OUCH? Dealing with Splinters!

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: THIS article is from John Hertig. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today

  

When out in the wilderness (as at home), splinters happen.  This is often from wood for fire or building shelter, or various man-made materials encountered.  In the southwest, we on occasion have close encounters with various spiny plants resulting in a similar condition.  As we all know, splinters are painful when you get them, and while they are embedded, and if not addressed, can work their way deeper and become more of a nuisance.  Removing splinters as soon as practical is the best course of action.  Thus, having splinter removal capability as part of your pocket or at least readily available first aid kit is usually a good idea.

There are many techniques which claim to remove splinters “naturally”, by “drawing it to the surface”.  Do you know how many of these I have tried?  Not one and I don’t currently plan to try any of them.  All sound messy and time consuming, and just a bit mystical.  After all, who would think that a slice of raw potato or the wet inside of an egg shell would coax a splinter out?  These methods do not seem fast enough or definite enough for me.  I’m old school; my methodology is to grab the offender and drag it out kicking and screaming.  It just makes no sense to mess around applying this or that, covering it and then waiting for that sliver to sneak out on its own.  Really, what is the point?  It might be “less painful” than the brute force methods, but come on.  Isn’t getting the splinter, and living with the splinter, more painful than digging it out and being done with it?

Furthermore, there are “splinters” which are not organic (wood or thorns).  Next most common is strands of wire, but shards of glass or chips of metal or plastic can behave in a splinter-like manner.

Brute Force Splinter Removal methods

There are two such schools of splinter removal:  Tweezers and Needle.  Tweezers (technically “thumb forceps”) are sort of like micro pliers you use to grab onto the splinter and pull.  Needles are a thin pointy tool which you use to impale the splinter and drag it out.  For splinters which have an end sticking out from the skin, tweezers are the most easy and reliable choice.  But if the splinter is below the surface of the skin, there is nothing to grab onto, and the “needle” comes into its own.  You can use an actual (sewing) needle for removing splinters; better is a splinter specific tool often known as a splinter “out”, “liberator”, “remover”, “pick”, “extractor” or “probe”.  The best ones are flat or triangular in cross section, with sharpened edges to help penetrate.  Such a cross section is less likely to slide off the splinter than the smooth round cross section of a needle.  The sharp edges also allow you to cut away surface skin which is covering the end of the splinter if necessary.  This is why one of the names for this tool is “liberator”.

Choosing Your Tweezers

There are an incredible variety of tweezers out there, and most are fairly useless for reliable splinter removal.  Any gripping tool or even fingers will do when there is some of the splinter protruding.  For those small, embedded splinters, the tweezers point must be thin enough to get into a small depression and clamp onto that tiny end of the splinter.  Yet the tips must be strong enough to grasp firmly and not slide off when you go to pull on the splinter.  The tips must be aligned well enough that they meet correctly and the arms must be sturdy enough that the tips don’t slip sideways from each other.  I’ve tried dozens of tweezers and the ones I like best are by Tweezerman.  They are a bit pricy, but are the only ones I’ve found which really do the job.  Their Ingrown Hair/SplinterTweeze has wonderfully fine precision tips.  But every time I’ve got that splinter end grabbed, it always slips free.  A better choice is their Point Tweezerette, which is shorter (easier to pack), a bit wider and something it grabs stays grabbed.  This model does not appear on their website, except as part of a men’s grooming kit, but is readily available from eBay by itself.

  

 

The Splinter Remover

These are available as sterile disposables or permanent instruments.  A top disposable is the Splinter Out and they are readily available, as are other similar products.  On the other hand, finding a permanent liberator can be challenging.  Often, they are paired with a sub-standard pair of tweezers and are fairly crude in quality themselves.  Although I am primarily a tweezers fan, there are times when the liberator is more effective, so I have some which are adequate; I only go for ones which have a tip which unscrews and screws in backwards to protect it, and the world around it.  Maybe some day I’ll break down and try some sterile prepackaged ones.

Other Needs

Having the tools to remove a splinter is great, and necessary for the task.  However, in order to remove a splinter, it kind of helps to be able to see it.  And some splinters can be very tiny, and some environments are rather low light.  Thus, the complete splinter kit includes sources of light and magnification.  Let’s see, one hand for the instrument, one hand for the light, and one hand for the magnifier.  And that assumes you are not working on your own hand, a common location for splinters.  It is helpful to consider light sources and magnifiers which do not need to be hand held.

  

I have two flashlight types I like.  One is an Olight S series “baton” light with a magnet in its tail cap.  Just set it against a magnetic surface and the light requirement is satisfied without hands.  These lights are small but not tiny, and are not cheap.  I carry one at all times, and for all purposes, so that is not a problem.  But when I am building a first aid or splinter specific kit, I go for the Photon Freedom Micro II.  This is tiny; hardly bigger than the quarter sized lithium batteries it uses for power.  And it is surprisingly bright at full brightness.  Best of all, it comes with a small mount which can clip to the bill of your hat, or your pocket or other thin upright.  And it is even magnetic for even more mounting options.

As for magnifiers, there are many; most are not “hands free”.  Hands free magnifiers tend to be too big and heavy to be considered “portable”.  I often use either a stand mounted assembly magnifier or a magnifying visor – at home.  For portable use, I depend on a nifty little gadget called a “thread counter” or sometimes “linen tester“.  This is a moderately high power lens mounted in a small folding stand.  And it is possible to clip the Photon Freedom to it, giving you a freestanding light and magnification solution.  There are thread counters which have built in lights, but I have not tried them since their batteries are tiny, so they probably are neither bright nor long lasting.

Afterwards

So you got the splinter out.  Whew, relief is at hand.  But wait; you are not done yet.  After all, that splinter punctured your skin, dragging who knows what with it.  The pain from the splinter may be gone, but is pain (or worse) from infection warming up in the bullpen?

You also need some basic skin puncture first aid.  That is, a cleansing pad such as Benzalkoniam Chloride to clean the area, an alcohol pad or lighter to sterilize your instruments, and a packet of antibiotic cream and a Band-aid for when the surgery is completed.

The Process

Ouch, you think you just got a splinter.  The first thing to do is to see if you can see it, and if it is big enough, grab it and pull it out.  Whether or not that is successful, carefully clean the area with your cleansing pad.  If not sterile packed, sterilize your tool(s) by wiping with alcohol or holding it in a flame.  Use your magnifying device to find the little dickens, and attempt to grab it with tweezers and pull it out, or drag it out with the tip of your liberator.  If this does not work, use the tips of the tweezers or the point of the liberator to pull back or cut a bit of skin from above the splinter, hopefully exposing enough to grab and pull, or drag.  Repeat until the splinter is out.

Once the splinter is out, wash the area with hot water if available, pack the wound with anti-biotic ointment and cover with a Band-aid.

 

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Storage-Friendly Survival Gardening

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Apology: My bad as the article is from R. Ann Parris, it looks like her work, but was part of a set of articles that came bundled from Pat that I put in the wrong directory. 

 

Editors Note:   As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award like R. Ann Parris as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today

 

When we sit down with the goal to be prepared and self-sufficient, we have to balance a lot. We already walk tightropes between work and home life in many cases. Adding a pursuit that could really be its own full-time job only makes things harder. The self-sufficiency arm alone could occupy a full work week, and for some, the future looms as a period when we may have to increase our physical vigilance on top of producing our own food, medicine, and supplies.

    

There are methods we can use to make gardens maintenance friendly, and plant selections can ease it further. In some cases, there are plants that grow with few inputs and are specific to our regions. In other cases, we can also decrease our labors in a work-heavy and typically strength-sapping hot season by making selections that ease the other side of growing and harvesting.

Processing & Storage

Whether it’s annuals, an annual veggie garden, or perennials, whatever methods for production we choose takes time away from our daily lives. Then our produce needs to be processed, one way or another.

Even now when most lives are relatively easy due to power tools, refrigeration, and transportation, we tend to be pretty busy. I think most of us expect that even without the tug of paying jobs and some of the extracurricular activities that suck up our time, a life “after” will be just as busy and in some or many cases, even more labor intensive.

When we examine that “labor” word in regards to processing food, don’t forget that it’s not only the physical act of shelling beans and field peas, and our chosen method for threshing and winnowing grains or stripping corn cobs, or stewing tomatoes and slicing up zucchini. Most storage methods – even the truly historic methods – call for supplies: canners, jars, copious lids, a dehydrator or outdoor netted racks of some sort (and cooperative weather), a cold smoker, or things like salt, sugar, pectin and rennet we either have to stock or figure out how to produce.

When we process something, we also regularly have to provide fuel. Besides water and gardening, I think fuel consumption for household processes is one of the most underrated and underestimated aspects for preppers.

If we can eliminate some of the burden of processing foods for storage, we can eliminate not only some of the draw on our valuable time, but also limit some of the constant drains on supplies, and give us at least a little bit of backup in case our supplies are damaged or consumed.

  

Happily, we can create those backups pretty easily, by adding traditional storage or “cellar” crops https://morningchores.com/root-cellars/ to our garden and orchard plans. They basically go from field to storage, poof, done.

I’ll skip over beans and cereals this time, because they really need their own articles. Instead, I’ll stick with the veggies and fruits that are easiest to store without much if any processing.

    

Squashes

Squashes are among the best-known storage crops. Autumn or winter squashes are the longer-growing, thicker-skinned cucurbits http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/squash/winter-squash/. It’s those tough hides we have to work through that let us sit them on a shelf and walk away, for weeks or months on end. There’s a long, long list from all climates that includes kabocha, spaghetti, kuri, Hubbard squashes, the gourds, and pumpkins.

Squash are ready for storage when the rinds darken, and you can’t punch a fingernail through them. The plants sometimes cue us that they’re ready by yellowing and dying back a bit, and in many cases the vines will go woody. We then cut them off with a stub of stem attached, brush any soil or debris loose, and let those thick skins toughen up more with a 1-2 week cure in a 75-80 warm, somewhat dry space, up off the ground. They can be cured in the field, propped up, but there are risks there that a barn or crib can help eliminate.

Then they go into a slightly humid space – the average basement, household pantry, spare bedroom or office, and dry cellar is fine. Some will store for 6-8 weeks even at 60-75 degrees, while others will only store that long even at the ideal 45-60 degrees. Some like Hopi and fully-matured tromboncino will store for a full year or longer.

The downside to the winter squashes is that they tend to take a full season to grow, and only produce a few to a handful of fruits per plant, compared to the tender summer squashes that can be producing in 55-65 days and readily fill a laundry basket when they’re picked often and early.

  

Humid Sand-Box Crops

Some of our storage crops like it damp. It keeps them from shriveling up and browning, or wilting into rot. We can create humidity with damp sand or sawdust, layering in root veggies like rutabaga/sweedes, turnips, beets, parsnips, carrots, and celeriac. The root veggies are also ideal candidates for burying in a wooden crate outside once temperatures drop http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/garden-yard/root-cellars-zm0z11zkon.

We can also use damp boxes to store cabbage, celery and leeks.

For them, shallower trays work well, because we’re going to cut them with a section of their stems still attached, and “plant” those stems into the sand or sawdust. The veggies will then wick up moisture that lets them be stored for weeks or months.

They’ll store longer if we can keep them between about 35 and 45 degrees, but even 55-60 degrees can significantly extend their shelf lives. If we can’t come up with a damp box or pit for them, we can also individually wrap them in plastic to help hold in moisture. (And now you have a justification for keeping every plastic grocery bag that crosses your path.)

      

Tree Fruits

Nuts have to be the next-best known storage crops, and right there with them are apples and pears.

Modern supermarket apple varieties don’t store quite as long or as well in many cases, with the exception of Granny Smith that will sit on a counter for weeks and extend into a month and longer if we drop the temperatures.

There are still storage apples out there http://bighorsecreekfarm.com/apple-varieties/long-keeping-storage-apples/ although we have to work harder to find them. Braeburn and Pippin are examples of surviving apples that were actually intended to sit around in storage for a while, sweetening and softening over time https://www.thebalance.com/apple-varieties-that-keep-well-over-the-winter-1389329. We can also turn to the harder baking, cider and applesauce apples like Winesap.

We’ll have better luck storing the tart apples than the sweets, and the firm-crisp apples and pears over softer varieties. Mid-and late-season varieties are also more storage friendly, usually, and can provide us with fresh fruit later in the season.

Apples will do best in a cool, 40-65 degree storage space, and will do better yet if we save some newspaper and phone book pages to wrap them in and stick them on racks with 0.5-1” of air space between each fruit and each layer.

Pears will be even happier if they’re given the same treatment but an even colder space – just above freezing up to about 50 degrees. Pears will also commonly benefit from a cure period after they’re harvested.

Both pears and apples like storage with some humidity, which makes them good candidates for storage above some of our damp boxes, but only the leafy veg boxes. The root veggies are pretty sensitive to the ethylene released by fruits.

Medlars that “blat” (rot) are another example of a tree fruit that we don’t have to rush around processing during some of the busiest times of the year. It’s an acquired taste and texture, ever so slightly reminiscent of apple butter, but especially if we want to keep our food production hidden in plain sight, medlars may be a nice choice for us.

Nuts are pretty easy, even soft-shelled peanuts. Pick, brush, stack in a dry place, move on.

One thing to note is that walnuts that are removed from their husks will be less tart/bitter than those that aren’t processed at all. On the other hand, one of the “cheat” ways to remove that husk is to just stack them up in a bag until it rots and can just be scrubbed, or to leave them in water until the husk rots and drops away.

        

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes and sweet potatoes need to make it through our winters and in many cases all the way through the earliest parts of spring, so we have even more reason to start practicing with them as soon as possible. See, they’re not really flowering seed producers at this stage in evolution, and it takes a while for seed starts to get going, just like tomatoes. We’re going to have to cut potatoes and let them callous, and-or grow starts from them if we want to continue reaping potatoes and sweet potatoes in a world without Tractor Supply and Baker Creek.

After harvest, both sweet potatoes and true potatoes are brushed off, then cured.

Potatoes cure best at 50-60 degrees for 2-4 weeks. To be at all soft and palatable, sweets need to cure in a warm but not too hot space, 80-85 degrees, and usually don’t need more than two weeks.

That’s similar with Asian and African yams for the most part, although some of those need a little longer or will tolerate hotter cure temps.

We’re typically harvesting sweets and yams when it’s still pretty warm, but if we need to heat space for them, we can use coolers or insulate small pantries or closets, and rotate in jugs and pots of hot water. We can also potentially use our vehicles or camper shells as a hot zone for curing sweets and yams, but we need to monitor the temps and be able to provide ventilation if it gets too hot during the day, and keep the temperatures up at night.

Once they’re cured, potatoes and sweet potatoes like the same moderate humidity we can find in most household basements, pantries, and spare rooms. Sweet potatoes really want to stay at 50-60 degrees for their storage, but potatoes will handle a dug-in pit that only gets as low as 45 or so, or can sometimes be stored in rooms adjacent to barns, greenhouses, or coops – reaping the body heat but not too much of it.

Storage Crops

Spring, summer, and autumn are already pretty busy seasons for a lot of us. Family obligations and things like fishing and hunting are already in competition with our gardens, orchards, crops, any livestock we own or other projects. They’re also the seasons we need to get buildings and power sources repaired, and wood cut and stocked.

Summer, and in many places autumn as well, are also our drought seasons, which means unless we have reliable water sources and backups for them, we can expect to do some heavy hauling – and some of us may already be filling barrels and buckets and tanks to haul for livestock and gardens.

Add in the mega-disasters and regional or wide-scale hungers some expect, or even the increased risks of garden and livestock threats from desperate humans a la Great Depression, Venezuela, and some of the dissolution and wars that have faced Europeans in the last century, and we can expect to spend more time on defense, as well.

Those are all factors that makes it worthwhile to consider crops that don’t need much processing. Autumn squashes, apples, carrots, nuts, and potatoes that need minimal work before being crated or stacked on shelves can save us valuable time. Maybe that’s time we’re harvesting livestock and grains, or maybe that’s time we’re shelling green peas, peeling tomatoes, and slicing crookneck for the dehydrator or pressure canner.

Even if our storage conditions aren’t ideal, the ability to produce crops that can sit for even just a few weeks can buy us time to get in precious hay and straw, and deal with the more perishable yields of our gardens and orchards.

While there are some drawbacks to various storage crops, there are also a lot of benefits – both now and “if/when”.

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4 Simple Ideas For Back to School Prepping

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back to school preppingAmidst the joy of summer time swims, cold Popsicles, and sleeping in, the new school year sneaks up on us. I dread the whirlwind back to school shopping as advertisements plague the airways, and other media. I feel my wallet emptying before I even make the shopping list. Not to mention the kids exclaiming, “I want this one!”

Here are a few things I have learned to prep for back to school season. It will help save money, time, and some sanity.

School Supplies

Every year, we use the same basic school supplies. Most stores overstock these items. I’ve learned to wait until the end of the back to school rush, when the stores mark the items for clearance, then I stockpile crayons, ruled paper, printer paper, composition books, pencils, glue, etc.

Also, the teachers will love you in the middle of the year when they run out of some supplies. With the low cost, I never mind sharing from my stockpile.

My ongoing school supply stockpile also saves us a bit of money each year. With the savings, each child can pick out a few of their “must have” items without breaking the bank.

When picking out a back pack, I spend a little bit more money for one with a lifetime warranty. That way if it gets over filled and breaks a seam, I simply return it for a new one.

School Clothes

One way I save on school clothes is not to buy them only at the back to school sales. Instead I buy clothing year round. At the end of the seasons, when items are on clearance, I try to buy the next size up for the following year. This especially great for basic items like jeans, socks, undergarments, etc. (Side note on underwear: all tightie whities look the same; if you buy every male in the house a different brand, sorting laundry goes sooo much faster.)

On gift giving holidays, I buy each child a new outfit and shoes. I work it into the gift buying budget. This helps balance out the cost of clothing my ever growing brood during the year. Plus, it freshens up their wardrobe.

Online Shopping

Skip all the driving around and shop online. Scoping out deals is a click of the mouse and most websites offer free shipping over a certain amount spent.

I highly recommend Amazon Student. I sit down at the beginning of my college semester, and put in one big order for the kids and myself. With the student discounts and Amazon Prime shipping it is a double win. (Living overseas as a military wife, Amazon Prime has been a true life saver.) Another plus: I can find all my college books used and sell them back later, or I can simply rent and return books.

While online shopping I also use MyPoints.com, a free online points system resulting in gift cards, and RetailMeNot.com. You can look up any website you are shopping at and get online coupon codes. Both of these web sites yield a good return, $5-$25 on average.

Setting a Budget

The most important part of school shopping is setting a budget. Even more important is including the kids. I sit down with them, show them how a budget works, and what our plan of attack is.

They help me compile our supply list. When it comes to the actual shopping part, I usually give them a small budget of their own to buy their wants. The catch is they do the math, and I help them make conscious decisions on quality and usefulness. The rest of the list, which is mostly basics, comes from the stockpile.

Prepping for the school year can be a tedious repetitive task. Enter the new school year fully prepared by creating a small stock pile of the basic necessities. This will save you time, money, and some sanity.

back to school prepping

Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines

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Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines   Editor’s Note: This full article is a guest post submitted to us for use on the site.  This was my experience with a mild earthquake and a power outage, in the Philippines. Amazingly nothing was damaged by the quake.  I expected some things to tip over.  …

Continue reading »

The post Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

The Thunderclap Isn’t Just an Imagined Future

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: I am sharing this, with minimal poetic license, a single edit for flow. It is something that was shared with me by one of our contributors who would like to be identified as Sunlit Dusk in this post.  In exchanging emails on possible future posts she shared this and I think it is an excellent lesson for us all, so I asked for and received permission, honoring her rules.

“He was stung by a wasp. He knew anaphylaxis was heading his way like a crazed fizzy bath bomb of internally-produced mustard gas – asphyxiation precipitated by his own immune system. Eight years old.

Everyone knows that baby scorpions and baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than their adult relatives because their defensive systems have not yet developed any self-control – they unload everything they’ve got regardless of the consequences to their own survival.

That is his immune system right now.  It responds to a venomous threat with so much force it will kill him if medical intervention is not available.

He was stung. He quickly understood that no help was coming; his babysitter froze in the classic human response of, “This can’t be happening, what am I supposed to do?” She has been conditioned to look for someone else to assume authority.

He knew that he would die if he did not take charge. Assert his own authority. This was indeed a life or death moment.

To save his own life, he had to ignore his caregiver’s own weaknesses, paralysis and observed incompetence. He understood that it was all on him. There was no help coming.  He decided that he was now in charge.  He had to be. Walked up a flight of steps. Was scared enough to be shaking but kept telling himself to try to keep his heart rate as slow as possible. Was deliberate. Never got sloppy or forgot exactly where his Epi Pen was located. Used it as rehearsed.

Lived.

Commanded that I, his mom, receive a phone call right NOW.

Use of an Epi Pen is not the end of the story. Immune systems gone wild are like college kids on spring break – it’s not over ‘till it’s over. It can be a 72-hour life threatening event even if it appears that nothing is going on. The immune system will defend as soon as it can get back on its feet just like a young scorpion or a college kid without limits; it doesn’t think, it just goes ape-crazy and does its thing.

This is a story of survival, A thunder clap. It was not TEOTWAWKI. But it would have been for me, and for him, had the story ended differently. It would have ended differently if, at eight years old, he decided that someone who was clearly incompetent, could assume authority over him.

Or if he had waited for help to come that was not coming. If he had done that, the thunderclap would not have been some sort of romantic survival scenario about how amazing we are in a worst-case scenario. Instead it would have simply been tragic. Survival isn’t a future thing. It’s right now.”

Editor’s Note: I believe she has a future John Connor there.

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Common Mistakes Nearly Every Prepper Will Make (If They Admit It!)

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prepper mistakes

After years of prepping, I’ve been reflecting on what I would do differently if I were starting to prep right now. I’ll bet some of my mistakes are pretty common among all preppers and survival-minded people. These are some of the mistakes I made. Do any of these sound familiar?

1)  I read too much Survival Blog when I should have watched more how-to videos on YouTube.

Survival Blog gave me a big kick in the pants for getting started in preparedness, but it also sucked my wife and I into near-panic attacks and bouts of despair. One day I came home from work to find her at my desk, still in pajamas, hypnotically reading article after article on Survival Blog. Doom and gloom articles had her frozen with fear, and although that blog and others like it motivated us, they also didn’t encourage us to learn more skills. It was all about stocking up and being afraid.

YouTube is filled with massive amounts of great information but in smaller doses and often accompanied by a friendly face and voice. I would have learned more about waxing cheese, bushcraft skills, primitive water filters, and stocking up on veterinary antibiotics, all of which would have been more practical than reading tips for buying property safe from rifle fire.

James Rawles is one of my prepper heroes, but for a beginner, YouTube videos would have been more helpful and encouraging. Just one of many prepper mistakes I made early on.

2) I should have bought less crap and more high-quality products.

Preparedness is best done in this order: awareness, education, and then action. In our initial panic, we steered clear of education and jumped right into the action phase. That’s my style, I guess. Early on I bought a lot of cheap “survival” products that were recently sent to a thrift store as a donation. My wife was quite the couponer and because she had a stack of “awesome” coupons, she bought bottles and bottles of salad dressing we never used. After a year or two, they turned all sorts of weird colors and she threw them out. I didn’t argue with her.

I’ve since figured out that buying the best quality we can afford is smart, even if we have to wait until we have the money. A high-quality pair of walking shoes could make the difference between life and death someday. We want tools, supplies, and even food that is meant to last for the long haul, not bargain basement specials that are cheaply produced and quickly fall apart.

3) I wish I had spent less money early on

I imagine that most preppers start off in a panic mode and begin amassing enormous quantities of stuff, just for the sake of having stuff. However, I have learned that doing a fair amount of research first is the smartest way to go.

We didn’t know much about food storage conditions, for example, when we first began buying extra food and soon found ourselves with packets and boxes of potato flakes infested with tiny black bugs.

4) We should have networked with others sooner

It’s always hard feeling as though you’re the, “only one”. The, “only one,” with a certain health condition or the, “only one,” going through a personal crisis. Feeling as though you’re the only prepper in town is just as hard. You feel isolated, a little paranoid, and yet there’s a deep need to talk with others who are on the same wavelength, but everyone you know isn’t a prepper for any number of reasons.

I felt very alone, year after year. A couple of fledgling prepper MeetUp groups began around that same time, but I didn’t take advantage of their meetings, and I should have. Joining in on forum discussions is a good option but it can’t take the place of face to face conversations. It would have helped me identify more quickly what my priorities should have been, and it would have been comforting to know that I wasn’t the, “only one.” Preppers University live classes offer one of the best ways to network with others who have the same survival perspective and get an education at the same time.

5) I should have kept my mouth shut around family and close friends

To this day, no one in my family or my husband’s family is on board with preparedness. In short, I could have saved myself a lot of awkward explanations and times of feeling defensive if I would have stayed quiet.

Eventually, preppers “self-identify” when they’re around people they know and trust. They are suddenly familiar with names like Gerald Celente and Alex Jones. City-dwellers develop an odd interest in raising chickens and turning their backyard pools into tilapia ponds. It’s not hard to figure out who’s prepping if you pay attention, and keep your mouth shut until you’re pretty darn sure they’re on the same page as you.

6) And, we should have focused on financial survival first instead of third, or fourth

In the beginning I felt a mad rush of urgency to buy, to stock up, to preserve, to read. I wish I had felt that same urgency when it came to money. I should have doubled down on paying off debt, saving money, learning about and buying precious metals. We did these things eventually, but it would have made life easier if we had taken financial survival a little more seriously from the get-go.

