How to Hunt Squirrel with a Slingshot for Survival!

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Who really wants to waste ammo killing a squirrel when you can use a slingshot? Whatever your age, you’ve probably had the urge to kill a squirrel using a slingshot. However, in a real survival situation, you will need to be at your best to kill small game like a squirrel. Carrying a slingshot will give you a reliable hunting weapon that you can use to hunt food provided you’re able to use it.

To most people, a slingshot is nothing more than a kid’s toy. Only real survivalist can recognize and understand a slingshot as a formidable hunting tool. However, when in a survival situation, a slingshot will always come in handy. It is a much easier and convenient option in your pocket rather than a firearm that is heavier.

Slingshots are light and can be hung on your neck or placed in your pocket without weighing you down. They are an ideal weapon when hiking or doing something rigorous that does not require some extra weight on you.

Hunting a squirrel with a slingshot for survival

Slingshots are the best weapons when hunting squirrels that tend to get scared by the slightest of noises. They are stealthier and quiet than guns allowing you to shoot games nearby without scaring them. Squirrels are easy to spot as they raise their heads to scout the area. Here are simple steps on how to hunt squirrels with a slingshot.

Practice

While practicing with a primitive weapon might sound weird to some people, most preppers will tell you it is always important to practice with any weapon. Squirrels are wary, small and fast, something that makes hunting them quite challenging. Choose the best hunting slingshot and practice with cans in your backyard. Practicing to hit a squirrel with the first shot is always important as they will always run away if they think they are in danger. This leads to our next step of where to hit a squirrel and kill it instantly.

Shooting with your slingshot might look easy when practicing, but remember you will be shooting very small game in a stealth condition. The slingshot pouch should always be held lightly in the lower grip. However, most beginners tend to hold the pouch too tightly and too high ending up shooting the ammo everywhere.

For best results, the slingshot should be held horizontally with the pouch of the slingshot being pulled all the way back to the cheek. Release it at the same time you breathe out. The shape of slingshots never changes, and you should always aim at the center of the slingshot. This means the squirrel head must be in between the center of the slingshot.

Always aim for the head

Squirrels despite their small size have some of the toughest skins. You need to know where to hit them to kill them instantly. A nice shot to the body can cause potential damage, but most squirrels will run away. The experience is not a good one as you will leave the squirrel in pain and also miss out on a chance for delicious meat. Aiming the slingshot at the squirrel is not that simple as you would have imagined. You have still need to aim at the head if the squirrel is to die instantly.

You don’t want to be stranded in the wilderness tracking an injured squirrel when you had the chance to kill it instantly. The opportunity to hunt down a squirrel can disappear as fast as it presents itself.

Choose a big producing tree and be patient

There are high chances of squirrels coming to a big producing trees like oak and conifers in the wild than any other place. Your instinct should tell you to hunt for squirrels in certain places, but most expert hunters recommended a big producing oak tree. It is important to know where you can find squirrels. Tree squirrels love trees and hunt during the day unlike other rodents making them the perfect small game to kill with a slingshot.

Squirrels like the Gray Squirrel love acorns found on oak trees. Choose a spot that gives you a good view of the oak tree but also keeps you hidden. You will need to be patient and wait for your hunt. As long as it is not hot, squirrels will always look for food in oak trees. Most squirrels are active at dawn. If you get a good spot some minutes before dawn, then you stand a better chance of getting a kill. You will need to be still and quiet. Squirrels are not the smartest rodents and will always pass by even if they see you.

Best time to hunt squirrels

You have to know the best time to get the squirrels searching for food. Early morning and late evening are best times when you’re most likely to find the squirrels. Squirrels are mammals and enjoy nice temperatures just like humans. You can easily find them when the temperature is cool.

Try and bait your squirrel

Baiting might not be allowed in some states, so make sure to check before going ahead and setting bait. By setting bait, it doesn’t mean getting the squirrel caught up in some bait but being attracted to a position of which you can have a precise kill. Do you have some peanut butter with you? Squirrels love this and will always want to have a lick. This will attract them to a good shooting position from which you can have a precise shot on the head.

Final Verdict

There you go with your squirrel hunting skills. Squirrels do look simple but are quite difficult to hunt with a slingshot. However, you can’t be wasting precious ammo on squirrels when a precise shot on the head by a slingshot can kill it instantly. Slingshot hunting is quite fun, interesting and challenging. However, with a good understanding of how to use a slingshot, you can always be assured of a meal when stuck in the wilderness.

Editor’s NoteI love to watch Lonnie from Far North Bushcraft & Survival.  I chose to share his video here because he mentioned that he had only been at “it” (slingshot) for a few weeks.

 

About Author:
Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.

 

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The Prepared Home: 5 Prepper Projects to Start in the Spring

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, as many of you know, planning is an important aspect of emergency preparedness. Each year, you should make new plans and practice your new skills. I wrote an article a little while back about planning (and possibly starting) an icehouse/root cellar during the wintertime.  As of this writing, spring is just around the corner (officially), and the cold weather is starting to retreat bit by bit.  We’re going to cover a few ideas for you to pursue during the spring months for building projects around your property.  Let’s jump right into it, with a description of the projects and the reason for building them.

Here are 5 Prepper Projects You Can Start in the Spring

  1. The Icehouse: As mentioned in the earlier article.  If you plan on doing it, you may just have at least 2-3 weeks where you can obtain some freezing temperatures.  This would behoove you to act, if you rent out a small backhoe and dig your cellar/icehouse.  Remember to go below the frost-line!  Fill up bins with water and let them freeze.  When the icehouse is finished, fill it up with these huge blocks of ice.  Sawdust is an excellent insulator, as is pine mulch (brown needles, not green, if you use needles).
  2. The Greenhouse: If you don’t have one, well, now’s the time to put one into place just before it’s time to plant and sprout your seedlings. There are almost innumerable styles and sizes to choose from.  Once again, you have about a month to get that baby up and running. Here is one greenhouse project you can do for less than $300. As well, consider the convenience of cold frames to get a head start on your garden.
  3. Underground (hidden) vault/cache point: Now this one will take a little bit of explaining. Once again, going below the frost-line, the key here will be to make a little “room,” so to speak, under the ground.  Make a foundation of gravel after you’ve dug out a cubicle/rectangular chamber.  Position this away from the house, where some government clown with a metal detector will not tread.  All the same, you can pick up a precast concrete module, or make it out of a culvert pipe.  You want to cover it up in the end with about 6” of earth, so that it’s not too much that you can’t get through it in the wintertime.  If you’re interested and indicate so in the comments, I can give you a good plan that I know works in a future article.
  4. Storage shed: Yes, build your own, if you have the time and resources.  Those pre-made sheds for sale in the building supply big-box stores cost a fortune.  You can do better by stick-building it out of 4” x 4” s and 6” x 6” s with pressure-treated plywood.  Make sure all your lumber is pressure-treated.  When you’re done, make your roof out of corrugated steel instead of shingles…it’ll save you time and energy during the winter with snow removal.
  5. Smokehouse: Now’s the time to prep that smokehouse for meat…months (or many moons, if you prefer!) before hunting season comes around again. This will involve perhaps the emplacement of a wood stove or the creation of a barbecue pit-type structure.  There are plenty of plans and diagrams on the Internet that you can weigh and balance against your needs.

This is the time to lay out all of your plans and figure out what materials you will be using and the costs for all of them.  In our rigidly-controlled social structures, there may even be a friendly government permit man or inspection man to meet…to find out how much they will take out of you before you start building.  Factor all of this into consideration prior to actually building, as it will alleviate headaches later.  You may want to do some smaller projects, such as a place to store firewood, or a small toolshed or such.  Do not allow the 5 mentioned in this article to dissuade you from some kind of project in the good weather for building.

Hopefully the weather will warm up soon, but this is an excellent time to lay the groundwork for what you have been thinking of building during the winter months.  The only limit is your imagination and to actually take action on the project.  The best plans in the world are only plans until they’re executed.  Here’s hoping you have some good weather and start the ball rolling on whatever project you decide.  Let me know about that item #3 above, and you keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

8 Basic Survival Skills That You Ought To Know

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

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Editor’s Note: This post has been contributed by Paul. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


A lot of preppers do not possess the proper skills for surviving in case of any natural disaster even though it is essential to do so. The main reason for the lack of adequate skills is that many people lack the proper survival skills training to cope with any emergency situation. In the subsequent paragraphs, we are going to mention 8 important survival skills that anyone must have in his or her kit.

Locating and purifying water

It is said that an individual cannot survive for more than three days without drinking water. However, in case he or she needs to survive in a severe environment, it might not be possible for him or her to survive even that long.

Water is essential for the human body to function properly and this is why one of the most important survival skills will be to locate and also purify water. In case you’re able to light a fire then you might consider boiling the water. Otherwise, you might also store sufficient water prior to leaving for an exploration. Although it might not solve your problem entirely, it is the best thing that you can do during a survival situation. We all know that nature is our best friend and we should make it a point to learn which plants will provide us with drinking water; however, it might prove to be disastrous for you in case you fail to understand it properly.

Making a fire

 

It is definitely tough to figure out which particular survival skills are the most important in a disaster situation; however, one cannot ignore the importance of making a fire in this respect. A fire will help you in many ways such as purifying the water, keeping yourself warm and comfortable, sterilizing surgical equipment, making tools, cooking food, signaling for help and also safeguarding yourself from wild creatures. Above all, you will feel much more confident by having a fire.

Building a shelter

While you are outdoors, things can change all of a sudden at any time of the day. For example, there can be a great fluctuation in the temperature. Although you might be experiencing a dry climate in the morning, you should not be surprised if it rains heavily at night. While you are trapped in an emergency situation, you might use your vehicle as your shelter in case you happen to be with the car. Otherwise, think of some natural resources that you can use as your shelter. It will not be a bad idea to safeguard yourself from the inclement weather by taking a refuge inside a cave.

Predicting weather

Casio Men’s PAG240-1CR Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Sport Watch – Compass, Barometer and Altimeter.

In most situations, we are hardly concerned about the climatic condition in our daily lives unless of course there are some natural calamities like tornadoes and floods. Being able to forecast the weather is an essential survival skill that you should have during any disaster situation. In case you happen to be in the wilderness, you can be affected very badly by any change in the weather conditions. You might find it extremely hard to light a fire if there is a heavy precipitation as well as a strong gale. You will never be caught unaware if you are able to develop this particular survival skill. But how is it possible? Below we have mentioned some fundamental forecasting skills the majority of which will depend on natural phenomena like:

  • Air pressure – Although it is impossible to measure the air pressure physically, you should be able to ascertain the direction of the air flow. Usually, the clouds will be moving from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area.
  • Clouds – You’ll be able to forecast strong wind as well as rain by observing the clouds. Under normal circumstances, heavy precipitation can be expected in the presence of dark and low hanging clouds.
  • Wild creatures – Animals are able to understand any change in the weather by their natural instincts. For example, you can predict rain in case the insects start to disappear.
  • Hunting skills – Often you can suffer from lack of adequate food during an emergency situation. In that case, it is essential to have the ability to hunt wild animals who can provide you with a steady supply of food. In case you are a beginner, you should focus on catching some smaller animals like rabbits, fish and so on instead of going for larger creatures like the tiger, deer, etc. Hunting fish will not be much difficult for you but you should be careful while catching them. There might be other creatures like alligators in the water that you must avoid at all costs. Moreover, catching fish is not a joke and you need to be properly trained to do so. You might also try to set a trap near the river which should help you to catch some fish within a few hours.

Identifying edible vegetation

In case you are trapped in the forest, don’t go out eating everything you run across that looks good since they might even be poisonous for you. You might be starving, but you must have the ability to identify the plants which are edible. Consuming these plants will help you to avoid cooking as well as saving your precious time. There will be no need to hunt for animals, make a fire and cook. Moreover, these plants will provide you with the energy which you need for survival. Some edible plants that you can find in the wilderness include asparagus, burdock, and cattail.

Making use of survival tools

It is essential to choose the appropriate survival tools since these will help you to perform many jobs such as making your shelter or even repairing the one which you already have. Apart from this, they will also aid you to collect wood for making a fire which you will need to stay warm and also cook food. Some of these survival tools include a flashlight, emergency candles, tactical folding knife, hiking backpack, scissors, hammer, nails, pliers, etc.

Attitude 

Your attitude is going to play an important role if you get caught in any type of emergency situation. You must have the confidence that you will survive. Losing hope can prove to be fatal in the long run. Having the proper attitude along with a few survival skills will help you to overcome any tough situation.

 

Author Bio – Paul Watson is an outdoor enthusiast and aspiring expert who loves to fish and hunt. On his site, http://outdoorchoose.com, he shares tips on how to make your hunting and fishing excursions both exciting and successful . Follow me: Twitter , Pinterest

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Prepping For Survival: Your Life May Depend on This Post-SHTF Skill

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this piece is to introduce you to the importance of reloading, and how it can be a critical skill necessary to your survival in the times to come.  Before I continue, understand that you must have an FFL (Federal Firearms License) to be able to reload for anyone other than yourself.  That caveat being mentioned, why would you want to reload?  There are several good reasons besides just a post-SHTF skill that we will cover.  Let’s cover a few basics, now.

Most rifle and pistol cartridges and shotgun shells can be reloaded

primer

Your primer types for rifle and pistol are mainly “Boxer” type primers.  The primer is the small circle on the non-business end of your round that contains an explosive charge…a primer charge…to set off the powder in the cartridge and propel your bullet or pellets along the barrel.  Simple, huh?  The only cartridges you will have trouble with are “Berdan” primed cartridges.  These are mostly former Soviet and Com-bloc nations’ ammunitions (such as 7.62 x 39, or 7.62 x 54R for AK-47’s or M1894 Mosin-Nagants, respectively) with Berdan primings.  The primer has two holes that enter into the cartridge, and reloading is a challenge needing special tools and primers.

You will be able to save money on ammunition if you save your brass and/or acquire your brass to be cleaned, polished, and reloaded.  RCBS has the famous “Rock Chucker” reloading press good on rifles or pistols.  You also need a die and a decapping tool for each caliber.  You can order all of this stuff online at www.amazon.com, and outfit yourself a piece at a time.  Bullets can be bought, along with good guidebooks by Lyman and also by RCBS that give step-by-step instructions on how to reload each caliber.  The reloading manuals come with critical data, such as the amount of grains of powder you will use as per size and type of bullet, as well as chamber pressures and maximum loads.

Down the road, you’ll want to get into casting your own bullets and other “specialty skills” that go with gunsmithing.  You can really improve all of your knowledge by taking a course, either at one of the local colleges or online for gunsmithing.  Another good tool to have is the Lee Handloader, a small (tiny) handloading press that you can shove right into your backpack.  This little press comes in different calibers for what you would need, and it is also orderable online.

Major George C. Nonte put out an obscure but venerable work entitled, “The Homemade Guide to Cartridge Conversions,” for your advanced studies.  The more you reload, the more you will learn about firearms and their capabilities.  And if the SHTF?  You can bet that you will want the ability to reload!

One of the most frightening scenarios was in “The Road,” the novel by Cormac McCarthy.  The novel differed from the movie in this regard.  The father found boxes of .45 ACP cartridges in an underground bomb shelter/bunker, but could not use them in his pistol. If he had a knowledge of reloading, it would have been a simple task to take his spent shell casings and take the time to reload them using the .45 ACP cartridges he had found.

The acquisition of supplies is secondary to skills, especially in the areas of fabricating different pieces of equipment and tools.  Making things is what I’m referring to.  Reloading will teach you skills that you will be able to more readily adapt ammunition and supplies and tailor make it for your survival needs.  You don’t have enough ammo now: none of us do, myself included.  If not now, then how about the Day after Doomsday?  If it’s short now, what about then?  Every bullet will be worth many times its weight in gold.

Consider a good gunsmithing program with a worthwhile course/section in reloading.  If that option isn’t available, then study up and align yourself with others who reload. Offer to help them out if they will teach you their trade.  It is a skill you will be able to use for the rest of your life, and may even prolong it!  Study hard and gain a skill that will pay for itself.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Avoid being tracked be the tracker!

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Avoid being tracked be the tracker Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! For a moment, imagine the worst case scenarios. Economic collapse, EMP, war, food shortages, and martial law. The government is now seizing “assets” via executive orders. Only now it’s understood that those assets may include you and your family. … Continue reading Avoid being tracked be the tracker!

The post Avoid being tracked be the tracker! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Bushcraft: must have prepper survival skills!

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Bushcraft: must have prepper survival skills! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! Kyle and Forrest discuss bushcraft. What the heck is bushcraft? Isn’t that for survivalist and mountain men? It’s for everybody! Learning bushcraft skills should be one of the fountains stones for your preparedness pyramid. Before we get in to … Continue reading Bushcraft: must have prepper survival skills!

The post Bushcraft: must have prepper survival skills! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

10 Awesome Tips You Never Knew About Using Wood Stoves That May Change Your Life

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, we’re having a heatwave out here in Montana…it’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit while I’m writing this.  I hope you guys and gals are nice and warm and you have a good wood stove in front of you keeping it so.  You recall I wrote one on wood stoves not too long ago, and I wanted to supplement this for a few more things you can do with yours.  Aside from using wood stoves to stay warm and cook food on, here are a few tips you never knew on how to get the most out of your wood stove.

10 Ways to Make the Most of a Wood Stove

Ashes

One of the things you should consider is the potash that comes from your stove.  Yes, all that wood turns into ashes that can be recycled and used.  One of the things that you can do is to store them in a container (preferably a metal one that has a tightly-fitting lid) and use them later for producing your own soap.  The ashes are boiled down in water (yes, this too can be done on your wood stove!), and combined with lye and other ingredients.

Your ashes can also be used for metal polishing, for the likes of metals such as brass and silver.  It works really well straight up, or mixed with just a few drops of water.  The ashes can also be combined with your compost piles and used as a form of fertilizer to replace many valuable minerals and nutrients that comes from carboniferous materials being burned.  Why do you suppose a new forest sprouts up in a few years after a forest fire?   All of that burned wood goes into the soil and enriches it.  You can turn it into your gardens when you’re planting in the springtime for the same effect.

Charcoal

Charcoal is another product that you can take from your wood stove.  Used for a variety of things besides just cooking, charcoal can also be finely-crushed and added to your ash supply to make soap.  It can be set aside for use as cooking material or a fire-starting ingredient and even used to clean teeth.  Charcoal can also be used to filter water (see previous articles on water purification).

Soot

There’s also soot from the chimney (although you’ll probably have to wait until springtime to obtain it when you brush your chimney pipe).  Soot is the black substance formed by the combustion of your wood in the stove.  This is fine particulate matter that adheres to your pipe walls, and is blackened, consisting mainly of carbon that has not been completely burned. Soot is responsible for many chimney fires.  Soot can be mixed (in small quantities as needed) with a little bit of vegetable oil and some water to make your own ink.  A type of soot is called lampblack, and is used in enamels, paints, and inks from a commercial perspective.

That soot also has a great deal of unburned oils and resins in it (especially if you burn a lot of pine…don’t scoff…if you live in the Rockies, you will burn pine unless your last name is Rockefeller, believe me).  The oils, resins, and unburned carbon are excellent to mix with things such as sawdust and lint, with some wax for fire starters for the wood stove or camping and backpacking.

Dehydrate Food

The top of the stove is great for dehydrating food as well.  You have recipes from ReadyNutrition for pemmican and jerky.  You can make your own on top of the stove with small-aperture wire racks…of the type to cool off hot sandwiches and the like.  Lay your meat on top of the wood stove top on the racks and allow that heat to dry them right out.

We’d love to hear any suggestions of things that you have found to do with your wood stoves (along with heating your home and cooking, of course).  It is all part of your preps and homesteading and learning to economize and obtain the maximum use for all of the materials you have at your disposal.  Explore some of these and let us know what you think, as well as things you have discovered on your own.  Keep up that good fight, drink a good cup of coffee, and stay warm!

 

JJ

 

Don’t forget to join us March 9th 7 p.m. (CST) for a FREE interactive webinar about solar cooking. Click here for more details!

MARCH9G

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

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

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  This article you should not only save, but also burn it into your memory for the finer points mentioned.  As you Guys and Gals out there in ReadyNutrition Land have deduced from the title, situational awareness is a topic covered before in many different articles and it is important all the time.

You must blend that situational awareness with actions to take immediately upon the perception that a situation has arrived.  Notice I said “perception” and not confirmation.  Know why? Because you need to react accordingly with the perception: the confirmation may be too late.

Scoffers are already picking this one apart, thinking “OK, well, you react…what if you overreact and nothing was really wrong?”  Guess what?  I wrote “accordingly with the perception,” meaning that if you are acting accordingly, you’re not overreacting and therefore not responding/taking action with more than what is necessary.

React accordingly, and after you’re in the clear, then you can assess everything that has happened.

Here’s the reason I’m writing this article:

The other day I parked my vehicle and was getting ready to walk into an establishment.  Just as I left the vehicle, two state troopers pulled up: one in front of my vehicle (head to head) and another slightly off to the first vehicle’s left, but facing mine as well.  A trooper left each vehicle, and although they had sunglasses on their attention was riveted to me.  They watched me and began to follow me as I walked toward the establishment.

Having nothing to worry about, I continued toward the building; however, my logic is that the time to worry is when there is nothing to worry about.  This is a day and age when cops shoot first and ask questions later.  Mistaken identity doesn’t bring a person back from the dead, and it’s better to err on the side of caution.  As I walked toward the building, I angled my approach and immediately placed both of them in enfilade.

This means as I stepped in the front of one of them, both were lined up (in a “line,” if you will) before me.  Neither had drawn a weapon, but the motion I made is instinctive…or “muscle memory” if you wish to label it.  Both were, if it became necessary, in my line of fire, and the first one (closest to me) was masking the fire of the second if they wanted to play.  “Masking” means to block another’s line of fire by (stupidly/unknowingly) placing yourself in between his fire and a potential enemy/target.

Now, obviously these two thought they “had something,” and from their movements and actions, it was also obvious that they soon realized I was not their quarry.  Dismissing it and them (while keeping an eye on them), I entered the building.  One of them poked his head inside the door, and the manager/proprietor looked at him.

“Don’t worry, what we’re looking for is not in here,” he said, and then left.

There was no incident, but I stress this to you: this was a situation.

For those who love law and order, do not take this as an indictment against those state troopers, but keep this in mind: the days of “Officer Friendly” are over.  Sometimes warranted by fear (in the case of city cops constantly attacked by gangs and other miscreants), and sometimes unwarranted, many times they’ll pull the trigger and not mete out the force that is commensurate with the perceived threat.  My thoughts?  I’m not bothering anybody, but if I’m in the ground because of their mistake, I’m the one who really pays for that mistake, right?

It’s better to face a jury of 7 than to be carried by 6.

The situational awareness will help you to avoid complications.  Be aware of your surroundings, and who is in those surroundings.  My wife and I gassing up her vehicle, and as I pulled up to the pump, there were two young men and a young woman just acting stupidly…right in front of the door to the convenience store/gas station.  My wife was going to go in and pay while I pumped the gas.  I motioned for her to stay put while I both paid for and pumped the gas.

The men were carrying beer and the woman carousing with both while all played the fools.  No matter.  I kept my eye on them and paid for the gas, then came out and pumped it as they moved off (“staggered off” being a better term) across the parking lot.

Situational awareness.  I didn’t have to say anything.  I avoided a situation.  Most of the times avoidance is the best answer.  Move out of the area and away from the potential situation before it escalates.  It will all be forgotten in no time.  It is important in the moment for the threat it potentially poses, however, in the long term it is not even worth the time of day.


Situations accomplish nothing if they’re allowed to escalate: avoid them as much as possible.


7 Tips To Improve Your Situational Awareness

Let’s cover some simple basics that you can use all the time.

  1. As with “Driver’s Education,” Get the big picture: see everything that is happening around you and take in the full view.
  2. Watch what people are doing, and what state they are in: whether they’re mad, inebriated, overly friendly…watch them and pay attention to their actions.
  3. Watch what people have in their hands or on their person (such as a knife strapped to their belt, etc.)
  4. Know where you are. Are you up against the wall as two men are approaching you from two different directions?  Do you have a narrow alley to walk through and a gang of thugs just took notice of you and they’re in motion?  Are you in the back corner of a dimly-lit diner, and in came the Hell’s Angels and they’re staring at you?
  5. Know what your escape routes are. In #4 above, do you have alternate routes to take?  Do the Hell’s Angels know about that small fire exit door beyond the restrooms?  Have a backup route to employ…in all things you do…whether walking, driving, or just sitting having a cup of coffee.
  6. Have a plan in place. If you’re attacked, how will you defend yourself?  Having a plan in place and knowing how you’ll execute that plan…rehearsing it in your mind…this will keep you from being completely unprepared.
  7. Avoid a situation by not allowing it to happen. You can leave the area.  If your bargaining skills/people skills are good, you may be able to talk your way out of it and defuse it before it occurs

Take it seriously.  Take each thing seriously, and remember that even the most harmless looking scenario can turn into a full-blown problem at any moment.  Think outside of the box.  Remember: lawbreakers aren’t worried about breaking the laws…the ones you are upholding.  You’ll have to assess the situation as it arises, and you must also assess it as it changes.  Take care of business when it occurs, and take care of one another.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Happy people: A Year in Taiga

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I’m pretty sure I posted this before, maybe last year, but in case you missed it it’s worth posting again.

Happy People: A Year in Taiga goes along the journey of one year with the professional trappers and hunters living along the Taiga river in Russia. These are hardy, no-nonsense old world people. They make a living in one of the harshest parts of the world, one that is at that beautiful and full of natural resources. The skill and resourcefulness they show is admirable.

It’s the second time I watch this documentary. Its four parts, one for each season (as in actual seasons of the year) each lasting one hour. Again, worth every minute of it.

One of the things that stuck with me this time though is that even though I bet they are happy people and some of them probably chose such a life, I sure wouldn’t trade places with them any time soon. In spite of the beautiful natural surroundings you can also see the Spartan way of life, in many ways limited. At the end of the day the trapping, fishing and hunting is done for good old money mostly, and they make rather little of it at that. Clearly being frugal is one of their main survival skills and if applied to any other line of work, likely one that pays better, it’s also understandable that a person would thrive as well.

Again, the skill and resourcefulness is amazing. How they cut down trees to make everything from skies to canoes, driving, navigating, repairing, fishing, hunting, trapping. While these people may be jack of all trades, they sure have mastered several of them as well.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Bushcraft 101

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Bushcraft 101 John Smith “Disaster Prep Guides” Audio in player below! Bushcraft is a term for wilderness survival skills that was originally created in Australia and South Africa. There are some areas in Australia that are called “The Bush,” which is an area that is mostly wilderness. If you are lacking the needed survival skills, … Continue reading Bushcraft 101

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10 Essential Skills Every Prepper Should Master

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10 Essential Skills Every Prepper Should Master Many people concentrate on stockpiling necessary supplies, without taking the corresponding time to stockpile the essential skills to go with them. Without the skills, those supplies may not do you any good. Those who don’t want to study say, I have all the information in books. Would you …

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Forge Ahead: This Unique Post-Collapse Skill Will Help You Fabricate and Repair Essential Items

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 OK, ReadyNutrition Readers, we’re going to forge ahead with those self-reliant skill sets and I’m going to tell you how to make your own forge.  Try not to become too excited!  Seriously, you’re not going to put US Steel out of business, nor do any of the refineries in Pittsburgh feel threatened.  No, this is a simple furnace that you can make on your own in your spare time.  If you follow the instructions and do it right, you won’t burn your house down or set fire to the neighborhood.  Seriously, there are plenty of applications you can use for this, and (in the end) it’s up to you.

So, what is a forge, (or furnace, if you prefer)?  Just a modified oven that can be defined as an enclosed oven for the express purpose of containing and raising the temperature of the fuels burned.  The forge-label usually denotes fabrication, primarily from metals within that fiery furnace.  This simple list of materials will give you what you need to build your own forge.

  1. Steel 5-gallon bucket (cylindrical, akin to contractor-grade)
  2. 2-3-gallon galvanized bucket
  3. 20 lbs. of sand or cat litter
  4. “stand” fashioned out of heavy-gauge wire fencing
  5. 6-10 bricks or several large bricks/masonry tiles
  6. Charcoal briquettes (about 20-lbs)
  7. Hair dryer
  8. Tongs/long-handled pliers
  9. Water pan (approx. 1 square foot L, and 3-4” deep)
  10. Fire extinguisher
  11. Heavy gloves, and goggles

Why These Materials, J.J.?

With these materials, you’ll be able to make a forge for yourself.  Why?  So you can fabricate items made of metal, repair things, and obtain heat where a higher heat than just a standard fire is required.  The charcoal briquettes enable you to have an even fire that can be super-oxygenated with the aid of the hair dryer.  If you want to pick up an old-fashioned bellows, then knock yourself out.  Using a hair dryer on the “cold” setting enables you to oxygenate the fire without burning out the hair dryer’s heating element.

The wire stand on the inside of the interior bucket is to enable the briquettes to heat your crucible, which is a container/vessel used to melt materials at high temperatures.  You can have a welder fabricate one of these out of steel piping, preferably 5-6 inches in diameter and about 1 foot in length.  The bottom of the steel pipe needs to be covered over with about a ¼ inch piece of steel slightly larger than the steel pipe’s diameter and welded to it.  This can be done for a reasonable price.

The tongs you’ll need to remove the crucible from when you heat it up, and the goggles and gloves for your own safety.  How many times do we throw away old cans and scrap metal?  Well, a while back, I did a piece on keeping metal bins for use as salvaging metals.  Here’s your chance to use that metal with your forge.

Furnace-Forge

Instructions For Making a Forge

  1. Set your 5-gallon bucket on the bricks or brick tile, away from flammable surfaces, such as wood.  The ground is better.  You will want to be close enough to an outlet to plug in the hair dryer.
  2. Next pour in the sand or litter until the bottom of the galvanized bucket sits firmly on it.  You’ll want to make a funnel out of cardboard or paper to fill in around to the top of the bucket with sand/litter if the bucket is angled.  If it’s a cylinder, no problem…go up to about ½” from the bucket’s top.  Make sure the top of your interior, galvanized bucket is about 1-2” below the 5-gallon bucket’s top lip.
  3. Construct your heavy-duty wire fencing stand as a rack to hold your crucible within the galvanized bucket.  The sand/cat litter insulates the outer vessel from the tremendous heat your forge will produce.  You want the crucible off the bottom of the bucket, with space in between it and the charcoal briquettes, for the promotion of airflow, steady burning, and to prevent the crucible from putting out the fire.  Your first firing is to get the briquettes up to (but no higher than) the top level of the stand the crucible is sitting on.
  4. Using the hair dryer on “cool/cold” setting, you can evenly oxygenate the briquettes until they are glowing evenly and hotter than a regular fire.  It is going to take time and practice to perfect this.
  5. Then (being safe) you will manipulate your crucible with the tongs.  You can also place a big metal can full of cat litter with a hollow in it to set the crucible to cool, and use the pan of water after it is no longer glowing hot.  Be sure to have an updated and serviceable fire extinguisher handy in case the operation is not all going along with your plan.
  6. Research your metals you wish to melt.  Perhaps bars or ingots can be made for later use.  You may want to fabricate parts for different tools and machinery.  This is beyond the scope of this article; however, remember that a part can be duplicated if you can make an impression of that part in a suitable material to take a pouring.  There are plenty of websites and resources out there to pursue an interest in metallurgy if you take the time.

