Dandelions: 31+ Medicinal and Culinary Uses for the King of Weeds

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This article is part of a series on weed gardens and identifying and using the plants you’ll often find there. For other articles in the series, please click here.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

As you can see, the weed garden is really starting to come to life. I’ve got henbit, sedges, dayflowers, wood sorrel, pokeweed, and a few other visitors. But one weed I would gladly welcome has yet to show up. Dandelions!

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

Dandelions are pretty much the unofficial mascots for foraging and herbal medicine. They can be found on every continent (except Antarctica) and have tremendous value as food and medicine. They invade lawns, fields, and waste spaces despite every effort to control, contain, and kill them.

Dandelions are survivors, and they pass on a little of that to us when we consume them.

Identifying Dandelions

While dandelions do have a few look-alikes, none of them are toxic. Among the common fakers, you’ll find cat’s ear, chicory, shepherd’s purse, and hawksbeard. Here’s your guide to telling the real thing from the fakers.

Dandelions are perennials1)Perennial: Any plant that lives for more than 2 years. that grow in a basal rosette.2)Basal Rosette: A circular arrangement of leaves at ground level. You’ll never find leaves growing from the stem. Leaves are anywhere from 2 inches to over a foot (5 to 40 centimeters) long and have jagged teeth.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

The jagged pattern of the leaves can vary quite a bit. On some plants, the indentations will go nearly to the midline of the leaf, while others will have fairly shallow teeth. The tips of the teeth tend to point backward, toward the center of the plant. Leaves are virtually hairless at all stages of growth.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

By the way, the name “dandelion” is said to come from “dent de lion” or “teeth of the lion.” And depending on who you ask, this either refers to the jagged leaves or the flower petals.

The scientific name, Taraxacum officinale, could be translated as “the official cure for every disorder.”

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

The yellow blooms are composite flowers. That is, they look like one flower, but are technically a cluster of tiny flowers. The ends of the petals tend to be flat, rather than tapering to a point, and they overlap all the way to the center of the flower. Blooming happens mostly in spring, and again in fall, with sporadic blooming at any time.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

These flowers turn into the puffballs that kids love to blow on to make wishes. A single dandelion plant may produce many stems and flowers, but each stem will have only a single flower. The stems are hollow and can range in length from 2 to 18 inches (5 to 45 centimeters).

All parts of the plant contain a white, milky sap. This would normally be a warning sign, but dandelions are an exception to the rule.

Read More: “How to Not Die While Wildcrafting: 15 Rules for Foraging Safely”

There are even some rather useful applications for this sap, which we’ll get into below. Be aware that dandelion sap has occasionally been reported to cause contact dermatitis in some individuals.

Dandelions can be found throughout the U.S., Canada, and most of the rest of the world, especially around people. This is another plant that loves us and wants to be near us. You can find them in lawns, fields, pastures, waste spaces, and disturbed ground. They seem to survive everything from drought, to over-picking, to digging, to mowing, to herbicides. But why would you want to get rid of these happy little guys? They’re beautiful, and they’re trying so hard to help us.

Edible Uses and Dandelion Recipes

If you do an Internet search for dandelion recipes, you’ll find page after page of preparations for this versatile vegetation. Recipes abound!

I, myself, have only scratched the surface of dandelion delicacies. There are just so many!

Nutritional Value

And why shouldn’t there be? Every part of the plant is edible, raw or cooked. And not only are dandelions plentiful, they’re very nearly a perfect food. Dandelions are rich in potassium; magnesium; manganese; phosphorus; sodium; copper; choline; calcium; iron; lecithin; biotin; inositol; chlorophyll; fiber; and vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, and E.3)Foster, Steven, James A. Duke, and Steven Foster. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.,4)Peterson, Lee Allen, and Roger Tory Peterson. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.,5)Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London: DK/Penguin Random House, 2016.,6)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.,7)Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012.,8)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.

That’s quite a mouthful. Literally.

They have more vitamin A than any other green plant—six times more than carrots—and a single cup of fresh greens will meet your daily requirement of beta-carotene, iron, calcium, and potassium!9)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.

That tap root really reaches down to bring up the good stuff. You can see why I call them the king of weeds.

Furthermore, when eaten as a whole (roots to flowers/seeds), the dandelion forms a complete protein, with all 9 essential amino acids.10)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014. That’s a pretty good trick for a plant.

Dandelion also seems to help with the absorption and balance of minerals.11)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Overcoming the Bitter Taste

But let’s address the elephant in the room. Dandelions are bitter. Very bitter. Involuntarily-spit-them-out-and-go-wash-your-mouth-out-with-ice-cream bitter.

Perhaps I exaggerate. But how is one to get past the bitterness to access those amazing nutrients? I’ve got you covered.

First, you should select the best dandelions. The best-tasting leaves have had the easiest life. Don’t pick any sunbaked, twice-stepped-on leaves. Harvest from a plant in a shady, well-watered location. Harvest younger greens, earlier in the year. Leaves toward the center of the rosette also tend to be less bitter.

Next, choose the right preparation. It’s the rare individual who enjoys eating a handful of dandelion greens raw. It’s a lot easier to moderate their taste by chopping them up and mixing them with other greens. They also pair well with savory dishes.

Of all the cooking methods, boiling does the best job of reducing bitterness. Drop the leaves into boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. If you’ve picked a good plant, it shouldn’t take much more than this. If not, you can always boil them longer. Use plenty of water so the bitterness has someplace to go.

Eating the Roots: Stir-fried, Pickled, and as a Coffee Substitute

The root can be eaten raw, but tastes better when cooked. Try them sliced and stir-fried with other veggies. Cooking breaks down the root’s inulin into fructose, bringing out a much sweeter taste. They’re also a fine addition to soups and stews, and—although I’ve never tried it—they are reportedly quite tasty when pickled.

Dandelions - Uses, Eating. Medicine

Dandelion Coffee Recipe

The root is typically harvested from late fall to early spring. Second-year roots are preferred, but good luck on guessing how old a dandelion is by looking at it. If it’s too old and woody to eat, you can still use it to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute. Slice up the root and slow-roast it in your oven until it turns dark brown and becomes brittle. This should take about 30 minutes at 350°F (175°C). Let it cool, and then grind it up to use like coffee grounds. I’m usually not a fan of coffee substitutes, but this is one I really enjoy.

Dandelion Mocha Recipe

If you’d like to take your dandelion coffee to the next level (and who wouldn’t?), you can turn it into a dandelion mocha. This recipe comes from Rosemary Gladstar, and it is delightful.

Use 1 tbsp each of dandelion coffee grounds and cacao nibs. Simmer in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Then strain and add ½ cup milk (or milk substitute), ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. honey (or other sweetener), and a dash of ground nutmeg or cloves.

It’s excellent. I highly recommend you try it.

Eating the Flowers: Sautéed, Fried, and Infused

The flowers make a colorful addition to salads, soups, ice creams, or just about anything else. Two of my favorite ways to eat them are sautéed in butter and as an ingredient in dandelion lemonade.

  • Sautéed blooms are easy. Just melt some butter and sauté away. (Alternately, you could make a simple egg-and-flour batter and fry them. Yum!)
  • To make dandelion lemonade, just add about a quart of dandelion flowers to a half gallon of lemonade. Let the mixture infuse in the fridge overnight, then strain out the blossoms and enjoy.

The less green you have from the base of the blossoms, the less bitter they will taste. Here’s a brief clip demonstrating a super easy way to separate the petals from the bitter greens:

https://youtu.be/fWyA35Cs5e0

The last way to get past the bitterness is simply to build up an appreciation for it. Sure, it’s not the most popular option, but you really can develop a taste for a food by consistently consuming small portions of it. Gradually, your aversion turns into tolerance. And then tolerance can even become a craving. It really works. Try it!

Medicinal Uses for Dandelions

Dandelion’s medicinal effects are not limited to its impressive nutritional profile. It sports a bevy of benefits. Let’s dive in!

As a Digestive Aid

Dandelion’s bitter taste is likely also its best-known medicinal property. It’s a bitter. Bitters are plants that encourage optimal digestion by stimulating the secretion of enzymes and digestive juices.12)Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012.,13)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

Dandelion stimulates appetite, aids the liver in its detoxification duties, helps to regulate the release of pancreatic hormone, is stimulating to the spleen, supports correct bile duct function, and even helps to repair the gut wall.14)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,15)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.,16)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It may even help to resist the progression of cirrhosis of the liver.17)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

Dandelion is a remarkable plant!

To Treat Colitis

In one experiment, participants with non-specific colitis were given dandelion along with calendula, lemon balm, and St. John’s wort. Complete relief from spontaneous and palpable pains was reported by 96% of participants, and stools were normalized in those with diarrhea symptoms.18)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

As a Spring Tonic and Diuretic

Dandelion is also well-known as a spring tonic. It helps to flush and tone the body after enduring the rigors of winter.

The entire plant is diuretic, flushing excess water from the body and generally giving us a good cleansing. The leaf is more powerful than the root, and is comparable to the drug furosemide in terms of strength.19)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003. Don’t take it right before bed or you’ll be up all night. Trust me. I know.

Dandelion’s diuretic properties help to relieve fluid retention.20)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It is also used to dissolve calcium stones and to prevent new ones from forming, and can be used safely over long periods.21)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,22)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

Dandelion’s diuretic nature may also help to explain its effectiveness in relieving arthritic complaints.23)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

With conventional pharmaceuticals, as the body flushes out water, it’s also flushing out our supply of potassium. This can be rough on your heart and cause problems for anyone with a heart condition.24)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003. Dandelion, on the other hand, is so rich in potassium that even while it flushes out the body, it still provides a net gain in potassium.25)Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London: DK/Penguin Random House, 2016. This makes it an ideal diuretic herb for people with heart issues.26)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.

For Skin Health

The natural latex in its sap is helpful in getting rid of warts.27)Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012. However, this is not a quick process. The sap must be applied several times a day for 2 to 3 weeks. Direct application of the sap can also help with moles, pimples, canker sores, and other skin blemishes.28)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014., 29)Grossberg, George T., and Barry Fox. The Essential Herb-drug-vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medications and Supplements Together. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

To Fight Cancer and Harmful Bacteria

Dandelion may have anti-tumor/anti-cancer properties, though it is not clear whether this would be from a direct action or indirectly through its ability to cleanse and support normal body function.30)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.,31)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. Dandelion also appears to have selective antimicrobial properties, supporting healthy gut bacteria while discouraging unhealthy ones.32)Foster, Steven, James A. Duke, and Steven Foster. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.,33)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.,34)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It even helps prevent plaque buildup on teeth.35)Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.

Other Medicinal Uses

Dandelion is also cooling and drying, and can be used as a fever reducer.36)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. It’s a mild laxative and has an alkalizing effect on the body.37)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,38)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.,39)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013. Dandelion may also help some people with allergies and food intolerances.40)Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.

In animal studies, dandelion has been shown to have hypoglycemic activities.41)Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003. This may make it a helpful plant for those with diabetes, but could be a contraindication for those with hypoglycemia.42)Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.,43)Grossberg, George T., and Barry Fox. The Essential Herb-drug-vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medications and Supplements Together. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

Medicinal Formats and Dosages

You can use dandelion via any of the normal methods: fresh, dried, tincture, decoction, infusion, etc. The dried leaves make an excellent addition to green powders.

Outside of some very specific circumstances, dandelion is widely considered to be safe. Recommendations vary from herbalist to herbalist as to how much you should take.

I will present some amounts that I think are reasonable, but you should view them as suggestions, rather than rules. Other quantities/frequencies could be equally valid, depending on your situation.

Root Tincture

1:5 ratio in 60% alcohol. Use 2.5–5 ml, 3 times daily.

Root Decoction

Use 2–3 tsp of root material in 1 cup of water. Simmer for 10–15 minutes. Drink this 3 times a day.

Leaf Tincture

1:5 ratio in 40% alcohol. Use 5–10 ml, 3 times daily.

Leaf Infusion

Pour boiling water over ½ tsp of dried leaf and allow to steep for 10–15 minutes. Drink this 3 times a day.

Long Live the King!

