7 Critical Components of a Prepared Home

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see that we’re living in perilous times and on the brink of a slew of problems.  There are several flashpoints occurring domestically and throughout the world that can translate into destabilization at any time.  Knowing these things, your preparations and training need to continue.  You can continue this preparation by conducting a home assessment regarding medicines and supplies you will need.

It’s time to prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-selling preparedness manual

What do I mean by this?  I mean for you to specifically identify all the needs of each of your family members and begin acquiring them.  Family members have varying needs depending on age and physical condition.  Now is the time to ensure you have all the meds you need and the vitamins you will need when the SHTF.  Allow me to sound the personal “trumpet” that I have been sounding throughout the years and in many articles:

You guys and gals need to get into good physical shape: it cannot be overemphasized.

7 Critical Components of a Prepared Home

That being said, how do you start?  It is simple enough if you just insert a measure of organization into it.  Let’s do it, shall we?

  1. Start by identifying family members who have special needs and/or ongoing, long-term treatment in terms of medication.  Examples of conditions can be Type I Diabetics, Blood Pressure/Circulatory patients (meds such as Calcium Channel blockers, etc.), and family members with respiratory compromise (such as COPD, or severe, chronic asthma).
  2. Make a chart/sheet for each family member and identify what they need: The correct medicine, the amount needed/dosage, the quantity that is on hand, and a plan to attain more of it.  BE SPECIFIC!  Accuracy is critical: you cannot afford a “transposition error” either in dosage or in the name of the med.  “Flexiril” and “Flagyl” should never be confused, for example.  One extra “zero” at the end of a dosage could mean death; one zero “short” could mean substandard, inadequate dosage.
  3. Shop the sources: Price is almost as important as quality…because you will need quantities. Many items can be purchased at discount stores. Make sure you have these 50 items as the basis for your medical supplies. Once you have these, then you can begin to combine your medical supplies to make first response packs for faster medical attention when emergencies occur. Check out all the discount pharmacies that you can and do your research.  Also, convince your happy, Hallmark-Card family physician to write these extra prescriptions for you.  If he or she won’t do it?  DX’em.  That’s an Army term: meaning dump/discard them.  If you don’t use the stones now, you won’t use them when the SHTF.
  4. Pet antibiotics: Yes, “protect the pets,” as I’ve explained in other articles. Pet amoxicillin, pet erythromycin, pet Praziquantel (Biltricide).  All of these “goodies” and more are available…to keep those “pets” readily supplied with medicine.  ‘Nuff said there.
  5. Vitamins/supplements: Concentrate on the multi-vitamins, and others that are crucial, such as Vitamin C. Again, you need to be sharp when it comes to quality and quantity.  Here are five supplements you should seriously consider. Never sacrifice quality for quantity, except if the comparable product is so close to the “top dog” that the difference is negligible.
  6. Herbal/Naturopathic supplies: Here is where your research is going to be critical. DO NOT EXPECT TO BE “SPOON-FED” INFORMATION, especially by your photo-frame-phony-photo family physician.  You have to assess on your own what herbs will do the backup for your family member’s (or your) needs if the med supply dries up or is unavailable.  There’s a secondary reason: you need to learn and memorize these herbs “cold,” because you may have to scrounge for them as well…in a ruined, burned-out health food concern, or out in the wild with wild-crafting.
  7. OPSEC: Don’t allow anyone outside of the immediate family (and even with them…screen ‘em!) to know about your medicines.  You need to safeguard them in protective containers that will safeguard them from elements and secret them from the eyes of marauders or other jerks that will pillage them.

Now is the time to get all of this stuff done.  You are responsible in the end for taking care of yourself and your family.  Do not procrastinate.  You may not have a perfect example to follow, but you can allow common sense, savvy, and street smarts to guide you in the path you need to pursue.  Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  The “bad days” will come upon us in an instant.  Less than an instant.  Fight that good fight, and stock up on those supplies you’ll need to take care of your family now…because you won’t be able to on the day after it hits!  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

Is Your Car Bug-Out Ready for Summer Emergencies? These 8 Items are a Must!

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ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is to formulate some preps for you and your vehicle for a daily basis during the months of summer.  Why?  Because the summer months hold some potential for problems that are quite different from the winter months, and the S can HTF at any time, that is why.  Dehydration, sunburn, sunstroke, and other dangerous events can happen in addition to the EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack that turns your 2016 Dodge Ram pickup into a motionless slab of several tons.

First, let’s address the issue of dehydration.  Water.  Simple solution, right?  Wrong.  Should a disaster occur, all the existing water lines may either be contaminated and/or non-functional.  And there you are on the highway.  Do you know how to procure water in the wild? Humans need 1 gallon per day on normal/non-stressful days.  You will need a couple of gallons of water in your vehicle in sturdy containers.  Your “bug-out”/go bag is already in the car.  Make sure you have a three-day supply of food and a method to purify water, in addition to a method to tote it.  Many prefer the Camelback drinking systems.  I stick with the issue canteens.  Whatever method you choose, you’ll need to add a couple of gallons into them eventually.

In your backpack, you want to either have a poncho or some type of “space” blanket, preferably (with the latter) containing grommets.  If you can’t find one with the grommet holes, there is a grommet-making kit available in Wal-Mart or another big-box store for around $10.  The poncho comes with the grommets.  You will also need (5) bungee cords.  In this matter, you can use the 4 grommeted corners and the middle of the poncho/blanket to construct some kind of shelter to shield you from the sun.

Yeah, I know, Mr. Negative…if there’s trees to attach the bungees to, then why would a person need to spread out a shelter at all?  Simple.  Just because you may make it to a wooded area doesn’t mean that the trees provide adequate protection from the sun.  In addition, yeah…next is, what if there are no trees?  Then you use the bungee cords and attach them to other things, such as the bumper of that now-defunct Dodge truck, or a chain-linked fence…to make a lean-to and take you out of the sun.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Here’s a short (and by no means complete) list of some things to have with you on your daily commute, some of which we have covered in previous articles:

  1. Electrolyte packets
  2. Small (compact) first-aid kit
  3. Knife (folding/Swiss Army)
  4. Fire starting materials with matches or cigarette lighter
  5. Radio
  6. Flashlight
  7. Firearm(s) and ammo
  8. Tools

The situation is going to dictate the actions you take.  Obviously, if a nuclear war is what occurs, then you are going to have a different set of dangers than if a viral pandemic is occurring.  You will make the determination about what you will do, but you should have these basic supplies with you and readily accessible at all times.  If you are parked in a parking garage and you still must walk three blocks or more to reach the office, this is not near enough.  In such a case, have multiple bags…one in your vehicle, and one within the workplace by your desk, as I have stressed in the past.

You’ll also need good sunglasses with a 100% UV protection factor.  Along with this, a strong sunscreen, with an SPF of 50 or greater.  A floppy hat would also do you some good for any kind of walks that will shield both your head and face from the sun.  Also, don’t forget a bottle of good bug repellant.  You don’t think the bugs will stop bothering you and take a break while the disaster strikes, do you?  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Take all of these things into consideration, remembering that the summer sun can be more than just a happy shining face on a box of cereal.  It can also be a deadly furnace trying to turn you into jerky.  On that happy note, keep fighting that good fight and have those supplies ready for when you need them.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading Material:

5 Ways To Keep Your Vehicle Evacuation-Ready

Vehicle 72 Hour Kits

The Preparedness Guide that will Get You Ready for Any Disaster

Emergency Evacuation Checklist

 

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Tips for the Ultimate Family Road Trip

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road-tripMy husband and I are frequent flyers, but Delta’s recent major malfunction with their computers hasn’t made me excited to travel by airplane these days. Say what you will about driving long distances with young children, but I still prefer to be somewhat in control of my travel plans. Whenever possible, we choose to drive to our destinations in our SUV.

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After literally dozens of vacations, I’ve come up with these 5 tips for making the most of a family road trip.

1) Ditch the Routine:  Routine is critical for raising young children. At home, my kids’ morning and evening routines are flawlessly executed so that I can tell exactly who is brushing their teeth and who has not completed their homework. Routine is a comfort for them and it keeps the machinery of the family well oiled. BUT, a road trip is no time to force a routine. No matter how noble your efforts, something will delay dinner or bedtime. Your kids may spend an entire morning watching television in the hotel room. They may sleep through lunch or drink milkshakes for breakfast (more on healthier eating in tip #2). Trust me when I say you need to GO WITH IT. Try as hard as you can to ignore the clock altogether (especially if you’re traveling through multiple time zones). Stressing about routine will only make your trip less enjoyable. I promise you that even several weeks on the road will not permanently disrupt your family routine. As soon as you are back at home, your kids will fall into their familiar patterns.

2) Don’t Get Hungry: We’ve all been there—it’s dinnertime on a road trip and everyone is cranky and hungry and there isn’t a restaurant in sight. The kids are fighting in the backseat and my husband and I are starting to turn on each other. After what feels like forever we find a gas station and load up on processed junk and sugar. Then we continue on, comatose and exhausted, no less annoyed with each other. To avoid this, buy a cooler or two and stock up on sandwiches, fruit, nuts, cheeses, and other healthy hand-held snacks. Purchase milk in single-serve cartons for the kids and invest in a large coffee thermos for the adults. Whenever you find yourself in a town with a grocery store, spend a little extra time buying food and getting it separated out into single servings before you get back on the road again. This seems like a lot of planning but it soon becomes second nature—and it’s so worth it!

3) It’s About the Journey: Sure, you probably have a goal in mind—whether it’s to visit the grandparents or see the Grand Canyon—but try to be open to possibility. I can’t tell you how many “detours” turned out to be more memorable or exciting trips that the planned destination. Tell you kids to be on the lookout for billboards offering interesting tourist stops and make sure to check out the pamphlets in any hotel lobby you might be staying in.

4) Talk the Talk: We sometimes forget that driving is a perfect opportunity to talk to our loved ones, and not only about the surroundings we happen to be traveling through. Rather that playing “I spy” or trying to keep my kids entertained every single second with the iPad or coloring books, I like to talk to them about their lives. Hypothetical situations are also fun or funny (you can play the “Would you Rather” game, i.e., “Would you rather eat a worm or touch a tarantula?”) especially with younger players. One of the thrills of my life as a mom is listening to my sons talk to each other. Older kids will naturally talk about their interests or their goals and it’s a great opportunity for parents to listen to them.

5) Carry the Closeness With You: Not to get too sappy, but family road trips definitely happen during a limited window of time. Try as much as you can to appreciate being in close quarters with your kids and attempt to maintain that connection long after the trip is over. Taking photos is very important, but to keep it even simpler you can have every family member talk about their favorite and least favorite parts of each day. Look for patterns in the trip (for example, one summer it seemed the radio was constantly playing “Staying Alive” no matter where we went) and encourage kids to collect keepsakes. Don’t fall into the trap of buying expensive souvenirs—a pretty rock or seashell work just as well. Once you’re back at home, that song or silly joke or seashell takes on the symbolism of the entire trip. Treasure it.

 

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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.

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20 Medicinal Herbs That I Have in My Prepper Garden

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“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” –  Hippocrates


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So, many of you may be asking my I want to go to all the trouble and grow herbs and roots for natural healing. You can read about seven reasons why I started a medicinal garden, but in short, I wanted options at my disposal. From a preparedness standpoint, I know that infection and illness could be very prevalent in the aftermath of a disaster and accessibility to medical care will be difficult to find. As well, with the massive over-prescribing of antibiotics in our modern healthcare industry, today’s crop of antibiotics has become less effective. Let’s be honest, bacteria has a 4 billion year head start in the evolution and has been adapting to environmental changes since the beginning of time. The time will come when antibiotics will be moot in terms of its effectiveness.

I love natural remedies solely for their simplicity and worry-free use. It is difficult to overuse natural remedies, but more importantly, they have been used for centuries. While researching which medicinal plants I wanted in my garden, I made sure that many of them were hardy perennials that could perform multiple medicinal duties. I don’t have a lot of space where my herbal garden is, so the plants had to be exceptional. These 20 herbs made the cut and I couldn’t be more pleased with my choices.

Ready Nutrition writer and herbalist, Jeremiah Johnson has written extensively on how to cultivate a medicinal garden to use in a long-term emergency. His favorite medicinals are what he refers to as the 3 G’s: garlic, ginger, and ginseng. You can read his article on the subject.

  1. Angelica – This herb is one that everyone should be growing in their garden. It’s great for children, adults and the elderly. It has antibacterial properties, astringent properties can be used externally as a medicinal gargle for sore throats and mouths and as a medicinal poultice for broken bones, swellings, itching, and rheumatism. It is also known for strengthening the heart. A powder made from the dried root can be used for athlete’s foot, as well as an insecticide and pesticide.
  2. Calendula – Also known as pot marigold, this pretty yellow flower is believed to be one of “the greatest healing agent for all wounds.” It naturally cleanses wounds and promotes rapid healing. It slows bleeding in some cases. Marigold was also used as a toothache and headache preventative in the 1500’s in England. It is an excellent herb to have on hand for skin issues such as eczema, skin inflammations, soothing varicose veins, soothing chapped hands and can be used to reduce body scars. Commonly made into oil by soaking fresh or slightly dried plant parts in one’s choice of base oil, it can be applied topically to relieve all sorts of fungal infections.
  3. Catnip – Your cats may be drawn to this herb, but it has plenty of medicinal uses and a wonderful herb to have in the herbal medical cabinet. Most notably, it has sedative effects and helps calm the nervous system. Making a tea from this herb before bedtime will help settle the body. It also has anti-fever properties, as well as antibacterial effects. The compound can also be used to repel common insect pests such as mosquitoes and cockroaches. When nepetalactone is distilled, it is more effective than DEET than repelling mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, it is up to 10 times more effective in accordance with laboratory experiments conducted by isolating the compound via steam distillation. Read more about using this herb here.
  4. Chamomile – This herb is also most recognized by its sedative effects, but has more to offer than just that.  The flowers can be strained out of the tea and placed into a warm compress to use on ear infections. Tea compresses and tea rinses can be used to gently treat eye problems. It also has the power to assist in comforting the effects of indigestion, morning sickness, nervousness, neuralgia, painful periods and assists as a sleeping agent.
  5. Comfrey – I just added comfrey to my garden this year. Not only does it have medicinal values, but can be used as a nutritional supplement to livestock and used as a fertilizer because it is high in potassium. To make a liquid fertilizer: chop off the top of a comfrey plant and throw the leaves in a bucket. Cover with water and let them rot into green liquid… then water whatever needs a boost. Medicinally speaking, comfrey is also known as “one of nature’s greatest medicinal herbs.” It helps heal wounds and mend broken bones, and even helps to bring fevers down. Nutritionally, it is a good source of vitamin C and calcium.
  6. Echinacea – Although the root is most widely used for its medicinal purposes, truly the entire plant can be used. This herb strengthens the body’s ability to resist infection and stimulates the production of white blood cells.  Echinacea stimulates the body in non-chronic illness such as colds, bronchitis, sore throats, abscesses and for recurrences of yeast infections. Echinacea can also be taken as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis. A gargling solution can also be made with the tea to use with a sore throat.  For cases that are not strep throat related: add 10-16 drops of water or to sage or ginger tea and use as a gargling agent.  If a person is fighting strep throat: every two hours, gargle with the above-mentioned teas to which add a drop full of echinacea extract.
  7. Garlic – This is simply a must-have in your garden. Its medicinal uses are too extensive to list but can be read in more detail here. In short, it is effective in preventing the common cold, reducing recovery time, and reducing symptom duration. An infused oil can be made from garlic to treat wounds and ear infections. And, I need not mention all of its culinary uses.
  8. Ginger – the medicinal value of this root is amazing. In fact, recent studies have revealed that ginger may be stronger than chemo in fighting cancer. It’s truly a remarkable medicinal to have in your garden. Here are 8 more benefits of ginger.
  9. Ginseng – This herbal powerhouse assists with nervous disorders, helps alleviate symptoms related to cardiovascular and blood disorders, is beneficial for diabetics as it reduces the amount of blood sugar in patients with mild to moderate diabetes, inhibits the formation of tumors and helps as a cancer preventative, and helps to minimize the effects of X-rays and radiation produced by radiation therapy as well as negative effects caused by free radicals are minimized and reduced by the adaptogens in ginseng.  Read more here.
  10. Lemon balm – This is one of my favorite herbs. This herb is great for adding a light lemon flavor to dishes, but I love it for its sedative qualities. If you have problems sleeping, this is a great herb to take before bedtime. The aromatic properties help with alertness and can sharpen memory. It is also a good herb for diabetics to use as it helps regulate blood sugar. The antioxidant properties present in this herb are also beneficial.
  11. Lavender – This is a great multipurpose herb to grow. Not only is it a calming aromatic, but it has antiseptic properties, assists with burns, can be used as a stress reliever, good for depression, aids skin health and beauty. Here are 15 more ways to use lavender medicinally.
  12. Peppermint – This aromatic herb is great for digestive aid, and dispels headaches. Peppermint tea will also assist in overcoming muscle spasms and cramps. Due to the camphor present in peppermint, if peppermint is applied to a wet washcloth it can externally relieve pain. This herb also hep clear sinus infections.  Apply a large, warm peppermint pack to the sinus area.
  13. Onion – Onions might not be at the top of your healthy snack list, but you should make efforts to include them regularly in your diet nonetheless. They help to fight insulin resistance, have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial uses, and are powerful antioxidants. They even help to relieve congestions. A time-tested effective cough syrup can also be made from onions. Read more about onion’s health benefits.
  14. Oregano – This little herb works as a savory culinary herb and a potent medicinal herb, as well. Most importantly, it is a powerful antibiotic and has been proven to be more effective in neutralizing germs than some chemical antibiotics. It has been effective against germs like Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Yersinia enterocolitis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. An extract of its essential oil can be made to treat fungal infections and skin issues like dandruff, dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. Carvacrol and thymol, the powerful enzymes in oregano, help to combat fungal and bacterial infections.
  15. Rose hip – Not only are roses beautiful, but they can assist in boosting our immunity, as well. Rose hips are high in vitamin C and if rosehips are made into a syrup it also”provides a welcome boost of vitamin D, something that should be welcomed when our exposure to sunlight is minimal and our vitamin D manufacture is at its lowest. Vitamin A is naturally present in the rose hips so pregnant women should seek medical advice before taking rose hip syrup.”
  16. Rosemary – This highly aromatic plant is used today in any number of organic products to help alleviate bone and muscle soreness, reduce anxiety and promote well-being.
  17. Sage – It’s anti-inflammatory properties also make this an effective herb. This herb can also be used in aiding anxiety, nervous disorders, used as an astringent. There are aromatherapy qualities to this herb and have been known to lift depression. Rubbing the sage leaves across the teeth can be used to effectively clean the teeth and assist in bad breath. American Indians used this herb as a fever reducer.  Sage has antiseptic properties and the leaves can be chewed to cleanse the system of impurities or made into a tea. Sage has also been known to assist with hot flashes associated with menopause. If a person has stomach troubles, cold sage tea can be used to alleviate the symptoms. Sage can also be used to treat the flu.  Using the tea before and during any type of epidemics and to hasten healing during a flu attack. Sage leaves can be wrapped around a wound like a band-aid to help heal the wound faster.
  18. Thyme – I have multiple thyme plants in my garden and allow them to creep over rocks in my garden. Thyme can help alleviate gastric problems such as wind, colic and bad breath, helps with bronchial disorders, shortness of breath and symptoms related to colds. If it also effective in fighting sore throat and post nasal drip. If a person has whooping cough, make a syrup of thyme tea and honey to help treat the disease. Thyme can also be used to treat a fever.
  19. Toothache plant – My medicinal garden wouldn’t be complete without some dental aides too. The toothache plant has a powerful numbing effect and works great for inflammation of the gums, lips, and mucous membranes of the mouth, and it can be used as toothpaste. It can also be used to alleviate those with asthma and allergies. It also is a powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. The toothache plant also contains B-Sitostenone it also lowers blood sugar. Other notable qualities are that it lowers blood pressure, chronic fatigue and is a natural pain reliever to all parts of the body.
  20. Yarrow – This plant was a favorite among Native American tribes who would use it to control bleeding, heal wounds and infections. It can also be effective in cleaning wounds and to control bleeding caused by puncture wounds, lacerations, and abrasions.

Don’t feel handcuffed to using only these herbs in your garden. Think about what future health issues you may have to deal with and plan(t) for them. Even tobacco has its medicinal uses. There are also medicinal weeds that you may want to locate in your yard and cultivate for the future.

Once you get your medicinal garden going, start experimenting with making your own medicinal pantry. Here are some ideas:

In the future, I plan on adding mullein, plantain, marshmallow and some cayenne peppers. What medicinals are you growing in your garden? Share them in the comments section to help our community!

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

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This piece is designed to provide you with a few ideas to stimulate your creative thought processes.  We’re all Constitution-loving, survival-oriented preppers who are always preparing for every emergency.  The problem is that emergencies are not able to be “compressed” into a format: they arise.  You plan the best you can, but there’s an age-old military adage that summarizes the whole situation, in a nutshell, “No battle plan ever survives the first five minutes of combat completely intact.”

This is true, and places emphasis on the quality that made man the dominant species on this planet and enabled him to survive as long as he has: adaptability.  In this light, there will be a time when you will need to defend yourself and do not have a weapon readily available.  When such a situation presents itself, you must follow the advice of “Gunny Highway”/Clint Eastwood in the movie “Heartbreak Ridge,” advice that holds brevity and clarity:           


“You improvise, you adapt, you overcome.”


That is eloquence swathed in simplicity.  Yes.  Two hoodlums, for example, are coming over to you at night in the parking lot after work.  You can’t avoid them and get into your car before they’re on you.  One clicks open a knife.  It’s time to act.  The action has to take place in a split second.  Let’s say you’re unarmed – no firearms or blades, and you can’t escape.  What now?

7 Improvised Defense Weapons That Could Save Your Life

Common objects on your person may either be utilized or prepared beforehand and then utilized.  Let’s go through some of them you may have, and what to do with them:

  1. Keys: (this will take practice) – take three of them and slip them between your fingers with the keyed end (“blade”) facing out. Grip the rest in your fist and prepare to punch. An effective way to plan ahead for this encounter is if you attach a kubaton to your keychain.
  2. Pens: A good sturdy one made from metal is preferred; a plastic one may work, but you better strike effectively. Hold the pen one of two ways: gripped within your fist with the pen extruding from the bottom of your fist/hand, or with the pen between your middle and ring finger, the base on your palm and the point out from between the fingers.  “Method 1” is preferable because you can stab (a backhanded type of stab) with the pen, and still punch with the fist that holds it.  “Method 2” will take more precision as you strike for the vulnerable points.
  3. Belt: Use only if your pants won’t just fall down and they can stay on without the belt. Strip that belt off, and wrap it around your dominant hand and make a fist.  If you really know what you’re doing, you can wrap the knife hand of the attacker and disarm him.  You had better have practiced this unless you’re a really good athlete.
  4. Credit card/ATM card (handy): By “handy,” there’s no time to take it out of your wallet. You may keep a very rigid plastic card in your shirt pocket.  Hold the card tightly and the edge can be knife-like when striking an opponent…for a very effective strike.
  5. Jacket/windbreaker: Take it off and use it to shield you (in one hand as a shield) from the blade as you strike with the opposite hand. You can (if you’ve practiced) wrap up that blade-carrying hand of the opponent while you’re striking.
  6. Leatherman on that belt? Pull it out quickly, and in the manner of the pen (described in #2) hold it in the manner of “Method 1” where the pliers are extended past the bottom of your hand…to stab/strike in a backhanded method.
  7. Purse: Ladies, that handbag can be a lifesaver for you. Prep this beforehand: keep a 1-pound or ½ pound weight or little dumbbell in it.  Then no cop can get you for a concealed weapon.  You’ll even have a light workout during your day!  But when you swing that bag down and put a three-inch dent in your attacker’s head, you’ll be glad you put the weight in there.  Make sure your purse strap is strong enough to handle this action without losing your purse or snapping.

Now, of course, you should also look around (use your peripheral vision!  Don’t take your eyes off of or away from your attackers!) for boards, bricks, rocks, or anything else within your reach.  Do you have a car alarm?  Push that button and raise a ruckus.  I knew a woman once who was going to get jumped in this manner in the parking lot.  She didn’t have a car alarm, but she threw rocks at a couple of other cars before they closed on her and set off those car alarms.  Then she threw rocks at them and screamed, and others came to her aid.

The eyes and the face are your primary targets with the keys and pen.  Secondary are the sides of the neck and the throat: where the carotid and jugular are, and the airway respectively.  The face of the credit card: a slash maneuver. You’ll be surprised at how deeply into the flesh that card will slice.  Your objective is not to engage with them.  Your objective is to inflict the maximum amount of damage and pain on them and then break contact…get away…at the soonest possible moment.

Don’t let a pair “flank” you: if you must face one, try and step to his side so the other one is behind him…so your primary attacker is in between you and his buddy.  With these methods, you need to practice them to enable you to execute them.  It is different when the adrenaline is pumping and you’re faced with the threat.  Don’t be afraid to experiment; however, make sure your experiments and the “main event” are not the same thing.  The more practice, the more you will build your confidence and increase your chances for success should such a situation arise.  Hope it won’t, but if it does?  Go for the win.  JJ out.

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

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Growing medicinal plants are a great way to ensure garden sustainability and more notably, have access to natural medicine when you need it most. When I introduced more herbs in my garden, I noticed it had a profound impact on the vegetables and fruits I was growing. It also encouraged beneficial insects and birds to visit my garden and this helped cut down on plants being eaten.

Because of this observation, I changed my focus from solely growing to eat and, instead, worked to create a welcoming growing environment. Not only were my plants healthier, but I had access to natural herbs to use for making extracts and poultices. The following are reasons I feel gardeners should adopt adding medicinal herbs to the garden.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

  1. Have access to multiple forms of natural medicine for future needs. When you have fresh cut herbs to use for natural medicine, you have access to the freshest forms of their healing properties. For example, what if you cut your hand and did not have a bandage. Did you know that the sage leaf can be wrapped around a wound and used as a natural band-aid? Or, if the bleeding from that cut was so bad that it wouldn’t stop. Did you know that a few shakes of some cayenne pepper can help control the bleed? Or, if you have a severe bruise, make a poultice. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine.
  2. Calm your senses with medicinal teas. Herbs like lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, catnip, and peppermint have a natural sedative quality to them to help calm your spirits or help you sleep better at night. Taking a handful of leaves and adding them to a cup of hot water will create a soothing cup of herbal tea. Here are some great herbal tea remedies to start with.
  3. Many medicinal plants and herbs are perennials and will come back year after year. The more established the plants are, the more they will produce each year. This will save you money in the long run! I bought a small oregano plant three years ago and it is the size of a small shrub. I have so much oregano now that I can use it for culinary uses and experiment with making my own tinctures and astringents. As well, my echinacea has produced so many “baby” plants that I have dug them up and transferred them to another part of my property where I am creating another medicinal garden.
  4. Feed your livestock! Livestock can also benefit from growing herbs in the garden.  Not only can they be added for additional nutrition, but you can use herbs to make natural cleansing shampoos and even clean wounds. Some herbs I feed my animals are oregano, comfrey, lavender, mint, and sage.  Note: not all herbs are healthy for your livestock, so do research to find out which ones are good for your animals.
  5. Another added benefit of having a thriving medicinal garden is that bees love it! This promotes bee sustainability and a healthier garden, as well. The blossoms put out by the flowers and herbs will attract bees that will, in turn, happily pollinate your vegetable and fruits. Consider planting some of these beneficial flowers in addition to herbs:
    • Asters (Aster/Callistephus)
    • Sunflowers (Helianthus/Tithonia)
    • Salvia (Salvia/Farinacea-Strata/Splendens)
    • Bee balm (Monarda)
    • Hyssop (Agastache)
    • Mint (Mentha)
    • Cleome / Spider flower (Cleome)
    • Thyme (Thymus)
    • Poppy (Papaver/Eschscholzia)
    • California poppies (Eschscholzia)
    • Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea)
    • Lavender (Lavandula)
  6. Regrow from cuttings on your windowsill. Herbs like rosemary, lavender, mint, cilantro, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage, lemon balm, and thyme are perfect for starting in a glass or canning jar. Simply add water and set in indirect sunlight – it’s that simple! Read more here.
  7. Herbs can be great companion plants for the vegetable garden. Don’t feel handcuffed to only growing vegetables, but herbs can be planted nearby to do double duty as companion plants. Companion planting can also help control the insect balance in your garden and repel some of the more unwanted guests like mosquitoes. Some favorite companion herbs are pairing basil with tomatoes, chamomile near cucumbers, garlic planted near apple, pear and peach trees, roses, cucumbers, peas, lettuce or celery. Read more about which herbs are great companions here.

Ready Nutrition writer and herbalist, Jeremiah Johnson has written extensively on how to cultivate a medicinal garden to use in a long-term emergency. His favorite medicinals are what he refers to as the 3 G’s: garlic, ginger, and ginseng. You can read his article on the subject.

To better understand natural medicine and using herbals for health, I strongly recommend you read more on the subject. The following books come highly recommended:

Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria,” by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor, by Cat Ellis (Herbal Prepper)

This is not a new gardening concept, yet is still not widely used. When you are planting your garden, consider adding a few herbs and watch the benefits grow before your eyes.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

8 Sustainable Changes You Can Make That Will Have a Positive Impact on Earth

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It’s a cold, hard fact that Earth’s once plentiful resources are drying up. Climate change, food and water shortages, pollution, deforestation, agriculture changes are all being caused by the wasteful nature of humans. These impacts have directly altered the Earth’s surface faster than the natural process. We are at a tipping point.

One small act can have a far-reaching impact and it all starts with a single step.

Here are some interesting facts to put things into perspective.

  • An average of 230 million tons of trash that is thrown away each year in the United States, and many do not realize that the trash they are throwing away can be reused.
  • Commercial food sources have become corrupted with genetically modified foods, hormones/antibiotics, pesticides and neurotoxins.
  • On average, one household uses 350 gallons of water.
  • Running tap water for two minutes is equal to 3-5 gallons of water.
  • America uses about 15 times more energy per person than the typical developing country.
  • In the United States, more than 40 percent of municipal solid waste is paper — about 71.8 tons a year.
  • Some 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags—including large trash bags, thick shopping bags,and thin grocery bags—were produced globally in 2002. Roughly 80 percent of those bags were used in North America and Western Europe. Every year, Americans reportedly throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags. (Worldwatch Institute)

The way we live directly impacts our environment and, let’s be honest, humans are very wasteful in regards to using up precious resources. We must begin doing our part to prolong tho negative effects we have on this planet. Earth Day is the perfect time to reflect upon what we can do to live more in tune our planet. In the past, we have suggested ways to make more earth-friendly choices such as recycling, not using chemical cleansers and re-purposing items, but it’s time to take another step forward and begin to live in a more sustainable nature.

