plate meal like pancakes or if it can be picked up like happy French toast fingers for a non-spoon meal. As with pancakes, waffles and French toast, the topping options become endless – fried “dippy” eggs, sweetened syrups or fruits, chocolate or strawberry milk syrup, cinnamon sugar, and sausage bits and honey are favorites in our house. Chopped nuts can be included in the cereal or added on top for a little bit more texture yet.

For additional ideas about using oatmeal, do a search for savory recipes. Even when it’s served as a bowl of hot cereal, inclusions like grated radish, sprouts, fish, and tomatoes and peppers can increase the variety we’re seeing with our rolled oats and help prevent fatigue from them.

Oats Outside the Kitchen

We can really feel our oats sometimes. Probably most of us have already seen or use – possibly regularly – a product that makes use of some of oats’ best qualities. Just as oatmeal is a pretty soothing and mild option for breakfast, it has a lot of uses externally, too.

Oats can be added to bathwater or used as a paste to relieve:

It can also be added to soaps for its soothing qualities, or turned into an exfoliating scrub.

Combined with baking soda, we can use ground oatmeal flour as a dry shampoo, scrubbing it in with our fingers, then brushing it out. The two absorb oils and relieve any itching, which can be an excellent low-weight and inexpensive option during sweaty garden seasons should water be in limited supply.

That dry shampoo can also safely be used on cats and dogs, to save money on no-rinse shampoos, to avoid stressing a pet with a shower bath, to treat flea or grass allergies, or to avoid getting them wet in cold weather.

Satchels & Sachets

When we don’t really want to turn a bath into an oatmeal pot to scrub, or don’t have a tub available, we can make little balls of rolled oats, with or without additives like baking soda or herbs and oils to gain relief from skin irritations. We can use them in showers, baths, creeks, or just dampened and dabbed on affected areas.

Those, too, can be used on our pets to treat hot spots, bites, and irritated skin.

Satchels of rolled oats can also be used to:

  • Absorb odors in shoes, closets, bags, coolers
  • Absorb moisture from containers before sealing, or sealed with important items

Heat relieves some of the discomfort from cramps, headaches and muscle pains. Pouches can also be filled with warmed dry oatmeal to create in-the-glove or pocket hand-warmers.

Using Up Oats

Oats are a major part of prepper food storage kits because they’re inexpensive. They store well, last well past supermarket best-by dates, have a lot of health benefits for the gut and cardiovascular system, and the fiber and whole grains of rolled oats help us feel full for longer as well as provide slow-release energy that can keep us moving through long days of work or travel.

Happily, they’re also pretty versatile, and with a little creativity we can use them to stretch our budgets now as well as increase our food storage.

There are probably fifty million more recipes out there for making oats without a steaming bowl and spoon, from breads to desserts. There are probably another dozen helpful ways to use it up outside the kitchen. These are just a few of my favorites, due to the ease or the effectiveness of them. Feel free to tag on your additional favorite non-cereal-bowl recipes and uses outside the kitchen.

The post 13 Tips for Using Oatmeal from Your Food Stores appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Aquaponics- Growing Food with Fish

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Aquaponics- Growing Food with Fish We often get much of our aquaponics information from first hand users that enjoy the benefits of this method of growing food and fish everyday. That is a great source. There is an incredible cohesive relationship between the fish and the plants in a well run system. Imagine producing fish …

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A Prepper Looks Back – 10 Years of Prepping Lessons

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Cliché alert!!! – Someone once said (don’t really care enough to google who) that “You should only look back to see how far you have come”. A lot of what we do in the world of prepping is a comparison and contrast. We look at what the guy writing the blog has and turn to look at our own survival preps and judge some of our worthiness/readiness on how we add up. It’s a different take on keeping up with the Joneses but I think most of us still look to others as a yardstick to see how we measure up.

I know that I certainly looked at the stated supplies of others when I first began to get into prepping and maybe that is a natural trait of us humans – some extension of our social or survival instincts. Imagine a caveman walking around and he sees his buddy walking around with a new saber tooth tiger pelt wrapped around his hairy butt and thinks to himself, ‘hey, I could use one of those’. Then somebody thought of putting Molle pouches on that pelt to hold the caveman’s fire making stones and Boom, the survival market was born.

And maybe there is nothing wrong with comparing yourself to other people, at least as long as you don’t feel inferior if you don’t have what someone has or covet what they have in order to take it from them. I personally see gear I would like to have all the time and have since I started prepping, but I don’t compare myself to other preppers as much anymore. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove when I discuss my personal preps. Maybe it’s because I know you can never win that game.

Lessons from a Prepper

I thought of this topic today, like I do so many other topics in a completely random fashion. Sometimes I have to ponder several hours or days for an idea. Other times, like today, they just pop into my head walking down the hallway. I thought that maybe it might be of some value to share some prepping lessons that I have learned in my personal preparedness journey that hits 10 years old this year. It is my hope that some of these lessons will resonate with you and give you comfort, ease any disquiet you have or maybe a laugh. If all else fails, you can look at how silly I am and feel better about yourself. Caveman!

The world is not ending tomorrow

Preppers and survivalists (small S) come to this site and the subject of Preparedness/Self-Reliance for a lot of reasons, but I will propose that most reasons for prepping have Fear at their root. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider fear a bad thing at all. We are given the gift of fear so that we will be cautious when we need to. We have a sense of danger that warns us and I have relied quite successfully on this many times in our life. I prepare because I don’t want bad things to happen to my family. Now, that doesn’t mean I walk around scared but it did prompt me to action. You should take whatever motivation you have and act on it, but relax more often that you are uptight. I lived with the near certain expectation of doomsday, economic collapse or government tyranny for the first few years and guess what? We are still here. Don’t get so wrapped around the axle that you alienate family or make bad decisions. Chances are you have plenty of time to get ready.

Unless it does

But, now that I have said that – it’s easy to fall into Analysis Paralysis. For those who don’t know what that means, it is taking too long to make a decision or take decisive action. You have to poop or get off the pot. I know some preppers who have made extremely lengthy and detailed spreadsheets with tabs broken down in all the categories of their prepping supplies – hundreds of rows long. They have calculated the difference from one item to the next in price (shipping included) over 4 vendors. What’s worse is they keep this spreadsheet updated frequently but never purchase any of those prepping supplies. They know what they need to start with, but can’t seem to pull the trigger. The prepper that has nothing but a really great plan won’t be much better off than the person who is caught completely by surprise in a disaster. I recommend starting small, but obtain the basics you need to weather bad events and build as you can. You don’t have to purchase 3 years of freeze-dried food on day one, but don’t sit there and wait for that awesome survival knife to drop another 55 cents. You need to ensure you have the basics.

‘Two is One’ is a clever saying to get you to spend more money

And since we are talking about purchasing prepper supplies – you have all heard this one before: Two is One and One is None. That just means if you only have one of something, let’s say a headlamp, and that goes out or is lost, you have nothing to fall back on. Logic says, that makes sense, right? Redundancy is another word we love to throw out there which means essentially the same thing and I am not saying you don’t need redundancy, or even more than one headlamp. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t apply this to your bug out gear. I have a YouTuber that I really like who shall remain anonymous, but his bug out bag weighs 65 pounds!!! Why? Well, for one thing he has A LOT of redundancy in there. Many knives, saws, clothes, methods of food preparation, etc. Use your judgment on this.

Your Bug Out Bag does not have magical properties

And speaking of Bug Out Bags, they are not a get out of disaster free card. A bug out bag in a best case scenario just gives you options. Simply having a bug out bag doesn’t mean you get to live and everyone who doesn’t have one dies. I fully expect many preppers to have their bug out bags taken off their lifeless bodies because they got cocky, or just unlucky by some opportunistic soul if the worst happens. Bug Out Bags are a means to an end, not the end all be all. Prepare with them, but take their life-saving properties with a grain of salt. They can only hold so much and real disasters suck no matter what you have on your back.

You will never have enough stuff

I wrote a post a while back titled, Are you Ready for the End of Prepping. It’s basic message was that no matter how much water you have stored, how many pallets of MRE’s, tins of survival seeds or cans of Beanie Weenies you have stocked under your bed – eventually it all runs out. If we really go through a real-deal SHTF incident, your supplies are only going to last so long – so the smart money is on planning now to live without all your food storage, electrical tools, generators and anything else you won’t be able to maintain without the assistance of outside help. Yes, start prepping with the basics you can purchase at the store. Begin with a week, but I don’t think you need to sink a year’s salary into food. Start planning a garden instead or look at taking that money and buying a piece of land far outside of the city.

Prior military service doesn’t necessarily make you better qualified to survive

And this is coming from someone who is ex-Army. Yes, when you enlist in the service you get different types of training and much of this has ties into the world of prepping. Depending on the Service Branch, you learn marksmanship, weapons maintenance, team tactics, first-aid, navigation and how to generally break stuff and blow it up. That doesn’t make you a survival expert and doesn’t make you a natural leader. I know some preppers who like to lean on their past service and we aren’t all created equal. Would you give someone who never saw combat the same authority on ambush tactics for example as someone who did 4 tours of Afghanistan? No. But on the flip side, that soldier that did 4 tours (thank you) might not survive any easier than the single mom who is prepared. Different skill set? Absolutely, but that doesn’t guarantee survival or that they know everything. Now, would I love to have 4 Navy seals in my personal circle of friends if SHTF? Of course, but don’t believe for a second that you can’t survive because you have now “official” training. Personal will is a HUGE factor in survival. If you have that, you are in good shape.

Plan on self-reliance, but don’t turn away help

The Lone Gunman is the image a lot of you think of if some disaster happens. You will walk stoically out to the small clearing overlooking the smoldering ruins that used to be the city you live in, taking in the scenery you will turn and walk into the bush – those fools didn’t know what hit them. It’s a good movie plot, but as a society we survived by banding together. Yes, you can survive on your own for a while, but in order to thrive you will need others and it’s better to learn to start playing nice now. Think about how you can survive with as many people as possible. You will be stronger, more capable and you will have more people to talk to when the internet is gone.

You will never know as much as you should and maybe that’s OK.

If I was independently wealthy and didn’t have a wife or kids, or a dog I could devote myself to learning every day. There are so many subjects I wish I had the time to learn. Maybe it’s an excuse, but with a job and simple responsibilities of mine, free time is a luxury I don’t get much of. But, just because I can’t take Krav Maga classes 5 days a week, compete in a CrossFit marathon, learn Morse code and small engine repair while I practice the finer art of leatherworking and blacksmithing in between classes for my EMT certification – that’s OK. I have a pretty good bit of life ahead of me and I have time to learn as much as I need. I won’t get hung up on what I don’t know because I won’t compare myself to other survival experts.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Prepping is a lifestyle, not a destination. You can never be Prepared as if that was a mythical position you could obtain. Can we all be more prepared for a wider array of things? Yes and can that mean the difference between life and death? I think so. But you can’t buy the complete package of Prepping on Amazon. It’s a journey we are all waking and it will take forever to get there.

I’m glad you are with me. Let’s keep looking forward.

The post A Prepper Looks Back – 10 Years of Prepping Lessons appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How Prepping Can Actually Make You Money

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How Prepping Can Actually Make You Money The act of prepping is one that offers several benefits. The first of all being that we can better our chance of survival. The truth is there are some serious financial benefits that can come from being well prepared. Making moves towards self-reliance and independence. Some of the …

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Get Rid Of Ticks – Guaranteed!

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Get Rid Of Ticks – Guaranteed! After a long day hunting turkeys my son and I were pulling ticks off of us left and right. Later that week I fell into an article about Powassan which is a new virus carried by ticks that is even more dangerous than Lyme. Its a terrifying feeling. The …

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And the Winners Are . . .

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The winners of out latest Billion Dollar Giveaway  which was the BIGGEST giveaway in the history of Prepper Recon are . . .

The Billion Dollar Grand Prize which includes $1,000,000,000.00 in REAL Zimbabwean Currency, plus all of the silver and survival gear in the picture above goes to . . .

Michael Green

Prize package number 2 which includes more silver and survival gear goes to . . .

Cheryl from LA

Our three audio book winners who will each receive three free codes for books on Audible are . . .

Pebbles

Jessica Burke

Gugenhouser

Congratulations to all of our winners! If you didn’t win, keep trying. We have many more great giveaways coming up. If you didn’t know about this giveaway, sign up for our Free Seven Step Survival Plan and you’ll be on the mailing list to be notified every time we have another giveaway.

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5 Things You Should Never Do During a Home Invasion

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5 Things You Should Never Do During a Home Invasion

Home security is serious business. Every day we see new articles circulated, tips, tricks, and the latest security hardware that can give you an edge against would-be home invaders. Seldom, however, do I see the mindset – ways you should be thinking about home invasion and how you should behave if it happens to you – […]

This is just the start of the post 5 Things You Should Never Do During a Home Invasion. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


5 Things You Should Never Do During a Home Invasion, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

US Moves Closer to Full Scale War in Syria with Russia and Iran

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To say there have been a few distractions in the news cycle lately is an understatement.  The establishment (aka: Deep State) will continue to create scandals to mire the Trump

Summer Family Prepping Activities

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Summer Family Prepping Activities Each season offers unique opportunities for learning and practicing survival skills. Summer time is usually filled with outdoor activities anyway, why not add in some fun activities that also add to your survival knowledge. It’s a great way to discreetly hide ‘survival lessons’ by playing games instead! That trip to the …

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Prepping With Kids

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Diesel Jester. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


If you’d asked me 16 years ago if I’d be ready for when the SHTF, I would’ve answered yes without any kind of hesitation. After all, I was single, I was a Ground Team Leader in the Air Force Auxiliary unit Civil Air Patrol, I had worked as an Armed Security Agent, was working in the airlines, and had taken a multitude of camping, firearms, first aid, and survival courses. In the chaos of 9/11 I’d been told that I’d handled myself admirably and with a cool and level head by my co-workers and supervisors. I felt prepared.

Then I met my wife-to-be, moved across the country, and settled into suburban life.

As the years passed my emergency gear went by the wayside, my skills waned a bit, and I had to sell my sidearm at one point in order to afford to move to where jobs were available at due to recession. I didn’t think too much about getting back into emergency preparedness because I had work to do, education to finish, and the everyday chores of life to deal with. It wasn’t until the last couple of years ago when my wife and I became parents of two lovely children that we adopted. Once the process was over, my wife said words that I’d never thought that I’d hear from her:

“I want to prepare for the worst.”

At first you could’ve knocked me over with a feather as I never thought she’d want to become a pepper. Then I wanted to shout my elation at the green light to do something that I’ve been wanting to do again for so long. Heck, I got the go-ahead to buy guns again (Hello AR-7 and Ruger 22/45!). As I started delving back into the world of prepping by looking at articles, making lists, buying supplies, I had to stop for a moment because there was something that I hadn’t counted on having back in my Civil Air Patrol days. There was now a new factor to the equation: Prepping with Kids.

My Children are 9 and 2. I’ve found that I had to modify my lists to suit their needs and capabilities along with my own (especially after seeing a tear-jerking video on Facebook last year about a family bugging out over the course of a year between the daughter’s birthdays). This is what I came up with and your own mileage may vary on how your own situation might be similar or different from my own.

Having kids is certainly an adjustment – both to your every day life and your prepping plans.

What is your disaster plan?

This was the big question for us. What was our plan for when the SHTF happens? Were we going to bug out or bug in? As we live in Alaska now, I realize that we have an abundance of resources around us, a decent community that we live in, and we’re pretty isolated. So bugging out will probably only happen in the event that our town is evacuated for whatever reason. So getting BOBs was high on the list and I started getting the 5-Day Packs available at our local stores. Ultimately it’s going to be a bug-in scenario as all of our resources are where we live along with people that we know and can trust.

But what about your children?

While I love my kids, they are going to be a liability that I’ll need to consider in an emergency situation. Thankfully my 9-year-old has a level head and knows how to decently handle themselves when things get bad. They love the outdoors, can carry a basic BOB on their shoulders, and likes helping mom and dad around the house. I have started taking them to the local gun range to teach safety and shooting with my new .22 rifle and handgun that I mentioned above. I’d chosen those as they’d be easy for my kids to learn on, they’re lightweight and easily concealable if we need to go on a long walk, the ammo is interchangeable between the two of them, and they’ll be effective for hunting small game in the area. My 2-year-old, however, is a big concern as they’re still in diapers. My toddler can walk for maybe a mile and has lots of energy but right now a bug out bag weighs as much as they do! Their needs will need to be met in a time-frame that could last from a week to a year or more. Some of the major things of concern are:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Milk/Formula

One would think “Costco!” at once for the diaper solution but you also have to realize that your kids will be growing. If the SHTF tomorrow, and you just recently bought in bulk, then great! But if it happens a month from now, a year from now, or two years from now, those diapers that you squirreled away might not fit, especially if you have a growing newborn to consider. So while we’re doing potty training with my toddler, I am being mindful of reusable diaper and wipe solutions and taking into consideration shelf stable milk that I’ll be able to store in the meantime. With reusable diapers and wipes also comes the problem of clean clothes so another thing that I’m in the process of looking at is how we’re going to be doing our laundry if the power goes out and stays out (I’m looking real fondly at my kids’ bike chains now and how I can attach it to a washer cylinder).

Bugging Out with a Toddler

They will never make the walk by themselves so make sure you have a way to transport your younger children and take that extra time/weight into consideration.

There’s only two ways out of our town: Boat and Airplane. Three if you count trekking it across wilderness to the next nearest town but I live in a State where everything wants to kill you the moment you walk out your front door in the middle of civilization (yes, I have had black bears on my front doorstep before with nothing but a pane of glass between us). So walking out of here is not really an option unless we get to super desperation stage, and we’re talking SyFy channel level of desperation in which a glacier is advancing at Mach 5 with a Sharknado on top of it while a San Andres Movie level earthquake is hitting the area. I’d throw in zombies but we’re already so jaded up here with them coming off the cruise ships in droves every summer. Realistically, and in all seriousness, if it comes down to a government enforced evacuation it’s going to be by ferry or by airplane. While I highly doubt that we’ll be able to take our vehicle with us even on the ferry, that means we’re going to have to rely what we can carry ourselves.

HELLO? CHILDREN?

I’m getting there. As I mentioned before, one of our BOBs is the same weight as my toddler. So that means that either my wife or I will have to carry them while the other doubles or even triples up on the bags. In this kind of situation I’m looking at getting a frame backpack for kids that my toddler can ride and at the same time I’ll be able to carry a BOB (if anyone knows of a survival BOB/kid carrier, I’d be grateful for a link). In addition to the above items listed for my 2 year old’s BOB to last for five days, I also have to consider entertainment/distractions while we’re in the process of evacuation. For this I recommend buying multiple versions of your child’s favorite toy and/or stuffed animal and putting it in their BOB. That way if you’re leaving in a hurry, you don’t have to waste valuable time wondering where Mister Bear is at when you have one already tucked away and ready to go. One of your child’s favorite blankets might be something to consider for their comfort and peace of mind if you’re in the process of evacuating with them. If your child is anything like my toddler; then they’re going to want something comforting and familiar that reminds them of home while you’re on the move to safety.

I guess that in the end it comes down to the ages of your kids, what they’re capable of, and how much extra you’re going to have to put away in order to see to their basic needs. As time goes on, we go longer (Lord and Lady willing) without an event occurring, and as your children get older, their needs will naturally change until they’re at such an age that they can reasonably handle themselves in the event of a crisis. They’ll also learn from the example that you set for them and from what you teach them as you prep. These are skills that they’ll have with them forever. Teach them skills to survive, teach them how to keep a cool head, and don’t panic yourself. That, and a little common sense and hopefully you’ll come out of any situation reasonably intact.

The post Prepping With Kids appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Something I had Not Thought Of Before!