Dandelions are so impressively versatile that I could never fit everything into a single article.

For example, did you know that the sap can be used as glue, or that the stem can be fashioned into a working flute?

What else did I leave out? What’s your favorite recipe or medicinal use? Do you have any dandelion stories (or horror stories about the bitter flavor)? Are dandelions really the king of weeds, or should that title belong to a different plant? Let me know in the comments!

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Psst! Our Lawyer Wants You to Read This Big, Bad Medical Disclaimer –> The contents of this article, made available via The Grow Network (TGN), are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by TGN. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk. And, of course, never eat a wild plant without first checking with a local expert.

_______________________________________________________

 

References   [ + ]

1. Perennial: Any plant that lives for more than 2 years.
2. Basal Rosette: A circular arrangement of leaves at ground level.
3, 32. Foster, Steven, James A. Duke, and Steven Foster. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
4. Peterson, Lee Allen, and Roger Tory Peterson. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999.
5, 25. Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London: DK/Penguin Random House, 2016.
6, 9, 10, 28, 33, 35. Blair, Katrina. The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014.
7, 12, 27. Gladstar, Rosemary. The Beginners Guide to Medicinal Herbs 35 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Books, 2012.
8, 14, 21, 37, 42. Elpel, Thomas J. Botany in a Day: Thomas J. Elpels Herbal Field Guide to Plant Families. Pony, MT: HOPS Press, 2004.
11, 13, 15, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, 38, 41. Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2003.
16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 31, 34, 36, 39, 40. Mills, Simon, and Kerry Bone. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2013.
29, 43. Grossberg, George T., and Barry Fox. The Essential Herb-drug-vitamin Interaction Guide: The Safe Way to Use Medications and Supplements Together. New York: Broadway Books, 2007.

The post Dandelions: 31+ Medicinal and Culinary Uses for the King of Weeds appeared first on The Grow Network.

How to Not Die While Wildcrafting: 15 Rules for Foraging Safely

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Walking out into the forests or fields and coming back with an armload of food and medicine is a rewarding experience. With every new plant you learn to identify and use, you become more empowered to care for yourself and your family. You also become less dependent on—and less vulnerable to—big, corporate entities. But this expanding freedom also comes with the responsibility of ensuring your own safety.

Poisonous plants exist. Some of them look like the good plants. Some plants are good or bad, depending on the quantity. And even the safest plants can harm if harvested from a contaminated environment.

I want to help you maximize your rewards while minimizing your risks. That’s why I am presenting you with 15 rules for safe wildcrafting. The more experienced you become, the more you’ll see exceptions to the rules and know when to ignore them. But I advise the novice to follow them all, because nobody wants to become a cautionary tale.

 

1) Go Slowly

The No. 1 rule with any new plant is to go slowly. You can have allergies and intolerances to wild plants, just like you can to conventional foods. The first couple of times you sample a plant, use a small portion. Also, you should only try one new plant at a time. This way, if you have a reaction, you’ll know which plant caused it.

2) Talk to a Local Expert

Local experts will often know little tips and tricks that the books and websites won’t mention, and they will have specific knowledge about how the plants look and behave in your area.

If you can’t find an expert in your area, books and websites are an acceptable way to learn wildcrafting. However, they can’t warn you if you’re about to make a mistake. Use caution and consult multiple sources to minimize your risks.

3) Don’t Eat a Plant Just Because Someone Said It Was Okay

I really hope this one goes without saying. If you watch someone harvest it, prepare it, and eat it—and if they’re still alive the next day—then maybe you could try a little.

4) Know Your Environment

Physical hazards include thorns, holes, ledges, wild animals, moving vehicles, quicksand, and volcanoes. Just keep your eyes open and don’t stick your hands and feet anywhere you won’t be able to see them.

Chemical hazards can be a bit trickier to detect. Don’t wildcraft from locations that get sprayed with herbicides or pesticides. (If you don’t know, ask. You don’t want to eat that stuff.)

Avoid foraging beside busy roads. When it rains, the ditches are irrigated by vehicle-waste runoff. Many municipalities will also spray herbicides along the sides of rural roads. Apparently, this saves money compared to running the mowing trucks. But it also ruins many lightly trafficked areas that I would otherwise love to forage from. Areas around trash storage, treated wood, and industrial waste should also be avoided.

Only harvest plants from pure waterways. Streams and rivers can carry dangerous waste for miles.

Respect private property. Don’t go foraging around someone’s house after dark. Getting mistaken for a burglar and shot would just ruin your evening. And why were you foraging in the dark, anyway?

Lastly … you know what poison ivy and poison oak look like, right?

Wildcrafting Foraging Safely - Poison Ivy

5) Use All of Your Senses    

How does the plant look? What patterns do you see? What colors? What’s the overall shape? How does it feel? (Rough? Smooth? Fuzzy?) What does it smell and taste like? (Ideally, you would be reasonably sure it wasn’t poisonous before tasting it, or even touching it.) Does it have a peculiar sound? Yes, plants can have telltale sounds.

6) If a Plant Doesn’t Match, Don’t Use It

Sometimes you’ll come across a plant that looks ALMOST right, but something doesn’t quite fit. You may have found a subspecies or variation. Then again, it might be a dangerous look-alike. It’s best just to leave that one alone until you can get a firmer identification.

7) Avoid Plants With White Sap

This one has a number of exceptions. Some plants, like dandelions, are perfectly safe. Others might be safe once they’ve been correctly prepared. But as a general rule, if a plant has white sap, leave it alone.

8) Avoid Plants With White Berries

This rule has almost no exceptions. Plants with white berries are plants that do not mess around. Don’t even touch them.

9) Be Humble With Umbels

If you see a plant with umbels,1)Umbel: A flat, disk-shaped, or umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers. you’d better be 110% sure of what it is before you harvest and use it. Elderberry, yarrow, and carrots all form umbels, and they’re great. Poison hemlock has umbels, too, and it will render you in the permanent past tense.

Unfortunately, a lot of these plants will look very similar. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever wildcraft them, but you should probably build up your skills on safer plants first. When you’re ready for the umbels, double-check their characteristics every single time.

No matter how smart you are or how much experience you have, anyone can poison themselves if they get cocky or careless. Do yourself a favor and be humble with the umbles. 

Wildcrafting Foraging Safely - Umbels

10) Be 115% Sure About Mushrooms

Mushrooms take the term “poisonous” as a personal challenge. Some of them, like the death cap mushroom, reportedly taste good. To make things worse, mushroom look-alikes can be very tricky to tell apart.

On the flipside, mushrooms are delicious and a lot of fun. They can be wildcrafted safely, if you choose the right type. Some mushrooms, like morels and puffballs, are reasonably safe for beginners to gather. Just exercise due caution, research their appearance and look-alikes, and go out with an experienced guide until you get the feel for it.

11) If It Looks Like an Onion AND Smells Like an Onion, It’s an Onion

This rule works for garlic too, but the plant you find has to both look and smell oniony or garlicy. There are some dangerous look-alikes, but none of them are also “smell-alikes.”

Wildcrafting Foraging Safely - Wild Onion

12) All Mustards Are Edible

You can find mustards (Brassicaceae family) all over the world, and they’re all edible. Great. So what does a mustard look like? The surest way to identify them is by the bloom. All mustard family plants have 4 petals and 6 stamens2)Stamen: The pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower. (4 tall and 2 short). The flowers are often small, so you may need a magnifying lens. Some members of this family may be too spicy to eat in any quantity.

Wildcrafting Foraging Safely - Mustard Family Bloom

Read More: “Mustard Greens: What You Need to Know Before You Grow (With Recipe)”

13) If It Looks Like a Mint AND Smells Like a Mint, It’s an Edible Mint

Mints (Lamiaceae family) usually have square stems and opposite3)Opposite: A leaf pattern in which leaves appear in pairs, on opposite sides, of a stem. leaves. These leaf pairs will rotate back and forth 90 degrees as they move up the stem. If a plant looks like a mint, but doesn’t smell minty, avoid it. It might be fine. It might not.

Wildcrafting Foraging Safely - Lemon Balm

14) Seeing an Animal Eat It Does Not Make It Safe

Animals can eat a lot of things that would make us sick or dead. They usually know what’s good for them. They don’t know what’s good for us. Don’t copy the animals.

15) Experience Trumps Theory

It may be very helpful to watch a video or read a book about wildcrafting. But until you’ve actually gone out to harvest and use a plant yourself, you can’t rely on that skill. Issues will often come up that books and videos can’t prepare you for. Theory is great for laying a foundation of knowledge, but experience is the ultimate teacher.

Whether the grid goes down or you just have a kid with a tummy ache, do you want to know that you’ve read about it in a book or that you’ve successfully harvested and used these plants before?

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has encouraged you, rather than scaring you off. Wildcrafting is a wonderful way to empower yourself, and it’s just a really fun way to spend an afternoon. If you follow the rules, and use a bit of common sense, you’ll come back in one piece.

What are your favorite plants to wildcraft? Do you have any tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments, and we can get a good plant talk going.

 

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Psst! Our Lawyer Wants You to Read This Big, Bad Medical Disclaimer –> The contents of this article, made available via The Grow Network (TGN), are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by TGN. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk. And, of course, never eat a wild plant without first checking with a local expert.

_______________________________________________________

 

References   [ + ]

1. Umbel: A flat, disk-shaped, or umbrella-shaped cluster of flowers.
2. Stamen: The pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower.
3. Opposite: A leaf pattern in which leaves appear in pairs, on opposite sides, of a stem.

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Outdoor Survival Gear for Emergencies: 10 Must Have Pieces

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outdoor survival gear

Do you have what you need to survive? We’re sharing our 10 must have pieces of outdoor survival gear to get you through any emergency. For non-survivalists, emergency gear is only for serious adventurers or those anticipating end-of-days both for the earth or just in terms of capitalism. But survival gear isn’t limited to this […]

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Gun Safes: An Essential Part of Owning a Firearm

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What came first the Gun or the Safe? Might seem like a silly question but let me rephrase it. What SHOULD come first the Gun or the Safe? How many people in American own firearms and do not have proper safe to store them in? I don’t know the answer to that question but I …

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3 Habits That Invite Crime

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com I’ve been reading our neighborhood social media reports and I notice there are more reports of criminal activities in areas were people usually say “That never happens here.”  These crimes rarely get reported in the evening news, but they are still worth noticing as they can happen to anyone. I know official reports in many areas show crime is down overall, but it really depends on what type of crime and where they […]

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Is There Anywhere You Are Truly “Safe”?

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This is a depressing title but an eye opening one. What is safety but an agreement between citizens. Its civility. Safety is something that we all must assure and must agree on. We live in a time where there are too many people outside the pact. You could say its that way for many reasons. …

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Can Body Armor Protect You from Common Urban Threats?

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Written by Anthony When chaos unleashes in a city, there’s no telling whether or not you’ll be standing in the line of fire. Preparation reduces the chance that you’ll fall victim to a fatal attack. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a society where treasure awaits at the end of a rainbow. Instead, perpetrators carrying guns and knives along with other harmful weapons roam the streets of urban areas, waiting to claim their next victim. Body armor is a necessity in crime […]

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An ATM Skimmer Almost Stole My Credit Card! This is How to Spot Them and How They Work

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This is every ATM users worst nightmare. This idea that there is some clever fox out there who is collecting your data each time you use the ATM. You probably really feel the twinge when you get to a ATM in gas station that is standalone and has to dial out to get your money! …

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Would Your Apartment Walls Stop a Bullet?

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

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Preppers And Gun Safety

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Preppers And Gun Safety Can you remember the first time you heard the word prepper? What about he the first purchase you made as a prepper? The reality is that some preppers get started on this journey with no experience in the military, outdoors or anything of the type. You begin to invest in survival …

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A Smart Financial and Defensive Move – Protecting Your Family and Home When the Doorbell Rings!

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Protecting Your Family…

And Doorbell Rings!

 

You feel it and you know it, our world is becoming less safe.  In the preparedness community, we talk about situational awareness, OPSEC, carrying concealed, firearm training and more.  This isn’t a fear based article, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’m telling the truth.  We are living in curious times and some may even say dangerous times.