As an experienced prepper, I now realize the importance of financial prepping. In fact, you could almost say that it sets the stage for all other prepping steps but it’s overlooked by most prepper writers and websites, and that’s a shame. From finding ways to earn extra money to creative ways for cutting back on expenses, it’s possible for just about anyone to come up with enough extra dollars each month to afford a good first aid kit, freeze-dried food, a Sun Oven, and many other helpful products. I’m also a big fan of having extra cash on hand for emergencies.

Looking back, what prepper mistakes did you make?

The post Common Mistakes Nearly Every Prepper Will Make (If They Admit It!) appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Drive-BY Garden Preps!

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

 Editor’s Note: Another outstanding entry from one of our regular and trusted contributors to The Prepper Journal. And, as always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award when the article is posted AND win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

 

  

There’s a lot to buy on the path to preparedness and self-sufficiency, and garden supplies are no different. Happily, there are a few things that can be had for free or very inexpensively that can make a big impact on garden costs. Here’s a handful we can get as we drive around during our normal daily lives.

    

Tea & Coffee Grounds – Freebie – I won’t belabor this one; it’s on every garden tip list. Nutrients, moisture retention and drainage, aeration – they’re enormous garden boosts, and can be added right to the top of soil or mulch, or can be tilled in.

I mention them because hotels that provide coffee in a lobby are almost never on the lists with coffee shops and McD’s. They can be really excellent places to source a fair number of grounds early in the day as we head to work and the other places are too swamped to hook us up.

Citrus Freebie/Cheapie – If you’re using lemons or limes or nom-noming oranges or grapefruit, stick the peels in the freezer. We can also dehydrate the fruit or peels, and store them in canning jars or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.

When aphids show up, brew a tea (1 part citrus peels and juiced wedges to 3 parts water, 15-20 minutes simmer, let cool, strain) and spray it on the plants and buggaboos, making sure to hit the undersides of leaves and all the nooks and crannies. It won’t harm the plants, but it will wipe out the aphids.

If you know somebody who works at a bar or a restaurant, and you’re not afraid of people germs, they can be an additional source for citrus wedges and rinds.

      

Cardboard – Freebie –  Cardboard has a number of applications in our lives, from doing a cover-expose-repeat kill on lawns to make it easier to break ground for a garden, to creating weed exclusions at the bottom of beds or on the surface. We can also make patches and light blocks for windows out of it, use it as a table cover for messy tasks (it won’t stick and lift the way paper towel and newspapers will) and rip it up to add to compost or till into soil as a moisture sink before we bed down the garden.

Thick, large boxes are readily available from moving companies (they dispose of boxes after they unpack people) and from new-appliance sellers. Smaller, sturdy boxes ideal for smaller spaces (or stashing goodies) can be had from liquor stores and alcohol-wine merchandisers. The green-sign dollar stores are also a good source, with few of their merchandisers retaining their boxes the way supermarkets do, and no contracts for recycling the way Walmart has.

      

Curbside Pickups – Freebie/Cheapie – There are numerous sites that allow people to list free items. We can also hit condos and apartments a day or two after phone books are delivered (very few people take them, so snag 1-3 out of each big stack) and contact local handyman and contractors who do windows to grab up some mesh for pest exclusions and shade for cold crops, and glass for cold frames.

Also check out yard sale listings. After the sales, there are regularly piles of things added to the trash pickup, or, you can hit up the owners toward the end or just after “closing” on the last day. They’re regularly willing to make deals at that point.

While it’s a way to get all kinds of things for preparedness, as you drive past, keep the garden in mind.

Laundry bags, sheer curtains, and afghans can create exclusions for pesky moths and caterpillars, and some will limit or prevent squash bugs. Shelving units, dressers and drawers, cracked or lidless totes, and filing cabinets and drawers are all potential planters and water collection. Dark fabrics can be used to help warm soil. Bedframes, shelves, chairs, table legs, and headboards become trellis frames, posts or fencing for beds, and racks to vertically stack water catchment systems.

Spent HopsFreebie – Hops is like coffee grounds for beer brewers; they get rid of it after it leaches its goodness into the lovely nectar of the gods. Their waste is our gain. Hops can be tilled in just as they come from the brewer, usually not more than a cup per square yard. Hops are acidic (pH 4.8), which makes it a great amendment for most veggies and soft fruits, and can help counter the alkaline conditions that come from extended wood mulch gardening techniques.

As an additive, hops also has the advantage of being a moisture sink, just like hair, hides, and coffee grounds. It can serve the same purpose as a mulch, increasing the moisture that stays available to plants longer than any of the other common mulches.

Forums to track down a nearby home brewer and local micro-breweries are the most likely sources for most of us.

There is one sad note: Hops smell like a bar floor with cheap lemon cleaner undertones. It’s not something I’d stick around windows or under the hammock, but it doesn’t bother me out in the gardens and orchards.

  

Pine Freebie or Cheapie – Pine needles/straw is another mulch that can help lower pH or maintain the acidic pH in our gardens. If we want to make separating mulch covers easier or mix it into a chip-mulch bed, we might want to run over it with a mower to make smaller lengths and separate the needles from the fascicle sheath (the woody tube bit that holds groups of needles together).

Small-chip pine bark mulch can give us the same acidity-raising benefits, and like pine straw, can be used as our sole mulch or can be mixed into other wood-chip mulches or clipped grass mulch.

Pine straw can usually be had for free, although we may have to drive around to find it. Try to find it from yards and private property, not parks. We can buy it if we really want to, in which case it should already be trimmed and it should be totally weed free.

  

Glean fields – Freebie –  Farm fields are rarely harvested “clean” – there’s usually leftovers. There are also imperfect fruits that are left in place by hand-pickers or piled up in on-the-farm sorting areas. Farmers also sometimes abandon a crop for various reasons.

While some of them are restricted due to liabilities, many will let you come out and pick over fields. We usually have to make those contacts ahead of time, and may be best served asking if the farmer wants us to call and remind them at harvest time, but sometimes we can see harvesting taking place as we drive around, and can just make contact then.

While it’s usually going to be a hybrid, sometimes we can find OP seed doing so. Most of the time, though, all we’re doing is either boosting our own produce or collecting some animal feed.

    

Junior College Starts – Freebie – Find out who teaches the local horticulture and botany classes, look up when the semesters end, and tag the instructors to find out if there are any leftover veggie starts or fruit or rose cuttings a week or two out. Sometimes (regularly) students don’t take them all at the end of class. A lot of us are happy to give them away if you’re swinging by.

Another excellent resource is the aquaculture instructor(s). Most will either shut down or severely cut down on population for at least one of the summer semesters, and some restart the systems 2-3 times a year for different fish. The water and the fish grunge left over at the end of the semester or year is an excellent garden additive, and I haven’t run into one yet that won’t let me fill a few buckets. Look at me like I’m crazy, but let me have my buckets.

Skip-It’s

There are a ton of freebie-cheapie “fixes” for the garden. Some work. Some … don’t. Here’s a few I’m not a huge fan of.

Baking Soda-Vinegar pH test – If your soil has a serious reaction to either of these, you have a major problem. While some veggies and fruits like it significantly acidic or alkaline, most actually like it in between 5.8 and 7.0. Baking soda and vinegar don’t react much in near-neutral conditions, so all you’re going to know is that you’re near-neutral, or have a few bubbles that tell you a little acidic or a little alkaline. Those bubbles might also be coming from tap water, contaminants on tools, and soap residue left in containers.

Nab some pink-blue litmus strips at $3-$10/100 instead.

They give you the same acid-alkaline readings, and with many, you can learn to estimate the pH range by how quickly and strongly they change color. You can also use them to test the acidity of foods before canning to make sure it’s safe to water bath (many of our foods that were formerly WBC’d have lost acidity along the way).

        

– Hair as pest deterrents – Hair is full of nitrogen and micronutrients, so it’s not a waste to toss those shavings and trimmings in the garden directly or into compost, but I’ve yet to see it actually repel rodents or deer. Peeing has its proponents as well, and you can buy zoo/carnivore poo, but those (and things like Zest, Irish Spring, citrus peels, hot pepper sauce and powder, and most others) have to be reapplied and may not work.

It’s not free, but the solar-run predator eyes, garden terriers doing the jobs they were originally intended for, owl nesting, and things like double-fenced chicken runs are far, far more effective in the long run. Diggers really just require predators and traps, or buried fencing.

– Eggshells as slug barriers – Save the eggshells (and beet tops – they accumulate calcium) for planting with your tomatoes to prevent blossom end rot. You need sharp fragments that form a solid wall at least an inch thick and an inch tall for slugs. Even so, the eggshells will develop a film that allows slugs to crawl over them later.

Instead, try a barrier of Epsom salt or cornmeal (both need replaced frequently), or ripped soda can collars (be careful – it’s the sharp edges that deter the slugs). Beer wells work, but beer is precious. Brewer’s mash in water also attracts and then drowns them.

You can also lay out boards. They’ll hide under them as day breaks, then you can carry the board to birds (or the trash can or choice of death) and over time your slug and snail population will drop enough to no longer be an issue.

  

Garden Drive-By’s

There are many similar free or low-cost items we can pick up as we drive around to boost our gardens – and fallacies that people waste precious time on.

There are things like buckets and gallon+ condiment containers we can source from supermarkets, caterers, and restaurants, we can go dumpster diving for produce at some restaurants and groceries, but the days of having them hand us blemished produce are largely over, even for livestock. We can usually source materials to make toad, owl, swallow and bat houses to lower our insect loads, and we can dip up buckets of pond scum and algae (it’s a super boost to compost and garden soil), but I’ve yet to find a store, homeowner, restaurant or school that will give me their out-of-date milk to boost calcium in the soil.

Those lists could go on forever. Hopefully these introduce some less-known resources we can snag for our gardens as we drive around, or will save us from wasting time on some of the freebie-cheapie tips that get passed around so often.

 

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To Dress A Dish Of Mushrooms – 18th Century Cooking

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Published on Aug 14, 2017

Our good friend Michael Dragoo is in the kitchen again! Today Jon and Michael prepare a dish called “To Dress A Dish Of Mushrumps” from Martha Washington’s “Booke of Cookery”. This one is perfect for sharing at living history events!

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The Trigger: If This Ever Happens You Know You’re Days Away From Nuclear War

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thermo-nuke

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

Editor’s Note: Back in February of 2014 we published an interview and report from well known preparedness strategist and strategic relocation expert Joel Skousen in which he explained his assessment of how World War III would “go down.” At the time, North Korea was considered by most to be nothing more than a small pest that posed no real threat to the United States. President Barrack Obama, like his predecessors, had maintained America’s policy of “strategic patience” with the rogue state, while its leader, as he does today, often made threats about attacking the United States, Japan and South Korea. What’s different today is that North Korea has proven their capabilities with not only inter-continental ballistic missiles, but nuclear weapons as well. Moreover, they have threatened to launch nuclear attacks against specific U.S. targets and many in the intelligence community have argued that the North may already have the weapons systems in place to strike key population centers that include Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.

Unlike 2014, today we have a different kind of President – one who believes strategic patience is a failed policy. Donald Trump has made it clear that North Korea will not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons and has backed his words with the might of Naval carrier strike groups off the Korean Peninsula and strategic bombers stationed in Guam. Trump and his national security team have essentially given Kim Jong Un two options. Either dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program, or war will be declared.

On that note, we encourage you to consider the following assessment from Joel Skousen. If war is coming, this may well be how it’s triggered. And when it goes down, it’s going to be thermo-nuclear.

Originally published February 10, 2014:

It’s no secret that the world is on the brink of a significant paradigm shift. With the economy in shambles and the United States, Europe, China and Russia vying for hegemony over global affairs, it is only a matter of time before the powder keg goes critical.

As was the case with World Wars I and II, the chess pieces are being positioned well in advance. It’s happening on all levels – monetary, financial, economic, geo-political. Lines are being drawn. Alliances are being cemented.

We know that a widespread depression is sweeping across just about every nation on earth. The complete collapse of the world we have come to know as it relates to commerce and consumption is a foregone conclusion. We may not know exactly when or how the final nail is driven into the coffin, but we know it’s happening right before our eyes.

Throughout history, when countries have fallen into destitution and despair, their leaders have often resolved their domestic plights by finding foreign scapegoats. This time will be no different – for all parties involved.

In the following interview with Infowars’ Alex Jones, Joel Skousen of World Affairs Brief  leaves nothing to the imagination and outlines what we can expect as East and West face off in coming years.

The trigger is clear. What will follow is nothing short of thermo-nuclear warfare on a massive scale.

The trigger event has to be North Korea… North Korea is the most rogue element in the world and yet it’s been given a pass by the U.S… We don’t do anything to stop its nuclear progress, unlike Iran.

Russia and China… it’s too early… they’re not ready to go to a third world war over Iran…

When you see a North Korean launch against the South… and they do some minor military attack every year, so you’ve got to be careful not to confuse those with a major artillery barrage on Seoul. If this ever starts you know you’re days away from nuclear war. People ought to get out of major cities that are major nuclear targets.

There has to be a reason why North Korea has been preserved… It can only be because the globalists know that they are the puppets of China and that they will be the trigger.

Here’s how I think it’s going down. I think there will be an attack against South Korea. The North Koreans have over two million troops… 20,000 artillery… they can level Seoul in a matter of three or four days. The only way the U.S. can stop that attack is using tactical nuclear weapons.

And that would give China the excuse to nuke the United States. U.S. is guilty of first-use, the U.S. is the bully of the world, Russia and Chinese unite to launch against U.S. military targets. Not civilian targets per say. There will be about 12 or 15 cities that are inextricably connected with the military that are going to get hit that I mentioned in Strategic Relocation… you don’t want to be in those cities.

You may have two days notice when that attack in Korea starts, before China launches on the United States.

And if you ever see everything blackout, because both Russia and China will use a preemptive nuclear EMP strike to take down the grid… before the nukes actually fall… anytime you see all electricity out, no news, nothing at all… that’s the time you need to be getting out of cities before the panic hits.

In his Strategic Relocation documentary, Skousen notes that the reason Russia and China have yet to take action is because they are not ready. But as current events suggest, they are making haste. Iran has apparently deployed warships near US borders and China has continually balked at internationally established air zones, encroaching on U.S. interests. North Korea continues to do whatever it wants, even after sanctions issued again their nuclear development plans by the United Nations. And, given President Obama’s refusal to attend the Olympic games with other world leaders that include Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, it should be obvious that the relationship between the world’s super powers are strained.

No one is willing to back down. And as we saw in the 20th century, that kind of diplomacy ends with the deaths of millions of people.

No one believed it could happen in the early 1910’s and again in the late 1930’s.

And with a Nobel Peace Prize winner at the helm of the freest nation on earth, not many Americans think it can happen in today’s modern and interconnected world.

But what if history rhymes once again?

Are we really to dismiss the warnings of Joel Skousen simply because it is such an outlier that it is impossible to imagine for most? Or do we look at history, see how such situations have unfolded over the last 5,000 years, and conclude that it is, in fact, possible that it happens again?

The lives of hundreds of millions of people are in the balance. That’s a sobering thought for average people, but mere chess pieces to the elite who sit behind the curtains with their fingers on the buttons.

As before, when the circumstances suit them and the time is right, they will invariably push those red buttons as their predecessors did before them.

Those in target cities in the U.S., Russia, China and Europe will become nothing more than statistics for the history books.

But if you know the warning signs, then perhaps at the very least, you stand a chance.

If you ever wake up one morning and your TV doesn’t work, the internet is down, and your cell phone is off, then you need to assume that your city or region was hit by a super EMP weapon, such as those being developed and tested in North Korea, Russia and China.

As Skousen warns, in such a scenario you’ll have about two days to get out of major cities to a safe location outside of the blast radius. We recommend a number of resources, including Skousen’s Strategic Relocation and Holly Deyo’s Prudent Places, both of which outline safe areas in the United States based on various factors like population density, location of thoroughfares and resource availability.

When it starts all avenues for obtaining critical supplies will be unavailable.Therefore, wherever you are, prepare for the worst by stockpiling reserve food, water, and nuclear preparedness supplies. Given the scenario outlined by Skousen, nations may well engage in conventional warfare after the nukes drop, meaning that you’ll need to be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and know, at the very least, basic military strategies and tactics to evade, defend and attack.

It’s an outlier to be sure. But it’s one that has been experienced by every second or third generation on this planet since the dawn of human civilization.

It may well be our turn very soon.

This article first appeared at SHTFplan.com: The Trigger: If This Ever Happens You Know You’re Days Away From Nuclear War

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Master the Wild with Your Powerful Camping Knife

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Master the Wild with Your Powerful Camping Knife Have you not given thought to a fixed blade knife yet? Sure that foldable knife in your pocket is great but in a survival situation you need something with a little more oomph. This article is a look into finding the right camping knife but I think …

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Preppers Need to Know Their Limitations

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Preppers Need to Know Their Limitations At the sight of this article I knew it would be a good one. This is an issue in much of the prepper and survivalist world. This strange idea that our will can overcome legitimate injury or poor training is just as dangerous as not being prepared at all. …

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Factory farming in Asia creating global health risks, report warns

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We have already had health problems here in Australia caused by contaminated frozen fruits from China, this threat though could trigger TEOTWAWKI!

8 Reasons Why People Refuse to Prep

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I’m always fascinated to hear the many reasons why people don’t prep. In our neighborhood, my wife learned from a friend that a mutual acquaintance was planning on coming over to our house in the case of a dire emergency. My wife has met this woman exactly once. So why doesn’t she prep herself? Apparently, she’s just too busy.

Too busy to look out for her own family but not too busy to make the calculated decision that she, her strong, young husband, and their 3 kids will drive a few blocks to our house and, basically, steal from us.

So what other reasons do people have for not prepping? Well, in no particular order, here’s what I came up with:

Sheer stupidity

Yep. In a world filled with vapid video games, celebrity worship, and a shallow understanding of how anything works, anything at all, there are people who have simply never considered doing something today to prepare for tomorrow. They’re the same ones who couldn’t handle a $500 emergency and have to run to the store hours before a hurricane hits to buy milk, bread, and eggs. We know them as “French toast people.”

Their IQs are probably adequate for getting through the mild ups and downs at life, but when thrown a curve ball of any magnitude, their choice is to sit back and wait to be taken care of.

Denial

“It can’t happen to me.” “It’s never happened here.” We’ve all heard these sad refrains and can only pity the people who believe them. If all emergencies came with a 1-month warning, they wouldn’t be emergencies, would they? No matter your income, education, status, or title, sooner or later bad things will happen to you, but, for now, it’s easier to remain in denail than actually think about those scary scenarios and prepare for them.

Fear

We know from basic human psychology that when the human brain is confronted with something terrifying, it sends 1 of 3 signals to the body: freeze, flee, or fight. For Americans who have never had to deal with much out of the ordinary, thinking about a nuclear war, an economic collapse, or a geography-changing earthquake causes them to often freeze. Acknowledging potential and possible scenarios like these is too difficult and they remain frozen in their inaction.

People in this category would do well to read Gavin De Becker’s best-seller, The Gift of Fear, and understand that very often, fear makes us do some pretty smart things, and that includes prepping.

Peer pressure

Now here’s a weird one but I’ve seen it in my wife’s family. Back in the days of Doomsday Preppers, I heard some of them make fun of the preppers depicted in the show and then laugh at a couple of relatives who had thought of prepping themselves. Those folks backed down, as in, “Well, I guess it is kind of silly, huh?” when facing ridicule. Hard to imagine that mature adults, with kids, mortgages, jobs, and other responsibilities would back down, but they did.

Procrastination

I’ve heard it said that TEOTWAWKI has a date. You just don’t know what it is, yet. That dire medical diagnosis, news of a loved ones death, the loss of a job, a Category 5 hurricane, “the storm of the century”, they will all happen at some point. We just don’t have the ability to peer into the future to know exactly what will happen and when. So, most people procrastinate. They’re busy, money is short, the spouse isn’t on board, or maybe they just aren’t all that worried, but for whatever reason, they don’t prep because they’re rather put it off for another month, anothery year.

Normalcy bias

Normalcy bias differs a bit from denial because denial is a conscious choice. Normalcy bias is a little trick our brains play on us. It’s a survival mechanism that causes us to believe that everything will be okay. The Survival Mom writes about witnessing a tragic traffic accident and, to her eyes, seeing a scarecrow fly through the air. In fact, that scarecrow was a human being who had been jettisoned from the car’s window, but her brain insisted, “It’s a scarecrow. Humans don’t fly, silly!”

Our brains for survival and normalcy bias is one way it prepares us for the most traumatic life events. So, for those who insist that really, really bad things will never happen may just be suffering from normalcy bias.

Sense of superiority

If your above average intelligence, wealth, and overall superiority naturally places you in a lofty position, high above the riff-raff, then you probably also scoff at the idea of stocking up on cans of beans. After all, you know best and those dummkopfs on Doomsday Preppers are just a bunch of redneck hillbillies. What could they possibly know that you don’t? Right?

I know people with this attitude, and maybe you do, too. It seems to be a combination of arrogance and denial, a dangerous blending of 2 potentially lethal beliefs. You quickly learn to not even try to reason with these people. After all, if you had their bank balance and degree from a fancy university, you, too, would realize your own invincibility. You poor sap.

Life’s overwhelming burdens

I don’t have much patience with people in the previous categories, but this one, well, I’ve been there — burdened down with a stressful job, behind in paying taxes, rowdy and loud kids, a wife always behind in household chores while trying to keep a smile on her face.

Sometimes life just seems to keep you under its heavy boot and the last thing you need to hear is, “Hey, you’d better start prepping for the end of the world, man.”

Where will the money come from? Where will I get the time when I’m already working 50 hours a week, plus some weekends? On top of everything else, the last thing I need is to start worrying about an economic collapse, a civil war, nuclear bombs going off — I just want to take a nap and maybe escape for a while in front of the TV.I understand and sympathize. I really do.

In the past 9 years, my wife and I have gone through some of these mindsets, or excuses, depending on your point of view. A lot of preppers do but since we understand the need to be ready for when the S really does hit the fan, we eventually get back on our prepper feet and keep going, a little at a time.

With others, though, I don’t nag or even talk anymore about prepping. I don’t want my friends to start avoiding me and in the case of co-workers and family members, I need to maintain a positive relationship with them. They know where to find me if/when they change their mindset about being prepared.

Have I covered all the reasons people avoid prepping or have I missed one?

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Will You Survive If You Have to Bug out to the Forest?

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Bugging out to the woods.

By The Prepper Journal

In a SHTF situation where you can’t stay in your own home, and moving in with a friend or relative is not an option, what will you do? If bugging out to the wilderness suddenly becomes your only option, will you survive? Probably not for very long, if you believe the experts. Nevertheless, if your survival plan doesn’t include a bug out to the forest option, it should, but coming up with a good plan might be more difficult that you think.

For starters, do you have a reliable bug out vehicle? If your bug out plan has you escaping the city or suburbs in a modern vehicle, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Most modern vehicles won’t survive a strong EMP event. You may find yourself traveling on foot, away from a major metropolitan area, in search of food and water. But at least you won’t be alone. When food and water run out, millions of others will be traveling, mostly on foot, away from large centers of population. Even if you have a working vehicle, it may be useless, due to the gridlock created by people and disabled vehicles, all on the same escape routes. You may avoid some of that if you get away quickly, but will you? How much time will pass before you’re packed, and ready to go? Will the roads already be jammed by the time you depart? As time passes, the situation will get worse. Can you imagine what starving, desperate, people are capable of doing? I’m thinking “zombie apocalypse”.

My Bug-out Plan

Understanding the predicament, I don’t have to look any farther than my garage for a solution. My bug out plan doesn’t depend on a full-size vehicle, but I won’t be bugging out on foot either. I suspect that I wouldn’t last very long, with just the items I can carry on my back. Instead, I’ve decided to use my garden tractor (riding lawn mower), pulling a small trailer. Don’t laugh, it’s more practical than it may seem.

  • It would probably survive an EMP event.
  • It can travel off-road, avoiding traffic jams and bypassing bottlenecks.
  • It can pull a small trailer, loaded with essential supplies.
  • I can avoid people who may want to harm me, or take what I have.
  • I’ll have a 360 degree view, helpful for situational awareness, and if I have to use a firearm.
  • I’ll be able to travel to places inaccessible by car, which in theory will make me more secure.
  • My getaway will be at a whopping 6 miles per hour, maximum, but it beats walking.

It’s not how fast you bug out, it’s how well you bug out fast

It’s not how fast you bug out, it’s how well you bug out fast

There are drawbacks, of course. I’ll have no shelter from the elements, as I would in a car or truck. My traveling companion will have to ride in the trailer, or walk along side. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that I won’t be able to outrun anyone. For that reason, it’s important to pack and leave quickly, before things get out of hand.

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Will You Survive If You Have to Bug out to the Forest?

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Civil War, EMP, or Cyberattack-Judgement is Coming Upon America- Part 1

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I had the honor of being a guest on The Prepper Website Podcast recently with Todd Sepulveda. We talked about the threat of EMP, Civil War, and Cyberattack. We also discussed the fact that while Republicans control the House, Senate, and Oval Office, no talk of overturning Roe vs Wade is coming from Washington. If we, as a nation, allow this opportunity to pass us by, the judgement we deserve is ten fold what it should have been during the Obama administration, when our hands were tied.