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We have probably all thought about the possibility of an asteroid striking the earth, I seem to recall a scientist saying that asteroids pass the earth all the time, but at a distance that is no threat to us. But what if another planet in our solar system were hit by a large asteroid?
Our planet, Earth, is governed in it’s orbit by the planets surrounding us. The moon pulls us & pushes us & effects our ocean tides. But all the surrounding planets have some effect on Earth’s orbit. So what would happen if one of these other planets were knocked off course, or worse, destroyed? This would change Earth’s orbit, which surely would change our world’s weather patterns & climate. How do we prepare for that? Something to think about.
Keith.

Excessive rain fall expected in Qld & NSW !

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Huge rainfall expected for the east coast in the next few days. If you live in an area prone to flooding, take precautions NOW! 

And here: https://au.news.yahoo.com/nsw/a/35548447/nsw-and-queensland-weather-months-worth-of-rain-to-pour-in-three-days/#page1
DO NOT try to drive through fast flowing waters at any depth. DO NOT attempt to drive through waters which are deeper than the wading depth of your vehicle. DO NOT let your kids play anywhere near flood waters. Check food supplies in your pantry & stock up NOW. Think about how you are going to boil water & cook food if you are flooded. Make sure you have plenty of safe drinking water on hand, flood waters may be polluted. Tie stuff down in your yard, these rains may be accompanied by strong winds.
Good luck everyone.
Keith.

Choosing the Best Rifle Sling – Part 2

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

Introduction to Slings (Part 2)

Last time we looked at the uses, types and history of slings.  Now let us consider how to choose a sling and look at some choices with potential for tactical use.

How to Choose a Rifle Sling

As is usually the case with anything, the first step in choosing the best rifle sling is to decide what you are going to use it for.  For a sport hunting arm, any old carrying strap will do.  A padded one will be comfortable for those long treks, and these are available in nylon and leather.  I tend to prefer the nylon ones as being more reasonably priced.  If you are doing competition shooting, go with what the rules of your events specify; a M1907 model sling might be optimal for some types of competitions.  For a tactical rifle or shotgun, a single point/two point convertible is often a good choice.

Slings are available in various widths.  I would tend to avoid 1″, the most common, when possible.  This is just because the narrower the strap, the more concentrated the weight applied where it contacts the body.  Of course, a sporting sling with a wider padded part would eliminate this concern, and in my day, I found Uncle Mike’s padded slings to be quite acceptable.  They do not appear to be sold these days, but if I were looking for one, I’d check out Butler Creek (same parent company as Uncle Mike’s), who appear to have some models which would be equivalent or even better.  For slings without a wide pad, the 1 1/4″ sling would often be a better choice than the 1″.

Wider slings are available, but usually only with clips for ring mounts.  For a tactical sling, I’d prefer 1 1/2″, and for a heavy tactical gun, I might even search for a 2″ sling.  There are a few padded tactical slings, but my theory is that if they were really superior, there would be a lot more of them.

When considering any sling, check out the “fixed” adjustment.  You want a sling which is big enough for any likely use of yours, without being too big for any use.  The fixed adjustment should be moderately easy to set, but more importantly, not move accidentally.  Some slings also need to have a “rapid” adjustment to switch between modes, separate from the fixed adjustment for size.  Make sure this adjustment mechanism is conveniently located, easily operated, and stays where you put it when it is not deliberately being moved.

Tactical Sling Choices

As mentioned, sport slings are not terribly different from each other, and competition slings tend to be specified by the competition.  The real excitement is in the tactical sling arena; usually a single point/two point convertible sling is a good choice, but there are a bunch of them, ranging in price from cheap ones from China to the $100 range.  Looking for one appropriate for a tactical shotgun, I set an arbitrary limit of $60.  The first one I considered was the Magpul MS3 or MS4, because they are a good company, and frankly, since they have their own QD clip, they “must know what they are doing”.  But they use 1.25″ webbing, which might be a bit narrow for such a heavy gun.  A very attractive one was the Cetacea Rabbit with two rapid adjustments instead of just one, but the 1″ webbing might be even less appropriate than the Magpul.  Finally, I found a 2″ wide one, the e-RUSH (enhanced Rapid Urban Sentry Hybrid) from Urban-E.R.T Tactical.  This is their top model, with all the sling bells and whistles.  They have a lower level model for economy and even a 1″ version if you like the style but don’t need the 2″ width.

Let’s take a closer look at the e-RUSH and the MS3.

e-RUSH sling

This photo shows the E-RUSH Sling transformed into a one point sling for single point use.

With a strap width of 2″, this is one of the better choices I’ve found for heavy long guns – if it will fit you.  Fixed adjustment is a simple sliding buckle providing one foot of adjustment.  The captured buckle means you can’t make it any shorter than two feet, and a very long label on the strap discourages you from getting three inches more than three feet;  there is a flat elastic section included.  Unlike the “bungee” section which is a more common methodology, this is at the forward end of the strap rather than at the butt end.  This is so that if you jump down and the weight of the gun stretches the sling downward, the elastic does not bring it back up to smack into your face.  And it is more comfortable and useful for chest expansion if you are breathing heavily.  The straps and attachments on each end of the 2″ strap are standard 1″.  With this and all the hardware, this means that using the strap like a normal sporting sling, for carrying (muzzle up) or shooting support, is not comfortable, and the moderate adjustment variance makes it too long for this anyway.  With all the hardware it has, you might be able to disassemble it and “build” it for “normal sporting” use, but it might still be too long and even if not, it hardly seems worth the effort.

On the butt end of the sling there is a locking strap system which allows you to attach a female buckle and ring, a female buckle and male buckle, or a female buckle and push button QD socket.  The female buckle is where you plug-in the male plug which is attached to the mount on the gun, and the ring/male buckle/QD socket is where you attach the forward end of the sling to convert it into a one point sling.  You can also attach a “CQB” adapter here instead, which eliminates the two-part buckle between the sling and the gun so it rides a few inches higher.  That is, the gun adapter is connected directly to the sling rather than through a quick disconnect buckle.

Read More: Top 5 Firearms you need to get your hands on now!

The other (forward) end of the sling has the same locking strap system.  This is attached to a fancy two function buckle.  On the top end, there is a small tab, which if you pull sharply, causes the buckle to come apart, giving an emergency exit from the sling.  The other end is a fast adjustment buckle, which allows you to tighten the sling by pulling on the protruding strap end, or loosen the sling by lifting up on the end of the buckle.  This gives you a rapid adjustment of sixteen inches.  On the other end of the rapid adjustment strap is the female buckle which attaches to the male plug connected to the forward sling attachment.  The rapid adjustment strap is handy to pull on to cinch up the system, but when the sling is cinched tight, that strap end can flop around.

Which QD adapters are available, you ask?  All the major ones are available, except for the Magpul one.  You can choose between the stud, the push button, the Mash clip, the HK clip, a locking strap (for a slot or fixed ring), and a version of the Universal Wire Loop using paracord instead of the stiffer and thinner wire (which may make it less versatile).  In order to use the ring to convert from two point to one point, you will have to use the Mash or HK clip on the front, and to use the QD socket to convert to single point, use the push button QD adapter on the front.  Or if you have the male plug for single point conversion, just unclip the front female buckle from the adapter in use, and fasten it to the male plug near the butt end.  This latter configuration allows you to have a female buckle attached to your belt, which allows you to fasten the male plug attached to adapter at the front end of the gun to that buckle to secure the front of the gun when quick access is not needed.

I’m quite large, and at the three-foot adjustment, it is just the right size.  If I had armor or a thick vest, it might not be long enough.  Functionally, this works quite well in one point mode with a shotgun or rifle with a pistol grip or any stock.  In two point mode, it is great for a pistol grip shotgun, but if the shotgun has a full size stock and a shell saddle, the butt end kind of sticks out (because the shell saddle is between the user and the gun.  The adapters which Velcro around the stock and the forearm to provide sling mount points on guns which don’t have them, or have them only on the bottom, work very well, except that putting it on an AR style stock prevents you from operating the charging handle, so should be avoided.

This system seems to meet my requirements for heavy tactical weapons, and is versatile enough that one sling can be used on any one of a variety of firearms.

MS3/MS4 sling

Magpul MS4 Gen 2 Multi-Mission Single Point / 2 Point Sling with Dual QD Swivels Nylon

This is kind of standard and simple in design.  There is their brand clip (MS3) or a QD clip (MS4) on the butt end, connected to a ring or QD socket.  Then the main strap to a buckle tasked as a double loop.  The fixed adjustment for this strap is two slide buckles, giving you about three feet of adjustment and more if you get creative.  The secondary strap gives you two feet of “instantaneous” adjustment and has another Magpul clip or a QD clip, and that’s it.  Simple and clean, it is more streamlined than the e-RUSH, but not as versatile.  You can also get a MS1 sling and upgrade it to a MS3 or MS4.

It is designed as a two point to one point convertible which means it can provide fast access, but no support for increased accuracy.  But it can be “tricked” into working as a standard sling, allowing the use of the “hasty sling” technique as well as muzzle up carry.  You’ll need a ring or QD socket forward and near the butt.  Rings are rare at the butt end, but you can install an unattached QD clip back there and that works adequately as a ring for the Magpul clip.  Then reassemble the fixed adjustment system to be much shorter (there will be a long strap end to feed back into the buckles) and it actually works fairly well for “hasty sling” and “normal” carry.

In its intended modes, it works quite well, with one big advantage and a couple of minor disadvantages.  The big advantage is the Magpul connecting clip.  This attaches to the ring parallel to the strap, rather than perpendicular like the HK or MASH clips.  And it doesn’t twist or rattle or slide around like those others.  With the cross lock, it is secure, yet very easy to attach or detach.  On the downside, there is no elastic element in the strap, so if you have it cinched up tight, you might restrict your breathing a bit.  The width is 1 1/4″ which is better than 1″, but not as good as bigger.  A heavy weapon gets a bit uncomfortable when hanging in single mode for a long period of time, which may not be normal usage.  And the quick adjustment tends to adjust itself sometimes.  Minor negatives, and for a medium or lightweight weapon, this is a pretty good choice.  There is a padded version of the MS1, which if upgraded to a MS3 or MS4 equivalent, might even be acceptable for heavy weapons.

Conclusions

Personally, I’d have any long gun I owned set up for a sling.  When you find you need a sling, it is often too late to install one.  Although I would be too cheap to have a separate sling for every gun, I would have at least one of every type of sling I would need.  I would install studs or QD sockets in every hunting rifle and shotgun, with a nylon padded sling (or two) with the matching clips.  For any competition gun, I’d probably stick with the sling attachments which came with it, and have a 1907 style leather sling (the one from Brownells used to be hard to beat) and any other sling required by a match I might go to.  For a tactical weapon, I’d have an ambidextrous mount between the stock and the receiver, and a mount in front which either was ambidextrous, or could easily be removed and mounted on the other side, as well as standard mounts forward and at the butt if practical.  My choice for a heavy tactical sling would be the e-RUSH sling, and I’d be tempted to get a couple of Magpul clips and integrate them into the e-RUSH since I like them much better than MASH clips and slightly better than QD clips (I won’t have anything to do with HK clips).  If I had several tactical weapons, I would also have a Magpul sling for the lighter ones.

Are there other slings besides Butler Creek, Brownells, Urban-ERT and Magpul?  Of course, there are many; some similar and a few significantly different.  There might be better ones, and from my experience, I can guarantee there are worse ones.  Some are cheaper and some are more expensive; more expensive ones are sometimes better than cheap ones, but not always.  There is often a choice of colors.  Pick the one (or more) which is suitable for your needs and budget.

The post Choosing the Best Rifle Sling – Part 2 appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Be Prepared for the Unexpected

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Be Prepared for the Unexpected We are living on a changing world. There is no getting around that. No matter what reasoning you subscribe to when it comes to the reason for this changing world we are still on it. If you don’t believe its changing than I don’t think you are paying enough attention. …

Continue reading »

The post Be Prepared for the Unexpected appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Prepper Apologetics!

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I recently completed a three-art series of videos in which I answer the three most common objections to preparedness, self-reliance, and survivalism that I hear from people. Here are the videos:

1) Is Preparedness and Self Reliance Selfish?

2) Are Preppers failing to trust God? 

3) HA! HA! It hasn’t happened! 

I hope you enjoyed these videos. Please subscribe to my You Tube channel. Please remember that I am not a public speaker and am relatively new to making videos.  Consider me still learning! 

How to go self-sufficient at home

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The world is constantly evolving, and it’s not always for the best. Being self-sufficient within the home is like being in survival mode and it means you are always one step ahead with preparedness than the majority of people. The supermarket, the water supplier and the power grid, are you prepared if they all went … Read more…

The post How to go self-sufficient at home was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

What to Do If You Are Caught Without Your Prepping Supplies

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I travel a pretty good bit for work. When I travel, it almost exclusively by air as it just so happens my co-workers or customers are spread all over the globe. In a perfect world I always have my EDC gear on me but when traveling, especially via plane, you have to make some concessions. When it makes sense I have basic survival gear that I pack, but my luggage has to be checked. I have flown with a firearm on multiple occasions, but what if you are unable to take any survival gear with you? What would you do if you were caught in a disaster without even your trusty survival knife?

In this article I want to go through some situations I personally have in my 9-5 life where I wasn’t as prepared as I know in my heart I should be, and discuss some alternatives when you are caught without your prepping supplies. When all hell breaks loose, are you doomed if you don’t have your full battle rattle on?

What should you be carrying everywhere you go?

EDC. Any prepper worth his or her salt knows that this acronym stands for Every Day Carry. This is the gear you have on your person virtually all the time. These are usually simple items like a folding knife, a flashlight, watch, Leatherman or multitool. Optionally, some people (like me) will add a concealed carry weapon to this list and maybe a compass, lighter or matches and spare cash. The items that make up your EDC are personal, should be appropriate to your daily routine and environment and vary greatly from prepper to prepper. I wrote a whole article about my EDC list some time back.

On any normal day, I have most if not all elements of my personal EDC on me when I leave my house. I have a knife in my pocket, handkerchief (only used it once to help a lady out) flashlight and lighter are housed on my keys and my concealed carry weapon. I have other elements in my work backpack and a ton of gear in my car. If I have nothing more than my car, I can probably live for a week very comfortably – assuming I couldn’t drive anywhere. If I only had my backpack and what’s on my person, that would be a little tougher, but I would have basic lifesaving tools or elements to help me improve my situation. If I only had what is in my pockets I would still be pretty much in the same boat. But when I am traveling, sometimes I don’t have any of my EDC Gear on me. It’s pretty much me betting that I will be OK.

How can you travel without any EDC gear?

I have written before about how to fly with a firearm legally and for most air travel I take, outside of work I still do fly with my firearm. I also keep a mini-go bag in my suitcase with a sawyer mini water filter, knife, fire starter, headlamp, first aid kit and mylar blanket. I have a stainless water bottle too so the basics are covered. But on most trips here recently, I don’t fly with my trusty Glock and if I am not checking bags, knives are out the window too. I can, and still do bring a small, but bright flashlight and hanky with me, but most of what I consider my must haves are left at home. Why?

Convenience.

Yes, Sheer convenience. I am admitting it now before the entire world that sometimes, it is easier to not check bags. If I am carrying my bag onto a plane, I have far fewer options on what I can bring with me but I have many more options with flights. If my flight gets cancelled and I have my bag with me, I can run to another airline. If some weather delays me mid-journey, I can take another route home, or make it to the car rental agencies before my fellow travelers. If any one of a number of hiccups happen with the airlines I don’t have to go into that important client meeting wearing the same outfit I had on yesterday. Which was designed for comfort. Not impressing clients. Convenience.

Lost luggage at Airport.

Now, many of you may be saying to yourselves: “How can Pat consider himself a prepper if he goes and leaves himself vulnerable like that for convenience” and I understand what you mean, but I look at things a little differently. Actually, major points of my philosophy evolve or change over the years. Here is what I know.

In this country, or even pretty much any country I would find myself in for business travel, if anything short of a nuclear bomb went off, I would be able to get the supplies I needed even if I wasn’t carrying them.

Obtaining survival gear in the wild

And by wild I am not talking about a jungle adventure with Bear Grylls. If that’s the place you are visiting, you better have your gear no matter what. What do I mean? OK, let me explain. Let’s say I am traveling in business to Boston, MA without any of the gear I normally carry as EDC and an EMP hits. Assuming, I would be better off with my regular EDC (and I do), where could I replace that gear quickly? Before I continue, let’s list off the basic items again:

Shelter

  • A means of keeping yourself warm, cool, dry
    • Tarp/Poncho/Jackets, Hats, Gloves, etc.

Water

  • A method of making water safe to drink
  • A container for holding water

Food

  • Enough calories to keep you going for the duration

Security

  • A means of protecting yourself from two-legged predators

The list above is only the most basic items for survival, but we can start there. Going back to Boston and an EMP hits. What is the first thing you think everyone will do?

Probably nothing.

That is your time to act. While everyone is complaining that they can’t check the weather or stocks or the latest snapchat on their phones you need to move.  As a prepper, you should be practicing situational awareness. That means a lot of different things depending on the situation you are in, but when it comes to a disaster like this where people aren’t dying immediately, your job is to act. My focus will be obtaining as many survival supplies as I can before the sheeple wake up.

In a situation like that, I would head out to the nearest store. If I was lucky enough to come across an REI or a Dick’s Sporting Goods or even a Walmart you would be all set provided you had cash with you and the store was accepting cash transactions. When I fly, I try to bring $300 in cash with me for emergencies. It won’t do everything, but it could help, especially in a situation like this. For that $300, you could easily get a knife, headlamp, tarp and just about all the other EDC basics I left at home.

But that’s too easy. What if you weren’t in Boston and couldn’t find a sporting goods store to save your life. Then what?

Head to the drug store, hardware store or grocery store but skip past the food isles, at least at first. Go to the smaller section they always have with light-bulbs and extension cords and toilet plungers. Go to the housewares section. They may not have knives, but they could have box cutters. You may be able to find tarps, but if not, trash bags connected with duct tape will keep you just as dry. If you don’t already have a backpack, you should be able to find one of those too that will fit your supplies.

The small local hardware store might be the last place people run, but a great place to find supplies.

Matches will be there too and usually so will lighter fluid. Together, if you keep the matches dry you should be able to make a fire. You will always be able to find some form of flashlight in these stores too but don’t forget to get extra batteries. Hopefully you have shoes that are comfortable to walk in.

We can’t forget food, but skip canned food and grab items that you don’t need to prepare or weigh a whole lot but still provide calories. Think energy bars or breakfast bars and be sure to check the calorie counts if you have time.

What about security? The box cutter or knife would be better than nothing, but you really have to get close in order for those to work. Man has been using clubs since the dawn of time, really, they are still being used all over the world as the post about handmade weapons demonstrates very clearly. You can find some implement and use it as a club. It isn’t what I would rather have instead of my trusty concealed Glock, but it beats (no pun intended) not having anything.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that survival can’t be distilled down to only who has the right gear because I know that many of you could survive if you were dropped naked in the middle of a jungle. Survival is about having the will to live above all else. Skills follow closely, but you can still survive if you have the right mindset. I don’t recommend leaving home without your EDC, but if you have to, or get caught on a late-night Walmart run, you usually will have options. Look for opportunities to give yourself and advantage and maybe you will find that you are much better off than you thought you were.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and stay safe!

The post What to Do If You Are Caught Without Your Prepping Supplies appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Must-Read Advice For Surviving In The Wild

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Image Source: Pexels.com

By The Survival Place Blog

There are many reasons why someone might find themselves out in the wild. Perhaps you’re in the military and are deployed out in foreign territories having to live in jungles or other wild areas? Or, you’re someone that likes testing himself and doing extreme things such as mountain climbing or trekking.