I believe part of this is due to the mainstream media’s willingness to focus on crime and sensational stories. They do that because they need the ratings.  Remember when the news would close out with a positive story?  I haven’t seen too many of those lately!

I also believe the increase in crime is due to our economic situation.  Although the stock market is going through the roof right now, the great financial numbers haven’t really hit main street. I left the grocery store yesterday with 4 small plastic bags that cost $75.00.  Remember when that would buy you a basketful of food!

But life goes on.  We still go to work and the kids still go to school and we hope to make the best life we can.  We use our brains.  We spend less than we make.  We prepare.  We protect. We are aware.  We try to teach our kids to do all the same.  Again, we try to make the best life we can.

A Safe Life

One of the things that I try to ensure for my family is a safe life.  Yes, you can’t always shield them from everything.  But wouldn’t you want to do everything you can to make their world the safest?

I recently took the plunge and purchased a RING Doorbell.  I had looked at them in the past and decided against it because I thought the video storage feature was too much.  But after a recent conversation with a friend, I realized that I was wrong.  When I found out that the video storage was only $30 a year, I bit the bullet and made the purchase.  I’m glad I did!

 

Ring Package

The RING doorbell is one of the easiest hi-tech home safety layer someone can install.  Anyone who can install an APP and follow the directions of a video can do it!  And the great thing is that it comes with everything you need to install it!  The only possible thing that you might need is a drill if you are installing it in brick.  But even then, they provide you with the drill bit.

The RING doorbell comes with all the hardware you need!

In a nutshell…

  1. Download the APP to your phone.  Install it and make an Account. You can download the APP without purchasing the RING and see videos from your neighborhood.
  2. Connect the APP to your Wifi.
  3. Open the RING package and click the orange button on the back of the RING doorbell.
  4. Walk through the connection process that takes a few minutes.
  5. If you have a doorbell, remove it.
  6. Use the level and mark the holes to screw in the base.
  7. Screw in the base and connect the doorbell wires to the base.
  8. Set the RING doorbell on the base
  9. Screw in the security screws at the bottom of the RING doorbell.

 

That’s it!  All along the process, there is a video (see it below) that walks you through the installation, step by step.  They have made this thing foolproof!

Another cool aspect of this is that every member of the family can have the APP installed on their phone.  And, you get a running activity record of who comes up to your front door along with video and sound.

Pairing the RING doorbell with my phone.

The level and base getting screwed in. Doorbell wires are still exposed.

Doorbell wires screwed in and ready for the RING doorbell to get placed on the base.

Screwing in the security screws into the base.

This was too easy!

This is the video that I watched (on my phone) to install the RING. The only thing I didn’t do was turn off my electrical breaker. I like to live on the edge! 🙂  Ok not really….

 

 

The Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell is under $140 on Amazon.  It has 4 STARS and almost 30,000 reviews!  That is right, 30,000 reviews!

I believe the investment in this hi-tech, easy to operate device is worth it.  Just watch some of the videos below.

 

 

Peace,
Todd

My video on the Ring Wireless Doorbell. Check out the article in the Profile Link.

A post shared by Prepper Website (@prepperwebsite) on Feb 18, 2018 at 5:13pm PST



Where To Hide Your Guns

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Where To Hibernate Your Guns As Americans we all know the importance of our second amendment. Some take a stronger stance than others. The question that floats in my head is, ‘what will you do if the come for your guns.’ Its true our guns are safe today and they might be safe tomorrow. What …

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Police ‘lured’ into Melbourne backstreet battles, internal memo shows amid fears of gang merger

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Heavily armed riot police had to be called in to break up a Werribee party after the first officers to arrive at the Airbnb house were pelted with rocks. Source: 7 News.

Gangs forming an alliance, where could this lead?
Our government has left us defenceless due to gun control legislation & anti-self defence laws. What choices are we left with for our own self defence & the protection of our families?!

Know the Warning Signs of Road Rage

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Last week, I wrote about a traffic accident that escalated into a shootout between two drivers.  Road rage is not usually a topic that is covered in emergency preparedness, but if you think about it, a road rage incident can easily turn into a personal disaster.  In the situation that I described, three lives were altered as a result of uncontrollable rage:  one driver was immediately arrested, the other driver was shot in […]

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Warning: Crime Skyrockets During the Holidays – Here Are 17 Things That Are Making Your Home a Target for Burglars

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Everybody loves the holiday season, including burglars. Every year, the rate of theft and property crime skyrockets between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. There are two main reasons for this: 1) Burglars know that after Black Friday, most homes contain expensive gifts and gadgets. 2) Burglars know that many people are off visiting relatives, leaving […]

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Amateur Night at the Dipole. Pt 2. Safety Dance

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Amateur Night at the Dipole. Pt 2. Safety Dance

Amateur Night at the Dipole. Part 2. Safety Dance
Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below!

In this show we will be picking where we left off last week. Last week we covered a hard truth that you do not need a ham radio license to use a radio and having a license does not mean you know how to use a radio. We covered the license free, go nuts channel on FRS and MURS.

Continue reading Amateur Night at the Dipole. Pt 2. Safety Dance at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

A Shooting Happened a Block Away from Me

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com I was meeting some clients in the city when suddenly, we heard the unmistakable sound of gunshots.   They were very loud and in quick succession.  We stopped in mid-conversation and started listening.  The sounds stopped for a second, then another string of shots rang out.   When all was quiet, we looked outside but only saw that traffic on the street was at a standstill.   I was considering calling 911 when I heard multiple sirens.  […]

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Feel Safer in Your Apartment and Save Money with These 5 Smart Gadgets

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Written by Krystal Rogers-Nelson You don’t have to rely on someone else to have a secure and energy efficient apartment. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to secure your home and reduce your energy usage without relying on outside services. These five apartment-friendly smart gadgets will not only help you feel safe, you will save money as well. 1. Wi-Fi Smoke Alarm Battery Most renters don’t want or aren’t allowed to make many upgrades to their apartment. Instead of […]

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11 Home Security Tips for Life After SHTF

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one of the biggest threats during any type of disaster is people who are unprepared. At first, they’ll stay in their homes and wait for the government to send help. But after several days, when they start running out of food and realize no one is […]

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10 Gray Man Tips To Help You Blend In During A Crisis

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When disaster strikes your city and you are away from home, one of the best things you can do to survive is to become what is called the gray man. No, being a gray man doesn’t mean wearing gray clothing. It primarily means three things: blend in with the crowd, steer clear of confrontation, and […]

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Deterrent or acceptable casualty!

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Deterrent or acceptable casualty! James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below! The importance of a deterrent goes way beyond the collapse of society. Its a concept that we all should be practicing today! No matter who you are, a physical altercation is never a good idea. There is simply too much unknown. Yet, all … Continue reading Deterrent or acceptable casualty!

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Tips on How to Survive a Sniper Attack – Advise from Selco who Lived through SHTF

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com After the Las Vegas shooting tragedy, a lot of people have been wondering what would they do if they were in a situation like that.   What happened was a horrific situation, one that we cannot even imagine.  I thought I’d ask our previous guest Selco, founder of SHTFSchool, who has lived through a SHTF situation himself.  Selco lived through the Bosnia collapse in 1992, suffering for a year in a city with no […]

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7 Tips For Traveling Through Dangerous Areas

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Both during a grid-down disaster or in your everyday life, you may find yourself driving through a dangerous area. There are dangerous neighborhoods throughout the world, and odds are you’re already thinking of a certain neighborhood in your town or city. The day may come when you get lost and find yourself in the wrong […]

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10 Tips for Surviving an Active Shooter

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The tragedy in Las Vegas last week has everyone talking about gun control, as usual. And I understand why: mass shootings are terrifying. They happen unexpectedly, and they can happen to anyone. So naturally, many people start demanding a solution that will make them feel safe. But here’s the thing about this particular shooting: stricter […]

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When Can You Shoot An Intruder in Your Home?

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Although having a firearm for self-defense is a good idea, hopefully, you’ll never have to actually use it against someone. Having to pull the trigger on an intruder can lead to tragedy, with some homeowners going to jail for killing people who broke in. It’s easy to think that your right to defend your family […]

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What’s In Your Holster? Personal Safety

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What’s In Your Holster? Personal Safety Guest, Cherie Norton Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below! Special guest is Cherie Norton, an accomplished firearms instructor. More and more women are taking up shooting for sport and self-defense, and I couldn’t be happier. Cherie is such a woman who has attained high marksmanship skills. She … Continue reading What’s In Your Holster? Personal Safety

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Knowing when it’s time to bug out!

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Knowing when it’s time to bug out! Forrest Garvin “The Prepping Academy” Audio player below! On this episode of “The Prepping Academy” Forrest and Tenderfoot are going to be discussing one of the most important and difficult questions to answer, “How to know when it is time to bug out?” Listen to this broadcast or … Continue reading Knowing when it’s time to bug out!

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What If You’re Caught in a Riot While Driving?

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Imagine you’re driving your car through the city on a typical day. You take a turn, and suddenly find yourself surrounded by a rioting mass of protesters. Would you be able to escape them safely? Riots are much more dangerous than many people think. If you find yourself surrounded by a mob of angry people, […]

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Fortifying Suburbs And Communities After SHTF

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Ezekiel 4:2 – Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. History Walls were used to protect societies for a very long time. Uruk in Mesopotamia was one of the earliest examples of fortified walls that […]

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Worker flees as armed thugs storm Melbourne store with bats, hammers.

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Yet again this store worker was not able to defend himself because it is illegal for any law abiding citizen to purchase and or carry ANYTHING for use in self defence. The criminal on the other hand abides by no such law & can use anything they want. In this case they were carrying base ball bats & hammers!
The police can not be on hand all the time, in fact they are rarely there when you need them! They can’t reach you in time either when you call 000 & yet the government persists in keeping us defenceless. Why is this? My first thought was that if you make it legal for citizens to purchase guns, pepper sprays or tasers for defence, then it will mean that criminals can do the same thing, BUT THE CRIMINALS ALREADY ARE ABLE TO USE WHATEVER THEY WANT! It is only the law abiding people that are being disadvantaged!

Huge Cybersecurity Breach at Equifax – See if You are At Risk

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Just a quick post today before I go to work.  Did not hear about this in mainstream TV news, but you should know Equifax has been hacked.  Because they are one of the three main credit reporting companies, this may impact all of us. Find out More See Equifax reveals hack that likely exposed data of 143 million customers. Then check if you are at risk at Cybersecurity Incident & Important Consumer Information.  If […]

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Bugging In VS Bugging Out. How Safe Are Your Homes?

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Many if not most people including preppers have decided that bugging in, staying at home in the city is the best way to go. I am not going to say that bugging out to the wilderness/bush is going to be easy, certainly if you have had no previous experience & have not learnt any primitive skills, then it will be very hard for these people. But is the option of bugging in really a good idea? I don’t think so.

In the city when the electricity goes off there will be no power, no cooking, no sewage so no toilets, & no water on tap. We are talking a major shtf situation here, long term problems. Not safe to go outside & I don’t think you will be safe inside. Preppers boo hoo the idea that gangs, raiders, thugs could run a Mack truck through a house or set their home on fire. Think again! If they can’t simply break in & take what you have, they will destroy your home.

So you have food & water supplies, how long do you think they will last? There will be no hunting, no foraging. The supermarkets will have been raided & all stocks gone. Too dangerous to cook outside & too dangerous to bury your toilet buckets outside.
Think about it.

Tools to Help You Maintain Situational Awareness in Your Local Community!

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Situational awareness is a topic that often comes up in preparedness.  It’s important to consider your surroundings.  Things can change in a matter of moments.  By being aware, you might be able to foresee any issues that might come your way.

The other day I was waiting for my wife to come out of a store.  I noticed a young mom with two little girls walking to her car.  Not two-feet behind her, a man was walking right behind her.  At first, they were so close that I thought it was her husband.  However, they never acknowledged each other.  Then the thought crossed my mind, he could be getting ready to rob her.  I pulled up a little further so I could have a good eye on what was happening.  As she turned to her vehicle, the man turned towards his.