Since the EMP, Danny Walker’s compound has survived waves of violence and the death of many key members. When Danny gets an unexpected piece of news, he pledges to put an end to the persistent threat in Charlotte. He will kill Regent Schlusser and shut down his consortium of depravity, or he will die trying. Get your copy of Seven Cows, Ugly and Gaunt; Book Four: Vengeance today!

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I use JM Bullion because they have the lowest over-spot price of any dealer I have found for silver and gold bullion. JM Bullion now offers free shipping on every order!

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Trading Post in the Woods is ran by veteran crisis responders who know how important it is to be prepared. They specialize in comprehensive natural survival remedy kits, preparedness and homesteading supplies as well as skills training. Visit them online today at TradingPostInTheWoods.com.

Ready Made Resources is a trusted name in the prepper community, because they’ve been around for 18 years. They offer great prices on Night Vision, water filtration, long term storage food, solar energy components and provide free technical service. Get ready for an uncertain future at ReadyMadeResources.com!

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CampingSurvival.com has all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

 

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My Views On Carrying Modern Gadgets.

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Something I posted on a UK survival forum recently after receiving so much negative feed back & comments. 
Keith.
My Views On Carrying Modern Gadgets.

Okay, this is my take on the carry situation, or your Bug Out bag contents for long term wilderness/country living.

People are for ever saying that they will rely of modern gear because it is easier to use & when it is used up or broken they will simply discard it. Many state that they carry multiple items for making fire. Maybe they do the same with other gear as well, I don’t know.

Personally I have gone to a lot of research & experimentation to arrive at the best kit I can possibly carry that will last me a lifetime in the wilderness. This equipment is backed up with the skills needed to use this gear.

Now if I were to take advice from many people who advocate the carrying of modern gear & extras for insurance, then some of the items I already have in my pack would have to be taken out to (a) make room, & (b) lighten the load.

Putting it another way, when one has to discard a modern gadget, there is nothing to replace it unless you can make a primitive item to replace it. You were carrying this gadget at the expense of carrying something more suitable. You have compromised your safety & security by leaving important items out of your pack to make room for your gadgets. Does this make any sense to you?

Okay so you do know how to use a flint, steel & tinderbox & you carry one with you. You know all about plant & fungi tinders & where to find dry kindling in the pouring rain & snow. But you still want to carry a cigarette lighter, a ferocerium rod & magnesium block because? I can probably make fire faster with a tinderbox than many people can with a lighter, so why would I want to carry a lighter? I would sooner carry that extra weight & bulk in gunpowder, water, food, modern medical supplies. These items are far more important than carrying battery operated torches, magnesium blocks, ferocerium rods, cigarette lighters, plastic or tin plates, fold away solar panels, eating utensils, fuel stove, multi-tool, or the myriad of other modern gadgets that are on the market today.

A ferocerium rod is NOT a good substitute for a tinderbox. So why have one? Why are you not practicing with a real flint steel & tinderbox? If this is just a hobby for you, just a game or something you like to do when camping out, fine, I am not saying that is NOT a legitimate thing to do, but do NOT try to convince me or anyone else that this is what you should do if you seriously want to survive should it all hit the fan.

I have been doing this stuff since before it became known as prepping, I have been doing this for most of my life in all weathers. I have survived attacks from people & wild animals, I survived cyclone Tracey in 74. I have lived off grid in the bush for most of my life. I try to pass on my findings, my knowledge & my experience because I am an old man & the things that I know are rarely practiced these days. And yet I am for ever finding people getting upset by what I say & am immediately put on someone’s hit list. Is it jealousy? Is it because these people were used to being top dog on the forum until I came along & upset their ratings? Or is it because I no longer live in the UK & therefore can’t be considered a reliable source of information?

Yes I am out of touch with matters in the UK, I would imagine things are far worse there now than they were when I was living there. I saw my old forest & field haunts being cut down, leveled & built on. I was running out of room to “play”. So I got out, came here & bought myself a forest that no one can destroy. But that does not mean that you can’t take what is of use to you & discard the rest. Basic survival needs are still the same no matter where you are in the world. Even some of the plants here are the same as in the UK & other countries. Before climate change took a hold it was the same weather conditions here in New England NSW as it was in parts of the UK.

There is different equipment to suit the individual, & there is the WRONG equipment to carry. No matter how big & strong you are, no matter that you can carry a child plus your backpack, it still comes down to carrying the right gear & NOT compromising your safety. There will already be a need for some compromise when packing for a trip between two principles : minimum weight & maximum self-reliance.
Keith.

No, Preppers are Not Weird

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No, Preppers are Not Weird Let me take a wild guess: at some point you read or heard about the prepping movement, saw some ridiculous opinions of it, came to the conclusion that preppers are weird… and left it at that; you didn’t bother to dig further. After all, who wants to be part of … Continue reading No, Preppers are Not Weird

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What We DON’T See in Peoples Range and Bug-Out Bags!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

 

I climb upon my soap box” and scream “ENOUGH!” We don’t see enough, but can we have “enough?”

What we do not see in Range Bags: tools, the right tools for the weapons and mechanical items contained therein (site adjustment tool, break-down kits, D.O.P.E Cards – Not that kind of Dope, Data On Personal Equipment cards!). All these tools and a cleaning kit . Planning on what people are going to the range for other than pushing rounds down range (which is fine if that is all they are planning). I see people trying to sight in weapons with no dope sheets or without the instruction on the sight; people running different grain rounds within a magazine, or even different grains in different magazines when they are scoping in a weapon. No First aid kit. My last three trips to the range and I saw no one with a first aid kit, with 50 shooting positions occupied (Saturday mornings).

   

I see this because I abhor inefficiency, so like the person who is annoyed by a barking dog because they are not a dog person, I am annoyed by inefficiency. Don’t get me wrong, I love pushing things down range just because, once the sights and all else are working. And I love dogs, not so much cats as they are natures definition of inefficiency, but that is an opinion based on my personal preferences 😉 BTW, the “just because” has a purpose because practice makes better (only in the movies does it make perfect.) Bottom line, goals are important and planning is always rewarded.

  

When do most injuries occur because of a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake? The first 24 hours after the storm. Why? Because we prepare for “the storm” more than “the aftermath” which is always longer and has many more components to it. Looters, downed power lines, animals, ruptured utility systems, broken infrastructure, uncontrolled fires, contaminated supplies, panic, no information, no situation awareness. In earthquake California, we build houses on mountainsides held up with stilts, you know, the ones you see on the news sliding down a hill side in a rain storm that would be considered “high humidity” in most other parts of the country. In New Orleans, we build houses across from dikes almost 30 feet high, making the homes 30 feet below sea level, in a hurricane zone, in what was once a swamp. Yes, I understand all the economic and political considerations compounded by population density, and on and on, but still.

Bug-Out Bags: Enough, we never see “enough” bug out gear – enough water, MEDICAL supplies, food and clothes and ammo. Since you don’t know the duration of the emergency only common sense and personal experience of your needs can be applied to solve this, your SWAG (Scientific Wild-Assed Guess.) Tools to support what you did bring; tools to help you live for the x days if the rule of law fades or disappears. PLANS, a purpose, a destination, an alternate and a way back. A portable Ham Radio, rechargeable batteries and rechargers and a solar way to recharge them, flashlights, more than one knife, a saw, a shovel, paracord, alternative shelter, foul-weather gear, water purification, a second good medical kit . I know, it is starting to sound like a fully stocked motor home may be too small to carry everything. Reality is that may be true, so we plan, project and hope.

You know mobile phones are only “cellular” to the nearest cell tower, right? While some of these may use microwave to further transmit the signal, it is good for one or two hops before the call is routed through existing land-lines. Not knowing things such as this may kill you, end your plans or just push you further down the food chain, none of which is a plus.

There are articles ad nauseum as to how many millions of rounds of ammo you MUST have, how many millions of gallons of potable water, and just about everything else. I do not dispute any of them but propose that having a staged plan helps us all with these. For a range and bug-out bag (these should be a matched-set and never far apart, like you and your dog when you are cooking in the kitchen.) I carry 3-days’ worth of supplies. I also have my 3-days “past due” plan – where I go on day three and what I stockpiled there. If I am home and home is safe still, fine. But everyone should have an alternative location planned, restock their matched-luggage set and be ready to move out again if required.

As I put the final edits on this post sabers are rattling around the world, some very big ones, so keep those bags close as the view from the soap box can be scary at times. Climbing down now.

 

The post What We DON’T See in Peoples Range and Bug-Out Bags! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Prepping Between Reality And Paranoia

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We often let our imagination run wild and we put ourselves in all sorts of hypothetical scenarios. As preppers, a little skepticism may help us push forward with our prepping plans and keep us alive if SHTF. However, an excess of imagination can do more harm than good. Here is how we can keep a … Read more…

The post Prepping Between Reality And Paranoia was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

 How To Harden Your Home Using the Cheapest Materials on the Market

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By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

Purchasing sandbags have always been sold in late summer early fall as a preparedness product that is associated with the flooding attached to the fall rainy seasons and hurricanes.  The time to order and purchase your sandbags is now, but for a different reason: to harden your house if possible.  Those sandbags can be filled with more than just sand and can be used to stop more than just water.  Look at the world situation right now with North Korea, China, and Russia: need I say any more to encourage you to prepare and fortify your homes for a SHTF event?

There are charts ad infinitum that will give you the amounts of layers of sandbags that are needed to stop a bullet, depending on the caliber.  Most fill them with sand; however, unless you live on a beach, sand may be something not found out in your backyard.  You can fill them with dirt, but the stopping factor is significantly reduced.  It’s up to you: your decision (to paraphrase “Alice in Chains”).  You can make them permanent with concrete.  You can convert a front porch into a semi-fortified fighting position with three layers of sandbags about 3 to 4 feet high.

I don’t care to hear naysayers complaining at how the front porch will collapse, the room will collapse, yada yada.  It is up to you the homeowner to find what the weight-bearing structural load is for your porch or any other room you intend to fortify.  The main point is that there are steps you can take at home to make your property harder to enter and to enable you to defend it.

One of the big problems is that it’s hard (or impossible) to “scrap” different types of building materials or construction supplies out of the dump.  The days of “dumpster diving” for materials are just about over.  Salvage companies save everything to sell back to China, to be sent back (and sold) to us…as the salvors are raising money that is taxed by the local government…the same local government that will not permit you the citizen to “dumpster dive,” as it cuts into the “chain of events” just outlined…and their profits.

You’ll have to pick up some rolls of heavy-gauge fencing wire to cover over your windows.  Nail them right to the frame with fencing staples, and ensure they’re taut.  In this way, the Molotov will not go through.  Also, ensure that you have at least 1 inch between this fencing-grating and the glass from the window.  The Molotov may hit and allow the glass to break by bending the wire in enough so that the bottle’s weight impacts the window.  Then you’ll have to cover the busted window with plastic.

And since we’re on the subject, you can pick up rolls of 6 mil plastic, 25’ x 10’ for about $10 at Wal-Mart…could come in handy to close those windows if needed.  If you pick up the fencing wire rolls with rectangular apertures, say 2” x 4” it will facilitate you using the window as a firing port if the window is able to be opened from the inside and not a fixed window.  I wrote several articles a couple of years ago for SHTFplan detailing how to harden your home; I highly recommend reading them if possible.

A good door brace (also referred to as a New York Lock) for the entry doors to your home will help out.  It won’t completely prevent a break-in, but it’ll slow it down enough for you to deal with it.  Consider a good brace-bar to go across the door.  You want to make sure you have a solid frame.  If it is one of those premade “cookie-cutter home” frames, you may have to reinforce it.

Plywood sheets should be measured and cut for the event (or eventuality, depending on your viewpoint) that your windows will disappear.  Cut out your sizes to be able to nail or bolt into the frame on the outside of the window, and mark the pieces to enable you to match them up to the appropriate window.  I suggest (at a minimum) ½” pressure-treated plywood.  Also: measure and match up with those pieces pre-cut 2” x 4” sections, to put together as a “T” or multiple “T’s” to brace up the plywood in the center when it is in place.  You never know when some fool will try to smash out the center of the plywood and enter the house.

Cut apertures for firing ports and viewing ports at the appropriate levels in your sheets.  You can cover these up with pieces of plywood either on a screw or on a hinge to the side, to enable you to use your firearms to deal with Mr. Moron who just won’t take “no” for an answer.  Make sure you take down and remove any trees, bushes, or anything that can provide marauders with cover and/or concealment.  Cut down these things and use them for firewood later.

Now is the time to place any building materials and supplies you can on your property for use in repairs later.  Most of this article applies to those who live in a house, and it has not yet taken into consideration the plethora of neighbors, neighborhood associations, and other assorted worthless groups that try to infringe on your rights and safety in the interest of keeping their property values high and in conformity.  You may have to do it all on the q-t, and keep the OPSEC at a high.

The best thing you can do: conduct a thorough assessment of your home and determine likely avenues of approach for invaders foreign or domestic, weak points in the house, and areas where you would most likely make a stand.  We’re getting “long in the tooth,” so to speak, with world events, and you need to harden all of the points of your home now while there is still time.  An ounce of prevention is more than a pound of cure.  Keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

About the author:

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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The Truth about Bartering Part 1

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Mike Harris, it is the first of several articles on the subject of understanding economics in order to understand how it may change in different EOTW scenarios. As well as my predecessor, I am not a fan of multi-part posts BUT some subjects need to be understood a little at a time as there is a lot of information to absorb. Your constructive comments are always welcome! 

Part 1 Money VS Barter VS Commodity

There is a lot of misinformation out there on bartering and money exchange. The purpose of this piece is to briefly introduce the concepts of bartering, money (currency), and commodity money. It is important not only know what they are but how they work on both a macro and micro economic scale. Only then can we make the best-informed decisions on how to go about these exchanges.

 

 

What is Bartering?

So, to begin, what is bartering? Simple defined it’s the act of exchanging goods and services without using money; “I’ll give you three hens for 20 feet of chicken wire”. Now exchanges like these happen every day and are relatively easy to do, most people think of this type of scenario (Bilateral trade) when they think of bartering. However not all trade in a bartering scenario can be done one to one. For example, if you own a landscaping company and a legal firm is wanting your services for a water fall feature but your priority is getting new work clothes for your workers and have no need for legal services a bilateral trade (one to one trade) may not be possible. The clothing store that does sell the work clothes has no need for your landscaping services, however the clothing store is interested in legal consultation for the importation of raw materials across state lines. So, in this situation it is very possible that a three-way trade (multilateral trade) can be made. As the individual (microeconomic) and local commerce grows into a national (macroeconomic) economic environment trade becomes more complex the arrangement of trades has to become more and more elaborate.

Are Silver Certificates still legal tender?

What is Money?

So instead of creating an extreme multifaceted or even computerized bartering system, governments and localities implement an official medium of exchange known as money. When money is established as a medium of exchange, people then depend its value for dependable and accurate calculation, meaning the money becomes a unit of account (currency). It is important for these steps to take place because even in the example noted earlier using a medium of exchange (money) does not mean transactions will happen instantaneously meaning exchanging money for items happens over the course of days, weeks, even years. So, it’s important that the official currency holds it’s worth; this is known as “store of value”. Subsequently when a government simply declares something with no intrinsic value as holding value to use as a medium of exchange we call this fiat. If you look at bills backed by the Federal Reserve (not a government agency) you will see the phrase “legal tender for all debts, public and private.” Simple put this means if someone is selling something and you “tender” (offer the official government implemented “medium of exchange” aka money) you have legally paid, regardless if the seller accepts the currency.  This allows the government to force people to accept it’s official “currency” as the medium of exchange. This is how a government can turn worthless colored paper into something of value.  The colored paper allows for complex exchanges to take place more easily then bartering. This coupled with government intervention is what keeps public confidence in the colored paper (dollar). This leads right into the last portion I want to quickly touch on which is seigniorage.  Seigniorage is the difference between the value of money and the cost to produce and distribute it; this tax is known as seigniorage. A great example of this is to look at our history. Historically speaking, seigniorage was the profit resulting from producing coins. Silver and gold were mixed with base metals to make durable coins. The British “sterling” was 92.5% pure silver; the base metal added (the pure silver retained by the government mint) was (less costs) the profit, the seigniorage. United States gold coins before 1933 were made from 90% gold and 10% copper. Seigniorage is earned by selling the coins above the melt value in exchange for the government guaranteeing the weight of the coin (fiat).

 

What is Commodity Money?

Commodity money is anything that holds intrinsic value in and of itself and is widely accepted as a medium of exchange. Things like Gold, silver, jewelry, precious metals/stones, seashells are all considered commodity money. Even items like chocolate and cigarettes can be seen as a commodity currency. This is frequently seen on Military deployments, and in prison/refugee settings. The main difference between commodity money and official currency is commodity money is “widely accepted” meaning voluntarily accepted due to its intrinsic value. In this kind of economic environment (micro/macro-economic) sellers and consumers will want to hold onto the more valuable commodities and use the lesser value commodities as payment. Examples of this would include a Marine trading an off brand can of chewing tobacco for new boot inserts and gloves. In doing this he keeps his higher quality Copenhagen chewing tobacco for himself and trades his lesser value tobacco for items he wants and or needs. This tendency for the least valuable commodity to circulate is known as Gresham’s Law, this can be seen in every economic system including our own fiat currency system just look at the Coinage Act of 1965.

Summary

It’s very important to understand not only why we use fiat currency but also how it works. As one can clearly see economics is more than just adding numbers together. While Commutative Law (a + b will always equal b + a) will always hold true, the values of these numbers will be ever changing. Now with this being said economics is not impossibly difficult to learn and understand and should NOT be seen as a field of study only for the worthy few. I believe the more we know the more empowered we become. The more empowered we are the better we are as prepared minded individuals who are responsible for securing our future! I hope for this short series to be a way to dispel a lot of the bartering and money myths being spread out there. By using science, facts, reason and logic to prepare we can help safe guard our futures!

The post The Truth about Bartering Part 1 appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Rookie’s Guideline To Gun Ownership

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By Cody GriffinSurvivoPedia

Congratulations!  You just bought your first firearm.

No matter whether it is the latest and greatest in gun fashion, or a used weapon, you will need to learn how to shoot safely and effectively whether for hunting and/or self-defense.  Your best teachers will be commitment to a lifetime of training, practice, and gaining personal experience.

Training to shoot safely and effectively requires practice. Here are some essential tips to follow to make rookie’s training and gun usage accident-free, responsible, and enjoyable:

1. Choose The Right Gun for You

A 5‘2“ 98 pound person would have a ridiculously difficult time shooting a 500 Smith & Wesson Magnum.  In fact, the recoil might hurt the shooter more than a living target, assuming they can control the gun enough to hit the target.  Your handgun or rifle needs to fit you.

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: The Rookie’s Guideline To Gun Ownership

The post The Rookie’s Guideline To Gun Ownership appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

20 Roadside Emergency Items You Better Store In Your Car’s Trunk

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20 Essential Emergency Items You Better Store Your Car’s Trunk  

By Rich MOff The Grid News

The trunk of my car is an amazing place. In it, you can find tools and equipment to deal with a variety of situations.

Most of what is there can and has helped me out in an emergency; but pretty much all of it has helped someone else, too, when they were facing problems of their own. I have found that helping others in a time of need is a great opportunity to share the message of preparedness and convert them to our way of looking at things.

I need to mention here that this is different than just being prepared to be caught in a blizzard, which I’ve written about previously. While many of the items overlap, there are things in my trunk which have nothing to do with surviving a blizzard. Besides, where I live, a blizzard could only happen if God gave us one by His miraculous power

So, what sorts of things can be found in my trunk?

1. Tools – While not huge, I have a fairly complete mechanics tool kit in the car. There are always situations where your car or the car of another needs to be repaired.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: 20 Roadside Emergency Items You Better Store In Your Car’s Trunk

The post 20 Roadside Emergency Items You Better Store In Your Car’s Trunk appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Authors on the Air Host Spotlight

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As you may already know, I am the Host/Producer of a preparedness themed radio show called Practical Prepping. Period. on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.  I was recently asked to give an interview for a segment of the network’s monthly newsletter called the Authors on the Air Host Spotlight and was thrilled to participate.  You can sign up to receive the newsletter HERE.  Below is the full text of my interview.

 

1. Randy Powers, welcome to the spotlight! Please introduce yourself. You know the drill: name, profession, pets, GPS coordinates of your survival cache . . . anything you think the readers might enjoy.

 

Thank you, Terri.  Let’s start with what’s most important.  I’m daddy to a beautiful baby girl named Riley who will become a big sister later this year when we welcome her little sister to the family.  I’ve been married to my best friend for 18 years and we’ve been working to create the world we want to live in, practicing a preparedness lifestyle on our north Georgia homestead for the last 15 years.  I love, and am a student of, history, geology, and sociology.  When it comes to preparedness, I have a particular interest in gaining a better understanding of the macro issues we face as a society going forward, including resource depletion and climate change.

I’m a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and the University of Georgia. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a working journalist since graduating from UGA with a career spanning 20 years across all forms of media, including radio, print, digital and television. Since 1998, I’ve been working with an international broadcast media outlet with credits as an editor, producer, speaker, media manager, and trainer.  I’ve seen a lot over the years on location and in the newsroom and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a contributor on three projects that were awarded the prestigious Peabody Award in 2005, 2008 and 2010.

Using the skills I’ve acquired during my career as a journalist, I’ve widened my focus to include disaster preparedness, becoming an entrepreneur as the founder and Chief Managing Partner of Practical Tactical. From this new platform, I work as a personal preparedness strategist, consultant, public speaker and author.

I love to talk preparedness with anyone interested in the subject and I always reply to anyone that reaches out.  I can be contacted directly by email at practicaltactical4you@gmail.com or through his website at www.practicaltactical4you.com, and am very active on social media.  You can find me on Facebook at the Practical Tactical page (https://www.facebook.com/practac4u/) and the Practical Prepping. Period. page (https://www.facebook.com/PracticalPreppingPeriod/) and onTwitter @PracTac4U (https://twitter.com/PracTac4U).

2. Tell us about your show “Practical Prepping.” When are you on? What are the topics of discussion? Who are some of the writers and other personalities that have appeared?

 

Practical Prepping. Period. is really the natural next step for me in spreading the good word about personal preparedness.  Having already been practicing personal preparedness for more than a decade and learning most of what we knew through good old trial and error, in 2012 I was motivated to help others with their journey to preparedness with the hope of saving them a little time and effort as they took steps to better prepare their family.  After blogging and making YouTube videos for a couple of years, and a lot of urging from author Steve Konkoly, I decided to publish the practical, straight forward guide to preparedness I had developed for my consulting business, Practical Tactical Quick Start Guide.  Very soon thereafter, I co-authored a book with Steve on preparedness called Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required, a light-hearted, instructional look at practical readiness concepts that nearly ANYONE can embrace–without seriously interrupting your life or draining your bank account.  The promotion for that book introduced me to Pam Stack, executive producer for the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.  After a few months of discussion, we decided to launch Practical Prepping. Period. for anyone interested in personal preparedness, regardless of their level of experience, as an alternative to the tsunami of websites and television programs out there that promote the idea that if you’re not prepared for the very worst catastrophe you can image and the post-apocalyptic scenarios that are sure to follow such an event, you may as well not even bother.  We welcome everyone under our supersized preparedness tent and are truly interested in seeing what we can learn from one another.

The show airs live on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network on the first Wednesday of every month at 9 pm EST.  Taking a whole-istic approach to preparedness, we talk about all aspects of the topic.  This includes everything from wilderness survival to off-grid homesteading.  I also like to provide a platform to explore the “bigger picture” factors involved in preparedness like resource depletion, climate change, energy, the environment, and the economy, in hopes of helping our listeners better understand the macro forces that are driving the impacts the each of us feel and experience on an individual level.

Only July 6th we will celebrate one full year of shows, and I’m proud to say that this has been a very informative and entertaining year!  We have managed to fill show after show with top tier names from the world of preparedness and social commentary, authors and even one Hollywood film producer!  We have welcomed Survivor Jane, James Howard Kunstler, Thunder Levin, Richard Heinberg, Steve Konkoly, Alice Friedemann, Gail Tverberg, Prepper Nurse, Rick Austin, Sean T. Smith, Chris Martenson, Mat Stein, Mason Inman, and John Michael Greer to the show so far and we have no plans on stopping anytime soon!

 

3. Expand on the subject a little bit. There’s a lot of misinformation out there.  What is prepping? Why is it important?

 

You’re right about that, “prepping” has attracted a bit of a stigma as it moved into the mainstream and there is a lot of misleading and down right bad information out there.  As I said earlier, we don’t think of personal preparedness in exactly that way.  We choose to practice a lifestyle of personal preparedness.  By this I mean that we do not take action steps out of fear or as a direct response to the perceived threat of the moment.  Instead, we take a long range view that focuses on constantly working to strengthen our overall resilience against any threat that may arise.  Every decision we make is wrapped around the framework of this world view.

As a topic of discussion, “prepping” really should not carry a stigma because it is something that every one of us does every day already.  Think about it for a moment.  If you go to the grocery store and buy food for you home, you are preparing to feed yourself and your family for the next week.  It’s the same if you put fuel in your vehicle so you can go to work next week.  If you maintain your car insurance or home owner’s insurance, then you are taking steps to prepare for an eventuality that may happen just in case you ever need it.  Everyone is a prepper already and most don’t even stop to realize it.