Either way, you need to know how to survive in the wild to ensure you make it back home in one piece. Bearing that in mind, here are some tips you must read:

Always Carry A Knife

Knives are one of the most important survival tools out there. You can use a knife as a tool to help cut things, as a hunting device, but also as a combat weapon should you ever run into trouble. With a knife, you have something that can do many different things to help you survive. Plus, they’re easy to carry and don’t weigh much at all. In fact, if you read any KA-BAR review you’ll see that there are top of the range survival knives that are only 7 inches in length. That’s not that long, and you can keep it strapped to your belt or even in your bag. You will always find yourself in a position where a knife can come in handy, it just makes sense to carry one when you’re out in the wild.

Learn How To Start A Fire Anywhere

You won’t be able to survive out in the wild if you can’t start a fire. Fire is essential for cooking food on and providing warmth. Not only that but if you need to attract attention to get rescued, then a fire is a brilliant thing to use. The obvious tip is to bring a lighter with you, but you might break it or run out of fluid. So, you should learn how to start one naturally using things you find in the wild such as sticks and stones. Alternatively, it makes sense to get your hands on some fire starters that won’t break easily and can be used over and over again. Some places sell things like two metal rods that can be rubbed together to create a spark. Fire is your friend, ensure you can call upon it whenever you want.

Brush Up On Wild Food Knowledge

Naturally, you should bring lots of food and preserves with you whenever you’re venturing out in the wild. The food you bring is designed to last a long time, but things could go wrong. You may end up out there longer than you thought, or you could lose all your stuff in an accident. In which case, you must turn to your surrounding environment for nourishment. It’s vital you know what you can and can’t eat out in the wild. One wrong move and you could poison yourself and die. Brush up your wild food knowledge so you know what you can eat, and stay well-fed as you survive.

These are the main things to think about if you want to survive in the wild. Pay close attention as you never know when it can come in handy.

This article was first published at The Survival Place Blog: Must-Read Advice For Surviving In The Wild

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips, Prepping, Wilderness Survival Gear

Prepping Priorities – What Should You Be Prepping For?

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

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Practical Preparedness – Planning by Prevalence

When we jump on preparedness sites, sometimes we’re immediately struck by the enormous loads of things to buy, do, and learn. We immediately start hearing about WROL, battle rifles, ammo counts in the thousands, pressure canners, INCH/BOB bags and locations, pace count, and primitive skills. World- and nation-altering events such as nuclear war, internet-ending viruses, Nibiru, Agenda 21 and NWO, and the like pop up. They all have their places, but sometimes things get missed and it can make for a very overwhelming introduction. It can make it hard to prioritize where to spend our time and financial budgets even for those with experience and years of exposure to the prepared mindset.

To make it a little easier to prioritize, we can work in stages. We can look at what is most likely to occur in the near future and our lifetimes, and use that information to help us decide where to focus our time, efforts and resources.

Zone-Ring Systems

In permaculture, planning is based on zones. The basic premise is that you start at 0 or 1 with the self or home, and move outward through 2-4 and eventually into Zone 5. The inner rings have the most immediate contact with the resident, while the outer rings are visited less frequently. Other systems also use similar ring concepts of involvement, frequency and impact.

The same can be applied to preparedness, just like we modified a Health Wheel to fit our particular interests and needs. In this case, instead of looking at the frequency with which we’ll make contact with an area, we’ll be looking at the frequency with which things occur and impact our worlds.

Like permaculture, I’ve gone with five general categories. In this case, they are: Daily, Seasonal/Annual, 5-10 Year, Generational, & Lifetime/Eventually/Maybe. There are some examples for the average Western World resident. Later in the article there’s a few tips for planning for and around those most and least-prevalent scenarios.

Zone 1/First Ring – Daily Occurrences

A layoff can be just as devastating as a zombie invasion if you aren’t prepared.

Daily emergencies are those that strike somebody somewhere every single day in our English-reading modern life. While some affect larger groups, these tend to be personal or family related items. They’re the kinds of things the neighbors might not even notice. Some examples are:

  • Layoff, cut hours, cut wages
  • Major bills (roof, medical, HVAC, veterinary)
  • House fire
  • Major injury/developing disability
  • Theft, burglary, mugging
  • Vehicular accident & malfunction (temporarily removing transportation)
  • Temporary power outages (hours to 1-3 days)
  • Personal physical altercation (mugging, home invasion, the drunk at a bar, date rape)
  • Missing person(s), family death

When considering the financial aspects of preparedness, also consider the things that might not affect jobs, but do affect our income and-or our ability to offset daily costs. For instance, an injury that prevents gardening and picking up overtime or a second job as a stocker, pipe-fitter, or forklift driver, or a developing disability that renders an arm/hand weak or unusable and prevents needlepoint, canine grooming, or weaving.

Zone 2/Second Ring – Seasonal/Annual Occurrences

These are the things we can consult our Almanacs and insurance companies to consider. They regularly tend to affect a larger number of people. It might be a block or a street in some cases, parts of a town or county, or might impact a whole state if not a region. They’d be things like…

River ice jam flooding

 

Let’s hope that last stays firmly in the “annual” category or shifts back to the third prevalence ring for most of us. Let’s also acknowledge that in some places and nations, it’s already more common to be caught in crossfire of some sort than it is to live peaceful lives, and for some of them, it’s as or almost as common as paying monthly bills or going out to eat.

Zone 3/Third Ring – 5-10 Year Occurrences

These are the things that happen regularly, but infrequently. Some occur on cycles. Some, as with the natural disasters above, are a nearly predictable cycle. Some aren’t really predictable, per se, but as with tornadoes in one of the nations’ tornado alley or hurricane-prone areas, you learn to expect them. We can expect them to affect a larger area or more people in many cases.

  • Natural Disasters from above
  • Mudslides
  • Major industrial or business closures/layoffs
  • Drought (personal & widespread impacts)
  • Widespread livestock illnesses (such as the avian diseases that pop up regularly)
  • Temporary outages (3-14 days)
  • Changing life phases (child-birth & toddlers, school-age kids, driving-age youths, empty nests, retirements)
  • Fuel cost cycles

Zone 4/Fourth Ring – Generational Occurrences

The span covered by the term “generation” tends to change if you use the strictest definitions. Most account for a generation to cover about 20-30 years. Some examples of things that very much tend to be generational include:

  • Major wars (mental & physical disabilities, income effects good & bad)
  • Recessions, depressions
  • Fuel cost cycles (more extreme)
  • Serious multi-year “weird” weather (droughts, floods, late or early springs)
  • 25- & 50-year flood levels
  • Some diseases

Zone 5/Fifth Ring – Lifetime/Eventual/Possible Occurrences

A lot of these are going to affect not just a region, not just one nation, but many. In some nations and regions, they may fall under the fourth ring of prevalence instead of the fifth. Some of these are also the big-fear “gotcha’s” or clickbait types that seem to draw folks in. Some are truly believed in, and I try not to judge people on what they believe. Poles have shifted in the past, Yellowstone has erupted, we’ve had serious solar effects on power, and asteroids have struck our earth. Will they happen again in our lifetime or eventually? Some almost certainly. Some are a firm “maybe”. Some are … possible.

  • Great Depression
  • Devastating Midwest seismic activity
  • National or global pandemics in the Western world
  • Major Ring of Fire activity
  • Significant volcanic eruptions (the atmosphere-blocking ash type)
  • Major global climate change (for the hotter or colder)
  • EMP, devastating solar activity
  • Nation-crippling electronic-based virus(es)

Alternative Scale Systems

Like permacuture’s zoning, the business world can also give us some scale systems to apply. High-probability, high-reward, urgent-response items are given priority, while lower-chance and less-likely risks are tended to later. We can create the same for our preparedness.

Another way to look at the five rings would be to apply a timespan for event duration. Perhaps 3-7 days, then 3-6 weeks, 3 months, 6-12 months, and 18-months+.

Like using prevalence, using time spans creates a measurable scale that works off a “most likely” basis. Most of us, at some point inside 1-5 years, will have some sort of financial upheaval or power outage that makes the supplies in the first few rings useful.

Ensuring we have everything we need to cook, clean, stay warm (or cool), and pay bills for those periods will keep us more balanced in our preparedness, and make us better prepared for the things that are MOST likely to occur in our near future and our lifetimes.

Applying Prevalence Rings

It’s inarguable that if you’re ready for the New World Order to freeze the planet and then send out FLIR drones to drop nuclear bombs in the midst of a planned or unplanned foreign-nation bank account hack while satellites are inaccessible due to solar storms’ interference, you’re pretty much good.

That’s not a particularly practical place to start and it might not be the best plan for resource allocation unless everything else really is covered.

There are a world’s worth of things that occur on a small-scale, inside homes and towns, that happen a lot more frequently than the dinosaurs and mega-mammals die out.

I see an awful lot of people hyped on one thing that can go wrong and might one day go wrong, but they exclude all kinds of things that do actually happen.

They forget that we sometimes have disasters that mean daily life is taking place all around us, or in the rest of the county, state, nation and world. They neglect fire extinguishers and smoke detectors for the sexy-cool aspects of preparedness like the rifles and Rambo knives.

Fact is, most of us will experience something from the first tier or two in our lives at least once, and for some of us, they’re regular parts of life.

In many cases of upheaval and crisis, we’re still going to want electricity, most likely.

We will still have a job or need to find a new one, will still be expected to present ourselves showered and with money to receive services, will still have doctor’s appointments, hunting and squatting in county-state-national parks will still be frowned on, and combat gear in the streets will still be the exception rather than the rule.

In some cases, the duration of our life-altering events might only be a few hours or days. However, in many parts of the world, those hours or days can be seriously inconvenient if not downright deadly. The ability to keep a CPAP machine running, repair a down or wrecked vehicle, and continue on with life after a squirrel invasion or a tree comes down is just as important as defending the home from looters and making beeswax candles.

Being able to repel the zombie horde does me little good if my vehicle is in poor repair on a daily basis and leaves me stranded on my way to work. 5K-10K rounds of ammo times my 7 platforms sounds nice, unless I don’t keep oil, coolant, jumper cables and fix-a-flat or a mini air compressor in my vehicle so I can limp my way home to them safely – on a daily basis.

Prioritizing instead of jumping willy-nilly – and tracking instead of continuing to add to whatever my favorite prep stash is – can help prevent daily disasters from truly causing upheaval.

Overlap Between Rings

The nice thing about seriously assessing what is likely to go wrong based on prevalence in the past is that we can sometimes make just little twitches.

We don’t have to be ready for all-out neighborhood wars over food, grazing rights, and tickets to the Earth Arks to create that overlap.

A bug-out bag serves as a shelter-in-place kit as well as a “standard” wildfire or hurricane evac kit. Having a month or two of food (or far more) means we can also weather a big bill because we can skip buying groceries.

Image: How’s your insurance coverage?

Preparing by Prevalence

Resources like the Ready.gov site and our insurance carriers can help us determine what goes wrong in our area. We might be well served making maps using the information they give us about regular, fifty-year and hundred-year floods, wind storms, and snow/hurricane routes to apply to our walk-out and drive-out plans.

We can also use their information – like, what is the number-one thing that causes job-loss or vehicle and home damage in our area – to make sure we’re buffered against it.

Pat’s preparedness arc and the article about a balanced wheel (especially the comments) may help even longtime preppers better assess where they stand, and focus or refocus on any gaps between normal daily life and the return of the Ice Age, Dust Bowl, total economic collapse, and other extreme events. They – and the standard FEMA/Red Cross recommendations for 3-7-10-14 days of supplies – can be excellent starting places for beginners.

The post Prepping Priorities – What Should You Be Prepping For? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

How to Get the Most Food from Your Survival Garden

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Boosting Our Garden Productivity

Our practices can affect our garden productivity hugely. Sometimes that’s as easy as changing our mindsets, so that the time and labor it takes to garden is lowered, which allows us to do more. Sometimes it’s embracing “Semper Gumby” and accepting the feedback our gardens and yards offer us, and sometimes it’s looking at our home and yard spaces differently. Sometimes it’s letting the Johnson’s be the Johnson’s and contenting ourselves with being us – with our needs and abilities the measuring standard we use. In some cases, the practices we apply might be hugely unconventional. In other cases, they’re tiny things only in our minds. They can all make a difference when it comes to successful growing. Here are a few ways we can cut down on the labor and time of gardening and increase our yields, whether we’re just getting started with some pots or whether we’re ready to expand our production in times of crisis when food production has stopped.

Pick the Right Plants

Sometimes if we’re after heirlooms and open-pollinated plants so we can collect seed, it can be tough, but whenever possible, selecting local or regional plants and seeds will boost our success. They’re adapted to if not developed specifically for our climate, so there’s a better chance of them performing for us than something that was produced across the country, even of the same cultivar.

If we can’t find our choices locally, we can do some research. There are some proven winners that work across multiple USDA growing zones for most types of veggies and even most of the field crops we’ll grow.

Most of our county extension, state Ag department, and the Master Gardener’s programs will have stock lists of varieties that perform well regionally within the state and county. Remember that the Big Ag guys are going to most likely be spraying and irrigating, so look for and ask about dryland farming varieties and varieties that are resistant to pests.

We can also improve our gardens by selecting disease-resistant varieties whenever possible. Not dealing with a crop illness at all is far easier on the labor, pocketbook, and productivity of a garden.

We also want to pick the right plants for us, and the right number of plants.

15,000 Non GMO Heirloom Vegetable Seeds Survival Garden 32 Variety Pack

Ten or twenty tomatoes take a lot of work, and a lot of resources. On the other hand, ten or twenty pea or bean plants is likely to only yield enough for a couple of meals at once. Four-square-feet of corn is nearly nothing – one, maybe two meals for 4-5. Four-square-feet of spinach could be salads and greens for a whole season, depending on family size.

Determinate plants dump the majority of their produce all at once, which can lead to a glut we have to deal with, and then they die. That can be good or bad.

If we want to go with determinates, for some things like squash and tomatoes, maybe we stagger two to four plants at a time for a small family or a beginner. It makes less to deal with at one time, and it lets us re-plant after them at a reasonable pace for busy people as well.

Alternatively, maybe we go with a longer-lived set of indeterminate plants that trickle in produce at a rate we can consume or process easily.

Proximity – Plan garden plots along paths we already take, and near the resources they’ll need.

Proximity

Location, location, location – we hear it all the time when finding property, but it’s just as important once we have our space to play with. The closer we can put our gardens to our homes, the more attention they’re going to get and the less time we’re going to spend crossing ground to go weed, water, fetch tools, and harvest.

Once we’re hitting about fifty-percent of our veggie consumption, it’s tough to keep the whole garden close at hand, but we can still keep rotations plants that require a lot of water, that get harvested from regularly, and our problem-prone plants near at hand.

The closer we can put our gardens to our homes, the more attention they’re going to get

We also want to be mindful of proximity to water. Since rooflines are going to be our most common rain catchment points (using our free salvaged buckets and totes), we can check both those boxes keeping at least some of our beds along our common walkways to and from the house and garage or sheds, or establishing beds near doorways and outdoor water faucets.

With our beds near the house, we’ll then also want to keep some of the maintenance basics like hand tools and maybe a watering can right there handy as well. The most regularly used items are fairly compact, so they should fit right in with our porch broom or a bucket or deck box near the door.

Eliminate Ego

Right up there with making our life easier by picking out plants that are proven winners and producers, is giving ourselves a break. The neighbors might have a bare earth garden without a speck of a weed. Martha Stewart and the Neeleys might have awesome, bountiful beds with expensive chipped mulch or thick mats of straw.

Good for them. They’re not us.

We can take advice from them if we want – and if their advice falls in line with our growing style, and the desire to be more self-sufficient, which means cutting some of the umbilical cords to Lowe’s and Tractor Supply. We can ask what varieties they use, maybe even trade some seeds. We need to not compare ourselves – or our gardens – to them and theirs.

Every person and family is different, and soil changes step by step. The extra time being cultivated, a reliance on outside fertilizers, different wind and sun patterns, and a devotion to watering can all have effects.

We also need to just be nice to ourselves. If the weeds aren’t big enough to bother the plants, they’re not hurting anything; take a few minutes to enjoy family or a book now and then. If we have to pick between having cardboard between rows and beds, or running a tiller or weed-eater or hoe, go with the time and fuel and labor-saving ugly.

All our garden should be about is our yield and our health and our abilities, compared only to our past.

The rest of it, that’s just ego. Hubris is how mere mortals take down the gods and giants in all the good stories. Stick with humble and happy.

Slow, Steady Solutions

This is actually a permaculture principle. What it means is that we add things at a pace where we can handle them, where they will thrive, and where we can accept feedback from them – and adjust accordingly. It goes hand-in-hand with that ego point above. But also, it’s about learning, and not getting overwhelmed.

Whether we’re just starting or expanding, it can be tempting to go for broke. And sometimes, we break. Then we get discouraged, either by a method and we write it off, or by this whole gardening thing in general.

We can also break the bank trying to do it all at once, either getting started or making changes or trying to keep up with others’ results.

Deciding on our pace should include a look at our financials. Sometimes it’s more economical to buy or rent a machine and get lots done in a few hours, but sometimes we’re better served with a shovel and a post-hole auger and working by inches over days and weeks.

We do need to get started with gardening, but make changes and expand at a pace we can maintain. In the end, we’ll have a better situation than if we rushed around and ended up unhappy or worn out later.

Leave Room to Renovate

When we eke out our plots and expansions, we can benefit from leaving ourselves some elbow room through and around them. Especially if we’re new, we might also want to use a more temporary “build” for the first few rounds.

Container gardens, lasagna beds, using established flower and ornamental beds for veggies, expanding at the base of trees or hedges just a foot or two, and inexpensive beds made from things like shelving units can help with that. So can doing an unbounded, free-form bed instead of starting off with brick or timbers.

That way we have a chance to test out our water solutions, placement around our homes and placement of our tools, our composting systems, make sure it’s not too dry or too sodden or in a frost pocket or heavily shaded come June, exposed to winds, or affected by our livestock locations, and then actually apply the feedback that our plants themselves will give us.

Then we can go around and reinforce our beds with timbers and CMU if we’re happy, or reassemble them somewhere else if we’re not, or go whole-hog with our in-ground, tilled-out methods.

Having extra elbow room also allows us to try out new methods as we become aware of them, and have space to maneuver or change focus as we lose mobility due to injury or age, or as our family situation changes.

In the end, our gardens and our time in them will be far more productive if we leave ourselves room to adjust for better efficiency or economy down the line.

Bed Down Beds

Cover vegetable beds with leaves in the winter.

At the end of the season, cover garden soil with something, no matter what it is – tilled plots eked out of the yard, actual built raised beds, unbounded lasagna beds, pots and planters.

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible

Maybe it’s newspaper you soak and then weigh down with loose sticks and rocks and the brick/CMU for a later project, or cardboard that gets screwed into timbers. Maybe it’s a tarp, some old shower curtains, or a patchwork of trash bags and duct tape. Maybe it’s a layer of mown leaves and pine needles. In some cases, you might actually plant a cover crop that will grow for a bit and then get killed off in winter’s cold, forming a mat.

Do whatever it takes, but cover gardens for the non-growing seasons.

It’ll reduce the amount of work necessary to start all over in spring, because it’ll prevent or limit weeds – especially from trees that have long, hard-to-kill roots and the most prolific annuals – and in some cases, it will deprive any that are already in the soil of light come spring.

In most cases, covers of all kinds will also help prevent compaction from winter and early spring rains, so it’ll take less work to loosen soil for planting again.

Even piles of unused mulch can benefit from being covered.