8 Sustainable Changes You Can Make That Will Have a Positive Impact on Earth

  1. Buy localFarmers markets are a great way to buy locally and teach your family about sustainability. It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1,500 miles to get from farm to plate. Our dependency on far away food sources leaves a region vulnerable to supply disruptions, and removes any real accountability of producer to consumer. As well, nutritional value can quickly decline as time passes after harvest. Finding local food sources can circumvent this impending issue and, because locally grown produce is freshest, it is more nutritionally complete. As well, join an organic food co-op to get more good food for less. It’s a great way to start to dip your toes into the self-sovereign movement that is sweeping the US.
  2. Cut the crap out of your diet – GMO and chemically enhanced food is no way to keep your family healthy. This is a big change to make, but will enhance your health in the long run. The easiest way to cut out foods that are full of hormones, antibiotics or considered gmo is to buy organic. A study recently noted that eating organic foods is more healthy than conventional foods. found that organics contain 18 to 69 percent higher concentrations of antioxidants. This means that an organic consumer will ingest the antioxidant equivalent of approximately two extra produce portions every day, without altering food intake. In your new diet, you should also steer clear of artificially colored or flavored food, non-organic milk and meat sources. As well, corn and soy are almost always GMO. Foods containing neurotoxins like MSG, fluoride, or aspartame (along with other artificial sweeteners) should be avoided. By switching to organic and natural foods you are letting all the commercial food sources out there that you object to chemicals being put in your foods. Think of it as a silent protest – and when they can’t get you to buy their product, they’ll take notice and make necessary changes.
  3. Support the bees – Our basic way of life is largely dependent on those little buzzing bees busily collecting food. Bees have been in sharp decline in North America and in parts of Europe over the last several years. Many believe multiple factors are to blame for colony collapses, a few being chemical-based fertilizers, climate change and invasive parasites that attack the hive. This is causing massive amounts of damage to insect-dependent agriculture. As a result, food shortages are on the rise and many experts are quickly trying to find ways to help the bees. Another way to support thriving bees is to follow in the footsteps of Oslo and help create a “bee highway” or feeding stations in urban areas to help feed the bees. “The idea is to create a route through the city with enough feeding stations for the bumblebees all the way,” Tonje Waaktaar Gamst of the Oslo Garden Society told local paper Osloby. ”Enough food will also help the bumblebees withstand man-made environmental stress better.”
  4. Start a garden – America was founded upon an agrarian lifestyle, and farmers were the driving force behind America. Currently, people are trying to find ways to move back to farming in order to grow their own food, to be more self-sufficient and less dependent on the government. In fact, by growing your own food, you cut down on trips to the grocery, thus cutting down on gasoline, carbon emissions and save some money in the process. As well, a lot of attention on yardfarming in suburbia has started becoming very popular in many parts of the United States. Yardfarmers converts unsustainable suburban developments, urban food deserts, or other neglected land into sustainable, more resilient opportunities for people while building community. How great would it be if the yardfarming movement popped up in your neck of the woods? If you can’t wait for the yardfarms, start a community garden. Community gardens encourage an urban community’s food security, allowing people to grow their own food. They bring urban gardeners closer in touch with the source of their food, and break down social isolation by encouraging community interaction.
  5. Sustainable landscaping – 60% of a person’s household water usage goes toward lawn and garden maintenance. During times of drought, our lawn and landscaping can become a bottomless pit where we are throwing away money to keep grass alive. Rather than spending exorbitant amounts of money to maintain landscaping, think outside of the box and choose a more sustainable form of landscaping. As well, consider growing native plants in your area. This will cut down on water usage and encourage native wildlife, insects, etc. to hang out in your yard.
  6. Only use organic fertilizers when gardening – Despite what some corporations want you to believe, chemicals are not good for plants. The application of glyphosate around the world has increased 15 fold since these Roundup Ready crops were first introduced in the 1990s. Roundup Ready crops have created a problem in agriculture that is similar to the problems caused by antibiotics, whose overuse has bred highly resistant strains of superbugs. The overuse of glyphosate has bred superweeds, which are resistant to the pesticide. And the more resistant they become, the more pesticides that farmers have to apply. It’s an endless cycle that farmers have no idea how to break out of. Composting organic material for the soil is a healthier alternative. With composting, you are utilizing aerobic and anaerobic decomposition processes to break down the compostable material and invite beneficial organisms to assist in the process. The end result is a full spectrum soil conditioner that has many benefits.
  • Compost contains macro and micronutrients often absent in synthetic fertilizers.
  • Compost releases nutrients slowly—over months or years, unlike synthetic fertilizers
  • Compost enriched soil retains fertilizers better. Less fertilizer runs off to pollute waterways.
  • Compost buffers the soil, neutralizing both acid & alkaline soils, bringing pH levels to the optimum range for nutrient availability to plants.
  • A compost tea can also be used as a foliar spray on the plant or poured into the soil.
  1. Some natural fertilizers can be found in your garbage and can be composted and turned into natural garden amendments. Banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds are great for the garden! You can feed the soil with some of these soil amenders, as well: earthworm castingsphosphatepowdered oyster shell, and green sand.

7. Water conservation – Did you know that if a household started conserving water, you can reduce your in-home water use by 35%? This means the average household, which uses 130,000 gallons per year, could save 44,000 gallons of water per year. Learning ways to practice the art of conserving water now, will help you make the most of your water sources. Here are 22 ways to start!

8. Use less packaging – We are all guilty of using zip-loc bags and throwing them away after each use. It’s so wasteful! Luckily, there are lots of alternatives available to us. Some favorites are these paper sandwich baggies or this re-useable velcro sandwich bag. Both will reduce that dreaded carbon footprint. As well, purchasing re-usable lunch containers like these eco-friendly stainless steel containers are great alternatives to plastic. There are some foods like potatoes and oranges that come in their own mesh packaging and knowing how to reuse packaging can simplify your life. In addition, purchase grocery bags that can be reused. This will cut down on having an excess of plastic bags.

Find Alternative Uses For Some of Your Trash

Some of the trash we collect can serve other purposes, and changing your mindset is also an essential sustainability skill. Learning the art of using what you have around you to live is the core of being self-reliant – and what many of us are trying to achieve. Here are 50 of the most common items thrown away and ways you can reuse them. Creativity and resourcefulness can go a long way if we need to rely on what we have around us.

Whether you want to believe it or not, our current way of living is not sustainable. We over consume are wasteful and there is a better, more sustainable way to life. We can’t keep going on like this and if each of us where to make some minor changes to how we live, the earth would already be a better place to live. Let’s make Earth a better place!

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Seize the Moment: How Preppers Can Maximize Their Training Time

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Readers, many of you have been involved in prepping and survival activities for a long time.  The line from the Mel Gibson “The Patriot” Movie by Chris Cooper exemplifies the mindset we need: “Stay the course.”  Perhaps this is an oversimplification for a complex stance, however, sometimes in simplicity lies clarity…and when you’re clear and uncomplicated in your purpose?  It may help you to organize more effectively.  Your training is what we’re talking about in this article.  You are responsible for your training and the analysis of how effective it is.

There were a lot of things we did in the Army that (if mimicked or duplicated) would serve you well individually and as a family unit.  I did an article that emphasized how important it is to make every member of your family learn, and (eventually) perform as an instructor.  This piece is for an emphasis on you as an individual.  If you strengthen your abilities as an individual, then it makes it that much easier when you teach, lead, and train your family as a group.

We had a thing in the Army called “hip pocket training,” that (when as a group we had some down time, such as when we were all sitting around ready to go through a range, or an exercise) we would take that “down” time and try to fill it with something productive.  A lot of soldiers didn’t particularly like it, however, these were the ones who didn’t want to be proactive with their time or their military career.  During this down time, we would gather in small groups and study different subjects on the cusp…unprepared training…such as our Sergeants taking us through a 9-paragraph operations order from memory, or doing some practice disassembling and assembling weapons…blindfolded, and for time.

Maximize Your Training

The point: to make maximum and effective use of our time.  The ones who weren’t shortsighted could see that this contributed to battle readiness.

I have written this before, and I’ll mention it again: How you train in peace is how you’ll fight in war.

What does this mean for you?  Well, to make maximum and effective use of your time.  This will involve some planning on your part.  What do you usually do on your “down time” during a workday?  Do you have the standard, ½ hour unpaid lunch break, or do you have an hour?  Do you set your own schedule and have (perhaps) some open or slow time in the morning that lasts an hour?  And then again in the afternoon?  How far do you live from work?  A long commute?

These are questions you can ask yourself to ascertain your free, or open spots that you can fill productively with some type of training.  We’re not talking about physical training or exercise…that is something entirely different, and your time with weightlifting or calisthenics needs to be a time that you concentrate only on that.  If you have a long commute to work (a drive of half an hour or more), why not put in an instructional cassette tape or CD with language lessons on it?  This is a good way to fill up that time and brush up on your Spanish or French.

So, that doesn’t seem like much?  Well, guess what?  If you have that half hour per morning…that would be 2 ½ hours per week.  With 52 weeks in a year, that would be 126 total hours, or 5 whole days of listening.  Do you know how much positive reinforcement that would yield?  Just listening passively to something such as that?  Can do you nothing but good.

Then on the return trip home, switch it off to something else equally productive.  Any subject under the sun…if it’s proactive and you’re learning something.  Maximum and effective use of your time is the goal…not to punch a clock, but to fill it with something that will benefit you.  Ben Franklin: “The best way to kill time is to work it to death.”

Those long lunch breaks?  Put your nose in a book for 15 minutes or so.  If you get a full hour, then even take one of those little portable DVD players with something instructional…it can be anything from gunsmithing to herbal remedies…first aid to land navigation.  Do this for four days on your lunch break.  Make that 5th day of lunch an “open” day…to fill it with either some type of reading, watching, or listening program, or to plan your training for the weekend and the coming week.

If you’re fortunate enough to work with a like-minded friend, well, get them involved. Why not?  “Iron sharpens iron,” we’re all so fond of saying.  How about living it?  Find a coworker with similar interests and bring up a thing to do for training for the pair of you.  Get him or her involved: get them to set up a time where they train you with something.

There are no limits to the scope of your training calendar except those you impose upon it.  That imposition can be through inactivity or procrastination.  Don’t do either.  Seize the moment, seize the day.  You can also give yourself 15 to 30 minutes each day before you go to work, and then again when you come home.  The bottom line: it really adds up to something in the end.  If you stick a dollar in a coffee can with the lid taped on through a slit in the top and don’t touch it for three years…if you do it every day…after three years, you’ll have over a thousand dollars.

Same principle here.  If you invest in yourself by filling your time with things that will fill you and improve you…then you’ll have something to show for it when you look at it down the road.  Training is important: to learn new things and to sharpen old skills and make them “current” again.  Let’s take a small scenario, say someone who lives in upstate New York.

Do you know French?  If you had to flee to Canada in the middle of the night, do you speak French well enough to get by?  Does your family…the wife and two teenage kids…do they speak French?  Do you know your route?  Ooops, an EMP just busted overhead, and New York City went dark, too…it became a glowing hole.  Did you stash stuff in Faraday cages?  Have your compass?  Are you guys ready to start that ’56 Ford pickup truck and roll out of there?

If you’ve trained and prepared for all that stuff, then it will make things easier (even if not less stressful) and give you an edge.  Take the time to make a definitive training plan that will allow you to maximize the amount of “free” time that you have…and then execute that plan.  The best plan in the world is of no use if you don’t use it when the time comes.  The time is now: time to formulate your training goals and implement them.  It has to do with your survival and the survival of your family.  Need it be emphasized any more than that?  So, buckle down, study and work hard, and implement that training plan, as the world is not becoming either any nicer or safer.  Stay the course, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Hack: How Harvesting Snow Creates a Long-Term Water Supply

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ReadyNutrition Readers, I have written a few articles about water catchment systems for your home (via rainfall), and also how to purify water/set up a disinfecting station.  One of the problems faced by many over the last several years is that a number of states have put into place laws that forbid you to take the very rainwater from off of your roof.  So how to put into place a water catchment system with that kind of nonsense in place?  Well, that’s a tough call.

They didn’t say anything about the water that has already fallen, now, have they?

Run for the nearest feed store and/or hardware store to secure a few of those 45-55-gallon plastic drums that can be closed off at the top.  The kind that I have found that are really good are a brown barrel with a gasketed lid and an “O” ring that screws the lid in place, almost akin to a gigantic mason jar.  They’re brown, a dark color that will absorb the sun’s light.  You load these guys up with snow and let the warm weather do the rest.  As the snow melts, you periodically add more snow to the barrels.

Here, this is the age of techno-wizardry.  Most of the readers have cell-phones with cameras and other do-dads to record virtually everything that happens in life, no matter how truly insignificant.  Well, here’s a function that actually bears significance.  Take pictures of yourself loading up the barrels with snow.  They don’t have any laws in place that say anything about harvesting snow off of the ground: after all, look how much they spend of your money every winter for snow removal.

How to Assist the Snow to Melt

You can also help the melting process out by positioning these barrels in an area optimal to catching the sun.  You can use ice as well…gathering ice is actually even more productive than the snow in terms of yield.  It will be “shaky” for a little while, as the nighttime temperatures have not come up above freezing in much of the country; however, you’ll be able to get a jumpstart on things and have full containers long before that precious government-controlled rain starts to fall regularly in the spring.

Camouflage Your Water Supply

It is an “outside of the box” idea.  Sure, if you have a well, there is no problem with your water supply…as of yet.  It couldn’t hurt, though, to prep by storing about 150 to 200 gallons, courtesy of Frosty the Snowman if you’re able.  The big thing you want to do with a water point is to camouflage it.  This will protect you from incredible, snooping, malicious neighbors who may want to turn you in.  Remember: the same neighbor that would blow the whistle on you for having a water point against “neighborhood regulations” is the same one who would beg and cry at your door for water when the EMP strikes and takes out those electric water pumps.

Best thing to do is hide or shield them behind something, while yet figuring out how to do it without blocking the sun that enables them to melt.  You may not be able to fill up a whole barrel, but if you even get 4 barrels half full, then you can consolidate them into 2, and keep the remaining 2 in reserve for tough times to come.  You have to think outside of the box, and you have to protect your water supply from the snoopy Scooby’s in the ‘hood.  It’s part of your preps: you need to have a water supply that is not threatened with inability to use it because of loss of power.  You keep that powder dry, melt that snow for a water supply, and let G-men and neighbors just walk on by!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

This Might Just Be the Coolest and Most Convenient Way to Extinguish a Fire

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Regardless of whether or not you’re a prepper, arguably one of the most important safety devices you should have in your home is a fire extinguisher. Fire presents a possible danger no matter where we live, and having a handy device to put out the flames is a must. And it doesn’t just make sense from a safety perspective. It makes a lot of financial sense too. Most fire extinguishers cost less than a hundred dollars, but can prevent thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

However, most people aren’t aware that there is an alternative to the classic red fire extinguisher that we’re all familiar with. Since the fire extinguisher design hasn’t changed much in decades, you might think that there isn’t room for improvement, but there is. Behold, the Elide fire extinguishing ball:

As you can see, the Elide Ball has a distinct advantage over an ordinary fire extinguisher, in that you can put the flames out from a further distance. The ball is designed to automatically burst after being exposed to flames for 3-5 seconds, and won’t go off without the presence of fire. It’s always ready to go, and doesn’t require any training or specific techniques. It uses a fire-retardant chemical called mono ammonium phosphate, which is typically used in ordinary fire extinguishers since it’s non-toxic. Also, the ball only weighs around 3 pounds, so it’s not difficult to throw.

The Elide Ball costs about $120, and is supposed to last 5 years. Since that costs more than a regular extinguisher, that’s really the only disadvantage with the device. So far there aren’t any well-known distributors for the Elide Ball in the United States, but it can be purchased on Ebay. Alternatively, there is a knockoff called the AFO Fire Ball, which can be bought on Amazon and costs half as much. But being a knockoff, it isn’t clear yet if that brand is as effective as Elide, so buyer beware.

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

5 Sustainable Ways to Repurpose Newspapers

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newspaper sustainableHey, all of you Readers out there in ReadyNutrition Land!

Some of the you are looking to make more sustainable choices for your home. No doubt many of you have read articles on how the trash in our homes can serve other purposes.  Learning how to get creative and make do with what you have around you is the core of being self-reliant – and what many of us are trying to achieve.

Small Changes Make Big Impacts

One way we can all minimize the amount of trash that comes into our homes is simply to reuse it. Newspapers seem to accumulate the most in homes and knowing its many uses can serve you in a more sustainable manner. Here are give interesting ways you can utilize all of those old newspapers lying around.

1. Fuel

Let’s forget about the news portion, shall we, and concentrate on some uses for that old Sunday paper.  Firstly, there’s fuel, and as we’ve been doing a lot of articles on woodstoves and winter preps, what could be more in line?  Fire starting material for your winter fires is one thing.  Another is (during the summertime) making bricks out of torn, soaked newspapers that are place into a press and then compacted.

log maker

This Single Paper Log Maker is a great investment for making paper logs. It’s a very simple design.  I have one myself.  You shred your newspaper, wet it (a plastic bin is best for this), and then form it into bricks by pressing it with the bars of the press you see above.  The water squirts out all over the place (do it in your backyard…there’s no room in the bathtub), and you come out with a “brick” that you can allow to dry by setting in the sun.  It takes several days to dry, and making these bricks is one heck of a workout!  You may be able to make about a dozen of them in a couple of hours. They are compacted, and the burn time varies, although they’ll go for at least 45 min. to an hour.

Newspaper can also be cut into 3” strips, rolled up tightly, and soaked in paraffin for fire-starting material.  These guys can be kept in small cans, akin to tuna fish cans after they’re rolled…the tuna fish cans give you about a 2” roll.  Then place a wick in them…a real wick…and use them for a candle.

2. Insulation Material

Remember that article I wrote about the importance of having a thermos in the wintertime and in the extreme cold weather?  Well, guess what?  You can take those coolers and cardboard boxes and further insulate that thermos by: 1. Rolling the thermos up in several layers of newspaper, and 2. “Balling,” or “crunching” up a whole bunch of the newspaper, and then “nesting” your thermos in the middle of your box…to provide further insulation and some “loft” in between the walls of the container and your thermos.

3. Make Your Own Paper

If you are interested in making paper, now is your time to start recycling the newspaper.  There are plenty of books and videos that show how to do it.  In addition, you can take natural materials such as leaves, grass, dried plant stalks, etc., macerate (chop) them and then add to the shredded-up newspaper.  Be careful in this case to use the black and white, and not the colored newspaper, as the colors will leach and make it more difficult for you to blend.

A good supply of newspapers can be stacked and stored within bins.  Ensure there are no dripping flammable liquids around, or anything that can potentially ignite them, and store them in a cool, dry place.  Store them as they come: flat and compressed as they are when they’re brand new.

4. Emergency Insulation

Newspaper can be used for extra insulation when it is needed, and your vehicle should have a small box/bin with a short stack.  You never know when you’ll have to have a fire such as if there’s an accident, or a breakdown that leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

5. Transport Meat and Fish

You can also use it as a field-expedient way to wrap up fish or meat if you need to transport them…as I mentioned, it is not the preferred method, but it is a method.  During the winter, it can keep a layer of insulation between the cold and the meat and keep the exterior from freezing.  In the summer, it will keep flies and other pests from laying eggs in the meat.

So, these are a few for starters.  What uses have you found for newspaper?  Any ideas, “recipes,” or useful projects we would love to hear about, so drop us your comments and let us know what things you guys and gals do with yours!  Oh, and I almost forgot…what could be more quaint than taking a really-expensive or high-quality gift and wrapping it up in newspaper?  A big surprise there that will surely earn a laugh!  Keep in that good fight!

JJ

 

Here are some other great ways to use newspaper:

Learn how to simplify your life using what you have around you

Make your own seed tape

Make paper pots for growing plants

Stash some newspapers aside for pets during emergencies

 

 

 

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

How To Prepare an Herb Garden in Winter

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imageWho’s itching to get outside and start gardening? This article has to do with some things you can start preparing in your herbal gardens for the spring…but prepare now.  Yes, now, while the snow and ice and the Yeti are all around… well, probably not (and hopefully not) the Yeti.  But just because that snow and ice are still on the ground does not mean you cannot start taking the steps to give you an advantage and a “step ahead” of the pack come springtime.

Having a successful garden is all about timing. Make sure you prep your starter soil, pots and the area where you plan to grow. If you don’t live in an area where there is heavy snow, begin cleaning and preparing your growing area. Here are some tips to get started.

Planting Conditions

So, what kind of herbs are we talking about here?  Chives, Cilantro, and Parsley, for starters, are perfect herbs for starting in the late winter.  You’re going to start these guys indoors: seeds in general don’t germinate unless the mean temperature is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  In addition, you’re going to have to utilize as much of that sunlit side of your house as possible.  When you throw these guys into pots (containers) and leave them in your windows?  Give them some “setback” from the glass, as the cool air will linger up to about 1 to 1 ½ inches away from the glass.

Sunlight

You’ll need the sunlight, but not the cold up against the glass.  You will have to be more inventive if you have closed off your windows with plastic, as this will stop some of the sunlight from reaching your sills.  Your herbs will need at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight (morning is preferable), and some indirect in the afternoon if it can be provided.

Naturally, if you have your greenhouse, then much of this becomes a moot point as long as allowance for sunlight and temperature are taken into consideration.  You may need to heat the greenhouse, and this can be done in several ways: with electric heat/heat lighting, with manure/peat that generates organic heated “gassing,” or with a small wood stove.  With this last option (as I’ve mentioned in past articles), it is very important to throw a teakettle (a noiseless one!) or a pot of water on the top of the woodstove.  This will allow for some moisture and humidity, and your plants will appreciate this even more than you!


The factors to control are your water, your soil, and your drainage.  An excess or inadequacy of any of these can lead to ruined herbs, whether you’re germinating your own seeds or whether you’re using cuttings.


Potted windowsills or potted greenhouses, take your pick and stick with it.  Another thing you can do is in March, set up low-tunnels, with hoops made of plastic or aluminum and covered with plastic sheeting.  These will enable maximum amounts of sunlight, and keep your cuttings or seedlings close to the ground.

Prepare the Garden Area Before Planting

Make sure you clear out an area for them that is sufficient.  When the weather warms up so that your herbs (the hardier ones) can handle a frost, it’ll be time to transplant them into boxes.  Anything on the ground should not be touching the ground directly, to prevent frost from entering.  You mulched your perennials in the fall, and soon it will be time to start tending to them, such as garlic, for example.

All in all, potting your seedlings and/or cuttings is the way to go, either in the windows or in the greenhouses.  Best thing to do is research your herbs prior to exposing them to the cold, as some herbs like basil cannot handle cold weather and fall over when the cold hits them.  Plan according to the herb, and the zone in which you live, all of which can be determined either online or in your county extension office.  So, start your herbs and planning for the spring…a few are “early risers” (such as the ones mentioned) that you can begin in the wintertime.  Spring will be here before you know it, so get those green thumbs moving!  We’d love to hear those “green thumb” comments about what you do, as they are valued by us and all of the other readers as well.  Thumbs up, and happy winter herb gardening!

 

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

6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster

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image source: http://www.trbimg.com/

Have you ever pictured what it would be like to be ordered to immediately evacuate your home because of an impending emergency? Imagine only having enough time to grab your pets and your children and head for the hills. While many believe there is adequate advanced notice in evacuations, this isn’t always the case.

As many of you know, due to the higher than normal rain levels in California, water levels at Oroville Dam, the nation’s tallest dam, were so high that an emergency spillway was used for the first time. Initially, dam officials believed the measure worked, but were soon disappointed Sunday afternoon, as more water from record storms flowed into Lake Oroville. This is when officials detected a hole in the emergency spillway. Officials put out an evacuation order Sunday afternoon telling around 200,000 people the emergency spillway at Orville Dam could fail within an hour. With no time to lose, panicked residents quickly left the area scrambling to get out of harms way. As evacuees made the mass exodus, they sat for hours in gridlock hoping to get to their destinations in time.

While the dam break is slightly diminishing and the mandatory evacuation order has been lifted, many residents are thinking twice about going back due to another series of storms that will hit the Oroville area over the weekend and are threatening to dump 10 more inches in water. One resident states, “I don’t want to live in Oroville anymore,” said Shelly Clarke, 52, who fled her home with her husband and slept in her car overnight. “After this, I’m afraid of the dam.” Source

When I wrote The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster, I emphasized that every disaster teaches us another lesson in how to be better prepared and this one is no different. This essential survival guide stresses how important is to have plans and supplies in place in order to be better prepared for the disasters that are on the horizon.

6 Lessons to Learn from the Oroville Dam Disaster

Keep the following in mind the next time you think you don’t need to prepare or evacuate.

1. Evacuations can come at the very last minute and many may not be prepared in time.

image source: http://www.sacbee.com/

The mandatory evacuation order came Sunday afternoon and 200,000 residents were given one hour to leave. Even if you are given short notice to evacuate, it is very difficult to get your belongings in order under the stress of a mandatory evacuation. One Oroville resident recollects how most people barely had time to grab their kids and pets before leaving in all directions. Some fled on foot. Some fled without shoes. Deyan Baker, 19, Anthony Rhoads, 21, and their 2-year-old daughter, Rylee, of Oroville, had no car, so they ran into the street hoping someone would give them a lift. Source


“We were running. No one was stopping,” Baker said. “I started having a panic attack. I felt helpless.”


Preparedness experts suggest having an evacuation bag or bug out bag prepped for items for the entire family. Make sure these are easily accessible and ready to go for emergencies such as this. While a dam break may not be a disaster your area would encounter, what about a gas leak, or a refinery spill? What about a wild-fire? There are many reasons to have evacuation supplies. Here is an evacuation checklist to ensure you have everything covered. As well, consider preparing your evacuation vehicle.

2. Evacuations are dangerous.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Not only is a mass exodus arduous, but dangerous as well. During evacuations there is always some risk to danger. For instance, many are in a state of panic and do not always make the wisest of choices. One Oroville evacuee brings up the point of just how dangerous the roads are when evacuating.


“Cars were speeding by so fast, some careening on the shoulders to pass the traffic, “you could smell the engines burning,” Rhoads said. “You could smell the burnt oil, burned clutches, tires squealing.” Source


There are those who are in a mental state of its ‘every man for himself’. There are also others who are opportunists and take advantage of the situation and can cause injury as a result. One Oroville evacuee knows this lesson all too well. Cameron Asbury, 33, was packing up the truck with his family’s belongings after receiving the evacuation order Sunday afternoon when an unidentified man hijacked the vehicle, ran him over and sped away. You can read more about that here. The point here is during evacuations, it can be dangerous due to heightened emotions, desperation and opportunists taking advantage of the situation. Make sure that you have a way to protect yourself. While many do not believe in firearms, having one during these times would be advantageous.

3. No one knows when evacuation orders will be lifted. 

image source: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/

While the mandatory evac order has been lifted for Oroville, there is still an evacuation order in place and many are not sure when they will come back with the threat of the dam still fresh in their minds. When an evacuation is ordered the residents are left to the mercy of the local government in deciding when it is safe to come back. Having a short-term disaster plan in place before a disaster strikes will relieve some of the stress associated with evacuating. As well, with a solid plan (conceived while you were calm and rational) this will ensure that you won’t skip any important planning steps. Living out a disaster in an emergency shelter is not always the best choice, especially if you have pets or special health care needs. Consider how important having an emergency fund would be in a situation such as this. Having money set aside in advance to pay for hotel stays, food, etc. would prevent you from going into further debt.

4. Information is limited, imprecise and emotionally driven.

image source: http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/

Sunday’s evacuations in Oroville came after several days of state officials saying the dam itself was not in danger and that there was no serious threat to nearby communities. Authorities continued to maintain Sunday night that the dam itself was safe. But their assessment of danger to downstream communities from the spillway’s damage changed dramatically Sunday at 4:42 p.m., when DWR issued this tweet: “EMERGENCY EVACUATION: Auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam predicted to fail within the next hour. Oroville residents evacuate northward.” Source As the mandatory evacuation was ordered, news stories were quickly published about this situation and no one really knew all the facts. Many believed the dam was under the threat of imminent failure, thus causing more panic and heightened emotions.

5. Limited resources.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

During any type of emergency breakdown, there is strain on resources due to the demand of the same types of items needed: gas, water, food, for example. This causes a demand that many stores cannot keep up with and a breakdown inevitably follows. There are some stores who will take advantage of this and price gouge. Limited resources does not only occur during the evacuation route, but afterwards where the evacuees locate to. With 200,000 individuals scattered around the Northern California area, local grocery stores could find their supplies quickly exhausted.

6. The state, county and city officials were unprepared.

image source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Although the local and state government are closely monitoring the situation, many state residents have raised questions on why the erosion of the dam wasn’t fixed 5 years ago when state officials were warned. According to one article, “Countless proposals have been floated over the past two decades to fund infrastructure out of the general fund, and prioritize critically needed upgrades to dams, roads and bridges. But Sacramento spends a pittance out of it’s $180 billion budget on infrastructure, and most of that is earmarked for the abysmal roads and a crumbling intrastate highway system.” Simply put, government officials were not prepared for encountering a damaged dam. Due to their negligence in planning and funds, a town’s livelihood is threatened – children are absent from schools, flooding of multiple communities could occur and an even more disastrous situation becomes more catastrophic.

Each time a disaster presents itself, it is important to recognize ways to better prepare so that history does not repeat itself. The Oroville dam disaster is a reminder of how important it is to be prepared and to be able to react at a moment’s notice. While many believe local and state governments have everything planned out, there are slip ups and those mistakes can be disastrous for the residents involved. The six points listed above frequently occur with disasters and it is important to recognize this. If you walk away with anything from this article, understand how important it is to plan accordingly. Emergencies happen at the drop of a hat and if you aren’t ready, if you waste precious time gathering emergency items at the last minute or have to come up with an emergency plan at the last minute, vital details will be left out.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Prepper Training: This is How to Prepare Your Body to Escape the Big City on Foot

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bugging out on footReadyNutrition Readers, this piece covers some of the basic fundamentals on road marching.  Yes, this is a typical military exercise, but it has several applications for you in terms of preparations and in training.  Road marches can be both physically demanding and challenging.  They should not be attempted without proper preparation, and if you have any underlying health conditions, consult with your doctor prior to doing them.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, I prefer the large-frame Alice Pack of the US Army, the one I have been using for many decades, now.  It is both sturdy and affordable, and can meet a person’s needs from a training and a survival perspective.  That mentioned, it is up to you to find one that feels both comfortable and offers you the support you need to be able to move on the road or cross-country with weight on your back.

Don’t road march cold: you need to take the time to do some light calisthenics to warm your muscles up prior to the physical exertion.  The weight you will tote with you will vary according to your abilities and physical condition, as well as the needs of the exercise.  It is a training event: you need to keep it as such and hold it in that regard.  You need proper footgear and comfortable clothing, as well as a water supply.  You need to prepare for it the night before, with a good meal and plenty of rest and fluids prior to your start.

Your stretches can include (but not be limited to) the side-straddle hop (referred to as “jumping jacks,”) as well as half-squats, squats, hamstring and calf stretches, and so forth.  I prefer boots to support my ankles, although I have seen many people using tennis shoes and hiking shoes.  Whatever your preference, as long as it gives your arch the support it needs.

Start out small, with a lighter amount of weight.  That will be on you to gauge.  Start by doing a mile, and then work your way up.  A good conservative plan for a road marching “schedule” can be one per week with lighter weights and shorter distances.  As you “work your way up” you’ll want to make the road marches less frequent.  The reason being is you don’t want to damage yourself with a potential stress fracture or a hairline fracture from continuously pounding the pavement with your feet and heavy weight on the shoulders.  Shin splints are a common occurrence over time, as well.