The cold hard truth of preparedness on any level is that bad things happen to good people every day and there is nothing any of us can do to stop that.  However, you can absolutely take steps to mitigate the impacts of any eventuality with just a little planning and focused preparation.  The great news is everyone can do this and achieve the preparedness goals that are appropriate for themselves and their families.  Regardless of what you may be preparing for, you will never be able to prep for perpetuity.  No matter how deep your larder, those supplies will eventually run out.  That is precisely why we promote the idea that there is more to personal preparation than collecting the preparedness “hardware” of stored food, supplies and gear.  These things are great and often vital, but in order to give yourself and your family the best chance of making it through any upheaval, this “hardware” should be paired with the “software” of preparedness knowledge, skills and experience.  As with most things in life, but especially in preparedness and homesteading, you can’t just talk about it.  At some point you have to be about it.  In our view, this symbiotic relationship between the “hardware” and “software” of preparedness is crucial to the ultimate viability of any complete personal preparedness plan.

4. What are you reading? Both for fun and for your show. Are there any books, fiction and non-fiction, that you’d recommend to someone who wanted to learn more about prepping.

 

Recently I have been reading The Oracle of Oil in preparation for my chat with Mason Inman on the show.  Inman takes a look at the remarkable M. King Hubbert in what is a great example of how bringing the past alive can help us make sense of the future.  For fun, I recently completed Dogs of War by Jonathan Maberry and I am anxiously awaiting the ZULU Virus Chronicles from my pal Steve Konkoly.  As for recommendations, I have a few. Starting with non-fiction, anyone interested in homesteading should have a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery on their bookshelf.  It’s an amazing reference volume.  The Foxfire Series is also a wonderful resource on this topic and many others.  Mat Stein has a couple of fantastic volumes, When Technology Fails and When Disaster Strikes covers all the bases.  I would also like to humbly suggest the book I co-authored with Steve Konkoly, Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required.  And finally, a work that has been tremendously influential for me that has served as a road map for where we may be headed as a society is James Howard Kunstler’s The Long Emergency.  When it comes to preparedness fiction there is a lot to choose from, but I’ll try to keep it manageable.  My favorite in the post-apocalyptic genre is a true classic, Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank.  Others that are fantastic include Lights Out by David Crawford, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, One Second After by William Forschten, the Borrowed World series by Franklin Horton, and a series that I consulted on where preparedness was involved, The Perseid Collapse series by Steven Konkoly.

5.  The final question is always what I call “rat out a friend.” Tell us about an author that we should be reading (and if you have a story about the writer, well then, out with it.)

 

An author that you should be reading if you are interested in prepping or post-apocalyptic fiction that you may not have heard much about is D.J. Molles.  The Remaining series is a wild, fast paced and hardcore sprint through a post-apocalyptic world from a perspective I would venture most of us have never considered.

 

As for a story, well I have a pretty good one, but it’s not about Mr. Molles.  It’s about Steve Konkoly.  A little over two years ago, Steve and I had just finished a call doing some promotion for Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required when my wife Alice popped her head into my office with some news.  She was letting me know that she was going into labor with our first child, my baby girl Riley, and that it was time to go to the hospital.  Steve and I were bantering when I stopped mid-sentence and relayed the info to Steve.  His response was instant.  Even though he was many miles away in Maine, it was as if I could feel him pushing me out of the room and on my way to what would turn out to be the greatest day of my life!  He quickly said something like “Get out of here, man.  Go!  Good luck!” and we were soon on our way.  Later when we talked about that moment, Steve just had to laugh saying, “I still can’t believe I was talking to you when you got the call.  Awesome.”  I think that tells you an awful lot about the kind of guy Steve really is.  I’m very proud to call him my friend.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me and my show. If you’re on Facebook, please check us out and LIKE and FOLLOW the Practical Prepping. Period. page to keep up with everything we have going on, upcoming guests, and much more.

 

How to Choose a Bug-Out Bag

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A contribution from Zac and timely as we move towards more rugged gear for the Fall and Winter. Zac will be receiving a $25 PayPal payment for being published and is automatically entered in Round Eleven of our Prepper Writing Contest. Don’t be shy, follow in Zac’s footsteps!

 

I do a lot of backpacking, it is something I really enjoy, do quite often, and feel that it is something at which I have become quite efficient.

That’s why when I see peoples’ advice on what a bug-out bag should look like I often end up shaking my head. Nobody would last an hour out deep into the woods with the bags I constantly see flaunted. More often than not, they’re poorly made tacticool bags that were created by somebody who’s spent the majority of their life in a cubicle.

You want something that will actually work out in the woods, not something that just looks good on a website. So if you want to avoid ending up letting apathy win 20 miles out with a sore lower back, achy shoulders, and chafed hips I highly recommend picking a bug out bag based off of the following traits:

  1. Bag Size

This is the very first factor that you need to consider. Do you need a big bag or a little one? The answer to that question depends on your length of stay out in the woods, mobility needs, desire to blend in, and sheer convenience.

A large bag allows you to carry more gear (aka survive longer) at the cost of mobility, convenience, and concealment. A smaller bag doesn’t allow you to pack as much, but permits you to move fast, blend in better, and will more likely be nearby when the poo poo flies.

  1. Hip Belt

If the bag doesn’t have a hip belt, forget it. These things are heavenly. A hip belt allows the majority of the weight of the bag to ride on your hips rather than your shoulders. The amount of weight that they take off your back is unreal.

I’ve done a few hikes with a broken hip belt and you tire sooner, end up hunched over a good portion of the day, travel slower, and tend to wake up with an achy back.

    

Also, make sure that the hip belt has a comfortable amount of padding. Some cheaper military-style bags contain a nylon strap which they claim is a hip belt. Those things will cut into your stomach and leave you raw within the first couple of miles.

Pick something that is actually high quality.

If you’re going to be spending any time moving about in the woods, you need to have a padded hip belt.

  1. External vs Internal Frame

You need a bag with a frame, and to get one without any form of frame is sheer stupidity based on the ease with which one can pick up a quality, reasonably priced framed bag.

Framed bags not only help to distribute the weight of your back better, but they also permit you better posture, and keep pointy packed items from jabbing into your back. Without a frame you end up hunched over with your tent poles digging into your lumbar every step.

If you choose a smaller bag, it’s going to have an internal frame. External frames are only placed on larger backpacking bags. Knowing which one to pick between the two choices depends on your location and personal preference.

An external frame will allow you to stand up higher, permit more ventilation between the bag and your back, and are built to let you carry heavier loads more comfortably. This comes at the cost of mobility though. These packs can sway a bit side to side when you’re moving quickly, and if you need to scramble through any tight spaces you’ll quickly end up in a game of tug of war with your stuck bag.

An internal frame gives you greater mobility when it comes to scrambling up hills and moving across rougher terrain because it stays close to your back. This means that there’s no ventilation there though, and you may not be able to hike as upright as you would like.

  1. Color

Pick a bag that doesn’t stick out in a crowd like Hulk Hogan playing the recorder. Neon colors are out. Find a more earthy tone that doesn’t scream as loudly to the world where you are whether that be in a crowd or in the woods.

  

  1. Pocket Distribution

If the bag only has two gigantic pockets, it cheap and non-functional. Find something with a respectable number of pockets to keep you from having to journey deep within the bowels of your bag every time you need your rain gear.

  1. Sleeping Bag Space

I don’t care what time of year it is, if you go out into the woods to spend the night without a sleeping bag, you’re not going to be doing very much sleeping. Make sure your bag has enough space for some sort of tool to keep you warm at night.

Yeah, I realize that aluminum blankets will keep you relatively warm, but they alone will not keep you from being miserably cold at 3:00 AM out in the woods unless you have two as you need insulation from the cold dark ground as much as from the sky above.  Make room for a sleeping bag, a quality, compact one.

  1. Feel/Fit

Does the bag feel good when you have it strapped to your body? Remember, this thing is going to be with you for the long haul. You may as well spend the extra money now. Backpackers like to chide each other when they’re deep within the woods with “Do you wish you had paid the extra $20 now?” Usually the answer is an exasperated, drawn out ‘yes’.

Just like tools, buy the best quality backpack that you can right now with the means that you have. Otherwise, you’ll make up the difference and then some when you have to buy a proper bag not long down the road. It’s cheaper to pay for quality up front.

In Conclusion

The last thing you need when the need to get out fast happens is a crummy bag that either spills your goodies everywhere, makes life miserable, or that doesn’t allow you to get away from what you need to quick enough. There are a lot of bags out there to choose from, but as long as you follow the above seven (7) guidelines to picking out a fantastic bag, I’m confident that you’ll have chosen a good one.

The post How to Choose a Bug-Out Bag appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Cancer In The Family & How It Made Us Re-Assess Healthcare Preps

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Cancer In The Family & How It Made Us Re-Assess Healthcare Preps

So we’ve been a little MIA recently on this blog. You may or may not have been able to tell, but from this end of things, it’s felt like we’ve been half in half out for weeks. See, a relative of ours was diagnosed with cancer. Don’t worry – 1) It’s been long enough for […]

This is just the start of the post Cancer In The Family & How It Made Us Re-Assess Healthcare Preps. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Cancer In The Family & How It Made Us Re-Assess Healthcare Preps, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Top 50 Things To Disappear From Stores Before A Natural Disaster

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Every time a big storm is predicted, you see people panicking and ransacking regional stores. These are the same people that call folks like you and me “odd”. They think we exaggerate with our prepping plans and we won’t need all the things we stockpile. Before a natural disaster, the following things will disappear faster … Read more…

The post Top 50 Things To Disappear From Stores Before A Natural Disaster was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Superfoods in Seven (7) Days

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: Another contribution from Ra Denney, and timely as our normal growing season draws down. More proof that where there is a will there is a way to achieve your goals. 

Most crops take an awfully long time to grow, however not Microgreens (see Nutritional Analysis). Most varieties are ready to eat in a week or two. Researchers at the USDA have determined that the cotyledons, or “false leaves” that are the first to pop out of a seed are a concentrated storehouse of nutrition designed to feed the new plant until the roots can grow and take over.

Broccoli microgreens have been shown to contain as much as 40 times the vitamins & minerals as an equal weight of broccoli florets. You can turn a 40-pound sack of Black Oil Sunflower seeds into an enormous quantity of highly nutritious vegetation. Microgreens taste great in salads, on sandwiches, in smoothies or just by themselves. My chickens love these more than any other food!

Another benefit for Preppers, in addition to the fast turnaround on a high nutrition food, is that Microgreens can grow in the dark. You merely need to take them out into the sun when they are big enough to eat and let them green up and perform photosynthesis for a few hours. Your plants never need to be exposed to possible theft. To get started, all you need is any kind of fairly tall tray with a lid.

You can use a plastic clam-shell cake box or even something smaller. Put an inch of soil on the bottom, spread your seeds & sprinkle soil lightly over them. Spray them & keep them damp for a few days until they begin to sprout. You can then water once a day.

  

I have even grown peas on a couple layers of paper towels. When they’re ready, cut them off at ground level & enjoy.

You can get the Sunflower seeds at a feed or box store and you can get whole peas at an ethnic food store – these are usually the most economical sources; for other varieties, you can order seeds from many online outlets.

To be clear, certain types of beans, such as Kidney are NOT suitable for microgreens. Some safe varieties of plants for microgreens include Arugula, Basil, Beets, Lettuces, Celery, Chia, Clover, Cilantro, Cress, Dill, Flax, Garlic, Kale, Mizuna, Mustard, Popcorn, Kohlrabi, Onions, Tatsoi and Turnip.

Most seeds can be stored for a long time with care, so for years into the future, you can have a fresh variety of super-nutritious vegetables on your table in mere weeks.

Some of the nutrients found in these microgreens are vitamins K, C and E, lutein, and beta-carotene, usually boasting up to 25%-30% pure protein. “All of these nutrients are extremely important for skin, eyes, and fighting cancer and have all sorts of benefits associated with them,” says researcher Dr. Gene Lester, of the USDA.

I was first introduced to microgreens by a friend name of Lorenzo and Khang Starr has been a great mentor. You can visit his microgreens forum to share your efforts and see what others are growing and how they’re using their produce. (https://plus.google.com/communities/118293278099960528255)

Microgreens must surely be a Preppers dream, with seeds being so compact & easy to carry and store. Being able to turn them into a super food in as little as a week is a phenomenal result compared to other crops. Growing them indoors eliminates the stressful fear of losing everything to rippers or critters.

Get yourself some Sunflower seeds and start experimenting today so that when the time comes, you can quickly grab a bunch of sacks and keep your neighbors fed for months.

The post Superfoods in Seven (7) Days appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Top Tips to Prepare Your Parents for Emergencies

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Top Tips to Prepare Your Parents for Emergencies The glue that holds this society together is the parents. You have to understand that. No matter what stance you take on children you have to support those parents who are doing the work. The kids are our future. You know the deal. It was my kids …

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6 Principles of Survival – Maintain Core Body Temperature

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6 Principles of Survival – Maintain Core Body Temperature One of he most underrated threats in the wild is the condition of your core body temperature. Many of us like to concern ourselves with things like wolves, bears and maybe even contaminated water. The issue with core body temperature is that it can kill you …

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UNDERSTANDING PREPAREDNESS: Preparing for the Unknown

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UNDERSTANDING PREPAREDNESS: Preparing for the Unknown What is the real picture of survival? How does it all paly out. The truth is we don’t know. Sure, there have been societal collapse events all over the globe but we have never seen a the US in a societal collapse. We do things different here. There is …

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This One Simple Strategy Will Make You a Better Prepper

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a better prepper

Many preppers and survivalists that I have known reach a level of arrogance, sooner or later. They have all their preps in place, they know multiple survival skills, and have a solid foundation of knowledge from everything from trapping small game to canning venison. However, if there’s one thing I know about any crisis scenario, it’s that they are 100% unpredictable. The very event you thought you were completely prepared for can go sideways in a moment, with your best laid plans in shambles.

Maybe it’s time for a new strategy with your prepping, one that goes beyond what the prepper pundits teach. What if you purposely put yourself in situations where you might not have all the right survival gear or there are unexpected twists that require quick thinking and adaptation. Here’s what I have in mind:

Become a better prepper by making things hard for yourself. On purpose.

Bugging out

We all have well-equipped bug out bags and intricately detailed plans for getting out of Dodge, but what if you purposely made a bug out drill far more difficult by driving a route at night, in the rain or fog, with the recording of your screamng 2 year-old in the background?

Think that might put some hair on your chest? For sure, you would have to focus with an intensity that isn’t called for on a sunny day, with temps in the low to mid-70s, but how likely is it that you’ll have those ideal conditions when the S really does hit the fan?

How about driving that route until approaching a choke point, such as a bridge or the entrance to a tunnel, and quickly make a detour, as though that point was a roadblock? Is that a realistic scenario? Yep, so why not create the scenario for yourself now, rather than simply making a mental note that roadblocks, man-made or not, could happen on the way to your bug out location?

Any difficulty you can set up to thwart your carefully laid bug out plans will serve you well by testing your ability to think, accept, and adapt to abrupt changes in circumstances.

Your food storage stash

Challenge yourself and your family to eating only what is in your food storage for 2 days, 3 days, or longer. After all, isn’t that the exact same scenario you are planning for? What if half your food was destroyed by a house fire? Move 50% of your food out of the pantry/kitchen and that is what you’re stuck with.

Now, mix things up a bit and make the situation even more difficult by requiring food to be cooked only using a solar oven (Cloudy weather? Too bad!) or only a charcoal grill. How about a scenario that mimics the real thing by having beans and rice 3 times a day for at least 2 days? You will learn so much more about the pratical applications and realities of food storage by putting yourself through these tests than you ever will by reading a prepper forum.

Have a difficult conversation

You’ve probably given some thought about how you would like your family and closest friends to continue if something ever happens to you, but have you ever sat down with them and discussed it?

No one likes to talk about death or the possibility of a loved one being so far from home they cannot ever make it back, but now is the time to think this through. I am on the road quite a bit with my job, not terribly long distances but long enough to know that the path that leads back to home may become so dangerous and/or my health and physical strength at risk that my family would have to move on with their survival without me.

All of us do our prepping with the assumption that we’ll be there when the worst happens, but what if the worst is not coming home at all? There’s plenty I want my family to know, such as how to secure the house and who I personally trust the most as prepper allies. I may have talked about this in passing but not nearly as in depth as I should — even if my family doesn’t want to think about a future without their husband and father.

If you’ve ever wondered what you would do in this scenario, this article has some excellent insights.

Push your shooting skills to new levels

It’s no secret that Preparedness Advice is very pro-2nd Amendment, and I have done more than my share of shooting over the years. Even if your shooting skills are far above average, make things a little more difficult the next time you go to the range by shooting strong-arm/weak-arm, using your non-dominant eye, shooting leaning against something, or shooting in a squatted or seated position. (If your range doesn’t allow for some of these, then find one that does, head out to the boonies to do your shootiong, or find a class that includes these other skills.)

Take a tactical class where you’ll be shooting while moving, at moving targets, and with live ammunition. I did that a few years ago and the level of intensity and non-stop adrenaline was something I never experienced before in previous classes. A lot of ranges offer classes in low-light shooting and one that challenges you with new tactical scenarios.

Again, make a purposeful decision to make things hard for yourself in order to ultimately improve your skills and become a better prepper.

Family finances

At this moment I have a great job with really good benefits, doing something I enjoy, but an economic collapse is a scenario that is always a possibility. I could hone my own survival skills, and that of my family, by whittling down our unnecessary expenses to just a few dollars a month, or even zero. What would we do for entertainment if we cancelled our subscriptions to Netflex and Amazon Prime? If we had to worry about ever gallon of gas used, that would change our lifestyle and decisions. Our eating habits would change, the temperature of our house would change, and we would get a realistic picture how an economic collapse would affect our everyday lives.

This wouldn’t be fun and we would all hate it, but what a great opportunity to not only test our preps but also learn how to cope with few, if any, luxuries that make our lives comfortable. This is something you could set up, even if only for 48 hours.

If you’re not giving yourself challenges and taking risks conscioiusly, then you may be setting yourself up for failure in a real life survival scenario. Become a better prepper by doing something VERY different. If you’re really good at something, then change it up in a way that makes it very different, requiring different knowledge and skills you might not have.

Take risks NOW, ahead of a crisis. You’l learn a lot about yourself — how easily and how quickly you adapt (or not). These tests will also give you invaluable insights as to how your family members and even prepper group members will behave when everything hits the fan.

I’ll leave you with a true story about my wife. A few years ago we both took a concealed carry class. Although she was less experienced than I, she was determined to pass the final test to become qualified. I knew she could pass the written test and was fairly certain she’d pass the target shooting test as well.

As it turns out, she almost didn’t pass the shooting test! Why? Because in all the months and months of practice, she had never had to shoot in front of a large group of spectators. She said, “I was so rattled that I was using my non-dominant eye! I was lucky to have hit the target at all!” Fortunately, she figured out what she was doing wrong, made the correction, and passed, but this is a prime example of why and how we should put ourselves into scenarios and in circumstances that bring physical, emotional, and mental discomfort in order to grow.

How could you purposely make things more difficult in order to grow as a prepper?

The post This One Simple Strategy Will Make You a Better Prepper appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Prepping on the Cheap Part 2- Bugging Out

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Prepping on the Cheap Part 2- Bugging Out Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below! If you had to pick up and go right now, could you do it? How long would it take for you to gather your important documents, extra clothes, food and water, and necessary gear? If so, great. You are … Continue reading Prepping on the Cheap Part 2- Bugging Out

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A Soldiers Experience

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Tom D. to Pat awhile ago. I am publishing it, with some “military language” edits, since it provides some insights into the reality of military life and some good points for us all to consider. Tom D. – we all thank you for your service.

First things first, I am an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army. I have been in for about ten years and have multiple combat deployments under my belt. I would not call myself an avid prepper (right now), but there is one thing that is always on my mind. SECURITY. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be able to prep as much as possible, but we have unique situation while serving.

Being in the Military really does have its pro’s and con’s when it comes to prepping. The biggest con to me is the fact that we are always moving. I lived in Western Texas for a few years. There, I started adding to my “stash” for desert survival. Both of our kids had walk in closets, and they were too small to walk so my wife and I turned those closets into strongholds for food and water (along with other supplies). We bought a house at the outskirts of the city with a mindset that if TSHTF we could get out fast. Our house was also as far away from Juarez, Mexico as possible while still being in the El Paso city limits. I had a dirt bike and ATV for quick getaways, and knew the lay of the land and how to utilize the wadis (valley, ravine or channel) to my advantage. We had all the fire power we needed, but not too much where we were wasting money on guns. Long story short is, we were moderately prepared. That is, until I got orders to move the family to the Seattle/Tacoma area in Washington state.

After feeling like we would be as good as we could get for TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) in Texas, I showed up here. Washington is an entirely different beast. It rains over half of the year and I am now in a Major Metro Area. I went from my primary concern being an Economic Collapse or Major Terror Attack to now worrying about Mount Rainier deciding to blow. Here in Tacoma we have one major escape route. That is Interstate-5. The issue is that I-5 is a road block now without any sort of emergency. Once TSHTF it will be impossible to go north or south in a vehicle. The ocean to the West and mountains and then high dessert to the east. These are all issues that I need to create new COA’s (course of action) and alternate COA’s to be prepared.

Now that you have seen some of the pain with moving, I will bring up my next Con with being an Active Duty Prepper. DEPLOYMENTS! Many people have a commute of an hour or so on the Civilian side of the house. With us it can be much different. If I am in Afghanistan again when TEOTWAWKI happens, things will be much different. I am a combat arms soldier and have had to fire a weapon at other people before, so that is not the most mind-bending thing for me. The hard thing to consider is my wife and children possibly having to do the things I have done or seen in a combat zone without me. You can train all you want, but will never know how you will react in certain situations until they are staring you in the face.

    

No matter where we live, my wife will have weapons at her disposal. She knows how to shoot, and she has supplies. In a world-wide catastrophe, we have to accept that we may never see each other again if I am on the other side of the world. Luckily, we are already prepared for that before any deployment to begin with.

If the power is still on, whether deployed or not I promise each and every one of you reading this that myself and every Soldier I know would go to our families and friends first.

I read an article written by Pat about two years ago that seemed to question what the Military would be willing to do to its own people. My friends and family have asked me similar questions before as well. I am going to explain this to the best of my ability. First off, a lot of people think that every Soldier or Marine is a robot that takes orders and blows stuff up. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Less than 10 percent of the entire Armed Forces is Combat Arms. Everyone else is Support. So, the thought of every able-bodied Soldier coming to private residences to kick down doors and take you to FEMA Camps is out of the question.

The topic of Prepping is a conversation that I think I have had on every field problem I have ever been on in the Army. Most of the soldiers I know do not have caches of goods prepared for when TSHTF. Nearly all of them do have a plan for when it does happen. Most soldiers are prepared to fight whoever and whatever is out there if they have to. If you are in the Military, it is easy to get your Subordinates to form a team for such scenarios. It is also great for Unit cohesion. In Texas, my house was the Rally Point for my team. We had weapons and defense measures prepared and available to last a hot minute. The best part of our plan was that every member of “my Team” was trained and proficient in soldier skills. Every one of them had been through medical training, knows land navigation and had access to vehicles with GPS capabilities that would track every vehicle we had if necessary. We had been through hard times together and know how to handle each other when it got tough.

Sure, we were not the most organized group with lots of land for farming and honestly were not prepared for a kind transition. We were a group of grunts ready to fight our way through what we had to in order to survive. I have learned that Security is always #1 while serving. It is that way in combat, and it is that way when I go to bed at night. So why would it ever be anything different for TEOTWAWKI.

The one thing that has always been the general consensus was that if anybody gave us orders to turn on our own people, we would all refuse. Most people that join the Military do it out of pride for their Nation and families. There might be ones and two who want to follow along with some plan to implement Martial Law, but I will gladly say that the clear majority of us would be getting home to our families at the same time and be ready to fight the “bad guys.”

 

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Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Nine – Finally!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Promise made, promise kept. Finally preppers you get to cast your votes for the “best articles” published between March 9th and May 15th of this year.

I have chosen five (5) worthy candidates for the Preppers Writing Contest. It was a hard thing to do, so many honorable mentions, so much coverage of wide-ranging subjects. Impressive. Paring the list down to five (5) was the challenge. As always, I want to thank everyone who entered and remind you that Round Ten will be run as soon as we award these worthy candidates. And yes, previous winners can still win again!

I will leave the voting open for a few days so please let me know which article you think is the best. The five (5) articles in contention for the three (3) prizes of Amazon gift cards are (in no particular order):

And the Winners Are:

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Round Nine – Which Article Was Best?

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The post Vote for Your Favorite – Prepper Writing Contest Round Nine – Finally! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Bugging Out From School: Build a Kit and Make a Plan That Won’t Get Your Kids Expelled

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With back-to-school time approaching, have you ever thought about whether bugging out from school was something that your kids should know how to do?

A few years ago, I posed … Read the rest

The post Bugging Out From School: Build a Kit and Make a Plan That Won’t Get Your Kids Expelled appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Survival Foods For Your Garden.

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It is said that you will never starve if you are growing Jerusalem Artichokes. The Jerusalem Artichoke is a root crop & member of the sunflower family. The green foliage can be fed to stock & chooks as can the root itself. You only need one root bulb to start your crop.

Nutritional Information:


Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter If North Korea Is Actually a Nuclear Threat

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Those who believe that our own government is perfectly willing to commit an atrocity and then blame it on someone else tend to deny threats when they’re brought up consistently … Read the rest

The post Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter If North Korea Is Actually a Nuclear Threat appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How to Actively Prepare for When “Winter Is Coming”

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Moving to Norway? Iceland. Maybe Minnesota, where they have three seasons, Winter, Winter, Winter and Construction?