Mulch is there to help us prevent weeds on top of the benefits of reducing compaction and creating a slow-breakdown feed for our beds. If it sits open to the sky, weed seeds can blow in, and some of those weeds will get roots going all the way through the pile, a foot or more deep. We don’t really want to be moving weeds into our garden beds, especially not when there’s a fast, easy way to prevent it.

Garden Management Practices

How we manage our gardens, and even the mentalities we adopt as we plot them out and watch them over the season, has major effects on how much yield they return.

Siting and plant selection in particular is crucial, no more so than for busy people. It’s also crucial that we be realistic with ourselves and with our goals – because every style of gardening requires at least some labor and inputs from us to be successful.

Veggie gardening can be rewarding, but it can also be frustrating. Using practices that make it a little easier to get started now and that leave room for improvements in the future can limit some of the frustrations, and can let us work out the kinks while there are still grocery stores filled with cheap produce to cover our gaps.

The post How to Get the Most Food from Your Survival Garden appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Worldwide cyber attack 2017

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A fast-moving and devastating wave of cyber attacks is sweeping the globe, reportedly exploiting a flaw exposed in documents leaked from the US National Security Agency.

Essential Survival Skills That Kids Should Know ASAP

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How safe are our kids today? Isn’t it a very valid question? It’s quite natural that we, as parents become so protective and in this blind love, we end up doing everything for them. We are proud of the fact that our kids are 100 % dependent on us. But is that fair? Think about, … Read more…

The post Essential Survival Skills That Kids Should Know ASAP was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Babies in TEOTWAWKI – How to Prep Now!

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Babies in TEOTWAWKI – How to Prep Now!  There is nothing more incredible than the sheer helplessness of a baby. They are completely helpless at birth and frankly up until two they are pretty much the same. Even in todays world children in that age range are at a great risk. If the world were …

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Are You Really Prepared for the Real World?

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

I happen to cruise the same prepper forum as this child’s father . He’s all the time popping up with updates of what he’s ordered in or purchased on the “What Did You Prep Today” thread – parts for his expanding power system, tons of first-aid supplies, another hunting blind, potassium iodide and more gas masks, more MOPP suits, replacing his fifth wheel with a pop-up camper, endless survival books.

He’s not really doing anything hundreds if not thousands aren’t. He’s worried about a game-changing Z-event – doesn’t matter what it is. His wife somewhat supports him, and ignores chunks of the rest. When the power goes out, he flips some switches and keeps them going. When his son first got sick, he identified some gaps in their preps – namely, ways to control nausea and ways to combat low oxygen in patients.

Then the real world kicked the door in, and so did the “uh oh”.

The amount that was not covered by their insurance was a sucker punch, on top of lost wages and normal bills, and the additional expenditures for traveling and staying with an in-hospital patient.

That kind of thing happens. All the time.

It’s the kind of thing in between our normal, everyday life and an actual major disaster that just doesn’t get prepared for all that often.

The World We Live In

We live in a highly unpredictable world. You’d think, as “preppers”, we’d accept that, and prepare for it.

We commonly don’t though.

We prepare for the worst case and a short-term storm or a flat tire, and with frightening regularity, we skip the vast number of things that can happen in between. In some or many cases, we live paycheck to paycheck or via debt to get our supplies for that worst and that storm, without actually being able to readily and more easily weather life’s mid-range crises.

Most of us don’t have to practice much actual triage in our daily lives. Man, am I grateful not to be in those fields, or living in a world that does require it. At some point in the future, we may have to make those hard calls, or watch people fade away from us, helpless to do anything at all because resources just don’t exist.

Right now, though, it’s unlikely that we’re going to watch our children, spouses, or parents slowly fade away in bed without getting them every medical advantage we can beg, steal and borrow against, and then waiting for the bills to roll in. So we need to get ready for them.

Our “bunker” (really, it’s food and hygiene supplies), our generator and fuel supplies, and our cached medical supplies may help us defray our living expenses while we shovel out of a financial hole, whatever the cause of that hole. For those starting out and with less than three, six or twelve months of really well-rounded supplies, however, it may be a minuscule fraction of the $8K the prepper above is trying to raise.

In other cases, such as vehicle or roof repairs, we may need that money now and find ourselves maxing out cards or taking out a loan – in some cases, a personal loan with a higher interest rate than a vehicle loan – which then leaves us even more vulnerable.

The Things That Go Wrong

Predicting just how much a common, no-frills surgery or dental procedure is going to end up costing out of pocket is a little bit like throwing darts blindfolded, even with major insurance coverage. It’s one of the many flaws in our healthcare system, and it can lead to some painful surprises, just as it did for the family above with their unexpected and uncommon situation.

There are minor disasters like a leak that means an out-of-this-world water bill, discovering that bees now inhabit 85% of an outer wall, and vet bills.

There are somewhat less-minor disasters such as cut hours or other loss of wages, or injury or circumstances that limit how much we can hunt or garden or forage and thus require making that up out of pocket.

Seasonal trends in the greater financial world can mean our income and costs can vary greatly. Some types of self-employment come in ebbs and flows that are hard to predict. Workers comp and unemployment are fractions of what regular wages are in some cases.

Can you take the hit on water, repair, and field losses from a broken irrigation line?

 

Then there are the disasters like farm-ag insurance that doesn’t actually cover our loss of stock to a dog or illness, or weather conditions leading to feed and hay prices going through the roof.

There are heart-breakers like loss of spouse – either divorce or death or debilitating injury that leave a big gap between former wages and real-work “income” and their social security disability.

All kinds of things go wrong, all the time.

Armageddon-ELE and a snowstorm are only the extreme ends of the spectrum. There’s a lot of middle ground we need to cover if we want to call ourselves prepared.

We need a plan for things in between a night spent in the cold because our kayak went downriver without us, and our plan to batten down the hatches of the bunker, board our ark, or shoulder our bag and go eat bugs and roots in the forest.

So what do we do about it? Especially those just starting out, or who have hit that ugly hump where they thought they were prepared, then discovered the world of sustainability and self-reliance that entails even more purchases and education?

We do have options. We have one more hurdle to leap first, though.

Stuff is the same as cash

Most preppers agree Ammo would be highly valuable in a SHTF Event.

I hate to see the belief that firearms and ammo, and our hardware like generators, are going to bail us out.

I’ve seen the theory that firearms hold value well. Depending on how you define value, maybe. Depending on how long you can wait, they also might hold more value. Run a test, though.

There are books, just like for vehicles, that define value of firearms based on a percent of their condition. That’s the top dollar somebody’s going to pay, unless you can find a sympathy buy, nostalgia buy, or somebody willing to pay for specialty etching.

Most of the time, if you need cash relatively quickly, you’re not going to get that top dollar, even if you did accurately gauge whether your shotgun, revolver, and rifle are at 75% or at 85%. You’re going to a gun store or a pawn store.

In some cases, they’ll take a percentage of the price you want and stick it on a shelf to see if it sells, but you won’t get paid until it does. If you have other money forthcoming, there’s the pawn option – which lets you buy it back for basically what they gave you upfront, but with a time limit.

Most of the time, you’re going to take a hard hit on that best-case value. See, that’s the most they’re going to be able to get. So off the top, they’re going to cut the price by the overhead – the costs of running and manning a storefront and-or internet presence.

There are definitely guns out there that are investments. Man, how many of us wish we’d snagged a few more of those K98’s, 91/30’s, or those .22LR German training pistols while they were under $100, now that they’re sitting at $200+?

Those are the exception.

Your bog standard 870-500, AR, and Glock, even purchased used, is not going to return the same money it was purchased for. In some cases, it’s not going to return 2/3 and may only hit half what it cost.

The same for ammo, unless you’re in the middle of a shortage. Especially if you’re looking to offload fast, chances are good you’re going to get less than 75% what you paid.

Sometimes hardware like chainsaws and generators, reloading presses, and tow-behind attachments will fetch decent returns back, but if you purchased new and are selling used, or if you need to sell fast, you may be in for a nasty surprise there, too. Same goes for selling off some of those canning, long-storage food, and equine supplies.

Please, don’t take my word for it, or anybody else’s.

Pretend you’re there, with a sick kid and $8K you can’t cover, out of space on credit cards and unable to wait 7-14 days for a loan. Haul some of the examples in to a shop. Call around.

Better to find out now than later.

Fire insurance may or may not cover outbuildings like barns and sheds, and their contents to include livestock, let alone feeding & getting livestock out of the cold afterward.

 

Getting Right

A lot of the middle-ground disasters revolve around finances, either losing our income or having to shell out. It’s not fun and in many cases, income is one of the fixed facts of our lives. There are a few things we can do to help build resilience, though.

Insurance: Go over your policies – all of them. Flood coverage is almost always separate. Wildfire and house-fire coverage can vary wildly. Don’t play the odds on health coverage for big disasters and cancer treatments; plan for that disaster, too. Make sure you check on things like preexisting conditions, such as diabetes or world travel that may make you an exception to coverage.

The biggest is to make sure insurance actually covers your losses.

Make sure life insurance and disability coverage actually covers your mortgage, or rent for enough time for your family to get up on its feet. Make sure vehicle coverage and theft coverage actually pays for the gear inside the vehicle, too.

In some/many cases, firearms are severely limited in coverage without additional or separate policies, and so are precious metals.

We can increase our deductibles to lower our monthly bills, but to do so, we need to make sure we actually have the deductibles on hand to pay out – all of them, in case a tree falls across all the vehicles and a roof, and then there’s a house fire while we’re staying in a hotel/campground.

That’s where honest self-assessment comes into play. If we’re not going to keep that payout on hand, we need to stick to the lower deductibles and just pay the higher monthly rates.

Have an emergency credit card with zero balance.

Emergency Credit Card: Have a card with nothing on it, enough to cover those insurance deductibles above and for that hotel room and the unexpected expenses that crop up. Cash is great, and I endorse keeping plenty on hand, but insurance doesn’t cover or severely limits paper money replacement and it’s bulky. If it can get tucked somewhere accessible in the middle of the night that won’t be affected by the “it” crisis facing the family, go for it, but keep a card handy, too.

Companies like to send cards to even people with bad credit and no jobs. If you’re not actually using it until a disaster occurs, the obnoxious interest rate doesn’t matter. But again, that’s about individual willpower.

Stop Spending: That can be harder than it sounds for some people. “It’s only” and “it’s on sale” and the eye-catchers at stores can wind up adding a fair bit to totals. Lack of organization and counts means I’ve seen people with six or seven of the same thing that doesn’t actually wear out all that often or 47 cheap flashlights, which is money that could have been spent far differently or tucked in a jar for a rainy day.

If impulse purchases are a problem write on the inside of your dominant hand “do I need this – how much of an hourly wage equivalent is this?”. Framing things into that last question has actually helped others, really and truly. Is that $8 fast-food combo or gadget really worth an hour or a half-hour of your daily income?

To combat internet impulse buys, take the card information off your accounts after every purchase, and make it a habit to keep cards in another room from computers. Stick the same question on those cards or on a slip in the wallet.

Cut Expenses: Every situation is different. Chances are good though, that most of us have something we can cut.

Whether it’s $90/year for Amazon Prime for our TV and movies, $8/month for Hulu, and whatever internet costs versus a cable package, gong to VoIP instead of a landline (you can plug in a phone to dial 911 even without phone service), or really deciding if we need those smart phones – or the major carrier contracts instead of reloadables, electronics are a main source.

Tally up what we spend and where, every penny; from the candy added to carts to the brand clothes and shoes, those $1 coffees instead of a thermos and lunches/snacks out instead of packing them. Consider what we cook, and what we could save by cooking differently.

Where we shop, and how much we spend on a DIY project (to include cooking) versus waiting or just buying something, are big contributors to what we spend.

We may also seriously consider downsizing if we rent, assessing the vehicle we drive for its maintenance and fuel costs versus something more economical, or getting out of a house that’s a money suck.

Communicate Goals: When it comes to the expenses and to the spending mentioned above, we’re going to have to talk to our families in many cases, and that’s going to be a headache, because what we prioritize is different.

You have to leave in at least some of the sanity savers, and it’s going to have to be transparently balanced, especially if you’re the only or the primary prepper. Cutting data, internet, subscriptions, and TV while you still buy a tacticool hatchet-prybar-tent stake and 500 rounds of ammo is likely to go down like ground glass.

In fact, forget the word “prepper” and all the world of gear and goodies while you’re working the financials. Every bank, credit union and investment agency is going to have mail-outs they’re happy to send you about budgeting and financial security. Get them. Print the example prepper’s story. Sit down with the goal to simply get out of a rut or become more financially stable.

Stay calm, stay open, be understanding, be non-aggressive, and walk in with some ideas but also asking about their solutions, too, and willing to compromise.

Write out the anticipated costs – roofs, tires, replacement appliances, vet bills, medical and dental bills, vehicles, graduation and college, annual shopping binges (holidays, back-to-school, vacations/trips, garden supplies). Come up with a “now” plan, and 1-2, 5, and 10-year plans and goals.

Involve everybody, and remember that their priorities are as prized to them as yours are to you, and what’s “obvious” is not going to be so for everyone else.

Piggy Bank vs. Zero-Balance: There’s going to always be a balancing act between paying off debt and sticking money in a kitty for another time. It’s another one that’s going to be deeply personal and individual. Have some money available, instead of immediately dumping every penny against a debt. Build up or keep enough on hand to go ahead and pay deductibles and for the credit cards that get so many people in trouble.

Just as we slowly build up food storage a few days, then a week, then a month, then 3 months, build financial backups that prevent late fees or huge interest rates.

Once we have it, pick the things that cost us the most (highest interest) and-or that we can eliminate pretty quickly, and focus on those.

 

House floods – It does not take Katrina or Sandy to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in un-covered damages.

Preparing for the Middle Ground

Our food storage and some of our other prepping supplies absolutely helps with some of those disasters, lessening our expenditures, but it can take some time for the savings to equal what we really need to pay out, and sometimes we need to pay that now. Too, if our supplies are things we will not actually use while the rest of the world is chugging around like normal (beans and rice 5-7x a week, scrubbing board, NBC or surgical suite) they’re not going to help us dig out of a hole.

The only thing less-sexy and less-interesting than getting right financially is going to be making up those disks and binders of our important information. Do it anyway. Make a chart or a graduated pie graph that can be colored in, weekly or monthly, so that we have a nice, physical tangible and can look at something to see what we’ve accomplished. It’ll help keep us on track.

Getting on track and staying on track financially is probably harder than any other aspect of preparedness. Try. There’s a lot that goes wrong in our world that does not involve ARs, survival gardens, INCH-BO bags, and making our own charcoal.

The post Are You Really Prepared for the Real World? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

What Are Your Prepper Gear Recommendations?

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What Are Your Prepper Gear Recommendations?

Last week I wrote up an article on the best prepper gear I could think to buy for myself – items that have been on my wishlist for absolute ages and were above average in terms of cost, but were worthy (in my mind) purchases considering my perceived value of them in terms of their […]

This is just the start of the post What Are Your Prepper Gear Recommendations?. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


What Are Your Prepper Gear Recommendations?, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

14 WAYS PREPPING CAN ACTUALLY HELP YOU SAVE MONEY

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Prepping can be incredibly expensive depending on how you go about it. Buying a plot of land to build a bug out location on, building an underground bunker, even having a quality prepper stockpile – none of these things are free to do, let alone cheap.

There’s no end to the number of items you could buy that could help you out in an emergency. And while yes, there are cheap, quality items out there, there are also plenty of big-budget items you won’t want to cut costs to buy. High dollar investments that will pay off.

But is prepping worth it financially in the long run? In my opinion, yes, and I also believe that there are plenty of ways preparedness can save you money in the long run, even though in the short-term it may feel like you’re spending a lot of cash to get your preps up and running.

What are these ways?

14 WAYS PREPPING CAN HELP YOU SAVE MONEY IN THE LONG RUN

1. NO CONVENIENCE FEES.

Have everything you need always on you? You’ll never have to go to the convenient store and pay those crazy high convenience prices again.

2. BUYING IN BULK OFTEN MEANS CHEAPER COST PER ITEM.

If you’re buying in bulk, chances are good you’re saving yourself money by reducing the amount you’re paying for each individual item. Of course, you’ll have to be sure you actually use what you’re buying or you’d be wasting in that regard, but bulk buying really works if it’s for staples, or things that don’t really expire. Check out a list of the best survival foods to stockpile if you’re interested in going the bulk-buy route for things that won’t end up expiring on you in only a year or two.

3. YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SALES AND DISCOUNTS EVERY TIME YOU BUY.

Having enough in advance means you can afford to wait until a sale swings around to buy again. This is a huge advantage if there are big 25-75% off discounts regularly in places you shop or would consider shopping at. The less you have to pay at full price, the better.

4. YOU CAN BARTER SOME OF THE ITEMS YOU’VE STOCKPILED.

Bartering items you’ve stockpiled at a discount for other items you otherwise would’ve needed to pay full price for is a great way to save money while prepping.

Happened to have stockpiled way too much soap for you and your family to use throughout the time span you’d like to use it in? Think you don’t need all that extra? Use swap sites like Freecycle, or regular classified sites like Craigslist or Kijiji to trade the items you have that you no longer want for other items you’re missing and need to get your hands on.

5. HOME SECURITY PREPS REDUCE THE LIKELIHOOD OF HOME ROBBERIES.

And we all know how expensive home robberies can be. Spend money on securing your home here and there reduces the likelihood that you’ll be losing what you’ve worked hard to get to thieves and robbers.

6. GARDEN PREPS CAN HELP YOU REDUCE GROCERY STORE BILLS.

Obvious – but always true! Growing fruits and veggies in your garden and doing things like canning and jarring can really help you reduce your grocery bills.

7. SAME GOES FOR KEEPING CHICKENS AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY.

The more you have at home, the less you’ll need to buy from a grocery store, and so even keeping chickens for their eggs, or breeding rabbits, both things preppers often strive to do for the sake of being as self-sufficient as possible, can seriously cut the costs of grocery store bills over the years.

8. YOU CAN TRADE HOME-GROWN FOOD AND MEAT FOR OTHER THINGS YOU MAY NEED.

There’s nothing like home-grown fruits and veggies. Have too much for yourself? See if you can trade some of what you’ve got for things your friends & family may no longer want or need, cutting your costs on those items with excess you wouldn’t be using anyway.

9. SOLAR POWERING YOUR HOME IN PART OR WHOLE REDUCES ELECTRICAL BILLS.

Yes, solar panels are pretty upfront-cost expensive, and yes, you may not be able to power your entire home on them when there isn’t an emergency. But if there happens to be an emergency, they can at least help you power your freezers and refrigerators, and in the meantime, can help you cut the cost of electricity bills. Win, win if you ask me.

10. RAIN WATER COLLECTION CAN HELP YOU CUT DOWN ON WATER BILLS.

Using collected rain water to garden with can help you seriously cut down on water bills. Combined with gardening and you’ve got very, very cheap food on your table. And probably better-tasting, too.

11. FINANCIAL PREPS SAVE YOU HAVING TO PAY HIGH CREDIT CARD INTEREST WHEN EMERGENCIES HAPPEN.

If you’ve prepared well enough for financial emergencies that may come your way, you can pay for those emergencies in cash with your savings, and not have to worry about racking up credit card debt and thus expensive interest charges.

12. TEACHING YOURSELF HOW TO DIY CAN HELP YOU SAVE ON MINOR HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS.

If you’ve prepped well enough, you should be able to deal with minor household repairs yourself: saving you money.

13. LEARNING OTHER SELF-SUFFICIENCY SKILLS WILL SAVE YOU A LOT OVER A LIFETIME.

Learning how to do things like repair your own car, cook your own food, cut your own hair, sharpen your own knives, and more can really help you save money over a period of years and decades. The more serious you are about prepping, the more of these skills you will be determined to learn, and the less you will spend on others doing them for you.