The man could have just been walking to his vehicle.  However, I know that when I’m that close to someone, I purposely move to one side or the other, not to worry them.  This guy didn’t do it. This young mom had two small children.  I’m a father.  Sometimes getting kids into the car is like corraling cats.  But, we are living in a new day and age!

Situational Awareness – Think About It On A Bigger Scale!

 

Being situationally aware when you leave your home is very important. However, I would like to discuss situational awareness on a bigger scale, your community.

Having knowledge of what is going on in your community is important.  We don’t live in a bubble!  What is happening on the other side of town, or just a few streets over can have an impact on your family and your safety.

Here are a few tools that can help you know what is going on, many times, in real time.

NextdoorNextdoor is “social media” for your neighborhood.  There, your neighbors can post on anything from For Sale items, Lost and Found to Crime.

Recently, a scout mom posted about the local scout troop selling mulch to raise money for their troop.  I found out through Nextdoor and ordered ten bags.  The cool thing is that they delivered the bags to my backyard! 😉  If it was only that easy every year!

One of the cool aspects of this service is that I can add neighborhoods around my area.  So if I wanted to know about all the local garage sales, I could add other neighborhoods close by, other than mine.

One thing to consider is that you will get a few whiny people posting about kids running stop signs and popping off fireworks.  You can set the APP only to alert you when someone posts an “emergency” post.  You can also set the APP to send you a daily email summary instead of letting you know about every new post.

This is a valuable website/APP and I suggest everyone to at least look into it.

Disclaimer: As with all social media, be careful what you share on it.  You can use this APP and many others without divulging any real information.

 

NOTE: I wrote this article before Hurricane Harvey.  This APP proved to be invaluable in the information that neighbors were sharing.  I was glad to have it and received very timely information as well as information from older neighbors who had knowledge on how the neighborhood drained.

Facebook Groups – Facebook is one of those things.  It can be a blessing or a curse.  If you use it the way I’m describing in this section, it can be a blessing.

Many neighborhoods have a group on Facebook.  My neighborhood has a group that is not very active.  Although, when things do happen, people post on it.  However, I’m a member of a group that encompasses a good portion of the suburbs I live in.  This group is specific to sharing about crime and emergency issues.

Sometimes it is shocking to see so many things going on around the area. But, I want to know what areas are safe and if I need to let my family know they need to avoid certain areas.  Often, members of the group will post on police activity and crimes.  I have seen people post on tires being stolen, people trying to enter vehicles at night and more.  There is usually pics and video to go along with it.

It was a really helpful about a year ago when NW Houston was flooded. Members of the group posted, in real time, areas that were impassable and when areas were cleared.  This group had the most up-to-date information than any other source, including the major TV affiliates.  In this scenario, it was very helpful.

It’s like people want to report on what is going on.  Their desire is to your benefit and will help you stay aware.

To find a local group, get on Facebook and start searching for your neighborhood or suburbs.

An example of a Neighborhood Crime Watch post.

NOTE: Again, this Facebook group proved to be a very valuable resource during Hurricane Harvey.  I was informed of road closures and what the area outside of my immediate neighborhood look liked!

Twitter – You might not have considered it, but Twitter is a great place for news.  Many times, the world and national news hit Twitter way before you will see it anywhere else.  So, instead of filling up my feed on the Kardashians and the latest Hollywood Yahoo, I follow accounts that provide news.

But for the sake of this article, I want to point out that you can follow your local news and emergency services.  So for example, I follow @AlertHouston.

 

I also follow FEMA Region 6 which includes Texas, so I can avoid the camps! 😉  I could also add the Houston Police and Fire Dept.’s, but the Alert Houston Twitter handle does a decent job.

It shouldn’t be your primary source for local news, but I believe everyone should learn to navigate Twitter and use it as a channel for quick information. You could go to my Twitter account, and follow some of the same news organizations that I do.  I tend to follow organizations on both sides of the aisle so I can stay up on what they are “thinking” and “saying.”

Crime Reports – Another website that offers information on what is going on around your local area is Crime Reports.  I’m not going to go into detail here because I did a write up a while back called, “Checking Crime Reports.

This is a website that you should visit because you can drill down to your local neighborhood, even your own street to see what types of crimes have been reported.

Broadcastify – This website allows you to listen to police, fire, EMS, aviation and rail scanner feeds.  Use the map and drill down to your local area.

Make sure that you pay careful attention to the “STEREO” feeds.  These are feeds that have multiple feeds coming out two different channels.  For example, the left side of the speaker broadcast the feed for several agencies where the right side of the speaker broadcasts the others.

Broadcastify has an APP for iPhones and Androids that you can download. There are many other scanner APPS out there as well.

Final Word

With our busy lives, it is easy to get distracted with all the things we have to do.  But our world is getting crazy out there.  It is just smart to stay aware of your surroundings.  Using these tools mentioned above makes it a little easier.

Are there any tools, websites, APPS that you use that could be helpful to the community?

Peace,
Todd

 

 

20 Crime Prevention Tips From a Veteran Cop

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I’ve learned countless crime prevention tips over the years–some good, some bad–but when they come from a veteran cop, I pay close attention. Police officers have about a thousand times more experience with crime than the average citizen. They learn the many ways burglars break into homes, hear stories of home invasions straight from the […]

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10 Defensive Shooting Tips That Could Save Your Life

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Owning a gun is one thing, but knowing how to wield it is something else entirely. If you don’t know how to properly use your firearm in a self-defensive situation, not only do your chances of survival go down, but your chances of accidentally harming yourself or somebody else go up. Fortunately, this can all […]

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Being Mr. Nice Guy Will Get You Killed in SHTF

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I’m a pretty nice guy. I avoid confrontations and try to get along with everybody I meet, but there are some people in this world that you just can’t get along with. No matter how nice you are or how much you compromise with them, they will stab you in the back first chance they […]

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Best Gun for Apartment Defense

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Having a means to defend yourself in the event of a disaster or collapse where your life or family’s lives are being threatened is something you must consider.  We have discussed many options such as taser, pepper spray, survival shotgun in previous articles.  Today we will discuss guns for apartment defense. Best Gun for Apartment Defense Written by Roy, Hunter and Survivalist Defending yourself is even better when you have a gun in the house. We will share some of […]

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6 Things That Could Attract Dangerous People After SHTF

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First, the disaster will come. It will come like they always do. It may start slow and steady but eventually, it will reach a fever pitch. The destruction brought on by man or mother nature will ravage all that dares step in its path. The audible effects of the disaster will give way to visual […]

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When Do Burglaries Occur?

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Our apartment complex has been experiencing an increase in burglaries.  One resident even reported getting home and finding the intruder, who then escaped out of the second floor balcony.   Because it is happening right where I live, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at when most burglaries occur. When Do Burglaries Occur? Written by Matthew Wilson According to the FBI, a burglary occurs every 18 seconds in the U.S., adding up to nearly […]

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4 Smartphone Apps for Personal Safety and Home Security

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Written by Maile Timon Home and personal safety are very important. Protecting yourself and your loved ones is always a major priority. Did you know, however, you have one of the best tools for personal safety right at your fingertips? Your smartphone can help you call for help, find your way when you’re lost, or act as a flashlight when you can’t see in the dark. In addition to the pre-installed applications, there are a number of useful apps that […]

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How to Use the Internet While Avoiding Hackers & Big Brother

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Take a minute to think about what you’ve looked up on the internet over the past, say, six months. How many people do you think have access to the information you’ve read, searched, and discussed? More than you might think. Internet security is becoming a growing concern for many, especially with a recently signed bill […]

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Enrollment In America’s 4 Largest Safety Net Programs Hits A Record High Of 236 Million

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Enrollment In America’s 4 Largest Safety Net Programs Hits A Record High Of 236 Million Its always important to lift the veil of our society and look at the terrifying truth. If you were to keep an eye on the path of this nation  24/7 it would erode your soul. This article is a frightening …

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Don’t Throw It Out! Even When You See Mold, These Foods Are Still Edible

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Everyone has had the unfortunate experience of throwing out spoiled food. It’s a sad experience that we all share. You opened up your fridge to grab a snack, only to find that it’s riddled with small moldy spots, and is exuding a funky smell. However, what isn’t shared is the reaction to that situation. That’s because there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who respond to the sight of moldy food by grimacing and immediately throwing it away, and those who wonder if that food can be salvaged.

So which is the correct decision? That’s highly dependent on what kind of food you’re dealing with, according to the FDA. The government agency has released a handy guide to determine which foods should be avoided when they begin to grow mold, and which foods can be saved by scraping off the mold.

According to that guide, the main thing you need to consider is how mold grows in certain foods. In some cases, it only resides on the surface of the food. In other cases however, the mold has roots that burrow deep into the food, and can’t be seen. When that happens, you can’t simply cut the mold away. Once the mold is visible, it’s probably burrowed into everything.

So which foods are most likely to promote this kind of deep-seated mold growth? It’s mainly foods that have a high moisture content, such as:

  • Leftover meats, lunch meats, bacon, and hotdogs
  • Casseroles
  • Cooked Pasta and other grains
  • Yogurt and sour cream
  • Jams

You also should avoid eating soft fruits and vegetables that have become moldy, such as peaches, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Hard produce however, such as carrots and bell peppers, have a much lower water content. If they become moldy, you can simply cut it away. The FDA recommends cutting out at least an inch of material below the mold.

Cheeses have a similar recommendation. Mold on hard cheeses can be cut out; again by removing an inch of material around the mold in every dimension. Soft cheeses, like brie, camembert, cream cheese, and cottage cheese, should always be thrown out.

However, there are some items that don’t have a high water content that should always be thrown out. Bread in particular, tends to grow mold with deep roots, despite having very little moisture. And though they don’t produce mold with deep roots, Peanut butter, legumes and nuts should be thrown out as well.

The only moldy meats that you can eat, are salami and dry cured hams. When these foods grow mold, it’s almost always restricted to the surface. Unlike hard cheeses and produce, you don’t have to cut away a huge chunk of meat to remove the mold. You can just scrub it off of the surface.

Of course, there’s a lot more you can learn about dealing with foods that have mold. Check out the rest of the FDA’s article, which contains an abundance of information on mold, and how to protect yourself from it.

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 Hackers Gain Access to Your Home

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by Joseph Mack The popularity of the smart home has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years and while that should be a good thing for consumers it does raise some concerns. Unfortunately there will always be some unscrupulous individuals out there determined to take advantage of innocent people at every opportunity – that includes both the real world and the cyber universe. There have been several high profile incidents in which hackers have used smart devices in […]

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The Foundations of Good Community Security

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

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5 Non-Lethal Defense Products to Protect You During a Break-In

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Written by Jessica Thiefels One of the most frightening experiences that someone can go through is to be in your home during a break-in, which is why preparedness is key. It’s important to plan out how you could protect yourself if this should ever happen to you. The following non-lethal self-defense products should be included in any plan for protection during a break-in. One thing to be aware of, with each of these items, is that you should always practice […]

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Family Vacation & Still Prepping

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Family Vacation & Still Prepping Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! I know we dedicate a lot of time and money to prepping and survival but I am a firm believer in balance. I think as important as it is to be prepared it’s just as important to hit the road … Continue reading Family Vacation & Still Prepping

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5 Ways to Make Your Home More Defensible

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Most houses are not designed with a post-apocalyptic disaster in mind. There are multiple entry points, weak locks, and thin windows, which means gangs of looters will have no trouble breaking into your home in search of food and supplies. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your home easier to defend. […]

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Unarmed Combat: An Often Overlooked Survival Skill

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When I use the term “survival skills,” most people think of classic skills like making fire, purifying water, building shelter, first aid treatment, and so forth. Few people think of unarmed combat as a survival skill. But if you think about it, unarmed combat is one of the most important skills, especial in urban areas. […]

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The 10 Principles of Effective Family Survival

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The 10 Principles of Effective Family Survival There’s nothing more important than family in this world. No matter the differences and the hard times you faced, the survival of your family remains your main priority. If your loved ones depend on you to make it during a crisis scenario, you must bring them together. They …

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5 Myths about Apartment Break-Ins

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A few days ago, we got a notice from the apartment manager that one of our neighbor’s units got broken into.  I went to the leasing office to find out the scoop.  Our leasing manager has worked there for 25 years so I knew I could get some information. Some of the most common widely held beliefs about burglaries in apartments turned out to be myths. 5 Myths about Apartment Break-Ins: Burglaries happen […]

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Prepare for Lockdown: How to Stay Safe When Chaos Erupts

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This article from The Organic Prepper was published last summer, and it was written when some major protests against police officers were happening across America. But frankly, the protests we saw last year were a picnic compared to the kind of protests we’re already seeing now that Donald Trump has become President, and it’s only […]

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50 Survival Items to Put in Your Kids Backpacks

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50 Survival Items to Put in Your Kids Backpacks If you’re in a survival situation and you’re on foot, your own bug out bag is going to be all you can manage. If you’re a parent or grandparent responsible for children in a survival situation, you can’t possibly carry everything they will need. It’s going … Continue reading 50 Survival Items to Put in Your Kids Backpacks

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17 Secret Hiding Places For Your Valuables

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Imagine some burglars break into your home while you’re at work or away on vacation. How long would it take them to find your most valuable possessions (cash, jewelry, electronics, etc)? Would they find those things in a matter of minutes, or would it take them hours? If the former, then it’s time to start […]

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Police Failed To Stop Killer When They Could Have!