Or maybe you just want to prepare for global climate change in general, cause, well, um.

If you are a delicate desert flower that can endure temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit barely breaking a sweat, just the thought of moving up north likely makes you shiver. Or maybe, sub 30-degree temperatures actually make you sweat more.

Whatever your case may be, let Lord Eddard Stark’s sage advice put you at ease, “Brace yourselves. Winter is coming.” Unlike the trials in Game of Thrones, preparing your body for cold climates, though a feat, can be quite fun.

There are many ways to prepare your body for acclimating to frigid weather conditions; everything from ice baths to eating ice cream. So, how do you prepare? I promise, it’s not as bad as you think.

Ice Baths?

 

Yes. Ice Baths. Though typically used by athletes for post-workout recovery and injury therapy, ice baths for acclimation, other than just moving to the region and gutting it through, stand resolute as the quickest, most effective way to prepare your body for a major climate shift.

By easing your body into freezing temperatures for short stints, you train your internal temperature gauge to compensate for varying climates. When taking an ice bath, a key aspect to remember is that cold slows your system down by reducing blood flow. This is why when you move vigorously in cold temperatures, your body warms up. Basic science. Therefore, when climbing into your bath, especially for the first time, ease into the temperature change recommended by your machine’s individual instructions. Do not assume colder is better, especially in the beginning. Trust your body’s signals and allow it ample time to adapt. In fact, cold showers are an excellent step towards climbing into a large tub of ice.

After 5 to 8 minutes of exposure in your tub, climb out and dry off. Though you will be tempted to warm up immediately, just as you eased yourself into the cold, be sure to allow your body the chance to gradually warm after each exposure. This will condition your system to warm naturally in cold weather and eventually gauge the cooler temperatures as normal.

A full list of cold therapy tips is outlined by acclaimed coach Andy Schmitz in his article 8 Ice Bath Do’s and Don’ts. Though specifically designed for athletes, his exposure tips will surely help you if ice baths are a route you choose to take.

Be sure to read your ice machine’s instructions. Keeping your ice machine clean prevents buildup to maintain an efficient production rate. This will also help it produce more shapely cubes. Compacted ice stays colder longer, so you’ll get more bang for your buck.

Eat colder foods.

Ice Cream, Smoothies, Freeze Pops, the list goes on forever. Frozen dessert is by far the easiest way to begin your acclimation. Not only will consumption teach you to moderate your taste buds, but, with the reinforcement of brain freeze, you will learn–and extend–your cold tolerance threshold. This will give you a rough measure of your personal acclimation progress as you implement the ice bath method.

However, this advice is not a license to throw your diet out the window—especially one prescribed by a doctor. That said, gaining a few extra pounds during this eating process will provide you with slightly more insulation, a crucial aspect to sustaining warmth in colder climates. Further, with the warmer clothes you’ll undoubtedly be wearing, an ice cream sandwich or two will actually aid you in filling out that sweater from Aunt Betsy. Up to you whether this is a good thing.

Climate Clothes Climax

Speaking of sweaters: shopping for proper winter attire is essential in your prep. If you are moving from a southern region—specifically a place where lizards bask in the sun all day or monkeys do their Tarzan routine—you are not likely to have a thick knit cap let alone a pair of snow shoes. As you’re packing your bags, be sure to leave the shorts and remember the parka.

Learn the art of layering. Layering will be your best friend as you’re acclimating. Long underwear, leggings, thermal undershirts, and waterproof socks are your key base layers. After that, indoor apparel usually consists of sweaters and the occasional hat. Outdoor apparel often consists of your typical Christmas movie apparel: a woolen trench or pea coat—unless you go the parka route—a thick hat, flannel or fur-lined gloves, insulated boots, and a sturdy scarf. All of these items are available for purchase online or in your local store up north—unless you’re moving to an igloo park. (Just kidding. That’s not a thing.)

Into the Wild [White] Yonder

Moving up north or enduring extreme climate change may seem a cautionary tale, but if care is taken, your body will adjust to the harsher climate. With your new snow shod experiences, you will soon see just how wonderfully ice transforms ordinary landscaping. In time, you will come to enjoy your new way of life. Until then, sip your coco and let your eyes rove over the gently wafting boughs of the newly crystal laden trees.

The post How to Actively Prepare for When “Winter Is Coming” appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

6 Habits of Highly Effective Preppers

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In 1989, Stephen Covey published his timeless book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and launched not only a “7 Habits” empire, but changed countless lives.

I was reviewing his list of habits and was struck by how many of them directly apply to preparedness and survival, from everyday emergencies to worst case scenarios. Here are 6 of Covey’s habits and how they apply to prepping.

1. Be Proactive

To be frank, none of us have all the time in the world to get prepped. Even folks on vacation have to be concerned about sudden emergencies like this recent event in North Carolina. Even small emergencies catch most people unaware, and even fewer people are ready for the truly big crises that life has to offer.

It’s not enough to just know about impending catastrophes, such as a worldwide depression or the possibility of an EMP, and neither is it enough to spend hours researching survival topics. If you and your family are to survive and thrive well beyond any crisis, it requires being proactive right now, today. Steven Covey was right to have this as his first Habit.

2. Begin with the end in mind

What do you want your family and home to look like following a major catastrophe? Do you want to have enough food, water, medicines, and supplies to last at least six months? A year? Do you want to have cash, gold, and silver cached in case of a banking collapse? Do you want to be strong, healthy, and fit, able to do plenty of physical labor and take care of the family? Do you want your home to be the one in the neighborhood that survives because it is surrounded by sandbags that protect it from flood waters?

Develop an actual picture in your mind of what your optimal survival scenario will look like:

  • Who will be with you?
  • How will you all arrive at that destination?
  • How will you make sure that your survival situation is secure?
  • What will you have in terms of gear and supplies?
  • How will tasks be delegated?
  • What will a typical day and night be for the duration of this scenario?

With a crystal clear picture in mind, you can then set goals in order to achieve it. Without that clear goal in mind, you’re taking a gamble on something where every day counts.

3. Put first things first

The basics of survival are water, food, shelter, and warmth. Wherever you live right now is where you must begin. That off-the-grid survival retreat may or may not become a reality (and may or may not be desirable – but that’s the subject of a different article), so don’t put off becoming as prepared as you possibly can be right were you are today. Fully cover the basics first.

4. Effective preppers think win-win

Too often, survival minded people circle the wagons and include only their immediate family and, maybe, their very closest friends. But history has shown repeatedly that it’s groups of people who do best when it comes to survival. Neighborhoods and towns who band together following a tornado, for example, recover more quickly than someone trying to do everything on his or her own.

Look for ways to connect with others in your survival plans. No, you shouldn’t tell anyone everything, but sharing ideas, strategies and being supportive of others will increase the chances of your own survival, and that’s smart. If the people surrounding you also have plans and supplies for survival, it’s a win-win for everyone.

How to find those people? Well, as author Jim Cobb says, “Go places where preppers tend to hang out.” Gardening classes, prepper Meet-Ups, fishing and hunting clubs, and so on.

5. Seek first to understand, and then be understood

Not everyone has the same level of concern for survival as you. Some relatives and friends may even seem hostile when you mention food storage and being prepared for emergencies / disaster. Normalcy bias is the default setting for nearly everybody, and since our brains are already wired for that response, it’s no wonder that so many people cringe when “prepping” is mentioned.

There are many reasons why people are oblivious to impending dangers from health issues to hurricanes. Rather than try to force someone to change their mind, spend time listening and asking questions. You may discover that the reason they don’t want to hear about preparedness is because they are frozen with fear and your lectures force them even further into a fear-filled corner.

6. Sharpen the saw

It takes far more effort to cut down a tree with a dull saw than a sharp one. You’ll be able to set clearer goals, stay focused, and accomplish more when you take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Always remember that you are a pivotal factor in the survival of your loved ones. When you don’t take care of yourself, they become more vulnerable. Who will protect them if you can’t or are untrained or unfit to do so?

Find time to decompress. Read a book just for entertainment, pray, get into a regular exercise routine, do some of the things you know you should do, but don’t. In a crisis, you’ll need to be prepared in every way to respond quickly, decisively, and with authority. That won’t happen sitting in front of a video game, regardless of what level you’re on in League of Legends.

Based on these 6 Habits, where do you stand as a prepper?

The post 6 Habits of Highly Effective Preppers appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

10 Most Important Things On Every Survivalist’s Checklist

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Image Source: Pixabay.com

By Rachel Stinson – Guest Writer

Survivalist are people who are prepared for any circumstance in times of war and peace. A survivalist does not only prepare for himself but also for his fellowmen. Traditionally survivalist would plan for war and keep the essential items needed to survival in war. The survivalist might make a list for himself or might even be responsible for making the list for others. If you are wondering what are the must have items on a survivalist check list then please read below for 10 most important things on every survivalist’s checklist:

  1. Food and Water

Starting from the basics food and water supplies are necessities on every survivalist checklist. A survivalist would not just pack to go with but will also contemplate the unforeseen circumstances that could cause shortage of food and water and pack accordingly.

  1. Flash Light

A flash light is a must have on a survivalist checklist. When talking about a survivalist we are talking about someone who will have the items to survive in unfavorable conditions and flashlight is an extremely important tool to have.

  1. Match sticks and Fire Starter

Weather anticipation is also very important along with cooking food. Both for cooking food and for keeping yourself warm during cold weather you may need to start a fire so a survivalist checklist would definitely have match sticks and fire starter.

  1. Camera

Although a new invention but camera has become an essential item on survivalist checklist. With new inventions such as video glasses and wifi nanny cams it has become easy to use cameras for security and recording and one of these items are a must have on survivalist checklist.

  1. Survival Knife

Although some people debate this but a survival knife is important. Even if there is no danger a survival knife can be used for hunting and cooking.

  1. First Aid Kit

First aid kit is a must have on a survivalist checklist because you can face medical emergencies anywhere and you must be prepared.

  1. Blanket

Weather is unpredictable sometimes and a survivalist blanket can help him survive through cold weather.

  1. Water Filtration System

Although difficult to carry but survivalists responsible for survival of multiple people specifically in war could benefit greatly from a water filtration system. As it could filter the water readily available and help during shortage of water.

  1. Outdoor Cook Stove

Survivalists would mostly be responsible for cooking their own food and sometimes in very unfavorable conditions. Although, this might not necessarily be on all lists but an outdoor cook stove could be very advantageous.

  1. Duct Tape

Although when we mention duct tape the question of its important is risen. But duct tape could have a lot of benefits. It could help in fixing things that you might have broken but you need and is not very heavy to carry.

A survivalist checklist could have above items and more on the basis of the survivalists’ mission. A survivalist in war might have a different checklist than a survivalist who is looking to survive alone through one trip.

This article originally published at The Survival Place Blog10 Most Important Things On Every Survivalist’s Checklist

About the author:

Rachel Stinson has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates, restaurants and electronics stores with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitant, engaging manner for all matters.

 

The post 10 Most Important Things On Every Survivalist’s Checklist appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Enter to win!

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Written by theprepperjournal on The Prepper Journal.

Enter To Win The Summer Heat Survival Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive an Armor, Emergency Food, and Survival Gear bundle worth over $2,477!

Enter For Free Today HERE!

USA ONLY – RULES APPLY – ENTER BY 9/30/2017

Sponsored By: PrepperSupport.com, AR500 Armor, Survival Frog, GAT Daily, Prepper Journal


PRIZE INFO:

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480 Servings of Wise Company (Long Term Storage) Meat Meals.

MSRP: $959.97

AR500 Armor Package:

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Level III+LW front and back plates

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Trauma Pads

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And 6×8 Trauma Pads

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Prepper Journal Package:

48-72 HR Survival Backpack

5.11 Rush 24

SOL Bivvy

SOL Tinder Quick

SOL Rescue Flash Signal Mirror

NDUR Sighting Compass

Firesteel 2.0

SAS Survival Guide

Petzl E-Lite

Cyalume 12 HR (10 Pack)

Cyalume 5 min

Rothco 100ft Paracord

Spool Tool

Lifestraw

4″ Ace bandage

6″ Ace bandage

Sam Splint

Survival Matches

Socks

Duct Tape

Morakniv Companion Knife

MSRP: $400

 

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Add Strength to your Survival Plan with Powerful Fitness Tools

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Add Strength to your Survival Plan with Powerful Fitness Tools Are you looking for a workout routine that will stand the test of time and even a life changing disaster? There are several pieces of workout equipment that are crucial to your success and fitness in a survival scenario. Many people think that when it …

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The post Add Strength to your Survival Plan with Powerful Fitness Tools appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Survival Fishing: Making A Primitive Fish Trap

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Thank you Brenda from FallForFishing.com , much appreciated. 

If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, it is important to try and use as little energy as possible. It may happen that you get stranded in an area near a water body that has fish. Well, you can eat the edible fruits or plants and also top up your meal with some fish.

In survival fishing, there are many ways in which you can catch fish, be it by noodling, traps or improvisation. However, most of these activities require you to move around and consume energy. What if you have a lot to do and catching fish to make a meal out of it is one of them?

Here, you will learn how to make a traditional fish trap or otherwise known as Weir.

How to make a Fish Trap

https://youtu.be/yAB7KljY-9E

Catching fish using traps has been in practice for a long time now. Though, this fishing method is illegal in many areas and thus intended for survival situations. During the ancient days, traps were made from stone or sticks and so is a traditional fish trap.

There are different designs and styles of fish traps:

1.      Woven Funnel Trap

This trap may be a little bit more complicated to make. However, in a survival situation, one settles for what works. It has a V-shape opening to allow fish in, but make it difficult for the fish to get out. The trap is made of two parts, the main body and what looks like an inverted cap of a cone.

  • Main Body

You only need to have a knife and several sticks, preferably an odd number of sticks. Hold the sticks together and wrap the bark of a tree around it, near the end of the trap. The bark should keep the pieces of sticks together.

Take a flexible sapling and form a hoop using it, and tie it to the part where the trap is to be open. Once the lower end of the trap is tightly tied; use any extra bark to weave around the sticks. Weaving is pretty simple, you only pass the leaves or the strips of bark over and under the sticks to form a mesh-like pattern.

If you run out of pieces of bark, you can use leaves or any other material nearby. It doesn’t have to be a consistent use of weaving components. Ensure that your weaving material holds the different sticks together and that you leave little room for the fish to escape from the trap.

When you get to the hoop that you fastened at the opening, remove it as you continue weaving. At the end of the main body of the trap, trim the protruding ends of the stick and use a sapling to tie a few of the top most loops together.

  • Cone Cap

The cone cap is made similarly as the main body of the trap. Use an odd number of sticks. Now, instead of tying the ends shut as we did previously, you will leave a narrow opening at the ends.

This space should be enough to fit the size of fish that you are targeting. You can stick the ends of the cap on the ground to guide you in weaving. Weave the sides of the cap and trim the ends of any protruding sticks.

The top part of the cap should be the slightly smaller than the opening of the main body of the trap. Place the cone inside the main trap while inverted. For bait, you can use bread and also the inner and inedible parts of the fish you catch.

You can tie the bait with a string, inside the trap. Also, remember to tie the cone cap to the main body of the trap. You don’t want it to come loose.

 

2.      Funnel Wall Trap

This technique is suitable for those who may not have the time or energy for weaving. All you have to do is to collect several pieces of sticks and stick them on the floor of the water in the shape of a wall with small openings between the saplings.

You will, however, need to leave a funnel-like opening where the fish can get into the trap. Place or drop your bait inside the trap. Its smell will draw fish into the trap. It is suitable for catching small fish from the banks.

Position the opening of the trap in the downstream position, that is, the water should be flowing towards it. It is easier to make than the other type of trap. However, fish can still find its way out.

3.      Bottle Trap

It is the simplest trap that you can make, especially, when you are targeting small fish. You only need to cut the top part of the bottle, invert it and place it inside the bottom part of the bottle. If it doesn’t fit, cut the sides of the lower section of the bottle and push the top part through it.

For water to flow through the bottle, you will need to poke a few holes at the bottom of your bottle trap. Tie a string to the trap and drop it in the water. Place some stones inside it, to let the trap sink.

Advantages of Traps

Making fish traps is advantageous:

  • They are easy to make
  • You can work on other things as you leave the trap to do its “work.”
  • They consume less energy as compared to other survival fishing techniques, the only energy consuming part is making the trap itself.

Conclusion

When you find yourself in a survival situation, you can still have a meal as you wait for help. If there is a water body near you, you can catch fish to add to your meal. There are many fishing methods suited for a survival scenario.

If you are looking to conserve or use your energy elsewhere, you should consider the passive fishing methods of building a trap and putting it in the water as you engage in other activities that require your attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Survival Fishing: Making A Primitive Fish Trap appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

10 Things I Love About the Prepper Community & 5 Things I Hate

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10 Things I Love About the Prepper Community & 5 Things I Hate

Every once in a while, someone stumbles on an old article of mine – “Why We’re Giving Up Prepping” and doesn’t realize that it’s actually an April Fools Day joke! I am 100% in this mindset to stay, and would never stop prepping, not ever (which is why I wrote this article as a follow […]

This is just the start of the post 10 Things I Love About the Prepper Community & 5 Things I Hate. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


10 Things I Love About the Prepper Community & 5 Things I Hate, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

Breathe Even While Sleeping: Three Preps for Sleep Apnea

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Breathe Even While Sleeping: Three Preps for Sleep Apnea This topic may sound like something that is a little to niche. I will tell you that breathing at night is an issue that deserves talking about. You will need to prepare to deal with your sleep apnea if you are heading into a SHTF scenario. …

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The post Breathe Even While Sleeping: Three Preps for Sleep Apnea appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Planning For Success During And After The SHTF- Part 1, by Old Bobbert

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Planning For Success During And After The SHTF- Part 1, by Old Bobbert Preparedness is all about planning. So what happens to a guy who doesn’t really like planning but wants to be prepared. The good news is there are tons of people who love planning and are creating plans and processes each day. They …

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The post Planning For Success During And After The SHTF- Part 1, by Old Bobbert appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

The Super-rich Are Buying Luxury Apocalypse-safe Bunkers

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The Super-rich Are Buying Luxury Apocalypse-safe Bunkers There are certain warnings that we just keep avoiding. The unchecked growth of giant corporations that are now doing business with foreign powers is probably one of the most terrifying signs of all that trouble is ahead. Maybe its the creeping Islamization of the west that is keeping …

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Elections AGAIN?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

UGH! – but wait, these are good elections (now there is a statement I NEVER thought I would make!)

This is the “atonement” for not running a “Vote for Your Favorite” article in the Prepper Writing Contest on time. Looks like we are actually two in arrears! “Round Nine” was delayed as a result of the changes on the site and should have been run around May 15th of this year, and “Round Ten” is due NOW! Our bad, we apologize, we see this flaw in our planning and we will correct it like all preppers do.

A review of the site shows that in 2016 there were five (5) contests, and, to date, there have only been two (2) in 2017:

  • Round Seven launched on January 9th
  • Round Eight launched on March 8th

So Look for the delayed “Round Nine” contest to be launched on Thursday of this week – ya gotta give me some time to review all the excellent contributions and come up with my five best.

Then we will follow-up with “Round Ten” as soon as Round Nine votes are in.

Thanks for your patience.

 

 

The post Elections AGAIN? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Building Your Own Firearm (Part 6 – Assembling and Testing the AR-15)

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

Last time (>>> see it here <<<), we completed a receiver.  The “firearm” is complete but not usable.  Now it is time to assemble it and try it out.  As before, I will include a link to a video or videos, and then add my comments.

Tennessee Arms Receiver Notes

Tennessee Arms replaced my less than perfect receivers.  The engraving in the normal location (right side magazine well) was much better, the larger font serial crisp and clear, and the buffer tube socket was fully threaded.  I finished one of them using a router jig, but not the take-down lug pocket part.  For that, I used AC Delco Gear Marking Compound (Dykem may also work) on the lug to find where the existing take-down lug hole needed to be relieved (yellow goo scrapes off onto the receiver to show where it is tight).  It was mostly the sides, which I ground away with a Dremil tool.  The take-down pin detent channel is real close to the take-down lug pocket, so I ground the take-down lug hole at a sleight angle at the top on that side to avoid compromising the channel.  The result of this technique was the best fitting upper yet.  The other replacement receiver appears to have had the take-down lug pocket already widened; I just needed to do a bit of trimming in the back corners.  The take-down detent channel was compromised; a KNS push button take-down pin made this a non-issue.  I made this one with the included jig and end mill bit, and then went over it again with a different end mill bit with the shank the same size as the cutters to get the cavity width correct.  Both still needed the safety plunger tube to be opened up a bit.

Both of these resulted in particularly nice finished receivers, light, and available in a variety of colors.  I also got an additional black one to try out the fiber laser which is better at detail and results in white engraving.  Although it is not really “engraving”, as it does not remove material but rather causes a chemical reaction which changes the color of the surface material.  This was much more precise for detailed images, although the image came out as a “negative” (white areas in the image were unchanged, so were left black and the black areas in the image were converted to white).  As before, a big plus was that the drilling and milling of the polymer was so much less annoying than forged aluminum.  These receivers, when without the earlier flaws and using an end mill bit with the shank the same diameter as its cutters, are a particularly good choice for either the drill press (included jig) or the preferred router (jig purchased separately) methodology.  And the company provides exceptional support.

Easy Jig Notes

I noticed that when drilling the polymer safety and trigger group pin holes with a hand drill, I was getting aluminum shavings, so if you are going to be doing more than a few receivers with a hand drill, I’d suggest getting the slightly higher priced model with the hardened steel drill guides.  Alternatively, using a drill press for the trigger group holes reduces the wear of the jig side walls significantly.

After I invested in the 5D Tactical Jig, I found that 80percentarms.com came out with the Gen 2 Easy Jig, which seems like it could be strong competition for the 5D jig.  At this point, I don’t think I’ll be buying another jig, and certainly not until it has been out long enough to find and fix any problems it might have.

5D Tactical Jig Notes

I found an alternate jig (5dtactical.com) which seemed to be a significant advance in technology over the Easy Jig, so I tried one.  It was on a sale at the same price as the Easy Jig, and 5D also has a solid steel drill guide upgrade available.  The 5D jig is more involved to assemble initially, but once set up, you can change receivers without complete disassembly.  It seems to hold the receiver better and be a bit more universal.  Except they are length constrained and since the Tennessee Arms receivers have about a 1/16″ longer buffer tube socket, they won’t fit.  I made a simple modification to the jig to allow the receiver to fit.

There are three major differences from standard jigs.  Unlike most others, you don’t follow a template with the shank of the mill bit, but have pins in guide depressions on each side of the cavity.  This means there are greatly reduced chances of cutters impacting the jig, as well as reducing the need to look into the cavity while milling.  Of course, you can only use their end mill bit.  Next, there are only two guide holes to be drilled; a boon when doing forged, and less risky when drilling the trigger hole pilot with a hand drill, although using a drill press is still a much safer option.  Lastly, the end mill bit is special, with a 1/4″ shank to allow use with compact routers, expanding to 5/16″ to allow less flex than thinner bits.  The result is supposed to be more accuracy and a smoother finish.  Maybe so in aluminum, but it left “fuzz” in my polymer trigger cavity.  Still, I found this system easier to use and the cavity was the right size, and a sharp knife took care of the polymer “fuzz” left behind.

 

General Process Notes

In addition to the things which did not quite fit already mentioned, the magazine well on the original second Tennessee Arms receiver was a tight fit.  Because I had so many things which I found “didn’t quite fit” AFTER doing the machining that first time, I suggest you try everything you can BEFORE making the first hole.  Some things you can fix; some you’ll need to return for replacement, and it will be much easier to do that, and waste less of your time, to find anything wrong BEFORE you start cutting.

  

In most of the receivers I tried, the take-down lug pocket was too small and I’ve seen receivers which don’t have this pocket done at all.  I suggest you consider fitting the upper first, as if this operation gets messed up, the receiver may still qualify as “not a firearm” to aid in getting it replaced.  Unless, of course, the take-down lug pocket is not milled out at all and then you’ll need to cut it as part of the first passes milling out the trigger group cavity.

If price is a concern, I’m now finding a complete parts kit, except for the lower receiver and sights, for around $300, which makes a $400 build possible (in early May 2017, at least).  If quality or performance is your goal, you’ll have to spend more, of course.

Assembling an AR-15

Here is a good look at how to assemble a lower:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReUq61aOB90  and here is another using some “makeshift” tools.

As with any specialized task, there are tools which will make things go much easier and are quite advisable.  You may be able to get by with “standard” tools, but the special tools will often work better and have less chance of messing up your parts.  As shown in the video, a special wrench to tighten the buffer tube castle nut is almost required (be aware that the original nut and the modern M4 nut use different wrenches).   You can get a tool which will do just this, or a “combo” AR-15 wrench which will allow you to work on barrels, hand guards and flash hiders as well.  A “receiver” block allows you to mount the receiver in a vise without damage, which is handy when you need two hands for your task and a third hand to hold the receiver.  An inexpensive set by AIM Sports is available from OpticsPlanet for $33.29 (with 10% discount code); including the wrench, lower receiver vise block, sight tool, and upper receiver vise block.  The latter is useful if you are building or modifying your upper, but with this package, it is essentially “free” so there is no harm in getting it and having it on hand; you will probably need it some day if you deal with the AR-15 platform.  It is highly recommended to get a couple of dummy rounds to test feeding safely, and a brightly colored “snap cap” to test the trigger, hammer and disconnector functions.