Medically, they’re referred to as MTSS (medial tibial stress syndrome), and are pains within the connective muscle and tissue surrounding your knee and the outside of your tibia.  It is a chronic “dull” aching feeling that arises in about 15 to 20% of people who run, walk, or (in this case) march long distances.  Ice packs and rest can enable you to recover in a short period of time.  For any question of it, consult with your physician if the problem persists.

The road marches will strengthen your legs and back, and also develop your cardiovascular capabilities.  You should time every one of them, and attempt gains each time you undertake a march.  Gains would take the form of quicker times, or more weight carried.  You have to do it gradually.  Eventually, your end goal is to carry what you normally would in a rucksack if the SHTF and you were out in the woods.  Cross-country is markedly different from doing it on the side of the road due to the uneven terrain as well as other factors, such as water, thick vegetation, an abundance of rocks, etc.

Weather is also a factor, and in the warmer months great care must be taken to ensure you don’t dehydrate yourself.  Remember: thirst is a late sign of dehydration, and means you’re already depleted when you feel thirsty.  It would also be good to undertake these marches with a partner, so that if an emergency arises you have someone with you to rely upon for first aid or to go for help.

Your endurance will improve with time, and it also takes adjustment for your feet to become accustomed to both your pace and the work.  It is an excellent lower-body exercise that still manages to work your upper body.  It requires discipline, determination, and preparation to accomplish.  Eventually you will see results, and can road march 2 to 4 times per month successfully as part of your physical regimen.

Remember to take account of the water you will carry when you initially weigh your rucksack.  You can pick up a good fishing and game scale that will enable you to find out exactly how much you tote.  Try it out.  It is cost effective and will give you some good results.  Happy rucking!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Ultimate Chicken Crap Composting Guide

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chicken crapThere are no two ways about it – your soil needs nutrition regularly. This isn’t just dirt that we’re talking about. We’re talking about soil and soil is alive. In order for plants to grow to their optimum capacity, they need bio-intensive nutrients present in the soil to assist with growth, root development and disease prevention. While there are other nutrients needed for perfect soil, there are three responsible for the overall health of the plant.

1. Nitrogen: Encourages green foliage by producing chlorophyll and improves leaf development.

2. Phosphorus: Phosphorus promotes good root production and helps plants withstand environmental stress and harsh winters.

3. Potassium: Potassium strengthens plants, contributes to early growth and helps retain water. It also affects the plant’s disease and insect suppression.

This Bi-Product is One of the Leading Soil Amendments and Preferred by Most Organic Farmers

While most of these elements and nutrients are naturally found in soil, sometimes they can become depleted and need to be added to help the soil get healthy again. Those of you who are working towards sustainability are well versed in the importance of composting and may even be making the most of your property by caring for backyard livestock.  If you do have livestock, you probably have a plethora of the bi-product they produce – manure. Once composted, aged manure is a great addition to create rich soil. In particular, chicken manure can be one of the best types of manure to add.


“Chicken manure has higher levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium compared to cattle, sheep or horse manure.”


Safe Handling

While chicken manure is a desirable compost to add to the garden, there are some things you need to know before you apply this soil amendment. First of all, gloves should be used when handling manure. Salmonella spp., E. coli and other human pathogens are present in chicken manure, so handle carefully. As well, because chicken manure is packed full of powerful nutrients, it is considered a “hot manure” and requires proper composting. Make no mistake, raw chicken manure applied to plants can burn, and even kill them. Moreover, since vegetables are growing in compost manured, take extra care when harvesting. Thoroughly wash any harvested vegetable or fruits that touched with compost with soapy water. As well, peel root vegetables and wash leafy greens with soap, or thoroughly cook garden vegetables before eating to kill any pathogens that may remain in the soil.

How To Compost Chicken Manure

Did you know that one hen produces 45 pounds of manure every year. This livestock is a pooping machine! Taking that 45 pounds of chicken manure and chicken litter and applying it each year to 100 square feet of soil will work wonders in your vegetable garden and increase the fertility of your soil.

There are two ways to compost chicken manure. Cold composting is a slow aged process that requires weeks for the manure and chicken bedding to age and mellow. Hot composting creates an interior heat in the center of the compost mound and the high-heat cooks the manure and considerably shortens the composting process.

Cleaning out the chicken coop is the best time to start a composting pile for your manure. When we prepare our chicken coops, we use a layer of cedar chips and them apply straw every month or so until it’s time to clean the coop again. This process naturally gives the future compost a 2:1 ratio of brown material to green material.

Cold Composting Method:

This composting process allows nature to do its business. Manure is added to a compost heap and allowed to sit and slowly decompose.

  1. Add a shovelful of already finished compost or native soil, which will be full of microorganisms to jump-start the process.
  2. Using gloves, rake, shovel and deposit the bedding and chicken droppings directly into the compost pile.
  3. Water it thoroughly and then turn the pile every few weeks to get air into the pile. Allow six to nine months for the manure to naturally age.
  4. Once compost has aged properly, it is done when originally bedding and manure is no longer recognizable and has turned into rich, dark soil.
  5. Once you have finished chicken manure composting, it is ready to use. Simply spread the chicken manure compost evenly over the garden. Work the compost into the soil with either a shovel or a tiller.
  6. Thoroughly wash any raw vegetables before eating.

*If you are uncertain how well your chicken manure has been composted, you can wait up to 12 months to use your chicken manure compost.

Hot Composting Method

This is a faster composting method that heats the composting manure up to high temperatures that will kill off weed seeds and pathogens (diseases), and break down the material into very fine compost considerably faster than the cold composting method.

  1. Add a shovelful of already finished compost or native soil, which will be full of microorganisms to jump-start the process.
  2. Using gloves, rake, shovel and deposit the bedding and chicken droppings directly into the compost pile that is 3 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) in size and no more than 5 cubic feet (1.5 cubic meters). *This size creates the best heat and moisture to speed the decomposition process.
  3. Water compost pile thoroughly (It should be as wet as a wrung sponge).
  4. Cover compost pile with a large burlap or other breathable tarp to maintain moisture.
  5. With a garden thermometer, take pile’s temperature daily to ensure the temperatures rise to 120 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This usually takes one to five days. *Temperature trends are approximate and vary depending on the type of materials you’re composting, the size of the pieces, the level of moisture, and so on.
  6. Every four to seven days, when the temperature of the pile begin to drop below 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), turn all of the organic matter to introduce more oxygen and heat it back up.Thoroughly mix materials from the pile’s exterior to the interior. If needed, water as you turn to maintain the “wrung-out-sponge” moisture level. *Be careful not to get material too wet, because doing so cools off the pile.
  7. After about 14 days, the ingredients of the organic matter will no longer be recognizable. Continue monitoring and recording daily temperatures and repeating the turning process.Turn every four to five days, when the temperature drops below 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). Add moisture, if needed. Turn a total of four times throughout one month.
  8. After 1 month, the pile no longer heats up after turning, and the bulk of it is dark, crumbly compost.The temperature drops to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) or lower.
  9. Monitor the pile and once you are satisfied that the entire contents of your bin has been heated, loosely cover and allow the compost to cure for 45-60 days before using.

More information on this process here

When your chicken manure has sufficiently turned into fertilizer, simply spread evenly over the garden. Work the compost into the soil with either a shovel or a tiller and watch how fast your plants will grow.

The use of manure is an integral part of sustainable gardening and adds necessary organic matter in soil to improve water and nutrient retention. In turn, this creates a prolific ecosystem in the soil to give your plants what they need to produce. Adding chicken manure is an excellent soil amendment and if composted properly, you will find that your vegetables will grow bigger and healthier as a result.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Frugal Prepping: 12 Survival Tools You Need in Your Bug Out Bag

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survival tools for the bug out bagReaders, I’m not so much into gadgets and gizmos as many people, but one of the things that I have done is to amass what I call a “micro” toolbox.  When you’re in a bind, you may have only what is on your belt or in your pockets to rely on.  But what about things you may need in a pinch that may require tools…except you can’t drag around a giant toolbox with you?  This may just foot the bill for you and give you some food for thought.

Although I live an “Uncle Cave-man” type of lifestyle, the fact that I am writing this article to you on a computer and use the internet should prove to you that I still need a certain number of things to carry out tasks besides a bow saw and a stone axe.  Let’s go down a list of some things you can “miniaturize” and take with you in a small tool kit for your needs in a possible 72-hour emergency.  Many of these are low cost and can be picked up in the Dollar Tree/Dollar store.  Remember: You’re not going to stick-build trusses or frame a house – just make a small tool kit you’ll be able to use in a pinch that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Learn how to build the ultimate bug out bag

12 Essential Tools You Need For Your Bug Out Bag

  1. Hammer: no, not the 30-oz Estwing, but a small hammer, just enough to tack in some nails and build a small lean-to or shelter [Pack some nails in a variety of sizes in a small container…don’t forget them]
  2. Screwdriver: once again, your dollar stores have the ones that have “bits” for different screwdriver heads, such as standard or Philips.
  3. Drywall saw: yes, the small one with a triangular-thin blade and big teeth…excellent for small branches, and can be used for game you shoot, as well
  4. Exacto/razor knife: the one with break-off, disposable blades
  5. Allen wrench: you never need one until you need one…and when you do, nothing in the world will work except the Allen wrench…also at the Dollar Tree
  6. Star-nose bits for the screwdriver: once again, you’ll never need them until you do…and your life will be horrible if you don’t have one and the need arises…make sure they fit in your multipurpose screwdriver (#2); you can get them at the hardware store for a couple dollars
  7. Pen Torch with Butane: I recommend Benz-o-matic’s ST-200. It is about 6” long, and it can hot-blow, solder, and be used as a torch with a flame more than 2,000 degrees F!  It runs about $23, and the butane (use Benz-o-matic to keep it from gunking up) about $4-5 per can.  If you need to “unfreeze” something in a heartbeat, such as a lock or a moving part, or if you must solder something together to repair it…there’s your racehorse.
  8. Tape measure: get a good one, a 12 foot one for your minimum size, and use the ones by Stanley, not the generic junk…in this case the adage “cheap you buy, cheap you get” applies. Use Stanley’s “Fat Max” brand that is wider with more visible numbers, unlike the others where even an eagle or an owl couldn’t see the numbers and markings.
  9. A small pry bar: the type that is either rounded or hexagonal. You can pick up one of these at the Dollar Tree, but if you’re going to put a lot of force on it, you may want one of the more expensive ones at Home Depot or Lowe’s.  You never know when you need to lever something in a small space.
  10. Eating utensils and accessories: yes, a fork, knife, and spoon, and a small hand-held can opener. [Note: if you’re out in the wintertime, and a can of food has frozen, you can poke a couple of hole in it with the can opener and thaw it out on a fire]
  11. Small power tools: Cordless Dremel with bits, a cordless screwdriver (that can double as a drill if it’s a good one) and bits…these are your “primaries” with your “Uncle Cave-man” manual tools to back them up if needed. The Dremel, especially, has drills, sanders, and cutting wheels that can really help in a bind.
  12. A set of micro/precision screwdrivers: once again, the Dollar Tree is your best bet.

There are many reasons to pack yourself up a small tool kit such as this one.

Firstly, you do not know when or where you are going to run into a situation that you need these tools in a hurry.  Many of you may say that you already have a big Sears craftsman toolbox in the back of your truck or the trunk of your car.  That’s fine, and guess what?  So do I.  But in addition to this full-sized toolbox, I have the smaller one, for the “What if’s” that always arise.

What if you have an accident and you need to get away from the vehicle to seek shelter?  What if you’re compromised, in some way, and must abandon your vehicle completely?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have that small tool kit that can be made to attach to your happy bug-out backpack?  You can potentially grunt it out and lug the full-sized toolbox with you, but if that’s not an option, your backup will be this compact bag or box of tools…micro-tools, if you will…to help you out as you are in motion.

With these tools at your disposal, you can solder, fix, fabricate, and build what you need in a pinch.  Survival is more than living with an entire arsenal of weapons and a warehouse full of tools and supplies. It is also about living “on the cusp” and being able to be “Johnny-on-the-spot,” to either make or fix what you need when the situation calls for it.  Such is adaptability, and along with good coffee, it is the factor that has enabled us to survive as a species.  Invest in that small tool kit and tailor make it for your needs, both immediate and the ones you forecast for the future.  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

Be Prepared! 20 Must-Read Articles to Get Started Prepping

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 This last year opened my eyes to how quickly our world can turn upside down and how fast people can turn on one another. Towards the year’s end, I sat and reflected on the failures that we all witnessed: our government failures, the poisonous election season, our doomed economy and riots caused by civil unrest.

I asked the Ready Nutrition Facebook community where they felt they were in regards to their prepping endeavors and I was pleasantly surprised to see a new crop of beginners. It seems that many shared in my bleak sentiments. We see a storm on the horizon and know that it is in our best interest to take steps to stay ahead of it. This renewed my passion to get essential prepping information out there and as the saying says, “there is no better time to making changes than the start of a new year.” It’s a new year and we all want to turn over a new leaf.

We are all in the same place – a need to get ready

“This year, I’m finally going to get prepped.” Does that sound familiar? Whether you and a beginner prepper for seasoned, you may not be at the place you had hoped. You aren’t alone. I had prepping plans that I hoped to accomplish by now, but sometimes life gets in way. As well, the more I prep, the more I realize I have so much more to learn. Give yourself a break if you haven’t gotten where you wanted to be. Don’t feel pressured if others surpass you. We are all on our own journey and some may learn faster than others – the point is to stick with it.

This is the single best way to start prepping

Researching and creating a family based emergency plan is the best way to stay organized and on point with your prepping. Have multiple contingency plans too! If Plan A doesn’t work, fall upon Plan B and Plan C, and so on.

You need to understand the disaster you are planning for, how to be mentally and spiritually prepared for it and, ultimately, what supplies and skills you need to thrive. As well, I want to emphasize how important it is to reach out to the prepper community. Learn from each other and don’t be afraid to include your mistakes and failures as part of your education. This is part of the learning curve, and a necessary one at that!

There are some of you who are new to prepping and some that may want a refresher course, so today I thought I would send some links to Ready Nutrition articles that have been the most helpful in getting people on the preparedness track.

20 Must-Read Articles to Get on the Preparedness Path

Below, you’ll find some suggestions for the items you should begin to accumulate. As well, consider these 8 basic preparedness items to compliment your supplies with.

Why You Should Prepare 

5 Ways to Store Water for Short-Term Emergencies

5 Reasons You Should Be Preparing

When the Trucks Stop Delivering, ‘The System’ Will Collapse

The Prepper’s Beginners Guide Part 1 and Part 2

 

Lists of Essential Preparedness Gear and Supplies 

The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer

How to Save Food When You’re Off the Grid

Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage

25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

52-Weeks to Preparedness

30 Survival Items You Can Get at the Dollar Store

Short Term Emergency Checklist

Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit

Urban Disasters: Have These 20 Items On You If You Want to Make It Home

What You Have to Do To Prep on the Fly

 

Long-Term Food Storage Solutions

How to Dehydrate Foods for Long Term Storage

Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment?

Vacuum Sealing for Long-Term Food Storage

Using Your Freezer as a Long Term Food Storage Solution

You can do this!

Now that you have information only a click away, there’s nothing holding you back from getting started! The only thing holding you back from realizing your prepper goals is yourself. You can do this! There is still time to get ready for disasters, but it is important not to waste time. Good luck, preppers! I’m rooting for you and will continue to get more information out to you!

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

You’re Wasting Millions of Gallons of Water Each Year and This is How You Can Change It

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water conservationReadyNutrition Readers, we covered a few basics on the importance of taking in enough water during the winter months.  We’re going to take it a step further and talk about the importance of supply and conservation.  Many of the western states, California and Nevada being a couple of examples have been experiencing droughts over the past summers.  With a lowered amount of precipitation during the winter and spring months, aquifers have declined, as well as several rivers that supply tremendous segments of the country.  A prime example is the mighty Colorado River, which generates power and provides drinking water for tens of millions of people.

Fresh water is no longer able to be considered as a simple natural resource that is infinite in nature.  Only three percent (3%) of the world’s water supply is fresh, and 2/3 of this amount is to be found tied up in glacial ice (the North and South poles).  The world’s animals and plants are therefore dependent on 1% of the world’s water supply.  In drought years, this can present a problem.

The average American family uses approximately 170 gallons of water per person each day.

The bathroom is responsible for ¾ of this amount: every time the toilet is flushed, 5 gallons of water is lost on average.  When you stop to consider there are about 315 million people in the United States who flush that toilet about 2-3 times per day, the amount of water is staggering.  To be sure, this water isn’t “destroyed,” but it is difficult to recover and render drinkable again.

Pollutants are introduced into our water supplies by industry and farming, and these pollutants seep into the groundwater to contaminate the water supplies and the crops that are raised upon them.  It is estimated that 338 billion gallons per day are drawn from surface and subsurface water resources.  90 billion gallons are for people, livestock, and crops.  The remainder?  It goes to industry, mining, and hydroelectric/nuclear power plants.

So, what can we do?  A good deal, actually.  There will be differences with you, the Readers as a percentage of you use your own wells, and others use a municipal water supply.  The conservation can be done by both groups, however, as conservation starts at your front door.  The reasons are not so much as being part of a “green” movement as they are of preserving resources for your own family’s use.  If you are responsible for your own resources, it benefits a community as a whole.  Self-responsibility (not legislated responsibility) is the method for conserving your resources and supplies…this is part of preparation.  There are a number of methods.

Firstly, be aware of information and resources that can help you.  Contact the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in Washington, D.C., for information pertaining to water usage and ways to control it.  Yes, they’re a government agency, however, it is your tax dollars that fund them…you may as well pick up some useful information they have garnered…that you already paid for.  It is free to obtain, but you paid for it to be researched: use it!

If you decrease your time in the shower by just 1 minute per day…this will save 700 gallons of water per month.  By estimating how long you shower, you can add to this water savings drastically by planning your showering time.  VICTORIA AMAT CVRAM.  “Victory loves Preparation,” as the saying runs.  Most toilets have water-conserving features that affect the water flow.  Placing a half brick or a brick in your toilet tank does not interfere with the toilet’s function, but can enable you to save anywhere from 8-20 gallons of water per person, per day.  That is quite a bit of water, if you’re unable to compost your waste products.

Composting brings up another valuable point.  There are plenty of composting toilets available, if it is within your ability to do effectively.  Obviously if you live in a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan, you’re not going to be able to employ a composting toilet in your unit.  There will be a difference if you live in a remote area and on your own property with no zoning/neighborhood requirements limiting what you can do.  Research what will work for your area.  Also, refer to the articles I wrote previously on rain-collection for a water supply, and different measures for establishing water points and water storage for your home and family.

There is also information on water purification methods in these articles that details how to go about making your water drinkable.  I also suggest free resources such as www.howtopedia.com for downloadable, free plans on water collection points and storage methods, as well as how to obtain water from different sources.  The conservation is not a mere “greening” but an exercise in supply and logistics…stretching your resources to the maximum of their conservation and employment.  In this way, you are continuously preparing and honing a survival skill that will come in handy on a daily basis, and when the SHTF.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How To Get Free Maps For Your Prepping Supplies

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maps-for-preppingReadyNutrition Readers, undoubtedly most of you are working on whittling down that turkey, and preparing for the extremely scary times of the Christmas holidays.  Let us digress a bit from all the festive cheer and commercial drudgery to return to the business at hand.  This article is going to cover some information about maps, indispensable tools for you to thrive in a post-collapse environment.  There are several different sources for these maps on the free or on the cheap, and it’s good for you to be aware of them to prepare your supply of them for the times to come.

Firstly, let us not discount your telephone book.  Yes, the telephone directory holds quite a bit in local maps that you might want to take advantage of.  Usually in the front of the phone book are (for whatever your metropolitan area) maps of small towns and suburbs.  These maps are accurate and give the streets, place names, and points of interest.  Here’s what you do.

Take a hobby knife and cut out the map and the key for your immediate area, and another page that covers your local vicinity.  Trim them off with scissors and then lightly apply a glue stick to the back of each.  You want the two different maps to be back-to-back.  When the glue dries, you can mount them.  There are laminating sheets you can pick up at your local, friendly Wal-Mart that run about $10 for ten sheets.  They peel back for you to insert the maps and line them up, and then just close the top sheet after you remove the non-stick backing paper.  Press them firmly and evenly together, and there you are.

You now have an accurate map for local use on the cheap.  Dry erase comes off too easily, but pick up a grease pencil and you can mark things on the front of it when you’re in the middle of a leg of traveling.  It would behoove you to make several of them: phone books are either free or a dime a dozen.  In this manner, your family members can have a map for themselves in their vehicle.  Store these in some kind of binder or folder with pockets to give you easy access.

You need the maps because your electronic devices such as your Garmin GPS or your MapQuest attachment on the dashboard might just suddenly go “defunct,” courtesy of an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) or other similar, natural anomaly such as a solar flare.

            Keep your high-tech, but always have your low-tech aids for backup.

Next is your chamber of commerce.  These guys have about a thousand brochures and maps for your use.  Some of them are pretty good and fairly detailed.  Of particular note are the brochures on parks, forests, and happy-family recreational sites.  Guess what?  That state park may be a fallback area for you if you are on the run.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a map entailing all of the terrain features and manmade features of such a place?

Don’t forget the rest stops usually found in the welcome centers as you cross from one state to another.  These places have the same brochures and maps as the chambers of commerce, and a free state map for you to grab.  Remember: good intel is not merely found, it’s made.  Talk to the people who work at these welcome centers and chambers of commerce.  They can point you in other directions or give you information that may not be immediately visible.  Your “cover” is tourism, vacation, etc.  As “facilitators of information” the state governments pay them with your tax dollars to lure you into their beautiful state and generate more taxable income for all of them.  Make these guys earn their money.

You can often find that many of these parks and tourist sites have maps that also include a little bit of the surrounding area.  Use your judgement, and many of these maps can also be laminated in the manner outlined above.  Do not forget about the Forestry Service in your area.  Here in Montana, they release every year or every two years updates to the national forest trails in the form of maps and guides for free.  Other states have the same.  Don’t forget your county extension office for a plethora of different documents and maps.  Once again, they’ll be happy to help if you just speak to them in a friendly manner.

Don’t discount older or out-of-print maps that you may find in your travels and searches.  They may not be updated, but they may have information on them that is accurate but for whatever reason was not included in the more recent revisions.  Old abandoned tunnels and mine operations are prime examples of things found in older maps and not included in the new maps.  Same for abandoned buildings or abandoned construction projects.  All of these things you may find useful to know…especially when the majority of people have forgotten about them.

Thrift stores and used book stores usually have maps and atlases floating around.  With older maps, what you do (besides the “special” locations just mentioned) is find the main highways and byways that are similar and accurate and cut out these pages to use for an overlay for yourself or an adjunct to a local map you may have laminated.

Do your homework.  On your maps, you want to include as much relevant information as you may need.  Addresses, phone numbers, locations of utilities such as water and power facilities, and places usable for a refuge if you’re out and about and the SHTF.  Place index cards with these extra notes in with the map before you laminate them.  Also, ensure that you mark a compass rose on your map with North and the other three cardinal directions.  Ensure that it is oriented in the correct direction: North needs to actually point north, not just be affixed to the map.

Naturally there are more sources than these.  Your good sporting goods stores usually have a supply of maps either from the Forestry Service or even military maps from the Defense Mapping Agency, the latter of which are golden.  They’re not nearly as expensive as if you order them online.  Want a good idea?  Get yourself a piece of 3-4″ diameter PVC pipe, and cut down two pieces of this that are about 3′ long.  Pick up some end caps that fit snugly, and you have yourself a map case…you can roll up your maps and stow them in there to protect them.

One final word, for your local maps you want to drive around and check them out yourself.  You want to perform a thorough reconnaissance of different routes and ensure they are viable prior to your utilization of said routes.  You don’t want to find out that a bridge that is on your map is actually “out” and unable to be crossed when you’re on the move.  In this light, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Garner your maps before your Garmin goes out as a part of your preps that truly will help you move in the right direction.  Keep fighting that good fight, finish off that turkey, and take care of each other!  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 Factors that Transform Civil Unrest Into a Full-Blown Revolution

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revoltAs mentioned in Part I of this series, the U.S. is (even after the election) on the cusp of a revolution.  The potential for revolution exists in all countries at any given time.  We will first list some of the factors that cause an uprising to transform into an all-encompassing revolution.

  1. Economic Factors: This could take the form of an economic collapse and/or runaway inflation/devaluation of a nation’s currency, as well as chronic or acute unemployment, lowered manufacturing base accompanied by firings or closure of positions or plants.
  2. Warfare: can lead to a country’s dissolution either by insurgency or occupation, followed by an attempt to resist (revolt) either against a foreign oppressor or a country that has (in the manner of the Hessians in the Revolutionary war) “invited in” an occupying army.
  3. Religious/Theological: in the form either of persecution of a culture’s predominant religion or factions/schisms leading to confrontation of conflict between two different religious groups.
  4. Government Oppression: in the form of excessive taxation, taxation with either no representation (as when an executive branch secures a ruling outside of actual legislative bodies or processes) or misrepresentation (a tax is declared for one thing and ends up being “sequestered” for another. Other forms of oppressive acts from a “legitimate” established government include martial law declarations or unlimited police power in the hands of the State.
  5. Civil Unrest: due to any of the above factors, with the added problems of cultural or racial strife in the citizenry, with revolution as recourse, when the people suffer from the (genuine or perceived) blight of believing/knowing there is no legislative or demonstrative recourse in a peaceful vein. It can also parallel economic factors when the abolition of the middle class occurs with a great disparity of wealth between the rich and the poor.

Revolutions usually are not an instantaneous occurrence, but rather have a slow buildup toward their culmination or climax.  When a population suffers for a long period of time without any hope of change in a democratic fashion and their basic needs as individuals and families are not being met, many times matters are taken into their own hands.  This is not necessarily a “right” or a “wrong” issue: it just is.  Revolution is endemic, so to speak, of the human race.

Societies and nations come into being as a result of revolutions, and usually follow a cycle: an upswing, or rise, followed by a peak where the country or culture is at its zenith, and then a slow (sometimes sudden) decline, and then collapse.  For some extra reading, the work Collapse,” by Jared Diamond gives several examples of civilizations that have declined slowly or disappeared suddenly and swiftly that are really worth reading.

The Founding Fathers of the United States were adamant when the nation was in its infancy that the Revolutionary War was intended to be a “one-time thing, not repeated” because (they so believed) the framework of our government was intended to be one of checks and balances.  These safeguards were meant to ensure that power does not accrue only into the hands of one branch (especially the executive branch) to prevent a dictatorship.

They were not, however, able to envision a nation of 320 million people and the technological advances that enable almost a complete surveillance state to be set into place.  They also were (mostly) of English stock and forbears and did not foresee the ethnic, social, and cultural diversities and challenges that would arise with the influx of millions of immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.  In their wisdom, however, they placed the 2nd Amendment into the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights: the purpose of this was not to enable hunting and marksmanship so much as it was to enable the people to have recourse to arms if a government ever became dictatorial or totalitarian.

A government that is in the process of being overthrown always labels the rebels as “terrorists” or “criminals” because it is a process that overthrows the existing social and political order.  A government’s primary function is to perpetuate itself while quelling or preventing dissent or overthrow: survival of the entity and not the individual is the goal.  “Bloodless” revolutions never truly occur: a life will always be lost in the process somewhere.

Revolution usually is (and should be) a last resort.  One of the greatest dangers in the overthrow of an existing government is that the revolutionaries will become the very thing they sought to overthrow: a dictatorship with no room for dissent in any way, shape, or form.  The most successful revolutions occur when the rebels muster up enough popular support that even when not supplied with men or materials, the populace (at bare minimum) stays neutral and gets out of the way of the rebels.

In the U.S. we currently have a ton of demonstrations and protests regarding the presidential election (those just jumping on the bandwagon to be a part of a cause, although liberals at heart), paid disrupters/agents provocateur (on the Soros payroll to instigate, for example), and Clinton supporters.  These are not revolutionaries, although they view themselves as such.  They are not out to “overthrow” the government but to perpetuate the state of continuous “soft-socialism” we have been living under for the past 8 years.

If a revolution occurs in the U.S. it will come as the result of clashes between the Right and the Left as the Left continues to jockey for position and attempt to discredit and reverse the election results, and the Right is just sort of standing around to see what happens. It may also come if the current administration refuses to end, either by a declaration of martial law or involvement in a new war that has catastrophic consequences that enable the executive branch to stay in power.  Only time will tell if one occurs in the U.S. as a result of these elections and any possible post-election chicanery, but make no mistake: the citizens are “keyed up” and we may just see it.  As Gary Franchi and his band so eloquently state it, “Revolution never comes with a warning,” and this is because it usually seethes on the back burner until the top blows off.

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 Cycling Helps Save the World (and Save Your A*@ when the SHTF)

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shtf bikeWe recently moved from NYC to Portland, Oregon, and I have to say the biggest change (besides all of the trees and so much more living space!) is the cycling culture. Portland is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. There are bikes everywhere you look (I just bought this one and I love it). Not only are there safe bike lanes leading everywhere—including all the way to the airport—there’s also a bike shop on every corner and even a bike assembly area within the airport terminal itself. The bike culture also flourishes in Portland because cyclists and drivers both follow the rules (and, let me tell you, that’s a HUGE change from NYC as well).

Cycling is great for your body and great for the environment. People who ride their bicycles regularly have better cardiovascular fitness, less body fat, increased energy, and they experience less depression. These are all ideal characteristics for being conditioned in a SHTF situation. Cycling to work instead of driving saves close to 10% of your household emissions and biking combats noise pollution, traffic, and uses far less rubber than what is needed for car tires. It makes sense that anyone who is interested in having a sustainable lifestyle would also be interested in traveling by bicycle as much as they can.

Why Cycling Matters in a SHTF Situation

In addition to health benefits, knowing how to cycle and having the necessary gear can come in handy in a dire SHTF situation. I recently read an article about how traveling by bike is your best bet for surviving the zombie apocalypse—the article was a bit of a joke, but it got me thinking seriously about bugging out and how to travel safely in a potentially dangerous situation.

Riding a Bicycle Lets You Avoid Traffic: First of all, anytime there is an emergency, from a severe weather event to a terrorist threat to a fire, traffic becomes an immense and literal roadblock. You won’t be limited to roads at all if you have a bicycle. Being able to take alternate routes means getting the heck out of Dodge faster—of course, you’ll have issues with covering long distances, but people stuck in hours of traffic will too.

Riding a Bicycle Does Not Require Fuel: There’s also the issue of getting gas and maintaining your energy source for your car. Sure, if you’re prepared, you’ll have a few extra tanks on hand, but what happens when that dries up? In a national or worldwide SHTF situation, gasoline will be among the first resources to go scarce. When the gas is gone, even if drivers are able to power through traffic and use their preps, it’s only a matter of time before they have to abandon their cars and continue their travels on foot.

Bikes are Easy to Repair: A bicycle is a straightforward machine that requires only a slight bit of research to repair. You don’t want to be worrying about your engine or oil changes when you’re on the run.

You Can Still Carry Cargo: If you’ve traveled to Indonesian countries you’ve seen how much gear (or how many people!) can be packed onto a single bicycle. Having a basket or rack is an easy and affordable way to make your bike more emergency friendly. Even just having a simple set up for your bug-out bag and some of your preps will make a huge difference.