Be safe, and be sure before you attempt any of this.  Don’t heat up anything inside of your garage or on your porch, and never in an enclosed area because of carbon monoxide fumes that can kill you.  Study and learn as much as you can before operating your forge.  Whatever you intend to build, have all your steps written down before you go about building it.  Be safe, be professional, and keep in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Setting Skills Goals For The Year And How To Learn Fast | episode 135

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Setting Skills Goals For The Year And How To Learn Fast | episode 135
Setting Skills Goals For The Year And How To Learn Fast | episode 135

Setting Skills Goals For The Year And How To Learn Fast | episode 135

http://www.survivalpunk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Setting-Skills-Goals-135.mp3

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This week Jeff from the lost skills podcast joins me to talk about skills. More specifically how to learn them fast. 

As per expected, we chase many rabbits and banter. 

We cover many techniques to quickly learn new skills. 

To begin with, we talk about setting skill-based goals for the year. And to make them smart goals. 

To be a smart goal it has to be timely, measurable and achievable.

Do not set a goal to become a master woodworker this week. You will fail. Miserable.

I like to set goals in quarterly intervals. So every three months. And to make them small and attainable. 

In my case since I do want to get into woodworking, I want to learn the dovetail joint this quarter. 

To measure my success I have to have a decent dovetail joint at the end of the quarter. 

We cover many ways to learn new skills quickly in this podcast. 

Shout Out to Kate for doing the opening this week. 

 

 
 

Topics

  • Setting skills based goals for the year
  • Time frame,  measurable 
  • Full immersion 
  • Books can help.
  • Talk to mentors
  • Take classes. 
  • Practice practice
  • Learn tips and tricks from outliers
  • Compete.

Links

Survival punk Challenge  

Now will be announced on the podcast, run till the next podcast and the winner will get a shoutout. 
 
You have to show your results in the facebook group.
 
This weeks challenge is to make a piece of DIY survival gear. It can be easy or elaborate. Points for creativity, design, and functionality.
 
 

Subscribe to the Survival Punk Survival Podcast. The most electrifying podcast on survival entertainment. 

Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

Like this post? Consider signing up for my email list here > Subscribe

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The post Setting Skills Goals For The Year And How To Learn Fast | episode 135 appeared first on Survival Punk.

A Green Beret’s Guide To Building an Emergency Winter Shelter

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we covered a few items on winter camouflage and winter preparedness training.  I’m going to throw out to you the concept of the winter shelter.  Most are self-explanatory.  Going into the basics, we need something to keep the snow from falling on our heads, as well as something to insulate us from the cold and the wind.  If you have no tent available, then it’s up to you to build something if the emergency arises.  Undoubtedly someone will comment about sleeping in the car, but circumstances may arise that may prevent that, such as a bad accident with leaking gas or combustible fluids.

The Simplest Survival Shelters

One answer for you is the lean-to, which is simply a couple of vertical poles jammed into the ground and a cross-pole (or cross-beam, if you will) lashed to the top across the two vertical poles.  Then you “lean” other branches across the top edge of your cross-pole, building a triangular shelter for yourself as you create this roof.  Ideally the rear can be on the slope of a hill or mountain without any runoff, leaving you a “front” to sit in at the edge of the lean to.

Tree-pit ShelterIn areas where heavy snows accumulate, you can also make a tree-pit shelter.  Excavate around the trunk of a pine tree with low boughs (a tree with thick branches and the boughs close to the ground).  If you have about two to three feet to dig, all the better in this case.  You’ll excavate about a 6-7’ diameter “hole” around the tree, and with the snow you remove, stack it up and pack it on the edges of the hole, building it up until you reach those bottom boughs.  You can also reinforce the construction by using boughs and dead branches to set the snow on top of.  Be creative, and use your imagination to make the situation fit your needs.  You want to make a front “gap” for yourself to squeeze through, and maybe a “door” out of pine boughs to close the gap off.


The principle being to create walls of snow that extend to the thick tree-boughs.  The tree will be your insulation topside, and the walls of snow akin to a semi “igloo” that will protect you on the sides. 


Reinforce those walls by placing branches on the inside vertically, stuck into the ground, or use a foam pad to run around the walls of the pit (Army issue ones work well).  Pack the top of the wall before putting branches and snow on the sides to build it up.  Don’t build a fire in the thing, unless you want to risk the fate of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” character and risk bringing stuff down on top of you to smother you.  Also, don’t pick a tree heavily laden with a billion pounds of snow.

Why These Shelters Are Ideal

The principle is to crawl in this thing, taking support against the tree (lean against it to rest and sleep).  Even if you were buried, the tree itself will protect you and create an air pocket when you lean against it.  This type of shelter will buy you some time until you can build something a little more permanent.  If you did what I advised many moons ago, and packed your “A-bag”/bug-out happy-camper-survivor bag the way I advised, it’s packed per the season, and you should have a poncho and poncho liner in it.  The poncho can either be stretched out on the ground for a ground-cover, or used to solidify a lean-to and make it more waterproof.

The tree-pit shelter is for when you need to get out of the elements quickly.  If that can’t be done, you can dig a snow-cave for yourself.  With the poncho and/or a ground pad, you can insulate yourself from the ground and “hole up” in this snow cave (nothing more than a “spider hole” to protect you from the bite of the elements) and allow your body heat to warm up the hole.  It is the same principle that sled dogs use when they dig holes in the snow and bury themselves.  The principle is sound and can work for you as well.

Also for the tree-pit shelter: try not to pick a tree that is growing on the side of a mountain or hill.  You don’t need an avalanche to ruin your day on this one.  The lean to you can get out of.  Let the tree-pit shelter be on fairly-level ground, if you can make it so, and check it out thoroughly beforehand.  Be prudent and carry your pack with you should you have to leave the vehicle.  Practice building these shelters and familiarize yourself with them when you have the time, prior to an emergency occurring.  Stay warm, drink coffee, and take care of one another!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Build a Natural Deer Hunting Blind

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Quick Navigation Before You Start Choose Your Location Choose Your ToolsBuilding a Deer Blind Ground Deer Hunting Blind Elevated Deer Hunting BlindWrapping It Up Before You Start First of all, let’s begin by defining what a deer hunting blind is.It’s a camouflaged shelter that gives you a good vantage point, and a sniping position.A hunting …

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The Skills That Will Really Matter After SHTF

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The Skills That Will Really Matter After SHTF No one can tell how different life would be after a serious disaster or a collapse, but humans have the remarkable ability to recover after every major SHTF event so life would certainly go on. One thing is certain though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster …

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Useful Skills And Items For Bartering After SHTF

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Useful Skills And Items For Bartering After SHTF

There’s no way of telling quite how different life after a major disaster or serious collapse of society could be, but humans are remarkably resilient, so life would certainly go on. One thing is certain, though: in the aftermath of a widespread disaster or the collapse of civil society as we know it, you’ll want to have useful skills and items that you can barter or trade with. In this article, I’d like to discuss some of the most useful items you can stockpile now, as well as skills you can develop that will serve you well should you ever need them.

First, let’s start with 5 indispensable skills that you could develop, any one of which will guarantee that your skills will be in high demand in a post-SHTF scenario of just about any scale.

  1. First aid and basic emergency medical care; think knowing how to stabilize a broken limb pending proper care, how to reduce or stop traumatic bleeding, how and when to apply sutures to a wound, etc. If you’re really inclined, you could go all the way and become a medic, a practicing nurse, or a doctor or surgeon. In general, medical training and knowhow are always in demand after a disaster or major catastrophe. There are never enough doctors or medics when you need them, so by developing some of those skills now, you can ensure that you’ll have skills that are in high-demand if you ever have need of them.
  2. Mechanical knowledge; knowing how things work, how they are taken apart, and how to put them back together or repair them with whatever you have on hand, is never more useful than after TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Study up on how to repair generators, farm equipment, even cars (they’ll be around for a while, even in the case of most super horrid events). Even being able to fix and repair clocks could serve to be a useful skill, get creative.
  3. Gunsmithing, repair and ammunition loading; take a moment to think about how many gunsmiths you know. Did you come back with a long list of names?Now think about the number of people you know who own guns and various other firearms, and think about how many firearms are going to be in use in a post-SHTF situation. While you don’t necessarily need to turn full arms-dealer, being able to repair various guns and maybe reload some ammunition would be useful skills to have indeed.
  4. Weaving, tailoring, sewing and mending; while these skills are on the more homely side of things, don’t let that fool you. Clothing wears out over time, especially when worn for hard labor, and everyone appreciates a good pair of socks. Holes will need patched, socks will need darned, and eventually new clothing will need to be made.
  5. Butchering animals; this might take a little while to show its merit, but if you’ve got the guts and knowhow to slaughter and butcher a variety of animals for consumption, demand for your skills will gradually return and rise as society starts to regulate again. Even during the hardest of times, if you can find work as a butcher it is usually sufficient to allow you to keep food on the table, as you can at least trade your skills as a butcher for a suitable share of the meat, if nothing else.

RELATED : 15 SKILLS THAT WILL MAKE YOU PRICELESS IN A POST SHTF BARTER WORLD

In addition to those 5 suggestions of useful skills you might choose to acquire, there are also many items that can be stockpiled with relative ease for use in trade and barter.

  1. Cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco; supplies may be limited or altogether unavailable after whatever catastrophe has occurred, so tobacco products would become even morevaluable than they already are. Tobacco doesn’t keep forever, but properly stored loose tobacco, cigarettes or cigars can last several years.
  2. Lighters, matches, and/or butane fuel; if electricity grids are down for an extended period of time, or permanently, fire will become integral to daily life. A stockpile of lighters, matches and particularly fuel for refilling lighters, can provide you with a good barter item should you need it.
  3. Alcohol; in the form of beer, wine, champagne, and various hard liquors, alcohol ranks alongside tobacco for long-term popularity and usefulness as a trade and barter item. If you’re so inclined, you could also learn to produce alcoholic beverages, but that requires both the knowhow and the supplies, and may make you the target of potentially violent criminals who compete as producers / suppliers. By contrast, a case or two of fine wine or aged whiskey can just be nice to have on hand in case you need to trade for something or wish to celebrate a very special occasion.
  4. Older (pre-1964) US silver coins; from dimes and quarters to half-dollars and silver dollars, pre-1964 US coins are comprised of 90% silver content.Because of their various sizes and weights, old US coins are perfect for barter and trade in a post-SHTF scenario or after a major, debilitating disaster.
  5. Non-GMO, organic or heirloom vegetable seeds;after things settle down following a disaster or serious collapse of civilization, farming will be a top priority for anyone who wants to survive. Having heirloom variety, non-GMO seeds is another way to ensure that you have something valuable to trade and barter with if you ever need it.
  6. Sugar, salt, pepper, and other spices; many spices are quite affordable these days, but spices, sugar, even salt were much scarcer commodities traditionally.Stocking up on these kitchen staples now can provide you with desirable commodities for trade or barter, as well as for use in your own cooking and meals.
  7. Spare tools and basic hardware; think along the lines of hammers, saws, wrenches, nails, screws and other basic odds and ends. Even a few pairs of decent work gloves could prove to be a useful barter item, but nails, hammers and other basic tools will definitely be in high demand post-SHTF.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies.

In short, our ancestors lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video below : 

Source : www.survivopedia.com

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Food Storage: It’s the Little Things!!!

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “the little things make a big difference.” That’s true in preparedness and really true when we consider food storage! Let me walk you through a scenario.

The “hammer” has finally “dropped” and America is in the middle of TEOTWAKI. Chaos ensues and it is not pretty! After a while, depending on where you are located in the country (some places might take longer than others), things finally die down (maybe literally) and eventually a “new normal” emerges in American’s everyday life!

Maybe it looks agricultural. Maybe it looks industrial. Who knows? But one thing that everyone will have to do is eat!

Now, imagine putting in a long day of…working in the field, patrolling, working in a factory or whatever. Imagine working a long day and then coming home to sit down to eat…the same old, bland food.

Many people say that if someone is hungry, they will eat whatever is in front of them. I actually believe that. But, remember, we are now in a “new normal.” People aren’t necessarily hungry. It’s just that the food sucks! Can you imagine what that would do to morale eventually?

Now, what if the person responsible for making the food knew tricks and tips and knew how to make things that tasted good? What would that do for morale? Just imagine, dinner time would once again be the centerpoint of the day. Families would come together to eat a good meal and enjoy each other.

Now, many of us have food storage. Some of your food storage might include MRE’s and dehydrated Mountain House meals. But the bulk of most preppers food storage would include basic staples like rice and beans. After your MRE’s and Mountain House is gone, how will you cook your rice and beans and other long term food storage in a way that won’t eventually get boring?

The truth here is that cooking, knowing how flavors come together, knowing what to use and when, is an important skill, not only when the poop hits the fan, but it can also be very useful now!

I would like to announce that I’m partnering, as an affiliate, with Chef Keith Snow and his new cooking program that has been designed for preppers!

Many of you know Chef Keith Snow from his own cooking podcast and his appearances on The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. He sits on Jack’s Expert Council when the topic is food.

In realizing the frailty of our system, he got serious about prepping and food storage. He also realizes the challenges that many preppers have when it comes to making their food storage taste good over a long time. He has developed a course to help his fellow preppers!
Keith has put together a course with 17 modules that covers everything from “What Food to Store” to the equipment you need to the specifics on food storage staples. He is just now launching it and adding to it weekly.

But, this isn’t just a course. When you learn how to really cook well, you are learning a valuable skill. You will use all your preparedness skills at some point. But you will eat everyday!

And, this course will help you save money because many of the main ingredients in the recipes are from food storage staples, which means they will be very affordable!

Good food at a great price…and learn a valuable skill?????? It’s a win-win-win!!!!

The cost of the course covers a lifetime membership and includes access to all of Chef Keith’s written materials as well as videos. The written material includes recipes and even items that you will want to purchase to add to your food storage.

Since the course has just launched, but isn’t completed yet, Chef Keith is offering an introductory offer to join his new program – $169. Again, this includes a lifetime membership and unlimited access to all of his materials, including a forum.

To sign-up for his course, CLICK HERE!

If you’re not convinced yet, and would like to get a little more information, subscribe to his mini-course which will get you access to a 45 page ebook in PDF , two written recipe with everything you need to know how to make these recipes and information from Keith’s perspective and rationale of the course.

To sign-up for the mini-course – CLICK HERE!

To put my money where my mouth is – I signed up for the course myself! I am excited to improve my cooking skills. I plan on putting out some of the recipes I try on my social media channels. Be on the lookout for them!

Peace,
Todd

How Everyday Activities Creates a Complete Workout

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snow-shovelingReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, it’s a new year and there’s still work to be done!  Yes indeed, speaking for myself here in Montana, I’ve been shoveling snow every day for the past week.  Doing this helps me to do things, such as pull my vehicle out of the driveway, different structures on my property to not collapse or be buried…little things such as that.  Some days it has been dumping almost a foot of snow on me, and most I see about 4 to 6 inches.  What a pain!  But it’s not all complaints in this department, as it serves a purpose that perhaps you, too, can “latch” onto to make your own.

I’m referring to your daily activities for use as exercise.  When I shovel (I don’t like snow-blowers, and prefer the shovel…grid down, I still can remove snow), that counts as a workout.  Especially if it’s between 1-2 hours per day.  That’s just simple maintenance; however, I take it as a workout.  You can too!  This is not to say that I don’t lift weights on these days, but as a workout, my “yard work” supplements (or complements) the lifting.

Shoveling snow works the shoulder muscles (the deltoids), and the neck muscles (the trapezius), as well as the biceps and triceps in the arms.  It also works your legs: your quadriceps for when you squat and drive your shovel into the snow.  Your lumbar and lower back gets quite a workout for when you turn and throw the snow.  Oh yes, when you’re running “full tilt,” you work up quite a sweat. [Remember to stay hydrated!]

Before I shovel, I tend to stretch out for about 5 minutes with some deep knee bends (squat thrusts) and arm circles, as well as stretching out my chest, arms, and shoulders.  The snow-shoveling forces you to use your hip flexor muscles, as well as accessory muscles of breathing, such as interior and external obliques and transverse abdominus muscles, all located on and near the stomach.  In the gym, it would be hard to duplicate some of the motions you pursue in the mechanics of the shoveling.

I estimate with a damp, “wet” snow, each shovel I fill up weighs about 15 lbs. or so.  After you have done that several thousand times, you can see the point.  You also work on regulating your breathing.  I have a pattern of filling up and moving ten shovelfuls, and then taking a breath for a few seconds…assessing my work remaining.  It is good for the cardiovascular, as well.

To digress, the same runs for cutting and chopping wood.  Splitting wood is good for your arms, shoulders, and back.  You also practice some hand-eye coordination, and I’m here to tell you…you split a quarter or a half a cord with an axe?  You’ll get a good workout, believe me.

You should log all activities in your workout book.  I’m a believer in workout notes, because you can see what gains you make, what problems you face, and you can perfect your activities and training program, changing it to suit your needs.  With your woodcutting and snow-shoveling, note down the time you worked and the amount you moved (an estimate: it doesn’t have to be down to the pound).  It is also important to factor in a recovery, and here’s a rule that doesn’t require supplements.

You should consume some protein and carbohydrates within ½ hour of finishing strenuous activity.

The reason for this is twofold.  After a workout, your body breaks down tissues that will immediately scream for protein to repair them.  In addition, you need to infuse some carbohydrates into your system, because if your body doesn’t have the energy to begin the conduct of repairs, it will break down muscle tissue in order to secure that energy supply.  This article is not for the purpose of covering anabolism and catabolism or the glycogen cycle; however, you need to follow that guideline after your workout is complete.

And what if you don’t live in the Rocky Mountains?  And what of it?  You can still figure out what you do during the course of a day that is a “natural” form of exercise.  Are you a waitress or a health care professional?  Secure a pedometer and use it to figure out how many miles a day you walk.  Tie this in with your functions.  Many professions require a person to sit behind a desk all day.  Do you live within walking distance?  Well, this needs to be factored in, and you can figure out whether or not it gives you some of the exercise that you need.

Bicycling to and from work may be another method, if you live too far to walk and have a profession that requires more cerebral than physical activity.  Those in lines of work that require a lot of physical activity tend not to regulate them (in thought); nevertheless, they reap the benefits of consistent physical activity, such as construction men and bricklayers, as well as steelworkers or dockworkers.  Look at how those guys (and gals) are built, and tell me they’re not benefiting from the physical labor.

When you’re home and have yard work of any kind, incorporate the task and turn it into physical training for yourself.  In a SHTF scenario, you will probably not be able to visit HappyFitness Gym, but you still have a need to exercise.  It lowers the triglyceride levels of the bloodstream and builds up the muscles and stamina.  Exercise is a life-long function that needs to be pursued.  Consult your doctor on all routines you’re considering.  So, Happy New Year, and I hope this year brings you success in your physical training programs…one that you can potentially fill with your everyday work.  In the meantime, I have about three inches of snow to shovel, now, so I’ll catch you later!  JJ out!

Here are some other at-home workouts you could pursue:

4 Daily Strengthening Exercises That Will Push You to the Limit

The Wild Woodsman Workout

See How You Stack Up Against The WW2 Fitness Test

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Make Pemmican: A Step-By-Step Guide

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dried-beefWe’re going to do an introduction on making pemmican, a survival and backpacking food that can be used all year round as well as prepared anytime.  It is a lot simpler to make than most people realize, and does not take up a whole lot of resources or too much time.  Pemmican can be stored for long periods of time and can give you a ready source of protein when you don’t have the time to cook up a large meal.  Sure, you can buy a whole pallet of it at a time from Costco, but when your supply runs out, how do you replenish it after the SHTF?  Well, this piece gives you the basics of how to do that.

Pemmican is the Original Superfood

Pemmican is similar to jerky, but it isn’t: it’s a little different.  It is actually the original processed meat, “invented” if you will, by the Indian tribes to provide a way to preserve the meat from their wild game.  Now, as I mentioned to you in previous articles, man needs fats in his diet and vitamins as well that are not able to be furbished completely by wild game.  Here is where it becomes tricky: the Indians had to supplement their meat with fish, vegetables, herbs, and fruits both wild-crafted and raised to well-round their diets.  Pemmican well-rounded the Indians diet by adding some fats as well as some vitamins and minerals to the protein.

Pemmican is the result of drying the meat in thin strips, grinding it and pulverizing it into powder, adding liquefied fat and seasonings, and re-drying it to form the finished product.  That’s it!  The Indians had deer, elk, buffalo (bison), and antelope to use.  Most pemmican these days is made of beef and comes in a family-friendly, happy plastic bag with food grade desiccant.  This method I’m going to give to you is bare bones to make your pemmican.  Here it is:

Jeremiah’s Pemmican Recipe

What You Will Need:

  • 4 cups of extra lean meat…this is about a pound/a pound and a half…pick your meat
  • 4 cups of dried fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries, or even raisins
  • 2 cups of fat (after rendering), or about ½ pound of weight
  • Seasonings: I prefer dried onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc.
  • Sweeteners: You can also use some molasses or honey if you wish

The Process:

  1. Slice up your meat in long, thin slices (as thin as possible).  One way to slice it thin is to have regular pieces of meat, and harden it in the freezer.  Don’t freeze it!  You just want the meat to be “sliceable”, but more “solid” than just barely-refrigerated meat or meat at room temperature.  Then you can add your seasonings.  Rub it in with your hands, spreading it evenly over the sliced pieces.

2. Next set that meat on the rack of your oven, and keep the temperature as low as you can go…around 135 to 150 degrees F.  Permit the oven door to be gapped/cracked during the process, as this will cut down on the humidity and water building up from the drying.  Do this for 12-16 hours, until your meat is dried out and akin to a potato chip…brittle, or crisped.

3. Pulverize this meat in any way that you wish (mortar and pestle, hammer, food processor…whatever works).  Pulverize your dried fruits (you may have to dry them even further than when you first get them).  Next comes the liquefied fat to add…first you must liquefy it.  This is called “rendering,” and you can do it in a saucepan or in a crock pot, after you cut up the fat into pieces that will easily dissolve.  Beef tallow is the best…you can pick this up from a butcher shop.  You can use pork lard; however, I don’t recommend it because it doesn’t keep as long or as well as the beef fat.

4. All of your chopped-up beef and fruit can be placed in a large pan…such as a baking or casserole pan for the addition of the fat.  Do not use the fat until it has been liquefied completely, and you’ll have to remove the solid portions of any bits floating in it…use a small sieve/strainer to scoop these pieces out by hand.  For the sweeteners (such as molasses or honey) I like to take about a quarter cup and mix it into the meat prior to the addition of the liquefied fat.

5. Then carefully pour your hot rendered fat all over the meat, allowing the fat to be absorbed by your powdered mixture.  You need to take your time with this step, and then smooth/pat the fat into place with your hands to further enable the even distribution of the fat into the meat.  A good cook uses his or her hands.  A great cook washes their hands before using them to cook!

6. When this congeals and hardens, you can cut it into strips or whatever shapes your heart desires.  I personally like to use a pair of scissors (a pair I only use for food and cooking), and cut them into elongated strips about 1” in width and 6” in length.  The reason I make them this size is that they’re easier to pull out and eat.  So many times, with store-bought pemmican you have to rip it all to pieces just to cram it into your awaiting maw.  “Not I,” said the little red hen!  I want to eat leisurely and not waste effort or energy ripping my food into bite-sized pieces. You can store this best either in plastic or in wax paper (I prefer the latter) and then flatten it out, and throw it into Ziploc bags.  Keep it in a cool place free of light and moisture, and it’ll be good for a long, long time.

So basically, that’s it!  Simple enough, right?  Now you have the information and all you need to do now is employ it!  Just think: there’s still time to make yourself a batch before New Year comes about.  Oh, what a delightful crowd-pleaser it will be to make up some and have everyone eat it all up right in front of your eyes!  Partygoers and piranhas have one difference: both eat everything until they’re filled up, but the piranhas don’t also grab some extra to take home with them!  You make up a batch of jerky and (if they haven’t eaten it all) they’ll take it!  Just make sure to keep some set aside for yourself so that you can enjoy what you made.  Happy New Year to all!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

4 Things to Do For Your Survival in 2017

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4 Things to Do For Your Survival in 2017 Another year has passed and, thankfully, we’re all still alive and well. Most of us, at least, because people die every day and there’s nothing we can do about it. What we can do is make sure we increase our chances of survival even further by … Continue reading 4 Things to Do For Your Survival in 2017

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The Winchester ’94: Take Your Hunt to the Next Level

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deer-huntReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we wrote one not long ago on basics of hunting, and now I’m going to recommend to you an excellent rifle.  The Winchester Model 1894 (called the Winnie ’94) is an outstanding lever-action rifle in 30-30 caliber.  It is compact (technically a carbine, which is a rifle with an 18 – 20-inch barrel), and is, in this author’s opinion the finest brush gun for stalking deer.  The rifle was designed by none other than John M. Browning and (as its name suggests) began to be produced in 1894.  Browning is famous for designing the .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) model 1911.

hunting-rifleWinchester ceased production of them when the New Haven, CT plant closed down; however, they are still readily available throughout the U.S.  The Winnie ’94 is a very nice weapon, and other firms also make lever-action models in the 30-30 caliber, such as Marlin, Savage, and Sako.  I prefer the Winnie ’94 over all of the rest, and it has (in my experience) only one drawback: as it ejects spent casings from the top, a scope must be side-tapped to be mounted.  Marlins eject from the right side and can be mounted on top with a scope.

The 30-30 round is a pretty powerful round, and is more than enough muscle to put down a large deer.  The bullets come in 150 grains jacketed round-noses, as well as the larger 170 grain jacketed flat tips that have a lot of stopping power, and are sufficient for whitetail and mule deer, as well as elk and antelope.  The 150 grain bullets have a velocity on average of about 2,000 fps (feet per second), and the 170 grain bullets run about 1,875 fps on average…a tad bit slower, as it is a heavier round.

From a ballistics perspective, a high-velocity round is not the answer to all of your challenges.  Flat-tip bullets tend to spread out and increase the diameter of the round upon impact, whereas round-tips are better for deeper penetration.  The shot also has a large bearing on it, as your primary target is either the head or low and just behind the shoulder.

The rifle has a tubular magazine that holds up to eight rounds.  The finger lever (that “loop” on the lever) has a safety that must be squeezed in order to fire, and a pop-in safety is located up by the trigger mechanism that will prevent the hammer from making contact with the primer.  As I mentioned earlier, the rifle is excellent for stalking and walking through brush, as being shorter (a carbine) it is easier to manage in areas with heavy sapling and ground cover, as well as thorns and other niceties that impede travel.

I prefer iron sights, as you are usually going to have a shot within 50 feet if you’re busting brush.  This is not to say it cannot be used in a stand, but it is optimal if you’re walking game trails or negotiating terrain with any kind of underbrush.  The 30-30 cartridge is quoted by Lyman’s reloading manual in the following glowing terms:

 “Probably no other cartridge in North America has put as much venison on the table as the venerable old “thirty-thirty.”

The cartridges can be reloaded simply and at an affordable price.  The Winnie ’94 doesn’t kick excessively and is not prone to jamming or any kind of feeding problems.  Most do not come tapped for a sling, so you may have to mount your swivels or have it done.  You can also pick up a nice elastic-type of cartridge holder that will slide snugly onto the stock for extra rounds as you hunt.  It is a really nice piece and a pleasure to shoot.  Another tip: although there are lighter rounds you can target shoot with, be sure to target shoot with the actual sized rounds you plan on hunting with.  In this manner, you’ll be able to iron out any variables that may come with your switching ammo types.  So, try out that Winchester Mod. ‘94, and I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how nice it fires and how dependable it is for a hunting rifle.  Keep your powder dry and be safe at all times!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

11 Professions That Will Make You a Millionaire In a Post-SHTF World

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When I look at today’s young people, majoring in things like video game design and gender studies, I have to shake my head. Many expensive degrees today almost guarantee a life spent as a Starbucks barista. As well, in a post-SHTF world, those degrees will be worse than useless. The years spent in classes such as “Games and Culture”, “Gender and Representation of Asian Women” and “The Invention of French Theory”…oh, my. Those hours could have been so much better spent studying things that are real, meaningful, and have true significance in the world around us, as well as having practical applications that might be of some actual help.

But, I digress. In the future, as we see the value of our dollar decline, increased civil unrest (although that may provide occasional income opportunities for gender studies students), and a chaotic world, there are a few “professions”, if you will, that could reap huge benefits and income. Just to name a few:

Gunsmith — In a world where violence becomes more common place, armed defense and offense are going to become the hallmarks of a survivor. Want to protect yourself, your family, and your property? Then your firearms had better be in working order 100% of the time. In a future in which law enforcement agencies are disbanded or barely functional, a citizen’s firearm will be his or her own first line of defense. What better career for such a time, and a cool hobby for right now, than becoming a gunsmith? The NRA has information about the trade and suggestions for gunsmithing schools at this site. If you’re not able to attend a school, then a good manual or two, like this one for getting started and this one for learning advanced gunsmithing skills, and a set of basic gunsmithing tools can help you get started.

Midwife — As long as there are men and women who coexist anywhere near each other, there’s going to be a need for midwives and, actually, anyone with the skills to help birth a baby. In a real TEOTWAWKI scenario, life expectancy will decrease and the lives of a mother and newborn will become more precarious. Midwife training is available across the country, including community colleges. Even a single class to learn more than just the basics of childbirth could easily save lives, and if nothing else, a good midwife’s guide to pregnancy and birth is worth adding to your library.