14. BARTERING YOUR SKILLS FOR OTHER ITEMS OR SKILLS CAN HELP YOU SAVE MONEY YOU OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE HAD TO SPEND.

If you’ve learned how to do car repairs, cut hair, sharpen knives, or any other self-sufficiency skills, you can then barter these skills with those who have learned how to do other self-sufficiency skills that you haven’t yet, or you can trade your expertise for physical goods.

OTHER WAYS PREPPING CAN SAVE YOU MONEY?

Can you think of any other ways prepping can save you money in the long-term that I haven’t listed here?

I’m sure there are plenty more that I’ve left out! Leave your suggestions for me in the comments down below!

 

Source : morethanjustsurviving.com 

About the author : ELISE XAVIER : Spyderco diehard and shutterbug. Into prepping and self-sufficiency.
Coauthor and photographer of survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

 

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When The Grid Goes Down ~ Kerosene

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When The Grid Goes Down ~ Kerosene When I was growing up kerosene heaters were terrifying. They smelled horrific and there were those stories about the fires. Tremendous fires that burnt down rows of homes from the kerosene heater that fell over. This article shed some light on kerosene and its place in the homesteaders …

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The post When The Grid Goes Down ~ Kerosene appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Stockpiling Clothing: Here’s What You’re Forgetting

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Stockpiling Clothing: Here’s What You’re Forgetting

Image source: Pixabay.com

Ask any non-prepper on the street what’s needed for survival, and you’ll probably get the answer, “food, clothing and shelter.” I’m not sure where that idea started, but I’ve heard it all my life. The sad thing is that way too many people think that it’s true, and while those three things are actually needed for survival, that little line leaves off some of the most important items — especially water.

Yet it does include clothing, which is something those in the preparedness community normally leave off a list of the highest survival needs. Instead, we use the term “homeostasis,” which refers to maintaining our body heat. Clothing is one of the things that helps us do that, in addition to shelter and fire.

We shouldn’t minimize clothing as a necessity for survival… yet we often do. You rarely find clothing listed on anyone’s list of things we need to stockpile, nor do you find it included in most bug-out bag lists. But it should be in both. Whether you’re bugging out or bugging in, you’ll need something to wear.

Of course, you could just say, “I have clothing, no problem” and I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. Considering that clothing is a durable item and that we all have closets full of the stuff, it really doesn’t seem much like an issue. But again, it is.

There are two ways that clothing could become a major issue in a survival situation. The first is that most of the clothing we own isn’t appropriate for survival. The second is that our children will easily outgrow their clothing if we find ourselves in a long-term survival situation.

Is Your Clothing Appropriate?

Let’s look at your closet first. Most survival situations are hard on the body, and therefore hard on the wardrobe, too. Yet the vast majority of the clothing in most of our closets is there because it is attractive, not because it is rugged. How much of it can you actually wear while hunting, gardening, digging a hole for an outhouse or trenching cross-country on a bug-out?

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Unless you work in the construction trades, or some other job where you wear rugged clothing all the time, your wardrobe is probably lacking in that sort of clothing. Oh, you’ll have some blue jeans and T-shirts, and you’ll probably have some flannel shirts or sweaters for cold weather, but do you have enough?

Image source: Pixabay.com

Image source: Pixabay.com

Even worse than your clothing, how are your shoes? About the only shoes that you might have which will be appropriate for survival are tennis shoes, unless you have some hiking boots somewhere.

If you are forced to bug out, you’ll need both rugged clothing and rugged shoes. The stuff you wear to the office every day just won’t do. For that matter, I’d hate to try cutting firewood in work clothes and shoes. I wouldn’t even want to do it wearing tennis shoes. I’d want something that would protect my feet — hiking boots or some good work boots.

The good news is that it won’t take much to rectify the problem. Buy some rugged clothing and some good rugged boots. Either hiking boots or work boots will do. Make sure that you take the time to break them in, though. The last thing you need to do is head out on a bug-out with boots that you’ve never worn.

And Then There’s the Kids

The bigger problem really isn’t your clothing; it’s that of your kids. As we all know, kids go thorough clothing like crazy. They either get holes in it or outgrow it. Either way, they are in regular need of new clothing. That definitely could be a problem, especially in a long-term survival situation.

Of course, your kids will need rugged clothes and boots, just like you do. You really don’t want your kids trekking through the woods on a bug-out without some sort of footwear that will give them ankle support. Kids are just too prone to accidents.

So, how do you deal with the issue of clothing for your kids? Whatever you buy them, they’ll outgrow. It would seem you’ll never get ahead in this game, yet there is a way to get ahead, especially when your kids are smaller and less likely to complain about their clothing styles.

Here’s what my wife and I did: When our children were still children (they’re adults now), we bought their clothes ahead of time. In other words, we didn’t buy the clothes they needed now, we bought the clothing they would need in two to three years. We started this when they were babies and outgrowing their clothes every few months. We just kept it up as they continued to grow.

Part of what made this possible was that my wife is a world-class champion garage-saler. When our children were small, just about all their clothing came from garage sales, especially our girls’ party dresses. There was one time that each of the girls had over 30 fancy dresses they could choose from, in their wardrobe, as well as less elegant clothing. All of it came from garage sales, at a fraction of the original price.

As they grew older, less and less of their clothing came from garage sales. It seems that the older that kids get, the harder they are on their clothing, especially boys. They also wear it longer, so it has more time to wear out. Nevertheless, we kept the system going, switching from buying their clothing at garage sales, to buying their clothing at whatever sales we could find.

Clothing has the highest retail markup of nearly anything, often in the 80 percent range. That means that something you pay $100 for in the store is really worth $20 at wholesale. This huge markup explains how clothing stores can have such incredible sales and still not go out of business.

If you’re buying ahead of time, there’s no problem waiting for the sales. You’ll be able to find what you want, at prices that won’t break the bank. Then you can stash it away, in the attic or basement, in boxes marked by sizes. When it’s time for new clothing, all you have to do is take out the next size box rather than rushing to the store.

Running a system like this, you can have two to three years worth of clothing on hand for your kids at all times, without spending a ridiculous amount of money. Granted, the clothing you’ve bought ahead of time may not be the latest style, but they’ll have clothes to wear. You can always buy them a couple of “in things” to add to that, rounding out their wardrobe.

More importantly from a survival point of view, if a major disaster happens, your kids will have enough clothing to keep them going for several years.

Let’s Go One Step Further

Stockpiling Clothing: Here’s What You’re Forgetting

Image source: Pixabay.com

Merely stockpiling clothing will go a long way toward ensuring that your family has what it needs, just like stockpiling food and toilet paper will. But let’s take that one step further. If we assume an event that requires long-term survival, your stockpiled clothing probably won’t be enough. In that case, it would be a good idea to be able to make your own.

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Now, I realize that few people make their clothing anymore. It’s just not all that practical in our modern world, with so much commercially manufactured clothing available.

But learning to sew isn’t all that hard. I recently had to learn how to do it, because I was making a couple of bullet-proof vests. With a little knowledge and a sewing machine, you can make just about anything. Granted, you’ll also need a few other things, like fabric and thread, so you should probably buy some of them, as well (especially thread). You can always get fabric by cutting apart clothing that’s too big, to make clothing for smaller people.

Remember, we’re talking survival here. In such a situation, your children’s complaints about style won’t matter. They’ll need something to wear, regardless of what it is. I seriously doubt that their friends will keep pressuring them to wear the “in” brands when everyone is trying simply to survive.

One final point. If we assume a long-term event, then we’re probably going to be without electricity. That means that a sewing machine isn’t going to do you much good, unless you have a means of creating your own electricity. The other option is to buy an antique treadle machine and have that for your survival sewing. Turn it into a decoration in your home, and nobody will know that it’s actually a part of your plans.

What advice would you add on stockpiling clothing? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Camping: A Great Way To Practice How To Live After SHTF

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Under normal societal conditions, most people tend to view camping as simply a “fun outdoor activity” they sometimes do in warmer weather. For many, camping is actually hopping in the family “camper,” filling up on food, snacks, drinks and fuel, and heading off to some camp site that has electricity and sewage hook-ups.

And while that seems like “roughing it” for most people (because it is), that kind of camping doesn’t really prepare someone for how life would really be if the civil society were to break down for a long period of time and folks were forced to flee the cities for the surrounding countryside.

Even many actual preppers seldom take time to practice their craft – and that’s what true prepping is, a craft that requires learning and mastering certain survival skills. Think about it: When was the last time you dragged out your tent, gear and supplies and headed out to the woods for a weekend of real camping, where you spent the day (and night) practicing your craft?

It’s easy to get into the habit of not wanting to spend a weekend truly roughing it. Most people work hard and want to spend their weekends, holidays or days off relaxing and recharging. But honestly, you’d be surprised how rejuvenating a real off-grid camping trip is, and how taking one often will really come in handy for the day when you won’t have any other choice but to live like that.

Planning and taking this kind of camping trip involves refreshing yourself with several skills. Among them:

— Putting up your tent or building a hasty field shelter,

— Cooking without the aid of modern technology and electricity,

— Patrolling a perimeter for security,

— Working with your various gear,

— Just getting the “feel” of living/sleeping outside of your comfort zone.

Camping the old-fashioned way is also a great time to learn new skills, such as (h/t American Prepper Network):

— Making and using fishhooks: No matter how much long-term storage food you’ve got, you’ll want to stretch it out to make it last as long as possible. To help your food supply last, you’ll need to supplement it by finding additional food sources. One of the most available sources of food is fish, but of course, catching them is another story. You should have some fishing line as part of your survival gear, and some fishhooks as well, but any fisherman knows you can steadily lose hooks to fish that get away. So it’s good to learn how to make them, and you can, using a metal zipper or a tab from a pop can. Just break the loop on one side, pull it to a 90-degree angle and then use a small file or a rock to sharpen the exposed tip.

— Aluminum can stove: These can be particularly handy. Grab an empty soda can, and use a knife to cut a capital “I” in one side of the can – that is, a vertical cut along the length of the can, then two horizontal cuts, one on top of the vertical cut and one at the bottom. Peel open the aluminum to form a “window,” then put a fire starter inside; light it, and you’ve got a portable cooking stove you can use to prepare food or heat up liquids.

— Practice emergency shelter-making: Make sure you’ve got a tarp as part of your prepper gear because it will come in handy more times than you can imagine, but most probably as an emergency shelter. Find a couple of trees that are fairly close together, then take a length of rope and tie an end to each tree, 3-4 feet up the trunk. Then slip your tarp over the rope, and extend each “wing” outward to form triangular entrances on either end. Secure the wings with stakes and viola, you’ve got a water- and wind-proof emergency shelter.

— Pest control: One of your biggest enemies in the wild will be insects, so it’s best to practice how to keep them at bay, as some of them are dangerous while others can inflict painful bites and stings. Find a stick of sage (or keep some in your gear) and toss one into your fire; bugs don’t like the odor of sage, making it an effective bug repellent.

— Make fires: Practice various forms of fire-making. In your bugout gear you should have multiple items used to make fires, from disposable lighters to flint/steel and steel wool/9V battery. Fire will make life so much easier for you, as you can use it for food preparation, sanitizing water, heat, and other things.

There are many more skills to learn and practice. Start taking some time now, while you can, to regularly plan old-fashioned camping trips, and include your family if you have one. Plan on learning or practicing several skills during each trip. Go during hot and cold weather. When the time comes to use those skills, you’ll be ready.

 

Source : www.bugout.news

About the author : J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

 

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SHTF Prepping for City Dwellers!

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SHTF Prepping for City Dwellers Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio in player below! This is a concept that is hard for many city dwellers. Without proper room how can you possibly prep or create a bug in plan? How many preppers do you know that say they are in an apartment and very limited … Continue reading SHTF Prepping for City Dwellers!

The post SHTF Prepping for City Dwellers! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Building Your Own Firearm (Part 4 – AR-15 Upper Parts)

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

Last time, we investigated parts for the AR-15 lower.  Now we turn our attention to the upper and some important accessories.  These choices were researched in February, 2017.  Note that this means this list of parts, prices and sources may not still be valid, and was based upon my preferences and budget, so may not be the best choices for you and your particular needs.

The AR-15 Upper

The upper consists of the top part of the receiver, Upper Parts Kit (dust cover and forward assist parts), chambered barrel, barrel nut, hand guard (to keep you from burning your hand on a hot barrel), gas tube system, bolt carrier group (BCG) and charging handle.  You can get this as a complete assembly, complete minus the BCG and charging handle (because there is a wide variety of possibilities for each of these), or as individual parts so you get exactly what you want.  Personally, I prefer that my barrels be professionally head spaced, so I would tend to not get individual parts unless I could not find a satisfactory complete upper or there was a MASSIVE savings achievable.

The choice for the top part of the receiver is generally aluminum (forged or billet), steel or stainless steel.  Most common is a “flat top” which just has a picatinny rail on the top, or you can find one which has the “handle” reminiscent of the M-16.   The gas tube selection is fairly tightly controlled by the ammo the barrel is chambered for and somewhat by barrel length; the major choice left is the gas block style.  This system sends some of the gas back into the upper, which can lead to fouling in the action.  The latest technology seems to be to replace the gas return system with a piston to remove any chance of fouling, but this will cost between $250 and $350 additional; it can be added later and I would recommend ensuring the firearm works “normally” first.

Your most difficult choice is likely to be the barrel.  Start with the caliber.  There is the 223 chambering which is the civilian version of the round, and may have problems firing (more accurately, extracting after firing) the 5.56 military version of the round.  Or there is the 5.56 military version of the round, whose chamber will function with the 223, but loses some accuracy with it.  A nice compromise is the 223 WYLDE, which will shoot both versions of the round with good accuracy.  Or you can get a barrel set up for 7.62×39 (the AK round), or various “wildcat” calibers like 300 Blackout, 458 Socom or 50 Beowulf, or a number of other calibers which are less common.  Someone, somewhere, has managed to accomplish any caliber with a magazine short enough to fit into the AR-15 receiver (or for that matter, longer calibers as single shots).  Next there is the length of the barrel, pistols generally being about 7.5″ or 10.5″ and rifles being 16″ (the legal minimum, for easy handling and up to 200 or 300 yard effective range) and longer (for more range).  For a tougher choice, there is the spin rate of the rifling which is rather dependent on the weight(s) of bullet you are going to be using.  Actually, the length of the projectile and the velocity are the actual key factors, but the weight tends to be related to length, and velocity tends to be related to weight.  Thus weight is used because it works “well enough” and is easier to use.

Spin rate, or “twist” is specified as “1 turn in # of inches”, for instance 1:9″.  At any weight bullet, a shorter distance for one complete revolution results in a faster spin, and enough spin to act as a gyroscope ensures accuracy.  Heavier bullets do not go as fast, so do not spin as fast as lighter ones in the same twist barrel.  All bullet spin slows down over distance.  When a bullet spin slows down enough to lose gyroscopic stability, it can tumble and accuracy becomes terrible.  Thus bullet weight (more precisely length and velocity), barrel length, and spin rate are key factors in defining the effective range of use, and this can vary with temperature and altitude.

Here are the most practical current twists:

“Not the best” on the heavy end means that the bullet spin slows down and discards accuracy at a relatively short range.  “Not the best” on the light end means that the bullet might fly apart (due to being fragile and spinning very fast), which again means no accuracy.  So unless you know just what twist you need for a specific purpose, 1:8″ seems the most versatile choice, with 1:9 optimized for light bullets and 1:7 optimized for heavy bullets.

Then there is barrel profile, either standard or HBAR (Heavy BARrel).  HBAR tends to be more accurate (flexes less as the barrel heats up), but is heavier.  “Fluting” (grooves or dimples) removes a little of the weight of a heavy barrel and it looks sharp, too.  Many “standard” barrels have a “M4” profile, which “looks clunky”.  There are also “pencil” barrels which are quite light, but heat up very quickly, causing the point of impact to “string”.  And there is the material to choose:  steel or stainless steel or even carbon fiber wrapped (another way to lower weight).  The steel barrels are available in a number of finishes to combat corrosion.

Handguard length and style are a matter of personal preference.  You don’t want one which is LONGER than the barrel or SHORTER than the gas tube system, but between those limits it can be whatever you prefer.  Some are set up to allow flexible attachment of accessories; the major competitors for this are the pubic domain “Keymod” system and the Magpul’s free license “M-Loc” system.

My Upper Choices

Delta Team Tactical has been sending me regular emails with sales on with what seem like good uppers (by Davidson Defense) at good prices, which is half the reason I got interested in this project.  Thus I’ll likely get my rifle upper from them.  Without a BCG or charging handle, they start around $209 and go up to one WITH these parts for $425.99, so I can get pretty close to what appeals to me.  They have a pistol upper or three for $199 which look pretty good as well.  Note that they seem to run a few weeks behind in shipping uppers and a few other parts, and may require a reminder phone call.

One alternative which intrigues me is the “no lube” claim made by Anderson Rifles.  This is due to a “RF85” treatment which is mostly available only on their complete firearms.  They do have complete uppers with and without barrel and handguard, but not a barrel I like.

Variation between BCGs is a bit of a mystery to me; the major difference seems to be the “coating” or “finish”.  Looking at companies with a good selection, it appears that “Nitride” finished ones seem to be entry level in the $75 range, while “Nickel Boron” seems to be a better grade, in the $150 range.  And I have seen “light” ones, as well as AR-15 (seems to be “standard” weight) and M-16 (sort of heavy weight) styles.  I prefer the heavy one and the buffer to match.  As for the charging handle, any mil-spec one will do, although one with an extended latch may be useful if you’re putting on a scope and Delta Team Tactical has one like this for $18.99.

The barrel will often have a flash hider or recoil compensator on it.  For many people, this is mostly decorative, but if you need one more capable (or California compliant) than the one there, you’ll need to search for one which will meet your needs.  And perhaps pay a fair amount, since some of these cost over $100, such as an alleged top performer, the Lantac Dragon.  I’m not concerned with, nor can I afford, this at the current point in time, and don’t like the “jagged” end ones, so will probably go with a simple round one with ports only on the side and top, and a price of $25 or less.  Or I might just stick with whichever one comes with the barrel.  If you choose to not have one for aesthetic (or legal) reasons, it would be wise to put a threaded collar on the barrel end to protect the threads or get a barrel without the threads.  And be careful that if you remove or replace a flash hider that the barrel length (of a rifle) does not drop below 16″ (some barrels are 14.5″ and use the flash hider to meet the 16″ requirement).  As I understand it, this setup must have the muzzle device “pinned” to the barrel in order to be legal.

AR-15 Accessories

That is everything you need to make the gun shoot, but there are still things to add to make it usable.  Most important are sights.  If you got an upper with the “handle”, the rear sight is part of that, and you’ll need the matching front sight which clamps on the barrel.  But if you got a flat top, you will need a set of sights which clamp to the picatinny rail which runs the length of the upper receiver and the handguard.  Note that a lot of people add battery powered optical sights or scopes.  Even if you plan to mount optics it is a good idea to have flip-up “iron” sights as backup in case the fancy optics batteries die or it gets broken.  For inline sights, you can get a set for as little as $20 a set, but many of these are junk.  Magpul has some good ones made of polymer; one of the few companies that do that well, and they will cost $70 or more a set.  Going up from there, you can easily spend a couple of hundred.  Another option is “45 degree” sights, which clamp onto the picatinny rail and stick out to the side at a 45 degree angle.  To use these (without having to remove your optics), just rotate the firearm 45 degrees until they are vertical.  These are particularly useful if you have a scope, while the flip up ones can sometimes be used without removing the “red dot” optics.