You Can Accommodate Children on a Bicycle: If forced to abandon your car, having smaller children means that they slow you down, and if they aren’t willing to walk you will find yourself in a terrible situation indeed. Carriers or trailers like this one mean your child can be sleeping soundly while you travel.

Riding a Bike is Better for Your OPSEC Situation: Bicycles are stealth and silent when you are riding them and are reliable in an off-grid situation. They are small and easy to camouflage–they can even be pulled up into a tree or stashed behind some bushes at a moment’s notice.

At the very least, understand that you cannot rely on your vehicle in a true SHTF situation if you have to flee your home. Loading up your trunk with preps could potentially be a waste of time—instead, you might do well to learn how to ride a bike and be sure one is packed in that trunk of yours.

 

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

Prepping for a Full On Breakdown? Stockpile These Foods

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full-on-breakdownReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, as you know we’re down to the wire just before the U.S. presidential election: an election that will shape the face of the country for a long time.  But will we make it there?  And if so, will we make it through it, and the transition period?  With the contrived “Russian Cyber threat,” along with the very real threat of nuclear war, an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack, a true Cyberattack, an economic and societal collapse, or a grid down scenario, we have enough things to look out for.  When things of this nature make the mainstream news media, it may be time to start preparing if you have not done so.

It’s time to prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-selling preparedness manual

People are Planning for Unrest Following the Election

Emergency food sales and preparedness related supplies have soared due to the upcoming election. Here are excerpts from this article:

“What’s feeding this new urgency?  Survivalist consumers say they’re preparing for post-election unrest that could involve everything from massive riots, to power grid outages, to the total collapse of the financial system where a can of food becomes currency.

Nor is it limited to just rural areas.  Frederick Reddie, a 41-year-old ‘urban prepper’ from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is stocking upon staples like rice and peanut butter and working on expanding his 6-month supply of emergency food to two years.  He has to use a pseudonym to protect his supply from any future hungry neighbors, he told NBC News.”

Well, it seems as if “Freddie Reddie” may have read my article about neighbors and “The Shelter” episode of the Twilight Zone.  In any event, he has the right idea.  Certainly, if you can afford it and wish to invest, then by all means (and by your choice), indulge as best fits into your budget and storage plans.  The aforementioned article reported that several companies that sell freeze-dried and dehydrated foods in Mylar that are packed in buckets are being bought akin to a wildfire.  Telephone orders are through the roof, and the companies reported they have needed extra staff to take care of the purchases.

Why Canned Goods are a Good SHTF Investment

I personally like the canned goods.  They’re within my budget (no, JJ is not a millionaire or even close), and they are the basis for my logistical needs.  I don’t normally eat a lot of canned goods, and for a survival situation, I’m not overly concerned with the food being organic, or any “leaching” that may occur out of the can liners.  My focus is on complete nutrition: protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.  Canned foods have been time-tested with me: I have had cans of vegetables and meats that I had in New Orleans during Katrina that (after ten years) were still just fine when tested.

Indeed, they found canned meat from Arctic and Antarctic missions such as Scott’s and Amundsen’s that had been almost a hundred years old with the contents still edible.  Canned goods can take tremendous changes in temperature and still be perfectly edible.  Canned goods are also pretty affordable and can even be found at dollar stores.  Everyone has undoubtedly concentrated on the basics, as follows:

Soups, prepared dinners (pasta dishes, chili), stews, canned meat (chicken and fish), canned beans and vegetables.

Be Careful of Tricky Manufacturers

You have to watch out: they’re starting to shrink not only portion size but portion content.  I just picked up the last case of ready-made mini beef ravioli with meatballs.  My sneaky grocers kept the same label on the cans but removed the “with meatballs” from the label…and (as you may have guessed) the meatballs, as well.  The can with the meatballs has a protein content of 22 grams (g), or 11 g per serving.  The one without the meatballs only has 16 g per can (8 g per serving), and they “phased” out the ones with the meatballs, but left the same price…79 cents per can.

Doesn’t sound as if it’s much, but when you buy 20 cans, that’s 120 grams of protein less in the variety sans meatballs.  Same for peanut butter, where they conveniently shrank the portion size but kept the same sized jar.  In addition to the canned goods, you can still find some case lot sales on dry goods, such as pasta, rice, peanut butter, crackers, and so forth.  With canned goods, don’t write off canned mackerel or sardines from your preps.  They’re high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.

We’re getting close to “crunch time” with all of these things happening.  Now is the time for you to stretch your dollars and prepare according to the many tips and articles you’ve read and researched here on ReadyNutrition.  Use those Gatorade and 2-liter soda bottles to build up as much of a bottled water supply as you can.  For your canned goods, if you can put them in bins, all the better.  If not, try out some cardboard boxes, and be sure to label them or mark them on the outside with a magic marker for what the general contents are.

Staying Organized

Inventory sheets (as I’ve mentioned in articles past) go a long way in rotating your supplies and also for keeping track of their contents.  For canned vegetables, concentrate on the ones you can get the most for your money with.  Examples would be canned, whole potatoes, spinach, kale, beans (such as baked or black…not the green beans that are almost devoid of nutrition), sauerkraut (excellent vitamin C source), canned fruit high in vitamin C (grapefruit, mandarin oranges, etc.).  Other prepared foods in cans are macaroni and cheese that you can add meat to if you wish.

They last a long time, come precooked (therefore can be eaten right out of the can), and they can take a beating.  Let’s not also forget canned juices, such as fruit juices and vegetable juices (tomato, V-8, etc.)  Stick with the non-carbonated stuff, as it’s better for you and will be less prone to burst on a fall or impact. Here is a good list to follow.

In a nutshell, these canned goods and dry goods can help you boost up your supplies, or provide you with a base if you have not been preparing.  All of the advice in the world will not help you unless you put it to use with actions.  As things occur both in the U.S. and the world, now is the time to take advantage and do all that you can, and the canned goods can be found within your budget that fulfills your basic needs.  Keep in that good fight, and fight it all the way!  JJ out!

 

 

Related Material:

11 Emergency Foods That Last Forever

The Prepper’s Cookbook

How to Stock a Prepper’s Pantry

Five Family Friendly Food Pantry Organizing Tips Anyone Can Do

Prepping With Wheat Allergies

5 Ways to Stretch Your Meals SHTF Style

Food Pantry: Take Care of Your Basic Needs

72 Hours Without This Will Kill You: Survival Water Fundamentals

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

Emergency Survival Food Sales Soar as We Get Closer to Election Day

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prepper-candidateSales of emergency survival food are increasing as we approach election day, and rightfully so. With Hillary Clinton and other democrats hellbent on resuscitating a non-existent Cold War and the violent riots we’ve seen by so-called protesters at Donald trump rallies, many preppers are seeing the signs and preparing for post-election unrest by storing large amounts of non-perishable food.

Although it is quite normal to see long-term storable foods rise in sales around election time, but survival food companies are seeing a particularly large spike in business this year as we approach election day.

“This is more intense than what we saw in 2012,” Keith Bansemer, marketing VP for My Patriot Supply, a survival food company, told NBC news. He says that last election season doubled their sales, and this time around they have seen their sales triple.

“We have everyone we can on the phones. We are overwhelmed,” said Bensemer.

Those who expect Trump to win fear a revolt from violent anti-Trump protesters, such as the riot seen in San Jose, California outside of a Trump rally. Others who expect Hillary Clinton’s coronation to the presidency are preparing for a possible World War 3 scenario, which may be a very well-founded concern considering Clinton’s war-driven rhetoric about Russia’s involvement in Syria and the establishment of no-fly zones in air space around Aleppo.

However, not everyone is preparing for war with another country. Many are preparing for government-related threats to their life and liberty. One of the major threats we face is the ever-increasing desire of politicians to take away our guns and the resulting chaos that would ensue. Hillary Clinton completely disregards the second amendment, and the possibility that she would enact gun confiscation across the country should not be discounted. This would mean a declaration of war on the people, or at least those who cherish freedom.

Bansemer does not think his customer base is fearing for any specific election outcome. He thinks that many just want to be prepared for whatever may come as a result of either of these candidates’ policies.

“You hear them saying, no matter who wins, I know I could take a positive step myself and secure what’s important,” he explained. “They’re securing their food supply.”

A number of other long-term food suppliers are seeing an increase as well.

Legacy Foods is predicting that sales will jump in the weeks following the election, said owner Phil Cox. Legacy sells a $2,000 package of a year’s worth of storable food, containing nearly 1,100 meals and sealed in military-grade Mylar packs.

Retailers are noticing the increase of sales of long-term food and they are serving the market. Costco is also getting into the emergency food market with a 390-serving bucket, or one month’s supply of food, for $115. Store owner Larry Friedman is unsure what to make of the increased presence of preppers at his military surplus supply store, M&G. “Some are regulars in here,” said Friedman. “They come in, seem perfectly normal, and then suddenly, they’re talking about the apocalypse. You do a double-take.”

Friedman recalled seeing an increase of sales like this nearly two decades ago, after the original invasion of Iraq:

“It really started in ’91 with Desert Storm. People were worried about Scud missiles and chemical weapons from Iraq. We had so many people waiting we almost couldn’t close the doors. We sold every gas mask we could get our hands on. That was off the hook.”

Whatever reason one may have for preparing, there is no question that if disaster strikes and food becomes scarce, food will become a primary currency, and storable food will become highly valuable. There’s no good reason to pass up the opportunity to prepare.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Three Underrated Alternative Energy Options You Can Find in Your Home

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Green Home
Sure, there are plenty of alternatives to fossil fuels:  most people have heard of solar cells, wind and battery power, but there are other energy options as well. Some of them are a few years away from being viable in the US, but many of them could be excellent candidates if a little more research and funds are invested now. Here are three of the most familiar, yet underrated, energy options.

Cooking Oil

There are reports of cooking oil being used as a fuel source as far back as 1896, and peanut oil was used to power diesel engines throughout the turn of the century. But there hasn’t been much of a desire to move further into the realm of using cooking oil for fuel; the issue that makes vegetable oil a less popular or likely choice is largely availability. Though the US alone produces more than 2.5 billion pounds of grease through restaurants and other industries, there are some regions where the byproduct is simply not available. Shipping drives up the cost and makes other resources more attractive. However, for those who DO have a readily available supply (such as farmers or restaurant owners), cooking oil can provide up to 25% of the energy needed to run these establishments. An investment in a special generator up front can allow these businesses to turn their used oils into energy and also cut down the cost of oil disposal (which can cost upwards of $75 a month) in the process. Best of all, cooking oil is completely renewable and burns cleaner than fossil fuels.

Garbage

Incineration, or the burning of garbage, has been around for centuries; however, the process is not as simple as merely torching trash and being done with it. Incineration produces pollutants such as dioxin and releases them into the air. One way around this issue is to create special waste-to-energy plants that control the release of hazardous air pollutants.

Estonia has facilities that meet these requirements and they recently made headlines when they imported 62,000 tons of garbage from other European nations for use in their power plant in Iru. Sweden also produces more than 60% of their energy using renewable resources (primarily a combination of wind power and waste-to-energy). Currently, the United States has 87 waste-to-energy plants that generate approximately 2,720 megawatts, or about 0.4 percent of total US power generation. In European countries there are more government incentives and business benefits to utilizing alternative energy resources, but in the US we’re still much more reliant on our traditional sources. We don’t yet have the infrastructure to make the strides that Estonia or Sweden have, but as these and other European countries continue to develop these methods, they can serve as a model for future areas of exploration.

Poop!

Yes, that’s right: human and animal feces can be used as a source of energy. When processed through bioreactors that are equipped at removing the natural gas from waste, this method is efficient and (after initial startup costs) affordable.

The specialized bioreactors work by feeding solid human and animal waste into chambers full of bacteria. The bacteria eat any remaining nutrients in the waste and release natural gas that we can use as fuel. It’s also possible to convert solid waste into hydrogen and other gasses for various uses. Toyota’s Fukuoka plant in Japan has been experimenting with biogas-turned-hydrogen for fueling a new fleet of vehicles. Hydrogen vehicles are currently available in the United States as well, but they are expensive and the filling stations are rare at this point. Scientists at UCLA are hoping that “brown energy” continues to develop in the US because the benefits are so great and the source material is, ahem, endlessly available.

 

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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

There’s Toxic Air In Your Home and This Is How to Get Rid of It Naturally

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 Did you know that poor air quality in the home can cause a condition called “Sick Building Syndrome”? This is caused by an accumulation of toxic gases known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which are released from common household goods, including everything from your cleaners to appliances and even the food you eat.

In addition to being carcinogenic and neurotoxic, long-term exposure to VOCs can lead to other serious health implications including, respiratory dysfunction, genetic abnormalities, and dermatitis. It begs the question, what are we subjecting ourselves to, doesn’t it?

NASA’s Clean Air Study reports how certain houseplants help to filter and remove toxins from the air. Houseplants have long been known to clean the air in small spaces, but some of these plants are more beneficial—and prettier to look at—than others. For those of you who prefer the bright colors of flowering plants, the following list shows the best beauties for filtering the air in your home.

5 Indoor Plants That Will Improve Air Quality

Succulents

Everyone loves the ease in caring for succulents and some of these create delicate flowers too. Here’s a quick fact: when photosynthesis stops at night, most plants absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide? But, there are a few plants – like orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads that will take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night time. Meaning, these would be ideal plants to have in bedrooms to keep the oxygen flowing at night.

Flamingo Lilly

AKA Flamingo Flowers, these are durable and fairly easy to grow in low light, low water situations. They can thrive for many years under ideal conditions but are hearty enough to maintain growth for up to two years in even the most adverse situations (i.e., this is a perfect flowering plant for those lacking a green thumb!) . They have large, deep green, heart-shaped leaves and produce long lasting, bright red or hot pink flowers.

The Flamingo Lilly is great at removing the toxins formaldehyde (found in many paper products), xylene (found in tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust), and ammonia (found in cleaning products) from the air.

*Beware that the Flamingo Lilly (like a lot of flowering plants) is toxic to dogs and cats, so be sure to keep them away from your family pets.

Barberton Daisy

The Barberton daisy is available in many colors ranging from white to bright red. The hybrids sold in garden centers typically produce two or more single stemmed stalks with a single flower sprouting from each one. These flowers are up to four inches wide and are quite impressive to look at. The Barberton Daisy can be grown indoors in medium-levels of sunlight, with moist soil. They can flower at any time of the year and each flower blooms for approximately six weeks.

Barberton Daisies filter out trichloroethylene (found in ink, paint, rubber products, lacquers and varnishes), formaldehyde, and xylene.

Peace Lilly

The Peace Lilly is easy to care for and gives a telltale droop when it is in need of water. They flourish in shade and low light and you can expect your Peace Lilly to bloom with dozens of striking white flowers in the springtime.

Peace Lillies are extremely effective at filtering multiple toxins from the air. They work on trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, benzene (used in plastics, detergents, dyes, and glue), and carbon monoxide. If you can only have one flowering plant in your home, the Peace Lilly might be a good bet.

*Like the Flamingo Lilly, this one is toxic to pets as well, so beware.

Florist Chrysanthemum

The Florist Chrysanthemum requires bright light and moist, high-quality soil, so it needs a bit more care and upkeep than the other flowers listed here so far. But with the proper maintenance and right kind of soil, the Florist Chrysanthemum will produce lots of big, beautiful blooms (typically in the red and pink color family, though occasionally you will see bright purples and yellows) that will last for up to 8 weeks.

Like the Peace Lilly, the Florist Chrysnthemum filters out multiple toxins including trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene (used in plastics, detergents, dyes, and glue).

*This plant is also mildly poisonous to dogs and cats (if the stems are ingested they will cause stomach upset and disorientation) so again, use caution.

If you feel that your home suffers from poor air quality or quite possibly sick building syndrome, start adding some indoor plants to frequented rooms and see if your health improves.

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

This is How You Can Dodge Facial Recognition Software

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 Helen of Troy, according to the Odyssey, was “the face that launched a thousand ships,” prior to the Greek invasion of Troy.  You and I, on the other hand, are the faces that launch an army of CCTV cameras ready to capture our images when we walk past them.  ReadyNutrition Readers, we just covered winter camouflage tips and techniques.  Camouflage is an important part of your prepping, in terms of being able to effectively hide yourself and your supplies from prying eyes.

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One of the biggest problems that we encounter is not blending in with the terrain in a wilderness environment, however, but what we face in an urban and suburban environment.  As mentioned in previous articles, you have to camouflage in accordance with the environment you find yourself within.  It would not be intelligent to stroll down the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard dressed up in Realtree-patterned garb with a holstered sidearm and a hunting knife.  You would undoubtedly be “noticed,” and probably take a ride in a black and white, courtesy of the police department.

There’s an article that gives some very stark details about the 250 million security cameras in existence throughout the world.  The article entitled Opinion: Facial recognition will soon end your anonymity,written by Tarun Wadwha on 6/4/2016 explains this in detail and how new developments in software and the ever-growing number of cameras everywhere are reducing your chances to remain anonymous.  Chances are that your face has already been scanned and entered into a database without your knowledge. Knowing these things, there are a few measures that we can take…and these are directed toward urban and suburban dwellers to give them an edge.

What these Statists are trying to do is to create a “map” of where you are and what you’re doing, along with the times and dates of your activities.  Go and see (or rent out) the latest “Jason Bourne” movie to really get a feel for the intricacies of how these Law Enforcement agencies, the government, and other interests utilize the public domains to tie into their surveillance of you and your family.

Prepare for any disaster with this step-by-step manual

6 Ways to Dodge Biometric Verification

Here are some things you can do, and keep in mind to help lower your signature:

  1. Wear sunglasses during the daylight hours…breaking up the potential to photograph your eyes, the way they are set into your face, and any eye movements that might give away what you are doing (what you’re getting ready to do).
  2. Wear a hat, especially one that covers up the ears. Baseball caps are fine, but they really focus on the ears – their shape and proximity to the side of your head – for identification purposes.  The caps also bust up the curvature of your head and also hide the hair and hair patterns.
  3. Wear scarves, turtlenecks, and other clothing such as balaclavas to break up the outline of the neck.
  4. Gloves: hide the hands, your marital status, and scars, fingernails, or other prominent features…even the fingerprints can be photographed.
  5. Layered clothing: yes, this is great to protect from the cold, but I’ll give you another reason to wear it. The Doctrine of Contrasting Colors.  For a “real-time” view of this look no further than the movie “The Recruit” with Colin Farrell and Al Pacino.  Farrell escaped from his pursuers by shedding the outer layer of his clothing and reversing the jacket.  You can do the same.  Make the green sweatshirt disappear when the need arises with a change to a tan polypro top with a zippered neck.
  6. Rule of Thumb: “When the Need Arises.”  Yes, you can pack yourself a small “kit” with darker-toned makeup/lighter-toned makeup such as skin cream, and also hats of various types different from the ones you normally use.  A wig may be a quick fix to turn your hair from brown to blonde.  There are also movie supply sites you can visit that will sell you real mustaches actually made from human hair.  Sound stupid?  It won’t if you use it and it keeps you out of a cell.  This measure is for when it’s really hitting the fan…not for “day to day” activities.

Another big problem to overcome with all of this surveillance is the fact that most people have their constantly clicking and snapping little phone-cameras to take pictures of every single thing on the planet within their “biome,” and it’s these individuals who serve as “silent witnesses” to help the surveillance state gather as much info as they can.  In addition, let’s not forget that every photo you post, twitter, place on Facebook, or download in any capacity does indeed become “scarfed up” by the government.  That $50-billion-dollar facility in Utah wasn’t built to help out Olan Mills with their photography work.

Be aware, and not just of others but of yourself.  Reduce the “footprint” you put out by learning where the cameras are where you work and on your trips back and forth to your house.  Disable the little camera-dot on the top edge of your laptop with 2 layers of aluminum HVAC duct tape pieces.  Disable the microphone within it as well.  Bottom line: you have to pull security for yourself and on yourself to reduce the chances of them cataloguing your every move.  Don’t give them what they need to build up their files.

We are entering into a phase in our country with a moment of decision to come with the U.S. elections.  Martial law is always just around the corner, waiting to be inflicted on us.  These are techniques you’ll have to incorporate into your daily routine and they’ll take some practice.  Awareness and the ability to act on what is happening around you are the keys you’ll need to be able to make it all work.  We’d like to hear any suggestions you have on the matter that may work for others.  Keep fighting that good fight, and stay away from those cameras!  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 Critical Components to Getting Prepped for a Blackout

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Blackout Hurricane SandyPower outages can happen at any time. Just this summer, there was up to 14 days of blackouts across California, and while they were not necessarily consecutive days, these power outages can be devastating for those who may be without a plan – especially in the peak of summer. As well, those living in northern climates have seen their fair share of “lights out scenarios” when the cold weather affects the grid. And let’s not forget the massive blackout that occurred from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

From refrigerators to cell phones, people have almost become completely reliant on electrical devices for their survival, and for this reason a blackout can have disastrous implications for the ill-prepared. You never know when a blackout could occur or for what reason, but it is important to know that it could happen at any time. It is important that you have what you need to survive in the wake of a catastrophe.

Read more about rolling blackouts and the electrical grid

In addition to blackouts, there are a number of other threats to the power grid, both natural and man-made, that should be taken into account when making preparations for such an event. For instance, hurricanes and tornadoes have been known to damage power lines and render them completely unusable. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is another threat to the power grid, and it could originate from a natural source, such as lightning or coronal mass ejections, or from an artificial source, such as a nuclear and non-nuclear EMP weapon. An EMP could affect the power grid by causing transformers to fail, and it could possibly cause irreparable damage to electronic equipment that does not have sufficient protection, which could mean just about any modern car with a computer, would likely experience disruption or failure. When preparing for a blackout, it is important to keep these other possible threats in mind.

Energy Conservation Measures

Energy conservation at home or at work is critical for minimizing blackouts, especially when high temperatures cause immense stress on electrical equipment during the summer months. It is important to turn off all unnecessary appliances or equipment and shut off all unused lights where possible. If practical, using an electric fan instead of air conditioning units can save quite a bit of power. Closing blinds or drapes to keep out sunlight during hot periods of the day can decrease the need for air conditioning as well. Excessive opening and reopening of refrigerators can cause unnecessary power usage for the refrigerator to maintain a lower temperature. Here are some other tips to stay cool when the air conditioner is off and how to stay warm if the heater does turn on.

Store and Prepare Food Off-Grid

Water is fundamental to staying alive, so make sure to have at least 1 gallon per person per day stored for each person in your household. A blackout can last multiple days, so it would be best to plan to store enough water for each individual in your household for at least a week. Perishable food will go bad without refrigeration, so it will be important to keep food that does not require refrigeration, like peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds. Canned foods may be made to last long, which is why they are so often suggested as long-term survival foods, but they are generally lacking in nutrition and high in sodium, so nuts or seeds will make for a better option for meeting your nutritional needs when it really counts. As a side note, most medication that requires refrigeration during a power outage can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without damaging the medication. Of course, if you are unsure, it would be best to check with your physician or pharmacist.

Alternative Power Sources

It is important to have at least 2 alternative power sources at your house in the case of a blackout. Luckily, you probably already own one: your car. If you connect an inverter to the positive and negative terminals on a car’s battery, you can use the battery to run most household appliances for a limited period of time, and you can run the car periodically to charge the battery. The primary difficulty in sustaining your car as a power source is knowing the wattage rating of the devices you intend to use. An inverter that is rated for 500 watts should be enough for a small family to power most vital appliances. If there are any high wattage devices plugged in, you will likely need the car to be running for the duration of the device’s use because the battery will run out quickly. You can also keep a store of charged batteries so that you can continue to use the inverter in the case that you run out of fuel.

Another device that you may want to consider purchasing as an alternative power source is a gas-powered generator. Gas-powered generators take about a quarter gallon of gasoline for each hour of use. This will require that you keep a store of plenty of extra fuel. For a blackout period lasting 3 days, it would be wise to keep at least 15 gallons stored in your house for use in your generator or car.

Survival Gear

This type of emergency is one of the many reasons to have emergency supplies set aside and a well thought out plan. Access to fire will be critical in a blackout. Make sure to have at least three different ways to make fire, such as a magnesium and steel fire-starter, matches and butane lighters. Lanterns will be effective alternative light sources as long as you make sure to keep kerosene in storage. Keeping in mind fuel that will be helpful, you may also want to have propane in storage for use on a barbecue or other propane-powered appliance. Having extra flashlights will make a fundamental difference in a power outage. Keep one extra set of batteries for each flashlight that you set aside. Of course, you want to have a first-aid kit with sanitizing gel. A radio with a crank generator will enable you to hear emergency alerts without having to use back-up power. Have at least 3 days of clean clothes prepared.

Preparedness is a lifestyle. Having the items you need when the worst happens can mean the difference between struggle and survival. More than anything, the knowledge that you know how to face disaster whenever it may strike is empowering. Build confidence in yourself and your family members by making sure that you have what it takes to face the next power outage today.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hardcore Walking Dead Survival Tips for Preppers

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darylSeriously, folks, I know you’re all probably fed up with zombies, especially since this is an election year.  Political zombies aside, I wish to mention this series of pop-culture, “the Walking Dead” can be (I stress “can be”) more than just an entertaining series.  It can serve as a valuable training tool for you and your family to prepare for the onslaught of the 14political zombies and what they unleash on us and the country. Heck, even the CDC is using it as a training tool.

Firstly, forget so much about the zombies.  Yes, they’re gruesome and a large part of it is Hollywood theatrics and special effects.  But what about this point I’m about to make:

What if you removed the zombies and kept the rest of it?

In other words, you could remove the zombies completely and focus on what the characters are facing within the series…an overall apocalyptic collapse, the fight for starvation and the complex interpersonal and micro-societal relationships and events that occur with said collapse.

One could easily remove all of the zombies and supplant them with say, nuclear war, or a devastating plague (sans zombies, which are the results of a hypothetical plague), or a complete series of breakdowns after a collapse of all governments in the world.  The zombies (as this piece relates to a training tool) are merely “props” who appear in one degree or another for a small portion or a big scene.

The characters in the movie are from a diverse array of backgrounds and levels of life.  The problems they face relating to one another are what can be focused upon.  All of the wonderful ailments that torment man in today’s society are present: theft, betrayal, infidelity, two of one gender vying for the same mate of the opposite gender, religious matters…it’s all right there.

How to Train for a Walking Dead Scenario

There are many matters of survival to be watched and either emulated or renounced, depending on the situation.

  1. Security is paramount to the character Rick Grimes and his group.  When the series first came out, the group was barely more than a fragmented collection of individuals.  Now (about to enter its seventh season) they have purpose, drive, and teamwork that has enabled them to perform security functions much more effectively.
  2. There is a tremendous amount of character development that is worth studying.  Some members of the group who were no good in the beginning are turning out to be stalwart pillars that all are relying upon, showing man’s adaptability and willingness to change for the better.  The group does not lose its humanity or capacity to be humane completely even in the light of adverse situations that would challenge anyone’s moral compass substantially.
  3. Methods of gathering food and foraging as well as water procurement, first aid, and leadership techniques are delved into in-depth.  Situations that arise within the films do arise in real life and especially during a disaster.  Barring your objections to watching such due to religious and moral sensibilities, if you’re able to see it for what it is…a fictitious account…and if you’re not squeamish about the zombies, it can be riveting.  In this facet, it can be a good training tool for members of the family who might be bored by standard training films or “Hallmark Card” disaster-flicks…where the neat, clean family on the happy picnic emerges from the disaster without a speck of dirt…picking up their picture-perfect picnic right where they left off.
  4. Reality is oftentimes grim, and another excellent factor of watching these films is that it helps viewers to mentally prepare for things that may happen…yes, a form of conditioning…regarding the scenarios.  In past articles I have mentioned the importance of making your training regular, realistic, and really interesting.  How could this be used regarding “the Walking Dead” series, you may ask?  How about this?
  5. Watch the episode with your family.  Take notes on things…all of you, just short “bullet” comments about what you’re viewing and what sticks out in your mind.  After the flick, conduct an AAR, military jargon for an “After Action Review” to see what everybody thinks.  Use the flick as a tool to discuss the situations that arise and what your critiques are on them…the mistakes, the successes, and what you would do as a family differently if in the situation faced by the characters.
  6. Then, guess what?  Spice things up further by maybe taking the family out on a subsequent day out in the woods, or out on a range to practice techniques that would help you in a similar scenario.  Working on marksmanship even with air rifles on zombie targets with the kids can be one exercise.  Working on signaling techniques and communication, or different methods to rendezvous when hiking or backpacking is another set of exercises.

The best part of all, and the most important part in JJ’s estimation: you’re doing something with your family that combines instruction with participation, and bonds all of you even closer.  Because, dear Readers, without those close bonds and the ability to support one another and depend on one another…we’re not maintaining a community.  The family is the basic community unit, and family means not just those by birth, but those we love and care about, and that feel the same toward us.

So in conclusion, make it interesting, make it real, and use it as something to make the kids and family look forward to.  Another thing I do?  For those I instruct in my locale…I note different parts of the series (as well as other series of war and disaster), note down the time it appears on the DVD, and keep it as a sort of “reference library.”  I list the topic covered.  When I want to highlight a part of training, I use my little portable DVD player and pop in the movie…and scroll right to the scene.  One picture can be worth a thousand words, and this is how I use films to train.  This article is 1,000 words, and I hope they help!  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

Bartering to Eat: How People on the Streets of Venezuela are Surviving

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vflagVenezuela truly has become a nightmare come to life. What has taken place over the last three years has been nothing short of a total destabilization of the entire country. The water system, the roads, the electrical grid, the hospital, and especially the food distribution system. Venezuelans became so desperate that they were forced to scrounge for food in dumpsters and hunt down cats and dogs. Crime became rampant as well, and the capital city of Caracas now has the highest murder rate in the world. Mobs of vigilantes are frequently seen picking up the slack of the corrupt police; that is, when they’re not busy looting grocery stores. Venezuela is practically a war zone now.

Here’s a breakdown of the last three years for Venezuela:

  • In 2013 a major oil crash hurt the Venezuela economy the most and prompted the butterfly effect.
  • In 2015 – The Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, was worth less than a penny, prompting a monetary breakdown of the banking industry.
  • March of 2015 – The food crisis begins. The government can’t pay to import basic food items like milk, flour and eggs, leaving many supermarkets with empty shelves. Venezuelans were doing everything they could to stockpile food in order to insulate themselves from the coming economic and monetary implosion.
  • January 2016 – New power struggles emerged as many Venezuelans had enough of Maduro. In January, the opposition party, Democratic Unity, took 109 seats in Congress, far more than the 55 seats Maduro’s socialist party won. During this time, the government declares 60-day economic emergency.
  • 2016 February – President Maduro announces measures aimed at fighting economic crisis, including currency devaluation and first petrol price rise in 20 years.
  • 2016 April – Government imposes two-day week for public sector workers in bid to overcome serious energy crisis after severe drought dramatically reduces water levels in the country’s main hydroelectric dam.
  • May 2016 – Venezuela considers defaulting on foreign debt in order to negotiate more favorable terms. 
  • 2016 September – Hundreds of thousands of people take part in a protest in Caracas calling for the removal of President Maduro, blaming him for the economic crisis and accusing the electoral commission of delaying a referendum which could shorten him term in office.