Herbalist — As Obamacare has made the medical field a virtual landmine for medical professionals with onerous regulations of every type imaginable, many have left the field. Now, imagine trying to find a random physician for a major medical crisis when everything hits the fan. That’s when alternative medicine will truly come into its own. My family has experienced good results with certain herbal treatments — slippery elm lozenges for my daughter’s cough, for one. My wife takes Boswellia to help with a chronic cough during allergy season. It works nearly as well as an OTC drug like Delsym. I’m very aware that herbs can and do cause side effects, which is why becoming a trained herbalist would be a darn good profession in a SHTF world. Additionally, start growing medicinal herbs that help with common ailments, such as headaches, stomach aches, and to boost overall immunity. Right now, my family buys herbs in capsule form, and occasionally teas, but in the future, Amazon Prime won’t be there for that quick 2-day shipment, so one of my goals is to build up our backyard herb garden.

Beautician — Now, hear me out on this one! A few months ago, as a student in Preppers University, I had the chance to hear a Bosnian war survivor, Selco, talk about the realities of trying to live life on the front lines of a war. He was asked if, during that time period, the women still tried to look attractive. He chuckled and said, “Yeah, the women still did their best to look good.” Now, in my own personal, albeit somewhat limited experience, I’ve noticed that women always, always want to look their best. Before the birth of our second child, my wife found an attractive nightgown that would look good in photos and after he was born, she fluffed up her hair and put on some mascara. Crazy? Yes, but you can’t argue with the multi-billion dollar beauty business and chances are, no matter what happens, women will still want a haircut and, if possible, color and highlights. Men, too. (Some of them. Maybe.)

Forager — One other piece of information I picked up from Selco’s talk was the importance of foraging. In his town, one old woman knew how to find a few edible plants and was able to forage for them to provide food. Depending on where you live, start researching the edible plants in your area but be very careful with this. On some plants, the leaves may be edible while the roots are poisonous or, in other cases, the plant parts aren’t edible until cooked. Learn more about foraging in this book, one of the best and written by a local Texas foraging expert. Whatever you can forage can be either dried/dehydrated or canned to preserve it for longer term storage.

Seamstress — If you’ve ever traveled in very poor parts of the world, you undoubtedly noticed the well-worn clothing, to put it politely. Modern laundry facilities aren’t usually available, so clothing quickly becomes faded, tattered, and frayed. In such a world, what if you could alter clothing to different sizes or use old jeans to create a brand new pair. Not many have these skills anymore, and they would be worth learning. It’s also a good reason to stock up on sewing supplies like thread, needles, pins, fabric, bobbins, and a treadle sewing machine.

And now for the vices…

The vice businesses, think gambling, drugs, liquor, and prostitution, have always done well, regardless of economics. There will always be customers for these things and, sadly, as times and people get more desperate, those who make a living this way will thrive at the expense of those addicted to their products.

Obviously, I’m not recommending any of these professions, but it’s good to keep them in mind if and when you see society deteriorating. You’ll see an increase in the business of vice and, along with that, a rise in crimes of all types, including organized crime. Hey, with law enforcement scattered or out of the picture altogether, what else would you expect?

Gambling — People either hooked on the thrill of the roll of the dice or in dire need of just one lucky roll will provide plenty of customers for even primitive gambing establishments.

Drugs — Across the globe and throughout time, people have found ways to get high on one thing or another. Back when I lived in the Pacific islands, chewing on a betel nut gave a good buzz, if you were into that sort of thing. Mushrooms and plants of all kinds have been used to produce hallucinations, euphoria, excitement, and a host of less positive effects. This article explains that homemade heroin may become a reality. TEOTWAWKI absolutely will bring an increase in drug production and sales, along with more addicts.

Liquor — I suppose this may not be a vice, depending on which side of the aisle you sit, but I included it in the category because that’s where it has typically belonged. Back in the 30s, my wife’s hillbilly relatives had a front porch still, and as far as I know, they may still be producing homemade moonshine. However, home brewing has come a very long way since then, and if you know how to make a decent beer, wine, or some other alcoholic concoction, you could be set for life. Of course, historically, organized crime usually wants a piece of this type of action, so that life could be shorter than you might expect.

Prostitution — As a dad, this one bothers me a great deal. I’ve seen the devastating consequences of child prostitution in East Asia and human trafficking here in the United States. In a desperate world, one’s body becomes a form of currency and many families have sold their sons and daughters simply to stay alive a few more months. In many parts of the world, this isn’t a “lifestyle”, it’s survival. Knowing this, prepping and moving toward a self-reliant life becomes even more important. I never want one of my family members faced with no other option just to stay alive. In a SHTF world, you’d better believe pimps and prostitution rings will flourish.

Pornography — Yet another soul-stealing “profession”. I see no reason why it wouldn’t continue to thrive in a world with little law enforcement and individuals of all ages willing to risk anything in exchange for food, water, and shelter.

How will you earn a living post-TEOTWAWKI?

There are many skills and professions that will be in demand in a post-TEOTWAWKI world. I’ve listed just a few

 

 

 

 

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Bushcraft and Primitive Skills With Joshua Kirk

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Bushcraft and Primitive Skills Discussion With Joshua Kirk Richard McGrath “Finding Freedom” Audio in player below! Join Rich in player below as he talks about Bushcraft, primitive skills, and survival. Special guest is Joshua “Native” Kirk from the 4 Winds Survival School. From the young age of six Joshua was hunting game, setting traps, tanning … Continue reading Bushcraft and Primitive Skills With Joshua Kirk

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What’s the Best Survival Knife?

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to give some info and recommendations on knives.  There are about as many uses for knives as you can imagine: knives for skinning, filleting, fighting, and all-around survival.  There are a ton of different companies that manufacture knives, and not as many of them in the United States as there used to be.  There is a resurgence in small forges and private knifemakers currently throughout the U.S., and in a future article, I will cover this subject in more detail.  For now, we’re going to stick with the well-known firms, of which I have both preference and experience with for different reasons.

Carry Blade

My “carry” blade for defense is a Spyderco H-1 Jumpmaster model, made in Seki City, Japan.  I’ve been “into” Spyderco for a good while; when I was in the service I carried a Spyderco Police model stainless steel folder.  This Jumpmaster model is actually designed by jumpmasters of the U.S. Army.  The blade is sharp – beyond belief and can be sharpened on a Tri-Angle Sharpmaker, also made by Spyderco.

The jumpmaster’s blade is straight, serrated, non-rust steel with a single piece running continuously from blade to handle, a fixed blade with a plastic handle.  The blade measures approximately 4-1/4 inches of special steel that does not corrode.  I mention again, it is for defensive purposes and I know how to use it, although ideally, a fighting knife should have a blade of approximately 8 inches or greater to be most effective.

I also carry a Buck 181 folder for all-purpose and utility that is about 3 inches long.  This model has an oval-shaped “pinch” ring within the blade, and a clip that enables you to pinch the ring, draw out the blade, and flick it open in the locked position.  The Spyderco Police model I mentioned earlier is the same configuration as this Buck folder.  It can be used for cutting, slicing, and (if necessary) small skinning jobs if the need arose.

General Purpose Knife

As far as a good general purpose survival knife is concerned, I really love what Gerber puts out (or rather, the older models), with the Gerber BMF series being really great.  As far as newer models run, I have a Gerber Mark 11, a two-edged blade similar to the Fairbairn-Sykes Commando model used by the OSS in World War II.  The knife was made in the U.S., and the sheath was made in China.  Guess we can’t win ‘em all.  The blade is approximately 7 inches in length with 2 inches of the blade on both sides being serrated before the final 1 inch connects with the handle/hilt.

Throwing Knives

Hibben (in my assessment) makes the best throwing knives.  When you pick up throwing knives, you should pick up 2 sets of the same model: one to practice with, and the other for use when needed.  In this manner, you’ll be able to sink that knife into a target from 15-20 feet away with no problem, and the quality/sharpness will not be a factor when you face a real-world situation.

If you wish to watch an excellent movie that will give you pointers as an introduction to combat with knives, pick up Hunted,” starring Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones.  They go “deep,” but the depiction of the U.S. military’s courses on knives, knifemaking, and actual combat techniques is very accurate.

Your folder you want for a good all-around utility knife.  For small cutting, just invest in a little folding pocketknife so as not to dull your blades continuously.  Although 8” is the preferred minimum length for combat, do not underestimate what you can do with a smaller blade when the need arises.  You want your knives to be maintained and as sharp as possible at all times.  I don’t really wish to cover skinning and filleting knives, simply because there are so many on the market that you can use.  I covered these because when push comes to shove, your combat blade can be used to skin game if need be.  Just as all cooks in the Army can become infantry when needed.

My preference is for the blade to be either black (subdued), or non-reflective/non-high sheen.  My personal preference (although for some specialty blades such as my jumpmaster model you need a specialty sharpener) is the old-fashioned stone and oil method.  It takes time, but it’s worth it.  Other methods (non-specialty) put a “quick” edge on it that doesn’t last too long, but the honing stones take a longer amount of time and deliver in the end.

Regarding a blade, do not sacrifice quality for price.  For fixed knives, they should be a continuous piece.  Buying from a reputable firm gives you a worthy blade.  Remember: you may depend on this blade to survive, be that to cut yourself out of a seatbelt if your car takes a dive, or to skin wild game in the dead of winter.  Cheap you buy, cheap you receive.  There’s a guy who is a builder who cruises around in his little pickup truck in town.  He has a saying on his truck that runs [I paraphrase], “Those who buy a lower quality at a cheaper price will later find the money they saved doesn’t make up for the inferior product, and they will come to regret both decisions.”

Yeah, it’s a long statement, but it’s the truth.  Knives can be very crucial tools when the need arises, sometimes being critical to stay alive.  Look up those models that I recommend, and you’ll find without exception that they’re expensive.  The thing is, they work, and when the chips are down, I can depend on them far better than some cheap piece of junk from China or Pakistan made of pot-metal and Elmer’s glue.  Take your time to find which model works the best for your needs, but never sacrifice quality for price.  Keep your powder dry and your knife oiled and sharp!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Winter Survival Skills That Will Keep You Warm, Dry … And Alive

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5 Winter Survival Skills That Will Keep You Warm, Dry ... And Alive

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Every different climate delivers a unique set of challenges in a survival scenario, and winter is no exception. If you aren’t too careful, the frigid wind and cold can immobilize you with frostbite and then kill you off with hypothermia.

In this article, we are going to look at five specific skills that you absolutely must have in order to survive when you’re stuck outdoors during winter.

1. Getting a fire going … and keeping it going

Knowing how to start a fire is an important skill to have in any survival scenario, but it’s extra important during winter. If you are ever wet and cold, a fire may be the only thing that gives you a chance of surviving. You also need a fire to dry out any damp clothing.

Unfortunately, it’s harder to build and maintain a fire during winter. The ground often is blanketed in snow or ice and the wood that is above the ground is saturated with moisture, too. On top of that, there could be high winds that put any spark you manage to create out in an instant. So how are you supposed to start a fire during winter?

The answer is to keep cotton balls that are coated in Vaseline with you at all times – especially during winter. These are highly flammable and will be a lifesaver in a winter survival situation. (They’re also inexpensive.) You’ll also need something to cause a spark, such as a ferro rod. But this is just the solution to getting a fire going. How can you keep that fire maintained?

Discover The Tricks Of The Top Survivalists In The World!

Construct a pit into the snow that is approximately two feet deep. This is so that the walls of the pit will protect the flames from the wind. The bottom of this pit should then be covered with logs and sticks. Next, set some tinder and your Vaseline cotton balls on top of these logs.

If all of the wood that you find is already wet, then use a knife or a hatchet to cut into it and see if there’s any drier kindling that you can get from the inside. Then, set up your kindling in a pyramid. This will allow the wood to dry and then burn faster.

The technique above might save your life.

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2. Building a warm-enough shelter

This is another survival skill that is important in any situation — but arguably more so in a winter scenario. During winter – unlike other seasons — you have to keep yourself warm and dry. For these reasons, you would be wise to spend more time working on your winter shelter than, say, your summer shelter.

Your shelter should be constructed in a site that is flat and on higher ground, with plenty of trees for cover from falling snow and wind. The trees also provide the natural resources you’ll need to build your winter shelter.

One of the best winter shelters to make is one that has natural cover, such as the boughs of a tree. You can dig around the trunk of the tree underneath the lowest boughs, so that the branches spread above you protect you from the snow and wind. The snow walls would then provide additional protection, and you can even set up a little place for you to make a small fire.

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3. Maintaining a proper body temperature

During winter, it’s easy to get too cold – but also too hot. Wear an outer shell layer that deflects the wind and the coldness, an insulation layer that keeps your body warm, and then a final layer that sticks right to your skin. When you’re traveling through the snow with all of this clothing on you, you can easily overexert yourself. The sweat will then freeze and make you at risk for both frostbite and hypothermia.

Keep close attention to your body temperature and add and remove layers as needed. If it is snowing or raining, wear all three layers so that your shell layer can keep your inner two layers dry. But when you’re traveling out in the sun or working on building a shelter, remove one or more layers so that your body can cool down and avoid perspiration.

4. Making snow goggles

While we most commonly use sunglasses during summer conditions, the ice and snow during winter can reflect the rays of the sun back to your eyes – essentially blinding you. If you don’t have snow goggles or sunglasses with you already, then you’ll need to know how to make them on your own, out of natural resources.

New 4-Ounce Solar Survival Lantern Never Needs Batteries!

The easiest snow goggles to construct are made out of birch bark. Birch bark is best for snow goggles because it can be removed from the trunk of the tree in sheets. Cut out a sheet of bark and then cut small slits in it for your eyes.

Next, cut holes into the sides of it so that it can be tied around your face. It may not sound like much, but these simple DIY goggles will provide your eyes with the protection they need when the sun is out.

5. Building a pair of snowshoes

Snowshoes distribute your weight over a larger area so that your foot will not completely sink into the snow. If you’ve ever tried to walk through a winter forest without snowshoes, you know how exhausting and time-consuming it is. Snowshoes will save you a lot of time and energy.

If you don’t already have a pair of snowshoes with you, you’ll need to make some on your own.  The simplest form of DIY snowshoes are groups of boughs that are tied together and then lashed onto the feet. More traditional snowshoes will require some time and energy to build. You’ll need to find a long, flexible stick that you can bend and then tie at the end, followed by crisscrossing the insides of the snow with more sticks, vines, and/or rope.

 

 

Should you successfully build a pair of snowshoes, it’s guaranteed you’ll be able to make it out alive much faster.

What winter survival skills would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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

The Beginners Guide to Hunting

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this is kind of a sensitive subject: hunting for food.  The article is designed to help those who either actively hunt and/or for those who would hunt if it was necessary to survive.  Part of pioneer spirit and resourcefulness is to consider all avenues to a thing to succeed, and our forefathers certainly hunted for their food.  Even though many of the colonists were farmers and ranchers, game was hunted to provide for their tables.

I do want to give you my own personal viewpoints on hunting, as simple as they are:

  1. I do not “trophy” hunt: it’s only for meat, and only when my freezer is about emptied.
  2. I use the whole animal: as much of it as I can, without wasting any of it…I don’t feel I have the right to waste any of it.
  3. I hunt for food and do not derive any pleasure or satisfaction whatsoever in killing the animal I’ve hunted.
  4. I am 100% responsible for the safety of those around me when I hunt: those who I see and those who I do not see…who may be within the range of my firearm?
  5. Every bullet that leaves the muzzle is placed exactly where I want it, and it must be that way – no exceptions. Read more about the 10 commandments of handling firearms.

Setting Hunting Objectives and Standards

These things being mentioned, it is important to define for yourself objectives and goals, as well as standards prior to your hunting excursions.  What game are you hunting?  Ground-dwelling animals, or birds, and if the latter, are they waterfowl?  These considerations are important for your selection of a firearm, as well as the technique you will employ when using it.  If you haven’t hunted before, you’ll find there’s a lot more to it than you imagined.  Hunting is not a “singular” skill but blends many different skills in the pursuit of an objective.

You must learn to identify tracks and how to track (there’s a difference).  You must learn how to forecast weather and how to hunt with in it.  You need some basics on ballistics and firearms, and when you finally arrive on a selection of your firearm?  You must know it akin to the back of your hand: everything about that rifle relevant to function, cleaning, and positive/negative factors needs to be known by you.

You must learn first aid: for yourself and others.  Remember: it is not just a matter of you shooting someone by mistake, may God forbid it.  You may be stalking a deer in the brush and slip on rocks, hurting yourself badly.  Then it morphs from a simple hunting excursion into a grim battle for survival.  You must know how to dress out, cure, skin, and butcher the game that you shoot.

Two guys who had never hunted went out and bagged a deer.  They dragged the deer by the hind legs, and the antlers were getting caught in the underbrush.  After about a half a mile of this, one said, “Hey, why don’t we pull him from the other side?”  The two men nodded at one another and commenced to drag the deer by the antlers.  The second man said, “Yeah, good idea.  Dragging him this way is a lot easier.”  The first man said, “Yeah, it is, but…we’re getting further and further away from the car!”

This is homesteading.  This is survival.

You must know the habits and ways of the animals or birds you’re hunting.  There are a lot of big advantages to hunting that are mutually beneficial to the hunter and the environment.  During the wintertime, many deer (especially here in Montana) have a terrible time with browsing and foraging for food, and many do indeed starve to death.  The population of deer is not in a decline.  Hunting does “thin out” the herds and enable the animals to have more resources than if the herds were to be left unchecked.

The forestry service does (at least here in Montana) a tremendous amount in terms of conservation.  The whole thing is more than just “hunter and hunted,” but is an actual symbiosis where (with the proper checks and balances) humans can secure more than enough meat to eat, at the same time keeping the herds from growing unmanaged.  If you know anything about deer, you know that in the spring when you’ve planted your garden that they will eat it all up as soon as the shoots poke out of the ground.

When you hunt, you can secure a large quantity of meat to throw some in the freezer, to smoke some of it, and to home-can the rest.  This is prepping.  This is homesteading.  This is survival.  There is a way to maintain a balance with nature: the respect for the animal and the utilization of all that he has, for the purpose of eliminating/reducing any waste.  This is conservation, because you and your family have the right to provide for yourselves, as well.  Read Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nationto remove any obstacles of thought that may allow a person to feel “cleaner” or “better” when they’re munching on that Double Quarter Pounder with extra cheese, extra onion.  The book, not the movie; the movie was nothing compared to the book.

Hunting is not a step backward: it is a big step back toward reclaiming the heritage that is ours – yours and mine – of when Americans were not only socially conscious but self-sufficient.  Soon we will cover some different types of firearms and recommend certain calibers and models for different types of game.  Until then, do some research and homework on what types of game you have in your area, and how you would plan on hunting it for your table and your supplies.  Be safe, take care of one another, and keep up the good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

6 Old-Fashioned Ways to Predict the Weather

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weather-forecastingReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to cover the weather in this article: how important it is to forecast for bugging out, for your retreat location, and for your operations in a survival scenario.  There is no foolproof method to determine the weather, as it is constantly changing with the introduction of many variables.  You can, however, utilize certain clues in your surroundings as well as arm yourself with knowledge of how the weather works and how to determine changes that are significant for you.

In some of these cases, depending on your locale, determining the weather can be a matter of life or death.  Here in the Rocky Mountains, you need to know when the snowstorms are coming in, as well as the arctic storms and the serious drops in temperature.  If you’re in the outdoors or at home here, you are subject to the temperature and the amount of precipitation and must adjust accordingly either with protective clothing, cessation of travel, or increased measures to protect and heat your home.

Firstly, pick yourself up some kind of reference material on the weather.  Keep it simple and perhaps pocket-sized.  I really like the old “Zim” guides by Herbert S. Zim on a multitude of subjects ranging from weather to fossils.  They’re pocket guides that you can slip into a Ziploc bag to protect that give you information at your fingertips.  Always work from low-tech to high-tech.  Your Garmin or your Internet-connected Cell Phone are paperweights without power or if they are smashed.

6 Old-Fashioned Ways to Forecast the Weather

Cloud reading

This is a great way to determine the changing weather patterns that help you forecast ahead of time.  Usually, you can figure out what is going on about 12-18 hours out, or longer.  When clouds clump, the weather will dump.  An increase in cloud size and thickness usually mean the weather is heading south.  Know your types of clouds, as follows:

Cirrus: long, high swirls, usually indicators of fairly good weather.

Cumulus:  these are the puffed-up “cotton-ball” types of clouds.  These when gray (especially in the morning) usually herald a rainstorm.  When they form an “anvil” with a flattened bottom, they have changed/denigrated into cumulonimbus clouds, and this means heavy rain with electrical discharges (lightning), and sometimes hail.

Stratus: these have no true top or base, and are unformed layers.  These clouds are usually precursors to activity within 24-48 hours, with their graying and massing being late indicators that they are ready to dump some rain or precipitation on you.

The faster the cloud movements across the sky, the greater the change in the wind velocity, usually followed by a change in barometric pressure.  Factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind are heavily affected and influenced by the sun.  Air rises in the mornings and falls at night.  The ground is heated up, and the heat rises, as the cooler air stays closer to the earth when the sun departs.  Terrain is a major part of this, as mountains will block or impede air flow, and valleys will hold on to moisture and cold air a lot more readily.  Elevation is another big factor, as the temperature of the air decreases by 5.5 degrees for every thousand feet of elevation.

There are some tools you can pick up to help you.  An anemometer measures wind speed.  It is a four-tined device shaped akin to an “x” with equal parts with cups attached to the ends.  As the wind blows, the anemometer measures the speed of the wind.  The person recording should continuously note steady wind speed as opposed to gusts, that occur less frequently.

Another good tool is a barometer, that measures the change in air pressure.  You may have to search a little to find a good one that is not computerized.  Mine was made in West Germany (yeah, it’s that old!) with a little needle you can adjust to mark where the air pressure is, and then (with time’s passage) to see whether the pressure is rising or falling.  I stress once again, pick up a model with glass and brass and the needles…no batteries required.

A good sturdy thermometer is also a useful tool to have.  Most are “El Cheapo” Chinese-made pieces of junk.  There are good ones to be found in scientific supply companies.  Anything made by the Germans or Japanese are usually top-flight.  Compact, sturdy, and legible are the qualities you’re looking for.

Let’s also explore some other methods to forecast what will occur that are indicators of the natural world.  Here’s a few:

Mosquitoes, No-see-um’s, and Black Flies

These guys really bug you, no pun intended, to their maximum potential about 12 hours before a major storm…and they’ll hightail about an hour before the storm hits.  Yes, it works.  You don’t know when it’s coming, but they do, and by watching them…you’ll know.

The Cricket

Yes, they’re a pain in the backside when you’re trying to sleep, but you can determine the temperature from them.  The number of chirps by a cricket over 14 seconds, you add the number 40 to it.  Say the cricket chirps 40 times in 14 seconds, then add 40 to that, and the temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  This is accurate to within 1-2 degrees most of the time.

Your Campfire

If the campfire’s smoke is sort of akin to a fog…close to the ground and oozing away toward the rest of the woods?  This indicates the potential for rain, because there is a low-pressure system in your area.  If the smoke rises straight into the air, it’s high-pressure that is in your area, and the weather will most likely be good.

Frogs

In the spring and summertime, the increased sounds of frogs singing indicates an increased humidity…just prior to the weather heading south.  As the low-pressure system moves in, the humidity in the air increases and allows these guys to stay out of the water longer (they breathe through their skin).

Animals and Birds

Sense the approach of storms and (with the former) usually seek shelter out of open areas, or (with the latter) fly to a safer position, such as a tree branch or a niche in the rocks or cliffs.

We haven’t delved into the tactical considerations for knowing the weather.  That will be covered in a future article, as it is beyond the scope of what you need for an introduction.  Wind, temperature, humidity, and altitude are the factors for consideration when you’re shooting, specifically, when distance shooting for accuracy.  All of these factors influence, or are influenced by the weather.

So, in conclusion, we have covered some basics to start you with weather forecasting.  Whether you’re in a field environment in a backpacking or camping mode, or just trying to figure out whether you can repair the shingles on your barn before the rain hits, it is important to gauge what you see and compare it to what will be.  All comments and information you may wish to share are welcomed and encouraged.

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1, A New Craft for Your Kids

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crafts for kids

The Paranoid Dad and I have been brainstorming ideas for having a richer holiday experience with the kids without a huge emphasis on gifts and getting.  My son, in particular, needs to learn more about the joy of giving and the joy of this beautiful season.  We’ve come up with a list of twelve family activities to incorporate into the next three weeks or so.  Not surprisingly, some of these have a “preparedness” theme, but others are just for fun.  I’ll be posting one each day for the next twelve days.  Hope they inspire you and your family!

By the way, I know the traditional 12 Days of Christmas begins on December 25 and runs through Epiphany, January 6, but if I started sharing with you all my great holiday ideas on the 25th, that wouldn’t be very helpful now, would it?  🙂

Day 1, A new craft for your kids

Make the most of your kids’ Christmas vacation …or Winter Holiday or Solstice Observation Days or whatever term your local school district is using these days!  Your kids have about fourteen uninterrupted days at home, and no doubt you’ll start hearing complaints about boredom and how there’s nothing to do.  Start planning ahead right now to teach them at least one new craft skill that might also help them create gifts for family members or friends.  Don’t worry about being an expert yourself.  It’s even more fun when parents and kids learn something new together!

Since all of us have different learning styles, I suggest getting an instructional book and then using YouTube videos to supplement the learning process. With their hands actually holding the craft supplies and their eyes and ears engaged with instruction, your kids and grandkids will be able to master these crafts for kids much more quickly.

Here’s a fun variety of skills to consider, along with links to helpful, instructional books:

For supplies, check out eBay, garage sales, and Craigslist and watch for craft store coupons. Even better, find a family friend or relative who can teach a new skill to your kids. The beauty of a gift like this, whether given during the holidays, on a birthday, or one of those “just because” gifts, is that they all invite interaction. When my daughter and I are sitting on the couch knitting our different projects, we have time for relaxed and casual conversation. If you give this type of gift, set aside some time to help your kids or grandkids get started, maybe start a project of your own, and then enjoy the time together.


Give your children a gift that could last a lifetime: a new hobby. Read more here…
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Honestly, in my 17 years of parenting, time together is irreplaceable and priceless. Too often, I get consumed in one of my many projects, leaving my kids to figure out something on their own. Ultimately, that undermines the home environment and atmosphere I desire. A shared hobby goes a very long way toward creating bonding time, and it’s so easy to do.

NOTE: One of my Skills of the Month is “Handicrafts”. Check out this section for many more related articles.

One possible benefit to many of these crafts for kids is that they can become an income source down the road. A very good friend of mine creates gorgeous wooden tankards with her husband and that provides income for them throughout the year. There’s always a market for beautiful and well-crafted items, whether they’re knitted scarves, a quilt, or a beautiful handmade birdhouse.

This month, before your young’uns even say the words, “I’m bored!”, be ready with craft supplies to keep them busy and productive!  If the craft has practical applications, such as knitting, so much the better.

crafts for kids

11 Survival Lessons We Can Learn From Old-Timers

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survival lessons old timers

For the last 20 years I have been working on my genealogy. The research is fascinating to me. Old certificates and wills captivate me and the search for my ancestors is like a treasure hunt. One part of genealogy that I have found most valuable are their personal journals. Their stories of survival and endurance have always left me in awe and reminded me that I have life pretty easy. I have done my best to apply their wisdom to my family and learn from their life experiences. I want to share some of the lessons we can all learn from the branches, twigs and occasional nuts in our family tree.

1. Eat real food.
Whole grains, milk, eggs, cream, butter, seasonal fruits and vegetables, along with fresh eggs, seafood and other meat. My ancestors, and yours, ate them usually in the form closest to how God made them. They used herbal remedies as medicine. Nowadays, we have to seek out information in books like this one (something for beginners!), because we probably won’t learn it from our own parents and other family members. They also grew and preserved herbs to season food. Many of these 51esuyjkd9lfoods were home grown or found out in the wild and were full of vitamins and minerals. Could you forage for food? Most people nowadays cannot and would walk right by edible foods and herbs. This foraging for beginners book has been helpful to me in learning the potentially life-saving skill of foraging.

Real food is better for you and tastes so much better than the processed food at the grocery store. There are not words that describe the difference between a store bought tomato and one that is picked right from the vine in a garden.

2. Grow a garden and raise animals.

There is something to be said for planting, caring for, harvesting, and eating your own food. It helps you appreciate the food on your table each day. Not only is the food you eat full of more nutrients, but you are healthier for working in the garden. It counts as exercise and gives you your needed sunshine. Being outdoors and listening to nature is good for the mind. Spending time away from any screen and being with yourself can be therapeutic. Having your hands in the dirt and caring for your plants helps connect you to Earth. A reverence and feeling of gratitude for nature and animals can be felt.

An old farmer once told me, “It takes 10 years to really get to know your land.” Even if your land is just a backyard, this is still true. Think about it. You plant a few things one spring…and nothing grows, or only the mint grows and ends up taking over your entire garden plot. Well, that’s Year #1. Next year, you know you need to better amend the soil, move some of your plants elsewhere in the yard, keep your mint in a pot!, b   or maybe even move the entire garden to a sunnier/shadier spot. This time around, your garden still experiences successes and failures. That’s Year #2!! (I know experienced gardeners out there are nodding their heads!)

This is why you need to start growing something right now, even if it’s just a windowsill herb garden. The learning curve for growing anything successfully is surprisingly steep.

3. Notice your surroundings.

Our ancestors went outside and paid attention to nature. The migration of animals and the life cycles of certain vegetation let our forefathers know of the changes in seasons. Specific species of animals are sensitive to changes in the atmosphere. Farmers were able to pick up on the behavioral changes in these animals and know what weather may be coming their way. Understanding how to read the sky above and the ground below was once a skill passed down throughout the generations. They knew their environment and were sensitive to its fluctuations. Observation skills are something we can learn and teach our children. This article gives a few tips about what to look for when you’re observing nature.

4. Use it up, do not waste anything —  Another survival lesson from old-timers.

Old-timers didn’t spend money freely and, often, there was nowhere to shop! Clothes were worn, handed down to the next child, and then the next. When it was not able to be worn, the article of clothing was then taken apart and reused, often for quilt squares, patches for other clothes or a dust or dish cloth. There was so much wisdom our ancestors had, and this list is just a partial collection of what we can learn from them.

61asijhthl-_sl1200_Last year’s new shoes became “new” shoes for the younger sibling or old work shoes for this year. In fact, back in the 1930’s a product that used beeswax to seal shoes was invented! Sno-Seal is still a popular product today and something that can extend the use of our own, modern-day shoes!