Note that you want to have your eyes perfectly in line with your primary sight system when you bring the firearm to your shoulder.  If the sight system is too high, add height to the comb using risers which permanently attach or strap on, or are part of an elastic sleeve around the stock.  If the sight system is too low, and there is no way to lower the comb, you could try a different stock, or just get a riser to raise the sight system.

A sling is very helpful, and in order to attach a sling, you need sling mounts on the firearm.  Many stocks have one or more built in sling mounts or places to attach sling mounts, and a tactical sling mount plate can be mounted between the stock and receiver.  For the front end, there may be a sling mount on the handguard or which can be attached to the handguard, or clamped to the picatinny rail.  As for the sling itself, a two point sling convertible to single point is often the most effective choice for a tactical firearm.  For heavy firearms, the 2″ UrbanERT e-RUSH seems a good choice, but if the firearm is relatively light, the 1 1/4″ MagPul MS3 or MS4 sling or the 1″ Cetacea Rabbit also look to have promise.

Of course, you need some magazines.  The bigger the magazine, the more rounds you can fire without reloading, but the further it sticks down from the firearm, the heavier it is, and the greater the chances of a feed failure or the magazine catching on something or getting knocked.  A drum can fix the length problem, but not weight, and the cost of these tends to be high.  I probably would not have any magazine with greater than 30 round capacity, and would be more comfortable carrying with a 20 round capacity magazine inserted.  I’d also get at least one magazine (ten rounds or less) which would fit flush into the receiver.  I’m planning to go with Magpul PMAG Gen3 (Gen2 have durability issues) for my primary magazines, as they are pretty much the current standard, available in 10, 20, 30 and 40 round capacities, have colors other than black, and are available for $15 or less.  Lancer has a hybrid with translucent polymer body and metal feed lips which seems to have potential, but a higher cost.  If metal magazines are preferred, insist on at least international military (STANAG) quality ones, preferably from D&H or Colt.  Ammo Storage Components (ASC) magazines also seem to be a decent choice.  Magpul or equivalent anti-tilt followers are recommended in any magazine to minimize feeding issues.

A short picatinny rail on the bottom of the handguard is useful for mounting a light or laser or even a combination.

Total Cost

If you have the tooling, settle for the basics and shop wisely, you should be able to bring this in under $500; I found a kit with everything (including sights) except for the receiver for $399 and you will likely be able to beat that if you shop hard and effectively.  Of course, pretty much every part can be upgraded, so $800 is a better target for a significantly improved version.  And if you want “the best” and/or don’t have the inclination to shop around for best price, $1200 and up is not difficult to manage.  If you can’t afford the firearm you want, build one which can be upgraded later.

In the next article, I will relate my experiences completing the Tennessee Arms receiver using their jig and a drill press and a forged receiver using the Easy Jig and a router.

The post Building Your Own Firearm (Part 4 – AR-15 Upper Parts) appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping is Lifestyle

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There were a few changes here awhile back with moving healthy living and essential oils over to Wholesome Families.
I have been mostly MIA this winter and I wanted to share why.

In November, right before Thanksgiving, The Principal hurt himself at work. What we thought was a small sprained ankle ended up being a torn ligament and he was home for 5 months. Then on December 18th I slipped on some black ice and landed flat on my back. I ended up needing to be transported to the local hospital for CT Scan and Xrays. I was diagnosed with a concussion and have since been diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome.
It was a very hard winter for us. Physically and mentally. Thankfully we still have the youngest at home and a lot….all of the physical responsibility fell on him. The snow removal that seemed never ending and also the wood hauling.

These two events in an of themselves weren’t the end of the world. Together was the perfect storm leading us to reevaluate our prepping lifestyle.

SPIRITUALLY

Thankful for live streaming from our church. We stayed in a lot. We are both introverts so this wasn’t all that hard to do even when healthy.
We began to crave community though and living where we live, 5 rural acres in North Idaho, we don’t have much of that.
If the SHTF tomorrow we are all we have. Us and 3 of the 4 kids. (One moved to NYC)
I have always wondered if we were making the right choice being out where we are. Will we be able to keep ourselves safe from marauders? There aren’t even enough of us to pull shifts. Yes, I have read many a book that plants these ideas in my head.

PHYSICALLY

We aren’t getting any younger. This last 5 months just proved that living here isn’t an easy lifestyle. The only animals we have left are chickens. Winters are hard, as is the prep for winter, which starts in late summer. We will need wood again (we actually ran out) which means either paying for it or going up to the forest to get it. Regardless, it will need to be split and stacked. The teenager isn’t going to live at home forever. Not to say that we can’t handle it now, but 15-20 years from now is a different story.

FINANCIALLY

Thankfully The Principal was covered under workers comp. at 67% of his income. We didn’t even feel it because it was actually more take home than his normal pay. Uncle Sam gets WAY too much of the cut in my opinion.
We also had plenty of food stores so I wasn’t ever worried about the lack of pay.

Where is this all going you ask?

The Principal and I have decided that life is short. The prepping, while necessary, doesn’t look the same for us anymore.
We are trading in our 5 rural acres in the American Redoubt for a 5th wheel and a truck. We haven’t been living in fear but we do feel we are missing out on a lot of life living where we are living. We did ponder just moving into a house closer to Coeur d Alene, but have decided a year, or two, or even three in a 5th wheel would be a great adventure.

We are in the process of get the house all spiffy to sell it. Downsizing A LOT. Storing some. We will still have adult children in the area so they are benefitting from the preps that we can’t take with us.

The cool thing is prepping looks different for everybody and everybody has skills they still need to learn. We can’t possibly know everything and we are excited to learn about prepping while traveling.

Are you wanting to learn more about prepping? I have something for you!

Prepper University</strong>

They have FREE Quick Start Classes, Prepping Intensives, Advanced Prepping Intensives, and a Student Center.

We have helped hundreds of students get prepared fast with our Prepping Intensive Courses. Our courses are different because we don’t tell you what to do. We help you figure out what to do. All of our situations are unique, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan. Our series of assessments, challenges, and quizzes will help you to create a plan that works for your family, on your budget, in your location.

  • Author and EMP expert, Arthur T. Bradley teaches the finer points of Faraday cages and best strategies for preparing for a grid-down future.
  • Selco of SHTF School, shares the grim realities of surviving in a war zone.
  • Survivor of Argentina’s economic collapses, author Fernando Aguirre (FerFAL) explains the signs of an economy teetering on the edge of collapse and how to prepare for that event.
  • A. American, author of the popular Survivalist Series, discusses community and worst case scenarios.
  • Off-grid lifestyle expert, Tammy Trayer, teaches the nuts and bolts of living off the power grid and provides details for setting up your own alternative energy system.

Take one Prepping Intensive for only $99
Take a whopping $40 off of the regular price of $139 to enroll in the Prepping Intensive of your choice. They even have a payment plan.

Go here to learn about the difference between the two courses.

For the Price of a New Prepping Book Each Week, You Can Have Live Classes with Your Favorite Experts and Bloggers.

  • Brandon Smith talks about barter economy
  • Tim Young talks about moving to the country to become more self-reliant
  • Tammy Trayer talks about off-grid living
  • Merriweather talks about foraging
  • Dr. Arthur T. Bradley talks about EMP survival
  • Selco talks about survival in war-torn Bosnia
  • FerFal (Fernando Aguirre) talks about surviving the collapse of Argentina
  • Toby Cowern, an Arctic survival expert, talks about surviving with nothing more than the clothes on your back
  • Cherie Norton, an NRA instructor, talks about situational awareness and personal safety
  • Jim Cobb talks about hardening the security of your home
  • A. American talks about surviving long-term scenarios
  • Cat Ellis talks about herbalism and medical preparedness
  • Lisa Egan, a personal trainer, talks about the importance of fitness as a prep
  • Patrice Lewis tells the truth about the rural lifestyle and survival homesteads.

The sale is over tomorrow at noon and the price for each course will return to $139.

 

I am excited for our future and I am equally as excited to share how to prep while living in an RV full-time!

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of any product regardless of if I were paid in addition
to receiving the free product. You can trust me.
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The 7 Biggest Nuclear Warheads Ever Detonated

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The 7 Biggest Nuclear Warheads Ever Detonated The bigger the nuke, the better. Or that was what the US and Soviet Union thought in the late 50s and early 60s. Times have changed, and nuclear weapons this large have not been tested in a long time. There are not as many of these big boys in service …

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11 Charming DIY Chicken Coops You Will Love

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11 Charming DIY Chicken Coops You Will Love I don’t know about you but I am a sucker for a great chicken coop or project. I love seeing the creativity of others in what they house their chickens in. I think chickens in cute coops help to balance the world ending scenarios that we as preppers …

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Six Ideas for Building a Bug Out Shelter in the Woods

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Six Ideas for Building a Bug Out Shelter in the Woods I spend a lot of time talking about public lands to people. I think it is the untapped bugout gem for those without funds. If you establish a wildlife management area near you and come to know it well it can be just like …

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WSHTF – When Shit Hits the Fan

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WSHTF – When Shit Hits the Fan At some point, the world is going to end. There are several possible ways it could happen, and each way has a timeline associated with it. We checked out some theories and narrowed down the time frames for these. While a world-ending event is inevitable, it is not …

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Secure Home Gun Storage: The Prepper’s Essentials

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Secure Home Gun Storage: The Prepper’s Essentials What I can say about preppers is that within our ranks we probably have some of the most irresponsible gun owners around. This is not a knock on all preppers. Many people are well trained and do the right thing. Just the nature of what a prepper is, …

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Here’s Why You Should Keep Your Shelter Preparations Up-To-Date And Bugout Bag Close

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Recent emergency weather events reminded me again of why it is important to keep our prepping supplies current and fresh, and a bugout bag close at hand at all times, whether we’re at work, at play or at home.

In one of the first tornadic events of the season, CBS DFW reported that four people were killed and others hurt as four confirmed tornadoes struck an area east of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Two of the four tornadoes were somewhat powerful – EF-3s – and obviously powerful enough to cause extensive damage and loss of life.

Imagine, if you will, a major tornado, or several smaller tornadoes, striking urban areas like Dallas-Forth Worth directly; the casualty count would be horrific. Deaths would be in the thousands. Public services would falter and fail. Electricity would be smashed for days; maybe even weeks.

Another event that is ongoing has to do with extensive rains and flooding throughout the Midwest, with rainfall in some parts as high as eight inches. According to The Weather Channel, the storms – which were expected to pick up again on Wednesday – caused major flooding that isolated large areas, closing roads and bridges, many of which may not be open for several days. Some, no doubt, have suffered structural damage and will likely be closed for months while repairs are made.

According to St. Louis television station KSDK, some 300 roads were closed – many just temporarily – at one point in Missouri. The affected roads included major interstates like I-44, I-55 and I-70.

As spring arrives, we can expect more of these kinds of weather events. Some will be extremely harsh and very dangerous. Many will cause extensive damage. This is precisely why we need to be prepared at all times for Mother Nature to strike; she does so like a thief in the night – quickly, and without warning.

In addition to weather events, major disruptions to “everyday life” can be caused by forest fires, earthquakes, massive power grid failure, widespread rioting and violence, among others. Road closures, the destruction of bridges and interstates, and societal unrest will mean that grocery stores won’t be resupplied, gas stations will run out of fuel and even the financial sector – banking, especially – could take a substantial hit.

All of these events and more will directly affect the safety and survivability of you and your family. To give yourself a better chance, consider taking these steps and/or making these arrangements/changes now:

— Bugout bag must be handy: Again, you just never know what is going to happen, or when, so you must be prepared at all times to revert into survival mode. This will mean you’ll need to have your bugout bag within reasonable reach at all times. That includes when you go to work, when you’re out on the town, when you’re shopping, running errands, etc. Don’t leave your bugout back behind; it won’t do you any good if you get caught out and about in an emergency and your bugout bag is at home.

— Check your inventory: From time to time it is important for you to look over your gear and inventory your food and water, to ensure that nothing is out of date and in need of replacement. Sure, long-term storage food lasts for many years, but if you’ve been prepping for a long time, expiration dates will creep up on you if you don’t keep track of how long it’s been since you bought your food. If it begins to approach its spoilage date, take it out and use it (go camping, eat it for dinner, etc. – it’s actually good experience). Make sure seals are still good and that water is still drinkable (Note: Commercially purchased bottled water, if it isn’t compromised in some way, has an indefinite shelf life.)

— Update your plans: There are few constants in life except death and taxes. Cities grow. Neighborhoods change. Streets and roads open and close. Make sure you’ve got an updated escape plan (should the situation dictate that) based on current conditions (geographical and otherwise) where you live. Everyone’s situation is different. Make sure your plan fits your situation.

Don’t be caught unprepared for extreme weather or other emergencies this spring and beyond. They say that “chance favors the prepared,” so spend a little time ensuring your preps and your plans are up to speed now, while you can.

 

Source : www.bugout.news

About the author : J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

 

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The Foundations of Good Community Security

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There Foundations of Good Community Security Its been another week in American and we have seen yet another violent clash between groups. There could come a time when this violence leaves the arena of the main street and makes a block near you. Now it may sound extreme but these riots could also manifest as …

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Caching Strategies For The Smart Prepper

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Caching Strategies For The Smart Prepper There is a lot of discussion going on in the prepper communities regarding caching. However, some people fail to make a distinction between hiding their supplies and caching them. These are two different tactics and a cache should be considered a long-term investment. It’s your main and perhaps only …

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Best Selling Prepper Items – Why They May Not Work for You

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I personally shop online for almost anything I can for a couple of reasons. First is the incredible ability to research and check prices. I can read or watch video reviews for any products I am considering before making a final decision. Secondly, I hate going to the mall or just about any other shopping center type of place with a passion – I would just about rather take a kick to the head than go to the mall during Christmas, but even the rest of the year shopping online is just my preferred option. I was looking around for more prepper and survival gear the other day and often readers ask for gear recommendations so I wanted to give you this list of the best-selling prepper items but with a twist. I want to also give you my opinions on why this list is wrong when taken from the standpoint of what people should be focusing on. I will show the best sellers and give alternate items you should have if you don’t already.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The LifeStraw is a great idea and Water is the highest priority, all things being equal, you should focus on when preparing for any kind of unforeseen emergency. But I think the LifeStraw itself has some limitations and drawbacks that would make me choose another option for water filtration.

For starters, the LifeStraw is really meant for only one person. If you have a couple of people to provide clean water for, this isn’t ideal. Next, you must stick your face down in the water for this to work. Not only does this require you to get up close and personal with your water source but it also prevents you from being able to fully stay aware of your surroundings. Yes, you can fill a container up with water and stick the LifeStraw in that, but why? Additionally, can’t take any water with you for later because the LifeStraw only works when you have a water source to stick the straw into. Lastly, the LifeStraw only filters up to 1000 liters before it is no longer safe.

For me, there are a couple of other options. For just about the same price, size/weight footprint, the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is far superior. It filters 100, 000 gallons, comes with it’s own bag that you can fill to quench your thirst, then refill for the road and still has all the microorganism filtering benefits. To me, these are the most minimal and basic water filters you can get, but it’s probably better to expand to a slightly larger capacity system.

The best solution in my opinion is a gravity fed water filtration system. Why? Unlike manual pump filters like the Katadyn Hiker or the MSR Miniworks (which I own and like), gravity fed filtration systems have no moving parts to break. Also, you can just let the water filter do its job while you move on to other issues like setting up camp or observing your surroundings. I am a HUGE fan of the GravityWorks by Platypus, but they are much more expensive. They taste far better than any type of Iodine water filter system like the Polar Pure, last far longer too, can easily support multiple people and I don’t have to worry about those little glass bottles breaking on me.

Mountain House Freeze Dried Food

The next 3 items on the list of best-selling prepper gear are food so I will combine them. Mountain House is listed as the best seller and I certainly have recommended their products as a great camping or backpacking option that also work great as a preparedness option. They only require hot water and you have a meal. Now, is this the best prepper food you should get if you are trying to stock up food for emergencies?

Maybe.

Mountain House or any one of the many other manufacturers of quality freeze-dried food out there fill a need and as part of a larger food self-sufficiency strategy I think they fill a great role. If you have nothing else but Mountain House, you will still be able to feed your family with decent tasting food that requires nothing more than a fire or stove to heat the water. You can even eat out of the bag. However, I recommend a little more diversity.

Your pantry should be filled with a larger portion of foods you already eat and let the Freeze-Dried food supplement that should you need to. You probably wouldn’t want to break out some Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce if your friends were coming over for dinner, but after a snow storm knocks your power out for a week, this stuff is awesome. Your own family’s needs and preferences will dictate what you store but for tips on how to get started, check out my article on 30 days of food storage for ideas on how to get a jump-start.

Emergency Disposable Rain Ponchos

No offense to the good-looking group pictured here, but preppers shouldn’t be buying these cheap bags expecting protection.

Number three on the list of the best-selling prepper gear is Emergency Rain Ponchos? Seriously? Granted, this is from Amazon.com but these are glorified trash bags meant to give you some protection if you are out at a theme park let’s say and an unexpected downpour threatens to ruin the fun. No self-respecting prepper should have to resort to this because if you can’t find out what the weather is going to be and plan accordingly, you have bigger things to worry about most likely.

Instead of a disposable trash bag, if you are looking for some prepper gear that isn’t a rain jacket, consider a legitimate poncho instead. These are more expensive, but the construction is vastly better and you can use these to provide shelter if you combine them with a little paracord. Usually they come in camouflage colors but you do have options if you are trying not to look tactical. You can even combine them with a poncho liner to have a great cold weather system that can keep you dry and warm.

Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter

Number 4 is a means to start a fire and magnesium fire starters are a great grid-down item to have. There are many other brands out there and while I haven’t personally tested the Gerber line, I have been very happy with the craftsmanship and quality of other items like their multi-tools that I own. The Bear Grylls Fire Starter is just branded merchandise but it should do the job admirably.

Now I own several fire starters like this but you know what I own more of? Disposable lighters. They are cheap (you can get a pack of 10 for the price of one fire starter) and easier to use. Yes, they won’t last anywhere near as long as a fire starter, but if I needed to get a fire going quickly, I would much rather start my tinder off with a quick flick of my Bic and then move on.

Survival Shack Emergency Survival Shelter Tent

Keep the rain off you? Maybe? Sun? Yep. Will it keep you warm in cold climates?

Number 5 on Amazon’s list of best-selling prepper gear is essentially a big piece of Mylar with some rope. It is cheap, lightweight and compact, but when it comes to staying warm, I don’t see how this big open tent is going to help you.

In the right environment, creating a survival shelter is a free option but that assumes a lot of things. First that you have materials you can make a shelter with. Debris shelters are all the rage on YouTube for preppers and survivalists, but what if you don’t have any trees, limbs lying around or millions of leaves to cover it with?

A better option may be a survival bivvy. Advanced Medical Kits sells an Emergency Bivvy that will keep two people warm. First, it’s enclosed so you don’t have air blowing through it and wiping away any heat convection your body was making – think survival sleeping bag. It doesn’t require trees to string a rope and you get the added benefit of body heat from your buddy – assuming you are with someone. It is a little more expensive and does take up a little more room, but seems like it would be more effective at keeping you protected from the elements.

Is Best Selling Gear really the Best for You?

There are many other items on the list of best sellers and I just scratched the surface. I think in some cases; the things people buy are often out of convenience and cost savings but those two factors alone could leave you just as unprepared as if you didn’t purchase any prepper gear. Before making any prepper gear purchases, use the internet and conduct research. Take a look at what your survival priorities for the place you are or where you are going. Read articles – there are thousands out there on just about any subject related to prepping you can think of. Watch videos on YouTube and make your own mind up on what makes sense. But don’t stop there.