My Lower Parts Kit (LPK) came in colored bags, which were not labeled.  The color scheme was (from Anderson Manufacturing, at least) yellow for the trigger group, red for the safety and take-down pins, blue for the bolt catch and buffer retainer, and black for the magazine catch, trigger guard and grip screw.  With some exceptions, installation order is up to you.  I installed the safety plunger and grip first, because that was a known problem with my receivers.  Then I installed the trigger group, so that if there are problems with their functioning, they can be addressed without having to remove any other parts.  For instance, in the original drill press receiver, I found that I had a “bump” which kept the trigger from returning, and all I had to do to fix it was remove the trigger and grind off the bump.  The hammer area needed a bit of grinding as well and I did not even need to remove the trigger until the hammer was working, and then only to clean off the chips.  Other than those steps, I went by parts bag, but any sequence which appeals to you is fine as long as you do the safety and grip in the right order, and the buffer tube and take-down pin, and the trigger before the hammer.

Perhaps the most difficult step is installing the bolt latch roll pin.  I use a pair of channel locks to squeeze the pin into the first side and then the rest of the way after the latch is in place and lined up.  This works very well in polymer and seems to work in aluminum adequately (wrap the jaws in tape to prevent scratching).  If you use a punch, cover the side of the receiver with tape to protect from scratches.

Installing the safety with the pin in place is slightly difficult.  First of all, the hammer must be cocked to get the trigger bar out of the way.  Then, back off the screw holding on the grip until it just barely still catches the frame.  This will relieve the tension on the pin to where the safety will easily get past it.  Then, making sure the spring is still in the hole in the grip and in the frame, re-tighten the grip screw.  If you prefer, you can try to push the pin out of the way with a screwdriver and hold it there with an appropriately sized drill bit shank or pin punch while installing the safety past it.  Or (assuming the safety plunger hole is correct), install the safety first and then the plunger, spring and grip.  Once you get it in place, check it’s operation; it will likely be stiff the first few times.  If it does not loosen up enough, you may need to run the 3/8 drill through both sides of the hole to line them up better.

Installing the front pivot pin is tricky; the way which worked for me was to insert the shank end of a 1/4″ drill or pin punch through the holes backwards, to give the detent something to lean against.  Then (while keeping it pointing in a direction where I might be able to find it if it goes flying), I used the pivot pin to push the detent pin flush and then pushed the pivot pin through the pivot holes, displacing the drill bit/punch.  Make sure the detent pin goes in the slot in the pivot pin.  Or avoid this annoyance by using the KNS push button pivot pin which does not use the detent pin or spring.  KNS has versions with a QD socket or sling stud on the far end of the pivot pin, but these should be avoided unless having the sling attachment is more important than easy removal.  Or, too late for me, I found this trick which makes this task much easier.

When installing the magazine catch, screw in the magazine catch until the threaded end is flush or just slightly below the surface of the magazine release button.  You’ll have to push the magazine release button below the surface of the receiver to manage the last couple of turns.

The way the video guy does the take-down pin detent and spring, as well as the buffer tube, seems more difficult than it needs to be.  Again, a KNS push button take down pin will eliminate much of this annoyance.  Otherwise, there is a bit better way to install the buffer tube and the take down pin detent.  Look at the screw end of the buffer tube.  There should be a slightly extended area around the front edge, perhaps with a small notch in the center if it is a carbine stock tube.  The buffer stop pin will come up into this notch to properly index the stock; pistol tubes may not have the notch, in which case, just put the pin near the center of the extended area.  Put on the castle nut, with the big notches facing towards the rear, and run it all the way to the rear.  Place the receiver plate (or a receiver sling mount plate) over the tube, with the prong in the groove in the buffer tube threads, and the bump on the plate facing forward to match up with the hole in the receiver.  WITHOUT the buffer or spring installed, screw the tube in until the extended edge is right before the edge of the buffer stop hole.  Put the buffer stop spring in the hole, and then put the buffer stop over the spring.  Depress it until the wide part is below the edge of the buffer tube, and screw the buffer tube in until the extended area nearly touches the small pin.  If there is a notch for the buffer stop pin to go into, use a screwdriver or punch to push the buffer stop completely below the buffer tube and tighten the tube until the stop pin is just past where it would spring up into the notch or past the center of the extended area.  This should allow access to the take-down pin detent hole; install the take-down pin, take-down pin detent pin and take-down pin detent pin spring, making sure the detent pin goes into the groove in the take-down pin.  Rotate the buffer tube back to its final position with the receiver plate over the spring, and the stop pin snapped into the notch, if any.  Push the receiver plate against the receiver to hold the take-down stop pin spring in place and tighten the castle nut finger tight.  With the hammer cocked, insert the mainspring and then the buffer and push it in until it passes over the buffer stop pin (using a small screwdriver to depress the stop pin if needed), then let it out until it contacts the stop pin.  Use the correct wrench to torque down the castle nut.

To attach an upper, pull out the pivot pin and take-down pin until they stop (KNS push button pins are completely removed), then put the front lug of the upper between the two receiver lugs, and push the pivot pin through.  Rotate the upper down until you can push the takedown pin through.

Staking

There are two areas of the AR-15 design where things can work themselves loose and lock up the firearm, or worse, cause damage or injury.  One of these is the bolt key.  This transitions gas from the gas tube system into the bolt, so there cannot be any gap between the bolt key and the bolt itself.  The key is fastened to the bolt with two screws, which if they back out, leaves a gap for gas to escape or the extended screws can even mechanically lock up the bolt.  Unfortunately, this area gets too hot for Loc-Tite to be an option.  The other place is the castle nut which holds the buffer tube in place.  If this backs off, then the buffer tube can unscrew which disables the firearm or can even result in an explosion.  The solution to both these problems is called “staking”, where some metal around the threaded object is “mushed” into the object, locking it in place.  Doing this to the bolt key is beyond the scope of this article, since I suggest you get a complete BCG (Bolt Carrier Group).  As for how to stake the castle nut, see this video.  Don’t worry; this staking is not truly permanent.  Alternatively, there are a few places offering “enhanced” castle nuts which incorporate a set screw to lock them in place.

Verification

Check all functions

– Magazine insertion and catch

– Magazine release and removal (falls free)

– Cycle with no magazine (bolt is NOT held back)

– Cycle when magazine is empty (bolt is held back)

– Insert magazine with round(s) and test bolt release (DUMMY ROUNDS for safety and hammer does NOT fall)

– Cycle with magazine not empty (DUMMY ROUNDs for safety)

– Ejection of last dummy round (chamber the SNAP CAP for safety for the next steps)

– Trigger function with safety on (hammer does NOT fall)

– Safety off after pulling and releasing trigger with safety on (hammer does NOT fall)

– Trigger function with safety off (Double check that the SNAP CAP is in the chamber first and there is NO MAGAZINE installed. the hammer should fall) DO NOT RELEASE THE TRIGGER

– With the trigger still pulled, and the hammer still down, cycle the action (hammer should NOT fall)

– IMMEDIATELY (so there is no chance for a live round to sneak in) release the trigger and pull it again (the hammer should fall)

Head Space

The concept of any firearm is that there is an explosion behind a projectile, and that explosion is contained in every direction except for the direction in which the projectile is intended to go.  This has two benefits: all the energy of the explosion is used to propel the projectile, and none of the energy is used to damage the firearm or the person using the firearm.  Any firearm which uses “rimless” ammunition has something which prevents a round of ammunition from falling or being pushed “too far” into the barrel.  It may be a “ledge” to catch the rim of a straight walled cartridge such as the 9mm, or it could be some place on the bottleneck area common to many rifle cartridges such as the .223 or 7.62×39.  There is a “measure” of the distance between this “stop” and the rear of the cartridge chamber (usually the bolt face), called “head space”.

  

Why would you care?  Well, if you have fired a firearm, and it did not blow up in your face, and the ejected casing is in good enough shape to be reloaded (that is, not cracked or significantly deformed), then your head space is probably fine.  Since the firearm blowing up in your face, known as “destructive testing”, is not a preferred test methodology, it is wise to verify the head space of a firearm which has never been fired, and even one which has never been fired by you, before firing it (or taking possession).

The way to do this is with a set of “head space gauges”.  This consists of a “GO” gauge, which verifies that the head space is at least the specified minimum distance, by allowing the bolt to close on the gauge.  If the bolt does NOT close on a GO gauge, the head space is too short, and there will be a gap between the chamber and the bolt, which would not be good.  Never fire such a firearm.  If you don’t have a GO gauge, use an accurate dummy round, or with great care, an actual round.  Next is a “NO GO” gauge, which if the bolt closes with it chambered, indicates the head space is longer than the specified maximum.  This is not necessarily immediately unsafe, but it likely will result in unreliable ignition, firing pin damage and/or the empty casings being too stressed to be reloaded a usual number of times.  There is a third gauge, call a “FIELD” gauge, which is the maximum SAFE head space.  Never fire a firearm whose bolt will close on the FIELD gauge, and have at least the FIELD gauge for each caliber you plan to use a lot.  The head space can change on a firearm during it’s lifetime of use.

The easiest time to measure head space is before you install the barrel; otherwise, remove the upper from the lower to make it easier (and safer).  Everybody tells you to take out the ejector, and many say to take out the extractor as well, and that is definitely the “best” process.  But it is a pain and appears to not really be necessary (if your gauge has an extractor groove).  I put in the gauge, push the bolt forward just far enough for the extractor to click into its groove, pull the bolt out slightly (using the charge handle), then test as normal.  Just be careful when pulling the bolt out, because the gauge going flying across the room would be problematic in several ways.

How Did It Work?

The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the shooting.  After finally finding a rifle range which had not been closed down and was not a couple hours drive away, I put the newly created firearms through their paces.  First thing I learned was LUBRICATE the bolt; the first one locked up after only a few shots and took rather a lot of effort to free up.  Second was to make sure you have the correct tools necessary to adjust the sights, because they were all way off, and without the tools, stayed that way.  The firearm which locked up also seemed to have something wrong with the lock up (later swapping the BCG with another seems to have fixed it), but the other two firearms fired and functioned flawlessly (they were lubricated after the annoyance with the first one).  Not too shabby for something I made with ‘household” tools.

Oh, and if you fire 30 rounds quickly, these firearms get REALLY warm.  I even slightly burned myself on something in the handguard area of one; I looked for what it was I touched, but it had quickly cooled off to where I could not find it.

Conclusions

Given current laws and technology, this is a real option for those who are interested in acquiring a firearm without the concerns that the information they provide to the government will come back to bite them someday and/or people who like doing things like this.  Just be aware of all the current and potential future ramifications of taking this option.  As for methodology, of the two most common, the router is better.  The drill press can work (quite well for polymer), but it is just not as effective as the router in aluminum.  Plus getting the right depth of final cut is more trial and (hopefully) not error.  Whichever way you choose, the key to success is a good jig and a specialized end mill bit (short cutting area and shank the same size as the cutters), as well as lots of patience

As for receiver types, the polymer ones CAN be very satisfactory.  I’d be reluctant to trust one which did not have metal reinforcement.  The forged ones are just as nice in appearance and functionality, but they are a royal pain to machine.  If I were ever to do another aluminum receiver, I’d try a billet and pray it was less tedious than the forged.

This completes the process of building your own AR-15, or at least one such process.

The post Building Your Own Firearm (Part 6 – Assembling and Testing the AR-15) appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Forbes Says Self-Reliant Homesteaders Are “Delusional” and “Mooching” Off “Civil Society”

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It’s always interesting reading when someone smug and sanctimonious writes a clueless diatribe about another group of people being smug and sanctimonious. So when I saw that an economist for … Read the rest

The post Forbes Says Self-Reliant Homesteaders Are “Delusional” and “Mooching” Off “Civil Society” appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Things Just Got a Little Sweeter!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: As you know we are always looking for new ideas, new innovations and being better prepared for what Mother Nature or our fellow planet inhabitants may throw our way. We’d like to hear about and share things that work, and we especially would like to hear about things that did not work. 

So from today forward we are going to sweeten the pot a bit. If we post your article you will receive a $25 PayPal payment. Yes, this is addition to being entered in our Preppers Journal Writing Contest for the chance to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, so contribute and enter today!

 

The post Things Just Got a Little Sweeter! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Why Hawaii Might Be The Worst Place To Live If The SHTF

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As North Korea’s missile program continues to advance by leaps and bounds, and as the regime’s threats to the US become more aggressive, there’s growing concern that states like Hawaii and Alaska could be targeted with nuclear weapons someday.

It’s an understandable fear, considering the fact that these states are so much closer to North Korea. It’s not clear if the famously isolated nation will ever be able to target the mainland, but it seems very likely that they could at least strike a state like Hawaii in the near future.

That’s why Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency recently released a statement that informs residents of the state on what they should do in case they come under nuclear attack.

Citizens of Hawaii are advised to look out for emergency sirens, alerts, wireless notifications, or flashes of “brilliant white light” that will indicate that a nuclear detonation is incoming or underway. 

From there, the agency instructs citizens to get indoors, stay indoors, and stay tuned via radio as “cell phone, television, radio and internet services will be severely disrupted or unavailable.” Instead, expect only local radio stations to survive and function. 

If indoors, citizens should avoid windows. If driving, citizens should pull off the road to allow emergency vehicles access to population centers. Once inside, Hawaiians should not leave home until instructed to or for two full weeks, as dangerous nuclear fallout could sicken or kill them. 

The guide also informs Hawaiian residents that water and electrical utilities will likely be disrupted and that they should remain sheltered for up to two weeks. After that, they may be able to leave their homes to search for “food, water, and medical care.”

All of which brings up an important question. How should Hawaiians be preparing for major disasters, like nuclear war or an EMP? It’s a question that isn’t brought up very often in the prepper community, but it should be. The islands are home to nearly 1.5 million people, most of whom reside on Oahu, a densely populated island that is half the size of Rhode Island.

The people living there would have problems that would be daunting to most preppers living in the mainland. If you were stuck in a major city during an event that destroyed society, you would at least have a chance at escaping on foot. Hawaiians don’t have that option. If they were cut off from the outside world, they would have nowhere to flee to. They would be stuck on an island chain that has to import the vast majority of its food, and pretty much all of its fuel. So Hawaiians need all of the weapons, tools, and supplies that most preppers need, but they need more of it. Here’s a short list of what Hawaiian preppers need to consider:

  • They need to stock up on a lot of food. After a major disaster, it could be much harder for the US government to provide relief efforts to islands that are thousands of miles away from the mainland. That difficulty would be multiplied if Oahu’s harbors were damaged in any way.
  • Fuel would be scarce for the same reasons why food would be hard to come by. Hawaii is pretty much 100% dependent on imported oil. It would be wise for Preppers in this state to buy solar panels and stock up on propane.
  • Water would be another major issue. Hawaiians rely almost entirely on underground aquifers for their water needs, which probably aren’t too easy for most urban dwellers to reach. There are a few rivers, but they aren’t very substantial. While most preppers know that they should have some kind of water filtration device, it would be a good idea for Hawaiian preppers to have a water desalination kit, as well as a rainwater collection system.
  • Anyone with a sailboat would have a huge advantage. They could catch fish, or flee from densely populated places like Oahu, and head toward some of the other islands. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be a very affordable option for most Hawaiians.
  • Of course, the biggest challenge that most Hawaiians in Oahu would have to worry about is space. Hawaii has the most expensive real estate in any state, so most people don’t have sizeable homes. So while Hawaiians would need to stock up on more supplies than people living in the mainland, they have less space to work with.

Here is a list of 100 items that disappear first in a disaster

In the event of a massive disaster, Hawaii could be cut off from the rest of the world for a very long time. The people there would be left to their own devices in a place that simply cannot sustain their population, and there would be no way for most people to bug out. And to top it all off, most people don’t have enough living space to properly prep for that scenario. It would be a nightmare.

Though most people think of luxury and relaxation when the subject of Hawaii comes up, in reality, the people living there may have the most difficult time preparing for the possibility of social collapse. Maybe that’s why the prepping community doesn’t talk about this state very often.

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

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Zip Ties Can Be Used In A Survival Scenario

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Zip ties help in times of emergencies and are a great addition to any survival kit. Anytime you go out camping or fishing or hiking up the mountains take your survival kit along. Choose ties made of plastic as they are very cheap. These tiny tools will occupy a very small space in your kit … Read more…

The post How Zip Ties Can Be Used In A Survival Scenario was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

How to Use an Analog Watch as A Compass?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

A compass is an essential orienting tool that helps us understand the position we are in. However, during a trip to the mountains, for example, it can easily happen to find ourselves lost and without a compass at hand.

In the technological world we live in, this wouldn’t even be a problem if we could rely on the use of our mobile’s GPS to get out of the situation. The only problem is that in the most remote areas mobile operators rarely provide coverage, therefore relying on technology is not always the best solution.

On the other hand, the phone’s battery can easily drain out and you might just find yourself in the middle of nowhere, having to use the traditional methods to survive.

For this reason, it is essential to learn how to use the cardinal points for guidance, and it is even more important to learn how to find North and South without a compass.

Fortunately, a simple analog watch can help you find true North, or South as a matter of fact, in just a few moments. Thanks to this convenient and efficient method, you will be able to find your direction without hassle, therefore this certainly is an important survival skill you should know.

 

How to Use an Analog Watch as a Compass in The Northern Hemisphere?

  

There are two methods you can use to determine the cardinal points and the direction. Pick your favorite and learn it before heading on your next adventure. And just as a note, if you don’t have an analog watch, you can still use a digital watch as a compass by simply estimating the position of the hour hand and markings on the dial.

Both methods require:

  • An analog watch
  • Basic mathematics knowledge
  • The determination of the position of the sun

First Method:

  1. Read the time in the standard military time (24-hours format).
  2. Divide by two the hours marked by your watch. For example, if the time is 8 o’clock in the morning, you get number 4; if it’s 8 in the evening, the hour that corresponds to 20 in the standard military time, you get number 10.
  3. Draw an imaginary line corresponding to the hour you got from the previous calculation, just like an imaginary hand of the watch is indicating that hour, for instance, 4 or 10 o’clock according to our example.
  4. Holding the watch in the palm of your hand and parallel to the ground, point the imaginary line in the direction of the sun, to the point of the horizon where the sun projects its light vertically.
  5. With the watch in this position, the 12 o’clock marking of your watch will point North, therefore 6 will correspond to the South, while 3 and 9 will correspond to East and respectively West.

Second Method:

This method is probably the simplest to remember and easiest to use, but you will have to remember to subtract an hour during the Daylight Saving Time if you want to make an accurate determination.

  1. Read the current time, remembering to subtract one hour during Daylight Saving Time period.
  2. Holding the watch in the palm of your hand, horizontally and parallel to the ground, point the hour hand to the point of the horizon where the sun projects its light vertically. If you are unsure where this point is, place a straight stick above the center of the watch to create a shadow and align the hour hand to the shadow, pointing towards the sun.
  3. Bisect the angle between 12 o’clock and the hour hand. The imaginary bisector line will point towards South, therefore North is in the opposite direction.

The angle between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock should be measured clockwise before noon and counterclockwise in the afternoon.

Of course, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, you will have to adopt a different approach.

How to Use an Analog Watch as a Compass in The Southern Hemisphere?

The sun has a different orientation in the two hemispheres, and for this reason, you will not be able to use the same method everywhere in the world. But don’t worry, there is only one essential difference you will have to take into account.

The difference is that in the Southern Hemisphere you will have to use the 12 o’clock marking to point in the direction of the sun instead of the hour hand. Therefore:

  1. Point the 12 o’clock hour marking towards the sun. If you have problems in finding the exact position of the sun, you can use the same trick of the shadow described previously.
  2. Just as if you were in the Northern Hemisphere, bisect the angle between 12 o’clock and the hour hand. This imaginary line indicates North, therefore the opposite direction indicates South.

This method also requires you to subtract an hour when your watch is set to the Daylight Saving Time period, and in this case, you can use the 1 o’clock marking instead of 12 o’clock.

How to Determine in Which Hemisphere You Are in?

It might seem odd having to determine the hemisphere you’re in, but in some cases, it is impossible to know the geographic location in which one is lost. The simplest way to determine the hemisphere is with a map.

Nevertheless, in extreme survival situations, for instance, if your boat is lost in the middle of the ocean, a map is not always useful.

The easy way to determine the hemisphere is by trying to find the North Star, officially named Polaris, on the sky.

To find Polaris, the first step is to find Ursa Major constellation. This constellation is one of the most popular and it is more commonly known under the name the Big Dipper. Once you found it, draw an imaginary line between the two front stars of the constellation and continue it upwards to the next bright star. This star is Polaris.

To check if you found the right star, remember that Polaris is part of the Ursa Minor or Little Dipper and it is the last of the three stars that form the tail (or handle) of the constellation. Ursa Minor and subsequently Polaris are visible in the Northern Hemisphere all year long but they are not visible from the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, if you can find Polaris you are in the Northern Hemisphere.

As a consequence, you are in the Southern Hemisphere if you are unable to see Ursa Minor constellation. In fact, you will probably not be able to see Ursa Major either, as it is only partially visible.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for a confirmation, you can try to find the Southern Cross constellation instead. Present on the flags of New Zealand and Australia, this constellation indicates the Southern Celestial Pole and it is visible in the Southern Hemisphere all year round.

However, unlike the Ursa Minor, the Southern Cross is also visible from the Northern Hemisphere for a few months a year, therefore always try to find Polaris first and use the Southern Cross constellation only as confirmation.

How Accurate Is This Method?

Although using an analog watch as a compass will give you a good understanding of the directions, the method is not entirely accurate.

The reason is simple. The day is made of 24 hours, time in which the sun moves on the horizon. However, the dial of a watch has only 12-hours marks instead of 24, therefore the hour hand must make two full quadrant turns in the time in which the sun completes an entire circle. This causes the alteration of the measurement when the cosmic horizon and cosmic equator are not the same.

The equator and the horizon only coincide at the Poles of the Earth, therefore it is easy to understand that in all the other points the direction indicated by your watch will be slightly different than the real North or South.

Correcting this error is possible but it is rather complicated and in most of the cases, especially when you’re struggling to arrive at a source of water, it’s just not worth it. If you really want to try to find the real North, you will need to know the co-latitude of the place where you are.

In the Northern Hemisphere, after finding North as described in the second method, turn the watch so that the 12 o’clock mark is pointing towards it. Draw a virtual line between the hours three and nine and use this line to lower the 12 o’clock mark to the co-latitude of the place.

Now, rotate the 3-9 line on a horizontal plane, pointing it in the direction of the sun. The 12 o’clock mark will now point towards the real geographic North.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the method is the same but remember to use the hour hand as an indicator instead of 12 o’clock marking.

Whether you wish to correct the orienting error or not, remember that knowing how to use an analog watch as a compass can certainly save your life.

The post How to Use an Analog Watch as A Compass? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Preparing Your Household for Drought

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Whether you believe in climate change or not (there are many out there who don’t), you and your family will have to deal with natural phenomena at one point in your lives. One of those phenomena is drought, which is defined simply as the absence or lack of water for an extended period of time, … Read more…

The post Preparing Your Household for Drought was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

What is Your Prepper Resume?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Another contribution from Xavier, much appreciated. 

 

After the SHTF and it stops falling from the sky and you’re alone, where will you go? Will you be a lone wolf or a member of a community of friends? What is your backup plan if you need to join a community of strangers? What will you bring to the table? How can you convince a group to take you on as a member? How do you sell yourself? Most preppers think about hoarding supplies, bugging in, and riding out the storm in their basement; but the fact is, accumulated skills are more important than what you can carry with you in a backpack. Not to mention, the chance of survival in groups can be multitudes higher than trying to go solo. There are a myriad of skills that are helpful in our current world, but if we’re in a world WROL, certain skills stand out, presenting value in a long-term survival situation.

Let’s discuss an obvious one first: marksmanship. Proficiency with a rifle, pistol or shotgun are important for community defense and hunting. This is a cornerstone of most preppers’ repertoire, and while definitely a skill to not ignore, it simply doesn’t stand out when petitioning to join a community. More likely than not, this role is already filled by some of the existing members. However, if you contain a high aptitude such as long range shooting, or you’re carrying a rare weapon such as an automatic machine gun, you carry more value. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t develop your marksmanship, but you’d better bring your A-game if you want to impress the survivalist community. If you don’t have any experience in this area, here’s how to start: go buy a .22LR rifle and get to the range in your area. .22 is cheap to shoot and won’t bruise your shoulder with recoil. I’m partial to the Ruger 10/22, it was my first gun. Practice progressively from 10 meters up to 100 meters. Focus on your breathing and trigger pulls. Be in control. Next, grab a .22lr pistol, it’ll use the same ammo from your rifle making logistics simpler. Practice from 3 meters out to about 10 meters. Again, focus on your breathing and trigger control. Now buy a 12 or 20-gauge shotgun along with a bunch of bird shot (#7 – #9) and go to a range and shoot a trap course. If you’ve done these three things and consider yourself proficient, I won’t have to tell you what to do next, you’ll know.