Scraps of leftover food went into a soup later or they were used to feed the animals. My grandfather could extend the life of ordinary items with odd stuff he had in the garage. Any lumber or hardware was stored away for future needs. An old paper bag could be found filled with bolts, nuts, washers and nails. Over the years he learned to fix and maintain cars, appliances, and homes. It kept him out of my grandmother’s hair, saved money but also kept his mind and body active.

5. Be dependable and helpful.

Many of my ancestors were farmers. When harvest time came, everyone chipped in. It required many people with a variety of skills to get the job done. Harvesting from the fields, cleaning the produce, getting it ready to sell or for preservation was a big job that needed everyone to help. My great grandmother Nelson lived on the same block as her 2 daughters, 2 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. This arrangement allowed her to stay in her home. There was always someone around to drive her where ever she needed to go, to help with the avocado tree or move something heavy.

Now that she has passed, those simple tasks are beautiful memories for our family. It has also served as an example to the future generations about caring for your elders. There were other times when someone was sick or had a baby, the neighborhood women would get together and help. Between caring for the sick, cooking, cleaning or tending children, the job got done. Friendships and a sense of community grew from service towards another. Pitching in and assisting those around you benefits everyone.

6. Plan ahead and prepare for the unknown.

Our ancestors’ lives depended on being prepared. Food needed to be preserved in the fall so they had something to eat in the winter and spring. Wood needed to be cut and stacked during the summer months, and food for livestock and the family needed to constantly be stored up.

Life was more unpredictable for them. Disease could come and take out their livestock or family in a matter of hours. Injury required more time to heal, death was more of a possibility. My third great aunt buried more babies than anyone should ever have to. With every pregnancy, she knew there was a chance that her baby may not survive. So in her mind, she mentally prepared for a possible burial.

For some ancestors, one snow storm could keep them homebound for weeks. We may not need a winter’s supply of hay for livestock, but being prepared and having a backup is wise. Having additional light sources, additional food, water and medical supplies, fuel and money set aside is a good idea. Check your life, health and other insurance plans. Maintain your physical, mental and emotional health. Set money aside for a rainy day, because it rains in all of our lives at one time or another. Do not assume the worst will happen, prepare for it in case it does. Survival Mom’s family preparedness manual is the best one around for getting started on all this, which can be overwhelming!

7. Have hope, maybe rebel a little.

America would not be the great country that it is if it were not for those who were willing to rebel against the King of England all those years ago. Others left behind their homeland and risked their lives to come to America. Many of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom. My Irish family traveled to America because of the potato famine. Others came with the simple hope that things will be better, if not for them, then for their descendants. They had a hope and perseverance that carried them through obstacles in life.

Most of us have not had to leave behind family, learn a new language and culture and try to assimilate to a new life. Our ancestors did it for us. What we can do is follow their example of hard work, hope and maybe rebel a little. Stand up in our communities when an injustice is done. Or get involved in our local government. Be the kind of citizen that stands up for their rights, and give a hand up to someone in need.

8. Be a thankful and happy person.

Our society bombards us with advertisements for all of the things we do not have. Some have the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses. Most of my ancestors were not rich. They had what they needed and were content with that. There was not the desire to have excess that is in today’s culture. Everything they worked hard for, they appreciated and took care of. They blessed the food before they ate, just content to have a good meal. The Bible was read after dinner and children were taught to acknowledging their blessings. We forget to look at what we have and be thankful for the blessings in our life.

This is all part of being a survival, both mentally and emotionally. It’s surprising how often people who have everything, both for everyday life and survival, often do not thrive and may even perish. This article explains why that sometimes happens.

9. Have a hobby and laugh.

In my home I have a christening dresses made by a talented great grandmother. Every tiny pleat and gather is pure perfection. On a shelf I have wood animals, hand carved without a detail left out. These items were not necessary to my ancestors or my survival, but it is a reminder for me. To slow down, to take the time to develop a talent, do something new. It is a reminder that life is not all about a “to do” list, it is also about doing things you enjoy. Nowadays, we have to really seek out time for hobbies and then, once we have a bit of time on our hands, it’s not easy to decide what to do with it! Check out the Survival Mom Skill of the Month for a ton of ideas to keep your hands busy and productive.

10. Develop a sense of humor.

Tough times come to all of us at one time or another. It is better to laugh during some of these times. My great grandparents had their car break down on them 3 times during a road trip in the 1930’s. Money was tight and they were hoping to drive from California to Colorado to buy a chicken farm, to provide income for the family. When the car broke down 2 hours from home, they just laughed about it. The family camped on the side of the road until they could get the part they needed to repair the car. Even now, my older relatives get together and laugh about all of the things that happened in their younger years. They learned to have a logical perspective during those difficult moments.

11. Learn more than one skill.

My husband’s 2nd great grandfather, old-timer Noah, was a great example of this. He farmed and raised pigs to sell. He learned how to become a blacksmith, which came in handy when the water and grain mill burnt down. When family needed a place to live, he was able to clear trees and build a home on his land. If something broke, he fixed it himself. If he wanted to learn something, he worked for someone who would teach him. He was never a rich man, but had learned a variety of skills that he was able to take care of his family.

His wife, Leona, was able to use their resources wisely. She knew how to prepare healthy meals with whatever they harvested. She made and mended clothes for the family, made sure the kids went to school and she helped with the crops and animals. They were able to give their newly married children a better start in life by helping them build a home, giving them land and learning a trade. Between Noah and Leona, they were able to do just about anything. Being educated in one thing is good. Knowing you have other skills to fall back on is better. Think about learning about home/car maintenance and repair or other employment skills.

We begin each day with the opportunity to learn from the lessons of those that have gone before us. Their sense of family, traditions and faith is something that can be shared with future generations. In us we can carry their bravery, dreams, beliefs and the lessons learned from their life.

survival lessons old timers

The Best I Can Do to Help You Prepare

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snowboard

Click image to learn more and buy this one-time-only bundle!

This blog is over 7 years old. It contains a wealth of information — more than 1600 articles. There are over 100 podcasts you can access via iTunes and my Survival Mom book is just perfect for any individual or family wanting to be better prepared.

But, earlier this year, I realized that I can do more. The missing piece here on Survival Mom blog and, actually, in the entire prepper and survival niche is a CONNECTION. If you’re like me, you probably have read hundreds of articles, dozens of books, you’ve been prepping here and there, but you constantly feel like your way is aimless and you aren’t really prepared.

The reason for that? Lack of personal connection with other preppers and zero accountability. If you procrastinate filling those water bottles, buying canned food, taking a first aid class — well, nothing has happened thus far, so maybe your luck will hold out a while longer. In the meantime, you still feel a nagging doubt that you would be ready for anything really bad.

As I thought about this, and having been in the same boat, I realized that a live connection that offers the chance for everyday preppers to chat with experts in a live, small group class was part of the answer. I remembered my years as a teacher and how important it was to my students to have an organized course of study, regular assignments, the ability to ask questions, and some accountability when they got lazy or distracted!

You, as a prepper, aren’t very different!

Preppers University offers 2 multiw-week classes that do all of the above. During these Prepping Intensives, you get:

  • Access to world class survival and prepper experts like Ferando Aguirre (FerFAL), Selco, foraging expert Merriwether, rural living and homesteading expert Patrice Lewis, EMP expert Dr. Arthur T. Bradley, prepper author Jim Cobb, and dozens more.
  • In live classes you can chat with these experts and get all your questions answered.
  • A treasure trove of articles related to the Prepping Intensive curriculum. See the PI curriculum here and the Advanced PI curriculum here.
  • Exclusive podcasts you can listen to 24/7.
  • A Student Resource Center with hundreds of free ebook downloads, recorded webinars from previous PI sessions, a Book of the Month Club, an exclusive forum and lots more.
  • Weekly challenges and To Do lists.
  • DIY projects in our Advanced PI class.
  • A new group of prepping friends you can get to know and network with.
  • …and so much more.

You can access the PI materials no matter where you are, at any time of the day. This is really the very best I can do for you. It goes so far beyond just a book, a podcast, an article, or even a webinar — this is an entire package that will move you forward in your prepping, miles beyond wherever you are now.

Here’s my Black Friday deal

I’m jumping on the bandwagon this weekend with just about everyone else. Through Monday, November 28, I’ve decreased the price of an Intensive to $119 and adding a very nice, complimentary bundle of goodies. The $119 price tag includes:

  • Your choice of Intensive classes, either the 8 week foundational Prepping Intensive or the 6 week Advanced Prepping Intensive
  • Our 2-hour course, “How to Survive Civil Unrest” — very timely.
  • The 190+ page e-textbook that provides a wealth of information related to civil unrest in our current political climate.
  • Membership to our Student Resource Center
  • My very newest ebook, One Second After the Lights Go Out: How to Survive in a Post-EMP World
  • An ebook copy of my book, Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast When It Matters Most
  • A brand new ebook by author Daisy Luther, Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas
  • Also by Daisy, a recipe book, Recipes From the Pantry Primer

Click here to learn more and buy this bundle!

All this will keep you on your toes during the New Year as your continue to prep. Our political leadership in Washington may have changed, but in no way are we in the clear where economic catastrophes, in particular, are concerned, and the next few years are certain to be tumultuous.

Join me, Daisy Luther, and dozens of our guest instructors at Preppers University and enjoy this bundle of top-notch resources.

This offer ends Monday, November 28. Prepping Intensives begin on January 8, 2017.

 

Master These Basic Survival Skills to Survive

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by Ryan

If you want to become more prepared for a survival situation, the information available can be overwhelming. Some sites are trying to teach you how to start a fire with a block of ice, while celebrities on television are telling you to drink your own urine. What?

Thankfully there are a few simple skills that you can learn to make a huge impact on a survival situation. These skills all revolve around the four pillars of survival:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Shelter

If you have the skills to secure these items in the first 72 hours, you should have a good chance of finding help or getting rescued. Below are the most important basic skills you can learn for a survival situation.

Building a Fire

I put this skill at the top of our list because it can virtually help with any situation. A fire can help you purify water, cook food, keep away predators, kill bacteria, avoid insects, and help you see at night.

The first step to building a fire is having a way to ignite it. To keep your fire-building as simple as possible, I suggest you keep a fire steel, a high carbon steel knife, and a lighter with you at all times. The lighter is great until it runs out of fuel, but the fire steel and knife will always help you ignite your fire.

Next you want to gather your tinder, kindling, and fuel wood. Always start with tinder as it is the hardest material to find. Fluffy and dry is best for tinder, but anything thinner than the lead of a pencil can work. Fluff from cattails or bird’s nests are good natural tinder if you can find them. Birch bark and pine resin also have chemicals that will ignite even when wet.

As a general rule you want enough tinder to barely wrap both hands around the bundle. For kindling you want some sticks to be about the thickness of a pencil and some to be about the thickness of a finger. Gather enough to just wrap both arms around the bundle.

For fuel wood, you want pieces about the size of your wrist. Never step on wood or bend it over your knee to break it. Instead find two trees close together and place the wood in between to create the tension needed to snap the wood. Gather a pile about knee-high if you want to keep the fire going all night.

It is also a best practice to get all types of fuel from up off of the ground. Wood lying on the ground is more likely to absorb moisture or start to rot. This wood is more difficult to get lit or keep going, so finding wood off the ground is very helpful.

For a simple teepee fire, take some kindling and build a teepee by leaning the sticks against one another in a circle. Next try to form your tinder into the shape of a bird’s nest so it can catch a spark from your fire steel. Place your steel at a 45 degree angle over the nest with the tip pressing down on the center. If using a lighter, just light your tinder and move on to the teepee.

The next motion is very important. As you strike the back of your blade on the fire steel it will shoot sparks into the bundle. Once you see an ember you need to quickly raise the tinder bundle to your face and gently blow on the ember to feed it oxygen.

The toughest part is getting the tinder to flame up. Continue moving it around and blowing on the ember until you have a flame. Then set it inside your teepee and add small sticks just one or two at a time waiting until each one lights before adding more. Keep adding larger wood until you have your biggest logs caught on fire.

Purifying Water

Getting clean drinking water is one of your biggest priorities in any survival situation. The human body can only last about three days without it. If you have a fire going, all you need to do is boil the water for it to be safe to drink. However, there are times when you will need water and will not have a fire. The most important point is that you must consider all water unsafe unless it comes from a spring.

There are two simple methods to help make your water safer to drink. If you have a clear plastic bottle and the water is clear, you can kill most of the microbes by setting it in the sun. Just fill your bottle, remove any label, and set it out in direct sunlight for six hours. The sunlight will do the work for you.

The other simple option is to dig a proximity well. Find a spot a few feet from the edge of your water source. Get a sharp stick and then start digging in that location. Usually you will have to get at least one foot deep before you start to see moisture in the bottom. Keep digging and eventually the hole should start filling with water.

Wait 30 minutes for the dirt to settle to the bottom and then you can drink. In this case the earth is filtering the water as it passes through and fills up your hole. This will eliminate many of the larger microbes that could make you sick.

On a side note, using a water filter or boiling your water are always the safest ways to get clean drinking water. Combining these with the above methods is a good idea.

Building a Shelter

In cold conditions you can only survive three hours without fire or shelter on average. In addition, wind and rain can further complicate your survival. Survival shelters may seem complicated, but a lean-to shelter is as simple as they come. You can make one with a tarp, emergency blanket, or with natural materials.

To make a lean-to with sticks and leaves, start by finding two trees about seven feet apart. Next take a ridge pole and use your shoelaces or other cordage to tie it to the trees at waist height. Next find at least a dozen larger sticks. They need to be a few inches thick and probably five feet long. Lean them against your ridge pole at a 45 degree angle pushing them as close together as possible.

Once you have enough sticks to form a solid roof, start piling dry leaves on top. You can also use spruce boughs or dry snow if no leaves are available. You want this layer to be several feet thick. To fully protect from rain it needs to be about four feet thick, so go heavy. As a last step you can pile up leaves or spruce boughs underneath the roof to give you an insulated bed on which to sleep.

Ideally you will set this up with the roof facing the direction from which the wind is blowing. You can then build a fire on the other side and even build a small wall to deflect heat back towards the shelter. When paired with a fire, this design can get you through almost any conditions.

Finding Wild Edibles

When you think of finding food in the wild, many people picture sharpening a spear and going hunting. This is rarely the most efficient way to get food in a survival situation. Typically finding edible plants is the safest and easiest way to feed yourself.

Eating wild plants can be a dangerous venture. However, there are a few plants that are easy to identify anywhere in the world. Surprisingly these are plants that you probably have in your back yard. This makes it easy to practice identification.

The most recognizable of these plants is the dandelion. With its bright yellow flower and saw-toothed leaves, you should be able to point it out year round. It will even grow under snow, and all parts of the plant are edible.

The next plant on our list is clover. Clover has three round leaves and grows in patches. You can grab a handful at a time and chow down.

Chickweed is a winter annual that also grows in dense patches. It can be found year round but is an especially nice find during the winter and early spring. It is light yellow and has tiny leaves that are either round or pointed at one end.

Wood sorrel comes in several colors, but is easy to identify. The leaf structure is three small leaves like clover, but they are heart shaped. Try one and it should taste like lemon. These are my favorite.

Henbit is a plant found only in the springtime. It grows to four or five inches tall and has a small purple flower on top. If you ever see fields with a purple tint in the springtime, there is a large amount of henbit.

Signaling and Communication

The fastest and easiest way to get out of a survival situation is not to tough it out. It is to signal for help and get home quickly. To effectively signal you must focus on both visible and audible signals.

Your vehicle is the most simple and effective signal you can use. Most cars are easily visible from the air. It is metallic and often brightly colored. The car also has headlights and tail lights for signaling at night. You can remove the rear-view mirror for ground to air signals and set the tires on fire for black smoke signals. You can pour the motor oil over fresh snow to write out a giant ‘SOS’.

For sound you can honk the horn until the battery dies. You can also bang on the hood of the car with a stick after the horn stops working. This metallic sound is one that rescue personnel are trained for which to listen.

Defending Yourself

In many survival situations, other people are a greater threat than Mother Nature. Most people are not professionally trained in self-defense, but there are a few basic moves you can remember to help you out of a confrontation.

Always try to go after the most sensitive and vulnerable parts of the human body. This includes the feet, knees, groin, neck, and head. A swift kick to the knees, a knee to the groin, or a solid foot stomp will bring almost anybody to the ground allowing you to run away. Any impact to the neck, nose, or eyes will stun your assailant or disable them.

Try to use something as a weapon when you attack. Anything that is heavy or sharp will work well. Keys and tactical pens are my favorite since you can keep them on you at all times. If you do not have a weapon, try to use your knees, elbows, or the heels of your hands to avoid injury.

Treating a Wound

Disclaimer: This is NOT medical advice and is for information purposes only. Neither the author nor http://modernsurvivalonline.com shall be considered liable in any way if you misuse this information.

One of the most common medical issues in a survival situation is an open cut or wound. Whether you have been shot, fell down a ravine, or cut yourself cleaning your dinner, you could be in for some trouble. The immediate issue is blood loss, but the more common cause of death with wounds is infection.

To prevent blood loss, apply pressure to the wound and hold it above the heart if possible. Once the bleeding has slowed you can look at using bandages, applying makeshift splints, or stitching the wound shut. If the bleeding is out of control, a tourniquet may be needed. Wrap some cloth or cordage around the limb above the wound and tie it tight. Then put a stick inside the tourniquet and twist until the bleeding stops. Be aware that you could lose the limb, so this is for life-saving action only.

For infection you must clean the wound and keep it clean. Purify water if possible and keep a clean bandage on the wound at all times. Pockets and interior liners in clothing make for good clean fabric if the outside is dirty.

Being Prepared

The key to surviving any SHTF situation is being prepared. Mainly this means knowledge and practice. Too many people read about what to do and never take the time to practice those skills. Also, it is common for people to buy items like fire steels or water filters and never practice how to use them. Do not wait until SHTF to figure these things out.

Also, your gear does you no good if you cannot get to it when SHTF. You should have an EDC kit (every day carry) with you at all times including basic supplies such as a water filter, fire steel, and a small knife. In addition you should always have a GHB (get home back) with you in your office or in your vehicle. This includes everything you would need to make it home on foot from work or wherever you are located during the day.

Just because your supplies are in your home, do not assume that you can access them in a disaster. Your BOBs (bug out bags) should be packed, organized, and in a common location. Your food, water, and ammo should also be in a common location and organized.

Finally, you should have a plan in advance for common SHTF situations. This includes house fires, flooding, break-ins, rioting, and other natural disasters. Practice these in advance with your family and things will go smoothly if you ever have to implement your plan.

So now we have covered our food, water, fire, and shelter along with signaling, self-defense, treating wounds, and general preparedness. With a little practice you can become a master at these skills. Knowing how to secure the pillars of survival will put you ahead of almost everybody else you know. When SHTF, you will have a solid plan while everybody else panics. Do not be surprised if they rely upon you as their survival expert.

Get Family & Friends On Board With Prepping

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family-friends-prep

Whether you are forming a small neighborhood group, a disaster preparedness club or a prepper group there are 8 steps which will help you get started and begin the path for the success of your group.

  1. Before beginning you need to define what area you want to organize your group in. It could be a housing development, an apartment complex, a city or county boundary or a one block area. When you have defined your boundaries, check to see if there has been a neighborhood group before. You do not want to duplicate what is already being done or cause confusion with any other groups. This inquiry will give you information about those in your city who can help you as you help others prepare. Make telephone calls to the local Red Cross office, the County office of Emergency Services, local fire department and Humane Society, along with the closest chapter of RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services). http://www.usraces.org/  These organizations can give you information about the communities’ emergency operation plan. They may be happy to attend your meeting and share some of their advice.
  2. Select a location and time for your first meeting. Choose a place and time that will be convenient for most people to attend. If you are holding a meeting for the neighborhood, find a neighbor who is willing to have it held in their home. If it is a community type meeting, find a public place, like a community center, restaurant or conference room in a library. Making the first meeting casual helps make others feel at ease and openly talk. Offer snacks and a drink. It makes it less of a business meeting.
  3. If it is a small group of people, hand deliver the invitation. If it is a larger group, send out fliers, use social media, local newspaper and magazine advertisement. Many are leery of the phrase “prepper groups”. Unless that is what you are really trying to create, use phrases like self-sufficiency, self-reliance or family preparedness. It is less intimidating to beginners.
  4. Have people sign in beforehand and let people socialize a bit. To begin, introduce yourself and share a story about your interest in disaster preparedness. If you do not feel like your story is compelling enough, invite someone in advance who can share their experience. You want others to feel a desire to prepare themselves, but not fear it. People remember stories. If available, have the local fire department or someone from the office of emergency management come and speak.
  5. Have information packets available to all who attend. Whether they come back to another meeting or not, you have given them valuable information that they can use. They may run into the packet months later and decide to get involved. Becoming prepared is a personal decision and you cannot force others to participate. Keep the person updated with any new information that they may find helpful.
  6. With your group, discuss their concerns and establish preparedness goals. Involve any in the group that have helpful skills. Most people love to teach others a skill they are good at. Not only have you created a group of volunteers, you have found a way to create a closer group.
  7. Do not forget those with special needs. The disabled, elderly, single parents, ect… Remember that everyone has different needs and may not be able to prepare at the same pace as others.
  8. Decide with those attending what the next steps are and when the next meeting should be. Find others who are willing to help you with the next meeting, be a liaison with community services and reach out to those who were not able to attend.

 

Helpful hints for having an effective meeting-

  • Maybe half of the people you will invite will show up. Do not get discouraged. Just walk into this endeavor knowing this. You can invite more people, see who shows up, adjust your expectations or expand your target area. The attendance may fluctuate in the beginning. Hang in there, so not get discouraged. After some time, you will know the approximate number of your attendees.
  • Keep sign in sheets and notes from all of your meetings. They will help you know what to tweak to make future meetings even better. You can track attendance and topics discussed.
  • Once you have found a day, time and place that works for your meetings, keep it. Be flexible in other things, but not the meeting schedule.
  • Keep the meetings on track. One crazy story or odd comment can derail the meeting. Learn how to get the topic back in a polite manner.
  • Share what you envision this group to accomplish, but keep the details open. You will want the ideas of your group. People want to feel like their opinion is heard and validated. They will keep coming to meetings if feel useful and that their contributions are valued.
  • Everyone is part of the group. If a neighbor invites a person outside of your designated area, it is okay. Be thankful that someone is interested and willing to contribute or learn.
  • Do not have the meetings go over 90 minutes. People may lose interest or feel that they don’t have the time to attend meetings if they are long.
  • Be sure to thank those who may have helped you. The home owner where the meeting was held, any volunteers with food, hand outs and those who were invited to speak.
  • Send a letter and contact those who were so willing to volunteer to help as liaisons or in any other capacity. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and needed.
  • Reward your hard work! Have a one year party of your group, have a small celebration or BBQ together when group goals have been accomplished.

If you are asked by someone to prepare a group or do a preparedness presentation, many of the above advice will still apply. But when asked, it means that you have someone who may have something specific planned.

  1. Whether it is a church, club or business you will be helping, find out what the main goal is. Is this a one-time presentation, a monthly or yearly meeting? Is there a certain topic that need to be taught or discussed? Will follow up meetings be needed?
  2. It is important to know about those you will be speaking/training? Seniors have different preparedness needs than college students. The disabled may require different solutions for their questions than a soccer mom.
  3. Know the area you will be helping in. Big cities, rural areas and suburbs have different community services, transportation, communication methods and resources. Adjust your information according to the area where you are going to be at.
  4. Ask if there is specific material that you should be using as resource or should be handed out to your group. You may be required to gather your own information. Use reliable resources. You may be able to ask other local experts to contribute.

 

 

 

Trapping in the Wild

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Trapping in the Wild! Josh “7 P’s of survival” This show in player below! Listen in as we talk about all things trapping! Brian King is with us to explore the entire spectrum of trapping. We cover training, gear, selection of grounds, reading sign, lure and how to make it. Also discussed, setting a line, harvesting … Continue reading Trapping in the Wild

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How To Tan Any Hide In Your Bathtub

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  How To Tan Any Hide In Your Bathtub No garage? No problem. Tan your next deer hide for less than 30 bucks in your own bathroom. Michael did this inside his fifth-floor Manhattan matchbox apartment, so if space was an issue, forget about it… it can be done anywhere. Knowing how to tan a …

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The post How To Tan Any Hide In Your Bathtub appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Outdoor Adventure & Essential Skills!

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Outdoor Adventure & Essential Skills! Josh “7 P’s of survival” This show in player below! On this episode of 7 P’s of Survival we are talking about one of my favorite survival handbooks. The Survival Handbook: Essential Skills For Outdoor Adventure. While this book has never made it into my pack it is without a doubt graphic intensive … Continue reading Outdoor Adventure & Essential Skills!

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ManTracker: How to Be One and How to Avoid One

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manhunterReadyNutrition Readers, we’re going to cover some of the basics on how to track man, and some tips on how to keep from being tracked by men.  All of your camouflage is to no avail if you are awakened by a boot kicking you in the ribs as you’re curled up in your sleeping bag in a hidey-hole.  Please keep in mind: this is a post-SHTF action and/or a life-threatening situation that would call for the tracking of another human being.

Man is the Most Dangerous Creature of All

Be aware: this is not deer-hunting or tracking a game animal.  The rules are different, because a deer won’t double back on you, climb a cliff, and snipe you with a suppressed .308 as you cross a predetermined, pre-ranged spot.  If you are adept at tracking game, these skills can help you, but keep in mind you’re tracking the most dangerous, intelligent, and resourceful creature of all: man.  You’re tracking down a creature with the natural and learned instincts of a hundred thousand generations of hunters and killers…no matter what culture or creed.  Man is the most dangerous creature of all.  Never forget that.  Respect the potential of the guy or gal you’re tracking.  Respect it, and let it temper your emotions and judgment as you’re tracking.

To track a man, you need to be aware of your surroundings, the changes in it, and use deductive reasoning all in combination as you’re moving.  There are some questions you always need to ask yourself as you are following a man as well as observations you must make:

  1. Are you keeping aware of the potential for ambush?  Most people don’t like to be followed, and in a SHTF situation you can bet the other guy is playing for keeps.  Are you walking right into a trap?  As you study the terrain in front of you, are you “gaming” it in your mind?  Remember Rule #1: the hunter can (and often does) become the hunted at any time.

NOTE: THIS QUESTION # 1 AND RULE # 1 BOTH APPLY CONCURRENTLY AT ALL TIMES!  THEY ACCOMPANY AND SUPERCEDE ALL OF THE SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS AND RULES!

  1. Minor deviations in the terrain (path) that would not normally be there:  Broken hardwood branches at chest or head height, broken or “moved/displaced” vegetation, the tracks on the ground, bark rubbed from the face of fallen logs…. all of these are good indications that man has come this way.
  2. Major deviations in the terrain/path: perhaps a small mound of earth in the woods with what appears to be a “dent” followed by a long groove and crushed grass to either side…a good indicator your quarry stepped on the mound and slipped. Perhaps some good-sized trees chopped down, or good sized branches removed with an edged tool.  These could be either fighting positions/lean-to’s/fortifications, or ground cover respectively.  Look for signs of the hand of man where it is obvious.
  3. Changes to the earth. This means the ground.  You’ve been tracking your quarry through a swamp, and now you emerge in a grassy field.  Look for signs of tracks, and for mud to be tracked through the grass as well.  If you’ve been walking through a dry riverbank with clay for a bed, then the color of clay will show up in front of you in the tracks of your target.
  4. Trash/detritus. Man is a messy creature, and no matter how careful he always messes up.  It could be a food wrapper, or a cigarette butt he forgot to tote out with him.  It could be a piece of paper or a dropped tool or even ammunition.  It could also be part of a meal…even something so innocuous as crumbs.  Your job as the tracker is to spot these deviances as they come out to meet your eyes.
  5. Smell. Man is (especially after several days in the bush or after physical exertion) a stinky creature.  Yes, you can smell many things of man: his sweat, his deodorants and perfumes, his tobacco products (you can smell a cigarette for a long distance in the woods), and, of course, his stool.  This last one (don’t laugh) is a really good giveaway, as most people will relieve themselves and not worry about covering up what they produce.  This is not mentioned relative to hygiene, however, but in relation to tracking.  Such people not caring about how they relieve themselves won’t give much consideration to someone using it to trail them.
  6. Noise. Man is, indeed, a noisy creature.  He breathes heavily, belches, flatulates, grunts, groans, complains, talks loudly, and snores.  All of these can be used to your advantage to find your quarry.  He also drops things, bangs and bumps into things, and clatters metal against metal.  He falls down, breaking branches and he curses or moans, depending on how badly he hurts himself.  He also communicates to his fellow humans, either with a radio or with his voice.
  7. Light Discipline: man is as stubborn as they come on this one.  Those flashlights are never “red lensed” and kept under a poncho or jacket as they should be…just everyone flashing the lights all over the place.  Same for the cigarettes.  Instead of cupping their hands around them and keeping the cigs low, there’s that orange dot right out to your front, head height.  Man loves to use the flashlight when he’s moving around at night.  It can be his undoing, and to your advantage if you look for your quarry being careless with the light.
  8. Changes to the quarry’s flight. A hunted man will always know he is being hunted.  You need to be aware of an increased pace, a change of direction, changes in elevation…all factors that will indicate either distress or concern on the part of your quarry.  The pace change can be noticed by footprints, especially the distance widening or shortening between them.  Widening means he’s taking off.  Shortening means the terrain is becoming more difficult or he’s tiring, or both.  The runner usually uses the balls of his feet with a shallow heel-print.  The walker sets his heels into the soil more deeply.
  9. Tread Depth: we covered this a little in #9, and in addition, if the guy has a size nine boot print and is really sinking into the earth? Well, he’s probably carrying some serious stuff in the form of supplies and/or weapons.

If your search is proceeding too well and too smoothly?  It’s an ambush.  We’ve covered these fundamentals, because believe it or not, it is easier to avoid the hunter if you first have been the hunter.  What we just covered forms the basis for avoiding someone who is pursuing you.  Believe it or not, you can practice this stuff in the woods with family and/or team members.  It makes for both a good workout and a challenge to actually implement stuff you learn.  Part Two we’ll focus on how to get away from the bad guys trying to find you.  Until then keep studying and practicing.  It’ll pay off in the end…especially after the SHTF.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

10 Rare Survival Skills You’ll Probably Need Someday

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How To Build An Off-Grid Home Without ANY Construction Skills

Homesteading and living off-grid is all about knowing the right skills – but few among us have enough skills to survive a societal collapse … much less a few days in the woods.