Actually try out the gear you just purchased. Use it to collect water and drink from it. Take that freeze-dried food out with you and make a meal. Try spending a night in that shelter or working in the rain in that poncho – start a fire. You will learn more from your own experience than anything you can read on a prepper blog and it will give you the knowledge you need to make your own, better, decisions on survival gear that works best for you.

The post Best Selling Prepper Items – Why They May Not Work for You appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Spring Family Prepping Activities

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Spring Family Prepping Activities Each season offers unique opportunities for learning and practicing survival skills. Prepping activities is something that can be done by the whole family and easily turned into a game. The children may not understand that having a race to break down your tent and get it stowed away is actually practicing …

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Want to Save Money? Learn To Live With Less!

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Want to Save Money? Learn To Live With Less! This is a great article about the simple life. For a long time I read about the simple life through others goals, websites and other information transmissions. I didn’t understand what that meant. I had a hard time believing anything in life could be considered simple. …

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Tactical Loadouts for Preppers

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Tactical Loadouts for Preppers This is a fun article. Its on a subject that shouldn’t be fun to really think about but laodouts are a good time. A lot of thought went into the various loadouts that are prepared in this article. When it comes to the basic survival response just knowing all of your …

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Best Prepper Gear: 18 Big Ticket Items Preppers Will Want to Save Up For

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Best Prepper Gear: 18 Big Ticket Items Preppers Will Want to Save Up For

There’s plenty of excellent, cheap survival gear around for those just starting to prep, or for those trying to buff up their already-in-place prepper stockpile. But while cheap, affordable products can take you quite far, there are some amazing big-ticket items you’re likely to want to save up for. I don’t own very many of the items on […]

This is just the start of the post Best Prepper Gear: 18 Big Ticket Items Preppers Will Want to Save Up For. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Best Prepper Gear: 18 Big Ticket Items Preppers Will Want to Save Up For, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

How to Choose a Bug Out Bicycle to Escape Chaos

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In every disaster movie we see that bicycles have inexplicably vanished. While this may be a flaw in the movie script, I like to believe survivors recognized their true value and put them to good use. Having a Bug out bicycle ready can help you get out of dodge faster than you would expect. Being … Read more…

The post How to Choose a Bug Out Bicycle to Escape Chaos was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Survival Hax Tactical Pen {Review}

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Survival Hax Tactical Pen

This Survival Pen from Survival Hax is not your father’s pen.

Here are the Specs:
Length: 6”
Thickness: .5”
Exterior: Aviation aircraft aluminum
Blade Material: 3CR13 steel
Weight: .1 lbs

  • The Principal was excited when this came. He immediately opened it and started to see what it could do.
  • It has a knife (cut clothes off or maybe make kindling)
  • It can break glass (which is handy if you find yourself in your car in water)
  • It has an LED light (need to find your car keys?)

The only thing that The Principal (I really need to find him a new nickname, our homeschool days are over next month) thought needed improving was making the pen a ‘clicky’ pen vs having to remove the lid. 

 
Here is a short video about this Tactical Pens uses.

Love the pen and we recommend it!

Get yours on Amazon:

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to receiving the free product. You can trust me.
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The post Survival Hax Tactical Pen {Review} appeared first on Mama Kautz.

Garden Hacks – Repurpose Everyday Items

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to preparedness – or life in general – there’s a ton to buy. When we can reuse something, it helps. One, there’s the direct cost application. Two, looking at something and seeing its ability to be something completely different has enormous benefits in opening the mind in general.

If we’re preparing for a crisis, gardening and the ability to provide fresh foods in the gulf of winter and spring take on a far greater importance than just a hobby or a passion. Happily, there are some things that can be salvaged for free or found at very low-cost that make a world’s worth of difference. Channel your inner Julie Andrews with me as we look at a few of my favorite things. There’s some non-gardening uses for each listed as well.

DVD Racks

Years ago I picked up a free DVD rack to be a bean trellis for a Rubbermaid tote garden. I have since been in love, and it’s one of the things I consistently watch for at yard sales, curbside pickup listings, and foreclosure cleanup sites.

I got lucky, and mine have a rounded top at the sides. If you find some that don’t, just glue on a milk jug cap for some of its applications.

They go way beyond trellising.

They work for the far ends and sometimes central support “poles” of low poly tunnels or low hoops for garden beds and rows. A little free bamboo or PVC to span distances, some binder clips (Dollar Tree) to clamp the plastic on, and you’re in business.

They can also be set up long-wise down the middle of a bed to form an A-frame style “camping tent” poly cover if desired, which works really well for peas, with roots and salads to the outer verges, and converts well to later tomato beds.

They also form plant racks for inside near windows, against pale walls, or outdoors to keep salads conveniently close or make use of vertical height.

Mine all hold square plastic coffee tubs (they need a length of string along the front unless it’s a really well-protected area), #2.5 cans (the large tomato or peaches can), and V8 bottles without any modification at all. They’ll hold 2L bottles on their sides for longer, shallow containers, or Lipton and Arizona tea jugs of both types and sizes either cut off vertically or horizontally.

I can do square juice jugs as well, but they overhang enough to make the dog tails an issue on their sides, and I’m more comfortable with some twine or wire looping them to the back bar.

I prefer the open-dowel construction type, just because it leaves me options. I can add thin saplings, bamboo or thin sheathing to convert them if needed, but the open frame allows more light and nestles the rounded-bottom containers well.

Outside Gardening the DVD racks have the ability to hold larger canned goods and bottles of water, be used to dry clothes as-is or be half of a frame of dowels or saplings to create a larger drying space, and the poor kid used to have a pair that were hung with a curtain, topped with a chunk of (free) plywood, and outfitted with $2 in hooks to hang her uniform shirts and pants, like a mini closet that was also the mirror and vanity.

Storm Doors & Windows

These guys don’t multipurpose to the same degree as the DVD racks. They’re really handy to run across, though. One, having a backup is never a bad thing. Two, they are ready-made cold frames and pest exclusion frames.

I like a 3’ width for garden beds, permanent or bounded, and they fit pretty perfectly as-is. I can tighten up and use straw bales to create a different kind of cold frame with them laid across the top. I can run them in series or as individual structures.

An A-frame can be pretty quickly mocked up and is one of the easiest builds for getting your feet wet. It’s also handy in that it sluices ice and snow build-up and is more resistant to winds. The doors and windows get hinged at the tops, any stick or tool props them so they don’t flip the frame or ka-bong off your noggin, and cats, dogs and goats are less likely to stand on them.

Just the mesh from storm doors and windows is useful. So is mesh that comes off when you repair those.

It’s going in the garden, so some stitching or a little duct tape on both sides to repair a rip isn’t an issue. All it’s doing is protecting seed-stock squash from cross-pollination or keeping creepy-crawlies from eating the brassicas, lettuce, and beans before you can.

The advantage to taking out the mesh is that it’s an even easier build yet. There’s no hinges (unless you hinge the whole frame) and there’s less weight. That means more materials become potentials for the frame itself. You can tie some loops to go around a brick or post, or add some eye hooks to keep it in place.

Do keep the builds small enough that you can lift or flip by yourself once plants are in there. Some posts to the inside of the bed or rows can create a pivot point for flipping.

Painter’s/Construction Drop Cloth

My first set of drop cloth came from a part-time job in high school. I have been in love ever since.

It’s not super expensive, and it’s a toss-up whether the construction poly or the garden poly is cheaper to buy new, but it’s usually the totally clear construction drop cloth in our area. The 5+ mil I use is fairly durable in Southern wind storms, sun rot, ice and freezing rain, and Mid-Atlantic snow.

Contact handyman type businesses and painting businesses – for these as well as the windows and storm doors, and the mesh from those. Usually they’ll only use them for so long and as with the mesh, a few duct tape patches and the paint stains won’t impede too much structurally or light-wise.

Should you see them pop up cheap or free somewhere, don’t neglect those fancy-people outdoor grill, furniture and sofa covers, or any clear, thick, translucent vehicle covers.

Like the totally clear and colorless painter’s plastic, they all make for great garden hoop houses. Some of them can also be outfitted with sturdier construction to form a more permanent greenhouse.

Outside Gardening drop “cloth” or storm doors and windows can also be assembled into wind and snow-blocking shields around exposed doors at the home, or can enclose part or all of a porch to turn into a mudroom in an emergency or during snowy weather. Doing so creates a buffer chamber so there will be less polar vortex entering the house with every human and pet.

Plastic can also be used to cover windows and doors inside or out to decrease drafts and increase insulation value.

The painter’s plastic has the same value for livestock in extreme environments, especially if a normally warm climate is experiencing sudden return-to-winter weather after flocks or rabbits have adjusted to 60s-70s-80s, or if it’s so rare to have severe weather, coops and hutches were never built for extreme cold.

Drop cloths and poly covers can also be used to line bedding for the young, ill and elderly, so that every sneeze and cough or “mommy, I feel- blech” does not lead to disinfecting a mattress as well as changing bedding.

Wire Shelving

Really, do you ever have enough shelving? I particularly like seeing the simple-frame, open-weave, metal-wire shelving for bathrooms, laundry rooms and closets pop up in junk piles, yard sales, and Craigslist, because it’s super handy, super versatile stuff.

Like the DVD racks, it’s indoor-outdoor tiered plant stands, either year-round or during seed-starting and transplant season(s).

It can also be wrapped in our reclaimed plastic sheets or form part or all of the structure for salvaged windows or poly covers to make a mini greenhouse on a porch, beside a house or garage, for growing later and earlier in the season.

Then it gets even more useful.

Even if the whole is a little rickety, the shelves themselves can be removed and then turned into trellises. They can be rearranged around their original legs-stand or affixed to bamboo or the legs from old tables or chairs to form short garden fences to discourage turtles and rabbits, and limit dogs running through beds.

As an added bonus, if you have a senior gardener or an injury, sinking some of those sturdy table legs or a bundle of 3-4 larger bamboo canes 18” deep and up to hip or rib level can be a major aid in keeping them gardening.

The sturdy supports can then be covered with netting or sections of storm door mesh to act as a further bird and pest exclusions.

Outside Gardening there are endless uses for shelving, from water collection to organizing anything at all. Wire shelves also offer a lot of airflow for drying clothes.

The shelf “planks” of wire units can be used to patch and shore up fences and coops, especially somewhere something dug. They can be used to cover vehicle and house windows to limit damage from thrown bricks or if a storm window is damaged during a crisis.

They can also be reconfigured into a cage or crate for rabbits or small birds, to expand flocks or because they happened to be stacked from Craigslist and Freecycle runs ahead of time and now there’s a puppy to crate train or weather has shifted and we’re worried about the next generation of layers.

The shelves can be used to sift the largest chunks out of compost or soil in some cases, help form a gabion to slow water and keep it from increasing erosion, or can be lined with mesh or cloth for drying foods or seeds.

The shelves can usually be easily reconfigured with larger or smaller gaps than originally intended to facilitate buckets, larger boxes, or drying seeds and grains.

They don’t pop up as much as they used to, but some can still be found on the freebie sites as curbside pickup, or for <$15-20. They also sometimes pop up at Salvation Army/Goodwill, and if you cultivate contacts, sometimes you get your hands on just the shelf parts because the rest of the racks have been lost during multiple transfers or all the pieces weren’t donated.

Garden Reuse-its – My Favorite Things

These are just a few of my favorite things to re-purpose for growing veggies. The world is full of things like laundry bags we can use to prevent caterpillars and squash bugs on our cabbage and beans and zucchini, and old carpeting we can layer deep in garden walkways to cut down on maintenance time.

Any time we can reuse something, it cuts down on waste, making for a better world – not just the world around us. If we’re saving time and money, and if we’re developing some creativity and a new way of looking at things, we increase our preparedness and better our own world directly.

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The Single Biggest Weakness In Many Disaster Plans

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The Single Biggest Weakness In Many Disaster Plans

Image source: Pixabay.com

People who are serious about preparedness have a lot to be concerned about. The considerations of post-disaster survival range from food to water to hygiene to self-protection to transportation to emergency medical care.

But there is one area of prepping that is often overlooked: personal health and fitness. If a sudden disaster were to strike, it is possible that your most valuable prep might be your own body. If you are unfit and unhealthy, you might be limiting your capacity for independence, both now and in whatever future.

I am not a health care provider or a fitness expert. Rather, I am an ordinary citizen with a personal testimony to share. Over the past several years, my weight has crept up and my overall health has deteriorated. When my bloodwork reported results so high that my provider wanted me to begin a regimen of medications this past spring, I resolved to turn things around by eating better and exercising more.

Five months later, I have lost 26 pounds and am closing in on my goal weight. But it is about far more than numbers on the scale. A follow-up with the laboratory and my provider revealed drastically reduced lipids and sugars, lower blood pressure, and increased lung capacity.

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Get Backup Electricity Today!

For many people, the side effects of physical fitness are at least as rewarding as the actual numbers on the scale and lab report and clothing sizes. In my case, my weight loss has also resulted in more self-confidence, a higher energy level, and feeling generally more positive.

Making the time and doing the work to increase my fitness level also has made me an abler homesteader. Long hours on my feet during canning season, racing to the chicken house to investigate a sudden commotion, and weekend firewood-processing marathons are now less taxing.

The Single Biggest Weakness In Many Disaster Plans

Image source: Pixabay.com

And if disaster strikes, I will be more capable of keeping myself and my loved ones safe. While there are a lot of other factors that are important, the ability to walk, run, climb, push and haul might be some of the most needed.

Many Americans are obese, or lead sedentary lives, or live with addiction, or suffer from conditions that are exacerbated by lifestyle. This will not serve them in the event of a disaster, and could possibly even jeopardize the welfare of those around them.

Consider the many scenarios in which physical fitness would be crucial. People may need to run to save a child or slip quietly out of sight in a forest. They might be called upon to walk long distances, climb a tree or ladder, rappel, pound a nail, heft an axe, operate a scythe, paddle a boat, swim, carry heavy loads, and work long days—all of which are possible for unfit people but will be more challenging.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Dependence upon cigarettes, alcohol, legal or illegal drugs, or even technology could possibly result in placing oneself at risk for a fix. Nobody wants that for themselves. Nobody wants to land in a post-disaster scenario with a bad knee, poor dental health, or gout, either.

None of this is to say that everyone has complete control over their own health. Accidents happen. Diseases happen. Genetics happen. But for the rest of us, it makes sense to do all we possibly can to be fit and healthy.

No one is perfect, and thank goodness we do not need to be. We all struggle with at least one issue — my family history of heart disease and diabetes and my fondness for Dr. Pepper and Little Debbie’s will always be present in my life. But facing our health challenges head-on and dealing with them now instead of later is a win-win. We win now, we win in the event of a disaster, the people around us win because we will have fewer special needs and instead will be able to help others, and we also win in terms of comfort and longevity if disaster doesn’t come. The only people who really lose out if Americans become fit and healthy are the big pharmaceutical companies.

We do not need to look like bodybuilders or run like track stars. But we do need to reach for our personal best and make health and fitness a central component of our survival and prepping goals.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Prepping by the Numbers

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Xavier. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


When planning your preps, you’re faced with a myriad of options and contrary to the popular social campaign to be unique, I urge you to follow the masses. Not only do the masses USUALLY get things right in aggregate, but it can make your life easier in the long run to just go with the crowd. There’s no need to be exotic with your preps. Consider a tiny slice of prepping: bug-out vehicles, electronics, and firearm selection. The same concept can be applied to almost anything you’re prepping for!

Cars and bug-out vehicles

When looking for a car: don’t be exotic. Play the numbers. The most popular small car in America for MANY years going back decades is the Toyota Corolla. The most popular minivan in America for MANY years going back almost a dozen years is the Honda Odyssey. Care to guess which two vehicles I own? They’re not the most stylish vehicles, not even the best performance or features. That’s not why I own them. I own them because they’re EVERYWHERE! This makes it cheaper and easier to find parts for them NOW, and will make it that much easier to find the parts I need after SHTF. If I were to buy a pickup, I’d likely end up with a Ford F-150 for the exact same reason.

The ability to find spare parts shouldn’t be overlooked.

Consider your geographic area where you live now, your path to your bug-out location, and eventually your bug-out location when making these decisions, and what you’ll need to do with the car. I’ve heard that AWD Subaru’s and Toyota 4Runners are common in Colorado and for a good reason.

Having a popular car makes it easy to find parts. Knowing which cars are compatible make it even easier. For example, the Toyota Corolla and the Toyota Matrix (and even the Pontiac Vibe) use the same 4-cylinder engine & drive train & suspension for any given year. When I do work on my Corolla, I use the Matrix repair manuals. The Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, and the 6-cylinder Accord share their frame and most engine components. The Toyota 4Runner, for instance, uses the same size oil filter in 2015 that it did in 1988. If you can, having two cars that share the same frame/engine components can simplify purchasing parts; this way you only have to keep one type of spare on-hand. Even if you can’t, at least keep them all metric or SAE, so you only need to carry/own one set of tools.

This can also come into play when you’re planning your preps with a group. If everyone in your group has the same or realistically similar vehicle and one completely dies, it can serve as a Frankenstein parts donor for other vehicles in your group. Your group can share the cost of a parts-pool for your bug-out camp, as it will benefit every member. Even something simple as having the same oil filter or tire-size may save a life in a pinch. Be wary of aftermarket parts on your vehicle if it prevents you from using standard parts as a rip & replace and doesn’t require welding or metal work.

Electronics

Solar Panels give you a tremendous grid-down advantage.

When thinking of survival electronics, the same rules apply – play the numbers. The most likely ways to use electronics after grid down are AA batteries, 12vDC and USB. Without reliable grid power or a generator the most common way of using portable electronics is battery power. The most common battery is the AA. All of my flashlights and most of my radios use AA batteries. They’re readily available, and can be scavenged from many household accessories such as TV remotes or children’s toys if needed. Don’t be exotic. Don’t get stuck trying to find specialized batteries because you bought a tacti-cool flashlight.

Next up is 12vDC power. This is available from just about any car battery so there should be no shortage, at least in the short-term after grid-down. They can be recharged using solar power generators. Inverters are available to make 120vAC available in a pinch for devices such as laptops, though they’re not always electrically efficient. Many popular survival related electronics operate on 12vDC power, such as CB or HAM radios and GPS units. I would recommend having a 12v deep cycle battery and a way to recharge it at your bug-out location. Having cigarette lighter adapters for your accessories can help while bugging out if you encounter an abandoned vehicle and need to make a quick contact with a radio or to recharge. Many smaller capacity 12v batteries can be found in lawn-care equipment, or as backup power for home alarm panels and garage door openers. There are even personal computers that run completely on 12v. These may be useful in short-term grid down events such as local natural disasters or for EMCOMM groups that have a need for digital communications.

USB ports and accessories are ubiquitous in today’s technological world. Understand that USB isn’t a /source/ of power, but rather an interface that I wouldn’t want to be caught without. Most cell phones and tablets charge using USB. Many small FRS/GMRS or even HAM radios can charge via a USB port. I have a small solar chargeable battery with USB interfaces in my bag. Again, having charging cables for each of your devices along the way can facilitate your travels. Travel adapters to take a 12v cigarette lighter to USB port are also very convenient. Try to make sure your devices use the same USB interface or at least stick to the most common plug types such as usb-micro for most Android phones, or the lightning style plug for newer Apple devices.

Ammunition and Firearms

guns, pistols, rifle, revolvers, and ammunition

When looking at purchasing firearms for self-defense or hunting, one of the first and largely asked questions is “what caliber”. Often it comes down to what’s the most powerful round you can reasonably handle or what has the most ‘stopping power’. However, the most powerful handgun in the world is useless if you can’t find ammunition for it. Don’t be exotic. Picking and standardizing on the most common rounds works in your benefit, and thus often cheaper to acquire now; and more importantly are the most easily obtained after SHTF. Even if you create a substantial stockpile at your home or bug-out location, there’s no guarantee it will not be plundered before you arrive, destroyed by malicious individuals or natural disaster, or that you can remain indefinitely at your bug-out location. You may have to abandon it; how much ammo can you carry with you?