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Now why would senior officers instruct police not to intervene when they had the ideal opportunity to stop this man???!!! This is not the first time this has happened!

Survival Canines

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Survival Canines James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! Its funny but out of the estimated 8.7 million species on this planet we really have only have one that likes us. Lets be honest. Some people will say they keep birds and other food items as pets but in most cases they are … Continue reading Survival Canines

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How to Keep a Low Profile in Urban Situations

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Written by Dan Stevens, Modern Survival Online Spoiler alert: keeping a low profile in urban settings is a lot harder than if you lived in a small town. The bigger the head count, the more likely it is to be spotted, attacked and so on. Nevertheless, there are ways to become a gray, as us preppers like to say. There are a number of things you can do and they aren’t hard but need to be practiced. Keep in mind […]

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7 Home Security Measures That Could Save Your Life

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Unless you happen to be the duke of a large estate with a fortified castle, you’ll have to put in a little preparation to secure your home from invaders. While taking precautions to protect yourself from a home invasion is important now, it will become even more critical in the event of a catastrophe. A […]

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Malcolm Turnbull says Australians should be ‘very alert’ after IS call for lone wolf attacks.

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An Islamic State propaganda magazine has called for ‘lone wolf’ attacks at locations in Sydney and Melbourne.

 Should this be taken seriously? Or is it just another ploy by the government to legislate more restrictions on Australian citizens in the name of terrorism? Since when have the government been seriously concerned with public safety?

Gun Safety For Preppers!

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Gun Safety For Preppers James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! As preppers, we have a very real responsibility. We are gun owners (or better be) and how we conduct ourselves is very important. Though it may be easy to forget the Newtown Massacre was conducted using the prepper mother’s guns. This is … Continue reading Gun Safety For Preppers!

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9 Signs That Someone Is About To Attack You

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Being able to detect threats is imperative, especially during a major disaster. Whether you’re defending your family after a disaster or simply trying to feel safe going to the gas station at night, you need to be able to identify people with hostile intentions. While your brain can sometimes be tricked into judging someone as […]

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How to Survive in a Violent Post Apocalypse

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outlaw-gangs-raiders-1

How to Survive in a Violent Post Apocalypse

When Post Apocalyptic Outlaw Gangs and Supply Raiders Rule the Land

… Military Tactics for Survival

Are you ready for a rise of outlaw gangs, sex traders, and supply raiders? This isn’t the Old West. This is America or the UK, Canada, or Australia following a complete societal collapse. Better know how to survive — because outlaw gangs, murderous raiders and “highwaymen” are coming.

They will hunt you and they will kill you…

 

If we lose the government, we’re going to lose local police. If there’s a rash of crime and looters and robberies, a lot of people may find themselves on their own, living in a constant state of fear of when and where the next group of thieves may strike.

Unless you have a fairly large group of family and friends to help fortify your home and property and defend it from lawlessness, simply put it will be dangerous for people to try to hold their ground against a larger, mobile group of thieves intent on taking everything you own, and even taking your life.

Survival calls for a strategy

Unless you have a strategy for dealing with outlaw gangs and supply raiders, they have the advantage, and history is on their side. In lawless lands, groups like these have taken many lives over the centuries, committed countless rapes and other atrocities, and are a very serious threat to your immediate and long term survival following any kind of collapse of government.

Lessons from the Old West and Civil War

Though they have plagued border lands throughout history, many lessons can be learned from the days of America’s Old West, as well as outlaw gangs of both Yankee and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. While both sides had their valiant and honorable soldiers, both sides also had their murderous thugs and mercenaries that would pillage, rape, and murder it seems on just about any chance they could get.

A few Confederate groups even made a name for themselves for their ability to hide out in rough terrain, making it hard for any lawmen or vigilante groups to pursue and bring them to justice for their crimes.

After the Civil War, a number of these soldiers now headed out West to seek their fortune and a new life. Many would become outlaws and bandits; some would become lawmen…

A Few Things to Know About Outlaw Gangs, Raiders, Bandits, Marauders and Highwaymen

These are historical terms used in different parts of the world and at different times in history to describe thieves and murderers that prey on travelers, or property owners, or both.

1) Bandits and highwaymen are more likely to strike travelers, especially as they leave cities and head into more rural country along long, lonely roads.

2) Raiders and marauders can almost be like a small guerilla military force, with their aggression, weapons, and sometimes complete disdain for human life. All of them are thieves and some of them are rapists and murderers as well; some will take children and turn them into sex slaves, after killing parents; or, as is going on in several lawless areas of Africa in the modern day, they’ll turn the boys into child soldiers and a new generation of raiders and marauders. Eventually, with enough child soldiers, they can take on the size of a small army, just like the LRA led by Joseph Kony that originally operated in Uganda but have since spread into neighboring countries in East Africa.

Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch

Butch Cassidy and a group he rode with called the Wild Bunch had a lot of success, as history records, pulling off multiple robberies. Their tactics included doing reconnaissance first and also stashing supplies and extra horses along their get away route.

Another outlaw group from the Old West is said to have planned robberies by breaking their large group into small teams and then attacking multiple locations simultaneously. That sounds a lot like first hand military experience and so gangs using these tactics may have been former soldiers from the Civil War now operating out West as bandits and supply raiders.

Outlaw gangs are known to use guerilla tactics

3) Due to their guerilla tactics, it can be tough for a localized military or police force to put a stop to them. In fact, often guerillas have a huge advantage in that they can disappear into the brush, have the experience of knowing the lands they travel in, and are able to flee and regroup at a safe location, away from any judicial consequences. They use hit and run tactics, using fast and overwhelming aggression in their favor when successfully raiding a township or homestead — or robbing a bank, ranch, or stagecoach back in the days of the Old West.

4) Raider forces usually have a “hide out” or base camp where they operate from. Something like this is likely to be located in an area that gives them some kind of strategic advantage vs any lawmen or vigilante groups that might form to go after them. One of the most successful hide outs ever was the location used by the Hole in the Wall Gang (that area known as the Hole-in-the-Wall Pass in Johnson County, Wyoming was actually a hide out for several gangs who history records weren’t one large gang but all cooperated to share the same location as a hide out / base camp; See: Hole in the Wall Gang.)

How to Beat Raiders and Highwaymen Using Military Tactics

In the right hands, the following information can serve to help save lives of future people who would otherwise die at the hands of future raiders and highwaymen. In the wrong hands, the following information could be used to do just the opposite. I pray that the information I share next is only used for good purposes…

1) Poison: If you live in a region currently threatened by raiders, you can set a trap, especially if you have a large supply of alcohol. Alcohol, often in the hands of raiders, is like liquid gold and a hot commodity. It can be an instant celebration back at the camp of a group of murderous raiders, the moment these raiders return to camp with that days “plunder” from homesteads and townships in the area. I’m not going to discuss the specifics of poison; I’m only going to mention it as one way a person or group could consider going after a group of murderous raiders by setting up a “fake” homestead or campsite, and then baiting it with things for this group to steal and take back to their leaders. If you want this supply to make it back to it’s leaders, it should be a large supply, and not a small supply. A small supply may never make it to the leaders and might be consumed by the foot soldiers that found it. Sure, they might die, but that still leaves the rest of the gang to deal with.

2) Spies: One way to bring a group of outlaws to justice is to use spies to infiltrate and collect information on their whereabouts and plans for the coming days, then plan attacks based on where and when there group will be in different locations.

3) Cut the Head Off the Snake: Assassins that can take out an outlaw gangs leadership and command structure make it much easier to cause a gang to break up and flee the area, or for them to all be brought to justice.

4) Apache Tactics: One of history’s ultimate stealth forces were the Apache, a Native American tribe from the Southwest states of which Geronimo is one of the most famous names from Apache history. The Apache were so skilled at stealth and hit and run tactics using that stealth that the Navy SEALS even adopted strategies from them, and use these tactics today in special forces training and on missions.

Remember the success that SEAL Team 6 had taking down Osama Bin Laden just a few years back? That operation was code named, “Geronimo.” How’s that for giving credit to the Apaches for some of what the SEALS know and use today?

Most outlaw gangs (the formidable ones with smart leadership, and even former military training) are likely to have sentries set up outside their camp, to spot anyone approaching long before they get near camp.

Successful Apache tactics can often occur under the cover of night, especially when there’s clouds to block moon light, and in the early morning hours when most people in an outlaw group are asleep, other than a few sentries scattered throughout the area. An intelligent Apache raid could involve waiting for an outlaw group to celebrate one evening, drinking large quantities of alcohol, putting most of the group into an alcoholic stupor. Then, one by one, those in your group of lawmen or vigilantes with the most stealth and fearlessness could go after a different sentry, effectively taking out all posted guards. Once all those sentries had been taken out, now a larger group could descend on the camp of outlaws while most or all of them are still asleep. Mission accomplished. Enemy is eliminated.

5) Set A Trap / Funnel the Enemy into a Kill Zone: An entire township could be outfitted with trained lawmen and vigilantes to look like ordinary citizens, knowing that the outlaw gang you’re after is likely performing daily reconnaissance and simply waiting for the right moment to strike. Somehow let news spread across the township that your local lawmen or vigilante group would be a few miles away the next day, helping out another town in some way, perhaps just attending some kind of event or celebration. Once that information reaches the outlaw gangs ears, they may choose that same time to strike, and walk into a trap, where they are outnumbered and outgunned, and an end brought to their murderous raids.

How to Survive and Avoid Encounters with Outlaw Gangs and Supply Raiders

If you’re part of a smaller group or even on your own, then there may be no real way for you to bring a group of outlaws and supply raiders to justice, or to effectively defend yourself from attack.

An ounce of prevention in the form of complete avoidance is what will save your life in this case.

First, understand how outlaw gangs operate

When praying on travelers, “highwaymen” were bandits that stalked lonely stretches of road that merchants and others were known to use, setting up ambushes, and many people have walked into their traps over the centuries.

When possible, travel with a large armed group

If you’re going to travel the open road in this way, it is best to travel with a large group that is armed, and from a distance away looks like a formidable force. In doing so, you are a lot less likely to be targeted for a robbery. That is true today just as much as it was true in centuries past.

Otherwise, stay far away from roads and even trails

If traveling with a large armed group or hiring a security force (that you can trust) isn’t an option, then as much as possible the safest way to travel will be far away from open roads and commonly used trails or other pathways. If outlaw bands are suspected to be in the area, find out where they are thought to be based out of, and then find a way that detours many miles away from their base camp, at the same time staying off roads and trails, because these are the places that outlaws are going to lurk.

Bandits stalk areas that people commonly travel

In a way, they’re like hunters settling in along side game trails, waiting for game. Because outlaws are for the most part unable to provide for their camp by honest means like hunting, trapping, farming, trading, and fishing, the only way they can survive and thrive is by supply raids that prey on people who are able to provide and build up supplies. That is why outlaws and supply raiders are a very real threat near populated regions and along lonely roads out in the countryside, especially those leading away from a nearby town or city.