On this week’s episode of Off the Grid Radio, we discuss 10 rare skills that most people, including most off-gridders, don’t have. Our guest is Ana Maria Spagna, the author of 100 Skills You’ll Need for the End of the World (as We Know It).

Spagna learned survival skills while living in a remote location in the rugged Pacific Northwest, and she tells us skills that most people know little about, such as:

  • The rare skill, practiced in biblical times, that helped people find food when they were desperate.
  • The overlooked skill that allows people to move 2,000-pound items without any help.
  • The ancient life-saving skill that adults and children practiced millennia ago but that largely has been lost to history.
  • The one skill that, if practiced regularly, can literally prevent your home from catching fire.

Spagna also shares with us two gardening skills that even expert horticulturists have not mastered. If you’re wanting to expand your survival and homesteading knowledge, then don’t miss this week’s show!

He’s alive…and part titanium! Plus, the very core of preparedness

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Me after no sleep after surgery…19 hours later…Advertisements I wrote the below about 6 hours ago while trying to find some semblance of sleep. Considered it a brain dump towards that goal, and found I needed to thank a lot of folks on Facebook who knew this surgery was hard-fought for, difficult to reach, and […]

Homesteading Leads to Preparedness

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Homesteading Leads to Preparedness Homesteading and preparedness are actually two peas in the same pod. Some would argue that survivalism is another pea in the pod of Self Sufficiency. They all basically seek the same end goal – self reliance and the ability to take care of themselves. It’s no real surprise then, when homesteaders …

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Bartering After SHTF: A Beginner’s Guide

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I love bartering. I’ve been bartering since lunch period in elementary school where I would often trade a chocolate milk for a Lunchable pizza. I’ve bartered everything from CDs to subwoofers to paintball guns to high-end letterpress business cards from Lithuania. Sure, bartering has its downfalls. Situations like… Louis needs a cow and has chickens

Black Swan Fixation

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John Mosby recently wrote an excellent post. In his opening paragraph one part really spoke to me. He said something to the effect that survivalists spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy preparing for black swan type events that are statistically and historically unlikely. He referred to the general trend of focusing on these events at the expense of much more likely events as ‘semi conscious’

I want to delve deeper into this topic. There are two related questions that I will try to discuss. First why do people focus on black swan type events. Second why do people ignore or fail to seriously prepare for more likely events.

Before I get started the saying “If you are prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse/ TEOTWAWKI you are prepared for anything” is going to come up. If the appropriate layered planning and logical progression was used maybe that is true. Still we have finite resources and energy to contend with. For all but the largest budgets a lot of choices made for the very unlikely scenario can leave you will a less than firm plan for far more likely scenarios. Agree or disagree lets ignore this saying for the rest of the discussion.

To the first question of why we spend disproportionate energy and resources on unlikely black swan events. A list seems most appropriate:

-Doomer Porn. Yes I think people enjoy reading (hell I am guilty and part of the problem myself as a blogger) about fantasy situations. We day dream during boring or unactive times, it is just people. Everyone day dreams about the cute guy/ girl who we see repeatedly in our everyday lives. This is a non sexual version of the same thing. In the same way that sexual fantasies ignore stuff like the other person not being interested in us or doing whatever the fantasy involves doomer fantasies skip the associated realistic limitations.It is an escape from reality and form of entertainment.

-Marketing. There are people who make a living selling stuff that you will only really need in very unlikely situations. Ten year food supplies, fifty caliber rifles and radiation detector sets for normal ish folks and intentionally built BUG OUT VEHICLES or survivalist bunker retreats for the really well healed. People selling things will inevitably try to convince you that you need their things. These people advertise in magazines and with websites such as mine.

-Justification of purchases. People will conveniently find a way to convince their selves they need stuff they want ‘to be prepared’. One guy who I would describe as a fairly average suburban survivalist type had three, not one, not two but three motorcycles for SHTF.

-Justification of lifestyle. The homesteading movement and survivalism come together in complicated ways (which I might write about later) but people sometimes use very unlikely situations to explain why and where they choose to live. I am not saying there are not benefits to homesteading or rural living. There are many benefits. I would however submit that in reality people should move to a rural area or start homesteading because they want to do those things, not because they feel they should just in case of a very unlikely event.

-Confirmation Bias. All of your like minded friends worrying about the same thing for the same iffy reasons makes you think everyone independently came to the same conclusions and as such many sources proved the same thing.

-Elitism/ bragging. A rapper might have a gold chain that costs a hundred thousand dollars. A preparedness oriented person who wants to show off their wealth might build a fancy bunker. 

Reasons for fail to seriously prepare for more likely events:

-They are scary. John noted this in his post. The idea of dealing with violent crime in the real world today in say the parking lot of a grocery store with your family is very different than some fantasy of shooting people with your Super Blastomatic 9000 like some first person video game. Defending the bridge with your buddies against the unprepared masses is different than 3 Jihadi’s with AK’s at the mall.

-Reality still exists. Some degree of our economic system will still exist. You will still have bills. If you are fortunate enough to have a job you will still be going to work. Your favorite brand of political philosophy is not going to be immediately adopted. Government is still going to exist in some form or another.

-Effort vs stuff. Often, especially when we talk about self defense the answers involve work. They involve training and regular practice with your CCW set up. They involve physical fitness and combatives training. Lifting weights takes effort. Getting off your butt and practicing in legitimately useful combatives takes effort and costs money. All of these efforts can be seriously humbling. More guns in your safe for SHTF time won’t make you safer. Working on your own capabilities with your body and the gun you carry will make you safer.

-Not sexy. Often the right answers of realistic preparedness can be less fun. Your need for a savings account (maybe in silver and gold if that is your thing) is significant but it is not fun. It isn’t a safe full of rifles or an excuse to buy more tactical gear or anything like that.

There are probably some more ideas but I think this covers the general themes. I hope it gives you something to think about that can help improve your own preparedness efforts. This is more philosophical than useful which is my general desire here. I may follow up with some more concrete suggestions that fit into this theme.

Thoughts?

Primitive Skills Expert Mike Douglas

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Primitive Skills Expert Mike Douglas Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Listen in player below! On this episode of Herbal Prepper Live, Michael Douglas of the Maine Primitive Skills School is back. Mike is a treasure trove of information on primitive skills. Every prepper and survivalist would be served by acquiring primitive skills. Enable you to thrive even … Continue reading Primitive Skills Expert Mike Douglas

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Update, Content, News, and months of podcasts.

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Well, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted here on the blog of SurvivalRing, and I do apologize. Life has been rather full outside the front door, and the moments in front of my computer (normally plural…the laptop is still down with a *Windows 10* infection) have been focused on research, online radio work, and […]

Squirrel Hunting with a Slingshot: 5 Tips to Make You a Pro

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How to Become a Master Squirrel Hunter Whether you’re 8 or 60, you’ve probably had the urge to hunt squirrels. It’s easy to kill the little rodents with a .22 or a BB gun, but it takes pure skill to nail a squirrel with a slingshot. (This one is perfect for your bug out bag)Add …

The post Squirrel Hunting with a Slingshot: 5 Tips to Make You a Pro appeared first on Know Prepare Survive.

Minimalist Prepping!

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Minimalist Prepping! Tom Martin “Galt$trike” This show in player below! On the following episode of Galt Strike I have Bob Hawkins again to discuss minimalist prepping. Do we really need so much stuff? How about prepping with much less? I always get asked what is the best thing to invest in prepping. My answer is always skills. … Continue reading Minimalist Prepping!

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15 DIY Prepping Ideas To Learn New Skills

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As important as it is to gather disaster supplies, it’s even more important to learn survival skills. You could lose all your supplies, but barring some kind of brain injury (or years without practice), you’ll never lose your skills. However, reading about skills is not the best way to learn them. We only retain 10% […]

The post 15 DIY Prepping Ideas To Learn New Skills appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Getting Back into Sewing As a Life Skill

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Getting Back into Sewing As a Life Skill via The Survival Mom

Back to school is a good time to sew things. Not only are the kids out of the house, but it’s prime season to organize and take some time out for mom. You may have once learned how to sew, perhaps back in Home Ec classes, but the fall is a great season to pick up sewing, again. I’ve found it to be a creative outlet that focuses my attention on producing something highly useful, while learning a practical life skill at the same time.

If you never learned to sew, you’ll want a handy, simple-to-follow sewing manual that will walk you through the entire process. Sewing isn’t rocket science, but you’ll definitely need instruction of some kind.

During this time of year, sewing clothing for the kids is one possibility, but dorm room essentials, school bags, pencil pouches, pillow cases, and a whole host of other small craft items are totally doable as well. I know my kids’ pencil pouches seem to fall apart in the time it takes to ride the bus to school the first day! Fabric pouches, especially those made of heavier fabrics, last sooo much longer and are super easy to make. For a little project like that, I like to use small, inexpensive pieces from the remnants area.

Getting (re)equipped

First, you’ll need a machine. The brand names that come to mind aren’t the best quality out there (best quality is rarely the most common), but they do make some serviceable, inexpensive machines for beginners. These should come with a few basic “feet,” such as a buttonhole foot, to get you started. You will also want a sewing machine case  to keep lint and dust out of your machine. This helps it stay in good working condition. Many machines come with their own case.

There are a lot of considerations when you choose a machine, but the most basic are what you will use it for and how much you will use it. (Here and here are two more sets of reviews; sewing without electricity is not discussed here.) For very light use, a back-up machine, or for younger sewers, the Brother XL2600I is a solid, and very affordable, choice at around $80. If you master hemming pants, it will pay for itself in very short order.

A machine suitable for heavier use, the Singer Sewing 4423 Heavy Duty is a good mechanical machine and still under $200. It looks like the one my Mom used in the 1970s. For more advanced sewers, and those who plan to machine embroider  or quilt, the Singer 9960 Quantum Stylist or a Brother SE400 are both feature-rich and under $400.

You will also want:

Personally, I strongly prefer using quilting pins because they are larger and easier to use. I also have a big magnet wand I can wave across the floor or table to pick up random pins I dropped and didn’t see. It’s like magic!

Sewing School has a great series of articles on what supplies you need to get started sewing and how to set up your sewing area. They even have some basic hints on buying a used sewing machine.

Setting up

Part of what re-inspired my sewing was finally – finally – getting a table and space for my machine. I moved the tubs of material and other sewing supplies out of the basement, and set up the iron and ironing machine near by. (My husband was amazed to learn I actually know how these pieces of equipment work.)

It’s really easy to skip the “iron this” part of the instructions for sewing, but it really does help and it doesn’t take long to do. Most of the time it’s either sewing interfacing so it attaches to fabric or ironing seams so they lay flat and are easier to sew. It really does make the seams easier to sew. Interfacing is a thin but somewhat stiff material that is layered between 2 pieces of fabric to give such things as collars or cuffs a bit of body. Attaching the interfacing by ironing, not sewing, is critical because ironing the two pieces together makes the fabric firmer so your finished garment holds its shape.

It’s also important to have good light and a handy trash can for all the little scraps. A large open space for laying out and cutting patterns nearby is good, but you can really do that anywhere, including a clean kitchen or dining room table.

Fabric, patterns, and notions

Find a pattern you love that’s at your level (I look for the word “easy”) and in your size. A range of sizes are marked on the front. The back of the pattern will tell you how much material you need and it will be different based on size and fabric width. Generally, fabric is either 45″ or 60″. There will also be a list of required “notions” such as buttons, zippers, thread, bias tape, etc. as well as any interfacing needed.

If you read the list of supplies carefully and make sure to buy the correct amount of fabric for your size, you should be ready to sew.

Online, you can buy regular patterns or download patterns in .pdf form. Some are free, others are not. I’m excited about some of the amazing vintage patterns that are available for free, but I think making a .pdf into a useable pattern may be a pain I don’t want to handle. I found some great lots on eBay and also had a friend give me a stack of them.

I was very excited to get patterns for $2 ($5 for Vogue) at Hancock Fabric liquidation sale, but I have heard that they go on sale for about that price fairly often. So keep an eye out for pattern sales. List price for the ones I purchased ranged from $15 to $28 with Vogue having the higher priced patterns. From what I have read, some of the difference is based on how good the instructions are and some is based on how well made the actual pattern is. I have really enjoyed the Kwik Sew patterns I made, but the actual patterns are printed on paper instead of tissue paper, which is just weird, and is extremely simplistic compared to others. (That’s not a bad thing when you are starting out!)

Walmart and JoAnn’s

Don’t dismiss Walmart for your basic sewing needs!  There isn’t a fabric store near me any more so I’ve stopped in Walmart more than once for notions and interfacing I needed to finish a project. They have basic items, such as bobbins and cutting boards as well. I made a fun robe for my little boy from a $5 fleece blanket. My favorite item I’ve made so far is a circle skirt that uses fabric I bought for $1 / yard on clearance at Walmart. In fairness, it’s a bit of a coarse cotton weave, and not nearly as soft as the fabric from better stores, but I love the pattern. And it was perfect for a Retro ’47 Butterick pattern!

That said, I really need to go to JoAnn Fabric for the 14″ invisible coral zipper I need. I will never, ever find that at Walmart. While I haven’t done any real research, I think JoAnn’s may be the last remaining large fabric chain. Obviously, they have a far larger selection than Walmart, and generally higher quality items. Whenever I need something specific, including new patterns, I go there.

Walmart does have a small selection of patterns, but the last remaining major fabric chain undoubtedly needs any help it can get from paying customers, so I will try to patronize them whenever possible.

Sewing as a life skill

Once you have decided on your first project and have all your supplies, it’s time to get started. Fill your bobbin and thread the machine before you do anything else to make sure you remember how to do it and that the machine is in working order. If you’ve never done this before, it’s just a matter of following a diagram that comes in the machine’s instruction manual.

Once you know the machine is up and running, cut out the pattern and start sewing, stopping, as necessary, to rip things apart and say nasty things about the sewing machine and it’s parentage if things don’t go well. The proper tool for ripping things apart is called a seam ripper and is another basic, essential tool. I use mine – a lot. Way, way too much. On one robe, I sewed the first arm in upside down.

The dressmakers chalk mentioned in the Getting (re)equipped section is very handy for transferring markings such as gathering marks and circles onto your pattern. You can also use it to mark the inside of fabrics that are almost, but not quite, reversible. It really is no fun to finish a pair of pants only to realize the sheen of the fabric is different from left to right or front to back because you used different sides of the fabric on different areas.

You can use other chalk if you want, even sidewalk chalk, but dressmakers chalk has a nice little handhold and cover so you don’t get chalk all over the place.

The most important point is that you must follow the instructions on the pattern. With experience, you can be a little more free about modifying it, but not when you are first getting re-started. If you get stuck on some part, YouTube is a wonderful resource. I found the Kwik Sew patterns did the best job of explaining techniques, so they are a good place to start for your first few items.

Pinterest and sewing ideas

There are actually a lot of great looking free patterns and sewing advice on Pinterest. I was amazed at all the different patterns that are available now, in stores as well as online. In addition to basic pants, skirts, blouses, and nightwear, I now have patterns for hats, gloves, laptop bags, and an ironing board cover. You can make anything! I know that sounds obvious, but I found a patterns for men’s underwear and doggie Halloween costumes.

Creativity is important in sewing. I had barely a half yard of a fun polka dot fabric but most patterns require two or three yards, and almost no piece of clothing can be made with less than a yard. My solution was to use it as an accent on a coordinating top and skirt. It came out great! It could also have become a clutch bag, a band along the bottom of a skirt, a pillow case… so many things! When you sew, your options can seem nearly as endless as the stacks of fabric you acquire.

For me, the biggest benefit of sewing is that I can make things I would never find in stores. I love – love – flannel, but I’m not big on lumberjack shirts or floral nightgowns. So far, I have made a lavender flannel tank top, a lavender and black tunic top, and a purple tie-die print nightgown. They feel lovely, and they make me smile. What more can you ask for?

Getting Back into Sewing As a Life Skill via The Survival Mom

Ancient Skills: How To Turn A Simple Yucca Plant Into Heavy-Duty Survival Cord

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Image source: Cody Assmann

Image source: Cody Assmann

 

“Primitive means first, not worst” — these words ring as true today as ever. Those new to bushcraft may feel a little intimidated as they begin to learn traditional skills. As with many things, the more you learn, the more you learn that you don’t know.

Bushcraft skills require characteristics like attention to detail, concentration and patience, but with effort and diligence anyone can learn basic skills quickly. Mastering skills that allowed our ancestors not only to survive, but to prosper in their local environments, gives us a sense of connection with the past, but also allows us to gain a skill we eventually might need.

Image source: Cody Assmann

Image source: Cody Assmann

One easy way to get out and enjoy the afternoon in many states is to build cordage using the abundant yucca plant. Yucca plants are plentiful in the prairie region of the Great Plains and desert region of the Great Basin. This plant served the First Nations people of this continent in many different ways, including as food, soap and cordage. Creating cordage using this prickly prairie native can be done quickly and easily.

There are several varieties of yucca, but in my region the soapweed yucca dominates the landscape. You will only need a few tools to get started. First remember to get a good knife and possibly a full water bottle before you leave the house. The knife will help you harvest the cordage and the water bottle will help you wet the cordage if you are not working next to a water source. These are the only tools you will not be able to create out of natural material.

What You’ll Need

Image source: Cody Assmann

Image source: Cody Assmann

The next step is to find a location where yucca is plentiful; it helps if this location is close to an area with a bit of timber, as timber will be needed for tools. Once you have located the soapweed, remove several leaves using your knife. These will be used to create the cordage. Select healthy green leaves. Longer and thicker leaves will provide more material with the same effort. How many you need depends on the length and thickness of your desired cordage. Two good leaves should be able to produce about six inches of cordage of a fairly small diameter. As a beginner, I started small and worked my way into larger and larger projects.

Discover The Secrets Of The Word’s Top Survivalists!

Once you have harvested your yucca material, you now need to begin finding or producing tools for your project. In addition to the yucca, you will need a wooden baton (hammer) and a wooden hammering surface. The baton should be of decent weight and fit comfortably in your hand. A heavier baton will make the processing easier, but the work can be done even with a lighter wood. As for the hammering surface, any smooth wooden surface should work. At this point you only need one more tool: your scraper. Scrapers can be either a piece of stone with an edge, like flint, or a split tree limb with an edge. A word of advice here: Stones with rough edges can tear plant fibers while processing the cordage, while wood will work slower but will be easier on your plant fibers. Torn plant fibers could result in an inferior product with a lower tensile strength. Once you have gathered your yucca, baton, scraper and have found a hammering surface, you are ready to begin making cordage.

Getting Started

To begin, lay one yucca leaf on the hammering surface. Take your wooden baton and begin to hammer the leaf. Use good force; you are trying to break the outer layer of the plant and get at the fibers within. Shortly, you should begin to see the plant membrane beginning to break apart. It will fray and turn a lighter shade of green. As you break up the exterior of the plant, be sure to work the edges as well as the middle portion. Continue hammering and working the length of the yucca leaf. At any point if you want to check your progress, you can stop and scrape off the plant material. Using your scraper and adequate pressure run the edge of your scraper lengthwise with the fibers of the plant to remove plant matter. You must always work with the plant fibers, as working across them will damage your fiber and reduce their strength. The plant membrane should come off easily as you scrape the length of the leaf. Make sure you remove all of the exterior plant material.

Repeat the process of hammering the plant and removing the outer plant material until one side of the leaf has been completely cleared. Next, flip the leaf over and repeat the process on the backside. This side should not take as long, since much of the membrane may be broken from your previous hammering efforts. Again, be sure to remove as much of the membrane as possible and always scrape with the grain of the fibers. Once complete, set the processed leaf to the side and begin with your next yucca leaf. Process as many leaves as necessary for your project.

Image source: Cody Assmann

Notice the “Figure 9” that has been created. Twist the “back” strands away from you. Pinch them to avoid losing the twist and pull the “front” strands toward you. Twist away, then pull toward. Image source: Cody Assmann

After you have finished processing your yucca leaves, you are ready to begin making cordage. Select a processed leaf and separate groups of the fibers. For light projects I generally get about three bunches of fibers per leaf of equal size. This should get the most out of your processed plant material and also provide adequate strength for small projects. Once you have separated the fibers, you are now ready to begin braiding your cordage. It is at this point you might want to get the fibers slightly wet using your water bottle, as the fibers are easier to work while wet and they tend to dry very quickly. All of the following steps will be described for right-handed people; for left-handed people simply reverse the hands.

Image source: Cody Assmann

Image source: Cody Assmann

To begin, select two bunches of fibers and match the middles of each. Pinch the middle with fingers on your left hand. Holding the fibers, make a 9 with the fibers, laying one on the “front” of the other. You should still be pinching the yucca with your left hand. Next, reach over the “front” strand with your right hand and grasp the “back” strand between your thumb and pointer finger. Twist the “back” fibers away from you. Twist them as tightly as you can to create a solid product. With the strands still twisted away from you, now reach over the twisted strands and grab the “front” strand with your middle finger, pressing the fibers against your pointer finger that is still twisting the “back” strand. This will take just a little practice, but after the first 5 minutes you will get the hang of it. Once you have captured the “front” fibers with your middle finger, pull them over the twisted “back” fibers toward you. The mantra is “twist away and pull toward.” Move your left hand slightly up the cord to pinch your first twist in your cordage. Repeat the process as described above, this time twisting what was the “front” away and pulling what was the “back” toward you. Twist away and pull toward you.

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Image source: Cody Assmann

Pounded and scraped Yucca ready to braid. Image source: Cody Assmann

At this point you are well on your way to making all-natural cordage like the ancients. As you work, you will begin to run out of material. The final step to learn is how to splice in new pieces of fiber into your cordage. How thick you want your cordage to be will determined when to add new material. By adding new material earlier, you can build up your cordage early to create a very strong product. If you are only making light cordage, you can wait longer before making your splice. This will allow you to get the most out of the yucca you processed. Making a splice is rather easy. Build your cordage as mentioned in the earlier steps until you get to a point where you want to add more material. While still pinching your last twist with your left hand, grab a new bundle of yucca fibers and fold in half to find the middle. Place the middle directly in the center of where your next twist will be. Next, simply include the new fibers into your twist away and also in your pull toward you. There you have it. You have created a splice and increased the length and strength of your cordage. You can continue to add length or strength to your product, depending on your needs. Once you have gotten toward the end of your project, work past the desired length by several inches and make a simple overhand knot to tie off the end of your cordage. The end you began on should be a loop, and the end you finished on should be a knot.

People of all ability levels can master this skill rather easily. It is a great way to introduce someone into primitive living skills. Not only is this skill easy to pick up, but it offers a wide range of uses when in the wild and even for projects around the house. Whether you have needed a nudge to start down the primitive skills path, or you have been living in the bush for many years, get outside and practice this ancient skill. Although it may be ancient, it still has relevance, usefulness and gratification in the modern world.

What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below: 

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

Physical Challenges!

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Physical Challenges! James Walton “I Am Liberty” I will tell you that thanks to so many preppers and self reliance gurus the internet is so full of info its uncanny. There is a library of info on how to prepare for most any situation that could come our way. Some of this is hypothetical and … Continue reading Physical Challenges!

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What’s In Your Emotional Backpack?

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What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

All of us have dealt with a backpack at some point in our lives. Remember loading up that crisp new back pack in fall, with anticipation for another school year. Backpacks are used to pack up emergency supplies as demonstrated in this article, camping gear and they are even popular to use as a diaper bag.

One backpack we may not realize we carry is an emotional backpack. What is an emotional backpack? Picture yourself carrying around an invisible backpack, every day. Inside that backpack are all of your life’s experiences. Some of these items are positive and light, while others are negative and heavy. What is in your backpack and how heavy is it? This is a particularly important consideration when it comes to survival, since a big percentage of surviving is mental. This lesson really hits home in one of my favorite survival books, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why.

If you picture life as a long journey, your emotional backpack is right there, hanging off the back of your shoulders every day, no matter where you go. Your responsibility is to keep the backpack light enough for you to keep moving and progressing. Easy enough right? Not always so. We encounter personal setbacks, illness and death of loved ones, difficult co-workers, rude neighbors, unforeseen disasters and struggles in relationships. These things tend to weigh us down if we do not handle them when they happen, as my family did a number of years ago when we hit rock bottom. It seems easier to stuff them down in the backpack and worry about them later. This makes our packs heavy and our journey slow and miserable. We are not able to help ourselves or others if we are overloaded and miss out on the everyday joys of life.

To keep moving and be prepared for anything life throws at you, a light backpack is a must. Let’s look at what you should have in your emotional backpack.

  • A good support system. Friends, a spouse, family or pastor. Surround yourself with people that share the same values that you do. These people should be someone you can confide in when needed. Their advice would aligned with your beliefs and they would have your back in a crisis. If you have a hard time making and keeping friends, this book by one of my favorite psychologist authors, John Townsend, may help. Making close friends isn’t an easy thing for most adults.
  • Healthy habits. Getting proper sleep and nutrition keep your body and your mind running in top shape. Find an exercise or activity that you enjoy doing. Some examples could be nature walks, biking or yoga. This will clear your mind and give you energybut are also vital components of being a prepared person. Get as healthy as you can and as quickly as you can before any type of disaster strikes. By the way, a sound night’s sleep is a vastly under-appreciated component of being survival-ready.
  • Uplifting books and music. Have some reading that is positive, educational, and enjoyable — not just survival and prepper manuals! Reading can be a healthy escape from the stressors of life. Science has proven that music can alter our moods and brain activity. Upbeat music can give motivation and momentum, tranquil music can calm when anxiety creeps up and the simple act of singing will lower blood pressure, reduce pain and give a boost to the immune system.
  • Develop an attitude of hope, in all things. Life may not work out the way you wanted it to, but it will work out and will get better. Many find hope in God and through prayer. Go back to the basics of your belief. Lean on your faith. Look at the positive things working around you. Focus on what is going right and the opportunities that are around, then build your hope on that. One wise pastor said, “When nothing in your life is making sense, go back to what  you know for sure.” Is that the love of your husband or wife? The close relationship you have with a friend? The fact that God loves you? Whatever it is, go back to what you DO know for certain and spend time deeply appreciating those facts in order to get grounded so you can move on. Spiritual resiliency is a huge factor in who survives and who doesn’t.
  • Have hobbies. Whether it is cooking, crocheting, shooting or fishing. Discovery an activity that relaxes you and makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. Not only will you have a skill to lean on, but you can teach others. Invite family, friends to do the hobby with you or join a group that participates in the same activity. The Survival Mom Skill of the Month page will give you dozens of ideas, if you’re not sure where to start with choosing a hobby that is both fun and practical.

You cannot avoid heavy items in your backpack from past, deep hurts, rejection, and traumatic events. They are a fact of life and will be dropped into your backpack, sometimes when  you are least prepared for them. If you do not put them there, someone or something else will. The goal is to not let them stay there.

  • Take any heavy item you are dragging around and analyze it. What do you need to do to make this light? Some things we have control over, others we do not. Be careful to only invest emotion and time in something you have some control over. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of families moved to other states. Many of these families embraced this move as an opportunity to go back to school, learn a new trade, create a new start or be closer to extended family. In one instance, a refugee from Katrina founded an incredibly successful business in Houston, his new home. They could not control the hurricane, they could control how they viewed their opportunities. Show kindness to those who offer help you. Teach your family to look and acknowledge the good that is around.
  • Accept and adapt. Be willing to take a look around at your new reality and just accept it for what it is. This is where you are now. How can you make the best of it? Survival Mom liked this saying so much that she created a t-shirt just to remind herself how to handle tough situations!
  • Bless and release. There will be people and situations that bog you down because of a past experience. In one case, a former friend suddenly cut off her contact with me. I never knew what had happened, reached out once or twice but got very curt responses. So, I played and replayed in my head what I wanted to say to her and how I would defend whatever it was that had caused the distance. After a few months, I decided enough was enough. I wrote a short email, wishing her the best and letting her know, nicely, that I was moving on, and guess what? She hasn’t crossed my mind since — until I was writing this article! We can bless and release those in our lives who bring nothing but negativityand pain. We no longer have to be the monkey in their circus.
  • Dumping a heavy item might require you to mend a relationship, apologize or forgive someone. The relationship may not be as it was, but you have done your part to make it better. Just forgiving a person, even if it just in your heart, is healing. Sometimes the heavy item that needs to get dumped is a person. Toxic and negative people can be one of the heaviest items you drag behind you. They have little regard to your emotions and their influence in your life. In fact, one author calls them “emotional vampires.” If a person is continually causing emotional turmoil, it may be time to decide if that person should be in your life.
  • Bad experiences. We have all laid in bed at the end of the day and played out in our mind what we would do or say differently, if given another chance. Unfortunately we cannot go back in time, but we can learn. To lighten your load, take tough experiences and make it your best teacher. Learn everything you can from trials and stumbling blocks. Journal about it, share what you learned with a close friend, glean as much knowledge as you can from the experience. Try to compare it to other times in life where you have been given a lesson and did not learn it the first time. It is so much easier to learn from the mistakes of others, but if you are going to make your own, and you will, you might as well learn all you can from it. The knowledge you gain will be beneficial in your future, and you can pass it on to your kids. Maybe they’ll listen!!
  • We are all subject to stress, it is the overwhelming stress that does us in. Learn how to recognize it when it shows itself. Note the physical reactions you have and pay attention to the thoughts that go through your mind. Some people carry stress in their lower backs, some in their necks, shoulders, or stomachs. Most daily stress can be worked off at the gym or by other means. It is the larger stressors and circumstances in life that require more effort. When the big stuff happens, you will need to rely on the positive items in your emotional backpack. They are what is going to get you through. Call a friend that you feel comfortable talking with or read about people that have gone through a similar circumstance. Have your backpack full of “tools” to help you deal with the big pressures of life.
  • Develop a list of personal priorities. Determine what is important to you. Picture yourself on your death bed. What would your thoughts be about? Who or what would you want to be surrounded by? That is your priority list! If something isn’t on your list, it is probably not that significant. This list is a guideline for your and where your priorities are. The items on the list are where you put your time and energy. Don’t spend your effort on things that don’t give enjoyment or benefit back to you.

Remember, this backpack is yours, not anyone else’s. Protect yourself by protecting your pack. Do not allow anyone else to dump their anger or nastiness into it. Handle issues when they first happen. Look to others for help if needed. As you travel through life, if you keep your backpack light and care for it, you will develop self-reliance and a resiliency that will help you with the heavy items that will certainly come along.