Prepare for collapse: A step-by-step guide

Surviving the Streets of Venezuela

As you can see, the country of Venezuela is experiencing a slow, agonizing death and the citizens of this once prominent country are the one’s who are suffering. The country was once considered an oil giant and jobs at the state-run oil company PDVSA were coveted for above average salaries, generous benefits and cheap credit that brought home ownership and vacationing abroad within reach for many workers. Now, the employees and citizens alike are pawning goods, maxing out credit cards, taking side jobs, and even selling PDVSA uniforms to buy food, according to Reuters’ interviews with two dozen workers, family members, and union leaders.

“Every day a PDVSA worker comes to sell his overall,” said Elmer, a hawker at the biggest market in the oil city of Maracaibo, as shoppers eyed pricey rice and flour imported from neighboring Colombia.

“They also sell boots, trousers, gloves and masks.”

“Sometimes we let the kids sleep in until noon to save on breakfast,” said a maintenance worker who works on the shores of Maracaibo Lake, Venezuela’s traditional oil-producing area near the Colombian border. He said he has lost five kilos (11 lb) this year because of scrimping on food.

Source

How to Survive an Economic Collapse

Make no mistake, to survive hyperinflation and economic collapse you need to think in terms of survival. You need to have the right skills.

You need to plan ahead. When you start seeing signs at the beginning. Many Venezuelans fled the country the moment the saw something was awry. As well, you need the kind of skills that will make you money no matter how bad things get. Jobs such as ones found in the medical field, farming, private security, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, or repairmen of any kind; as well as, teachers and tutors, especially if they can impart money-making skills.

  1. Get prepared. At the very least, buy food, products, and supplies in bulk to help you prepare for price inflation. If you have the means to do so, invest in 30-60 days worth of supplies so that you have everything you need. Having these on hand will help you if times become more difficult. You can use this free online series to begin creating a personal step-by-step preparedness plan for your family; or, buy the best-selling book, The Prepper’s Blueprint to use as a reference in your preparations. As well, if you can manage, get out of debt, organize your finances and find ways to free up some of your income for an emergency fund to help you create a personal safety net.
  2. Preserve wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, tying your money up in assets will help you avoid the inflating prices of food sources in the future, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
  3. Invest in food. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. When others are buying foods at inflated prices, you will be consuming your investment when it was purchased at a lower price. Using a combination of shelf stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises. Further, these foods last a lifetime and would make sound investments for future planning. Ideally, you want to store shelf-stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise, and also offer you peace of mind in case the economy further degrades. This  food storage calculator can show you how much food should you need to store. As well, read Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First for more ideas.
  4. Learn how to grow your own food. In a homestead environment, a person wants the land to work for them as much as possible. Invest in fruit trees, seeds, and garden supplies. If you really want these peak foods, find a way to grow them yourself. Further, if you live in a rural area, consider investing in trees and bushes that will lure wild game. The trees and bushes can provide you with added sustenance and help you stock meat in your freezer. Here is a how-to guide for creating a garden quickly.
  5. Raise your own food. Rather than paying hard-earned money at the store for eggs, poultry and dairy—raise them yourself. Chickens are very easy to care for and can provide you with meat and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, you can find substitutions for these peak foods with a little research and ingenuity. For example, rabbits would be a suitable protein replacement and can even be raised in more urban areas. Similar to chickens, they don’t require much care and with some effort can be fed from the homestead’s garden or you can grow fodder. They are also great breeders and will provide you with ample amounts of meat. These are the 10 best meat rabbit breeds. As well, for the modest price of purchasing a fishing license, you can stock your freezer with fresh-caught fish.
  6. It all adds up. Again, do what you can to pay off debts ahead of time and work to restructure your outgoing funds to lower your expenses as much as possible. Debt only enslaves you further, and finding ways to detach from the system will break those shackles. As well, look into finding additional income streams. The more income you can set aside, the better off you will be. That way, if your main income dries up, you have a fall back income and won’t have to go into default.

Be prepared to lose most of the money you’ve spent your whole life saving, because even before the collapse occurs, the government will likely have laws in place that will prevent you from taking money out of the country. However, that may be a small price to pay in exchange for not living in hell hole where you have to eat trash to survive.

The people of Venezuela are in a survival situation. The key to them surviving is dependent of them. Those who took heed and planned early will have better success at surviving. As well, being able to change to the current environments you find yourself in and being able to cut your losses in order to survive your present reality will play a role in how one survives these economic death throes. You’ll pat yourself on the back when your homeland collapses, because it is always better to be a poor man in a rich country, than a dead man in a poor country.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

New ReGen Villages Redefining Off-Grid Living

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 By 2050 there will be nearly 10 billion people living on planet Earth. Clean water, healthy food, and arable land will begin to grow scarce and only those well versed in a self-sustainable lifestyle will be safe from a great negative impact. With the skyrocketing population also comes an increase in the aspiring class (the approximately 4 billion people who can afford to buy their way to sustainability). For those who can afford it, there is a recent boom in integrated neighborhood concepts: luxury off-grid communities that have power positive homes, private renewable energy sources, water management, high-yield organic food production, and waste-to-resource systems. The first of these communities is calledReGen Village, and it’s currently under construction in Almere, Netherlands.

A Look Inside a Luxury Off-Grid Community

ReGen Village will make use of all available technology to build what its creators are calling the “Tesla of Eco Villages.” The creators want to redefine off-grid living from being merely a way to sustain the basics of life into a culture of luxury and comfort. The developments will use their own technology to meet their everyday needs but, because of cutting-edge advancements, they will not have the same restraints and conservation rules that typically define off-grid communities.

Who Gravitates to the ReGen Concept?

In June of 2016, the concept of ReGen Village was introduced at the Venice Biennale, an arts organization and annual exhibition of architects and designers. The concept went viral with more than 20 million page views of the ReGen website and over 10 thousand emails expressing interest.

The pilot community is being built now but plans are in the works for developments in Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Belgium. CEO James Ehrlich says their goal is to expand at a global scale and to create regenerative neighborhoods for an elite group of residents. A center with 100 units should be ready for move-in in about a year, though the exact price to secure a position inside is not yet available. A smaller scale, 35-condo version is also being planned nearby in order to prefect the model before it is scaled.

Time will tell if this concept will be the new norm in off-grid living, but it’s certainly an interesting development.

 

 

 

 

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

Four Current Events that Could Challenge the Prepper Lifestyle

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, in these uncertain times, many will still say that nothing is certain except death and taxes (Ben Franklin).  Well, eventually we all die, but we wish to postpone that “life-changing” event for as long as humanly possible.  When the SHTF, millions will die: such is inevitable.  The taxes will probably be gone for a good while, but we are going to lay out a “What’s Happening?” of the major threats we will have to deal with that can cause the “death” part.

Current events have revealed some “bleak” news, almost on a daily basis.  Let us look at some of the upcoming events that we need to be aware of:

Today – September 30: The primary “window of opportunity” for a Russian invasion of Ukraine and/or western Europe; heavy rainfall in the month of October will leave the ground too soft for armored and mechanized units to operate an offensive effectively in the region(s).

September 30 – October 7: There will arise problems with the U.S. Dollar, possibly involving some kind of “currency exchange” as SDR’s (Special Drawing Rights) are attempted to be instituted by the IMF within the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Banking System.

October 1: Control of the Internet will be effectively handed off by Obama via the Department of Commerce to foreign control (primarily Russia and China).

November 8: “Super Tuesday,” a.k.a. Election Day in the U.S.  We already know the potential for fraud and civil unrest.

These are some of the “main events” to take note of and monitor closely.  North Korea has been testing missiles and they set off a nuclear device last Friday, 9/9/16.  The threat of EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) from them is very real, along with the same capabilities from China, Russia, and potentially from Iran.  In addition, there are several “hot zones” that can morph into a full-blown conflict and potentially escalate into war, these hot zones being the South China Sea and the islands contested between China and Japan, the two Koreas, Syria, and Ukraine.

What can you, the reader, do about these situations?  From a personal perspective, you can do much to increase your chances of survival for yourself and your family.  Here are some steps, “down and dirty,” to take to prepare yourself if any of these situations turn into a full-blown SHTF scenario.  We’re going to mention these steps (not necessarily in order) and field questions from you in the Comments Section of this blog.  Before this, let us point out the crucial step:

Be aware of what is happening in the world, the country, and your immediate locale.

Now we’re not going “in-depth” with the steps.  Most of you know them and have used or are using them, and to do an analysis on each item is beyond the scope of this piece.

  1.  Be sure that each member of your family of the right age has access to a firearm and ammunition where they are the exact moment that the balloon goes up.
  2. Go-bag or “Bug-out bag packed and ready for each member of the family, and with that family member when the balloon goes up: to contain 3 days’ worth of food, 1 day’s water supply, a method to purify water (filter, tablets, or fire), fire starting equipment, ammunition for the firearm, a first-aid kit, a compass, poncho/canvas for a tent/lean-to shelter, ground cover (foam or inflatable pad), light sleeping bag, extra socks, heavy jacket, gloves, a hat, a good flashlight and spare batteries, and a small radio with good earphones and extra batteries.
  3. Rally Point: for you and your family, a place for everyone to meet up, in case your home has been compromised, and a timetable to arrive there [note: do not stay in the rally point beyond meeting up with one another!], and make it close to the house.
  4. Hide/shelter site: for you and the family to “hole up” for a few days, and then either proceed to a long-term bug-out location, or return to the house if feasible.
  5. Assignment of duties: for you and your family.  Primary duty that all capable share is security.  The assignment relates to secondary duties.  Example: Mom’s a nurse, so she’s the “medic,” and big brother’s the hunter and fisherman…he’ll be assigned to collect food, etc.
  6. Secure some commo and radio gear in EMP-proof containers: this will ensure that you have a means of finding out what’s going on after a nuclear exchange/EMP.
  7. Fuel up: At least 10 gallons per vehicle, and put some stabilizer in the 5-gallon cans.  You’ll have to watch for your storage laws in the area, but if you get good, sturdy containers that don’t leak, you could store 10 gallons in your truck or trunk of your car, or in a shed to take with you.
  8. Top off all vehicles at the half: when half a tank is gone, fill it up.  It’s a pain, but it’s better to fill up more often and have a full tank of gas then to run around close to empty.
  9. Plan for each type of emergency: this is critical.  You need to have courses of action for each scenario that arises, and the corresponding gear and equipment to face it.  Radiation calls for a survey meter (a.k.a. a Geiger counter), dosimeters, and maybe a nuke-alert radiation detector.
  10. EVERYBODY IN THE FAMILY MUST KNOW ALL OF THIS AND ACTUALLY TAKE PART IN IT.

If you can make it back home and plan on making a stand there, then have all of these measures in place in case you have to get out of Dodge in a hurry.  As things come to a head, you need to stay on top of them as the situation changes and not be caught unaware of any changes you may have to make as a family.  We welcome your questions and comments.  Stay aware, stay alert, and stay alive.  Keep up that good fight!

 

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

A Green Beret’s Guide to Improvised Home Defense Strategies

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sniper 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this article is going to explain some methods to help you better defend your property.  These are some simple and inexpensive methods that are not subject to power loss from an EMP or station failure.  They are simple to employ as well as remember, and they can be tailored to meet the needs of your property.

Obviously if you live in a high-rise apartment building or a multi-family structure, your methods are going to differ, and that will be addressed in Part 2.

Sector Stakes

Now, firstly, what are a sector stakes?  The sector stakes are prepositioned markers for use as boundaries for the field of fire of your weapon.  They physically allow the firer to concentrate on his or her sector of fire without haphazard lateral movement. By utilizing one on your left and right, they establish left and right limits for you to employ your rifle or firearm.  These stakes are best used between multiple team-members.  The sector stakes are driven into the ground or firmly emplaced vertically, so as to allow the defender’s weapon to traverse (move laterally) back and forth and be bounded within the confines of his or her sector.  See Diagram A, “Sector Stakes” to get a picture of how it appears.

JJ AThe sectors are positional assignments for occupants to repel attackers.  The importance cannot be overstressed.  They give a firer an “area of responsibility” to cover, and anything in that sector should be known, marked on a diagram (called a sector sketch) and committed to memory.  See Diagram C, “Sample Sector Sketch” for an idea of what you’ll need to make.  There are items in that diagram that must be addressed, such as a large boulder or a shallow depression that can allow a bad guy (or bad gal) to not be hit by your fire…this is known as dead space.  Also of note are points of cover and/or concealment.  Cover is something that will partially or completely block you from enemy fire (shielding you).  Concealment is something that can hide you from the sight of an enemy.

Your sectors need to range to the end of your property, or out to about 500 feet, whichever is closer.  The sectors need to interlock, so as to create interlocking fields of fire, a condition that is met where the left and right limits of two adjacent firers intersect one another, and permit overlapping fire on an enemy.  See Diagram B, “Disposition of Sectors of Fire” to illustrate this concept.  Each sector stake must be measured with a compass to provide an azimuth for the entire straight-line length of the right or left limit.

JJ BThe reason for this is to also be able to establish those limits when it is nighttime or a period of low visibility, and also when the stakes have been removed (for emplacement later).

It is important for you and your team to walk the entire length of the property, and pace out the areas where obstacles that can provide dead space, cover, and concealment to the enemy are known, along with their exact distances.  It is also very important for you to be able to make laminated copies of these sector sketches, and using a grease pencil (dry erase are garbage) to note down your information of things found in your sector.  Identify each fighting position (FP) by number, not by the person’s name!  If you’re overrun, you don’t want your names going into someone else’s head or intel files.

JJ CKnowing the distances and the azimuths to key points, such as a tool shed or a large rock that provides the enemy with cover will allow you to put fire in that area without complete visibility or with night vision equipment.  You can also place your traps or early warning devices in the sectors, but make sure you mark them on the sector sketch.  Black grease pencil is the color to use for permanent structures or obstacles.  Temporary measures (such as a flare or other removable expedient early warning device) can be marked with a red grease pencil.

Another key reason for these sketches is if for a reason such as changing a guard shift, or a shift between team members to one another’s fighting positions.  In this manner, you have a nice laminated diagram that gives them all of the information they need about the position.  The midline (middle of the sector) should also have its own azimuth and azimuth line.  Take note of the concentric circles.  This is to establish an increment (I used “feet” to make for ease of understanding in this example), and the sample sketch has each circle in 100’ increments.

If you’re going to defend a fixed position such as a house, you need to have sector sketches for each fighting position, bottom line.

Another thing that you can do is to employ paintball guns in practice with this, for periods of low light and low visibility.  This will give you a good idea of how well you know the sectors, as to where your paintballs mark the area.  Just because there is not an item within your sector does not mean you cannot fabricate one as well, such as a couple of crossed boards affixed to the ground midline to the sector out at 300’, and/or smaller stakes with small markers or tapes affixed to them.  These are pre-measured distances, and when you see a “zombie” staggering across your yard, when his feet are on the “X” it’ll help you to light him up.

For some further reading, get ahold of a Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks, or a Soldier’s Handbook for the basics we have outlined here.  Be prepared to deal in metric units.  This is a general overview to get you started.  On “Part 2” we’re going to go over how to take similar measures in an urban/heavily populated environment.  Until next time, keep up the good work, and remember: when bad guys are coming over, before your barbeque and fireworks display put down the Porterhouse steaks and go to your sector stakes!  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

Get The Kids To Do Their Laundry With These Easy Tips!

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 Doing the laundry is never exactly fun, but having my kids pitch in and help makes the job easier and it also teaches them independence and self-reliance. By planning/organizing a few things in advance, I’ve made the process of doing our laundry much easier for my little helpers.

Teach Kids How to be Independent with these Easy Tips!

Tip #1 Make sure clothes are really dirty:

This one may sound like a no-brainer, but in our consumerist/disposable society it’s easy to waste time, energy, and resources washing clothes that are still clean. In our house the rule is that aside from socks and underwear, we wear everything twice unless there is a stain on it (and here’s another tip–when we do art projects my kids wear their father’s old button down shirts over their clothes to avoid getting messy). A flannel shirt that has been worn over a t-shirt may be worn up to three times—and the same goes for jeans. There is simply no reason to wash clothes that are still clean. The less laundry you have overall, the less time you’ll spend doing it.

Aside from that, I also stick to a laundry schedule. We wash clothes two days a week at the same time in the morning. My kids know that if they need something washed, they’d better get it into the laundry room on time. Long gone are the days where I would run a load (or two!) every day of the week, often washing clothes that were still completely clean.

Tip #2 Use a dry erase marker to write out instructions on the washer lid:

I sometimes forget that when kids are learning new things (in this case doing the laundry) they need to be reminded of each step of the process. I keep a dry erase marker in the laundry room so I can write out steps directly on the washing machine (it easily wipes off with no residue).  This way, my older son knows what order the steps are in and will never forget to add the soap or what temperature he needs to set the dial. I can also remind him of special instructions such as which things should not be dried by leaving him a note directly on the dryer:

Tip #3 Don’t waste time matching socks (and never worry about losing a sock again!)

This one requires a little investment up front, but once it’s done you’ll be so happy with the results. In my family, each of us has a different assigned type/brand of sock. Mine are white with gray toes, my younger sons are light gray, my older sons are dark gray and my husbands are solid white. We ONLY have these socks and have gotten rid of the myriad patterns and styles that used to clog our drawers. When we do laundry, we just take all of the socks that belong to us and we put them in our drawers. No matching, no pairing, no worrying about lost socks. My kids are able to clearly see which socks belong to which people and the sorting is super simple. It’s been great!

Tip #4 Assign characters/styles to kids underwear:

This one is in the same camp as #3. Since we do wash a lot of underwear each week, and since my sons are close in age, it can often be difficult to tell whose underwear is whose. We’ve assigned each of my sons a character (Batman for my older son and Spiderman for my younger son). Again, these are the ONLY underwear they wear. They love digging through the basket looking for their characters and there is never any squinting to read labels for sizing.

Tip#5 Label drawers so kids can put clothes away on their own:

The worst part about doing the laundry, in my opinion, is putting the clothes away. But I’ve found that my kids actually enjoy doing this part when they are given a little guidance. Printing out picture labels and taping them to the drawers allows kids to get involved and truly help.

My kids aren’t that great at folding clothes yet, but I find that when they do the actual washing and drying (running the machines), the sorting of underwear and socks, and then put all of the folded clothes away, I cut the time I actually spend doing laundry in half. Besides that, my kids actually enjoy these tasks and they get a sense of accomplishment when they help our family.

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

Off-Grid Travel: The DIY Survival Bike

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is to cover the many virtues of the bicycle and how to deploy it readily in the sense of preparedness and the SHTF.  Now, I am not detracting in the least from anyone who uses the bicycle as their main mode of transportation.  If you can swing such, then more power to you.  The way I use it is a little different, and I wish to give you my mindset and methodology so you can tailor it to your own needs.

Firstly, you don’t have to buy a Cannondale for a grand in order to have a decent bike.  I highly recommend your local pawn shops.  Many times that thousand-dollar Cannondale can be found for one half or even one third of the original price.  What you want to concentrate on is a good, sturdy frame that can take a beating off-road and do some good in a cross-country scenario.

There are a bunch of good brands out there…BMX, Schwinn…the types are endless.  Mine is a bit of a “hodgepodge,” built out of a BMX frame, with heavy-duty Goodyear tires, and a chain-drive by Shimano with some brakes taken from a Huffy.  I mounted a decent platform on the back that has supports to tie in to the axle on the rear wheels without any interference.  The platform itself is tubular steel and semi-triangular but long and narrow in shape.

I modified the seat to put on a really wide, well-foamed one with huge springs for a really comfortable ride.  Also, these bicycle lights?  No need.  Take two pipe clamps, that run 1 ½ – 2 inches.  Place one on the front handlebars to hold the other perpendicular, and then stick a good flashlight (I prefer the short stubby ones by Coast) in it.  Then you can remove it as you need, and also give yourself enough light.

Subdue the bike with the color paint of your choice.  I chose black.  Get yourself a decent fanny pack or a tool bag for it, and carry two (2) inner tubes, as well as some “slime” to patch a single tube for a temporary fix.  You also don’t need an entire toolbox.  Measure and fit a ratchet set and ratchet heads to the nuts and bolts of your bike, as well as an Allen wrench set, spoke wrench, pair of pliers, and maybe a small hammer.  Also, a small can of WD-40 will be worth its weight.

A lot of people prefer Camelbacks, but I prefer the standard plastic 20-ounce water bottle in the holder attached to the inside base of my frame.  Also, on the top frame support I have a Schwinn collapsible air pump, a must-have in my opinion.  My cable and combination lock is wrapped around the seat support for when I need to lock it up.  I also use a helmet…a good one, usable for light tactical maneuvers such as CQB and room-clearing if I’m not on the bike.

What I do with mine is stow it in the back of my truck, which is covered.  EMP?  No problem, I’ll shove the vehicle off the road (if it’s no longer functioning), and grab my gear and take the bike out.  Matter of fact, I use it as a normal course of things.  When you’re out and about (and you have the time), you can park your vehicle in a central location and save gas while you exercise, by using the bicycle for your travels.  Anything that helps you further develop your physical fitness is an asset.

You really want the one that can go off-road.  Now regarding the platform that I have (and strongly recommend), the importance is due to your “Go” bag (bug-out bag) that you can rest on and also secure to the platform with bungee cords or tie-straps.  This goes a long way to allowing you to take the stress of the weight off of you and better balance you as you get out of dodge on the bike.  Now comes another big thing that you need to follow after: you must practice.

Yes, having the bike and the gear is not a substitute for being able to employ it.  The best thing is to give yourself time on it, both on a paved environment and off-road.  You need to plot out routes for yourself in between your home and your work locations in order to find all obstacles and optimal courses to follow.  You need to know the routes and run them with the bike, and with your gear as a final test.  You also would benefit from “requalifying” runs with your gear to find out your times and how to adjust your weight loads accordingly.

Then there’s the night.  Ohh, the EMP struck at night and not the day?  No fair!  Tough “S” in that regard: if you haven’t prepared it’s on you.  Here’s where your daytime work pays off.

The same obstacles that exist in the daytime exist at night: there’s just no light or minimal light to see them.

But if you’ve practiced, take it slow at night the first time, and you’ll see everything click into place…the same bumps, depressions, and patches of thorns are there at night.  The same railroad tracks, and bends in the road that go right off of a bluff are there.  You’ll find your confidence will be high after you’ve mastered running your route at night and coming through it with no defects.

Practice.  This is how it’s done.  And there’s more:  practice in inclement weather, and in a strong wind…and then throw in the night factor.  I’m not suggesting anything that I haven’t already done…and do regularly in the normal course of my physical training…training that never stops for me because I don’t allow it to stop.

You can do it!  Get yourself a good bike, or build one, and put it to use.  It’ll pay off.  Maintain it, and change those tires periodically.  Buy a set of good spares…the tires themselves…and all of your equipment.  Stockpile it, but don’t let it just sit there.  The trick is not so much to have the best equipment.

The art is to know your equipment so well that it’s an extension of yourself.

So, the bike can get you through tough times, as well as providing you with exercise and enjoyment prior to the SHTF.  You’ll find it a challenge, but that’s what makes it worth it in the long run.  Happy cycling, and 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

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

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 ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, this is Part 3 for you in our land navigation series that touches on a subject that most do not consider.  In an urban environment, why would you need a map, right?  I mean, it’s the city…you just have to find the street, right?  Well, it is true that you need to know the streets and avenues, but it is an incomplete picture.  Urban Land Navigation poses different challenges in a survival situation than if you are in open terrain (rural).

6 Considerations to Keep in Mind When Navigation in an Urban Area

In an urban environment you need a map of the immediate vicinity of your home and your usual areas of travel on a daily basis.  The urban environment requires you to study various aspects of your home and home-range to figure out some things pertaining to exit/exfiltration.  Let’s list a few of them.

  1. Periodic points where you can take shelter
  2. Total distance you need to traverse to be free of the city/town
  3. Potential sources of food, water, and medical supplies you may need in your movement
  4. Physical danger locations: Is there a large dam near your house?  Unsafe bridges that may need to be crossed?  Large, swiftly-moving river with sewage/toxic chemicals, etc., that you may have to ford?
  5. Social “Hotspots”: Will you be traversing an area that passes through the “territory” of delinquent gangs (Crips, Bloods, etc.) that may place you at risk?
  6. Authorities: Remembering the “Good Guys” can turn bad at any given moment, where are the police stations, FEMA and DHS HQ’s, and National Guard outposts located regarding your departure path?

Now keep in mind, you’ll need a good map and it would also be a good idea to laminate it to protect it.  Then cut yourself a good, sturdy sheet of clear plastic sheeting to use as an overlay.  Dry erase is nice for a presentation, but what you want here is the old-fashioned “grease” pencils, like these. These are water resistant and can be used on glass metal and plastic. I highly recommend getting different colors of black and red pencils.  That is enough, as you don’t need to confuse yourself.  Use a binder clip to keep your overlay and your map together…your map shouldn’t be more than a square foot or so.  You’re attempting an exfil, not conducting a geological survey.  You also don’t want someone to find your map if you lose it and then know where you’re going.

This is a key point: You want to perform a route reconnaissance of how you want to leave the city.

Believe you me, you do want to leave the city ASAP!  The morning may have started out as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but it’s about to become John Carpenter’s “Escape from New York.”  Take your route from two scenarios: with a vehicle or on foot.  What might take you a few hours in a vehicle might take you several days on foot.  The “Bug-Out Bag” needs to be stocked up, and you need to know where everything is, and everything that is in the bag.

You don’t have time to “what if’ things, and dig for your handy compass-and-signal-whistle-flashlight.  You’ll have to move.  Other things that may help you are maps of subway systems that you can supplement with your main map.  Subways have places where you can potentially find sources for water, electricity, and field expedient tools that you may require.  Tie in the subway route with your planned evasion route.

Know where things are.  Know how many drugstores are in between you and your “finish line” for your route.  Know where there are any abandoned buildings, or sites under construction.  Know where there are buildings along the route that were previously classified (and placarded) as Fallout shelters.  Just because they removed the familiar black and yellow Civil Defense signs does not mean they aren’t still good to protect from fallout.

On your escape, you must keep this in mind: Always be ready for the original disaster to “morph” into multiple threats and/or a worse threat or threats.

An example would be an EMP.  Bad enough that you’re now back in the 1800’s in a millisecond.  Now you find that about ten miles away, a flash of light reveals itself, and here comes the mushroom cloud!  Your Casio G-Shock is not the only thing that may go dead if you do not take immediate action!

An urban environment is the most challenging of all places, because of the amount of people you’ll have to deal with and the number of confusing (and dangerous) situations that will arise when the SHTF.  Your land navigation fundamentals that we covered before still apply!  You will have to readily gauge the distance you travel and direction.  If you’re on foot, the challenges and dangers will be increased significantly.  The more you plot out where things are – potential grocery stores, drug stores, and places you can duck into and hole up in for a while – the better it will be for you.

Study all of the maps you can, and study the businesses that are in the area.  See what supplies and tools you will be able to scrounge when the SHTF.  It also can help you in terms of safety.  If you have to pass by a branch of the Dow Chemical Company, it might help to know what kinds of caustic or toxic chemicals are stored that might be ruptured in an attack and give you a “bad hair day” in addition to the attack.  All of this involves proper planning and coordination beforehand, but you have the time now.  Take advantage of this in your urban or suburban home, and lay out a good route for you and your family to take advantage of to get out of Dodge if need be.  Keep up the good work!

 

JJ

 

Check out the first two parts of this navigation series:

Part 1: Finding Your Way: The Pace Count

Part 2: Using the Stars to Navigate

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

Grow Your Own Lemon Tree

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 Lemons are such a versatile fruit—especially for summer time foods. They’re great squeezed over fresh fish, mixed into iced tea, or as an accompaniment to your favorite cocktail. Lemon trees are very pretty to look at and they are among the easiest citrus fruits to grow yourself—though you should note that lemon trees thrive in temperatures around 70 degrees—if it’s much hotter or cooler than that in your backyard, you might want to tackle a different planting project!

Lemon trees make wonderful potted plants to have on your patio garden and will be easy to access from the kitchen! With a little bit of effort, you could be using homegrown lemons in your drinks and recipes in just a few months.

Start a Lemon Tree in Seconds

Before you start, you’ll want to make sure that you are using a seed from an organic lemon as non-organic lemons typically have non-germinating seeds that will not grow. You’ll also need a seed pot, a larger planter pot, some plastic wrap, and fertile soil.

Step 1: Work With Damp Soil

Lemons need very moist soil so before planting, you’ll need to properly and thoroughly moisten the potting soil. Because lemon trees have a tendency to dry out, make sure you don’t skip this step (but also don’t overdo it—keep the soil damp but not watery).

Step 2: Add the Soil to Your Seedling Pot

Fill your smaller seedling pot with soil, leaving a small gap (1-2 inches) at the top

Step 3: Pick and Plant Your Seed

Take your organic lemon and squeeze out the juice and seeds into a bowl. Pick the seed that looks the largest and heartiest. Plant your seed a half an inch below the surface of the soil in your seedling pot. Water the soil immediately afterward.

Step 4: Put Plastic Over the Pot (or not!)

Like all citrus plants, lemon trees flourish in warm climates. You’ll want to cover your pot with plastic (regular cling wrap will work but you’ll need to poke several tiny holes in it so that it air can circulate). Be careful that you do not overheat or dry out the soil—if you believe that it is warm enough in the space where your seedling is planted, you might not need the plastic cover.

Step 5: Transfer the Seedling to a Larger Pot

Once the seedling sprouts, you can transfer the seedling into the larger pot that will become your lemon tree’s permanent home. If you’ve been using the plastic cover on your seeding, you can continue to do so once the transfer is made. Once your tree starts to really gain height, you can place the planter outside for a few hours each day so that the tree gets proper sunlight. You’ll know your conditions are ideal when your fruit starts to grow! Also, remember to give your new lemon tree some citrus fertilizer to give it the best growing conditions.

If you want to bypass the seed process, there lemon trees are usually readily available at commercial garden stores and you can even order them online, but you won’t have as much control over what growing medium will be used. Do some research to find out which lemon tree variety grows best in your neck of the woods.

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

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 Save Perishable Food In An Off-Grid Emergency

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canned tomatoes“That morning, when Helen apprehensively opened the freezer, she found several hundred pounds of choice and carefully wrapped meat floating in a noxious sea…As any housewife would do under the circumstances, she wept.  This disaster was perfectly predictable, Randy realized.  He had been a fool.  Instead of buying fresh meat he should have bought canned meats by the case.  If there was one thing he certainly should have foreseen, it was the loss of electricity.”   – “Alas, Babylon,” by Pat Frank, page 151

Readers, there’s your standard…what to read and what we may very well face.  The cited work, if you’re into disaster fiction/apocalyptic reading is the end-all be-all of survival stories of how a community organizes and makes it through a nuclear war.  It is not so much a how-to as a story with real-life situations that average people face.

What we are focusing upon is the initial problem: refrigerated food, and an emergency just hit and took out all of the electricity.  In this day and age, most of the family is working and out of the home.  Still, someone will return home eventually and the actions that are taken could very well save your family some of the foodstuffs they have.  If you read the articles I wrote on my personal experience during Hurricane Katrina, I detailed how I prepared all of the food that was in the refrigerator prior to the power going out.