Stay away from populated areas

If survival is a top priority, make it a habit to stay away from roads and known trails, and choose to travel off trail, detouring as far from populated regions as possible, much in the same way that Apaches could stay hidden for months at a time from American forces that sought to root them out in the 1800s, when the U.S. military was at war with Native American tribes in the Southwest states.

Find a vehicle that offers escape

Outlaw gangs in the Old West often had the assistance of fast horses. In the modern age, more likely they’re going to choose gas powered vehicles, including ATVs, trucks, and motorcycles. If you can ride a horse, that may be the best route as a horse allows a lot more stealth than you’ll ever see on an ATV, truck, or motorcycle, plus you can take a horse on a path into heavy brush or trees and across a shallow stream that may be too difficult for any motorized vehicle to follow.

While there are still plenty of skilled horse riders in the modern age, if that’s not you or you don’t have a horse in a post collapse world, other avenues that offer you speed can include a dirt bike or dual sport (on road / off road motorcycle), ATV, or even a truck with 4×4 capability. Due to the noise factor, each of these should really only be considered if you can also customize your vehicles to operate with less noise, while also operating at low speeds (as much as possible) and avoiding higher engine revs.

Noise dampening devices and quieter mufflers

When it comes to ATVS, dirt bikes and dual sports, seriously consider getting a new muffler beforehand and doing other custom work to make it a lot quieter. In a post collapse world, you’re not going to want the sound of your machine to carry that far, otherwise you’ll have no stealth, and you might as well be telling the world where they can find you.

Dual sports are the best motorized vehicle to consider

Dirt bikes, ATVs, and dual sports are commonly used in extreme sports racing or are the recreational vehicles of country folks and even a few city dwellers out there. By far, a dual sport is probably the best vehicle to own post-collapse, as long as you have a plan for both stockpiling fuel and procuring new sources of fuel before hand. A dual sport’s on road and off road capabilities give you a vast range of terrain that you can travel in, both on and off trail.

15Bandits will want your bike — proceed with caution

In a post collapse world, bandits will want those dual sports, ATVs and dirt bikes, that are common fair out in the countryside in the modern day. Many trails near populated areas may end up ambushed in the early days and weeks following a collapse. Some of those trails may have traps set that include running heavy wire or even barbed wire over a trail a few feet off the ground that will rip a rider right off his machine (like riding into a clothesline), sometimes even decapitating him or her. Watch out!

That is one more reason to avoid traveling on trails due to those traps and others.

Be on the lookout for road blocks

Also be on the lookout for road blocks up ahead that may include downed trees. A downed tree is a common scam used by bandits because it causes a person traveling in a vehicle to stop in order to move the downed trees. That’s exactly the moment that you are ambushed and robbed of everything you have.

Be wary of women “stranded” in desolate country

Another tactic that outlaw gangs can use is the “woman in need of rescue”; as you stop to help her, you’re suddenly surrounded by thieves hiding out in the brush nearby.

Be wary of abandoned goods

You may see some toppled over boxes or abandoned bags of gear up ahead; be wary of inspecting these — this is another common tactic used by thieves. While you’re attention is on these goods, they can sneak out of the brush and surround you.

Be wary of roadside buildings

Thieves know that travelers by road may be curious as to what’s inside any number of buildings along their path; as you make your approach realize you may be under close watch at that moment, and are being sized up and possibly lured into a trap.

Pray for guidance and listen to your instincts

Last but not least, don’t hesitate to ask God for guidance; even if it’s your first time in life, God’s always just that first prayer away. If you want this to work for you, repent and get your life right with God beforehand. Otherwise you’re like millions of people who claim to know God but don’t actually want anything to do with living a life according to God’s will — and courageously living for Christ.

What are your instincts telling you?

Listen closely to your instincts. If you come around a corner or over the top of a hill, and something suddenly doesn’t feel right, get out of the open immediately and find a place of concealment where you can wait patiently for a bit, carefully surveying everything around you before proceeding. When you do proceed, proceed cautiously.

Native American scouts had incredible survival skills

Back in the pioneer days, U.S. military sometimes hired Native Americans as scouts; history notes that these scouts often exercised a great deal of caution when on the look out for enemy tribes — a very useful and life-saving survival skill. While American military forces might rush in to battle — and die — instead of just rushing in, these scouts would carefully survey the entire area from all angles beforehand, sometimes scouting wide around an enemy’s known location, until they had a firm picture of everything they were up against.

As mentioned prior, these tactics have been passed down to today’s Navy SEALS and other special forces groups. These are skills to know and apply in any kind of post-apocalyptic landscape.

Reconnaissance

If you see a road block up ahead, immediately go back the way you came, stash your vehicle (if you have one), get out your high-powered binoculars, and if you still need to use that path in that direction, do some reconnaissance first (sneaking around the area at a distance, and viewing the scene from multiple angles, looking for any signs of movement).

After your recon, if you’re not absolutely sure it’s safe to proceed, find a way to make a wide detour, even if you have to dump your vehicle and proceed on foot.

Guerillas

To avoid a guerilla force of bandits and marauders, you have to operate a lot like a guerilla force of your own. That calls for Apache tactics and modern day lessons from the Navy SEALS and other special forces groups like the SAS (UK) and U.S. Army Green Berets. Stay away from roads and trails as much as possible, always using brush and forest as cover.

High powered binoculars and night-vision scopes and night-vision monoculars can be life-savers on a repeated basis post collapse. There is a serious need of awareness in the general public of the immediate dangers from supply raiders and those murderous thieves that will be lurking outside cities and townships. They are after women, food, and supplies; some may even be after children.

In worst case situations, some may have even turned to cannibalism.

Are you prepared for outlaw gangs and supply raiders?

A lack of awareness shows itself when the majority of people’s preps for disasters overlook basic and essential items for living in a land of lawlessness, whether that’s the American Old West, or a pioneer family on a prairie surrounded by warrior tribes of Native Americans, or a post-apocalyptic landscape of tomorrow.

The survival tools that will really make a difference will be high powered binoculars and other tools offering night vision. Daily reconnaissance and understanding what dangers are in the land around you will be crucial survival tactics for most people. If you overlook this, you are making a serious mistake.

Firearms don’t guarantee anything

Even if you have firearms for self defense, that doesn’t mean you are protected from danger. Outlaw gangs and supply raiders may have you outnumbered and use any number of murderous schemes to ambush you, catching you completely by surprise. You lose everything, including your guns. You may even lose your life. If that happens, your wife and kids (if you have any) are goners.

Remember that tactic mentioned above, where your group uses spies to infiltrate a group of thieves? Thieves can use that tactic also. Be wary of anyone new that comes into your group and be ready to feed them misinformation as well as have someone spy on their movements and report anything out of the ordinary.

What about faith?

Though God can look out for us from up above, we still live in a dangerous world and shouldn’t be ignorant that sometimes those dangers are coming after us. Basic safeguards can help protect you, your family, and close friends from people who are cold blooded thieves, killers and rapists.

Personally, I appreciate the safety that God can give us when we follow Him. It’s a safety you have to experience to truly appreciate; otherwise it’s just words that someone is writing out and often hard for readers to believe, unless they already have faith — real faith. God can rescue us and or protect us from danger again and again.

It’s said that evil takes place when good people do nothing

In a dangerous world, it is definitely possible that God could lead a number of believers to have firearms for self defense, especially if he has a specific purpose in mind. Ever notice how sometimes everyday people have used handguns to stop a murderer in the middle of an attack? Not just a terrorist attack, though that has happened also.

As a Christian publisher I’m not opposed to guns; I’m just opposed to guns in the wrong hands used for the wrong purposes. Jesus said, “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword” and he also told his disciples on another occasion, before sending them out on a specific task, to “sell your cloak and buy a sword.” Why would Jesus say something like that? Probably because he knew that those specific believers he was giving orders to would be traveling through dangerous lands and God, for whatever reason, wanted them to carry weapons that day.

Even if you don’t like firearms, at the least choose reconnaissance tools

Being able to survey the terrain with binoculars (during the day) and night vision tools (at night, during darkness) can be life savers and daily tools for survival. They are great tools for traveling both by day and by night.

They are also great tools for boating and an absolute necessity when hunting any king of game or even for attempting to spot wild edibles (edible plants and berries) from a distance.

Surveying the environment will allow you to spot danger before danger catches you by surprise. This is what recon is all about. This is why scouts, sentries, and patrols all have their place when defending a post apocalyptic community or just you and those close to you living off the land post collapse.

Perimeter alarms

When stationary for a period of time, you’ll want a way to set up multiple trip-wire traps (fishing line and or thick string connected to bells, cans, etc.) that make noise around your property or where you may be camped for the night when encountered by intruders. If you go with masonry string, rub the entire spool in dirt as much as possible to help camouflage the string when you string it out around the perimeter.

Set those perimeter trip wires at various distances, for example 20 yards, 50 yards, and 100 yards.

With these trip wires in place set at various distances, these are your early warning signals that danger is approaching. More than one person keeping guard can investigate using a night vision device rather than just shining a bright light which can make your posted guard(s) an easy target and it tells intruders exactly where you are (so keep those lights off and keep those night vision scopes and monoculars at the ready).

Your posted guards and night vision tools allow you to catch these thieves by surprise and hopefully save lives and protect supplies.

Pay attention to every noise, even if a possible false alarm

If you’re lucky that night, it’ll just be a raccoon or ‘possum that tripped one of your wires. On more than one occasion though, it could be a group of thieves sneaking up on you, having assumed that everyone in your camp is asleep. Maybe it’s a group of slave traders after women they can turn into forced prostitutes.

We live in a dark world and in a post-apocalyptic landscape expect it to be 100 times worse than it is anywhere today. Social awareness coupled with lethal force can bring an immediate stop to the atrocities of more than one psychopath and cohorts roaming the land. Lethal force isn’t for everyone though — so if it’s not for you, just imagine what if was your child being taken and possibly forced into prostitution? What if it’s your spouse being murdered and robbed for anything he or she has?

Lethal force has it’s place when we’re talking about psychopaths

In a dark world, lethal force has it’s place; let the Lord be your light and know that you are saving lives and that it is justice. If you’re brave enough, don’t just take out a psychopath and his cohorts — find out where their home base is and with enough people on your side, go and investigate — just maybe you’ll be able to free some captives, and that may include children and women who right at this very moment are praying for their escape.

Through out the world there are captives, and sex slaves, and forced prostitutes, and that includes right here in good ol’ USA. Now imagine it 100 times worse that it ever was. That’s some of what we’re facing in a post-collapse tomorrow. God help us.

Serious risks to life and safety post collapse

Even the most prepared among us are all at risk of robbery and possibly worse than that post collapse. Without a plan and without the tools and strategies for dealing with supply raiders, outlaw gangs, kidnappers and murderous thieves, each of us is asking for trouble. Networking, diplomacy, and good relationships with others in your region can serve to help all of you survive in a land without police, military, or government.

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Source : secretsofsurvival.com

 

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How To Easily Clean Dirty Water Before Ceramic Filtering

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How To Easily Clean Dirty Water Before Ceramic Filtering When you’re in a survival situation, water supply is crucial since we can’t live very long without it.  There are some portable filters you can use in this situation, but not all of them are suitable for large quantities of water.  If a natural disaster or …

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Green Beret’s Guide To Home Defense Techniques

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The other day I came across a guide to home defense by Jeremiah Johnson, a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces. What’s great about this guide is it offers a very different perspective than most home defense guides, and thus has several ideas most people have never considered such as covering […]

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Watch Your Back Book Review and Giveaway

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Every year, as we get closer to the holidays, we hear news reports about people being victims of crime.  We are also hearing about possible terror threats.  With all these possible hazards, I thought this book is worth a look:  Watch Your Back:  How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life by Roger Eckstine. What is the Book About? The author presents various potential risky situations that come up in every […]

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9 Simple Security Hacks To Keep Your House Safe

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Although I try not to let it worry me, sometimes the thought of a major disaster keeps me up at night. Not because I’m not prepared, but because other people aren’t prepared. When the SHTF, hungry and desperate people are going to ransack the stores, and then they’ll start looking for food elsewhere–maybe in their […]

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12 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO AND 1 THING YOU NEED TO HAVE IF YOU GET CAUGHT UP IN A RIOT

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12 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO AND 1 THING YOU NEED TO HAVE IF YOU GET CAUGHT UP IN A RIOT

Protesting is a right we enjoy when we live in a democracy.  Peaceful protest is considered a legitimate way of expressing the way we feel about things that are important to us, a way of letting the government know we are unhappy.