What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits on 7P’s of Survival

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Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” This week we will discuss my favorite budget friendly items to build your own outdoor sportsmen’s kit. This kit is similar to my long-term self-reliance kit. I spoke about it a few months ago but it’s much more budget friendly, adaptable, basic and generally a good … Continue reading Hunting, Fishing, Trapping kits on 7P’s of Survival

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7 Overlooked Skills That Make Homesteading Life Easier

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7 Overlooked Skills That Make Homesteading Life Easier

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

Homesteading is hard work. Period.

However, even the most hardworking and seasoned homesteaders may overlook skills that can make life easier. Here are seven skills to master that can ease the burden many homesteaders face.

1. Neighbors

Most homesteaders live on fairly small acreage and have others living nearby. Therefore, it’s essential to get to know your neighbors. There are two reasons for this. First, the enjoyment of the homesteading lifestyle will be greatly diminished if you can’t get along with your neighbors. For example, if someone nearby decides to start a rock band and practice outside, or enjoys taking a shortcut through your property on an ATV, your chances of resolving these issues is a lot better if you’ve already established a relationship. Second, and on a positive note, you may have goods or services your neighbor wants, and vice versa. For example, I raise rabbits and my neighbors raise pigs. I get tired of rabbit meat and they get tired of pork, so trading meats is a win-win for both.

2. Your choice – goods for bartering

Continuing the theme of No. 1, for thousands of years, humans relied on barter to transfer goods and services. Barter should be a major component of any homestead. Of course, to successfully barter, you need something to trade with your neighbors.

So choose a readily available or producible good on your homestead. Examples include candles from tallow, rabbits you breed, or preserved jams.

3. Your choice – services for bartering

In addition to goods sought after by those living nearby, think about a service, as well. It should be something that others can’t do well or easily. Typically, this means a skill that takes a lot of practice, experience and special tools.

Discover More Than 1,000 Off-Grid-Living Tricks!

Examples include mending clothes, advanced first-aid, dentistry, or carpentry without power tools. The list is endless, so consider carefully and invest in the time and tools needed to perfect a valuable service.

4. Tying knots

Whether you need to secure an animal or put up a clothesline, there’s an appropriate knot for the job. Yet few homesteaders know more than one or two basic knots. Learn how to quickly and efficiently tie some basics knots to get the job done right. There are tons of YouTube videos showcasing the most important knots. Here is one:

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5. Trapping game

Nothing lends to the success of homesteading more than supplementing protein sources with wild game. While not everyone has the skill (or desire) to hunt and butcher large game like deer or antelope, smaller game like rabbits or beavers are much more manageable. Learn how to make simple traps from material readily available on the homestead.

6. Sourdough starter

When I think of useful homesteading skills, I look to those that are sustainable—i.e., you can continue doing them long-term without having to rely on modern society to continually provide supplies. So if you grow grains and make bread, then grow and maintain a sourdough starter so that you don’t need to keep buying yeast. Learn how:

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7. Preserving meat without refrigeration

Homesteaders should be prepared to live for a long period of time without power.

One skill crucial to this is preserving meat without refrigeration. Two options are curing and smoking. Curing is basically the use of salt, but because salt is not a sustainable resource in a grid-down situation, I don’t recommend it as the primary means of preservation.

The other option is smoking. Smoke helps create an acidic coating on the meat, inhibiting bacterial growth. It also dries out the meat, further preventing bacteria. Smoking done this way is called cold smoking because temperatures less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit are used—the meat is not cooked, just preserved. You can purchase commercial cold smokers or make your own. In any case, cold smoking is one of those skills that takes practice.

Final Thoughts

All of the skills discussed take practice and initial investment in goods to master, but the investment will repay itself over and over.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.

Fit to Fight: Preparing the Body and Mind

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disciplineReady Nutrition Readers, as we’ve been looking a lot at physical conditioning, we will expound on some of this by making a point that you may wish to keep in mind:

            Your physical conditioning and fitness will determine how you will fight.

Make no bones about it: in a survival situation post SHTF, you will eventually have to fight, one way or another.  There will be limited food, limited water, limited resources.  You will have stocked up all of your larders with racks and racks full of canned goods and dried foods…all of the best you could garner.  You’ll have medical equipment, and water stored, along with tools and survival supplies.  That’s great…you’re surviving, and that is the object.

But how long do you really expect to keep all of your supplies without a fight?  The firearms and other weapons are important, but I want to stress this point for you to help you:

            Your best defense is a fit body and sound mind, both trained to fight.

Whatever discipline you choose to study is up to you, and should not be made hastily, or without consideration of your condition from a medical perspective.  Consult with your family doctor prior to any fitness regimen or martial arts training.

That being said, you can train with boxing gloves and/or bag gloves and a heavy bag and a speed bag.  You can get a great workout from either, with different goals and objectives for each.  Your heavy bag workout is to condition your hands, arms, and shoulders to deliver a punch.  If you buy a good quality bag (I prefer either canvas or leather, with Everlast being the best), you should get one that weighs between 50-75 lbs.  That will be workable.  Heavier than this it’s pretty hard to move.

You want one that is solid that you can also practice your kicks on.  You’ll need literature and training for it that is beyond the scope of this article.  You can pick up hand wraps for yourself and bag gloves, and do a good workout on that heavy bag.  Try doing sets (rounds) of 1 minute for starters, with a 1-minute rest.  Do three “rounds” of this.  If you’re not used to it, you’ll be amazed at how it will “smoke” you.

Then with time you can increase your rounds and the time for them, as well as decreasing the rest interval between rounds.  For kicking, pick up some good instep pads and sole pads, and find an instructor or even someone who just exercises in this manner and pick up some instruction from them.  You’ll find a lot goes into it: stretching, strength, and coordination.  You don’t have to be Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee.  Just build a repertoire of two or three basic kicks, such as a roundhouse, a drop-kick, and a side kick for starters.  Master a few and then you can build on more to expand your repertoire.

The speed bag can give you a really good workout, as well as build hand-eye coordination.  It helps with your timing, as the bag moves faster than a human head.  Discipline and training are your keys, and they must be in conjunction with one another.

Train your mind as well. There are many ways you can prepare your mind and body.  The classic text by Sun Tzu “The Art of War” will seem strange if you haven’t read it; however, the principles are sound for armies and for individuals.  Mental discipline and concentration are premium for any fighter to succeed.  Find the best instructor you can, and make it worth his while to train you, even if it isn’t in a Karate dojo, or some large-chain gym.  Find a neighbor or a friend who is good at it, and get them to take you under their wing.  It’ll pay off big time for you later.

To conclude, these are all training tools you can incorporate into your workout regimen with a purely practical, utilitarian facet: to prepare you for the eventuality of a fight.  Remember, it’s not a matter of looking for trouble.  Rather, it is ensuring you can take care of trouble when it comes if you must go that route.  Avoid the fight if you can, but if you can’t?  Then win it.  Keep fighting that good fight, and do the best you can in all things.  JJ out!

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

Vince Lombardi, Coach, Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

What If You Lose Your Go-Bag? Can You Still Survive?

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edge

NOTE: This is a guest post by Chris Hampton, author of Edge Walker.  Chris has graciously provided a free copy of his book in PDF.  You can find the link to download your copy below. – TS

Go-Bags are a popular, and very important, topic of discussion among preppers and anyone wanting to be prepared for all contingencies at all times, anywhere. It’s interesting and exciting to scan over someone else’s Go-Bag content list, but ultimately it’s a personal choice, what we put in our bags. Yet, what happens if we lose our Go-Bag?

In my just-released book, Edge Walker, the main character is taught by a mysterious grandfather how to survive in the wilderness. At the beginning of the book, the boy has no experience in the wild, but as a desperate society rapidly deteriorates around him, the old man teaches the boy how to make shelter and fire, find water in the desert, and hunt meat without modern weapons.

Just before the boy flees a city thrown into chaos, his dying grandfather tosses him a small backpack. It’s his Go-Bag, put together by the old man before succumbing to a deadly virus. In the pack are essentials for his survival. However, when originally penciling out the plot, I looked at the very real possibility that, at some point, the boy will lose his pack. What then? Out in the wilderness, without all the essentials of a Go-Bag, life becomes precious and tenuous, very fast.

dbf7cc9931fac85309063c52ff30575ddca6875f-thumbI wanted Edge Walker’s story line to be true-to-life regarding survival skills to be utilized in the wilderness. The outcome was interspersing chapters where Grandfather teaches the boy four fundamental wilderness survival skills: how to make simple shelters with the materials at hand, carve a bow drill and make fire, find sources of water in the desert, and hunt using the most basic of primitive weapons – the throwing stick. In the chapter where I introduced the bow drill and fire making, my aim was to write in such a way that the emotion of the story line was maintained while sequentially describing the method for making a fire kit:

“Once, after relocating west, the old man taught the boy about fire. They walked into the desert . . . Grandfather stopped at a three-foot-tall bushy plant and looked down at it. Kneeling, he broke off a dead portion, unsheathed his knife, and started carving.

 

The boy watched. The sun baked.

 

“This plant will make fire for you. Warm you. Heal you.”

 

Grandfather’s knife worked the soft wood. A flat piece, two inches wide and ten inches long with a squared edge, emerged. Another piece of a branch, six inches long, became pointed at both ends: a spindle.

 

He cut a third piece of wood to fit the palm of his hand. Putting these pieces down, Grandfather cut a longer branch, about two feet, and tied some paracord to it. The boy thought it looked like a small bow to shoot arrows.

 

Using the spindle, handhold, and bow, the old man quickly burned a small indent into the flat piece of wood. Then he carved a slice-of-pie cut, the wide part of the slice at the edge of the board, the apex touching the middle of the burned indent.

 

Next, he again twisted the six-inch spindle stick into the string of the bow with one end of the spindle fitted into the notched hole. The palm-sized handhold he put on top of the other end of the now-vertical spindle and pressed down.

 

Grandfather began scraping the bow back and forth, like playing a cello. The flat board smoked, the smoke curling up around the spindle. Fine dust filled the slice-of-pie notch, with smoke billowing out from where the spindle met the board. Suddenly, he stopped and tapped a glowing ball of dust onto a baseball-size bunch of fluffy tinder and deftly handed the fire kit to the boy.

 

Grandfather did not rush. He gently, quietly talked to the glowing coal.

 

“Always ask the coal to visit. And thank it when it does,” he said.

 

The boy watched. Said nothing.

 

Grandfather, with two hands, held the smoking ball up above his face and blew into it. Soon, smoke turned to flame. He gently put the flaming ball on the ground and, from what the boy saw in the old man’s eyes, lovingly stared at it.

 

“Life.”

 

The boy looked up at Grandfather, then back at the little ball of flame, and echoed Grandfather’s word: “Life.”

As he is taught primitive skills, the boy is reminded to keep his knife on his body and not in his Go-Bag. In this way, if the Go-Bag is lost, the boy still has what he needs to live safely and even lavishly in the wilderness – – a knife.

Later in the book, the ancient skills are enhanced with modern paraphernalia to illustrate the benefits of utilizing whatever’s available. After the boy is rescued from man-hunters by two strangers, he observes how his rescuers effectively combine primitive knowledge with modern effects to subsist and move across the landscape. One example is how the strangers serve food in a gourd, but cook in a metal pot:

“A small fire dances in the cave. Dinner is stewed rabbit with wild onions foraged when Jure did the perimeter check. Bae, once again, marvels at the ingenuity of these two. The meal simmers in a metal pot with walls that collapse each inside the other to compress down for easier packing. To use it, the sections of walls are pulled up to form the pot. Handy.”

And later, in Chapter 50, worn out Converse sneakers are replaced with Huarache sandals:

“Your footwear needs mending,” G says.

 

“Yes,” Bae answers. “My left sole came apart.”

 

The shredded shoes embarrass the boy. He glances down at his clothes and does a quick check, as he’s learned to do before traveling . . .

 

“Any ideas for your footwear?” G asks.

 

“There’s the town,” Ever says. “They might have a dump or store we can raid.”

 

“No way on the store. Too dangerous. Supplies to these outlying towns have stopped. Whatever they have in town will be closely guarded.” G pauses. “But a dump. Good chance old tires will be in a dump. We can make sandals for Bae.”

 

“What about straps?” Ever asks. “Strapping leather is hard to find.”

 

“Paracord.”

 

“Of course!” Ever blurts. “I forgot about that.”

 

“I’ve got paracord,” Bae offers. He can’t picture sandals made out of tires or how to make them. But he knows paracord and has a roll in his pack.”

If you have a foundation of proven, ancient, skills and a willingness to combine them with whatever modern paraphernalia is found on the landscape, chances increase dramatically for survival. But the most basic necessity for a successful experience in survival is, like the characters in Edge Walker, to always keep a knife somewhere on your body, in case everything is lost, especially your Go-Bag.

To download a FREE COPY of Edge Walker in PDF – CLICK HERE!

– Chris Hampton

Negotiate Like a Pro With These 5 Powerful Tips

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to cover some of the finer points on the art of Negotiation in this article.  Negotiation does not necessarily mean between yourself and an enemy.  Negotiation is a very valuable skill that is crucial to develop and employ in the various situations you will encounter, both pre and post-SHTF.  You can use it and develop it on a daily basis until it becomes natural.

When you are doing things within your family you negotiate: how to get the kids to do their chores, what responsibilities you will split with your spouse on numerous domestic issues, and what you will all do either when working together or on your free time, such as a vacation.  You negotiate with your bosses and co-workers.  You negotiate when you deal with a salesperson who wishes to sell you a car or a household appliance.

Fine Tune This Essential Skill

In an emergency, you may need to negotiate with a gang that is holding one of your family hostage, or another family that has resources that you need or want.  You may need to negotiate with a professional, such as a doctor or veterinarian to provide services for you in exchange for bartering.

The best resource that I have to recommend on this subject is the book, “You Can Negotiate Anything,” by Herb Cohen.  This guy actually worked for the police department as well as other law-enforcement agencies such as the FBI to negotiate with kidnappers and terrorists.  He was also a consultant for many years in the private sector.  The book is simple and straightforward, and Cohen breaks down the factors needed for a successful negotiation into three areas:

  1. Power: this means power of information, special skills, and confidence that you have what it takes to conduct the negotiation
  2. Time: the limitations needed to obtain the negotiation (deadline)
  3. Information: the information you have about the other party’s needs and desires.

 Cohen was very specific in terms of being “above board” and not trying to intimidate or manipulate people into doing something immoral, illegal, or harmful.  He did add a caveat to this concept and said in a life-threatening situation, it is a different story; however, he believed in finding honest and peaceful solutions to problems.

One of the main points is to empower yourself: with knowledge and skills.  This article can be very complementary to the articles I wrote on bartering for pre and post-societal collapse.  We need to ask ourselves questions in this regard, such as what does the other person need?  What skills and/or materials can I provide that will fill this need?  What does the other person or group have that I need and desire?

Negotiation means (as we used to term is in Special Forces) the need to pursue cross-cultural communication; that is, you’re dealing with a different “tribe” than your own.  Perhaps there are significant religious and political differences that may make negotiating a more difficult endeavor.  It is up to you to find common grounds to allay the fears and tensions and enable you to come to the bargaining table.

This does not mean dragging out all of the goods you have with a big smile and jumping up and down, saying “I’m ready to negotiate!”  Getting back to the “knowledge” factor, you had better know who you’re dealing with and figure out what they want…and what they are willing to do to obtain what they want.  Keep Ronald Reagan’s saying in mind: “Peace through superior firepower.”

Negotiate Like a Pro

This can be expanded upon to mean greater “firepower” in the thinking department, and greater adaptability and flexibility.  You have to wear many hats in a post-SHTF bargaining session.  There are a few pointers you can follow that will get you started.  It means coming across as cool, confident, and capable, not a hothead who loses their composure the first time the other party states something annoying or vexatious to you.

  1.  Speak clearly, audibly, and with calm in your voice.  This promotes a good follow-through.  Remember, you want something and they do, too.  It’s up to you to promote confidence in you with them…that they feel comfortable with you and that you’ll live up to your end of the bargain.
  2. When you’re speaking or listening, meet the other person’s eyes with your own, and blink regularly.  Not blinking can be a sign to them of either a challenge or that you’re nuts.  When you meet a person’s eyes with your own, it denotes sincerity and truth, as well as showing them you’re not afraid to speak to them face-to-face
  3. Avoid directly contradicting what they say.  If something is too “heinous” for you to deal with, it is best to break off the negotiation and say, “I need some time to consider this,” or “It may be better for us to speak about this later.”
  4. When the negotiation is concluded or still on the table and it’s time to break off the conversation?  Thank the other party for taking the time.  Politeness always pays off, even if the other person does not respond in kind.  I’ve had numerous negotiations with third-world guerillas who were more taciturn than the face of the moon.  Later on they returned to table and wanted to do what we asked because my men and I were courteous and polite.  It goes a long way.
  5. End on a positive note.  This ties into number 4, but pay them a deserved compliment if you can, and tell them you’re looking forward to dealing with them in the future.  Good feelings are not just “walked upon”: they can be developed, and this is all part of negotiation.

The skill of negotiation is a valuable one.  Life is lived with people unless you’re a hermit in a cave or the Unabomber.  Negotiation skills can help you land a better job or save some money on a new or used car.  It can be used in all areas of life, in our happy consumer society or when the “Mad Max” scenario unfolds.  Tailor make it to fit your needs and best suit your personality and skills, and you’ll find it is worth the effort to develop.  Have a great day, and take care of one another.

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Navigate Using the Sun and Stars

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starnavTwo city guys bagged a deer, and they began to drag it by the feet.  After the antlers tangled in the brush for half an hour, one said, “Maybe we should try dragging him by the other side,” and the second agreed.  After four hours, the second one said, “This is definitely a lot easier.”  The first one said, “It is…but we’re going farther and farther from the truck.”

In a previous article, we discussed how to if you’re hiking across unimproved terrain, you need a pace count for yourself. We are going to take that information a step further and learn how to navigate without a compass.

Using the Sun to Navigate

Finding the right direction is just as important as traveling the right distance.  More, in many regards.  So how do we find our direction?  We start with the primitive, and work our way up to the advanced.  During the day, the sun’s course…traveling from east to west in the sky is your first field expedient tool.  This method is termed the Shadow Tip Method and can help you find true North. The following video will explain the Shadow Tip Method.

How to Find True North

Emplace a straight stick about a foot long into the ground.  The stick will throw a shadow.  Where the shadow ends (the tip) mark that point with a stone.  Then wait at least a half an hour.  The shadow will move, in the opposite direction of the sun’s travel.  Where the tip ends up, mark with a rock.  Then draw a straight line between stone #1 and stone #2.  This line gives your east-west axis line.  Remember: point number 2 will be back towards the east…on the right of the east-west line.

Now draw a line perpendicular, or 90 degrees through the middle of your east-west line.  That new line will be your north-south line.  North is the top, and south is the bottom.  Cool beans?  Let’s keep going.  In times of limited sunlight, you can find moss-covered bases of trees…the moss almost always thrives on the north side for some arcane reason.  In addition, use your larger rivers…they almost always flow from north to south.  These are field-expedient methods, but they work.

Navigate by the Stars

The stars are another one of nature’s navigation tools we can use. On a clear night where the stars are visible, you can use the Big Dipper.  The front edge of the “cup” …those two stars…the base star distance to the top edge star…stay in alignment with these two.  Use your fingertips to approximate these points, and then five increments (five times) that distance in the same direction as those two stars, and you’ll run right into the North Star.  It is not that bright, but it is solitary and singular.  And you can confirm it.On the opposite side of the sky, you will find the “Lazy-W,” also known as Cassiopeia.  This constellation…take the middle star in the “W” and using the left edge of the letter’s first two stars…do the same thing that you did for the Big Dipper with your fingertips.  Approximate five of these increments from that middle star in the “W” out from the center, and you will once again “hit” the North Star…also known as the “Pole” Star.  Of all the stars, the Pole Star remains constant.

Finding north is important, because if you know where you are in relation to where you want to be, the North Star can give you your direction…a straight line axis from your position.  South is opposite, and then you can draw an East-West axis line across it…to estimate your direction of travel.

Using a Compass

Now comes the “fun”lensatic compass part…the compass!  Taking the guesswork out of it.  There are many on the market, and JJ’s preference is the Tritium Lensatic Compass of the United States Army.  You can do much with this piece of equipment.  It will give your azimuth (direction based on the 360 degrees of a circle) for a direction of travel, as well as your cardinal N-S-E-W directions.  The tritium is a radioactive element that allows the whole thing to glow in the dark without the introduction of light to “charge” it up.

 

The compass will run you $70.00 on Amazon.com, and it is by far the most dependable one there is.  I have had mine for more than 20 years without any problems: the most common being “sticking” caused by severe impact numerous times.  The best way to avoid this is to actually take care of the compass.  Seems simple enough, but most people bang them up and do not keep them protected when not in use.  It comes with a lanyard that can be looped through your equipment.  Don’t hang it around your neck, as it is strong enough to garotte you if you fall and catch it on something.

Yes, there are a host of electronic gadgets by Suunto and Garmin, and all, but these work by battery, and some are GPS.  What to do when an EMP strikes, or you run out of juice?  But the lensatic compass will see you through, and point you in the right direction.

In the next part of the Series, we’ll cover the finer points of using that lensatic compass, from simple cardinal directions and variants to actual direction with the azimuth.  We’ll cover declination (a must for you to know in your geographic locale), and some points on walking with the compass and use of it with a map.  Until then, start gathering your reference materials from part one and your compass.  Then we’ll plan our trekking!  Until then, keep up the good fight!  JJ out.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Wilderness Search & Rescue!

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Wilderness Search & Rescue! Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” On this episode of the 7 P’s of Survival radio we have Tyler Anderson back on the show to talk about wilderness search and rescue. You may remember Tyler from the two shows he was on here last year. We talked about Mountaineering and Caving. He … Continue reading Wilderness Search & Rescue!

The post Wilderness Search & Rescue! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

DIY: Five Gallon Bucket Washing Machine

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Homemade Washing machine

Awhile back my washing machine broke down over a holiday weekend.  Instead of hauling the dirty laundry to a How to make a washing machinelaundry mat, I decided that this would be a great opportunity to finally try out using a 5 gallon bucket to wash clothes.  Sometimes a little adversity is what you need to really be prepared.  Clothes washing was an item that had been missing from my preps for some time now and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test it out before the real SHTF.  This DIY washing machine is a homemade method you can use to wash clothes if you temporarily lose power or if the grid goes down.

By Tinderwolf from Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

Here’s What You Need

Here are the materials you will need:
One five gallon bucket (lid is optional, in my opinion)
One toilet plunger
Power drill or a utility knife

All of the above materials can be purchased for less than ten dollars, excluding the power drill.  If you are going to be best way to wash clothes for survivalusing a lid the first step is to drill a hole in the top.  Tip the toilet plunger upside down so that the top of the handle is touching dead center of the lid.  Trace a circle around the handle onto the lid.  If you have a power drill, find a large bit, I used a half-inch bit, and drill out the circle that you traced.  After the hole is cut out use a utility knife to clean up the edges where you cut.  If you do not have a power drill you can use a utility knife to cut out the hole, BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL AND TAKE YOUR TIME!

Also Read: DIY Water Filter

The plastic bucket is very durable so it can be difficult to cut by hand.  Next, I drilled eight holes into the rubber portion of the toilet plunger.  Ta-da! You are done!  If you want to make the deluxe model I have seen some where people have put a spigot or ball valve on the bottom of the bucket for draining the water.  I can see where being able to drain the water from a spigot could be helpful to those that might lack the strength to lift the bucket, but personally I found this feature to be unnecessary.

My Experience

Here is my experience with the bucket washer.  I found the bucket lid to be unnecessary.  The only purpose of the lid is to help contain water from splashing out.  If you are using this to clean your clothes than most likely you are completing this task either in your bathtub or outdoors, so some splashing water is not that big of an issue.  Also I am not splashing that much water as I am not going “all out” with the plunger, nice and steady is the key.

Related: DIY Family Water Purification System

The second reason I do not like using the lid is because it restricts the agitating motion of the plunger to up and down.  If the bucket is full of clothes the plunger can’t get all the way to the bottom of the bucket or get around all the clothes in order to agitate them.  I found pushing the plunger down from the side and diagonally helps to rotate all the clothes from top to bottom so that every piece gets properly washed.

Related: DIY Beer Can Stove

On some reviews I have read, it states that powder or homemade detergent works best.  I have not tried either of these but I have used liquid detergent with no observable issues.  The amount of soap I use is approximately one tablespoon. After adding the clothes and soap, it is time for the water.  Warm water seems to work best and I fill the bucket to around four inches from the top.  Now, it’s time to work out your arms.  For the wash cycle, I plunge the clothes for ten minutes, then I tip the bucket over and dump everything out into the bathtub. I wring out the excess water from the clothes and then place them back into the bucket.

The Rinse

For the rinse cycle, I fill the bucket back up with clean water and plunge for another five to ten minutes.  I dump the water and clothes out, wring the excess water from the clothes and hang them up to air dry.  I have found that smaller loads of clothes are easier to plunge and tend to get cleaner.  For best results I only fill the bucket halfway to three quarters of the way full with clothes.  I have washed about twenty loads of clothes using this process and thus far I am very happy with how clean the clothes come out.  I think this is something that everybody should have as it is very cheap to make and easily mobile.  I’m sure it would be a great item to throw in the car for those summer camping trips, because you just never know.

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Making Soap!

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Self-Reliance Skill: Making Soap Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” If you want to stay healthy post-disaster, then you need to learn how to make soap. Soap making is both an essential skill, and an easy craft to learn. Some people, however, are nervous to try making soap at home because it involves lye. Lye is … Continue reading Making Soap!

The post Making Soap! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Justin Vititoe from History Channels Alone!

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Justin Vititoe from History Channels Alone Josh “7P’s of Survival” This week we will have Justin Vititoe from History Channels Alone on the show and we will be talking about his life’s journey leading up to his choice to take part in ALONE. Once we learn a little about his background we will dig into … Continue reading Justin Vititoe from History Channels Alone!

The post Justin Vititoe from History Channels Alone! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

40 Shockingly Simple Skills That Today’s Millennia’s Have No Idea How To Do

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Millennials

By Mike Adams – Natural News

(NaturalNews) Behold the following list of amazingly simple skills that have somehow escaped Generation Snowflake. This is what happens when an entire society of teachers, parents and spineless community leaders tell young people they’re “awesome” and “amazing” even when they’re actually rather pathetic and clueless.

As you read this list, recognize that Millennials are just one event away from being removed from the human gene pool via natural selection following almost any disruptive event (power grid failure, natural disasters, war, etc.)

FACT CHECK: Find your closest Millennial neighbor and ask them to carry out anything on this list. If you can find any Millennial who can do any of these things, you may have accidentally stumbled across an Eagle Scout troop meeting. For the rest of today’s youth, they’re clueless!

Continue reading at Natural News: 40 Shockingly Simple Skills that Today’s Millennia’s Have No Idea How to Do

Filed under: News/ Current Events

The Quick and Easy Way to Make a Fishing Spear

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fishingCivilization makes life so easy, because you only have to be specialized in a handful of skills to survive. And the money those skills bring in will pay for everything else that you need in life. If however you’re ever stuck in the wilderness, you’ll find that you have to juggle countless responsibilities to survive. You have to build your own shelter, gather your own wood, protect yourself from predators, procure and clean your own water, and you have to find your own food.

And when it comes to food, you’ll require another layer of diverse skills. You’ll need to know how to forage and how to tell which plants are edible. You’ll have learn how to set traps and how to properly clean and cook the animals that you kill. And among many other skills, it would be useful to know how to catch a fish.

Obviously, if you’re struggling to survive in the wilderness, you won’t have a fishing pole and a tackle box. All you’ll have is your own bare hands and what you can make with them. While you could make a rudimentary fishing pole, in many cases your best bet would be to simply wade into some shallow water and spear the fish yourself.

While an ordinary sharpened pole can work well for this task, you’ll be more successful with a four pronged spearfishing pole. Fortunately, they aren’t too difficult to make out of the typical vegetation you’d find in the forest. Here’s how it’s done:

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

Paying Attention

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Does it seem like nobody is paying attention? My observation is that the default mode most people operate in is “distracted.” No matter if it’s talking on the phone, eating, drinking, texting, or talking the end result is the same, degraded situational awareness. Most of the time, the results are relatively harmless. If I physically […]

The post Paying Attention appeared first on Smart Suburban Survival.

Some Basics on Living a Self-Reliant Lifestyle, Part 1

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self relianceReadyNutrition Readers, you’ve been prepping for a long time, and you diligently follow the exchange of information on this and other websites.  You have been laying in stores and provisions, equipment, seeds, books, medical supplies, tools, and specialty gear.  You have been planning, training, and preparing for that eventual day that everything as we know it comes to a halt.  We know that preparations are never complete, but you’re 99.9% there.  Now what?

It’s sort of akin to coming off of an adrenaline rush.  OK, you’re about as ready as you can be.  Now, the disaster/SHTF hasn’t happened yet.  So what do we do?  Here’s an answer to that question that you can blend into what you have already accomplished.  None of your efforts are being repudiated; you can attempt to continue your preparations by living as much of a self-reliant lifestyle as possible.

Thoreau and Emerson aside, there are ways of being self-reliant without just simply living in a cave in the woods (although caves can be an excellent residence or shelter).  Here is the first point to a self-reliant lifestyle, and it is one of the most important ones:

 Self-reliant lifestyles are going to have a different definition for different people

This statement is because the needs of one family are not the same as the needs of another.  The Jones and Smith families want to live lives as self-reliant as possible.  The Jones family has two twin boys who are 13, and an 8-year-old girl who is a diabetic.  The grandfather, Mr. Jones Senior needs the use of a wheelchair.  The Smith family has an 18-year-old daughter who is a very good athlete, and a 14-year-old boy who is blind.

The two families have different situations, and therefore in order to be self-reliant, there are medical conditions and physical limitations that must be taken into account.  The Jones girl needs a steady supply of insulin, a drug that requires refrigeration, and her grandfather needs the wheelchair to move about.  The Smiths have a boy who cannot see, and precautions must be taken to keep him safe and healthy.

4 Self-Reliant Concepts to Consider

1. Self-reliance means you must provide for and take care of each family member’s needs, especially from a medical/caregiver standpoint.

This seems as if it’s just common sense, but it is not.  I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of people who move to Montana because they want to live in the remote wilds, but are unprepared to support their family’s needs because they have either assessed those needs incorrectly or discounted them in the pursuit of their goals.

In order to be self-sustaining, you have to provide for yourself (prep) for when it hits the fan, but you also have to live in the “now” until the SHTF.

2. You must correctly assess what your needs are and realistically pursue a course of action to fulfill those needs in order to be self-reliant.