To be sure, you’re going to lose some food.  There are generators, yes, but you’re going to have to weigh the use of it with silence around the house.  Picture the scenario of three days or so after an EMP and you are the only house on the block with a generator running.  There’s a formula for disaster via the marauders who used to be the friendly neighbors chatting about the football games.  So what can be done?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

One thing the can be done is to start stocking a prepper’s pantry in your home. Foods that are shelf stable and nutritious are the best to stock. Here is a list of 25 must-have emergency foods and how to get them organized. Along those lines, you want to ensure you have canning supplies, Mylar storage bags and plastic bags on standby to store all the food you are about to preserve.

Another method that is done in the JJ home is when the groceries are brought home, all meats are cooked immediately, placed into Ziploc bags, and then into the freezer they go.  Remember, after a power outage your fridge will still keep things cool for about 24 hours.  The frozen meat adds about another 24 hours to its “frozenness” until it needs to be consumed.  You can do this with other portions of food as well, such as soups, pasta, vegetables, and so forth.  It’s better to have it a few days longer than to lose it in the first 24 hours.

Now what do we do?  Here’s a possible solution.  That frozen meat?  It’s cooked, so if you have the generator, why not stack up those dehydrator machines with already-cooked meat and dry it out?  It would be a one-day risk, and you could dehydrate a certain amount of it and have it last a little longer.  There’s also another method.  Break out your canning manuals, and prepare to can.  For this you’ll need something a little special.  Here’s what I have: The Coleman two-burner dual fuel stove.

Yes, that green camping stove…runs on white gas/Coleman fuel or gasoline.  The reason this is a “goodie” is that you can steadily regulate your temperature and pressure with this little gas-burner stove as you are monitoring your work.  Such regularity is important when it comes to canning.  Can away!  You’ll need to know your stuff: your elevation and the proper recipes that you have in your canning manual for your ratios of seasonings and salt.  Can the meat, can the veggies, can whatever you can!  Better to save most of your food than eat akin to the proverbial last meal and lose most of it.

Meat can also be salted; therefore, it would behoove you to pick up some 25 – 50 lb. bags of salt, and whatever can’t be canned can be preserved in this manner.  Then there’s the Brinkman, the smoker.  Yes, time to break out the charcoal and mesquite chips and smoke the daylights out of that meat.  Smoke some veggies, and dehydrate them as well.  It’ll be a race of the likes of which you’ve never run.  Have a woodstove?  Well, you can scramble all of your eggs on the top of the stove on a baking pan (hopefully yours has a lip).  Scrambled hard…and then you can dry them out after cooking them.

Seafood is tricky.  I’d throw that in the Brinkman and smoke the daylights out of it, being careful to season it, as dried fish on its own tastes pretty crappy.  Just try and avoid the use of butter or dairy sauces or any cheese.  That’ll make the meat go rancid as it goes south.

Speaking of which, if you’re going to have any kind of a “gorge” then make it a breakfast special.  Break out the pancake mix, and eat up all of the dairy products that you can for the next couple of meals, while the electricity is out and the fridge is still within that 24-hour window.  Load up on the powdered sports shakes, the grilled cheese sandwiches on the woodstove, the pancakes and cereal, because fresh milk will be a thing of the past, barring Bessie the cow being tied up outside in the backyard.

You can use the sun to dry out your fare if you have the time, and that is a big if.  You need to get everything cooked and/or canned, and get it out of sight.  The day started out as “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” but after an off-grid disaster, you can bank on the day ending as “The Planet of the Apes.”  Out of sight and out of mind.  Get it cooked, dried, smoked, and canned, and get it in your vehicle if you’re getting out of Dodge, or get it out of sight.

Yes, there’s always room for improvement in this case, and any tips or suggestions you wish to add will be great to glean some of your experience that you have tested on your own.  The most important thing: go into action on this immediately.  You don’t have time to waste, and it’s best to get it all done before the “Drama in Real Life” becomes more real, and more dangerous.  Save the food, get it out of sight, and then be ready to defend it.  Hopefully it won’t come to that, but then again, it’s better safe than sorry.  Hope this piece gave you some “food for thought,” and we look forward to hearing from you.  Keep up 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

Black Gold: Add Nutrients to the Garden – The Easy Way!

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 Black gold is a nitrogen and potassium-rich product that improves soil structure, increases plant yield, and has even been known to improve the taste of fruits and vegetables grown with it. It doesn’t require wasteful packaging and it’s made without chemicals or other harmful industrial additives. So where do you purchase this miracle product for your own garden?  The answer may surprise you.

Black gold is the product of vermicomposting—or, in simple terms, it’s the rich, black stuff that comes out the back end of a worm. This so-called “super soil” has many benefits and it only takes a little bit of work to build your own worm farm and start getting a constant supply. Soon you’ll have thousands of tiny employees helping your garden to grow—they are humble and work hard, twenty-four hours a day. Best of all—worms do their work for free!

To build your own worm farm you’ll need:

– A drill

– Two plastic storage bins with snap on lids (make sure they are opaque)

 – A small flowerpot or a brick

– Some old newspapers and household food waste (aka worm food)

And don’t forget the critical ingredient:

– Worms! Eisenia fetida are common earthworms sold by the pound at most gardening centers. If you have trouble finding them, your local bait shop is your next best bet. You don’t need a ton of worms to start a home worm farm. A pound will yield approximately 1,000 worms. They reproduce quickly and are hearty and adaptable to many environments.

  • Drill out holes on one of the bins. Mark some holes around all four sides of the top of one bin with a pencil. Then mark out about 20 holes in the bottom and the top of the bin. Once you’re happy with the placement of the holed, drill them out. A 3/32” drip bit works best for the lid and sides while a larger bit (3/16or so) works best for the bottom. Leave the other bin free of holes.
  • Stack the bins. Put a flowerpot or brick in the undrilled bin and stack the drilled bin on top of it. This allows some space for the liquid to drain out of the top bin into the one below.
  • Prepare the bedding. Shredded newspapers work very well, as do pieces of corrugated cardboard—make sure to avoid any pages/sheets with glossy color or tons of ink. Once your bedding is laid out, moisten it with water until it resembles a wet sponge. Don’t overdo it—the bedding should be moist, but still a bit fluffy.
  • Add worm food. There’s no need to buy special worm cuisine. Non-animal, non-dairy table scraps work best. Keep the scraps diverse. Here’s a great article on how to use your food scraps for vermicompost.
  • Add your worm friends! Now that your bin is made up, bury a small amount of food scraps in the newspaper and let your worms loose on it. Worms like the dark, so they’ll likely cover themselves entirely in the table scraps.
  • Cover and protect your worms. Place a few layers of slightly damp newspaper over the top of your worms. Roll up a few more sheets of paper and place them around the edges. This will keep fruit flies from infesting your worm farm and will keep your worms from wandering off. The newspaper cover mimics earth and the worms will fee safe and secure underneath it.

Worms can consume their own weight in food in just one day, so soon enough your worms will be flourishing. You can feed them every day or every couple of weeks, just make sure that there is always food available. Once the worms begin digesting the food scraps, you’ll begin to see black gold in the bin. Being careful of your worm friends, gently scoop out the vermicompost for use in your garden. Over time, some dark liquid will accumulate in the lower bin—this is also an excellent nutrient for your garden and can be diluted with water and sprinkled over houseplants for an extra boost.

Your worms should thrive with little effort from you, aside from feeding them and keeping them in a shady location. Enjoy your new little buddies!

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

Are Bat Houses the Solution to Controlling the Spread of Zika?

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 Where I live in New York, aid against mosquitos is coming from an unlikely source: bats. This isn’t only because mosquitos are annoying–we now know these pests are spreading the Zika virus, along with West Nile, and who knows what additional blood-borne diseases may come to light in the future. But dousing large areas with pesticides is potentially damaging to humans and plant life, so the Long Island town of North Hempstead is turning to their local bat friends to help control the mosquitos.  By building bat houses that offer safety and shelter, Long Island residents are encouraging growth in bat populations while naturally limiting the spread of diseases.

Bats have gotten a bad rep, but of the nine species based in New York State, none of those are blood drinkers. Less than half of one percent of them have rabies and they are shy animals who avoid contact with humans whenever possible. Bats are more effective than even the most potent pesticide—a single bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquitos per hour, and many species hunt for 6-8 hours per day. North Hempstead has been building bat houses since 2007, but with West Nile and now Zika, they have redoubled their efforts recently.

Make Your Own Bat House

Learn about the bats of your region by doing some research. If bats live in your area, you can support your bat population by building or buying a simple bat house or bat box to offer shelter to these helpful creatures. This kit or this pre-built model will come in handy if you want something effortless. A bat house is simply a wooden box with an entrance mounted somewhere high up, away from predators. Bats like the dark, so you’ll want to stain both the inside and outside of the box. They like heat as well, so make sure your box is in direct sunlight for at least 8 hours of the day. Mounting on a building or a high pole is ideal, since bats tend to avoid trees (too many predators hang out in trees, there’s too much shade, and bent branches disrupt the bat’s flight patterns upon exiting). Make sure there is a nearby water source. You can attract bats to your property with bat scent.

An Outdoor Bat is a Happy Bat

Bats can get hurt or even killed if they end up indoors. Keep them from accidentally getting into your house by ensuring that window screens are not ripped or torn (some bats can fit through even a tiny tear in a screen) and that doors stay closed when not in use.

If a bat does get inside your house, don’t panic. Remember that they are gentle creatures that are afraid of humans.  Place a soft cloth in a shoebox and gently scoop the bat into the box (you might want to wear an oven mitt to avoid touching the bat with your bare hand—this protects you from bat germs and the bat from your germs as well). The bat will cling to the cloth and you can place then place it into the bat house (or at the base of the bat house if it is hung too high to reach) and the bat will crawl off and up into the house (bats can’t take flight directly from the ground but they are good climbers).

If you think your bat population is growing too rapidly, you can get in touch with the humane society in your area and they can help relocate some of the bats. You can also reach out to friends or family who may be dealing with mosquito issues and spread some bat love their direction!

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

Identify Nature With These Cool Apps

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appIf you have an iPhone, chances are you’ve used a recognition app like Shazam if you’ve ever heard a song you liked and wanted to identify the artist. These recognition apps seem like magic, giving you a definitive answer in just seconds and providing a link to purchase the music you’ve just heard.

Once, while on a hike in the Hudson Valley with a friend, we joked that there should be a Shazam app for nature. At the time we were both living in NYC and we felt a big disconnect from the plants and animals we were seeing around us. Wouldn’t it be great, we thought, to have an app that would tell us which berries were dangerous and what kind of bird has a bright red chest? After doing a little research, it turns out that there are a few apps meant to do exactly this.

  • Bird Song ID is basically Shazam for birdsong. The app allows you to record birds’ singing and then a processor will let you know what species you’re listening to. Like Shazam, the clearer the recording, the better your chances are of getting a match. An added bonus is that don’t need an Internet connection to use this app, so it’s perfect for those remote hikes.
  • Merlin Bird ID is fast and simple to use while birdwatching. You’ll answer 5 quick questions to narrowdown a list of potential species. Millions of recorded observations help the app to make educated guesses.
  • Leafsnap allows you to take a photo of a leaf against a light-colored background and identify the plant or tree from which it came. The catalogue is extensive and it’s a free app—a downside is that you’ll need an Internet connection to use it.
  • IdentiPlant is an app for identifying flowers and plants. Like Leafsnap, this app works by using an image your snapped of the plant and cross-referencing it with a large database. There’s no need to take a photo against a light-colored background for this one, and the app provides extensive information about each plant.
  • Audubon’s Field Guide to North American Mammals can help you identify what animal just darted across your path. You’ll narrow down possibilities by size, shape, location, and habitat and you can even analyze the droppings or tracks the critter left behind.
  • For more advanced nature lovers, the What’s Invasive app lets people track invasive species they might encounter. A list of invasive plants or animals is provided by the National Park Service based on your GPS location. Look through the list before your hike and then keep your eyes open for species that threaten native plants and animals. Report what you see to do your part in keeping indigenous species safe. More advanced nature nerds will love this, plus, if you have small children, this app can give them something to watch out for and therefore hold their interest on longer trails. Also available for Android.

All of these apps are under $5 and most of them are free. Take advantage and download the ones that interest you before your next brush with nature!

 

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

Packing for Family Vacations is a Breeze With These Organizng Tips

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 It’s that time of year again:  weekend trips, destination weddings, and family vacations are calling. Traveling with kids has a ton of challenges, but with these handy tips, packing their clothes won’t be one of them.

  • Use packable shelf stackers to keep kids’ clothing separated. I have boys who are all two sizes apart. This means it’s sometimes not easy to tell whose clothes belong to whom, and the last thing I want to do when I’m packing on vacation is spend time reading tags and having to sort through clothes. Simply pack these shelves with clothing, and when you arrive at your destination, just unpack and by hanging up the entire shelf. We color code with different colors for each kid and everything stays separate and organized.
  • Packing cubes work similarly, but they are also great for maximizing space. Once clothes are packed, excess air is release to get the most out of your suitcase space. These are also great for traveling with babies or young infants who have tiny, little clothing. Cubes keep everything together and color coordinated as well.
  • Roll with it. The world is full of roll devotees, those who say that folding is time consuming and ineffective. Rolling keeps clothes wrinkle free and it’s also easy to recognize each item at a glance. This technique might come in handy for a wedding, photo session, or event where your kids need to look wrinkle-free and put together.
  • Use Ziplock bags. Separate older kid’s outfits for each day (underwear, shirt, shorts, etc.) into a different gallon Ziplock bag. This may be a little labor-intensive on the home side, but it will make it easy for them to simply grab a bag and get themselves dressed once you’ve arrived at your destination. Pack PJs separately so they can get themselves ready for bed after their bath or showers. Again, this is probably best for smaller clothing—by the time your kids clothes are too big to fit into gallon bags, they should maybe be ready to pack their own clothes!
  • Skip whites. This tip might not exactly be a luggage hack, but you’ll thank me, I swear! Whenever possible, pack the darkest colors/patterns possible when traveling with children. White and light-colored clothing gets stained easily and having to trek to a bathroom to change on an airplane or stop on a car trip is never fun. This goes for fancy fabrics or complicated outfits too—save those for home. And parents should wear dark colors as well! The last thing anybody wants to do on vacation is arrived looking ragged.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these packing hacks? Do you have your own system for packing your family’s clothes for a trip? Share in the comments!

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

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

6 Natural Remedies for Sunburn That Aren’t Aloe Vera

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sunburnAs proactive as some of us are at trying to mitigate the harmful effects of the sun, sometimes those warm rays are just too much for our skin, and sunburns occur. While aloe vera is our first go-to product to start the healing process, there are a few other remedies to consider.

The best defense against sunburned skin is prevention—try to avoid being outdoors between the hours of 10am and 2pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Make sure you wear at least an SPF 30 sunscreen and a large hat for shading your face. But when it’s too late and you come home looking like a lobster, there are some home remedies beyond aloe vera that you might want to try.

6 Natural Remedies for Sunburn

  1. Oatmeal: soaking in an oatmeal bath (whole oatmeal, not instant) can take the sting out of sunburned skin. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and is also a skin soother. Run a cool bath and add a couple handfuls of oats to the water. Soak for 30 minutes or until your skin feels cool to the touch. Pat yourself to dry off, making sure not to rub your skin too vigorously with your towel.
  1. Black Tea: soak a few teabags of black tea in a pitcher or bowl of warm water and then apply to your skin with gauze or a wash cloth. The tea will ease the itch of the sunburn and should provide immediate relief. Make sure to use a washcloth that you don’t care about and you might want to do this in the nude (black tea will stain your clothing).
  1. Witch Hazel: witch hazel provides an instant burst of cool to your skin and has been shown to prevent peeling and flaking while speeding up healing time. Simply saturate a few cotton balls with a 1:1 solution of witch hazel and water and apply to your sunburn.
  1. Yogurt: For sunburns on your face, the solution might be in your refrigerator. Applying yogurt to your skin like a facial mask for a few minutes can ease the sting and hydrate to prevent peeling. After a few minutes, rinse off with cool water.
  1. Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is another one that soothes and prevents blistering and peeling. Be sure to mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts cold water because vinegar is highly acidic. Soak a washcloth or towel in the mixture and swab over your sunburn. There’s no need to rinse it off.
  1. Coconut oil: You’ve no doubt heard about the myriad uses of coconut oil—well, now you can add sunburn soother to the list! Coconut oil is tremendously moisturizing and when mixed with a few drops of essential peppermint oil, it will cool burned skin. Slather on as much as possible and continue to do so for several days after sun exposure. It will help heal and relieve discomfort.

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

The Brexit Vote: A British “Paul Revere” to Prep

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brexitHey there, Ready Nutrition Readers!  A tremendous amount of things have been happening in the news, and most of them are important.  The people of Great Britain just voted last week in a special referendum: they voted in favor of Britain leaving the EU (European Union).  That is huge news, and if you missed it, you certainly will not miss the effects of the vote that will surface this coming week.  On Friday, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average plummeted 611 points, and the world markets were thrown into a tailspin.  Yes, the Dow is a lagging, not a leading economic indicator, but there’s a great significance to it: a precursor of things to come that have direct effects on you.

One of the pitfalls that we have as a community of prepper-survivalists is that we tend to develop a sort of “tunnel vision” at times that focuses all of our attentions upon what we are doing.  We oftentimes tend to discount the significance of day-to-day events that are outside of our daily routines or our geographical spheres of influence: our biomes, so to speak.  I wish to stress this very important point before we proceed:

Do not concentrate so much on the “micro” that the “macro” picture slips out of focus

What this means is that it is critical for you to be aware of the news and what is happening around you.  Returning to our topic, there will be ripple effects from this Brexit – the British Exit – from the EU, and here are some of the immediate ones:

  1. The Dow will continue to see losses with a large volatility of trading and speculation
  2. The foreign markets – European and Asian – will continue to be thrown into a tailspin
  3. The military and political alliances in the world will be redefined and restructured
  4. Commerce will see sharp monetary fluctuations and devaluations (as in the British pound), as well as major changes in shipping and contracts down to the retail level

It is this last point – the effects on commerce on a global scale – that should particularly alarm and concern us.  The Baltic Dry Index measures contracts for raw materials such as oil and ores that are shipped by freighter and container.  The Index is (as I’ve mentioned in previous articles) a very sound indicator as to what is happening in terms of commerce.  Remember: 75% of the U.S. economy is based on consumer spending.  One tie-in that you need to read comes from Mac Slavo of SHTFplan.com posted on April 2, 2012, entitled Just In Time: When the Trucks Stop, America Will Stop (With Immediate and Catastrophic Consequences).”

Mac’s article cuts to the chase and is one of the finest pieces ever produced that explains the intricacy and fragility of our nation’s dependence upon trucking contracts to keep our economy rolling (no pun intended!).

I also wrote one for SHTFplan.com on January 29, 2016 entitled  Report: Store Inventory Levels Reduced Nationwide: “Stock Up Now While You Can!” that you can refer to as a complement to this article.  This piece referred to shortages occurring from a retail perspective as the contracts for shipping and trucking are unfulfilled and as the economy collapses.  Venezuela and the events happening there are a harbinger of things to come.  We are going to see these things here, in our own backyard.

The Brexit vote is akin to a British “Paul Revere” for preppers

Look at the volatility and the fragile state of nations, of alliances of nations, and their interdependent economies.  As a prepper and survivalist you are obligated to keep this in mind to enable you to protect and provide for you and your family.

Prices are on the rise, the money supply is not stable, the shipping contracts and transportation contracts are wildly fluctuant, and businesses are shutting their doors or downsizing their staffs by the hundreds per month.  This coming week promises a “wild ride” economically, and you will have to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time.  As I advocated in articles past, you still have to make sure your bills are paid and you are taking care of financial obligations while society is intact.

Be Vigilant in your prepping

It would behoove you, however, to actively add to your emergency fund, allocate a portion of what you can spend after all of your necessities are taken care of – your “disposable income” – and putting it into the supplies and preps that you need, into (even small scale) some precious metals or things that have intrinsic value that can be bartered for when the SHTF.

Keep your eyes on what is happening.  You guys and gals read this site and have access to the internet.  Keep abreast of what is going on.  When things go south, you will know it, and guess what?  They are going south: on a daily basis we see the situation with the domestic and the world economy growing worse and worse.  It’s just a matter of time before the fiat currency is transformed into completely worthless pieces of paper and inflation returns to the levels found during the Great Depression.

Figure out what percentage you can put into supplies, into medical equipment, into tools, and into things that hold their value that can be bartered.  I close with this: in order to heed a warning, you have to recognize it as a warning, and one that has value.  Keep up the prepping and stockpiling, and always have an eye on the situation so that you can plan accordingly and when the time comes, act decisively.  Britain’s exit from the EU was a “Paul Revere” warning of a Europe that is about to come unglued, along with the respective European economies.  Keep that warning in mind, and keep fighting that good fight.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Why 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 Find and Purify Water Sources You Never Considered

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purify water 1

This is Part II of a pair of articles on finding and obtaining water in the field.  The last one we covered some methods of chemical purification, and stressed (as we stress here): boiling is the safest method to purify your water.  Keep in mind something I didn’t mention in the previous article: water that is contaminated by pollutants such as toxic chemicals and industrial wastes is not able to be purified by chemicals or boiling to make it safe for drinking.  We will address that in a minute.

How to Distill Water

We covered some basics, and along with that is how to find surface water that is relatively uncontaminated.  This is where the boiling came in, to remove the pathogens (as many as possible) safely.  Now, what do you do when you come across a water source that has a chemical sheen and an odor about it?  You can remove the water by condensation.  If you can’t filter it through a Brita or other system that removes chemical contaminants, take a small pot, and (preferably) a glass lid that is larger than the opening of the pot.  You’ll need a third vessel.  This is for “pour off,” of your condensed water.

Straining off as much as you can (with a piece of cloth, and perhaps an empty plastic bottle, pour some water into the smaller pot.  Then bring it to a boil, and set the glass lid over it, and tilt it at an angle to one side (45 degrees is fine).  The bottom tilted edge of the lid needs to be able to “empty” into a clean vessel.  When you boil the water, the steam that condenses on the bottom of the lid is water: you can collect this and use this to drink, effectively removing enough contaminants to make the condensed water potable.

You’ll have to improvise to either hang the lid at an angle with some weight on one edge to make the tilt possible, or build a stand.  Just make sure the lid doesn’t touch the top edge of the pot with the water to be condensed.  Don’t boil it all the way down!  Leave about an inch of water or so to enable you to get rid of the newly-concentrated chemical “slurry” now remaining in the pot.

Solar Still

solar still

Next, a solar still.  There are plenty of diagrams available for this one.  Dig a hole, conically-shaped about 2-3’ in depth, and line around that hole, covering it with clear plastic, a 9’ square sheet is best.  You then place a collecting receptacle underneath the center of the plastic.  Line the edges of the sheet with stones, and place a small stone in the center of the plastic sheet.  It is best to cut green, non-poisonous vegetation and line your hole with it before you cover it with the plastic sheet.  The collecting vessel should be at least a quart, because in this method, you will obtain 1 quart of water per day on a sunny day.  Simple math tells you if you need at least a gallon a day, then you need a minimum of 4 stills to make it work.  You can also run a siphon tube to your collecting vessel in order to siphon or drink your water without removing/dismantling the still.

That plastic sheeting can also be immediately pulled up and turned into a funnel for other vessels to fill with drinking water should it rain.  This stuff is all pretty easy to cram into a backpack, and it doesn’t have much weight.  You can pick up “drop cloths” of plastic in the dollar store…4 of them…and place them in a protective bag or canister to keep them from being torn.  Stock up on a bunch, as they’re micro-thin; other plastic can be obtained, however, this is lighter and easier to tote.

Hidden Water Sources

Let’s go into real grid-down situations.  You have (may God forbid) had to flee your home, and it’s a “Road Warrior” environment.  Along the way you may come across abandoned houses or buildings.  Water, think water.  Where man has dwelt, water is near.  This is a rule of thumb for you.  Time to spec out the following to see if you can locate water:

  1. Washing Machines: sometimes they have a reservoir that will enable you to drain out some water if you tilt the machine to the rear. Check the outflow portion.  You’ll have to filter it, condense it, and then (to be on the safe side…it washed out the socks that stepped in Fido’s doggie-do) boil it again.
  2. Refrigerators: especially those with the ice-machine and the cold water dispenser in the door. You can find the copper inflow pipe, and the fridge usually has a drain for ice melt down below.  Tap into these and tilt if necessary.  Filter and condense, then boil.
  3. Hot Water Heater: a “gold mine,” as most of them hold at least 45 to 50 gallons. Same thing…tap into it…there’s an outflow…and then filter and boil, to be on the safe side.
  4. Chest-type freezer: this you’ll have to be more careful, as if any food went bad, you’ll have to take the ice melt and filter, purify (chemically), and then boil.
  5. Toilet: the top tank is the goal. Can you take from the bowl?  Do the three-prong: condense, boil, and treat chemically, and you can in a survival situation.  Same for the top tank, as you don’t want any pathogens in your water.
  6. Radiator (heater for house): will oftentimes have a small supply of water.  Purify by condensing.
  7. Iron (for clothes): yes, Mom may have left a little in the reservoir for you to take; boil it or chemically purify it.
  8. “Green Thumb” house: yes, in that greenhouse or garden shed may be a little water you can cannibalize from water cans; condense it (there may be weed killer lingering in the pitcher), and boil it (if they compost or fertilize with manure).
  9. Birdbath/bird feeders/animal bowls: once again, it may be there for the taking. Remember: these must be boiled!  Too much of a chance for pathogens.
  10. Cisterns/wells/water tanks: remember, if you can store water, so can the people who might have had to dee dee mau (exfil the AO) lickety-split.  Never neglect the potential for the other guy to leave something behind.

If you’re more in the forest than an urban/suburban area, watch the wildlife if you haven’t found a surface water source, especially deer.  Look for deer paths and game trails.  Most of the time they will cross a running water source.  Watch the skies frequently for waterfowl, such as ducks or geese.  They need the water.  On the advent of nightfall, open your ears for the sounds of frogs…they need to be in the water to breathe.  If you hear Bobby the Bullfrog, water is definitely near.

All of these basics print out and go over them in your mind until you remember them and are familiar with them.  Remember, we covered 10 items for a house.  The more houses and buildings you find, the better your chances of finding a water supply.  Just remember, it may be someone else’s water supply, too.  Such is the chance you take on the Day after Doomsday.  Be smart, be adaptive, and as the Irish saying runs, “The top o’the mornin’ to ye, and the bottom o’me glass!”  Water glass, in this case.  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

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

Bees, Wasps, and Hornets: They’re Back!

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waspWell, now that the weather is warming up around the country, guess who’s back in town?  Yes, ReadyNutrition fans, the social insects…the ones that fly and sting!  Hornets, and Bees, and Wasps, oh my!  Seriously, though, these guys can cause a host of problems if you’re not prepared to deal with them.  They are of the order Hymenoptera, and their stings are no joking matter.  When they’ve nested, they pose an even bigger problem.

The largest problem is for people who suffer from hypersensitive reactions to stings.  The venom can cause anaphylactic shock and lead to death.  Primarily, the stings cause redness, pain, and edema (swelling) at the site of injury.  Bee stings further complicate matters in that their stinger is a barbed one that actually pulls out of the abdomen and continues to pulse and pump venom into the wound even though the rest of the bee is not attached to it anymore.

First-aid

First-aid measures on a bee sting should involve removing the stinger as quickly as possible to prevent the stinger from pumping in more venom.  This can best be accomplished by using a pair of tweezers or carefully using the fingernails.  Wasps and hornets, on the other hand can sting repeatedly, as their stinger is smooth and does not have barbs.  Each sting injects more of their venom.

For those with allergies to any of these insects, immediate action must be taken with a bee sting kit.  There are numerous types on the market.  They involve an immediate subcutaneous dosage of epinephrine, a neurotransmitter used to combat the sting.  Intravenous (IV) therapy at a hospital will probably be needed with more dosages of epinephrine.  Check with your friendly family physician to find out about a bee sting kit for you that you can take with you.  Remember that if you are allergic and stung, you should immediately seek professional medical attention.

Prevention is key

Prevention is the key with these guys, and in your hiking and travels in the woods, remember that you are in their environment and not vice-versa.  JJ is pretty weird, as you already know: he always wears long-sleeved shirts, even in the summertime, for several reasons.  One thing you can do when you’re hiking and susceptible to the stinging insects is to wear protective clothing, such as jeans, hats, and long-sleeved shirts.  Don’t button up so much that you overheat, but be cognizant of the fact that bees and company are very active this time of the year.  Earth tones in your clothing colors are less obnoxious to these insects and less likely to present them with a target.  If you appear to be a daffodil to them, then they’ll visit.

How to survive a swarm attack

wasp nestWhen their nests are developing around your home, you need to gauge what you can do in accordance with your susceptibility to their stings and with the size of the nest.  Be advised: even if you aren’t allergic to them, enough of them can kill you if they attack en masse.  The best time to take out the small nest on your back porch is either early in the morning just before sunrise, or after sunset.  The lower temperatures cause them all to swarm in close together to hold in heat and protect the nest.  Their reaction times are greatly diminished.  In addition to this, they hunt and fight by sight, and you have an advantage in times of lowered light levels.

These guys use chemical messengers to communicate called pheromones, and this is the reason that they react so quickly and all together.  For your larger nests (especially hornet nests that can have tens of thousands of insects in them) it is best to call a professional exterminator to alleviate your problem.  Commercial spray cans you can buy over-the-counter are fine and good for the smaller nests, but when one half the size of the Empire State Building suddenly appears under the eaves of your garage…you better call the bug-guy.  (Did you ever notice that one day the nest isn’t there, and then the next day, it’s…it’s there?)

Generally speaking, they are not out to get you.  It is simply important for you to be aware of them.  Your first-aid measures include the old baking soda on the site – to neutralize the acids and toxicity of the venom – along with cleaning it and bandaging it with a loose dressing.  All of these items, and a good bee sting kit should be in your gear when you venture out on your treks.  Remember, the bee sting kit can also be useful for when a person is not normally susceptible to one sting, but they are stung multiple times.  Better safe than sorry, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  So in your travels, stay alert, ready, and prepared.  If they won’t buzz off and leave you alone then you’ll be ready for them if they pose a problem.  “Bee” safe, and 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

Grow the Heartiest Tomatoes with These Organic Tips

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heirloom tomatoesTomatoes are summer’s gift to the gardener. I simply cannot grow enough tomatoes in one season, so I’ve started growing enough for second, and sometimes third crops. The secret to growing an endless crop of tomatoes during the summer is easy! Follow these organic natural tips and enjoy a juicy crop, perfect for summer salads and fresh sauces.

1. Choose the right location. Tomatoes love bright locations where they receive 10 hours or more of sunlight. Full morning sun is always the best location, but tomatoes will do well with some afternoon sun too. As well, ensure that you have properly spaced your plants.

  • Dwarf varieties should be spaced about 12 inches apart in a row.
  • If you are staking your plants, space them about 24 inches apart.
  • Indeterminate tomatoes should be spaced about 36 to 48 inches apart.