If you’re particularly adept at harvesting and gardening, you have more value than the average Joe. The majority of American’s experience gardening is an herb set they keep in their windowsill. The clear majority are clueless when it comes to growing a backyard tomato garden. Knowing when to plant, when to harvest, and which plants complement each other is of great value for a long-term survival situation. I’d estimate that more often than not, preppers have at least dabbled in this area and therefore you’d really have to set yourself apart to showcase value. One way to do so is to show an ability to handle livestock or even raise chickens. Fewer preppers have had the opportunity to raise live animals. This is an excellent way to demonstrate worth. If you’re green in this area, start small and work up progressively. Grow some potted basil, mint, or other herbs in your windowsill. If you’ve got the space, plant a few low maintenance vegetables. You’ll maybe have more success buying pre-planted pots and transferring them, but you can be successful on your first try with seed, I was. Easy varieties could include cucumbers or tomatoes. Learn about the climate in your area, frost dates, and soil mixtures for your chosen veggie. Find out the do’s and dont’s of watering plants, if and how you should prune your plants, and how to harvest. Find out which plants go well together, and which can’t be planted in the same place in subsequent years. What kind of fertilizer should you be using, Epsom salt or egg shells? If you don’t have space at your apartment, find a community garden, or grow indoors with an aquaponic system. Learn now, or be hungry later.

Household skills such as cooking, cleaning, mending, etc. aren’t particularly flashy skills to have, but they are the lifeblood of a camp, second only to perimeter security. It’s the monotonous day to day tasks that keep things running, and it’s a task that often rotated among members of a group, perhaps taking them away from a skill they’re more adept at. Peeling potatoes or replacing buttons on a jacket won’t make you stand out, but having minimal skills in this area demonstrate that you won’t be a complete burden to the community and can contribute a warm body to the day to day mundane tasks. If you’re an adult and don’t have basic skills in this area, re-evaluate your entire lifestyle, now! Enroll in a cooking class, join a sewing club, and practice at home. Understand that while you may do all of these tasks now, after the crash there will be additional challenges and inconveniences. There will be no washer and dryer to just throw your clothes in and select a spin cycle, and likely no running water at all. You’ll be cooking over an open flame, and it’ll be orange, not blue. How will you spice up a dish that you and your family have eaten for the past four days in a row to make it more palpable, especially with kids?

Can you re-purpose torn jeans into something useful? How about curing meats or canning food for less prosperous months? Do you know how to make candles and soap? Get these skills under your belt sooner rather than later.

Medical skills don’t even need to be presented here as an encouragement to augment your skill set. Skills encompassing first aid such as CPR, basic wound care, trauma wound care, emergency pharmaceutical treatment should be within the capability of any long-term survival camp. Knowing how to place emergency sutures or inserting an airway on an unconscious patient are lifesaving techniques. The knowledge of how to place a tourniquet, control a fever or reduce inflammation are essential skills. Even something as simple as a bug bite or small cut can become deadly or debilitating if not treated properly. Start at the local Red-Cross, they offer many free classes. CPR and first aid being first in your arsenal of medical skills. See if there is a CERT program active in your area, as they offer additional skills relating to disaster relief such as trauma care and triaging procedures. Find a pharmacy technician course, a phlebotomy course; enroll in a nursing program. They’re not cheap, but often value can’t be accurately measured in fiat currency. You’ll hopefully learn the difference between many common painkillers, some drug interactions to avoid, how to start an IV, and how to place sutures, among other awesome skills. If you can find an EMT level 1 course in your area, take it! Being highly proficient with medical skills would almost guarantee you a place in the ranks.

Being good with your hands with mechanical or handyman skills will serve you well in long term survival situations. Keeping small machinery running such as generators, motorcycles, quads, and larger diesel tractors should be an easy sell for a community lacking in such a person, but two is one and one is none. Knowing how to construct or repair buildings, build solar generators or properly put up a fence can make all the difference in not only comfort, but survival. Don’t kid yourself about your own abilities when it hits the fan, but putting up picture frames on the wall or putting together Ikea furniture isn’t going to cut it. This is a broad subject to jump into, so find something that interests you. Build a small solar farm at your house and use it to power your entertainment system and charge your electronics, or as a backup on your fridge in case your grid power is lost. Build a custom frame for your solar panels out of wood. Construct raised beds for a garden in your backyard. Run plumbing for that new garden you’re building, and a rain collection and water filtration system while you’re at it.

Change the oil in your car, and rotate the tires yourself. Brakes squealing? Change your pads and perhaps the rotors. Get your hands dirty. You’ll appreciate the callouses later.

Those practiced at communications hold an often undervalued position in a WROL situation. Communications include both those with skills around radio communication such as HAM, CB, and GMRS, but also those who have proficiency in a foreign language. This latter skill, is often overlooked and can prove extremely valuable for processing information discovered via the former. Those listening to shortwave or HAM radio months after a collapse may receive broadcasts in a language other than English. Encountering other groups after the fall can lead to potential conflict if there isn’t a mutual understanding between the two groups. This is particularly important if the camp is proximate to a border. Examples would be those groups near the southern border of the United States having a Spanish speaker among them, and those near the northern border having a French speaker. If you studied some Spanish or French in high school, start brushing up on it now. If not, enroll in a class at your local community college, or there are even free online courses. Pick a language that will be likely to have value in your area or that are likely to be encountered. Spanish, French, Chinese(Mandarin), Arabic, and Russian are common additional languages to adopt that can be put into play when listening to international radio; all of them (plus English), being the official languages adopted by the United Nations. For radio communications, grab a CB radio and take it with you in the car and practice. See how far the waves travel on the open road vs in a city, and what antenna positions give you a better signal. Grab FRS radios and learn the limitations of these types of radios as you play in the park with your kids. Getting your Amateur Radio technician class and general class will open up a whole world for you. Learn Morse code. Information is power. Redundancy in all skill sets is mandatory for survival of a community. Any downtime of members in an organization should be spent cross-training in other areas to make the group more well-rounded and resilient in case of a catastrophe. While the Internet and YouTube are still around, soak in as much information as you can, as this resource won’t be around when you need it after the crash.

More important than passively learning, is applying it in practice. Learn from mistakes now while you have a safety net. Consider building yourself a prepper library, with books on these skills mentioned, and more. They’ll survive an EMP, can help fill in the gaps in knowledge and make passing on skills to new members simpler. Never stop improving yourself in case you find yourself sitting for an interview to survive.

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28 Long Term Wilderness Survival Tips from the Alone Show

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28 Long Term Wilderness Survival Tips from the Alone Show If you must watch network television or television at all the show Alone is a very interesting one. It is about as legit as survival shows get. Besides weekly contact to take weight and vitals these survivors are on their own all the time. This …

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Selecting Crops for Survival Gardens

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

 Editor’s Note: Another outstanding entry from one of our regular and trusted contributors to The Prepper Journal. And, as always, 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.

Whether it’s a survival garden or a small-space hobby plot and pots, the concept of producing “high value” crops periodically comes up. That term can be a little bit of a moving target, with a number of variables factoring in. Our growing season, desire for calories or balancing our stored staples with vitamin-rich foods, the amount of space we have in our plots or pots, the neediness of various plants, and other aspects all come into consideration. In an entirely different vein, we might highly value crops like teff (Williams’ lovegrass), yams, amaranth, and some of the perennials and wild edibles because they look less like a food item to most of the country, regardless of effort or yield-per-acre, or because they’re extremely drought or cold tolerant. However, we define value, we want to get the most for our efforts.

Most Common Factors in “Value”

   

One of the primary factors in value for survival growers is the calorie density – per plant or per space or per week http://www.gardeningplaces.com/articles/charts/World-Staple-Crops-2009.png. Value is also seen as the total bulk for filling bellies by square foot or week, with calories only a secondary or tertiary concern. There’s also a current-cash-value or equivalent-to-cash-value that might come into play.

Staples like wheat, corn or potatoes all have significant calories per square foot or acre, and in the case of potatoes, per plant. Protein from crops versus livestock – and livestock’s feed needs – also merits consideration, large scale or backyard or condo/apartment dweller. Rabbits are quiet, cheap to feed, and need little space, but if we have the land, the protein and calorie boosts from eating closer to the bottom of the food chain may be more attractive.

Yellow squash and tomatoes can yield incredible amounts per plant. Cut-and-come-again salads can also yield enormous bulk over their cool seasons. However, they contribute little in the way of calories, and their value as a belly filler is limited by the fact that they really don’t keep you feeling full long the way high-fiber whole grains and proteins do.

Cash value might be split along the exact same lines – what can fill our bellies, for the price of seed or starts, or can eliminate buying the calorie staples in our diets. However, cash value is usually looking more at the price the crops can be purchased for or sold for instead of their nutrient or calorie yields.

Our calorie staples are some of the cheapest things in the supermarket. There’s a reason beans, rice and wheat are staples in low-budget diets, and why we see so much oatmeal, rice, and noodles in prepared storage foods.

If we’re augmenting calorie-dense foods that are stocked wide and deep in our pantries, our choices will be different than if we were truly trying to become self-sufficient and produce our staple beans and grains.

  

Space & Season Constraints

Our land space also affects just how reasonable an effort it would be to devote portions to those beans and grains, compared to storing the staples and growing vitamins and minerals to go along with them. The value we place on different crops changes the less we have, as well as where our soil is located.

Even a small suburban or urban gardener might be able to plant a 10 x 100’ stretch of wheat or barley that will yield 40-50 pounds off 6-8 pounds of seed.

With only windows and balconies or patios, a lot of the staple grains and even the dry beans for storage come off the table due to both the soil footprint they occupy and the amount of time they’ll need that soil. They’d do better to focus on storing the staples and growing either fast crops that can be quickly rotated and yield reasonable amounts even in a small space, or indeterminate tomatoes and summer squashes that offer the same regular, constant yields over a long period.

To get the same amount of staple crops as I do in my USDA Zone 7 with its seven frost-free months, a cold-climate grower needs to put more land into production than I do.

I can rotate even two long-growing crops into the same fields, pots and beds over the season, after and before additional cool-season crops. Somebody with 3-5 frost-free (or freeze-free) months has only the potential of greens, beets, radishes and turnips ahead of and behind their single main “warm” crop.

If that cold-climate grower doesn’t have the ability to start peppers and tomatoes indoors and has limited cold frames or greenhouse space, they might skip them entirely, or go for a much smaller, determinate variety and prune it to a single stalk very early in the season. They’d also potentially skip sweet potatoes and corn in favor of a Russian potato, barley or rye.

Because of our seasons, and the amount of space we have or would need to impact our food supply, the crops we value most – for their reliability and for their impact to calories, nutrients and “treats” – change.

Likewise, a small-space grower may eschew a long-growing plant like broccoli with one primary head and some smaller shoots or a ball cabbage in favor of the half-a-dozen or more Oriental cabbages they can produce in the same space and half to two-thirds the time.

Knowing the yields we can expect – tracked from our own properties and methods, not just the averages some put together http://www.ufseeds.com/Crop-Calculators.html — can help us significantly in deciding what crops hold the most value, and where we want to focus our storage versus our production.

    

Image: Neediness like cold sensitivity, high water & nutrient needs, and pest and disease inclined plants such as tomatoes, squash and sweet potatoes can affect how “valuable” a crop is compared to hardier veggies, grains or beans.

Other Factors – Health & Inputs

The effort we’re going to have to put into our crops can also change the value, and what we consider valuable for now and us, or for others and “after”.

Crops that are nutrient hungry, water intensive, and-or labor intensive might not be a great idea for our hand-cultivated garden in a busy life. The reverse is that those crops already or will have a higher trade or “treat” value than easy basics.

For some areas, potatoes and sweet potatoes are relatively easy to carry over through the winter, then start for “slips” that will be transferred to the garden or “calloused” into seed potatoes that are planted. For some areas, however, cellars are out of the question and it’s tougher to get those tubers and roots through the winter. Their value as an easy-handling staple or as a special treat vary by location.

Similarly, crops like tomatoes that need specific processes to collect their seeds and then tend to be potted inside and transplanted up, then out, could be considered high-labor. Carrots and cabbages that need a two-year cycle to produce seed would be considered needy in regards to the space they’re going to occupy so we can collect seeds to re-plant again.

Crops that are susceptible to pests and diseases, or that need regular weekly pruning would be considered either high labor or high input, especially if we have to stock the cures because we don’t have any natural production methods or plants that can prevent or cure the diseases. Tomatoes fall into that category, too, as do many of the most common North American tree fruits like plums, peaches and even some of the apple species.

In some definitions, the effort increases their value. However, on a survival level, they’d drop in value due to all the effort they require during a period we’re presumably already pretty tapped out.

 

Storage Considerations

Given our busy lives now and the labor we can expect in a disaster, we might also assign a high value to crops that go right from field to rack or bin or cellar instead of needing to be processed for storage or consumed quickly.

This can be seen in the difference in counter top/shed and fridge/cellar shelf lives of cut leaf lettuce, a melon or soft-skinned pattypan squash or zucchini, and cabbage or thick-skinned autumn squashes.

Softer, early-season, sweet-fleshed apples that will store for a few weeks or so straight off a tree have value in immediate foods and nice “to go” food value. They’ll sit somewhere – anywhere – a lot longer than peaches, berries or plums.

However, we will be processing them for drying, cider, or canning relatively soon, and typically during a very busy agricultural season that is racing our needs to replenish winter heating and cooking fuels, and the need to take advantage of summer and early autumn fishing, hunting and livestock harvesting.

With that kind of rush, we might place a great deal of value on one of the hard cider, baking or heirloom apples specifically meant to sit somewhere for months that we can harvest, inspect, crate, and stack in underground pits or our crawlspace or cellar, then come back to for additional processing after frosts, ice or snow have killed off some of their time competitors.

      

Image: Crops that need minimal processing for storage may gain in value. 

It can also be seen in the different processing effort and time needed for the calorie-base beans and grains.

Starchy flour and popcorn corns take some work to husk. It’s a different type of labor than threshing wheat or oats. Hull-less and beardless grains, pseudo-grains like amaranth and quinoa that either rinse or only need winnowed, and beans or field peas that are readily separated from dry hulls all take far less work than heirloom North American grains.

Those in turn take a lot less labor and-or inputs like water for processing than some of the African grains like millet and teff, although other factors may make the more labor-intensive processing more attractive, since there’s a flood-resistant millet for pretty much every single soil and teff is one of the fastest grains, grows well even on played-out soils, and also makes good hay.

Teff is also one of the few grains that will handle a fast-pass graze that leaves 4-8” of stalk without any impact to its grain yield later. If we have livestock, especially birds, those hard round grains won’t be getting milled at all, or will only need cracked or to be sprouted, so the labor we’re going to put in post-harvest becomes partly or entirely nullified.

      

Image: The inclusion of small livestock in our survival garden can change the labor and input needs of crops, while creating a different set of needs and yields.

Factoring Value

There is no one be-all list of high-value crops, because we’re all different. There is only one constant, one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to producing food – get started.

Space, time, effort, season length, and plant neediness all affect which crops have the most value for us. Our growing style(s) impact how much work we can get done and how densely we can plant, as well as how many “outside” inputs our veggies and staples need.

The term “value” itself changes. There is value in being able to produce our base calorie staples, but there is also value in having those rainbow “diet food” veggies that are packed with nutrients. If we’re in “thrive” with a community around us, there is a great deal of value in producing sugar crops like stevia or beets, or tobacco, tea camellia, and caffeine-loaded yaupon.

There is enormous value to self-sufficiency in learning to produce and stocking extra seed for oil crops such as peanuts or canola/rape http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-between-canola-and-rapeseed-206047. Sunflowers for animal feed and for oil http://www.survivopedia.com/how-to-make-vegetable-oil/ are another that might have incredible value both for today’s self-sufficiency and after a disaster – even a “lower” major disaster on the scale of the Great Depression or Venezuela’s recent issues.

The presence of livestock may alleviate one need or input, lower some labor, and allow us to value a different crop, or focus on staples and veggies over oil crops.

There’s nothing wrong with going ahead and stocking seeds we don’t plan to use “unless”, but we can apply the factors in value there, too.

We might as well stock seeds for things that have one high value or another for those times when we can trade them out, take over curbside grass swatches and neighboring fields, and uproot city parks and stadiums. Knowing what a crop requires to go from seed to seed lets us stock wisely.

In the end, we each have to decide for ourselves which crops to focus on, from our storage totes on fire escapes and bottle towers in windows, to our triple-digit acreage in the Redoubt or South Texas. Knowing the factors that apply can help us make those decisions.

 

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Economic Security Equals Personal Security. F.O.A.A.

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Not in Australia it wouldn’t, “she’ll be right mate” !!!!!!!


Economic Security Equals Personal Security.

By Ron | General

WHY DO WE HAVE STARVATION IN A LAND OF PLENTY?

As this site is concerned with our Freedoms, our Rights and our Security, its time to take a broader brush and give a lot of thought to our Economic Security.

Why do we have an economic system that turns the government into an end, instead of a means, and the individual into a means instead of an end?

What has happened to the Constitutional demand that all institutions exist to serve the individual, that the State exists to serve its citizens? Now it appears that the only reason for individuals to exist, is to serve the State.

If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it. The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much. —Ronald Reagan.

Real economic security would mean that individuals in society must have sufficient purchasing power to provide effective demand in order to consume what they produce. Absolute economic security resides in the possession of a sufficient income at all times to buy the goods and services without which their would be no demand, no production and no payments of wages.

We have next to ask, where do wages, and dividends come from? All incomes as purchasing power are distributed into the hands of consumers through the operations of productive industry. All real purchasing power arises in production. It takes the form of wages, salaries and dividends paid directly to individuals engaged in industry or indirectly from them, through taxation, to those bureaucrats and beneficiaries who spend the money we produce. With loans they are spending future income from production. There is no other form of purchasing power in the Western World system of economics.

Why is there never enough purchasing power in our national economy?

Government doesn’t produce, it only consumes and produces a large negative effect. Here are some of the reasons we have poverty amongst the plenty.

In 2015-16 it took $405.4 billion in taxation, but its total expenses for 2015-16 were $434.5 billion, so the balance was a further debt of 29.1 billion. Just paying the interest on that is taking spending’s from our future earnings, or the earnings of our children.

In 2012 Australian Households spent a total of $642 billion on general living costs but in the same year only earned $521.3 billion in wages and income. So again the balance goes in a $120.7 Billion dollar debt which has to be paid from our future earning.

The manufacturing industry in Australia has declined from 30% of GDP in the 1960s to 12% of GDP in 2007. Yet in 2012 we still donated $7.7 billion in Foreign Aid.

From the figures above we can understand that although Australians earn over a Trillion dollars annually their government masters, remove over $400 billion in taxation which is used to pay their governments interest on its debts. (According to a report released in October 2013, the nation’s poverty rate increased from 10.2 per cent to 11.8 per cent, from 2000/01 to 2013.)

The above general formula is endemic to most countries in the Western World, the governments are run in debt to the banks and so to are 90% of there populations.

There is no single cause operating in the western world today which is of such importance and is so fraught with the possibility of world disaster, as is the disparity between purchasing power and prices. The longer it continues, unchecked the more certain and with more speed approaches either Depression, or War, or Both.

What causes that disparity, that lack of spending power? It is simply that when any item is being produced only a part of its final selling price is the wages and income factor. Say with a packet of .22 ammunition, its production can be split into

A. The cost of lead, powder and brass,

B. The cost of wages and dividends,

C. Taxation and Interest.

Only the earnings, wages and dividends goes into the economy to allow income to be spent on purchasing what they produce.

Governments Sell Tomorrow, To Pay For Today.

Taxation and Interest remove money from the economy, so instead of economic security you have economic slavery. All Government spending is borrowed from the four major banks, and all of the Taxation (Government Revenue) goes to pay the Bank interest on the Government Debt. The Governments Principle Debt just increases annually.

Look at your electricity bill only a part of your payment will go back into the economy in wages, the rest will be negatived by government tariffs and interest. Though these costs, representing profits, interest and depreciation, are all loaded into prices, the money to liquidate them is not distributed to the public neither as wages, salaries, nor dividends. So to afford them the public have to borrow from the banks.

Therefore, prices are always greater than the money available to buy them. In other words, there is always a disparity between the flow in the generation of purchasing power and the generation of prices in any one productive period. As can be seen, this is due to accounting all costs into prices without making provision for liquidating all of them.

This is the flaw in the finance-economic system, and is the main cause of all the economic troubles in the world. It is directly traceable to the use of debt for money and to the policies and practices of the monopoly of credit. Under the present financial system, there is no sound means of bridging the gap between purchasing power and prices.

Now I am not suggesting that the current position of some of the people doing well and the majority struggling in debts should be swapped for socialism.

Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1979 to 1990, summed up socialism nicely: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Socialism takes income away from productive people and gives it to non-productive people. When a percentage of your hard-earned money is confiscated, you have fewer choices and a lower standard of living. If a larger amount of money is confiscated in taxation, you’re a slave and your only reason for continuing to work is to lessen the depth of the debt.

Socialism is simply a camouflaged Communism.

The once-mighty USSR fell apart in 1989 due to iron-fisted socialistic policies that destroyed the economy while taking away virtually ALL freedoms from its citizens.

People who have recently visited Cuba report that it’s like time has stopped in 1959 when Castro and communism took over. Literally all the cars on the road were manufactured in, or before, 1959. Cuba today still looks like 1955. Unemployment is 48 percent and 80 percent of those who have jobs work for the government, making Cuba’s economy a disaster.

Venezuela is a bigger disaster, their hospitals are germ-infested trash dumps and they’re currently rioting over food. Venezuela’s hospitals are horrible. In less than 20 years they’ve gone from the most prosperous South American nation to the poorest, all because it elected a socialistic government that did away with good economic policies.

North and South Korea are perfect examples of the difference between a free economy and communism (slavery). In communist North Korea, 2.5 million people starve each year. In capitalistic South Korea, her GDP is the 10th largest in the world.

The application of science and technology to production now enables mankind to ensure a reasonable sufficiency of material needs to all, without continuing economic servitude. But the existing financial system is fundamentally flawed. It is endangering the planet through ruthless exploitation of its limited resources in pursuit of financial profit and its wish for ever greater power over the people.

Industry, to be successful, must get back from the public in the prices of its goods more than it pays out to suppliers of materials and labour involved in their manufacture. Otherwise, it could not make a profit. Then the GST factor takes a great slice out of the available spending power.

As industry by necessity distributes all incomes as purchasing power, where does industry, in its turn, get the money for its infrastructure? A brief examination will show that industry is financed from savings, or from loans or overdrafts from the banking system.

Let us follow logically the results flowing from the disparity in which the producers, wage earners, farmers can never find the money or means of exchange to purchase the goods that they produce and need.

It must be evident at the outset, that in every cycle of production a proportion of the goods must remain unsold. As further cycles are completed, the unsold portions must pile up till it is useless and dangerous to produce more for the time being, so banks restrict credit, production slows down, and men are laid off.

When workers are laid off, wages cease, purchasing power further diminishes, less goods are sold, credit is further restricted or called in and cancelled. There is a rush to sell below cost and bankruptcies occur.

Standards of living now fall rapidly; there is further unemployment; dole conditions and acute depression appear; governments start relief works, and the banks readily lend to governments the credit they refuse to industry. Debt and taxation grow apace. As the spending power decreases much of the surplus goods remains unsold, and we have starvation and poverty in the midst of abundance. Goods are wantonly destroyed by oversized banana, oversized pigs etc. and production is forcibly restricted. With mass unemployment everywhere, we are told to work harder, save more, and spend less. Saving and spending less is also a negative.

Parallel with these manifestations is the struggle to find markets abroad for the goods that cannot be sold at home. As all nations are doing the same thing, and are in the same economic plight from the same cause, this leads to commercial hostility, international friction, and finally and inevitably, to WAR.

Government is not a solution to our problems, government IS the problem…
Government does not solve problems, it is the root source of the main problem. Government gives the nations right to create credit, to the four main‘Banks of Issue’ and allows them to create it and charge us all for the privilege to borrow it from them.

As a simile imagine that all the oil and gas beneath the land mass of Australia, which is really the public credit, or wealth of Australia owned in title by the Commonwealth Government on behalf of all its citizens, was given away to a private company at no charge, and then every time the government, or the people wanted some oil and gas the private company lent it to them and then charged and ever increasing interest rate, plus demanding the full return of the oil and gas.

Current governments have never dealt with the root problem, the monopoly of credit creation by the international banking system, they take the donations from banks into their party election funds and considers themselves lucky. The first government that ever succeeds to handle this problem might never be given an election donation by a Bank but would be elected forever by the people.

The Black Heart of the Problem.

The banks only lend money/credit as a repayable interest-bearing debt, with number one priority over the assets of the borrower, so it is clear that the banks entirely control production in this way. In the national economy of ever increasing disparity between prices and spending power, as loans are paid back and the credit crossed off, and as the interest is paid the spending power within the community decreases, and only increases when the Banks create and issue more debt. The Banks choses who wins and who goes without, who succeeds and who fails.

We have already seen that the money flowing through industry is the only source of purchasing power, so it is also clear that the banks, in controlling production, automatically control consumption as well.

That is to say, the whole economic system is dominated by the banks and, consequently, they dominate the lives and destinies of the people, and dictate the policies of governments. History proves this conclusively.

It must be remembered that the banks have discretionary powers to call in loans and overdrafts even before the goods they brought into existence have been sold, and they sometimes exercise this power with disastrous effects on the community. Now let us go still another step further and ask where do the banks get the money they lend to industry, and which gives them control of the community.

The answer is again quite simple:

THEY CREATE IT.
In the terse phrase of the English economist, Sir Ralph George Hawtrey, “They create the means of payment out of nothing.” The money so created is called bank credit, but it really is the public credit, like the oil and gas under our feet, it belongs to all of us.