Where do you live?  Do you live in a state that has no property taxes?  What is your employment potential?  Do you have a means of making a living that you are not required to punch a clock and report to a cubicle?  Can you work in your home?

What kind of home will you choose for yourself and your family?  What kind of transportation will you need, and what kind of daily commute for yourself and/or members of your family?  Are you all in agreement as to the type of lifestyle you will live in?  Do you have a home-based business that all members of your family can (and want to) participate in?

3. Self-reliance is still going to leave you reliant on someone

Unless you’re going to the Thoreau/Emerson model, which still cannot be classified as self-reliance as these guys returned to human society after their self-imposed hermitages/exiles, your life of self-reliance is going to leave you reliant on someone.  Humans are social in nature.  You’re going to require something from someone eventually, either in the neighborhood of supplies, medical attention, or just someone to socialize with.  Unless you are either a gargoyle or some kind of a nut, you will, at the bare minimum, need some kind of human companionship.  So what can we do?

4. We can return to the basics of living, and do it in a manner that does not inflict severe pain upon ourselves or our family members in the process of doing it

We can cut wood for our woodstoves and heat our homes with them or the fireplace.  When the chainsaws run out of juice after the SHTF, we will need to use axes, bowsaws, mauls, and wedges.  We can learn to make our own canned goods by home canning, and grow our own food.  We can either raise livestock and/or hunt for our own food.  We can brain-tan hides and make our own furniture.  All of these things are crucial survival skills that we can also blend into our day-to-day existences.

And in the meantime, we need to keep up with maintenance on our property, taking care of repairs, taxes, mortgage payments, and the like.  The next installment of this series will suggest some home-based businesses that can be used to produce viable income and also generate supplies that can be used for barter.  We’ll examine the self-sustaining household, or “spread” in terms of its component parts, and try to further define what it means for each family to be self-sustaining in a world that is rapidly turning toward the “Soylent Green” model.  Until then, keep your powder dry and remember we’d love to hear your thoughts on these matters.

 

JJ

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Seven Things I Wish I Had Known When I Began Prepping

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smart preppingHave you gotten bit by the prepper bug? Millions all over the world now consider themselves to be preppers.

I bet you’ve spent hours on the internet searching for the ultimate solar radio, the most comprehensive food storage inventory list or maybe which water filtration system to use. We have all been there, usually late at night by the warm glow of the computer screen.  I get it. I was and still am the same way. As with all new endeavors, we learn as we go and gain knowledge from our experience. There were some things I do wish I had known when I started.

  1. Rotation, rotation, rotation

I do not want to think about all of the food I have thrown away. Is life really that busy that I forget to rotate? I do not remember even buying minestrone soup 6 years ago! Rotating food is one thing I really struggled with. After time I have found what works for our home.

  • Store 3 months of food that you normally eat in easily accessible places. Kitchen cupboards, the pantry and extra shelves if you have the space for them. This way, you don’t forget what you have, as in “out of sight, out of mind.”
  • Move large items (crockpots, holiday kitchen items, etc.) to a different part of the house to make more room for food in your kitchen. If you see it, you will cook with it.
  • Plan meals from what you have in your cupboard. It will remind you of what you have and need to use.
  • If you have an additional freezer, organize it by food type. Chicken on one shelf, pork on another, fruits and vegetables in the bins. This method will let you know what you eat more of and allows you to adjust your shopping and menus accordingly, and yes, I do keep some ‘food storage’ food in my freezer.
  • Rotate the items in your car kits, bug out bags and work bag. Extreme hot and cold can make some items go bad, taste odd or expire earlier than thought.
  1. Smart prepping is trying it out first

Speaking from experience I can tell you that putting a new camp stove together in the dark with hungry kids around is not fun. How hard could it be to put a new stove together, right? After a few frustrating experiences with new things, I have learned to try things our first. Some things we have learned to try out:

  • Food that looked good on the label were not always as tasty. Certain brands we no longer buy. Store what you like to eat, but be sure to try it out first.
  • Try new foods out at home, not over the camp fire or in an emergency. If it works, you know right then and there! If it does not, you can prepare something else for dinner or enjoy take out.
  • Directions on the box are not always as clear when assembling anything the first time. We have made purchases where there were no directions included or they were in a language none of us spoke. That is when the internet came in handy. You can download and print out instruction manuals but this would be difficult, if not impossible, under duress, such as a power outage.
  • Sometimes parts are missing. It is better to take something back to the store sooner than later.
  • The first few times you practice an evacuation drill, it will be a disorderly mess. It is during those drills that you learn what you are forgetting and gives you the chance to practice. This drill is what now reminds us to store our computer files and pictures on an external hard drive.
  • Eat a meal or two from your bug out bag. It can be life changing. Eat a meal or two without your kitchen appliances. Use your grill, solar oven, etc.…
  • Wash your clothes by hand. Learn how to dry and hang clothes on a clothes line properly. Here are tips for taking care of laundry during a power outage.
  • Camping/survival gear should be used first in a non-emergency situation. The four room tent that we purchased was easier to set up in the back yard in the middle of the day than it would have been if we were in a stressful situation. I keep at least one tent on hand for possible using indoors during a winter power outage. Here’s more info about that.
  1. Store more water than you think

Water has been stored in every room in my home. Under sinks and in closets are the usual hiding places, but I’ve been pretty creative in finding other spaces. What is surprising is how often they have been used.

Water to our house has been turned off for repairs, more times than I want to remember. During these time we have always been shocked at the amount of water we used. Thankfully it was not in a time of emergency. Nevertheless, we opened more bottles than we thought we would. It was a real eye-opener at the amount of water needed to support a household. Even if there is an emergency and you conserve the amount of water used, you will need more than you realize. We found that during our non-emergency times, water was used for:

  • Washing hands after bathroom use
  • Flushing toilet (only #2)
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Wiping down counters, stove, table, sink
  • Washing hands during meal prep, especially after touching meat
  • Drinking, making drinks
  • Water needed for making food and rehydrating freeze-dried and dehydrated food
  • Washing hands that just got dirty

Lesson learned. You use more water for more things than you probably realize.

  1. Remembering to pack and update bug out bags

I remember being so excited to have our bug out bags organized, labeled and perfectly packed. I was beaming with pride as I put them in the closet. And that is where they stayed for a very long time. Cleaning them out years later was a bit discouraging. So we came up with a plan!

The first weekend of April and October we update our bags. In April, we replace anything that is close to its expiration date. This is usually food and medical items. In April the warmer winter clothes are replaced with summer clothes. In October we go through again and put back our winter wear. During this time we go through the home and check smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms and stock up on batteries for our radios and flashlights.

Print out this list of things to consider packing in your bags/kits.

  1. Set money aside each month

It is easy to let your enthusiasm for prepping take over your bank account. Looking back, I would have set a specific amount of money aside each month. It gives you the opportunity to save for larger items if needed. Having money for this purpose allows you to take advantage of clearance items or great sales you may run across. Once we practiced this in our home, my husband and I felt we were more in sync with each other on preparing our family.

Buying that four room tent, on clearance, was much more thrilling because we knew the money was already there for the purchase. It does not matter how much you can afford to save. Every bit counts and it adds up. Find time to go over your budget and decide how much of your funds you can put in an envelope towards your prepping.

  1. Store books

I have realized that the more I learn, the more I forget. The internet is so dependable when I need answers, so why try to remember everything? But what happens when there is not electricity or access to the internet?

Over the last 15 years I have been collecting books that I can lean on when an emergency happens. The books vary in topic, preserving food, medical manuals, old cookbooks, knot tying, animal trapping, psychological health and physical fitness, and making shelters. Included are books that can help me mentally and emotionally get through difficult times. Some of these are self-help and motivational books, a journal, a Bible and other religions materials. Many of these books are inexpensive and can be found at thrift stores and online. The Red Cross has a lot of their manuals on their web site that you can download and print out. Some cities also offer free materials to the community.

Dr. Joe Alton’s book, The Survival Medicine Handbook is a must-have, as is this complete family survival guide.

  1. Teach/train family

Having five kids, it did not take long to figure out that I can do things faster without help. Not only faster, but the right way with less mess. Much of the preparedness took place after they were in bed and I could get something done, uninterrupted. Looking back I wish I would have involved my children even more in preparing. Around the age of 8, they were helping with bug out bags and little ones were helping in the garden. But I did not include them in other areas of preparedness. If I could go back I would include them more in:

The kids have turned out fine, considering their lack of involvement in the beginning. Though difficult and time consuming, it is better to include them in as much of the preparation as possible. Habits are created and lessons are learned during those moments that cannot be re-created at other times.

Check out this list of 32 practical skills for kids and urban survival skills.

As the children became teens, they lost the child-like enthusiasm to help. Not surprising. Involving the family in outside activities that teach your kids preparedness skills can help to. Thankfully, the Scouting program was there for my sons to reinforce the “Be Prepared” things we were doing at home. Classes and service projects in your community can provide an occasion to learn new skills and put into practice the ones you have. Remember to include your children when doing:

  • Home repairs
  • Car maintenance and repairs
  • Gardening/food preservation
  • Laundry and sewing
  • Menu planning and shopping
  • Budgeting and some financial matters

smart prepping

 

 

Finding Your Way: Land Navigation Series, Part 1 – The Pace Count

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“A soldier is never lost, he’s just temporarily disoriented.”

– An old Army saying

Well, ReadyNutrition Readers, you’re not lost, as you have found this site!  Today we’re going to cover some of the finer points of land navigation.  “Map reading” is an oversimplified term that does not cover the broader, more comprehensive category of land navigation, or “land nav,” as we referred to it in the service.  It is very important skill to learn and takes time and practice to develop effectively.  Let’s get started.

I recommend the older Army publication for a reference guide, the one I’m familiar with that I can recommend to you by experience: FM 21-26 Map Reading and Land Navigation.  It gives you everything you need.  The newer manual is FM 3-25.26 (entitled the same), and although I’m sure it is worthwhile, I don’t know it.  I have to give you what I know, and what I know that works as your basis for land nav.

Learn to Pace Count

If you’re hiking across unimproved terrain, you need a pace count for yourself.  I have been “brought up” with Uncle Sugar…the Army’s method…that is in meters, as all military maps are in kilometers and meters.  Don’t worry: if you have one of the Army’s maps, it has a conversion scale to feet and miles.  If you feel the need, stick with English units, but the meters are easier to add and adjust while you’re backpacking along.  Now we’re going to show you how to figure out your pace count.

Start off by using a tape measure (the longer the better) to measure from a fixed point (point A), and measure off 100 meters, and mark that point (point B).  Trees are excellent for this, and you can tie off a ribbon or string to A and B to always be able to use them.  Start from point A, and take a comfortable walking step, and then another.  These two steps constitute a pace. Left, right is one.  Step with the left and count on the right, all the way up until you’ve reached point B.  The number is your pace without any equipment.  Mine happens to be 65.

How To Mark Meters

When you’re wearing a backpack, your pace count changes and is increased, because you have more weight to bear and you end up taking shorter steps.  When I have my rucksack on, my count is 70.  These numbers (unencumbered and encumbered) constitute your pace counts for each, respectively: you must memorize them!

Now what?  Well, once you have that, you then need to figure out a way to mark off your groups of 100 meters.  Pace count beads are what I used in the service.  It is nothing more than a string of 550 parachute cord with 9 sliding discs or beads, a knot, and another 4 sliding discs that terminate in a knot and the whole thing is tied off on your equipment (camelback, pocket, etc.).  As you travel 100 meters, slip a disc down, and so on.  When you’ve slid all of them down, then with your 10th hundred meters, slide one of the top four down and reset the bottom 9 back to their original position.  The top measures kilometers, or “klicks” that constitute 1000 meters per “klick.”  This distance equals 6/10 of a mile, for your conversion.

Therefore, if you travel 8 klicks, you have covered 4.8 miles.  Simple enough, right?  But it takes practice.  Other adjustments you must make are with regard to terrain.  The rougher the terrain, the more objects (stumps, large holes, rocks, etc.) you will have to bypass, and this will force you to adjust your pace count accordingly.  Night, inclement weather, water features, and thick vegetation will take both considerable practice and additional adjustments to gauge the distance you have traveled.  Bad guys add even more!

nav picI have enclosed this photo from Amazon.com where you can order them listed as “Army Ranger Pace Count Beads,” for $4.00 a set.  If you are the way I am, you can also make your own.  You’ll be able to figure out your distances up to 5 klicks (3 miles) using the beads, and then you’ll have to reset them and keep a count of the 5 klick increments.  Jot them down on paper, or put a pebble in your pocket for each increment.  The latter method works best in inclement weather.

If you don’t prefer to use the military method, you can take that tape measure and figure out a pace count in feet.  You can accomplish it by doing it in 100 foot increments, as it is then easier to add, but it will be time-consuming this way.  I strongly recommend using the metric system for your pace count.  You can easily convert to feet and after a while it becomes second nature where you won’t even have to write anything down and can do it mentally.  Also, you can always use a civilian map and convert the miles easily to kilometers (divide miles by 2.2), and if you come across a military map?  Oh, you’ll be doing good, because you’ll have the unit down…and military maps are very detailed.  We’ll discuss them later.

Your pace count is your key to movement and land navigation on your feet.  It is the basis for your two components of land navigation when traveling from one location to another: distance and direction.  In the next part of the series we’re going to cover the direction component.  Until then, happy pace-counting, and remember: practice makes perfect!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Jose From History Channel Alone!

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Jose From History Channel Alone  Josh “7P’s of Survival” This week we will have Jose Martinez Amoedo from History Channel Alone on the show and we will be talking about his life’s journey leading up to his choice to take part in ALONE on The History Chanel. Once we learn a little about his background we … Continue reading Jose From History Channel Alone!

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Brandon Burroughs from Infidel Anvilworks!

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Brandon Burroughs from Infidel Anvilworks Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” On this show we have a special guest, Brandon Burroughs from Infidel Anvilworks. Brandon has been a guest on 7P’s of Survival show and recently he came into some forging materials and wanted to start his own forge. Tonight he will be talking about his passion and … Continue reading Brandon Burroughs from Infidel Anvilworks!

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A Nifty Tip for Keeping Your House Cool When the Grid Goes Down

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thermometerWhen most preppers imagine all the ways that a collapse of the power grid could hurt civilization, they usually think of our food distribution networks, water systems, financial networks, and the internet. But one thing that usually isn’t at the top of that list of concerns, is the heating and cooling of our homes.

That’s probably because we know that human beings have lived in extremely hot and cold climates for generations, and many of us just assume that if the grid goes down, we’ll find a way to deal with the temperature outside. This is no small matter however, especially when it comes to air conditioning. If it weren’t for the invention of AC, there would be tens of millions of people who never would have bothered moving to the Southern US or the Southwest. A city like Phoenix would never have 1.5 million people without affordable AC units in every home. If the grid went down now, a large swath of the American population would be living in a climate that they have no idea how to deal with.

And unlike heating, there really aren’t any comparable non-electric alternatives to cooling your home. If you lived in the northern climbs of the US, then you probably aren’t far from sources of firewood, but non-electric cooling methods never work as well as an AC unit. Swamp coolers work really well and use very little electricity, but that’s about as good as it gets. Plus, they only work well in low humidity environments.

While unpowered cooling methods simply can’t compete with AC units, there are still some methods of cooling your home that can take the edge off the heat. One of the newest methods involves a device called the Eco-Cooler, and it is incredibly simple.

The Eco-Cooler is nothing more than a board filled with half cut soda bottles. It works by compressing and cooling outside air before it enters your home. It’s just like when you exhale with an open mouth the air is warm, but when you purse your lips and blow, the air that comes out is cool.

eco-cooler youtube

The board is placed over a window; preferably one that is facing the wind. The air goes into the bottles, gets compressed and cooled as it’s pushed into the neck, and then cool air enters your home. The only concern that isn’t addressed in the building instructions, is the possibility of bugs entering your home through the holes. I’d wager that a mesh of some kind could be easily added over the holes, which might actually help compress the air even more.

As stated previously, it’s no match for the air conditioning unit that you probably have in your home right now, but in an emergency the Eco-Cooler can reduce the temperature inside your home by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Not bad for a non-electric device that’s made out of trash.

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

Back to Nature: 5 Tips for Getting Your Kids Outdoors

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 With so much time spent in front of screens, it’s no surprise that our attention spans are getting shorter, our sleep is getting fitful, and our anxiety is climbing. What’s worse, our children are suffering from obesity, they are losing valuable life/preparedness skills, and they are out of touch with the rhythms of nature.

We all know there is more to life than sitting inside. It is time to consider getting back to the very core of what family time is about – reconnecting with one another by doing activities together. Summer is the perfect time to disconnect from Netflixing and our computers and get outside. Author Richard Louv’s groundbreaking book Last Child in the Woods touches on all of the benefits that come from getting kids off of the couch and outside.

But how do you compete with electronics and entice a kid to spend time outdoors? Here are 5 tips to get your kids back to nature.

5 Tips for Getting Your Kids Outdoors

  • Plant a seed: If you already have a garden, this one is easy, but all you need is a little piece of dirt to get started. Simply allow your child to pick out a flower, fruit, or vegetable of their very own and plant it in a suitable location. Encourage children to do their own research about which plants will do the best in their region and at this time of year. Try not to intervene too much—put your child in charge of planting, watering, marking, and watching their seed sprout and grow. Kids will take pride in knowing that they’ve succeeded in growing something and checking on their plants every day will give them a reason to get outside.
  • Photograph wildlife: older kids who are obsessed with their iPhones can put those selfie skills to good use—give them photography assignments to capture the creatures that live in your neck of the woods. You can even make it a kind of photographic scavenger hunt by assigning certain points to certain animals (a Bigfoot sighting gets them 1000 points!)
  • Sleep outside: have kids take their bedtime routine to the great outdoors. Set up a tent, gather some flashlights, and maybe even pack some fun snacks. Younger kids will of course need mom or dad to stick around while older kids can feel a sense of pride for staying outside all night (obviously a fenced yard is preferable if you’re going to be letting them try this solo).
  • Build a fort or shelter: all it takes is a trip to the hardware store for some plywood and 2x4s (or get creative and recycle an old bookshelf or other piece of furniture) and a little imagination and your kids will have a secret lair or fairy fort. Let the littles create a blueprint and then watch them bring it to life. Younger kids will need help wielding tools but in a pinch even a cardboard structure can be a fun (and temporary) feature in your backyard.
  • Start a collection: a leaf, flower, or rock collection is a great way to encourage kids to forage in the yard. Press leaves and flowers between the pages of a book before pinning them in an album. Rocks can be painted or polished and featured in a shadow box or glass jar.

Remember that kids look to adults to learn how to regard the natural world. If they see you enjoying your coffee out on the porch swing or spending time decompressing on a walk around the neighborhood, they will look to nature as well.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Stealth Native American Skills That No One Else Has Mastered

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5 Stealth Native American Skills That NO ONE ELSE Has Mastered

Artist: Martin Grelle

Whether is was a matter of sneaking up on prey to catch their next meal, sniffing out enemies who might be nearby so that they could be avoided, or planning a sneak attack on enemies, one of the most notable skills that native people had was stealth.

When Europeans came to the New World, they were often amazed at how native people seemed to be able to walk through the woods almost without sound. When you consider the amazing hearing of most animals, it makes you wonder just how hunting parties managed to get close enough to their prey to make a kill!

In the times before the white man walked in the New World, there were no telescopes, no long-range rifles, no binoculars. How did native people manage to get so close to game and avoid their enemies?

1. Walk silently

It seems backwards to most of us, but indigenous tribes know that walking silently means walking toe to heel, not heel to toe. The native way of walking was to take smaller steps (no more than three feet or so) and place the toes on the ground first. The weight of the body should rest on the back leg. This allows you to check the noise value of the ground you are about to step on. This way, if there is a twig hidden under leaves, you will feel it with your toes before it makes much of a sound. This enables you to change your footing, if needed.

If the ground under your toes appears (and sounds) like a quiet step, you can now put your heel on the ground and transfer the weight to your front leg. Once your toes are on the ground, roll on the outside of the foot until your heel is firmly in place.

Discover The Secrets Of The Word’s Top Survivalists!

This is the exact opposite to how most of us walk, and it will take some practice if you hope to acquire this valuable skill. Practice on a wide range of surfaces. Once you think you have the hang of it, get a friend to turn their back on you, while you sneak up behind them. See if they can hear you or if they can tell when you are within “attack” range.

2. Be ultra quiet

While walking toe to heel is considered to be the main stealth skill, there are other things that matter. For example, no matter how silent your feet might be, if you are singing, talking, whistling or even breathing loudly, you will be heard! This is one reason why native people learned the songs and whistles of native birds. They could signal one another with natural sounds that few would suspect.

Being aware of noise makers on your person is another factor to consider. Your equipment, shoelace ends tapping on your shoes, nylon pants rubbing against your legs, a clanging water bottle or rifle, all make noise that, while it might not be much, will sound like a trumpet in the quiet of the woods.

3. Watch your posture

Most people walk with their backs hunched forward and their heads up. This will naturally put most of your body weight on your front foot, which you don’t want. Learn to bend at the knees and keep yourself as low as possible while still keeping the upper part of the body erect. Yes, this means leg strength, so you might want to consider doing more squats to increase the strength of your thigh muscles.

5 Stealth Native American Skills That NO ONE ELSE Has Mastered

Artist: Frank Holloway

While you are bending at the knees, keep your hands and arms at waist level. Use your hands (palms down) to balance and further help distribute your weight. In the dark, or even in places where the light level is very low, this can help you avoid smacking low tree branches. Picture the form: knees bent, torso erect, hands spread wide between rocks or trees. This is the perfect position to pounce upon unsuspecting prey or move quickly if you are suddenly ambushed.

4. Breath differently

If you have ever watched a horror film and watched someone find a great hiding space, only to give it away with their labored breathing, you will find that this is a true fact, not just a movie stunt.

Of course, you need to breathe, but be aware of how loudly you are breathing. Many people find that they can breathe more quietly with their mouth open.

Another trick that indigenous people used was not staring directly at the person or animal until they were within range and ready to attack – believing that humans and animals could sense, somehow, that someone is watching them.

If you are not in a position to shoot or if you simply want to avoid being seen and your prey looks at you or even in your general direction, do not assume you have been spotted. Freeze right where you are. Eyes will quickly catch movement, but objects that are stationary, not so much.

Depending on your skin tone and what your purpose is, you might want to consider the lighting. This is why most native people painted their face and upper body (even their horses) with streaks of black and dark red. This helped them appear more like shadows. If you have very light-colored skin and will be in a low-light area, you might want to cover it with some streaks of dirt. While an animal might not recognize a shadow, a person surely will. Be aware of your position in the sunlight to avoid projecting a human shadow. Many native tribes tried to keep the sun on their back as they knew that most animals, and people, will turn their faces away from direct sunlight.

5. Check the wind

While you most likely could not smell a deer or a person (unless that person was using perfume or lacked deodorant) until you were almost upon them,  almost all animals have a better sense of smell than you. If the wind is chasing your scent directly to your prey, even an average deer can smell you coming from half a mile away! All the stealth in the world won’t help if your prey can smell you coming. Check the wind, no matter how slight, and be certain that you are upwind!

What Native American stealth skills would you add? Share your knowledge in the comments below:

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

Bass and Bluegill : Two SHTF Protein Sources You Haven’t Considered

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fishReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, there are a few words that need to be mentioned regarding Bass and Bluegill from a survival perspective.  As preppers and adherents to the survival lifestyle, you are well aware of how important protein is for your diet.  After a SHTF scenario, we are going to be forced to return (at least partially) to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.  Such a change can best be effected if you are cognizant of all avenues open to you.  One of those good avenues is taking advantage of pan-fish as a source for your protein.

I found the following chart you may wish to save for your records:

Bass and Bluegill Nutritional Values, Fried, 3-ounce serving

Calories 211 Sodium 484 mg
Total Fat 3 g Potassium 291 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 15 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 1 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 20 g
Cholesterol 31 mg
Vitamin A 1% Calcium 2%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 11%

As can readily be seen from this chart, bass and bluegill (in relatively small amounts, mind you) provide substantial amounts of protein, along with valuable electrolyte minerals, such as sodium and potassium.  (Source)

Now there is a lot more to it than just knowing the nutritional values for these fish.  Suffice to say that Bass and Bluegill can be found throughout the United States, and are fairly easy to catch.  You can fish for them with something as simple as some line, a hook, and a bamboo/sapling-type pole.  You can even catch fish without a hook – you just need to know how! Meat fishing is decidedly different from sport fishing.  I strongly recommend studying some books on these two species of fish.  They’re in season now.  For your home state, it is best to visit either the county extension office or the USFS (U.S. Forestry Service) for more detailed information and maps as to the prevalence of these two fish species.

The bass really go for minnows, worm, and crayfish, and the bluegill for the former two.  I have never really liked the artificial lures and spinners, even though many people have great success with them.  Crayfish can be found in the streams and lakes where the bass abound.  If you aren’t experienced in capturing these guys, be careful, as they are similar to a miniature lobster and can inflict a good pinch on you with their pincers/claws.

When you hook them to use for bait, you should try to place your hook in them between thorax and tail, from the top.  If you hook it from the bottom it will cause them to present upside-down, and the bass (who hunt from sight) will know that something’s “fishy.”  Plus, you want them to travel backwards, which is their normal manner.  Worms are not as complex; however, your object should be to not disable the animal to a degree that it doesn’t even move on the hook.  Another consideration is that you must make sure the hook will be taken by the fish.  Worms and minnow are good both for bass and for bluegill.  The crayfish is a little tough for the latter to handle, except if he’s a really big bluegill or your dealing with an exceptionally-small crayfish.

Cooking fish can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are even recipes that will use up the odds and ends that you normally don’t eat. Remember: In an emergency, you want to know how to make use of everything you have. Practice your pan-fishing, and also practice building yourself a pyramid-frame hardwood smoker.  You can smoke your fish and dry them out over wood smoke.  This will preserve them; the time will increase accordingly with the amount of moisture you remove from the fish.  Salting is another method.  Why not take the time to (along with your fishing) practice the preservation of your catch?  You should also keep a notebook with you to record the locations and conditions of your excursions.

Remember you’re practicing to be a meat-fisherman who will provide protein either for yourself alone or for others of your family who are dependent upon you.  Also good as a skill to develop it the making of line, poles, and hooks from scrap materials.  “Zebco” won’t necessarily be around after the SHTF, nor will the “Bass Pro Shop.”  Use this time to hone your skills and learn the habits of these two common pan fish.  It can benefit you in the long run and add to your survivability for when it hits the fan.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Death of Geraldine Largay a Case Study!

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The death of Geraldine Largay a case study! Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” This week on the 7 P’s of Survival Radio Show we will be doing a case study on the Appalachian Trail thru-hiker Geraldine Largay who became lost on the Appalachian Trail July 22, 2013, survived for at least 26 days, died from hunger/dehydration … Continue reading The Death of Geraldine Largay a Case Study!

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Why Learning a Different Language Can Improve Your Survivability

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 Learning a foreign language (or several foreign languages) will give you and your family a distinct advantage when the SHTF.  A foreign language is akin to medicine in many regards.  You keep the medicine with you or nearby in case you need it.  The same thing applies to the ability to speak a foreign language.

Your location can determine which language to learn

First let’s ask the question, “Where do you live?”  I’ll give you a good example.  Here in Montana, being next to the Canadian border the ability to speak French has its advantages.  This is in relation both when traveling to Canada or when Canadians visit here.  Yes, it is English that we speak here; however, knowing that it is still an advantage when you use your intelligence to form contacts and interact with others.

That being said, perhaps you may live in upstate New York, or one of the Great Lakes states, and have business interests in Canada or contacts among the Canadians.  French can be a very valuable tool for you.  Not to mention the fact that you will also be able to interact with many Europeans from a conversational perspective who speak French and not English.

Then there are Americans who live on the border with Mexico.  Spanish is encountered constantly in states such as Texas, New Mexico, and California.  Spanish is the key to interaction in many instances in daily life.  If you’ll notice I mentioned all of this in the context of normal, everyday relations.  But what if everything “goes South” and the SHTF?

You may wish to know some Spanish not only to gain a heads up on what is happening with the influx of the drug cartels and illegal aliens, but what if the Cubans and Nicaraguans (both Communist) participate in an invasion of the United States?  Arming yourself with Spanish can be a great help, from a military perspective and from a perspective of defending and surviving such an invasion.  The same with French.

Other languages to consider: Russian, Chinese, and German.  NATO forces use the latter language highly, and the former two are of countries that it is very possible will participate in an invasion of the United States when it hits the fan.  Now be advised, fluency is a goal, but you can arm yourself with conversational phrases and everyday speech and work your way up.

Berlitz used to put out a ton of different language guides…some of these books with multiple languages in one volume…to help with everyday speech.  It can mean the difference between life and death in certain situations.  If there is a medical emergency, or if you must convince someone pointing a weapon at you that you’re not a terrorist…there is always a situation that you may come to rely upon a language.  The best thing you can acquire is some sort of tutor, such as a private instructor or a course in a community college.  Augment this with self-study.

There are tapes/dvd’s, and online courses available.  You also have “Google Translator” to be able to compose letters and help you to study.  Remember: it is just as important to arm yourself with knowledge as it is to amass an entire warehouse of supplies.  Barter is another area that bears mentioning with regard to learning a foreign language.  You have a good supply of dried fish and canned fruit, and some Mexican traders (post SHTF) have a herd of goats.  It would really behoove you to make an inroad with them in their own language.  Also, it tells them they might not be able to put the screws to you and cheat you if they know you understand their language.

Think tactically in all matters

Language is not only a tool: it is a weapon, both defensive and/or offensive.  In the original “Red Dawn” movie, the Spanish kid that was one of the “Wolverines” snuck into the Russian and Cuban camp in a Cuban uniform and yelled out that the Wolverines were attacking, throwing many into pandemonium.  Then he leaped into a fighting position and went to town on them with a machine gun.  His action was diversionary, to confuse, and it was effective.

Do what you can and develop one or two languages so you can at least carry on a basic conversation.  It can do nothing but help.

                                  PELLEGRO – MINAS!

If you should see a sign posted by invading Cuban troops that reads as above?  It’s not San Pellegrino Mineral Water from Italy for sale.  Those words mean, “Danger – Mines!”  The kind of mines that explode.  Arm yourself and defend yourself by picking up a foreign language.  It is an investment that is long-term, and the benefits may not be realized, until you need it that one, critical time.  It can mean the difference between success or failure, in many ways.  Keep fighting the good fight, and good luck with your studies!  JJ out.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Become a Gray Woman

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It’s no secret that in a post-SHTF situation, most women will be at a distinct disadvantage. Men are perceived as stronger, more prone to violence, and naturally more intimidating than women. The only thing women can do to combat this is to use this perception to their advantage when becoming a gray woman.