Sadly some protests turn  ugly and when they do the change can happen fast. There a variety of reasons why this occurs, from agitators who hold an opposing view infiltrating what would have remained a peaceful protest to high feelings within the protest group that things are not happening quickly enough and maybe more notice would be taken if the protest was more forceful.

If you are caught up in such a situation the reasons for the change are of little importance, getting away from the violence is the only thing that should be on your mind, you can analyse later when you have made it to safety.

Now getting out of a mob is far easier said than done, tempers are flaring, feelings running high. Law enforcement will be in the area and that in itself can pose further problems for someone caught up in an angry crowd…LEO’s won’t stop to ask politely if you are involved. So, what do you do?

Well the obvious thing to say is avoid getting caught up in it in the first place. If you see marchers coming ahead of you go the other way, even if it’s not the direction you need to be going in. Look for buildings, not glass fronted, that you can take shelter in and wait until the mob has  passed. Side alleys, gates you can get over or through and even recessed doorways will give you protection. Getting into a car, unless you have the means to drive it away isn’t a wise move and getting under a vehicle is even more unwise. Vehicles are often overturned or set on fire when people are intent on causing mayhem.

If you know that there is likely to be unrest in the area knowing alternative routes that can lead you away from the area is always prudent, carry a map of the area if you are not on home ground.

Right, back to our protest that is about to turn into a riot, if none of your avoidance tactics work what are your options?

  1. If you KNOW you are going to end up getting swept into the group stay as close to an outer edge as you can. This gives you a better chance of escape should the opportunity arise.
  2. I’m not suggesting you join in with the protest but DON’T try to reason with people, walk/move along with them offering no opinion, all the time looking for a way out of the crowd.
  3. If there is ‘wriggle room’ make your way to one side, edging your way nearer and nearer an outer edge of the group.
  4. Large and fast moving crowds cause more of a problem and as tempting as it may be to move away in the opposite direction and get out of there, unless you are on the outside of the crowd this is ill-advised. Trying to fight your way against a human tide can cause you serious injury and if you go down you will most likely be trampled underfoot.
  5. Continue moving in the same direction as the crowd but edge your way to whichever side is the nearest to getting you out of the throng. Everyone will be jostling so you going one step forwards and one step sideward will not be noticed.
  6. If that’s impossible and you are literally getting forced forward your greatest risk is from falling, a huge crowd is an irresistible force. Lace your fingers together in front of you, place your palms on your belly, thumbs on your waist pointing behind you. Move your elbows out and to the front of your body. This creates a space and prevents your chest from becoming compressed which shortens your breath, causes panic and in very large crowds can lead to suffocation.
  7. At some point the police/military will appear in front of the group. Sometimes they will try to herd everyone in a given direction, other times they will form lines to prevent the protestors from continuing on their route. This is a good indication that it’s going to turn nasty.
  8. If the crowd stops stop with them, keep your elbows out to prevent chest compression. Listen and watch the crowd. Stay calm and assess if there is any possibility of moving sideward. In large crowds some people may actually attempt to move backwards once the police are around. This relieves the pressure and can allow gaps to open up that you can utilise.
  9. Any action by law enforcement will usually cause rapid and haphazard movement in the crowd. Take advantage of this. People will often scatter in all directions simultaneously. You should head for the nearest doorway, building or alley and stay there until you have assessed the situation. At this point even sheltering behind a vehicle can give you a few seconds to think. The prime concern of the crowd at this point is to avoid water action the police are taking, not to stop and set light to a car.
  10. If there is a way to go back the way you came do so but take side roads if you can to get off the route that the protest took. Walk do not run. Running makes it more likely you will fall and more likely police will see your rapid movement which draws attention to you. At the first opportunity get off the street and stay off the street until the situation has resolved.
  11. If police have cordoned off the area around the protest laying low until restrictions have been lifted maybe your only choice if you want to avoid arrest. Many people in many countries have found it impossible to convince law enforcement that they weren’t involved in flash mobs, looting and riots. If you are dressed in a business suit and were on your way to work and the mob is generally the jeans and hoodie brigade you may be able to approach law enforcement and get out of the area. If you are dressed casually and are of the age group protesting this is far less likely regardless of your innocence. I actually know a guy who got swept into a situation like this in London. He called the police, told them he had ‘gotten swept along’. He told them who he was and where he was and they guided him to the nearest police line – where he was promptly arrested!!! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  12. If challenged by the police or military stop and raise your hands slowly, palms outwards. Law enforcement will also be on heightened alert, this is no time for a misunderstanding. Dropping to your knees before you are asked to do so, telling them “I’m getting on my knees” shows that you are not going to attempt to flee and that you pose no threat.

RELATED : 10 Ways to Fool the Authorities and Escape Martial Law

Finally – if you have managed to extricate yourself from the situation but can’t yet get out of the area what do you have with you that will be of use?

We should ALL be carrying a few things with us every time we leave home regardless of where we are going and why we are going. An EDC (every day carry ) pack tucked into a backpack or even a briefcase or handbag is a must and can help us cope with anything from a vehicle breakdown to getting stuck at work because a storm has blown in.

What you have in an EDC kit will vary depending on your circumstances. If you work in a restaurant half a mile from home you can forget food and pack something else. What you pack also depends on the time of year, the terrain in your area and risks that may be relative to the area you are travelling in.

There are a few basics however that we can all find useful regardless of where we are:

  • Small flashlight with spare batteries or dynamo wind up type.
  • Sunglasses, preferably mirrored lens type. Good for snow dazzle as well as sun and for keeping wind and dust out of your eyes.
  • Fully charged battery pack for your phone.
  • Fire-starter and tinder.
  • A brightly coloured bandana.
  • Small first aid kit
  • High calorie high energy snacks
  • A bottle of water
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Flat shoes
  • A whistle, signal mirror and compass
  • Small pack of baby wipes
  • Cash in small denomination notes

RELATED : What’s the Best Close Quarters Weapon: Knife or a Gun?

Having basic items with you all the time makes sense. So many people have been left in desperate situations and have had nothing with them to help them out. Looking after your own needs when the unexpected happens allows you to calmly take stock and consider your options.

You are not having to look for or scavenge a meal or drink, you can start a fire and you have a map. It buys you time to either shelter until the danger has passed or start your journey to safety. You have a means to communicate, a kit to deal with minor injuries and a whistle and signal mirror to attract attention. You are, albeit in a very basic manner, prepared for the unexpected as long as you have the kit with you.

It beats being thirsty, incommunicado and hopeful that someone with a band aid will come and attend to the cut on your hand.

You might want to have a look at this:

Dealing with and prepping for martial law

 

Source : undergroundmedic.com

 

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Preparing Your Kids with Gun Safety Lessons

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If society collapsed, would your children know how to handle themselves in a world where knowledge of firearms was elemental to survival? Or, in today’s society, say your child visits a friend’s house when their parents aren’t home and they find a gun in the closet. Would they know enough to be safe? These are questions that matter to every mother. 41 percent of Americans have a gun in their home, according to a 2015 Gallup poll, so your child is likely to be around guns at some point whether you own one or not. Here are some basics that every parent should teach their children about gun safety.

Set the Example

The most powerful lesson is a good example. If you’re well-versed in gun safety, you’ll able to teach your child more effectively. Even if you’re already familiar with guns and gun safety, it’s a good idea to take a refresher course and brush up on the basics so they’re fresh in your mind when you teach your child. The National Rifle Association publishes a directory of training courses taught by qualified instructors that you can browse to find a course near you. Learn with the type of firearm you intend to use or the type of firearm you intend to get your child when they’re old enough. If you’re looking to save money, try browsing a wide selection of quality used firearms from a trusted online supplier.

Follow Gun Storage Safety Rules

A big part of gun safety is storing your guns where your children can’t get them. As they get older, you can take the opportunity to teach them how to properly store guns.

Project ChildSafe recommends that guns be stored unloaded and locked in a gun vault, safe or cabinet. Ideally, your storage location should not be known by your children, especially if they haven’t been taught gun safety. Furthermore, ammunition should be kept in a separate location, as should keys.

For additional protection, you can use a gun locking device to prevent the gun from firing. Yet another option is to break a firearm down and store the parts separately to ensure that it won’t be misused.

Guns should always be unloaded and cleaned after use and before storage. Even if you think the gun is already unloaded, double check. Sometimes ammunition remains in a gun’s magazine after it has been fired.

Teach Gun Safety Rules

Learning how to handle guns safely is another part of basic firearms safety. The most fundamental rule is to always point a gun’s muzzle in a safe direction, meaning away from yourself and other people so that if the gun were to go off, it would not harm anyone. When holding a gun at your side, make sure it points to the ground and not at your feet or another part of your body.

Another basic principle is to always assume a gun is loaded. Don’t assume a gun is unloaded just because you took it out of storage or because someone told you it was empty. You never know what someone else may have done with the gun before you had it, and you should never just assume that the magazine is empty without.

A third basic principle is to never load or cock a firearm before you’re ready to actually fire it; keep guns unloaded when not in use. Also, pick guns up with your finger outside the trigger guard rather than inside.

Teach Your Children What to Do if They Find a Gun

There’s always the chance that a child will come across a gun before they’re adequately trained and old enough to safely handle it. If this happens, they need to know what to do. Make sure they know that if they find an unattended weapon they should get an adult to deal with it rather than trying to handle the gun themselves. Explain that a gun can accidentally go off and should only be handled by someone capable of handling it safely. Some toys resemble guns, so teach your children to be careful about assuming a weapon is a toy and to assume it is real unless they know otherwise. Likewise, teach them to never to point a gun at anyone and to always assume a gun is loaded.

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

It’s A Matter of Organizing Your Garage Cabinets….

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I have a very handy husband….I believe he can fix or build anything….and probably has.  I am fortunate that Rooster Senior will quickly repair, build, or address anything I ask for in a short period of time.  Because of this, I try not to ask for too  many things because I want him to enjoy being home and not having got ‘work’ too much at home. 
With all of his talents, he struggles with organization.  He is the king stuffing bags, re-purposed bottles/cans, and boxes into any crevice he can find. He reminds me of the game of Tetris….with the purpose to just find anyplace where the part/piece can fit.  

How To Organize Garage Cabinets:

See the bags, boxes and items placed in the cabinet without rhyme or reason (to me anyway).  So, because of Rooster Senior’s generosity, I decided (at my own peril) to try to be helpful by organizing some of the Garage cabinets.  
I looked at what I saw as chaos.  I got online and ordered milk crates and clear shoe boxes.  (It is important to Rooster Senior that he can see everything.  This is why I chose these containers.  You can see what is inside for the most part).  I set up a ‘sorting station’.  I used an 8 foot table and utilized the space on top of the table as well as under it.  As I took out a bag/box/can, I sorted the items into an appropriate container.  I am a Speech-Language Pathologist by training. One of the things that we teach folks with Executive Functioning issues to learn categorization and to use it to problem solve…along with other things.  Organizing requires categorization….so I used Categorization to sort the many items I was pulling from these cabinets.
While sorting, I found many duplicate items.  This is ultimately costly and takes up precious space. 
It’s amazing how many things you can fit into a milk crate! They are sturdy as well.
I also used my handy-dandy label maker to identify the contents of the containers.  All of these labels are essentially at the same eye level to make scanning for needed items easier to find.
For smaller containers, I used the label maker to identify large categories and some with a sorted but similar items.  “Lighting” items in the top box, and other items associated in the lower box. Each type of item is listed on the outside of the box.
To help categorize and assist in visual sorting, I also put labels on the inside of the doors. These cabinets are deep, and some items were placed in the back of the cabinet because they are not used as frequently as others. This again helps Rooster Senior to see and find things.
See the end result?  All items are labeled and sorted by category.  Whole cabinets were also classified.  We have a ‘camping/recreation’ cabinet, wood-working, etc.  
I would like to say that he was ‘thrilled’ and even ‘excited’.  However, he was polite.  Overall the cabinets have essentially remained mainly the same.  I have to go in and reorganize on occasion.  I chose not to do all the cabinets at once.  I need to let my Tetris husband decide if he was ready or even wanted more of this throughout the garage.
For me, this is a welcome change!  I can find things!  I know right where they are!  I am hoping that with time we can continue this method to help reduce duplicates, and have a space for everything. This was a safety issue at times as the stacking and sliding items as you open the cabinet doors with items randomly falling out.  Also, the piles of these items on the floor can also pose a safety risk. Time will tell to see how this experiment will work over time for him. For me, it is a big success.  Now, I need to respect the rest of his space….he is worthy of such respect both in time and space.