Banks do not lend the money deposited with them by their clients as most people suppose. Every bank loan or overdraft is an absolute creation of new credit and this credit functions as money.

When cheques are drawn against this credit, they come back into the banking system and form deposits. Practically all deposits are created in this way. Instead of deposits being used by the banks to create loans, as is generally believed, the loans are book figures, (or electronic) and real money or credit has to be deposited to write the loan off the books.

The actual creation of bank credit is an almost costless operation as it consists merely of written entries in bank ledgers or computers, and made effective by written entries in cheque books, or credit cards. Banking, is mostly bookkeeping. Finance is mostly accountancy, and money is mostly figures.

Though bank credit is supposed to be issued against the security of the borrower, it is really issued against the productive capacity and the real or “social” credit created by the communities wealth as a whole. The banks, however, treat this community credit as though they are the sole owners, and are thus in the unique position of being able to lend something they do not own, and of being well paid for it.

As banks have the sole privilege of creating and issuing money in this way, they thus constitute a monopoly of credit that functions as money which keeps the whole community, to whom the credit rightly belongs, in subjection through debt. This monopoly of credit or money creation is the greatest power ever vested in any institution in the history of the world.

The economy should exist to provide people, as efficiently as possible, with the goods and services that they need to survive and flourish. That is, production exists for the sake of consumption, not for the sake of money-making, employment, satisfying the creative impulse, or ‘moral’ discipline (considered as ends in themselves). It most certainly does not exist for the sake of centralizing wealth and power in the hands of a Banking oligarchic elite.
Ron Owen

The Way Out, and the way to Freedom will be in next months bulletin.

SPG 015: 4 Reasons Why Preppers Don’t Have a Strategic Plan

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SPG 015: 4 Reasons Why Preppers Don’t Have a Strategic Plan This article is such a great look into yourself as a prepper. It takes a great deal of soul searching to look into yourself and find out what you are doing wrong or what you are afraid to do better. The issue with most …

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Should You Invest In “Junk Silver” and Other Precious Metals For Survival?

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Should You Invest In “Junk Silver” and Other Precious Metals For Survival? Does the phrase junk silver sound foreign to you? I am not sure how many people have any interest in precious metals at all. If you think that investing in gold and silver might be worth your while. There is real value in …

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4 Easy Recipes Canning Cherries

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Enjoy 4 of my delicious recipes for canning both tart and sweet cherries

I am very blessed to be the Canbassador for Northwest Cherry Growers in Washington. For three years now I have created exciting recipes with their freshly shipped fruit.

In years past, I have created Savory Cherry Chutney and Peach Pistachio Conserve using juicy peaches and gorgeous sweet cherries.  This year, I went a bit more of a traditional route creating a pie filling and salsa.  But do know, pie fillings make excellent dessert toppings for ice cream and fill more than just pies – they make excellent filling for cupcakes, scones and crepes.  And this salsa – YUM!

This year I was sent another batch of sweet cherries from Washington!  And for you tart cherry lovers, I had 10 pounds frozen from last years harvest.  Let’s just say I had a cherry festival in my kitchen these last few days!  It was so worth it though!  Enjoy my latest 4 cherry canning creations and be sure to share with a friend.

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Pie Filling – Dessert

Sweet Cherry Berry Pie Filling  (makes approx. 5 quarts or 10 pints)

My family found its new favorite pie filling with this gorgeous blend of blueberries and cherries.  My daughter suggested the undertones of vanilla which really brought this filling to life.  Note, the vanilla extract is optional and can also be substituted with almond extract.

Ingredients

12 cups sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped or halved

12 cups frozen blueberries, thawed

4 cups juice, from fruit

1 cup Canning Gel or ClearJel

4 cups raw sugar

2 Tbsp Vanilla extract

1/4 cup lemon juice

Instructions

If using fresh cherries and berries, be sure to chop/halve the cherries and lightly mash the blueberries to break the skin to release their juices.

Place cherries and berries into a large colander atop a large bowl.  Drain juices from mixture for up to 2 hours or until you have captured 4 cups of juice. Cover mixture with dish towel while draining to keep pests away.

Measure 4 cups of juice in a large liquid measuring cup.  Add Canning Gel and whisk until dissolved.  Place into a large stock pot and whisk again.  Add sugar and vanilla extract.
Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk mixture often as it increases in temperature.  As juice begins to bubble, add lemon juice and whisk well.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, immediately add the cherry berry mixture all at once.  Turn off heat.

Use a large spoon and fold cherries and berries well so they are coated with the thickened juice.  Ladle into wide mouth jars (preferably) keeping a generous 1″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath both quarts and pints for 35 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.

 

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Jams & Jelly

Cherry Preserves (makes approx. 4 pints or 8 half-pints)

I love fresh berries in my preserves.  Chunks of yummy goodness with every spread is a jar filled with pure deliciousness.  Enjoy this cherry-filled preserve on fresh bread, sandwiches, a cheese tray and alongside any turkey or pork dinner.

Ingredients

5 cups pitted cherries, frozen or fresh

2 cups raw sugar

3 cups juice

1/2 cup Canning Gel

1/4 cup lemon juice, if using sweet cherries

Instructions

Place cherries in a large colander atop a large bowl.  Drain juices for up to 2 hours or until you have captured 3 cups of juice. Cover mixture with dish towel while draining to keep pests away.

Measure 3 cups of juice in a large liquid measuring cup.  Add Canning Gel and whisk until dissolved.  Place into a large stock pot and whisk again.  Add sugar and whisk.

Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk juice often as it increases in temperature.  As juice begins to bubble, add lemon juice if using sweet cherries, and whisk well.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, immediately add cherries all at once.  Turn off heat.

Use a large spoon and fold cherries well so they are coated with the thickened juice.  Ladle into jars keeping a 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath both pints and half-pints for 25 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.

Tart Cherry Jelly  (makes approx. 6 half-pints)

Typically when draining cherries for the required amount of juice to make pie filling there will be upwards of 3 or 4 cups of juice left over.  Especially if your cherries were frozen then thawed.  Use this easy recipe to make jelly with remaining juice.

Ingredients

4 cups cherry juice

4 cups raw sugar

1 cup Canning Gel

Instructions

In a large stock pot, whisk juice and Canning Gel until dissolved.  Add sugar and whisk.

Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk juice often as it increases in temperature.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, remove from heat.

Ladle into jars keeping a 1/4″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath half-pints for 15 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.

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Salsa

Tart & Tangy Cherry Salsa  (makes approx. 4 pints or 8 half-pints)

Fruity salsa is amazing!  There is something special happening on our palates when heat and sweet are combined.  Even more so, this recipe gives you a bit of tang expanding its uses and its flavors.  Enjoy on the end of a tortilla chip, stuffed inside a pork loin or create a delicious appetizer atop a brick of cream cheese.

Ingredients

8 cups tart frozen cherries, thawed

4 Tablespoons raw sugar

1 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 large jalapeno, finely chopped (keep seeds for more heat)

1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Once at a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Using a slotted spoon, fill each jar 3/4 full of salsa.  Ladle remaining juice over salsa keeping 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims will a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar and adhere lids and rings.  Hand tighten.

Water bath pints for 20 minutes and half-pints for 15 minutes.  Remember, the timer doesn’t start until water is at a full rolling boil.

 

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Pitting Cherries

Be sure to head to your local cherry farm and purchase these gorgeous beauties while in season.  Do not shy away from using frozen cherries (or berries) as they were picked, prepped and frozen in the height of their flavor.  Especially if you are creating recipes where juice is a required ingredient.

Fresh cherries are perfect for any recipe!  Just be sure you properly pit them.  I used a Leifheit cherry pitter and was disappointed when almost half of the cherries still had their pits!  I had to hand cut each cherry to ensure not a single pit made it into my recipes.

The surefire way to ensure you remove each pit it to use chopsticks and physically hold each cherry in your hand to do so.  Now it all depends on the amount of time you have available so I leave it to you to decide which method is best.

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Have fun creating one, or all, of these delicious cherry-inspired recipes!  Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at Canning Diva for more recipes, tips and techniques.

Happy Canning!

xx,
Diane Devereaux, The Canning Diva®
www.canningdiva.com

The post 4 Easy Recipes Canning Cherries appeared first on Canning Diva | Canning Classes, Recipes and Supplies.

 

More Great Articles to Read!

The Importance of Proper Headspace When Home Canning
Three Main Elements to Safe Canning Practices
The Benefits of Pressure Canning
From prep to finish: The making of Canning Full Circle cookbook
BookCon 2017

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Preserving And Processing Herbs For Long-term Storage And Use

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I’ve been preserving and processing herbs from my garden for years now. I honestly can imagine my cooking without them and I make sure I always have some in my pantry. Survival foods can become dull after a while and you won’t be able to prepare tasty meals without herbs. Keeping a well-equipped pantry is … Read more…

The post Preserving And Processing Herbs For Long-term Storage And Use was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Prepping on the Cheap Part One: Bugging In

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Prepping on the Cheap Part One: Bugging In On this episode, we are talking about prepping on the cheap. This episode is all about how to get the most value and the most quality preps with the least output of cash. Listen to this broadcast or download “Prepping on the Cheap Part One: Bugging In” … Continue reading Prepping on the Cheap Part One: Bugging In

The post Prepping on the Cheap Part One: Bugging In appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Calling ALL Contributors!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: We are looking for new and varied entries for the Prepper Writing Contest. 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.

As you know guest Contributors have added significant value to the site and to our followers. Like Rick, more of you have a following than you know and our readers are anxious to hear more, hear of new things and of old things that have proven themselves over time and practice.

We would like to suggest articles on long-term food storage system successes and yes, even failures as that is how most of us learn. Articles on vehicle spare parts and supplies you NEVER go 4-wheeling without? What tools can’t you survive without and what tools can fill more than a single function thus reducing weight in your bug-out supplies?

Going back to an article titled “Am I The Only One Who Saw “TERMINATOR”, published on January 20th of this year, new articles have been published this week on significant advances in AI (Artificial Intelligence) and by very reputable scientists who have linked the next steps to make a self-sufficient robot. Change is good, change is constant and change affects us all, so what changes concern you?

If you have submitted something in the last 60 days we are going through those now and we thank you and we will get those out ASAP. So don’t be shy, we thrive on diverse opinions and good ideas. And as always, THANK YOU!

 

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Just what is Backfeeding?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Earthquake, Southern California, sitting in my kitchen at 5:25 am I felt the roll, heard the house creek and crack and through my dining room window saw the transformer a few blocks away blow. Spectacular. It was over quickly, family was fine, house had no damage on a first look, and no electricity, or natural gas as I had a seismic shut off valve on the gas line. This wasn’t my first rodeo. “Coffee!” I needed coffee so I went to the garage, got my portable camping stove, part of my survival gear, heated some water on it on the dining room table, pulled out the French Press…coffee!

Spouse got up about 20 minutes later, slid into a chair next to me and poured herself a cup and asked “why do we have a camping stove, we don’t camp”, we were newly married. I said nothing, just looked at her as her brain cells began to come on-line and a moment later I got a wry smile and an “oh.” From humble beginnings and knowing where I lived I started this journey and I became a believer in portable things. Especially portable generators as we slide down the food chain quickly without electricity.

No family home should be without one just as no home should be without a comprehensive first aid kit. Additionally, and equally, no one should have either unless they truly understand what each can do to both aide people and harm them.

While we could do a not-so-short course in electricity, circuits, breakers, grounds and phases herein, that information is on-line from reliable sources and I suggest a few hours of going through it would be time well spent for every building owner (home, office, plant, factory, etc.) You won’t pass any certification classes but you will be able to ask much smarter questions.

If you are thinking of installing a home generator as a backup system what I want to address herein is the dangers of not doing it right, specifically “backfeeding”. If you are just running some power strips off a well-ventilated fuel-powered portable generator things will work if you have enough extension cords to reach vital assets and you should pose no threat to yourself or others. Do be aware that in a SHTF situation the generator noise will expose your location. Prudent use and investing in some power storage systems will somewhat alleviate this exposure. There is a whole other post on these on this site and we will do an in-depth review of portable generators in the very near future.

However, if you are considering installing a stationary generator, what people do who plan to hunker down, to a home circuit panel you need to do it right or better yet, have it done professionally. Leaving every breaker on energizes the entire panel and power is distributed throughout the house, on all circuits. Only the largest portable generators (the word “portable” here being a euphemism) can supply enough power for an entire home, and the cost can be in the thousands of dollars. Do you need the A/C on (I ask this while living in Phoenix, writing this in the summer)? The pool pump? The washer and dryer, garage door openers, every flat-screen TV and game system? Does every room need power? You know the answer. Yes, for food storage, some outlets to charge batteries, cell-phones and electronics that link to the outside world, and any critical care medical equipment.  The rest is just fluff.

If your solution is to introduce a back-up generator through your homes electrical system, you will need to invest in a manual transfer switch which takes power from the generator and distributes it only to the branch circuits that were selected when the switch was installed. Each circuit has its own breaker, and electrical power is automatically confined to the dwelling. Paying a licensed electrician to do this is the only approach. This prevents “backfeeding” – accidentally powering the neighborhood utility lines coming into you home and endangering any utility workers, neighbors, etc. When you apply power to a circuit (your home electric panel) electricity flows to the path of least resistance, which, with no power coming from the utility lines, means they are a path of “least resistance” as they have no load on them, such as your refrigerator does on its circuit, so electric current flows from your house, back out to the power lines. In this “off and then ‘instant on’ with no warning” scenario the chances to injury or kill a utility worker are great, and you are liable (National Electric Codes 408, 702 and 225 provide strict guidance on the requirements of such generators.) Now multiple this across every home in an electrical grid and you will know why we should respect these guys (and girls.)

While one can argue that simply turning off some breakers helps to resolve this issue, it does so without balancing the loads across the circuits, and who wants to go out and pick and chooses those in real time?  Who knows how the circuits are set up in their breaker box in the first place? Preppers are planners and having this “locked down” is just good common sense. Identify the “must haves” and get a professional to hook up the system correctly. Ask way too many questions, write everything down and store the data with your survival kit. You will forget after time. Now, knowing this, would you ever touch a downed power line?

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Just How Far off the Grid Can You Get?

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

With the furthest you can get from a paved road in the lower 48 states being 22 miles, (Northeastern Wyoming) getting “off the grid” is a lot harder for most of us than we think.

Have you ever really been “off the grid?” What most would describe as “We are really going to spend a Friday night doing this?” to “the vacation from hell” to “Seriously Dad!?!?” is actually some of the best training a prepper can do. I walked the John Muir Trail one July, from the top of Mt. Whitney to Tuolumne Meadows, 210 miles, and never went more than an hour during daylight without seeing or hearing someone. Summers on the Appalachia Trail can be the same.  And, to settle the argument here and now, the John Muir Trail is a section of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs 2,650 miles from the Mexican Border to Canada, while the Appalachian Trail runs 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine. Back on topic.

Every prepper needs to challenge themselves and their family to practice. To get off the grid. And the key to this is to start small and safe and then remove the fallbacks. One night at home, from dusk to dawn with no utilities, no electricity, no running water, no natural gas (fireplace, stove, BBQ hooked to home gas system) is a good first step. And no running water means no “bathroom” facilities unless you operate them using buckets of water carried from a water source such as a pool, or pond or lake. I assure you if you have not done this it will be eye-opening. And no cop-outs, no “we did this after that thunderstorm last year”, you know the one after dinner was cooked, consumed and the dishes were cleared and dealt with, the one where only the electricity was off. Dusk to dawn, with a meal at both ends done without electricity and running water, and no natural gas either, do it on a camp stove on camping cookware. It will be easy, it can be fun, especially if you don’t recharge phones and tablets the day of;-) Discussing and writing down “lessons learned” afterwards will be invaluable and help you comprise a survival list based in reality.

From this you can step it up at your own pace. Do it again but in the woods or out in the dessert. Whole different world. Do it for a couple of nights and bring only enough supplies for one – see if you can “ration”, if you can find things like more water, or other things to eat if you must. I know “seasoned” campers may turn their noses up at this but I have found that those with their well-stocked backpacks, packed travel trailers and latest high-tech gear are the first to panic when they run out of supplies and there is no camp supply store to fall back on. No disrespect to campers intended, they have a leg up already, but it is a big leap from spending time on the land to living off it.

And, before the Sourdoughs of the world chime in my experience in Alaska is you are “off the grid” as soon as you lose sight of a paved road. While I will get plenty of push-back on this, the last time I stayed at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage (hardly off any grid) a grizzly was tranquilized in a city park just 8 blocks away, a woman was killed by a black bear just south of Elmendorf AFB, and an Inuit child of 8 was killed by a grizzly near Iliamna Lake, all over a ten-day span. You have your “off the grid” definition, and I have mine. In any case, whatever your take on this aside, do visit Alaska if you get the chance as no artists’ palette has as many shades of green as you will find on the Kenai Peninsula in the summer. Spectacular walking in shorts on a blue-ice glacier with the brilliant green mountains everywhere. Again, back on topic.

Learning for yourself what you need physically and mentally to survive, how each member of your family will deal with things, how to keep your head, can only be done through practice under real conditions. And don’t stress about this as anyone stranded in the wilderness can be found within 72 hours of being reported missing (that is a big hint on how much supplies you should always bring) assuming two important things – someone knows and reports you missing, and you know and can plan on rationing your supplies accordingly, and, of course, you want to be found.

The lesson here is the one that applies to everything, practice makes better, maybe perfect after enough practice.

The post Just How Far off the Grid Can You Get? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Physical Fitness To Fight An Active Shooter

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Active shooting situations are on the rise, a report from the government shows a massive increase since early 2000, happening in over 40 states. One of the scariest parts of these attacks is that there is no warning before they happen, so the only safety measure is preparation, both physically and mentally. It is especially … Read more…

The post Physical Fitness To Fight An Active Shooter was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

An 18th Century German Recipe

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This recipe for “Farina Soup” comes from a 1795 German Cookbook, the title of which translates, “Instructions Of All Kind Of Cookery And Pastry.” Thanks to Kayla and Karen at Old Salem Museums and Gardens, who are presently translating two 18th Century German cookbooks, we can finally bring you some delicious German food! Be sure to visit Old Salem’s website!

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6 Money Mistakes that Decrease Preppers Survivability

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6 Money Mistakes that Decrease Preppers Survivability Managing money is a tough enough task when you aren’t dealing with thoughts of the end times. Just paying bills and not eating out too much can be a practice in sheer willpower. Not to mention we are working harder to make money these days. Most people are …

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Keeping Your Powder Dry!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

Most of us have lived through the “Dark Days” – The Great Ammo Shortage of ’08 – ’13. Dark days, indeed. If you were like me, your days alternated between agonizing mental arithmetic and staking out the ammo counter at the local Walmart from across the aisle in the automotive section, waiting for the next shipment to arrive. Cabala’s used to advertise that ammo deliveries would make it to the display floor just before opening on Thursdays, there was always a line waiting for the opening Thursdays.

Many days I found myself wanting to train, wishing I had paid more attention to the proverb of the ant who “provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest”. Deciding between saving and training will always be hard for those of us short on cash. Plain and simple. However, having the proper storage system in place can alleviate some of the burden of storing ammunition for the long-term and at least give us the sense that we have done all in our power to preserve its integrity.

The Perfect Container for Ammunition Storage

The perfect container for ammunition storage can lock out air and humidity, while providing protection against extreme heat. Surplus military ammo cans have been a prepping staple for years, however, these cans rely on an o-ring around the edge to keep out humidity and air. The downside is those seals can go bad. If you have these you should lubricate the o-rings on a regular basis. Any true mountaineer treats his/her waterproof boots with a bees-wax coating at the end of the winter to keep them from cracking over the summer and at the beginning of the winter in preparation for the coming snows. This same product is used to preserve the o-rings on swimming pool equipment and is available at any pool supply store as well as Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes. A thin coating is all that is required. WD40 also works but can break down in high heat and, yes, even the ArmorAll you use on your car can work. – an aside as this should always be used on the rubber seals of your vehicles doors, all of them, as well as your hood, and trunk, if you have one, to keep them from cracking as well.

 

In 2017 you should pass on nostalgia and macho and consider purchasing one of the newer plastic ammo cans which do look “tacticool”! These are less likely to conduct heat, and with proper care, can retain their air tight features longer. Using any of the o-ring treatments above on these storage containers o-ring can prolong the life of the seal. These plastic ammo cans are a great investment, especially when you purchase the stack-able kind. I have them and they have yet to let me down. I label them by caliber of the ammo stored in each. One note, I have one very large one, 20″ x 24″ x 9″ and it stores so much ammo that where it sits now determines where I will have to make my last stand with its contents! Smaller and more are the way to go.

If you want to take it a step further, consider some “add-ons”. The zcorr anti corrosion bags are air and water tight. They also come with a humidity test card. Or, you could purchase a BluGuard .30 cal ammo can liner. When all else fails, silica gel packs endure. Consider stocking up on these.

Remember, airtight and watertight ammunition storage is a MUST.

The Do’s and Do Not’s of Ammunition Storage

Do seek to store your ammunition in a dry, cool, location. Do not store your ammunition in hot or humid locations. If you must store ammunition in a humid environment, use a dehumidifier. Don’t rely on older surplus ammo storage cans. Do choose your ammunition storage container wisely. Don’t plan on keeping the factory ammunition box. Do research your ammunition’s components before you purchase and never buy ammunition with a box date older than 10 years.

Final Thoughts

In my many years of managing a firearms store, the most successful preppers seemed to be the ones who consistently bought extra ammo. An extra box of ammo every two weeks can add up. Spreading your purchases out also offsets the financial burden. Having ample supplies of ammunition is a prepping must, as is not neglecting to protect your investment. Keeping your powder dry is a valuable lesson learned.

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8 Steps to Evaluating your Food Preparedness for Power Outages

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8 Steps to Evaluating your Food Preparedness for Power Outages No matter your level of preparedness the power outage can catch anyone off guard. Now we may react and take the right steps quicker than the average person but there is still that sickening feeling with the power goes out. Have you covered all your …

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Have You Taken Prepping Too Far?

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Have You Taken Prepping Too Far? At some point, every person who is into preparedness, survivalism, and even homesteading ask themselves if they’ve taken things too far. Especially in the first and second groups, the question may come up more than once – “Am I taking prepping too far?” You may feel like the only thing …

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Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level

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Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level

Lock picking is one of the few hobbies I have that is truly useful in my everyday life. Sure, knowing how to sharpen knives to a mirror edge or start a fire using raw materials is (in my opinion) important, but in my day to day 21st century life, knowing how to bypass locks has […]

This is just the start of the post Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Best Lock Picking Practice Locks for Each Experience Level, written by Thomas Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

8 Tips To Help You Find A Perfect Place For Camping

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Nothing beats the thrill of going on a road trip and camping in the wilderness. The excitement you get from the great outdoors, the nature surrounding you, new experiences gained and the journey itself are all unbeatable experiences. Besides learning new things, you discover how to pack light, use limited resources and work with what … Read more…

The post 8 Tips To Help You Find A Perfect Place For Camping was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

6 Ways to Keep Your Food Cold Without Electricity

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We are right in the middle of summer, and it’s a hot one. Parts of the United States have seen record high temperatures, and in Phoenix, nearly 50 flights were canceled because some planes can only operate in temperatures of 118 degrees F or less. Of course, the heat is no big deal if you […]

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Things that ALWAYS Fail!

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Written by Wild Bill on The Prepper Journal.

What is a flashlight? It is a storage container for dead batteries as are all other battery-operated devices. We all know this, after all who hasn’t gone to “the dark side” when chasing down that one 9-v that has failed in a smoke detector in the middle of the night?

The question we want to answer here is are rechargeable batteries a better option? In our opinion they are the only option. NiMH (nickel Metal Hydride) batteries can be recharged upwards of 500-1000 times (http://batterysavers.com/rechargeable-battery-life-questions-and-answers/). This, of course, assumes a “source” of power to recharge them – a vehicle battery, working wall plug or a generator. In our opinion they are the only option as Alkaline, non-rechargeable batteries (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkaline_battery) become dead weight quickly, sometimes right out of the package and rechargeable Alkaline batteries do not have the (http://www.greenbatteries.com/battery-myths-vs-battery-facts-1/) storage capacity, efficiency or longevity of the NiMH rechargeable batteries.

Another consideration when buying batteries, or any other “powered or fueled” piece of gear is “diversity”. In this case, less diversity is a good thing (try posting that sentence on Facebook!) You will of course have your cell phone (so the government can track you) so one “unique” battery in 2017 and beyond is a given.

However, having to carry chargers for AA, AAA, C, D and 9-v batteries is not smart. Factoring in the chargers you need along with the rechargeable batteries themselves can become a source of weight and confusion, but, like doing your taxes, you must do it! It is worth the investment in time and brainpower. Resign yourself to the fact that you will, most likely, not be able to get away with just one. Make it simple, do your homework, select your cadre of battery operated devices and then compromise on what you can to make sure you have the fewest number of chargers and rechargeable batteries to carry. Reduced weight and increased efficiency are what every prepper should consider in the selection of every component, especially if you plan involves moving from base, or the situation forces you to change plans and abandon a base.

Another consideration is a portable energy storage system which is a science of its own (and the subject of an upcoming post.) These offer some interesting options that will support your rechargeable battery selection and they can be found reasonably priced.

BTW, when a smoke detector does go full-on PSYCHO replace the batteries in them all because they are like lemmings! R.I.P.

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