2. Plant tomatoes in multiple locations. When you alternate where you plant your tomatoes, it helps to diminish the risk of soil-borne diseases such as bacterial spot and early blight. One of my favorite gardening resources, Carrots Love Tomatoes: The Secrets to Companion Planting taught me that when you plant companion plants near each other, it also helps to reduce soil-borne diseases, as well as, encourage beneficial bugs to hang around. Here is a list of companion plants for your tomatoes:

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Borage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Dill
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Thyme

3. Plant them deep! When you plant your tomato seedlings deep, it helps the plant develop a better root system. The extra roots will strengthen the plant so that it can support more fruit and survive hot weather. Gardeners recommend you planting your seedlings up to the first true leaves. If you have heavy soil and cannot dig your hole deeply, you can lay the plant on its side, and cover with dirt (ensure that the hole is at least 5 or 6 inches deep when buried).

4. Prune your tomatoes. I realize that many feel this step is optional, but it really helps. By pruning off any non-fruiting branches, it directs the tomato plant’s energy into growing more tomatoes. Every three weeks, I will prune my tomato plants in the early morning. Doing this step in the morning will help reduce any plant stress.

5. Fertilize! Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to produce all of those lovely tomatoes. Adding a layer of balanced organic fertilizer like 8-8-8 during the transplanting process will help shield plants from stress and encourage root growth. When plants begin to put out fruit, fertilize every two or three weeks with fertilizer and then water it in.

As well, consider giving your plants some compost tea. Compost tea takes the beneficial bacteria and fungus present in compost and exponentially increases them through aeration and sugars. These bacteria and fungus are critical in root establishment – and the more bacteria you have in your soil, the better. This all around plant booster helps foliage, increases root development, feeds the soil – you can’t go wrong! I usually make some compost tea once a month to help my plants.

6. Give them some support. Certain tomato varieties can grow over 6 feet high and will require a trellis, staking or tomato cage. The trellis system keeps ripe fruit off the ground, so it’s less susceptible to disease and is easier to harvest. Any garden center will have tomato cages and trellises. The best time to add stakes is during the time you are transplanting. This cuts down on damaging root systems later on.

7. Water them correctly. Last, but not least, is the most important tip of all – correct watering. Tomatoes need deep, yet infrequent watering. This helps cut down on tomato blight. As well, do your best to keep leaves dry.

8. Plant more! Succession planting in three-week intervals will keep you loaded with tomatoes throughout the growing season. As soon as you plant your seedlings, start a new batch of seeds. I usually plant tomatoes two or three times during the summer months.

9. Harvest as soon as they show their colors. Keep an eye on your growing tomatoes and harvest as soon as they color up fully. Birds and other wildlife love tomatoes as much as we do, so pick them as soon as their color comes. You can also pick your tomatoes a little early and allow it to ripen on your kitchen windowsill.

These tips will ensure that your tomato crop will be the best crop yet. Happy gardening!

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Simple Ways to Purify Drinking Water in Emergencies

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purify waterThe weather is warming up, and as such, there will be an increase in the need to stay hydrated in your outdoor adventures.  But what if your adventure is “upped” a notch, and a full-blown societal collapse occurs?  Drastic times call for exceptional measures.  Your water supply is a factor that must be accounted for at all times.  There are also times when you’ll have to fly by the seat of your pants to maintain your need for a clean water supply.  The issue is addressed in this article for when you’re out and about, not locked up in your prepper fortress with the door buttressed and the shutters closed.

Water is a Top Preparedness Priority

In normal activity (times of low stress) the average person needs about a gallon of water a day.  There will be times in an emergency situation when you must rely on sources other than pristine bottles of spring water or the storage cistern you have built in your backyard.  Although these products come highly recommend, I’m not going to focus on the Big Berkey, or the Lifestraw, or the myriad of other devices available commercially.  I’m going to stick to some basics that you can use anytime, anywhere.

The Most Simple and Least Expensive Ways to Purify Water

First off, let’s talk about boiling water.  It may seem that the basics of boiling water has been covered, but it cannot be overemphasized.  When you come upon that “virgin stream” out in the woods, understand: that virginity may not exist.  A host of different pathogens come into play from many different sources.  Some of these are as simplistic as animals urinating in the water upstream of your collection point.  Also, many streams pick up sedentary water from pools or inlets that have algae and bacteria growing in them; this water is then transported to your location.

Bring your drinking water to a rolling boil for 15 to 20 minutes before consumption.  I have advocated in the past the 1-quart Army green plastic canteen system, simply because the canteen is extremely durable, and its pouch houses a steel canteen cup.  This canteen cup is a lifesaver, simply because you can accomplish your boiling of water in it and transfer it to the canteen when finished.  Augment the canteen system with alcohol prep pads to swab and cleanse the mouth and cap of the canteen.

Another point is turbidity of the water, and this is defined as what makes the water cloudier or darker and prevents light from penetrating through the water completely.  It also holds the factor of particulate matter, that is small particles of dirt, debris, or sediment that can make your drinking experience very uncomfortable.  A method to decrease turbidity is filtration, accomplished by cloths or handkerchiefs.  I prefer the latter because you can clean them and see how clean they actually are by the whiteness of the cloth.

Boiling is the way to go, and you can use it in combination with chemical disinfection.  Chlorine bleach (minus additives) can go a long way.  16 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon, and (therefore) 4 drops per quart of water.  This is one of the reasons the Army canteen is useful, as you have a full quart, and it is easy to disinfect according to this ratio.  The water purification tablets that are issued by the service are useful, even though the water doesn’t taste great.  For any of these (including commercial tablets…follow the manufacturer’s instructions), allow the cap on your canteen/quart drinking bottle to remain loose.  Sometimes detritus rises to the surface.  Just slough this off, and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.  THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR BOILING!

The reason for this is that many water-borne diseases like giardia and cryptosporidium tend to encyst and can survive a chemical disinfection, especially with chlorine.  Most of your one-celled creepy-crawlies will bite the big one with it, but boiling is the only surefire method when you don’t have an advanced water filtration system available.  Calcium hypochlorite (HTH, also known as “pool shock”) is another method to use.  The concentrations are different per the manufacturer, but you can reconstitute it and make a slurry with a one-liter bottle and a teaspoon of the HTH.  Then you follow the ratio for chlorine drops as provided above, keeping aware that it will deteriorate over time.

The HTH is useful because it is dry, and you can reconstitute it when you wish.  Be advised that it is hygroscopic, which means that it readily absorbs water unless it is sealed off properly.  Also, it can “off-gas” chlorine vapors, and chlorine gas is deadly when it proliferates in a closed space.  Be advised that you should seal up your supply of HTH in good, sealable buckets or containers that are airtight.  This will prevent off-gassing from occurring outward, as well as preventing any moisture from coming in and ruining your supply.

So boiling is the preferred method.  Another thing worth mentioning are your meds to counteract any illness you may receive from improperly or ineffectively treated water.  Metronidazole (Flagyl), usually available in 500 mg capsules is the medication of choice to fight Giardia (Giardia lamblia).  Be advised: you cannot take it with any kind of alcohol…to include cough syrups, as well as beverages.  You’ll be very violently ill.  You can pack in some HTH with you, or some bleach in a sturdy brown bottle with dropper.  The smaller the bottle the more manageable it is.  See your doctor for a prescription and consult with him prior to taking any actions regarding such meds.

In our next installment of this series we will examine water sources for you, and some unconventional areas to procure water that you may not know about.  Please make sure you boil it all.  It’s better to accomplish the boil and wait for it to cool down than to take the chance with illness.  Water is very important, but just as important as quenching your thirst is to do it with water that you know to be safe and potable.  Keep fighting the good fight!

 

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

5 Ways Trash Helps Grow Your Garden

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compostYou don’t have to spend a fortune at the nursery or garden supply center to have a happy and healthy garden. There are a few things you probably have lying around the house that can put some extra green in your thumb—and many of them are items you might otherwise consider trash!

  • Coffee Grounds: What’s better than starting the day with a strong cup of coffee? Saving those coffee grounds and using them as compost, of course! Coffee grounds are an excellent addition to your garden; simply spread them directly onto the soil. Don’t worry about coffee grounds being acidic—since acid is water-soluble, it stays in your coffee and out of your garden. Coffee grounds improve soil structure and anecdotal evidence suggests that the grounds keep slugs and other pests away. As a bonus, you can even shred used paper coffee filters and throw them into soil as well. These act as a carbon source and make your soil even richer.
  • Toilet Paper Rolls: I’m willing to bet you regularly use toilet paper, and that means you have a steady supply of free seed starter pots at your fingertips. Simply take an empty toilet paper roll and cut it in half. Take one of the halves and cut four slits approximately an inch up the roll. Fold the toilet paper rolls into each other to form the base of the seed pot, using tape to secure. Layer your soil and seed inside. Once the seed is ready to be planted, you can simply cut off the bottom of the toilet paper pot and plant it directly into the soil, where it will break down over time.
  • Lemon Rinds and Eggshells: An even easier, completely natural, no work seed starter is a lemon rind or an egg shell. Just poke a hole into the bottom of wither of these for drainage, sprout seeds and then plan t directly into the soil. The peels and shells will not only break down easily, but they will also provide nourishment to the soil.
  • Beer: Instead of throwing out the dregs of your beer, put them aside in a cup. Once you’ve gathered a few ounces, take the liquid to your garden and make a slug trap. Put some of the beer into a wide, shallow jar buried in the soil. Slugs like beer so much they will crawl right into the jar and drown (not a terrible way to die, IMHO). Empty your slug traps often and prop up a jar top with a stick to prevent rainwater from diluting the beer.
  • Broken Pots: It’s no fun to break a pot, but when accidents happen, find a way to make the most of it. Instead of throwing away broken pieces of ceramic or terracotta, use the shards as plant markers to label the plants in your garden. Identify areas where labels could be helpful, then break the broken pot into enough pieces for your project. Try to keep them roughly the same size for uniformity, but feel free to be as creative as you like. Use a permanent marker or paint that won’t wash off in the elements to write the names of the plants (if your handwriting isn’t great, a stencil might come in handy). Try out a few positions before sticking the label firmly into the ground.

These tips are win-win—you can feel good about minimizing waste and helping your garden at the same time. Happy recycling!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Turn a Car Battery Into an Emergency Power Source For the Home

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car batteryReadyNutrition Readers, this is a short primer to help you out in your troubleshooting with electrical problems.  The problems I am referring to are when you need to come up with a quick power source in a hurry for some kind of tool or device.  I’m not trying to preach advice on how to rewire your house.  Let the electrician handle the long-term jobs in your home and anything you even think you’re unsure of.  It is far better to err on the side of caution.

But what of when that killer hurricane is due to hit in a couple of hours and you weren’t able to evacuate?  You need to power up your jigsaw or circular saw, and all of a sudden, the power just died…this as you’re boarding up the house!  On that note let’s cover a few things.

Make a Lights Out Kit

Put together a good kit for yourself to begin with.  Here are some items you will need:

How to Utilize a Car Battery as a Power Source

Let’s go with some instructions for utilizing a car battery as a power source.  You will also need a power inverter.  This inverter “converts” the electricity into a usable form, and enables you to tap into a power source that would normally fry you.  The friendly wall outlets have died, and you really need to get that circular saw up and running.  The wall outlet is AC, or Alternating Current.  You need a new AC power source.

Your car battery is just that source, however, it is DC, or direct current.  With the power inverter, you can change that DC into the AC that will power your circular saw.  Guess what?  After you’re done with the circular saw, you can use the battery for your TV, or a lamp, or something else you may need.  Here’s how to hook up your inverter to the battery:

  1. First, connect the positive terminal on the power inverter (red terminal) to the positive (+) post on the car battery.
  1. Next connect the negative terminal on the power inverter (the black terminal) to the negative (-) post on the car battery.
  1. Now it’s time to turn the power inverter on, and you should then allow the inverter to warm up. Give it at least thirty seconds to be on the safe side.
  1. Now you plug in your circular saw into the power outlet provided on the inverter. Voila!  Done!

That’s a pretty simple fix that should not provide you with too much headache.  The main task is to positively and clearly identify the correct terminals on your battery and on the inverter.  Electricity is a pretty “mystifying” thing for most people who haven’t fooled with it very much.  I highly recommend obtaining some of those old Time-Life books from the mid 1970’s.  They are replete with excellent drawings and photographs that can take you step-by-step through simple and basic repairs.

The reason you should arm yourself with this knowledge is that when the SHTF, guess what?  You are now the electrician!  Yes, this frightening thought was not meant to discourage you, but to enable you to make preparations for the time when you need a little knowledge and skills in that area to see you through.

Safety First, Folks!

Just remember a few safety basics before you do anything.  Always disconnect your power at the breaker box/circuit box prior to any electrical endeavors you will undertake.  Make sure that you’re not sitting, standing, or kneeling in any water.  Remember that water conducts electricity and can give you an electric birdbath that will make you chirp sparks for a month!  Always better to err on the side of caution.  And study and practice this stuff before you make the actual attempt to fix something.  If you have to make a repair on the home, stick with the electrician and learn something.  You’re paying him, after all, and he can use an extra pair of hands.  He’ll probably be more than happy to explain what he’s doing when you hold a flashlight for him or run tools to him from his truck.

Electricity can be a great servant of man or a great danger.  Prepare and plan for the emergencies that you may be able to forecast for your own home in the midst of a disaster and lay in your tools and supplies.  When the power goes out it won’t be so much of a shock to you…pun intended!  Be safe and keep up the good work!  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hurricane Preparation: How to Board Up Your Windows Like a Pro

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boarding homesAs we turn the corner into hurricane season, many parts of the country are starting to make preparations for this type of natural disaster.

Broken windows are common occurrences with this type of storm and knowing how to protect your home is important for these preparations. Lumber is one of the many supplies to quickly disappear in preparation for disasters; therefore, having items ahead of time to be able to board up windows in a hurry will be very advantageous if you are short on preparation time.

Make sure you have everything to prepare for disasters. Here’s a checklist for supplies for short-term disasters.

 Pre-cut and Prepare your Supplies Before the Storm is a Reality

Here’s where your preps come in.  Do it now, and not later.  Think Aesop’s “Grasshopper and Ant” fable on all things…and be prepared.  You have to keep the cold and the elements out of the house.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • plastic sheeting 6 mil thickness measuring 25’ x 10’
  • staple gun 
  • pre-cut fir strips
  • galvanized nails or screws
  • plywood

Plastic Sheeting – The first key is to seal, and this is with plastic.  Wal-Mart has pretty thick gauge rolls of plastic sheeting, and I have found there are rolls of 6 mil thickness measuring 25’ x 10’ for sale there for about $20 per roll.  You can measure all of the windows and precut pieces of this plastic for them.  A good staple gun is essential for this task.  Attach the staples to the outside of the window, not the inside: this will help seal out water and wind better.

Pre-cut fir strips – You can measure and pre-cut fir strips/ 1” x 3” pieces to border the outside edges of the windows overtop of the edges of the plastic.  Either nail ‘em in or screw ‘em in with drywall screws or galvanized screws…1 to 1 ½ inchers should do the trick.  This will further keep the plastic intact from wind and the elements.  Next comes the plywood.  Much of this is going to depend on the size and height of your home.  We’re addressing standard sized windows and sliding glass doors here.  No doubt that some of you have some big picture windows that will take more planning and use more material, so with them you’ll have to make adjustments.

Plywood – Returning to the plywood, for the bottom floors/ground level, I recommend at least ½” pressure treated plywood.  from wind and the elements.  Next comes the plywood.  Much of this is going to depend on the size and height of your home.  We’re addressing standard sized windows and sliding glass doors here.  Some of you Readers no doubt have some big picture windows that will take more planning and use more material, so with them you’ll have to make adjustments.

For the bottom floors/ground level, I recommend at least ½” pressure treated plywood.  You’ll have to make braces or brackets to hold them.  Either do this with pieces of 2” x 4” boards, or invest in some “L” angle irons with screw holes to help support that bottom edge.  Measure the window, and cut the plywood to overlap at least 6” to 1’ on all of the sides.  Sink them in with galvanized deck screws through predrilled holes in the corners and sides.  You want hexagon (hex) heads on them to secure in place.  All of this will take some planning on your part.  It’s best to mount them on the outside, overlapping the plastic and the fir strip borders.

The reason for this is it allows for some “give” between the plywood and the newly plastic covered window.  It also is better on the outside, as it is easier to smash through plywood affixed to the inside of a window/door opening than to smash through it if it’s attached to the outside of the house.  Draw a diagram of your house and the location of the windows.  The reasons for pre-drilling holes are that you may not have power for a corded or cordless electric drill after an EMP, or such, but you can still use your ratchet set to set in the deck bolts and secure the plywood.  It also cuts down on the work you do post-window loss.

Label the diagram’s windows and doors A, B, C, etc., and then make sure that you spray paint this letter onto the corresponding piece of plywood.  That way you’re all set.  Don’t forget an arrow to show the side that goes upward.  Store your plywood pieces either inside close to the windows they’re cut for, or pool them in a central location, stacked or lean-stacked in alphabetical order for ease of finding your pieces and matching them after the windows go.

It’s simple enough, and can run you some money, but the alternatives are elements, debris, and bugs (six and two-legged) entering through those holes.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is certainly a prep that holds with that rule.  Set it up now when you have the time.  You can probably find some scrap plywood in good condition that you may be able to either bargain for, or that your local lumber yard will be happy to sell you at a discount as it is not a full sheet.  Use your imagination, plan your work and work your plan.  In all of this protect your windows in this manner, before they break…and avoid those gaping holes after they’re gone.  Happy hammering!

 

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

Straw Bale Gardening: Everything You Wanted to Know for the Best Bounty Ever

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Two years ago, we moved into a house that had an abandoned garden; and to put it bluntly, the garden was in pretty bad shape. The soil was dry, rocky and compacted and there were weeds growing, but I was able to turn it around by conditioning the soil and experimented using a cardboard box gardening theory I was trying out. Since that time, I have added rabbits to our mini homestead and their nutrient-rich poo has turned my garden’s soil into that crumbly, rich dirt we all desperately want. Even though this garden is primed and ready to go, it just isn’t large enough for what I am trying to achieve.

9

This old garden bed has seen better days. Not only is it falling apart, but it doesn’t give me the right space for what I want to achieve.

For years, I have been working on backyard strategies that anyone can use to achieve food freedom to finally break away from the system and my family’s dependence on grocery stores. We have been able to find local meat sources, now it’s time to get enough produce to put away.

Why Straw Bale Gardening Works!

I decided to try my hand at straw bale gardening. It sounded practical enough. In fact, author, Joel Karsten of Straw Bale Gardens Complete, wrote on his website that this gardening method is a game changer. “Minimal maintenance resulting in maximum production, through Straw Bale Gardening.  It will completely change everything you thought you already knew about gardening.”

As well, this raised bed gardening method is very economical. For under $100, we were able to purchase 12 straw bales and extended our garden area by over 20 feet! We also purchased about $30 in organic fertilizers to condition the bales, but if you have the gift of time on your hands, you can bypass this step completely. I’ll get to that a little later.

Not only was I was drawn to this gardening method because it was cheaper, but it was easy for those with physical limitations and took poor soil quality out of the gardening equation. As well, I love natural gardening methods and liked the idea of the bales decomposing as the plants were growing, thus giving them essential nutrients in the process.

How it works

In short, as the bale of straw decomposes, it creates a nutrient-rich medium for the plants to grow. As well, the space between the straw creates tiny air pockets that are beneficial to the roots.

The bales need to be “conditioned” at least two weeks before planting. This will create the right growing environment for your plants. Once the bales are conditioned, you plant your garden and sit back and enjoy the view. It’s that easy, folks!

What you’ll need

  • straw bales
  • cardboard, newspapers or landscaping cloth
  • soaker hoses
  • garden stakes for trellises for tomatoes
  • 2 boxes each of organic blood meal and bone meal
  1. Getting started is easy! All you need to do is choose the area where you want to start your straw bale garden project. Make sure the location will get ample sunlight – up to 6 to 8 hours a day. Next, set down landscaping fabric, newspaper or cardboard boxes to prevent weeds from growing through the bales. Don’t skip this step – it’s important!
  2. Position your bales. Once you have set down the landscaping fabric into an outline you want the bales to go in, start positioning your bales so that the strings that bind the bales should run across the sides, not across the planting surface. By positioning them this way, it will keep the shape of the bales as they start to soften and decompose.
  3. Water your bales and get them ready for conditioning.
  4. Condition bales.
  5. Plant garden and fertilize as needed.
6

After positioning the straw bales into the shape I wanted, I was surprised at how much extra space I had in the garden.

How to conditioning straw bales

Like all gardens, before you plant your plants, you need to make sure they will have the right environment to grow in. Conditioning will help activate bacteria inside the bale to begin digesting the straw. It will make nitrogen and other nutrients available to the seedlings and create a productive, warm, moist and nutrient-rich rooting environment for young seedlings.  This is an ideal environment for beneficial insects including earthworms. As well, the bales will last you for up to two garden seasons because it slowly breaks down. Once it is completely broken down, you can throw it in your compost pile and turn it into rich compost.

You will see a difference in the bales overall appearance after it has been conditioned. It begins to slump and the color of the straw will start to “pepper.” In addition, the internal temperature of the straw bale increased too. If you insert a thermometer, it may rise to 120 degrees or even higher. I knew when my bales were properly conditioned when I saw earthworms living in the bales when I was planting the plants.

There are two processes for getting the straw bales conditioned and which one you use is dependent on how much time you have. Conditioning the bales will take two weeks or more to get the decomposition process started.

If you’ve got plenty of time, use this method:

After you have added the landscaping cloth and positioned your bales, simply add some top soil, fresh manure and all-purpose fertilizer to the tops of the straw bales, water thoroughly and allow this to sit uncovered for a few months. Many people who use this method will position their bales in the fall and allow them to decompose over the winter so they are ready for spring gardening.

If you are short on time, use this method:

This is a quick way to get your bales decomposition process going. For ten days, you will be watering and fertilizing your bales to get the inner straw composting.

Days 1-6: For the first six days, you will be adding 3 cups of organic fertilizer per bale every other day. Then, thoroughly saturate the bales with water so that the fertilizer is pushed down through the straw. I used an organic fertilizer that was high in nitrogen like a 12-0-0 blood meal. On the off days, simply water the bales. To make the fertilizer more available to the bacteria more quickly, I use a tent stake and hammered holes in the straw bales before adding the fertilizer. This really seemed to speed up the process.

Avoid using manures for the “quick cook” method because most manures do not have enough concentration of active nitrogen. The only exception to this is pure chicken manure that has been composted for 6-12 weeks and does not have any bedding or wood shavings mixed in. Read more about why manures won’t work with conditioning.

Days 7-9:  For two days, I added 1 cup of an all-purpose organic fertilizer and thoroughly watered the bales. By now, you should start seeing some significant changes to your bales.

Day 10: On the last day, I added 3 cups of bone meal. This fertilizer is high in phosphorus and potassium and is great for making sure there are nutrients present for essential root development.

 Planting time

After your bales have properly cooked down, now is the fun part and what you have been waiting so patiently for – planting time! Use a gardening trowel to remove the straw in the shape of a hole. You can also help any exposed roots, by adding some sterile planting mix to the hole.

If you’re planting seeds, then cover the bales with a one to two-inch layer of planting mix and sow the seeds directly into the planting mix. As the seeds germinate, they’ll grow roots down into the bale itself.

Suggested number of plants per bale

  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 4-6 cucumbers
  • 2 pumpkins
  • 2-3 zucchini
  • 2-4 squash
  • 4 peppers
  • 2 winter squash

Tomatoes and cucumbers are very thirsty plants, so make sure you have a way deeply irrigate these plants. I added soaker hoses to my bales and also added these ceramic water irrigation stakes.

Don’t limit your straw bale garden to just vegetables. You can use every inch of free space and plant flowers and herbs in the bale to attract bees and other pollinators. I even added strawberry plants to the sides of the bales that were going unused.

Continue to fertilize

Straw bales do not offer all the essential nutrients like soil does and plants may need extra fertilizing. Here are some indicators to look for:

  • yellowing leaves – nitrogen deficiency
  • leaves are browning on edges – potassium deficiency.
  • leaves turning purple – potassium deficiency

I am very hopeful that this garden method will be a good fit for me and I am pleased with how easily this addition to my garden was. I will keep you all updated on the progress and hopefully, I can give a good report back with a great summer bounty.

Happy gardening!

straw bale

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Emergency Water Storage Ideas for Every Type of Disaster

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Hey, hey, hey, ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals!  No, Fat Albert is not in front of the keyboard!  Just JJ here with an article geared toward gearing up for a potential drought year.  Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” referred to the omnipresence of water regarding the seas and oceans.  Fresh water is a different matter; therefore, here are a few pointers that you can follow to help secure your family’s supply in both time of paucity and for when the SHTF.

Water Storage Solutions for Every Type of Emergency

1. Soda Bottles

There are ways to prepare for and store water for short-term emergencies. Of course, one of the determining factors being your geographic location, as well as the other one of how your home is situated – if you have a lot of ground or live in an apartment – are variables that will affect your family’s water plans.  I highly recommend starting off small, and working your way up.  Two liter soda bottles are excellent water storage vessels, and well within the budget.  Here are some other popular choices for storing water for emergencies. Also, don’t forget about emergency water sources hidden in your home. Read more about them here.

To remove the sugar and any remaining acidic fluid, make sure you fill them halfway with hot or boiled water and shake them out really well. These actions will remove the sugar and enable your water to not have a medium that could help to grow bacteria.  Remember, check to make sure your bottle has a code number such as 1,2,5,7, or HDPE on the bottom to ensure plastics do not leach into your water.  The bottles are made to hold soda (a caustic, acidic fluid) for a long period of time and will work equally well in protecting your water.

 

water2. 5-gallon containers

For disasters water sources to be questionable for a week or longer, consider investing in some 5-gallon containers. Water bricks are a great example of this type of water storage solution.There are myriads of five-gallon water canisters available, so we will just mention that whatever type you decide to go with, standardize it and make it the norm, to help you keep track of the water.  Store your water on the bottom of your storage space, so that if the container is compromised you will not experience everything under it being soaked.

Also, keep your soda bottle-containers “boxed,” in groups of 6 or twelve to help prevent them from falling or rolling all over the place.  Once again, plastic bins are best to accomplish this task. Here are plans for creating a holding rack for 5-gallon water bottles.

 

catchment3. Catchment systems

Rainwater catchment systems are an excellent choice for those of you preparing a long living disaster. You can refer back to previous articles on water-catchment systems I wrote with diagrams on how to utilize rainwater to build up a supply right out of your downspout to fill in 55-gallon food-grade plastic drums.  Another consideration is a good cistern.

There is a great article in Howtopedia, a free downloadable resource (and printable) with all kinds of plans and designs for different projects.  The articles come with step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish the tasks at hand.

 

Cistern4. Cisterns

Cisterns are the ultimate long-term water storage source and have the capacity to hold up to 20,000 gallons of water or more (depending on the size, of course). For a cistern, you will need some ground and you might want to rent a “C” (as we called them in the Service) or a small backhoe to go nice and deep.  Cisterns can be above ground or below. For the latter, you want it at least 6” below the frost line (the top of the hatch), and you can also channel your downspout into it.

There are several layers of sand, gravel, and charcoal that you can place at the top of your cistern that will allow for filtration of rainwater into it through the downspout and into the ground.  One thing that will help immensely is an access hole that can be “plugged” through which you can insert the tube for a hand pump/hand-crank water pump to pull water out, as you need it.  The cistern is good because it’s out of sight and allows for passive collection of water.

Here is a great example how to purify drinking water from a cistern if you find yourself in an off grid situation.

19th_century_knowledge_water_cistern_and_filter

Storing water during winter months

For the wintertime, if you have a root cellar you can also store water there.  Winter water collection is not as difficult as you may think.  A woodstove adds to the benefits of utilizing snow and ice, providing a steady supply of hot water from a five-gallon soup pot.  Keep in mind that water will need to be purified before drinking. On a side note, the evaporating water will act as a humidifier and keep the woodstove from drying out all of the air in the house.

I have a question to ask of you guys and gals.  Over the winter, I saw a woodstove photo that had copper tubing wrapped around the stovepipe (before it exited the cabin, naturally).  This tubing was attached as an inlet and an outlet to heat up water and recirculate it into another container…a passive hot water heater.  The tubing had an outflow (from the water container that sat upon the stove) and an inflow (to transfer the hot water to a storage unit).  Anyone who knows of information on this system (links, plans, etc.), I would greatly appreciate your sharing it with us.

To summarize, now is the time to take these measures to store and collect water for your family.  There is plenty of time now to inculcate a working system and build up sizeable storage sections for your home, wherever you live, that is within your budget.  It is best to have at least a 10-14 day supply for every member of your family, going at a rate of 1 gallon per day minimum per family memberDon’t forget the pets on this, and also take into consideration any family member – pet or human – that may have special needs of increased water.  Have a great day, and happy water collecting!  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

Gardening During Troubled Times: How to Start a Victory Garden

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ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to touch on a subject that bears keeping in mind: the Victory gardens kept by citizens of the United States during World War II.  The reason this subject is good to mention is because now that spring has arrived, you should know about shortages and pitfalls people faced before.  As it is aptly written, there is nothing new under the sun; therefore, the same dilemmas faced by people before will be faced again.  A survival garden may be just the thing your family needs, as it will passively produce food for your future.

Victory-Garden-2Wartime brings real shortages in virtually every area of the economy, especially in the area of foodstuffs.  Rationing becomes the norm rather than the exception, and it is difficult for people to scrape out a bare subsistence.  During WWII, the Victory garden was recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a pamphlet published in 1943.  The gardens were recommended to have the following vegetables planted:

Spinach, Chard or Kale for greens; Cabbage; Lettuce; Tomatoes; Soy Beans; Snap Beans; Lima Beans; Peas; Asparagus; Carrots; Beets; Turnips; Parsnips; Onions; Strawberries; Raspberries; Radishes; Peppers; Onions; Pole Beans.

That’s quite a list, but it is not comprehensive and many preppers suggest these 25 seeds to start their survival gardens for added nutrition.  The point to be made is that if you are able to grow food, then do it during the warm months.  Potatoes can be grown inside of old tires, and there are plenty of books and resources out there that will tell you how to perform micro gardening.  This is a type of gardening that allows you to maximize the minimal space and arable land that you may have.

The main thing is planning and knowing where to start.  On this site Miss Tess Pennington offers many different resources to pursue concerning gardening and cultivation.  You must find out the available square footage that is on your property and utilize it to the maximum potential to grow.  Make use of every possible growing space and do not neglect window boxes and plants that can be grown on the windowsill.  Do not neglect a deck if you live in a high-rise or an apartment building.  Be creative.  Try to plan for what you believe you will need.

Even if you do not have the acreage to be able to sustain you and your entire family, at the bare minimum you can supplement your food supply.  Let’s not forget that food in the immediacy is not the only consideration.  You want to save your seeds.  Seed-saving will be very important in the times to come, as you want to be assured of crops for future growing seasons.  The Survival Seed Vaults are good investments, especially if you have to pick up and run to another location or want to secure it in a cache.  Along those lines, consider adding the easiest seeds to grow in any of your caches, that way you can have a reliable food source when you need it the most. It’s kind of hard to take everything that is growing with you, and to have these seeds that you can take off with will help assuage the loss of your crops if you must flee.

Your survival garden should also include whatever you can pick up with wild crafting.  Remember that article I wrote last year on the book, “Eat the Weeds,” that details common wild plants and herbs that are edible?  Man forages as well as produces.  Never limit yourself to one activity.  Remember, when you find dandelions or shepherd’s purse…you can transplant them (here are some other edible weeds to consider)!  Bring them back to your survival garden and maintain them!  The only limits on your survival garden are the limits you place on it.