We notice and remember people because they draw our attention. It could be they seem threatening, overly large, or intimidating. It could be they are dressed differently, walking faster or slower than others in the crowd or acting calmly when everyone else is in panic mode.

Whatever the difference, even if not consciously identified, their image stays in our mind and is easily recalled later. Women don’t naturally stand out for these reasons, and that’s what becoming a gray woman is about, going unnoticed, staying off the radar of others, being “hidden” even when you have to be out in the open.

Invisible but Not Weak

As a woman in most crowds and especially post-SHTF, appearing overly alert and tuned in will actually make you stand out. You need to be alert and aware without looking like you are. If you appear to be too weak, you will stand out as an easy target. On the other hand, if you appear to be too strong or aggressive, too in control of yourself and your surroundings, you will draw attention and be seen as a threat which could draw an attack.

Scent

If you’ve ever ridden an elevator with a woman who was wearing a particularly strong perfume, you understand how scent can draw attention unintentionally. In a post-SHTF situation, women need to forgo the use of perfumes and strong smelling soaps and shampoos, even if you have them stockpiled, because it will cause you to be noticed and possibly remembered by those you encounter. Scent can also be a dead give-away if you do find yourself in a situation where the only option is to hide out of sight.

Appearance

One area women overlook when becoming a gray woman is their appearance. Men have been conditioned to notice and remember how women visually look and dress. Pay particular attention to this fact, forgo the make-up, and try to dress so as not to attract unwanted attention from men in the crowd. Don’t go overboard and look mannish because that can draw attention as well. Wear jeans and khakis, and stick to colors that are plain such as blue, gray, green, tan, brown, and other earth tones.

Feminine Hygiene Needs

Go for reusable rather than the synthetic ones that can be bought and stockpiled. In a post-SHTF scenario, getting rid of any kind of trash will be tough. There won’t be garbage pick-up and accumulating trash is not only a health hazard but it’s a dead give-away to looters that someone is in the area. Food scraps can be fed to animals or buried to hide them and paper can be burned.

So, when it comes to feminine hygiene you’re going to have to consider going all natural or at least reusable. If you are handy with a needle and thread you can find patterns for pads on the Internet. You can make your own reusable pads out of just about any type of material but cotton and flannel are ideal because of their absorbency.

The other reusable option that comes to mind is called a silicon menstrual cup, sometimes called a moon cup or diva cup. This device can be bought online in advance and stockpiled. Each cup can be washed and reused safely for up for up to one year, possibly longer if you had no other option. For most women it’s not more uncomfortable than a tampon so the only inconvenience is washing it after each use.

Cooking

Although cooking during a post-SHTF situation may not be solely the responsibility of women, this is an area where women can cultivate their expertise and take a lead role. Learn how to cook outdoors over an open fire, over a camp stove, or even just hot coals. Learn what herbs and other additives you can use to enhance taste but that won’t linger in the air during cooking or long after the meal is served.

Situational Awareness

The thing that catches most people off guard is the element of surprise that often comes with dangerous situations, especially an attack, assault, or riot. Following a natural disaster or in a post-SHTF situation, the most important thing a woman can have to help her survive is situational awareness. This means being aware of your surroundings on a daily basis so that you are instantly alert to anything that is out of the ordinary and anything that could indicate danger is about to rear its head.

Situational awareness is about training yourself to be alert. It’s honing your observation skills including not only what you see, but what you smell, and what you hear so that you can be acutely aware of what’s happening or about to happen even outside of your vision field.

When you enter a building, any building, pay attention so that in an emergency situation you can act instinctively. This means take note of where the exits are, the location of fire alarm pulls, vending machines, a first aid kit, or if there is a vent system big enough to crawl through if you needed to stay hidden.

If you’re a mom, you are probably already somewhat aware of how to tune into what you hear that is out of sight. Most moms are able to listen to their kids playing in another room and “know” by their tone of voice, the sounds they hear or don’t hear, whether something is amiss. Hone that skill to tune into to other sounds as well. Pay attention to what the birds sound like on a normal day outside your home and how that changes when they feel threatened. Birds and even barking dogs can give you early warning of trouble if you pay attention to them.

The next time you go shopping with your family, practice observing things that are outside of your normal range of vision. Can you observe people walking behind you by glancing in storefront windows? When you stop for lunch, sit with your back to the wall and watch people as they enter. Then close your eyes and try to recall what they were wearing, carrying, or other distinct features about them.

Practice memorizing things quickly. Glance at the table when you sit down for lunch then turn away and try to write down everything that is on the table without looking at it. You can do this with license plates, drivers of cars that you pass, phone numbers, and even billboard signs.

Know Your Way Around

Make it a point to know the area that you are going to be in, whether it’s where you live, work, or visit. Take time to learn your way around your bug out location as well. When things get chaotic, your knowledge of the streets, alleys, and businesses around you could be the difference between life and death for you and possibly for your family. Make sure you have and carry updated topographical maps as well as maps of any underground routes such as subways or utility tunnels.

At the moment that you are able to escape a dangerous confrontation, knowing your way around the area when your opponent does not could just be the thing that saves your life.

Watch for Signs

Signs of trouble can be all around us if we are paying attention. If someone enters the bank in the heat of summer wearing a jacket, it could be a sign the bank is about to be robbed. If you hear an argument beginning behind you in the check-out line at the grocery store, it could be a sign that things are about to get out of hand. A slight change in the weather could indicate a fierce storm or tornado is brewing. If you learn to pay attention to the little things that most people take for granted, you’ll be alerted early to possible danger. Having even just a few moments notice of trouble can give you the time you need to get out of harm’s way.

Get Enough Sleep

One thing that is crucial, especially for women, is to get enough sleep. This is difficult during “normal” times but it is so important to being able to stay alert and healthy. In reality, you could be living your typical life one day and running for your life with your family in tow the next day. You won’t be at your best, you won’t be on high alert and ready to protect your family from danger if you are running on two hours sleep. With that in mind, getting the right amount of sleep every night is one way that you keep yourself prepared for whatever may come tomorrow.

Avoid Distractions

One way to develop situational awareness and to stay alert to what may be happening around you is to just avoid distractions such as cell phones, music iPods, or other electronic devices. When you are moving through town, whether on foot or by car, make sure you are paying attention to others around you. Is traffic moving normally? Is there someone in the crowd around you that is acting suspiciously? You definitely won’t notice these things if you are distracted by your phone.

The more you practice the skills above, the better you will get at blending in to your surroundings and going unnoticed. You will also develop increased situational awareness and “instinctively” know what is happening around you. You will be able to move about without being noticed by others when you want to and your Spidey sense will be activated automatically when danger is brewing. You will avoid becoming a target and will have extra time to take action to get out of the area in advance of danger.

The Prepper Family’s Summer Bucket List

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The Prepper Family Summer Bucket List via The Survival Mom

Summer is upon us, and that usually means more time spent together as a family as kids are out of school. Even homeschool moms take a few breaks in the summer. This time of year is a great time to hone your family’s survival skills. I’ve put together a summer bucket list for the prepper family. See how many things your family can check off this summer. Have fun with it and get your family involved!

Food

  • Identify and forage for wild edibles in your yard. (Have any dandelions?)
  • Garden but be sure to grow at least one new-to-your-family plant.
  • Cook a meal over a fire.
  • Give your food storage a once over for expiration dates and damage. Restock to desired supply levels.
  • Have children cook a meal by themselves in the house, with supervision.
  • Have children cook a meal by themselves on the grill. Supervise!
  • Have children cook a meal by themselves over the fire with plenty of adult supervision.
  • Make and eat your own MREs (Meals-Ready-to-Eat) from food storage (Freeze-dried food is great for this.)
  • Use your personal water filters at a local park.
  • Visit several local farmer’s markets to find local food sources.
  • When you start to get low on groceries, wait an extra day before shopping and eat from what is on hand.
  • Start a compost bin.
  • Put in a rain barrel.
  • Dehydrate a fruit, a vegetable, an herb, and some meat.
  • Can a fruit, vegetable, herb and some meat. Zaycon Foods delivers fresh chicken and other products around the country, making it easy to buy in bulk for a major day of canning.
  • Visit a local u-pick farm.
  • Have a day with zero food waste.
  • Grind wheat and make your own bread from it. (Extra points if you cook it over a fire.)
  • Rotate your water storage.
  • Only cook with cast iron for a week.
  • Sprout seeds

Emergency drills

  • Tornado drill
  • Fire drill (Check the batteries in smoke and CO detectors.)
  • Evacuation drill (Do 1-hour, 30-minute and 15-minute notice evacuation drills.)
  • No power for a full day and night.
  • Only use generator power for 6 hours.
  • “There’s no toilet paper!” (Cloth wipes, anyone?)
  • No running water for a full day and night. (Do not skip bathing or washing dishes!)
  • Minimize water down the drain for a day – reuse dish/bath/pool water in garden or for plants
  • Robbery/home invasion drill (Do several with the intruder coming in different doors/windows.)
  • Spend a day unplugged from electronic devices (no internet connection).

Put your supplies to work

  • Update your emergency binder. (Ask kids what important papers or pictures they might want to put in the binder.)
  • Check clothing and shoe sizes in vehicles, bug-out-bags and tornado/storm shelter.
  • Review your home library.
  • Add money to your cash stash by holding a yard sale.
  • Buy a tarp if you don’t have one, and then brainstorm all they ways they could be useful.
  • Rotate any gas/diesel you have stored and refill right away.
  • Check expiration dates on any bleach/sanitation supplies and restock.
  • Reorganize garden tools.

Learn or improve upon skills

  • Go camping. (Can your family live together for long in one tent? Reorganize the gear when you get home.)
  • Go hiking. (Figure out what weight each family member can comfortably carry in a backpack.)
  • Go fishing. (Try finding your own bait rather than buying any.)
  • Go biking. (Do your children know how to patch a bike tire?)
  • Have children start a fire from scratch.
  • Wash clothes by hand.
  • Go geocaching.
  • Have the kids use a paper map to get from point A to point B. (If you’re ambitious, create your own family Amazing Race.)
  • Build something functional from scratch with wood, a handsaw, nails and a hammer.
  • Make your own bug spray.
  • Make your own sunscreen.
  • Make homemade laundry soap.
  • Hone shooting skills at the range (Make sure to keep ammo stocked up.)
  • Sew something simple without using a sewing machine. (Learn a new stitch if you already know how to sew.)
  • Buy a new piece of cast iron and learn how to season it.
  • Identify 10 local birds.
  • Identify 10 local insects or small animals.
  • Identify at least 10 different trees that grow in your area.
  • Sharpen tools and knives.
  • Earn certifications in first aid and CPR. (Discuss defibrillators and epi pens, too.)
  • Have everyone try out a fire extinguisher.
  • Try starting a fire without a lighter or match.
  • Learn to tie 5 different knots.
  • Plan evacuation routes on a map and then actually drive those routes to become familiar with them.

Practice skills in different scenarios

  • Spend a day living out of your car. (Take notes on what you wish you had.)
  • Walk home from work. Bonus points if you can ably carry your emergency kit/bug out bag.
  • Show the kids how to walk home from school safely.
  • Do some summer school. (If you don’t homeschool, consider it a practice run if you should ever need to.)
  • Play the “What If …” game.
  • Discuss social media safety rules.

Fun and educational activities for your family summer bucket list

  • Go scavenging for supplies at garage sales (Among other things, look for reference books, camping gear, cast iron.)
  • Play board games, so you know the rules before you lose power and those games become a major form of entertainment.
  • Learn new card games. (Is there a deck of cards in your vehicle or bug-out-bag?)
  • Work on a family history tree and talk about family medical history.
  • Learn to play chess.
  • Do craft time using supplies from the recycle bin.
  • Read classic literature.
  • Make paracord bracelets.
  • See how many ways you can use a kiddie pool.
  • Find a local history or reenactment group and attend one of their events. (Get tips from the actors on how life was lived before electricity.)
  • Visit a local history museum or county historical society to see how people grew food by hand in your area.
  • Practice memorization with children — stories, emergency addresses and numbers, directions, songs.
  • Relax and go on a day trip or vacation. Discuss how you would handle some emergency situations en route and at your destination.
  • Write letters. Can your children read and write in cursive? Can they address an envelope and put a stamp in the correct corner?
  • Start learning a foreign language as a family. DuoLingo and Mango Languages are 2 free websites that teach foreign languages. Get their apps on your phones, too!
  • Get to know your neighbors. Take them cookies or host a neighborhood cookout.
  • Perform random acts of kindness.

After you check each item off your list, make sure to talk about what you learned as a family. Take notes on what worked, lessons learned, things to do better next time, and if there is anything to add to your survival supplies. Take pictures and create a photo book of the summer adventures as something you can look back on as a family. Creating a summer bucket list could be the start of a new family tradition. Don’t forget to add your own items to the list.

Want even more ideas for a fun summer?

The Prepper Family's Summer Bucket List via The Survival Mom

Post-Collapse Skill: Weather Forecasting

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A post collapse skill that would be very useful is the ability to make accurate weather forecasts several days in advance, without depending on modern technology (weather satellites, doppler radar, etc.). Weather has a huge impact on our lives. It affects our crops, our animals, our ability to do work, our comfort, and even our very life. Weather can destroy our property, and even kill people.  A knowledge of weather, and the ability to forecast it at least a day or two in advance, helps immensely in planning what we need to do and when, and in warning us when we need to prepare for possible dangerous weather events.

All weatherman jokes aside, it is possible to predict, with a fair amount of accuracy, the weather several days in advance.  And you don’t need modern technology to do so. A few basic instruments to monitor current conditions (temperature, humidity, wind direction & speed, and barometric pressure), along with the ability to recognize various types of cloud formations and good understanding of weather patterns, is really all you need. In fact, I’ve done this quite successfully.

My Meteorology Lab

Growing up I was a science geek (actually a “nerd” in those days). For Christmas during my seventh grade year, I got a Meteorology Lab as  present. It came with three main pieces: 1) an outside weather station to monitor wind direction & speed, temperature, humidity, and precipitation, 2) an inside station with a barometer to measure barometric (air) pressure, along with a set of cardboard wheels that could be dialed to the current specific weather conditions and give you a basic forecast, and 3) an instruction book and cloud chart (you would use the cloud types and cloud coverage % to refine the basic forecast), along with weekly cards for recording each day’s weather conditions.

I actually kept about four years with of daily records, before my equipment started to wear out and I lost interest. I couldn’t make forecasts more than a few days away. But, frankly, my forecasts for 1, 2, and 3 days away were at least as accurate as the local forecasts from professionals with way more expensive equipment.

My meteorology lab and records were thrown away many years ago, but I’ve developed a renewed interest in the subject, and really do think it will prove a very useful skill in any post-collapse scenario. I’ve recently pulled out my weather books (see the resources listed below), and am looking for a weather station similar to the one I used to have.

I plan on relearning my weather forecasting skills, and understand the microclimate of the area I’m living now by daily monitoring of my local weather. A fun hobby now, an important skill later… 

Resources (I have and can recommend these)

Golden Guide – Weather – This small book (4×6 inches, 160 pages) is a rather through introduction to the science of meteorology.  Filled with pictures and diagrams, it explains in an easy-to-understand way, the science of the weather and weather forecasting. Appropriate for middle-schoolers through adults.

Peterson Field Guide to the Atmosphere – An extensive guide to clouds and other weather  & atmospheric phenomenon, has over 400 photographs and illustrations, this book is currently out-of-print, but second-hand copies can still be readily found. A condensed version, Peterson’s Clouds and Weather, is available new. 

Weather: A Folding Pocket Guide to to Clouds, Storms and Weather Patterns – is a well-done, laminated fold-out chart to clouds, storms and weather patterns. 

Weather Stations

There are a wide variety of weather stations and meteorology educational kits available, with a wide range of appropriate age levels, capabilities, and prices. I haven’t yet found one similar to the one I had in school, and am still looking. If you have any suggestions, please leave it in the comments section!

How to Tie a Handcuff Knot

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by Karen

Sometimes, when we are in a situation where our survival is at stake we have to deal with people we would rather not have to deal with.  We have food, water, and supplies to protect.  More importantly, we have people to protect and we want to be sure we have a way to restrain people that cause trouble for us when needed.

The handcuff knot is a very clever knot that is capable of doing as its name implies, restraining someone by either the hands or the feet.  It is relatively easy to make, once you get the hang of it, and it can be made with the use of rope or any other number of webbing, strings, or lines.  Best of all, the handcuff knot is a brilliant knot that can help you out in other ways, as well.

Uses for the Handcuff Knot

The handcuff knot is useful when you need to restrain an individual, as mentioned above, by either restraining the hands or the feet.  This might be a looter or burglar or someone who is a threat to your survival, but someone you don’t want to injure if possible.  You can even use fishing line, if that’s all you have, to secure a person’s thumbs behind their back.  They won’t fight it because they will end up with the line cutting into their skin.  Once you have the person secured, you can easily lead them along with you if you are on the move or you can tie them to something to secure them and make sure they can’t get away.

Aside from restraining people, the handcuff knot is extremely versatile and has a number of other uses.  Let’s take a look:

  • You can use the knot to hobble an animal by securing the handcuff knot around the animal’s legs. This also allows you to haul or carry an animal carcass that you have hunted out of the woods and it may well have been the first use for this type of knot, the reason why it was created.
  • You can use the handcuff knot to create a fireman’s chair by securing the cuffs around the ankles and then pulling the person up by the rope. You need to be careful here when using a rope with a small diameter because there is a chance of cutting off the person’s circulation, so webbing makes a better choice.
  • You can use the handcuff knot to pull an unconscious person along with you (again, be mindful of the potential to cut off the person’s circulation).
  • When using webbing, you can use the handcuff knot as a harness in a variety of settings
  • Tie oars together and lash them to the rails of a boat.
  • Tie doubles of other objects together to secure them.

How to Make the Handcuff Knot

To make a handcuff knot you will need to take your length of rope and do the following:

  1. Make one loop by crossing the left side over the right side, so the right side crosses behind.
  2. Make a second loop identical to the first loop so you have two opposing loops.
  3. Cross the two loops in the middle.
  4. Grab the right side of the bottom loop through the middle of the top loop.
  5. Grab the left side of the top loop through the middle of the bottom loop.
  6. Pull the top loop through the bottom loop and the bottom loop through the top loop.

You will then have a set of handcuff loops that will work to restrain a person.  The cuffs can be tightened by pulling the loose or working ends of the rope.  Once you have someone restrained, you will need to tie the loose ends of the rope in a knot to secure the handcuffs.  This can be a regular overhand knot or a figure eight knot.  These knots will create a stopper that will make it so the cuffs can still be tightened, but they cannot be loosened, thus securing the captive person.

Check out this video to see how it’s done:

Knot Rating for the Handcuff Knot

All knots have a knot rating that provides the following information about a knot:

  • Difficulty: How difficult it is to tie the knot; the easier the knot is to tie, the lower the number
  • Strength: The strength of the rope with the knot that is specified (all knots weaken a rope to some extent); the higher the number, the stronger the knot
  • Security: This tells how well a knot will stay tied and not come loose even when subjected to a standard load; the higher the number, the more secure the knot is
  • Stability: This tells how well the knot will hold up under above normal loads, for example when the knot is pulled in wrong direction; the higher the number, the more stable the knot is

The different ratings for a knot are all on a scale of 1-5.  The handcuff knot rates as follows:

  • Difficulty: 4
  • Strength: 4
  • Security: 4
  • Stability: 4

How to Escape a Handcuff Knot

If you are tied up using the handcuff knot, it might be possible to escape from it.  Since it is rope that is restraining you, it is possible to cut it or untie it if the circumstances are right.  Here are the ways you can escape from the handcuff knot:

  • While looking as though you are being cooperative when being tied up, if you can hold your hands with knuckles toward your captor and keep a little space between your wrists (or ankles) it might keep the handcuffs of the knot from going too tight. This will provide you with some wiggle room to get out of the restraints.
  • Since you are bound with rope, you can cut yourself free if you can rub the rope on something sharp. This can be a piece of glass, a sharp rock, a nail sticking out of a board, or anything with ridges or a sharp edge.
  • If you have been tied in the front and you have not been gagged, you might be able to use your teeth to loosen the stopper knot on the handcuff knot. Even your fingers might be able to work at the knot because it has to be as close to your wrists as possible to create an effective stopper.  If the knot is too far away, you will be able to loosen the ropes, but if it is close to the wrists you can reach it with your fingers.

It does take a little time to get the hang of tying the handcuff knot, but once you have it, it is incredibly useful in a number of scenarios.  It is yet another knot that you can add to the growing number of knots you are learning to tie and yet another skill to add to your prepper skills.  Happy knot tying!

5 Steps to Creating a Culture of Self-Reliance in Your Family

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teaching self-relianceWe have all known people who save everything. My grandmother is one of them. If there are four green beans left in the pot, she puts them in the freezer. I remember one specific visit with her, 27 years ago, where she asked me to get her a bowl of ice cream. What I thought was the container of vanilla ice cream was actually a container of saved bacon grease.

Fast forward to today. She is now 96 years old, and still saving every last morsel and dollar. Grandma grew up during the Great Depression; those habits, ingrained in her when young, are still manifest today. The family snickers a little bit about it, but we know she will not outlive her money or her things. Isn’t there something reassuring about that? She has always worked hard at being self-reliant. Will our children be able to do the same?

As I watch the news and look around me, I wonder if another Depression wouldn’t do us some good. It wasn’t too long ago when life wasn’t so convenient. Many in our society have lost the mindset that our grandparents had. We have instant and immediate food, entertainment, communication, and information. Many feel that things will always be as good as they are now, but history does repeat itself. Perhaps one of the most important things we can do is prepare the next generation for whatever may arise.

Like those who have habits from the depression, you can make self-reliance and preparedness a part of your family culture. One of the most effective ways to do this is to live it every day. Whether we have children of our own or are involved in an organization such as a church or school, we have the power to instill preparedness values. Now is the time for us to equip the younger generation with skills that will help them be confident and prepared for anything life may throw at them.

READ MORE: Volunteer organizations and the 4-H Club are excellent choices for instilling values of self-reliance in young people.

If you have children I recommend that you have a weekly family council. Along with normal family business, make goals on implementing these principles of preparedness into your family. If you are part of another organization, teach classes or organize projects that encourage preparedness. Set the example by your actions.

Five Preparedness Principles

There are five principles that can generate a preparedness mindset:

Thriftiness and frugality

The longstanding adage “Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”, still holds true today. The importance of being thrifty and frugal is often forgotten. Clothes can be mended, altered and remade into other items. I have seen curtains reused to cover chairs, a table cloth became pillow covers and adult size clothes were remade into clothes for a younger child. Learn ways to take other household items and re-purpose them.

Another way to pinch pennies is to find out where all of your pennies are going. There are many forms online that can be used to assist in budgeting. Record your family’s expenses for one month and then gather together to review them. Are there any non-essentials that can be eliminated? Involve family members in creating a budget. Teach them to differentiate between wants and needs and set financial goals together. Save money for a vacation or purchase that the whole family can enjoy. Budget additional funds to be set aside for large purchases and for emergencies. Teach your kids now that it is not worth “keeping up with the Joneses”.

For more ideas:

Strive for independence

This would include independence from anything that prevents us from living to our full potential. Avoid any habits or addictions that restrict your body and mind. Eat healthy, exercise, surround yourself with good friends, and strengthen yourself spiritually and mentally.

Look at your finances. What can you do to be financially independent? Do not get into the habit of using credit for purchases. Many people look at the monthly payment amount versus the real amount of an item. If you have debt, pay it down now. There are many websites available to help accomplish this.

Time is another area where you can be independent. Choose how to prioritize and use it wisely, which would include helping others. Teach this next generation the importance of being kind and charitable. Donate money and time to projects you feel are worthwhile. There are many opportunities available in your own community or help out with a need on the other side of the world. Either way, you will develop a deeper empathy towards others and an appreciation for what you have.

Become industrious

It sounds odd to tell someone to work at being industrious, but it does require energy to be creative and find balance in life. Look at your life and see what circumstances are around you. Search for ways to be resourceful. You may discover talents you did not know you had.

Are there any enterprising opportunities available that you could take advantage of? Another source of income could benefit you and those around you. Find ways to increase your marketability in the workplace. It may be finishing that degree, taking community classes or a free online classes (many are available). Look in your community. See if there is a need that could be filled by a skill that you possess. Teach those around you the importance of an honest work ethic.While industriousness is good, remember that wherever you are at in life, be there completely. When you are at work, work. When you are at home, leave work alone and enjoy your time with family and friends. If you need down time, take it.

READ MORE: How did people earn money during the Great Depression? You might be surprised by their creativity and industriousness!

Strive for self-reliance

I am sure you know people who seem to be able to do, make, or fix anything. Chances are, they had to work on those skills often before they mastered it. Like them, you need to continue to learn and put what you learn into practice. The internet is a great resource. We can learn how to do basic car maintenance, repairs on our home, first aid, and taking care of what we already own. Not only can you save money by doing these things yourself, you are free from depending on others to do them for you. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from doing and mastering new tasks. Planting a garden is another way of developing self-reliance. Not only will you save money on groceries and enjoy fresh produce, there are benefits much greater. Gardening, along with other tasks, allow you to spend time with those close to you. Working together as a group builds stronger relationships, whether it is between parent and child, as friends, or in a community setting. There is a sense of togetherness and learning that you cannot get anywhere else. If you do not teach those around you how to work, who will?

Aim towards having a year’s supply of clothing and food

Don’t let this overwhelm you. Take baby steps. Make a list of the amounts of food and commodities that your family normally consumes in one day. Take that list and multiply it by 7. That is your one week supply. When you have a one week supply stored, continue until you have three months supply. Use and rotate your 3 month supply. Then focus on long term storage.

Many foods, such as grains, beans, and pasta can have a shelf life of 30+ years. Clothing can be a bit of a challenge if you have growing kids. Looking at clearance racks and thrift stores can be an inexpensive way to work on storing clothes and shoes. If you sew, fabric is also be a great addition to your years supply. Do not forget to include any notions you may need.

GET STARTED: Read this comprehensive list of food storage basics.

As you begin to create a culture of self-reliance, you will feel more confident about your ability to withstand almost any hardship. We cannot depend on the government or charities to provide services and care for the millions of people across the nation when a disaster happens. It is essential that each individual and family do all they can to be responsible for themselves when needed. If we are wise and careful with our resources, we will be able to sustain ourselves through difficult times.

Learn more about Great Depression survival

self reliance culture

How To Score Free Groceries (Seriously)

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this is a piece dedicated to help you take a more proactive role in your urban and suburban food gathering.  A few tidbits you may have previously neglected or that have gone unnoticed can be categorized as “grocery hustling.”   In the end, it can help to trim down your grocery bills and provide some extra cash for survival gear or preps you will make in your home.  These are some simple tips, and they work…if you use them.

Prepare your pantry with this best-selling preparedness book

Learn how to hustle

“Hustle” as used as a verb is defined as “To sell or get by questionable or aggressive means,” as printed so thoughtfully in The American Heritage Dictionary.  If you ask me, the definition is a little skewed, because questionable can refer to something not agreed with in the norm, such as buying 300 cans of tuna fish for $20 from a man selling from a pickup truck bed.  Aggressive is looked at only negatively in a physical sense or by those in positions who do not want them threatened by those looking to make gains (yet will counter those moves with aggressive actions of their own).

No, aggressive should not be confused with taking the initiative.  That is what you’ll be doing here.  There is (most of the time) a superabundance of food, and with lowered sales, a superabundance of wasted food.  Here is the way to handle this to your advantage.  Visit your local grocery stores.  Make the rounds and make your contacts.  Meet the department heads, and have it cleared (if you can) through one of the assistant managers or general managers.

It’s all about the connections

The objective is to pick up fresh produce and meats on the fringe or just passing the fringes of the expiration dates.  You can do it.  Check, for example, with your fresh produce manager.  Ask him to sell you vegetables meant for the hog farm or the dumpster on a markdown special.  He’ll be more than happy to oblige, nine times out of ten.  The reason for this is that it is better for the company to take in a little bit on a product rather than throw it out.  Then it’s just a matter of your own personal standards.  A small present for them every so often can sweeten up the deal and make him or her even more amicable.

Does this sound “questionable?”  It shouldn’t.  Here is JJ’s point: If you won’t think out of the box now in easy times, you will not when the times are tough.

There are plenty of types of stores with managers that will sometimes even say, “Well, we have to throw it out…but I’ll put all of these bananas and string beans in a cardboard box and look the other way when I take it out back in five minutes.”

These guys are your contacts.  Wanna learn about barter?  Here’s your chance, nitty-gritty, style of da city!  Slip the guy five or ten dollars every once in a while.  He’ll be grateful, and then he’ll be more than willing to give to you what would have been thrown out, and you make his life a little better in the process.

It’s amazing what you can find if you just look around for it.  Here in the area where we live are potato farmers that’ll sell you a 100 lb. bag for $10.  The last time I checked, you might be able to get about 20 – 30 lbs. for that amount in the grocery stores.  The only limitations are the ones either you place upon yourselves or opportunities that you do not seek out.  Look in your thrift stores…they sometimes have a grocery section.  Forget the expiration date.  If you research it, with the exceptions of medications and dairy products, the date is simply the date that the product stays freshest…a sort of informal limit.

All of this activity will augment what you already do to save your pennies.  Many times you can even find sales on canned goods that you can use for your preps.  Your job is to find as many avenues as you can for you and your family to make ends meet and preserve one another.  The methods outlined here are not questionable…they’re unconventional, and require you to think with other than normative thought.  You’ll come up with a plan.  Just the fact that you read ReadyNutrition is evidence that you do not follow the crowd.  So, happy hustling for those groceries, and let us know about techniques and adventures that you have found to benefit you and yours.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Education and what it can do for you…my story

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On this day 10 years ago, I received this recruiting letter from Columbia University. It was just one of several such letters I received from Ivy League colleges, after becoming the recipient of the 2006 All-USA Academic Team community college award. Even more came when I became the New Century Scholar for Wyoming for having […]

20 Skills You Can Trade After The End Of The World

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20 Skills You Can Trade After The End Of The World Too many preppers have a romantic view of life after the end of the world. They see themselves as the hero of a post-apocalyptic movie, but the most likely scenario is far more depressing. Fernando Aguirre is a prepper who lived through the hyperinflationary …

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