These Mistakes Can Ruin Home Security: Protect your family by avoiding these pitfalls

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Editor’s Note: As Prepper’s, we are usually looking for some big SHTF event coming in and disrupting our way of life.  However, it is more likely that your life would be disrupted by a more localized event, like a power outage, flood or some other natural disaster.  But there are other events that happen that we don’t always consider as having the ability to cause problems until they happen.  For example, having your house broken into, having a family member slip and hurt themselves or just plain not feeling safe in your house can cause problems for you and your family.  These events, with a little preparedness, can be minimized.  This guest post makes some good points and will provide some food for thought.

When it comes to planning your home layout, home security can be easy to overlook. The placement of furniture and lighting can improve or detract from the security of your home. It is possible to design a layout that not only makes the most out of available living space, but also keeps the family safe. Here are some tips to an effective and safe home layout:

Clutter Can Kill

In times of crisis, clutter can prove to be problematic. Consider the maneuverability you will need during a natural disaster, or when an intruder enters your home; if you feel you would be uncomfortable navigating around your home under these circumstances, it is time to reevaluate your setup.

Consider the flow of foot traffic, and position furnishings so they don’t create sharp turns. Forcing guests to perform acrobatics to navigate around the room can lead to slips and injuries. Furthermore, it can be a liability in cases of emergency. If a piece of furniture blocks the exit during an emergency, it can cost someone their life. Clutter can also make it difficult to clean, leading to worsening allergy and breathing problems.

Streamline the room as much as possible. Consider what the space needs are, and make a list of spaces that are needed. Estimate the square footage for each area. Then, organize the home so that these spaces are connected in a logical manner.

Not only do cluttered rooms look messy, but they can be dangerous to the elderly and disabled. Paths of travel should be a constant consideration. Avoid creating an obstacle course with furniture.

Avoid Blind Spots

Don’t create blind spots, and keep windows within view of seating areas. It is not necessary to place the couch against the wall, but seating should give a full view of foot traffic and all entrances. Not being able to see action happening in the room makes people instinctively uncomfortable. Family members might also be interested in knowing if someone is lurking out the window. Obviously, valuables should not be in clear view from any window.

Lighting is one of the more important design aspects for safety. There needs to be enough lighting to ensure that guests can transverse room-to-room at any time of the day without risk of personal injury or property damage. Stairs especially need a proper amount of lighting, as they cause an accident if too dark.

Creative planners can use light defensively. For example, an outdoor motion sensor connected to an indoor light is a clever way of dissuading criminals from entering a home. Finally, if security cameras are in use, areas under surveillance must have an ample amount of lighting.

Eliminate Hiding Places Outdoors

When planning the outdoor layout for security, there are some important rules to follow. Lighting plays an important role in security outdoors. Criminals are less likely to enter a home if it is adequately lit.

Prevent creating potential hiding places near lower-level doors and windows. Decluttering the home indoors has clear advantages, but one should also keep things uncluttered outside as well. Overgrown bushes and shrubs can offer convenient places for potential criminals to hide in waiting without being seen. Patio furniture can also create this same problem.

There are other measures one can take outdoors to improve the security of the home. Tree branches that are close to second-story windows can be undesirable access points, so be sure to keep trees maintained. While they are not necessary in most neighborhoods, homeowners may choose to invest in alarms, security cameras, or even bolster security with smart tech. With proper planning, it is possible to design a home layout that minimizes the risk of injury and bolsters security without sacrificing an appealing design

Every possible precaution should be made to protect our homes. Making the right decisions in home layout can contribute to the safety of our loved ones.

About the Author: Cody Hill is passionate about security and technology. His hobbies include traveling and sports. If he isn’t busy blogging about the latest gadget, you will usually find him shouting at his TV during an NFL game. 
Peace,
Todd

Sex After SHTF: 4 Considerations

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Here’s a video every warm-blooded prepper should watch. Have you thought about what it means to have sex during a long-term disaster? If people are hunkering down rather than going to their jobs, many of them are going to have sex for comfort and for something to do. If you’re one of those people, you […]

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Five Habits that Help Improve Your Survival Chances in a Random Attack

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com In the past couple of weeks, there have been several attacks where innocent people going about their day got hurt or killed. Minnesota mall knife attack – On Sept. 17, a 22 year old man stabbed 10 people in a Minnesota mall before police killed him as he tried to lunge. Washington mall shooting – On Sept 23, a 20 year old man went on a shooting rampage and killed four women and […]

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8 Tips On How To Survive A Riot

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When the shit hits the fan, one of the first things people will do is riot. This is especially true in larger cities where a massive population in one location almost guarantees a mob reaction to any number of disasters. This is a serious problem because, as you probably already know, riots are very dangerous. […]

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5 Worst Types Of Firearms To Use For Home Defense

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With home invasions becoming more common in urban neighborhoods, having a way to defend your home from violent criminals is crucial. After all, the police can’t be everywhere at once. So despite the exorbitant prices charged by some gun manufacturers these days, gun sales are on the rise. In fact, the AR-15 may be the […]

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Electronic Security in shtf.

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Electronic Security in shtf. Highlander “Survival and Tech Preps” On this episode we will get back to the technical aspects of prepping. Everything security in shtf or present day is discussed. I myself have security cameras at my home, monitoring 24/7 and recording. The need to have eyes and ears around you at all times … Continue reading Electronic Security in shtf.

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7 Unusual Home Security Tips You Probably Didn’t Know

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Whether you’re an experienced home defense guru or a complete amateur, the best way to prepare against a burglary or home invasion is to prevent it from happening in the first place. But no matter how watchful you are, sometimes you have to sleep, and some thieves know how to get around the standard home […]

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10 Smart Survival Strategies For Women Living Alone

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Recently I read an article by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival, and in it she makes an interesting point: The vast majority of survival books and articles seem to assume that the person preparing is a man, or is at least part of a family with a man. But as she says, that is not […]

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How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne

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Situational awareness isn’t something anyone can do whenever they want–it takes practice. Even if you start paying attention to your surroundings, you still won’t notice if you’re being watched or followed if you don’t know what to look for. Situational awareness isn’t just observation, it’s also orientation. What is orientation? It has to do with […]

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How to Protect Yourself When You’re Not Allowed to Have a Weapon

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Protect Yourself Not Allowed WeaponWhen I see and hear about terrorist attacks, in particular, in countries where people are not allowed to have any weapons, it makes me angry. Protecting yourself, protecting your family and your home — isn’t that a God-given right? If a government takes away your right to protect your own body, then what other rights, really, do you have? How do you protect yourself when the law denies you the right to have a weapon of any kind?

We have friends in Europe and I’ve wondered how they might possibly defend themselves in a terrorist attack. I know one guy in England who told me that he worries about sharps — knives, machetes, even swords, as attack weapons. No guns? No problem for criminals and terrorists. Knives are easier to hide, anyway.

At the most basic level of self-defense, situational awareness can keep you out of a lot of trouble. Israelis have been living under the very real threat of terrorism for decades and the Israelis I know have a sixth sense when it comes to noticing anything out of place — people, clothing, eye contact, movement. That has to become second nature and thankfully, it can be learned, and taught. Two books that have been helpful to me and my wife are The Gift of Fear and Left of Bang. If you have kids and want to learn more about protecting them, read Protecting the Gift.

(The author of The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift is, ironically, very anti-Second Amendment. Normally, I’d never recommend a book promoting that viewpoint, but he’s so right about everything else, that the books are worth reading.)

Being aware of surroundings is important, but there may come a time when you have no choice but to physically defend yourself. A single mom I know challenges her teenage daughter every so often, “Look around and tell me what you could use as a weapon RIGHT NOW.” She does this everywhere. Restaurants, grocery store, everywhere! I’ve played this game many times myself and look for not only weapons but exits, places to conceal or cover, in the case of gunfire. I’ve measured the thickness of a table top with my eyes — could I pick it up and throw it? I’ve been in bed, ready to doze off, and thought, “What would I do if I heard glass break on the other side of the house and heard someone in the kitchen?” Then, I have trouble going to sleep.

It can make you crazy sometimes to think like this, but mental rehearsal is part of physical training.

Martial arts, such as jujitsu or taekwando, are other options that will train you to defend yourself and you’ll learn how to control your own fear and aggression. Some martial arts studios offer low cost self-defense classes for women.

Along those same lines, you just gotta be in the best physical condition as possible. A fat cop chasing a 20-something, strong young man will be lucky if he doesn’t keel over with a heart attack, and the thug will go on to victimize others again and again. Remember that criminals and terrorists have watched and planned and played out in their minds over and over just how, when, and where they will attack. They’ll be looking for vulnerable people — those who are distracted (Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, for example) and if you’re in that segment of selected victims AND you can’t run or have the physical power to fight back, you may end up being another body covered with a sheet.

Vulnerability. How do you make yourself less vulnerable when you’re out in public? Here’s a suggestion that may not be popular with some — avoid alcohol. I’m a beer guy. I like beer. But in my lifetime, and I’m well over 40, I have seen some spectacularly foolish and dangerous things done by people whose judgement and physical abilities were impaired by alcohol. If you have a concern about crime and terrorism, why increase the size of the target on your back by staggering down the sidewalk, barely able to stay upright, much less notice warning signs that something bad could be going down?

If you’re still thinking that maybe a weapon is needed, I know one fellow who swears by his bow. He says it’s a real deterrent and a 38-inch arrow notched on his bow makes people think twice. He happens to use a tripod bag for transporting his bow and arrows and made that choice because it’s innocuous looking.

Tactical pens are another choice and one that I happen to know is used by many, many guys in my particular line of work. It’s a pen AND a weapon. If you have it in hand and know how to use it, it can be a handy weapon, and better than nothing. When you shop for a tactical pen, you’ll see a number of them that look like REAL weapons but if your intent is to have something handy for self-defense that doesn’t attract attention, then look for one that just looks like a very sturdy ink pen and not a pen on steroids.

Pepper spray is popular but can cause problems for asthmatics. Again, if you live outside the U.S. or are traveling to other countries, find out what is legal there before packing pepper spray, the tactical pen, a kubaton, etc.

Depending on a country’s laws, using even something like a tactical pen for defense can land you in hot water. Many years ago, an Arizona man had to appear in a British court because he defended himself from an attack by using a pocket knife he had with him. He got in more trouble than the man who attacked him. Hard to think of anything more messed up than that, but the last thing you want is to end up in prison when there may have been other ways to avoid a dangerous situation, such as situational awareness, not getting drunk in foreign bars at 2 in the morning. Common sense first and maybe, just maybe, you won’t have to worry about remembering your jujitsu moves or fumbling for the tactical pen in your pocket.

Whatever tactic or strategy you choose, practice, practice, and practice. Nothing beats automatic muscle memory.

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6 Self-Defense Tips For Urban Survivalists

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Finding yourself unarmed while facing an attacker is a nightmare scenario. If they have a weapon and you don’t, then no matter what their weapon is, the odds are severely stacked against you. Even if they aren’t armed, fending off an attacker without a weapon is an intimidating prospect. Fortunately, there are ways to tilt […]

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