For a standard loadout, you pretty much can’t go wrong with NATO rounds or those inspired by them. This means 9mm for handguns, 5.56mm for your light rifle, and 7.62mm for your long-range rifle. A word of caution: use only ammunition that fits your particular firearm. Many other articles available online explain the differences between the NATO 5.56mm and the common .223 Remington round and the inherent compatibility issues that are involved with these two related rounds. A similar discussion should be had regarding the .308 Winchester and the NATO 7.62, as well as ‘standard 9mm’ vs ‘9mm +P’. Also be aware if you carry a backup/pocket/ankle gun in .380, it’s very similar in size to a 9mm. .38 special and .357 magnum rounds are both basically physically identical. Don’t put the wrong round in the wrong gun or you could have disastrous results.

These rounds pack enough punch for what we’re likely to encounter and are small and light enough to carry a substantial amount. If you own multiple firearms for the same caliber, it would be wise that they are identical. This gives 2 primary benefits. The first is part compatibility. You only need to stock one style of part that can match both of your guns instead of having a plethora of parts for different guns. Your accessories and magazines will be interchangeable. If one gun is incapacitated or damaged, it can be used for loaner parts for your other firearm. The second benefit is weapon familiarity when training. Muscle memory built on one weapon can fail you if you resort to your secondary or backup gun in an intense situation. If you are prepping with a group of others, the same wisdom applies: get the same weapon platform.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ubiquitous .22LR. It’s never a bad idea to have a weapon in this caliber and to stock up on plenty of ammo for it. It’s suitable for both handgun and long-gun usage. All in all a very versatile round. Another highly popular and useful gun not to neglect is the 12ga shotgun. They’re considered very reliable and pack a punch. There are a myriad of options available for ammunition that are almost 100% compatible with any modern 12ga shotgun.

Consider this just food for thought as you plan your preps. This mindset of shooting for the average can not only minimize your costs for prepping, but stretch your ability to survive after SHTF. If we end up WROL and there’s a need to barter something, having the most popular items makes your trading agility that much higher, rather than the high-priced exotic item that can only be used by a select few.

Be the gray-man!

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Data Storage for Preppers

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from valknut79. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


On October 21, 2016, the internet broke. Netflix, Twitter, Paypal, and more were all hacked, and it took most of the day for representatives from the many major companies affected to find, fix and implement the problems. For most people, this was a minor disruption to their day. To my teenage daughter, the SHTF situation we’ve all been waiting for was occurring right then and there. She instantly lost at least half of her ability to communicate and find news, she lost her entire source of entertainment, and she lost the ability to pay for anything online, even if temporarily.

I think it’s safe to say that we could all live without Twitter. Netflix is a great modern convenience, but we could live without that too. What would happen, though, if we lost Wikipedia? I know that I reference Wikipedia at least twice a day, whether it’s for random historical trivia, information I need for work, or items of interest I’m using to plan my next prepping project. To lose access to what I consider to be the major source for all accumulated human knowledge would be a major blow. News recently broke that the Turkish government is preventing it’s citizens from accessing Wikipedia.

The outage I referenced earlier was one of the largest in the short history of the internet, and it was, fortunately, quite temporary, lasting around 12 hours. What if it affected your personal PC? The infamous computer hijacks and ransomware that have been plaguing PC users for the past few years often destroy and corrupt enough of your internal data that it cannot be recovered. What if it were permanent? That could be an EMP attack or a CME that wipes out all power, or it could be a targeted hack that we can’t figure out how to solve, or something else entirely. What happens if our government passes laws similar to those already in place in Turkey and many Asian countries which prohibits access to sites which they have decided contain information they don’t want shared?

I don’t have all the answers to these problems, but I know one potential solution – Local Data Backup. Most amateur computer owners have one or more PCs, with probably only one or two copies of their most important data – resumes, scans of birth certificates and other legal documents, family photos and more. The true solution is to have many copies of your important data stored locally, updated frequently, and maintained in a Faraday cage in case of an EMP attack.

To start, you’ll want a high-capacity data external storage device. I would recommend at least 8 terabytes of storage space per unit, and multiple drives if possible. You should also have at least one or two flash drives that store at least small parts of this information. This should run you about $200. That, and an older computer or tablet with a USB cord and an internet connection should be all you need for this invaluable project. I’ve heard some preppers who prefer to maintain optical discs with information on them, but a number of the solutions I want to implement will require files that are larger than the storage capacity of a single DVD or CD. You’d also have to consider storage space – all those discs and the disc drive itself will take up more space than a single external drive.

Personal Data comes first

The chances of any computer contracting a virus or a worm while you’re surfing the internet (yes, even you Apple people) is significantly higher than the chances of an EMP attack happening in next few weeks. It’s important to have a copy of your birth certificates and other important documents, including copies of social security cards, recent pictures of your immediate family, address and phone contact information, and other information available for bug-out situations, and it’s valuable to have that data stored in a variety of locations, including on your external hard drive. It is also highly recommended that you maintain a copy of receipts or warranty’s for major appliances, and pictures of each of the rooms in your house. It is possible that, in the event of a major flood or fire, that you could use these items to help increase the amount of money you can get back from home insurance as proof of at least some of the major items you’re keeping in each area of your house.

Second, survival. One of the first tricks that preppers learn when getting involved in the lifestyle of preparedness is that it’s possible to download a wide variety of “prepper manuals” online, including military survival PDFs and other documents. You could even save valuable web pages and articles for offline viewing. I have printed many materials to put in a binder, but again, that takes valuable storage space, and could be easily destroyed in a fire or a flood. My digital copies of data, so long as they remain well-protected in their Faraday cage, are safe from most dangers.

Next is the broad category of “items of personal importance” which could include almost anything that you find important to keep around. What’s in my collection? Family photos & videos take up a large bulk of my storage space. A simple feed scanner that you can purchase on Amazon for about $100 will allow you to scan and store thousands upon thousands of photos onto your external drive, where they are well-protected from flood damage and fading due to aging, and where you can easily gift them to another relative to open up more storage space under your stairs for prepping supplies. All of my wife’s hard work on our family tree is now scanned and preserved in it’s own folder as well for the next generation to continue the work, as are my grandfather’s old diaries we’ve been left. I also keep a local copy of any digital media I own, which is everything from digital copies of Disney movies that come for free with the Blu-Rays I’ve purchased for my kids, to those new music albums that I’ve bought as MP3s because it was cheaper and more convenient than buying the disc. I’ve got downloaded digital copies of my Audible collection, and a few Kindle books as well. Essentially, if I’ve paid money for it, I have a copy of it on my external drive that I can download and access forever, even if these host companies go out of business or lock my accounts.

Additional data to backup

Finally, you can do what I’ve done and keep a localized backup copy of Wikipedia and other sources of world knowledge. Many of these archive sites allow anyone to download a full copy of the entire site, and with a Wiki reader, it’s possible to maintain a version of Wikipedia which does not require the internet to search. In addition, you can also download a few other collections for posterity , including a huge collection of out-of-copyright novels from Project Gutenberg that could keep you reading for your entire lifetime without having to purchase a new book.

I believe that maintaining at least a bare-bones minimum of these documents and files is essential regardless of whether you take the steps necessary to protect this data from an EMP. For that, a Faraday cage – an enclosure completely surrounded by metal on all sides – is important. There have been thousands of people before me who have discussed the creation of such a device, so I’ll leave them to it. Suffice it to say that if an EMP occurs, it is widely assumed that almost all electronic equipment that is not protected is in jeopardy. That means that if you are taking the time to store data, you also need to store some kind of old computer or laptop capable of accessing the data, and a backup copy of installation files for programs you can use to read them. That means that you want a PDF reader installed, as well as programs that will allow you to view photos and videos, and if you have movies or audio-books tied to a service like Audible, you’ll need to have those installed.

Is this doable for Preppers?

The value of a project like this is in the details. First, it preserves a large amount of your family’s history, making it more accessible for younger, computer-savvy members of your family to learn about and carry on the knowledge we have as a modern society and many of the traditions that you hold dear. Second, this is a great way to make more space in your life (for prepping supplies, or whatever else you want to have). I was able to re-gift fifteen banker’s boxes worth of photos, VHS tapes, diaries, CD-ROMs and floppy discs full of data and combine them into one external hard drive, and I purchased a second drive to send to a distant relative overseas as a holiday gift that meant the world to him. Finally, I truly believe that with cloud computing, government regulations on access to information, and an ever-increasing life-or-death reliance on technology, there will come a time when the freedom of the internet and our personal data will be under attack. Having at least a portion of that knowledge stored in a metal trash can in your garage where Big Brother can’t find it might make all the difference.

Is this an expensive project? Yes, it certainly can be. A good quality hard drive along with a backup copy of a computer and a Faraday cage could cost a pretty penny. There’s no doubt that this is a long and difficult project as well. Even with a fairly fast feeder scanner for photos and small documents, but with searching and downloading times for files, and figuring out how to store this data for ease of use, it took me the better part of all Winter and Spring to make this a reality. How much of this would be useful in a true SHTF situation? Potentially quite a lot, potentially not at all. The information on that Wikipedia backup might be invaluable, but you may also not have the electrical power to access the data. As a project that has so many qualifications, this is likely not applicable to all preppers, but for those who have enough backup water filters, have installed their solar panels, and have too many boxes of old photos you can’t get rid of, this is a great project to start this year to help not only modernize but also to help prepare.

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Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out?

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Does Your Plan B Include a Second Place to Live If Plan A Doesn’t Work Out? This article is a great look the reality of national debt and cost of living. It also sheds light on a topic that scares all homeowners: property value. It’s a terrifying thought when you imagine something in your area …

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How To Throw Knives For Survival

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How To Throw Knives For Survival As a child we all owned at least one ninja set. It featured the might shurken or throwing star. Whether you came up watching Bruce Lee throwing these or the Ninja Turtles there was always part of you that wondered just how hard it could be. There are companies …

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How to Make Beeswax Soap

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Written by Cornelia Adams on The Prepper Journal.

I decided to make beeswax soap for Christmas gifts last year.  It has been on my list of things I should probably know how to do and when my stepfather, who keeps bees, brought me seven pounds of beeswax from his hives, I thought the time was right.

I started my soap-making adventure with a recipe for beeswax soap from the book, “Beeswax Alchemy”.  This book contains directions for making candles, balms and bars, salves, cream and scrubs, soap, and even beeswax art.

BEESWAX – WHERE TO GET IT AND HOW TO HANDLE IT

You can either acquire your beeswax from a beekeeper, which I was fortunate enough to be related to, or you can buy it online and it comes in handy little balls that are easy to measure and melt.  The wax I had was in giant hunks which I sawed off with a bread knife.  I do not recommend this method.  It’s maddening.  Since then I have learned another method which would have saved me a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

First, beeswax becomes brittle when frozen and is much easier to cut.  Secondly, and I think I will go this route next time, the wax can be melted and poured onto a large cookie sheet lined with freezer paper.  Once hardened, the wax can be broken off into small chunks without sawing at it like a crazed butcher.

You can make soap without beeswax, however, I wanted to use the beeswax I had on hand because the scent is wonderful and it has conditioning properties that I wanted to in my soap.  There is a very basic non-beeswax soap recipe found here.

LYE, LYE, LYE

Without lye, there is no soap.  Lye, or sodium hydroxide, is required to make the chemical reaction that makes soap.  Period.  I had seen lye in the hardware store for cleaning out drains and thought that there must be a softer, gentler lye available for making soap.   To my surprise, the lye I made soap with to give my loved ones was made with the same highly caustic chemical that will burn the eyes out of your head.  Since lye is so dangerous, I want to give you some tips:

  1. Measure everything correctly. This is not the time for measuring with your eyes, use a digital scale, it is most accurate. If your lye to fat ratio is off, or you have added too much beeswax you will waste your time because your soap will be sludgy or rubbery.
  2. Once you have added the water to lye, it’s all business. Wear clothing to cover your skin and protective eye-wear.
  3. When the water is added it creates fumes that should not be breathed in. I didn’t know this and I leaned over the pot of lye and took a deep breath.  I am still here, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
  4. ONLY USE STAINLESS STEEL! The lye will react badly with other metals.  I bought a stainless steel pot that I use only for soap making.  I just cannot make mashed potatoes and serve them from the same pot that had a toxic chemical in it.  I am just weird that way.

Other equipment you need to make soap

  1. Immersion blender –  This is a luxury item.  You can mix all your ingredients up with a STAINLESS STEEL whisk, but I have to tell you, this blender made mixing so much faster and easier.
  2. Freezer paper – You can buy large rolls of it and it is essential for lining cardboard if you are making your own rectangular molds.  It is also nice to wrap the soap in and tie with twine to give as gifts or just to store for yourself.
  3. Soap molds vs. cardboard – If you use the cardboard and make a box (approximately the size of a bread pan) and line with freezer paper.  I bought a silicon soap mold that was the right size.  The advantage of a mold is that it will be more durable than cardboard over time and you don’t have to fool with the freezer paper.  You can get fancier molds INSERT AMAZON LINK HERE that have lovely designs in them, but I opted for the box shape and cut with a blade for a more homesteader look.
  4. Fragrance – I bought essential oils and used the lemongrass. Any of the essential oils will work great, but I would buy the most concentrated possible so the scent is present.  You can combine scents to create something unique, or just use one of them for a distinguishable scent.

Beeswax Soap Making Material List

  • olive oil – 358g
  • coconut oil – 225g
  • palm oil – 177g
  • castor oil – 32g
  • beeswax – 7.2g
  • distilled water – 266g divided
  • lye – 111g
  • honey – 1 TBS
  • fragrance – 2 TSP
  • disposable paper bowl
  • stainless steel bowl for lye
  • stainless steel pot or microwave save container for oils
  • stainless steel whisk or immersion blender
  • digital scale
  • mold
  • freezer paper (if using cardboard)
  • digital thermometer INSERT AMAZON LINK HERE

Yield – eight 4 ounce bars

How do you make soap?

  1. Measure out the lye and place in disposable paper bowl.

  1. Measure out 148 grams of distilled water and pour into stainless steel bowl. Place bowl onto heat resistant surface and then add dry lye crystals to water (NEVER THE OTHER WAY AROUND)  Stir until lye is completely dissolved.  Set aside to cool.

SIDE NOTE:  Those new to digital scales, this is for you.  When measuring ingredients, first select the TARE WEIGHT and then set the container that will hold what you are measuring (ex. plastic cup, bowl, etc.)  This will analyze the weight of the container so that weight is NOT included in the weight of the ingredients.  Then, once the TARE WEIGHT is selected, the scale should read 0.0 (give or take some zeroes) and then you can add the ingredients to be weighed.  If you are not using a digital scale you will have to weigh the container then add the ingredients and subtract the weight of the container to get actual weight of ingredients.

  1. Microwave the honey, 118g of remaining water, and microwave until dissolved.
  2. Prepare the mold.
  3. Heat all the solid oils and beeswax in a stainless steel pot. Add the liquid oils (excluding honey and water mixture) and stir.
  4. Check temperature of lye and the oils. This is crucial!  To keep beeswax from getting hard, the oils need to be around 120 F.  The lye needs to be 120 F as well.
  5. Now add honey water to the lye water ONLY when it has reached the correct temperature. Sometimes this will result in a color change, which is normal.

  1. Now pour the lye water into the oils and mix with the stainless steel whisk or the immersion blender.
  2. When the mixture begins to looks creamy, it has emulsified and this is the time to add your fragrance.
  3. Keep mixing until it looks like a light cake batter. This is called the trace.

  1. Quickly pour into prepared mold or cardboard container lined with freezer paper. Scrape every bit of residue from the pot with a high-temp spatula.

  1. Tap soap mold on the counter to remove air. Smooth out the top and cover mold with cardboard to hold heat in.
  2. In twenty-four hours the soap should be cool enough to cut. If it seems too soft, then wait and continue checking every 4-6 hours.  Once it is hard enough to cut into bars, I cut it with a blade made for cutting soap.  The handle and size made cutting more even and straight.  I wrapped my soaps in freezer paper and twine and stored them in a cool dry spot.
  3. I also allowed my soaps to cure for 30 days because more water will evaporate from them, resulting in a longer lasting soap bar. I hated the thought of going through this process only for the soaps to sludge away in the shower.

The finished product – looks like… soap.

FOR THE HARDCORE SOAPERS – MAKE YOUR OWN LYE

For those that are more adventurous than myself, this is probably the best article describing how to make your own lye.

END RESULT

Like anything else, there are pros and cons, here they are:

PROS

Making soap is a good skill to have under your belt.  One day you may not be able to drive to your local Walmart and pick up a bar of Ivory soap.

They make wonderful gifts!

It is natural and uses a bi-product produced by our dear friend, the honeybee.

This soap is the best if you have sensitive skin, eczema, or other skin conditions.  It will leave you clean without the drying effects of the cheaper commercial soaps.

CONS

The next time I make it, the cost will be significantly less, but it will definitely cost more than cheap drugstore soap.  You can always stock up on the cheap stuff in the event of an emergency and you can shower yourself clean with the best of them.  Personally, I like the idea of having a chemical-free, all natural way to clean up.

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Is Prepping Selfish?

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Over the years I’ve heard a number of excuses for not prepping. One of the more common excuses is that prepping and building self-reliance are somehow selfish. I argue that not only is preparedness and self-reliance NOT selfish, being prepared and self-reliant is in fact a very generous thing to work  towards. Here’s why:

 If you have ever listened to a flight attendant give emergency instructions, you may have noticed that they tell parents traveling with a child to put the oxygen mask on themselves first, before putting one on their child. The airlines don’t say that because they hate children. Instead, they say that because if a parent is to help their child, they must first be able to do so. A parent unconscious from the lack of oxygen will be of absolutely no help to their child.
Likewise, we will be of little help to our family, friends and neighbors, if we are the ones in need of help ourselves. In fact, our own helplessness may make matters much worse for our family and community. Far from being selfish, building self-reliance may be one of the most generous things you can do. 


In an emergency, you can only help others if you are not part of the problem. The first act of generosity is making sure you are not helpless. No matter how much a parent loves their child, they will be unable to help their child if that parent is unconscious. That is why the smartest – and most loving – thing to do is to put an oxygen mask on yourself first, before helping your child put their oxygen mask on.
——————–

 Here is my You Tube video on this subject: 

Yes, I now have a You Tube channel. Please subscribe! (I’m not a professional or polished public speaker, obviously, but hopefully I’ll get better!)  

6 Experts Give Their Top 3 Gardening Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden

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6 Experts Give Their Top 3 Gardening Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden Starting and maintaining a garden takes hard work, patience, and some basic awareness.  Don’t let garden pests ruin all that hard work, and your beautiful garden, by taking some preventive steps that are easy and effective.  BugsBeGone site …

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Bush shelter saved dad and son lost in Tasmanian wilderness for days

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ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO CARRY SURVIVAL GEAR IN YOUR VEHICLE IF YOU ARE GOING BUSH, BUT THERE IS NO POINT IN LEAVING THAT GEAR IN THE VEHICLE IF YOU ARE GOING TO LEAVE THE VEHICLE!
Learn primitive skills & equip yourself with suitable equipment before going bush.

When can you carry a knife – The Loose Cannon

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http://www.sportingshootermag.com.au/gun-law/when-can-you-carry-a-knife-the-loose-cannon?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2028%20April%202017&utm_content=Newsletter%2028%20April%202017+CID_1cf5de6f24c86c7db68643a88369f8e3&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=When%20can%20you%20carry%20a%20knife