Other excellent resources for you are your county extension office and your local community college.  These institutions are replete with free information, tips, literature, and sometimes even free supplies for things such as gardening, horticulture, and composting.  Take advantage of these resources, as your tax dollars are paying for them.  Make inroads with the people who work there and they can point you toward a plethora of information and materials that you can use for your home.

To summarize, now is the time to get your garden in gear.  Whether you have 20 acres up in the mountains or just a small balcony in a high rise, you can make the most out of your space and resources with the proper planning and desire to grow some foods.  Plan your work and work your plan.  We look forward to hearing any ideas or suggestions you may have for your fellow readers and us.  Have a great day, and happy gardening!

 

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

Smart Technology Will Mean Nothing After an EMP Event

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smart tech 

“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.” – Hotel California, by the Eagles

ReadyNutrition guys and gals, this article is designed to provide you with some food for thought regarding the devices of our modern technological area.  As a modern society, it is very rare to find someone without a cell phone or a hand-held computing device.  While saving time and enabling many different functions, it has also caused our society to become completely dependent upon these devices and has has set us up for a fall.  We already know that those devices are vulnerable to an EMP or a solar storm that can render society as a whole inoperable.  But what about the devices themselves in the normal course of use?  They can act as a monitoring system: a little “spy” in your pocket, transmitting data about you to others that can be acted upon to hurt you.

Former General and Director of the CIA, David Petraeus made a statement regarding simple appliances found in the home, stating that smart technology will make all of our life’s functions part of the “internet of things” someday.  This bodes a dire warning to all of us.  The smart refrigerator that will “order” your food from the grocery store, the cellular telephone that transmits a burst signal every four second to a tower with your position, and the smart “boxes” in your Lexus sedan are all examples of electronic control and tracking.

Shield Your Gear From EMPs

I have found that you can shield off your communications devices by placing them in an EMP-protective bag available online, and you can also use Mylar to block the transmission of the cell phone or I-pad’s signals from effectively reaching the towers.  There is a myriad of information all over the internet that shows how to protect such devices from an EMP or a solar flare.  The principle works in reverse as well, and we’re noting it here for your consideration in your personal planning posture.

The Easiest Way to Wean Yourself Off of a Tech Dependent Lifestyle

JJ’s suggestion is to take a time period – you determine the amount of time for yourself – such as a weekend or a few days during the week, and try to function without the use of any electronic devices, especially those such as hand-held communication.  Give yourself a set period as a drill and a training exercise.  This will help you learn alternative methods of communicating with your family and those you associate with, as well as begin to help you wean yourself off of your tech dependence.  You will be surprised how often you want to check your Facebook or social media during this time.  Such an exercise can gauge how effectively you will function if an EMP or grid-destroying event does occur.

I have suggested in numerous articles that Motorola radios, CB radios, and handheld communication devices such as portable Ham radios are effective means of communication that cannot be monitored as readily as the cellular telephones.  In addition to this, they only need a shielded power source and shielding to protect from the aforementioned disasters.  When the dust settles, the cellular telephones will not be up and running, but you can pull these devices out and use them.

Don’t Allow Your Equipment to Own You

Better yet, they do not continuously transmit your position and movements to Big Brother.  There is much merit in this.  Here is the mindset: we pay our income taxes, and the federal government uses those funds to inculcate ever-growing policies and technologies that further enslave us.  It is akin to paying a building contractor to construct a cage around you.  The same with the technology.  Owning it makes you subject yourself to continuous monitoring and perhaps much worse.  The federal government didn’t build a $50 billion facility for the collection of electronic data and phone transmissions in Ogden, Utah for nothing.

So the suggestion here is to “wean” yourself off of the technology that can monitor you and perhaps even lead to a totalitarian government tracking and scooping you up.  Use your equipment, but don’t allow your equipment to use you, or yourself to be used by it.  Don’t allow your tools to be the tools someone else employs.  Everything can “morph” in an instant and life as we know it come to a screeching halt.  It is better to prepare every day and be “wrong” in the eyes of others for 364 ¼ days out of the year than to not prepare for one day and be “right” when the bottom falls out.  Protect yourself from your own equipment, and keep it from monitoring you.  Don’t let it become a situation that turns into the phrase, “You can check out any time you like…but you can never leave.”

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 To Do When You Have to Prep on the Fly

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empty shelves wikimediaPreppers who are truly diligent and committed have little to fear. They’re ready to tackle almost any disaster you can think of, be it natural or man-made. Truth be told, the only thing a dedicated prepper is really afraid of, is not being prepared. Unfortunately it can it happen to the best of us.

There are plenty of reasons why you, a person who is otherwise fully aware of how fragile society is, might not be prepared when a disaster strikes. Maybe you’re new to prepping and simply haven’t had the time to get started. Or perhaps you used to be well prepared, but haven’t been able to maintain your preps for financial reasons (here are 30 prepper items you can find at the Dollar Store). Or you might just be out-of-town and away from your preps when disaster strikes. Whatever the case may be, you need to know what to do when you have to prep on the fly. By that I mean you’re going to have to race over to the nearest stores in your neighborhood and buy up everything you need, as fast as you can (which is pretty a much a prepper’s worst nightmare).

Prepare for any disaster with this best-selling survival guide

Start Pooling Resources With Family and Neighbors

If you’re completely unprepared for an impending disaster, your highest priority will be finding other people who are in a similar predicament, such as friends, family, and neighbors. The more people you have working together, the more successful you will all be. As well, by combining forces, you can also combine supplies to help see each other though. As a side note, depending on what type of disaster you’re dealing with, it will probably be a good idea to start pulling cash out of your bank account, if that’s still possible.

Next, you will all need to start gathering supplies. Preppers do what they do to avoid this exact situation, but you won’t have a choice. You’ll have to wade through the mob of anxious people who are also trying to gather supplies at the last-minute. Plan for a worst-case scenario and concentrate your efforts on finding shelf stable foods. Societal breakdowns can quickly occur and happen when you least expect – even in a grocery store full of unprepared individuals – so know what you’re walking into. Before you read any further, I’d suggest you look up how to escape mob violence, how to blend in, and how to spot people who may be concealing a weapon.

Get Organized

Before you go out and brave the crowds, take an inventory of what you and any neighbors who will be riding out the disaster with you have. For a complete list of items that you will need to stay prepared, click here. Chances are, you will be able to eliminate a few items off your list. Going out to gather supplies under these conditions is going to be scary, which is why it’s important to find other people to work with. You’ll want every able-bodied person to be assigned to look for a specific type of item, such as food, tools, fuel, medical supplies, etc., and preferably you won’t have anyone venturing out alone. If possible, a minimum of two people should be working together at all times for efficiency and safety.

Avoid the Frantic Crowds

As for where to go looking for supplies, you’re going to have to think smarter than the mob to avoid the worst of the mob. Have you ever heard someone say “when the zombie apocalypse happens, I’m just going to raid the gun store and then head over to the grocery store to pick up everything I need?” Remember that, because that’s the kind of thinking most people are going to have.  They’re going to head straight towards the most obvious places and pick them clean before you get there. If you plan on going out, try getting to the stores as soon as they open so that you can avoid crowds as much as possible.

Granted, if you live right next to a grocery store you should be able to get there while the getting is good. Otherwise, start thinking about the stores that aren’t so obvious. By that I mean convenience stores, drug stores, mom and pop shops, and what have you. Other stores you might want to hit up include hardware stores, pharmacies, gardening stores, liquor stores, and gas stations. Again, avoid the big box stores if you can, and focus on the lesser known spots that are second or third on the list for frantic spree buyers and looters.

Finding less obvious solutions to your needs is the name of the game here. When you reach one of these stores, what do you see? Are they all out of toilet paper? Fine. See if they still have binder paper. Are they running out of canned foods? See if they still have dog food. This isn’t the kind of situation where you can afford to be picky or squeamish. You need to find as many vital supplies as you can, and fast.

Have an Alternative Mode of Transportation

You’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to get to any of these stores. If you live in the city, it would probably be wise to forget about driving. In all likelihood the streets will be far too congested, so consider investing in a bicycle or motorbike for ease through high traffic. As well, walking to your destination is going to be your best bet. Unfortunately that means you won’t have a vehicle to carry your supplies. You might have to steal a few shopping carts at some point. I know it’s wrong, but given the circumstances you can be forgiven for such a small transgression. As well, I would also recommend finding alternative routes to these stores.

And finally, if you have enough people working together, consider letting a few of them stay behind to protect everyone’s homes. Aside from fortifying and protecting these homes, these people should also be busy filling up bathtubs with water in case the taps stop working. With that said, make sure bleach is on your list of supplies, so that you can keep this water clean for the duration of the disaster.

As you can see, this isn’t a very pretty scenario. If anything, what I’ve listed above is the best case scenario for what you might have to do to survive. It’s just as likely that you’ll have to resort to some very unsavory measures to stay ahead of the herd. It’s best to avoid this situation entirely, and get prepared long before disaster strikes.

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

20 Practical Ways to Use Bacon Grease

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bacon greaseBacon are little strips of heaven and always makes everything better, doesn’t it? My family recently bought half of a pig from a local farmer and guess what was eaten first? That’s right, the delectable bacon. But what about the leftover bacon grease? This happens to be one of the most thrown away items, but can serve more than one purpose. There are many ways to use this healthy animal fat and in our quest to be less of a throw away generation, it’s time we learn how this useful byproduct can be used.

Fats are one of the four main food sources that should be in your food pantry. Those who are prepper-oriented know of the important role that fats have in our nutrition, especially during times of emergencies.

  1. Fats are an essential component in any diet for proper vitamin absorption. Specifically, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats.
  2. Fats also plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function.
  3. They also serve as energy stores for the body.
  4. Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, which are an important dietary requirement and also serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. (Source)
  5. Fats are one of the 4 Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition.

As a southern girl, we always had bacon on the weekends and my mother would pour the fat into a metal grease collector and put in our fridge. When my mother needed to add some extra “flavor” to dishes, she would take a spoonful or two and add it turnip greens or to use for grandma’s famous biscuits. I could go on and on about how to cook with bacon grease (I did include a few in the list), but I know that you all probably know those secrets too. Instead, I wanted to share some more practical applications you can use bacon grease for. But first, you need to know how to properly store this animal fat.

To Store Bacon Grease:

2 pounds of bacon will create 3/4 cup-1 cup of bacon grease

grease crock

Reserve an old coffee tin or bacon grease crock and pour over a paper towel or strainer while it is hot to get out the little bacon bits. Lard will keep longer if you strain it because the meat bits are the first thing that will go rancid.

If you’re using a glass container to store bacon grease, allow the grease to cool before pouring it into the container so the glass will not to break  from the extreme temperature change. Some people have used coffee mugs to avoid this problem.

When the grease is cool it will be an off white to brown color depending on how the bacon was cooked and at what temperature.

Cover your container with a lid or plastic wrap to keep outside smells from flavoring your grease.  Many people claim that it can be kept indefinitely on the countertop but I keep mine in the fridge just to be sure. You can also freeze it for longer storage.

Bacon grease will last 6-9 months in your refrigerator or freezer.

20 Uses for Bacon Lard

Leftover bacon grease has many uses including a quick splinter removal or even making a quick candle (See how easy this is below). As well, consider these other additional uses for bacon grease.

  1. Those who are interested in natural living will be happy to know that it can also be used for biofuel. One a side note, if a vehicle was run solely on bacon grease, would that make it a bacon mobile? I kid, I kid; but if you plan on using lard for this, make sure the lard or grease is filtered to remove any bits of leftover food.
  2. Did you know that lard can be used as a preservation method? Many homesteaders swear by this method. Author, Carla Emery explains how to do this in her bestselling book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living.

    “The fat seals the air out… After slaughtering a hog, the fat was rendered into lard. Those cuts of the hog that were not cured for smoking, or made into sausage, like the shoulder, were fried. While still hot, these slices of pork steak were preserved through the winter by larding. In a large crock, layer on layer of the fried steaks was covered with hot lard. This meat was then used through the winter by scraping the lard off each layer. The amount necessary for a meal was removed and reheated. The used lard was reused in pies or other baking or cooking and ultimately for soap.”

  3. Make cookies just like grandma with these bacon fat ginger snaps.
  4. Reward your dog with homemade bacon flavored dog biscuits. Along those lines, you can also drizzle a little bacon grease in your dog’s food bowl and this will encourage Fido to eat his food.
  5. Season your skillet or your cast iron cookware.
  6. Make bacon gravy. Did you mom ever make cream gravy? All you need is some milk, flour and bacon grease and this will make your meal sing! Here’s a recipe you can use.
  7. Make a candle – Pour the bacon grease in a cup or can, and place a wick inside. Give the grease a few minutes to soak into the wick, and then place it in the fridge until it solidifies. Viola! You now have the best smelling candle that money didn’t buy (at least if you like the smell of breakfast).
  8. Bacon grease is a great substitution for butter. 1 tablespoon of bacon grease can be used in place of butter or oil in just about any recipe; and don’t even get me started on how delicious bacon grease is with sauteing potatoes!
  9. Make some handy firestarters for your next camping trip by dipping a cotton ball or a piece of tinder in the fat and storing it in an unused Altoids tin can. Voila! You could even use bacon grease that has accidentally been left out and gone rancid, to make the most of what you have.
  10. Who wouldn’t want to bathe themselves with some bacon soap? You can use just about any animal fat to make soap, including bacon grease.
  11. How about some tasty pemmican? This Native American superfood is made of fat (typically deer fat but any will do), jerky made from lean meat, and dried fruits and/or berries. You just ball up the ingredients in equal parts and tuck it away. Here’s a great recipe!
  12. If you’ve run out of your leather boot protectant and need a quick alternative, animal fat is the way to go! In fact, one of the secrets that backpackers have used to waterproof boots is with animal fats.
  13. Make a bird feeder! The Girl Scouts taught me this one. Take a pine cone and cover it with bacon grease and then sprinkle wild bird seed over it. This is a great craft you can do with your kids!
  14. Fix those squeaky hinges! Add a dollop of bacon grease to a rag and grease hinges. They should quiet down without a problem. This will also work on squeaky wheels!
  15. Trap bugs. You can trap annoying bugs by placing a plastic container of bacon grease and a bit of vegetable oil in a common bug area. The oil will be too thick for bugs to fly out of, trapping them for life.
  16. Moisturize your hands and heels. Cracked hands and heels can be very painful. Instead of Vaseline, rub some bacon grease on your heels. Apply a bit before bedtime, put on your socks and get cozy. In the morning, your feet will be brand new again and soft as ever. This is because animal fat contains vitamins A, D, K, and E.
  17. Grease your muffin, pie or cake pans. This will no doubt add just a touch of bacon flavor to your baked goods, but who wouldn’t want that?
  18. Stop boiling pots from overflowing. I just learned this handy little trick. By dropping a bit of oil or bacon grease into the pan when boiling pasta will help it not boil over.
  19. Take your sandwiches to the next level with baconnaise. Here’s the recipe. You’re welcome. You could even add a spoonful of bacon grease to condiments like ketchup or barbecue sauce to give it a little extra flavor.
  20. Pour used bacon grease into a tuna or cat food can, chill until firm, and wire the can to a tree to give your feathered visitors some food. Bacon grease may be gross to some of us, but it attracts bluebirds, crows, jays, ravens, starlings, woodpeckers and Carolina wrens.

Now that you know twenty more ingenious ways to use bacon grease, it’s time to get crackin’! This healthy animal fat is one of the most popular and one that adds the most flavor to any recipe. Best of all, it’s free with your bacon; so don’t let it go to waste!

How do you use leftover bacon grease?

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

PREPARING FOR THE NEXT ATTACK: HOW TO SURVIVE A NUCLEAR MELTDOWN

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nuclear-power-plant3

Over the years, the public’s perception of nuclear power has gone from being viewed as the most economical source of energy in the world, to being an existential threat to humanity. Most recently, the Fukushima disaster has provided the perfect example of how dangerous nuclear power really is. Despite the assurances of scientists and governments, it’s clear now that even in a developed nation, these facilities can melt down under the right conditions.

And when they do, the damage they can cause to civilization and the environment would rival the destructive capacity of a nuclear weapon, and perhaps even surpass it. The former Prime Minister of Japan recently admitted that if the Fukushima Power Plant had completely melted down (which it almost did), the government would have had to evacuate 50 million people, including the entire city of Tokyo.

And it’s frightening when you realize that there are so many ways to destroy these power plants. There are of course natural disasters that we have to worry about like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, and unfortunately many of America’s power plants are incredibly old and decrepit, and may not withstand these threats. There is also the possibility that these facilities could be hacked or otherwise sabotaged, which the citizens of Belgium are unfortunately all too aware of after the recent terrorist attack in Brussels. And finally, there is the ever looming threat of an EMP knocking out dozens of our power plants en masse, and causing them to melt down.

So if you happen to live in the Eastern United States or Europe, where you’re most likely to be living downwind from one of these nuclear power plants, at this point you might be asking yourself about what you need to do to survive such a disaster.

In this scenario, bugging out is going to be your best bet, even more so than if you were dealing with a nuclear blast. Many of the same rules apply for surviving a nuclear meltdown and surviving a nuclear attack, but at least with the latter of those two, the radiation levels would significantly diminish after about 2 weeks. But nuclear power plants often contain radioactive materials with a half-life that lasts for decades or more.

In other words, hunkering down in your home is more feasible during a nuclear holocaust (depending many different circumstances of course) than it is if you’re downwind from a nuclear meltdown. You can’t really hunker down if there are going to be dangerous levels of radiation outside your home for a few years. And before you leave, pay close attention to weather alerts, which should be able to give you an idea of where the wind is going to take that radioactive cloud. Its direction could vary depending on what time of year it is, so make sure you have more than one bug out location in mind before any of this happens.

On the other hand, if you’re not in the direct path of the fallout, your home may receive much lower levels of radiation. In that case you can survive by staying, though it would still be a good idea to leave at some point since any amount of radiation can be harmful. If you must stay then it would be prudent to seal off all of your doors and windows, and perhaps try to build a kearny air pump, which will keep air circulating throughout your room while still keeping radioactive particles outside.

Regardless of whether you decide to stay or bug out, there are a few items you should strongly consider adding to your prepping supplies. Aside from the usual stuff like food, water, tools, weapons, and medical supplies, you’ll probably need the following:

You’ll find that everything on this list will also be useful for other scenarios like nuclear war and dirty bomb attacks. Truth be told there are countless ways that you or family could face a radioactive threat, but with the right mindset, gear, and supplies, you can survive even the worst nuclear disasters.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Post-Collapse Bartering: This Overlooked Item Will Be a High Commodity

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post collapse metalHey there, ReadyNutrition guys and gals!  Hope you’re all seeing a bit of thawing out now that spring is about to arrive.  This article is about some suggestions and reasons to start saving some metal for yourselves.  We welcome any comments and suggestions that you guys and gals have that entail the way you do this.  Some of you probably have your own anvils and a forge all built, ready to craft those broadswords and horseshoes.  This article is just to get those started on the idea who are at the other end of the spectrum.

With a complete societal collapse, the value of a simple thing such as a tin can will increase exponentially.  And why not?  The large steel plants of Pittsburgh and so forth may either be glowing radioactive craters or simply not functioning.  There are many things that we view as trash today and take for granted in our daily lives, but will have inestimable value when the SHTF.  We will outline some of the uses toward the end of the article for the different types of metals.

               JJ’s rule with metals: Save the metal in its original form

Steel food cans can be stripped of their labels, washed out, and allowed to air dry.  Put them in a bin.  Group your metal bins by type of metal.  You can further subdivide this category into form/function of the particular type of metal.  Aluminum beverage cans are another.  Try to get the can “whole,” that is, undented or uncrushed.  Keeping them in their original size and shape lends them more uses.  Aluminum beverage cans can be rinsed out and air dried as well.

How about silverware/flatware?  Imagine all of the good barter value that forks, spoons, and knives will have when they are not able to be obtained anymore.  Metal coat hangers are a keeper…they should have their own bin, all to themselves; and let’s not forget copper.  On this, it is good to save it in its original form.  Why?  You can always modify it later, but it is ready-made, for its original purpose!

Here is a chart you can use for the melting points of your metals:

Melting Points of Various Metals

 

  Melting Points
Metal Fahrenheit (f) Celsius (c)
Aluminum 1218 659
Brass 1700 927
Bronze 1675 913
Cast Iron 2200 1204
Copper 1981 1083
Gold 1945 1063
Lead 327 163
Magnesium 1204 651
Nickel 2646 1452
Silver 1761 951
Steel 2500 1371
Tungsten 6150 3399
Wrought Iron 2700 1482
Zinc 787 419

 

Try and concentrate on metals that are not painted or coated over with enamel or Teflon.  These are best left to some scrap metal dealer, not for you to deal with.  Iron and lead…. old cast iron pots and pans…. lead in the form of old curtain-corner weights, or lead from used batteries.  Make a bin for each metal and set it aside.

Some uses for what we have covered?  Take large, steel coffee cans or large food cans, for example.  You can make an excellent, small camp oven out of these, or fill them with cement and make a boat anchor out of them.  The aluminum beverage cans?  These are the early warning devices you can string up on your property with nylon line.  Punch holes in the bottom to allow for water drainage, and put a dozen pebbles in them.  They’re aluminum; therefore, they won’t rust.

Steel cans can be cleaned out well and be used for fish hooks, or coils of very-sharp, homemade/field-expedient “razor” wire for lining your windowsills with when the SHTF.  They can also be used (depending on the size) for small “cookers,” or even cooking “pots” if that is what remains to you.  You can make broad heads, spear points, or knives out of them.

  Remember:  All of these items can be used for barter, so use your imagination.

The most versatile are the coat hangers.  You can make almost anything out of them: handles and hooks for use on a campfire, skewers to roast fish, and a form of field-expedient wire, or fastener.  They can be unraveled to unclog drains, sinks, or toilets.  Their uses are only limited by the imagination.  They can even be used to hang clothes, hence their name “clothes hangers,” right?  Seriously, they are really great.

The bottom line is that all of these things that appear to not be worth much may appreciate in value.  If you can make a little space, allocate some bins and make a good metal collection.  Whether you’re going to make a new snare to trap game with or a new pot to melt shavings/pieces of soap with, you can find a use for these metals.  Long after the plants stop producing these metals, you may have a supply to work with for your needs for many years to come…after the SHTF.  Have a good one, and happy metal-gathering!

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

Mom, Could You Please Pass the Potassium Iodide?

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ReadyNutrition guys and gals, by now, hopefully you’re well on your way to finishing up making a batch of JJ’s Ginger Ale; and what could go better with it than a nice serving of Potassium Iodide!  Only kidding.  Potassium Iodide is what you need to stock up on to protect your thyroid from radiation.  I’m sure my Ginger Ale will help it go down a little more smoothly.  We’re going to cover Potassium Iodide in this piece…what it is, and why you should have some in your supplies to prep for when the SHTF.

Why Should Every Family Have Potassium Iodide in Their Supplies

First, let’s cover the why.  Fukushima is still glowing hot, and according to news sources, the control rods have now completely melted into a radioactive “blob” weighing many tons…and gone right through their protective casing into the earth.  The radiation levels are on the rise.  We already know (no thanks to the MSM and their obfuscations mislabeled “reporting”) that radioactive particles are reaching the West Coast and the Pacific is beginning to show signs of contamination.

In addition to the Japanese problem, there are many reactors in the U.S. that are either leaking or beginning to have structural problems.  I just recently did a piece on EMPs and that article came with a map showing the location of the nuclear power plants in the U.S.  Skipping on, we find that Kim Jong-Un of North Korea is threatening the U.S. with a nuclear strike on an almost daily basis, and he has the capability to do it.  Russia and China have not become any friendlier, and Iran is waiting in the wings to develop its own nuclear capabilities with the assistance of all three of the other nations just mentioned.

How Does Potassium Iodide Protect Me?

So, let’s talk about Potassium Iodide.  It is a compound with the chemical formula of KI.  It can be found on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, and it is commercially produced in quantity in the U.S.  It is specifically used in medicine to block excess intake of radiation by the thyroid, hence its value in a nuclear disaster/situation.  In emergency purposes, potassium iodide tablets are given out by emergency responders to prevent radioiodine uptake.  This is a deadly form of radiation poisoning caused primarily with the uptake by the human body of iodine-131, produced with a fission reaction found in a nuclear explosion or a leakage.

Symptoms of Radiation Sickness Include:

  • Bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums, and rectum
  • Bloody stool
  • Bruising
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Inflammation of exposed areas (redness, tenderness, swelling, bleeding)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Open sores on the skin
  • Skin burns (redness, blistering)
  • Sloughing of skin
  • Ulcers in the esophagus, stomach or intestines
  • Vomiting blood
  • Weakness

Read more about radiation exposure and how to circumvent it here.

You may find it interesting to know that potassium iodide is produced naturally within Kelp, and the iodide content can range from 89 µg/g to 8165 µg/g.  Potassium iodide, incidentally, is what is added to table salt to prevent iodine deficiencies.

The thyroid gland has a natural affinity for iodine.  Iodine deficiency can lead to goiters, which presents with an enlarged, thickened throat/neck area.  Potassium iodide was approved in 1982 by the FDA for use in protecting the thyroid gland from fallout or fission in a nuclear emergency/accident, or in the event of a war.  By saturating the thyroid gland with the potassium iodide, the harmful nuclear fission-produced iodide particles are unable to be absorbed/taken up by the thyroid.  This has to be taken prior to exposure.  The dosage lasts for 24 hours.  Here is the WHO recommendations for dosages of KI:

 

WHO Recommended Dosage for Radiological Emergencies involving radioactive iodine:
Age KI in mg per day
Over 12 years old 130
3 – 12 years old 65
1 – 36 months old 32
Under 1 month old 16

 The pills were given out in 1986 with Chernobyl’s nuclear reactor accident, and the U.S. Navy has been giving KI to its personnel who have operated within the area of Fukushima’s contamination.  As with all things medical, consult with your physician prior to acting upon any of this information, as there are some complications that may arise from overdosing, and also with those who have heart conditions, due to the potassium intake. In this case, there are natural foods you should have on hand that are high in iodine.

 You can obtain it (for now) in some of your health food stores, for about $10 a bottle, ranging from 50 to 100 pills.  I picked up some made by NOW foods, 30 mg per tablet, 60 per bottle…originally $9.99, for $1.00 per bottle at a yard sale.  You just have to shop around; you can find a deal on it.  Bottom line: it’s a good line of defense in your arsenal.  I’ll bet every government employee and their families have a supply for themselves, paid for by our dime, no less.  Stock up on it and set it aside, and let’s hope we’ll never have to use it.  In the meantime, drink a glass of Ginger Ale and keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

 

Additional Information:

How to Survive When a Nuke Is Dropped

Are You Ready: Nuclear Disaster Preparedness

An Urban Guide to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

How can I avoid radiation exposure?

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

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

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 Collectively speaking, there are many of us who have been preparing for emergencies for a while and have read our fair share of prepper fiction and watched enough apocalyptic thrillers to know that the higher the population density, the more dangerous it is. As well, when resources like food and fuel have to be transported from outside the city limits, then your survivability rate lessens. So what about those who have to live in the city? Should they just stop prepping all together? Would they stand a fighting chance at surviving?

According to the last census, 80.7 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. In fact, many choose to live the higher populated areas because of better paying jobs and better schools located in the city. So the probability of a shtf event happening while you are in the city is likely. As well, because many commuters spend a large majority of their time away from their homes, I recommend having these 20 items on hand to get you back home.

In an interview by Rory from The Daily Coin, he asked me in an interview if it is possible to live out a shtf scenario in an urban setting. The answer is yes, but for a majority of us, we must ask ourselves if we are up to the challenge. Because while I do believe someone could get by in an urban setting, it could prove to be more challenging for the Average Joe.

Urban Survival – Is It Even Possible?

If you are forced to stay in the city after a disaster occurs, all is not lost. I do believe urban survival is possible, but you may need to get creative. Ultimately, being able to survive in an urban setting during a major ordeal depends on multiple factors: specifically, the type of disaster, if basic infrastructure is still up, where you are located, what you have with you and your skill sets. Moreover, I believe that whether you are surviving in an urban setting or a rural one, you need the same things for survival: food, water, shelter, protection (sound familiar?). The difference is you will need to rely more on your skills and ingenuity in finding opportunities to use to your advantage in a post-disaster city. In both scenarios, rural and urban survivors will also have to find a way to carry on for long durations. That is, when your short-term reserves are tapped out, what’s your long-term plan?

Above all, the population density will be your greatest threat and your resources will quickly be depleted. If you are not familiar with Selco’s story from SHTFSchool.com, he survived in an urban setting and tells his story and shares ways that he and others survived on his website. Some of the critical needs he outlines are:

Food – No city can feed it’s people on its own and when the supply trucks stop running, supplies will quickly be depleted. It is wise to have food on hand. I outlined 25 must-have versatile foods for your pantry.

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

Water – Municipal water sources can become tainted and it will be up to you to locate water sources. Water could look crystal clear and still contain very dangerous contaminants. – so avoid this all together and make sure you have some water stored away. Your skills will come in handy here if you are actively practicing how to survive. Here are five different ways to find water when there is none to be had. As well, consider having a map on hand of water sources in close proximity to you.

Fuel – Due to so many who are getting out of dodge and leaving the city, the fuel stores will quickly be depleted. As well, this could be problematic for running your generators. Many preppers prefer to have some alternative fuel on hand, or even biomass briquettes. Make sure you follow the proper safety guidelines for storing fuel, especially those who live in apartments.

Many suggest solar panels as a good power alternative. While I like this idea, I think it can also draw unwanted attention, so further security measures should be put in place to hide the solar panels from view.

Power – The failure of the power grid will prevent things from getting back to normal. When the majority of the population realize things aren’t going to change any time soon, and the above listed items aren’t available, there will be breakdowns to the level of social collapse. Many feel this very reason is why it’s important to be ready to bug out on a moment’s notice. If you are caught in this, it could be very dangerous.

What You Will Be Up Against

While it is entirely possible to survive in the city, you need to know what you will be up against. I realize that I am painting a very bleak picture, but those who stay behind and choose not to bug out are either under prepared, trapped in the city or have enough skills and know-how to make it on very little stored resources. The latter will not be the majority. Therefore, be prepared for roaming gangs, thugs and desperate individuals who have resorted to a more primal version of themselves. They will do what they need to in order for their needs to be met. If they haven’t eaten in days, they will smell your food from miles away, so you need to know how to mask the smells of your food or you could be welcoming unwanted visitors whose primary focus is to take what you have.

Security will be crucial in surviving in an urban setting and having a group you can depend on will make it all the more secure. Many neighbors and friends living in close proximity will band together and help to fortify the homes or find a suitable location in a higher location so you can get a bird’s-eye view of the scenery.  One aspect that the city offers is a plethora of building materials to use for fortifying a home. If you start looking for fortifying plans now, you will have a better idea on what materials you will need. I also cannot stress how important it is to have a means of protecting yourself. If someone kicks in your door, they aren’t only looking for a cup of sugar. Having a firearm and knowing how to use it could make all the difference in the world.

As well, having a keen grasp on communication skills with your group to ensure your perimeter is safe and make sure you will have alerts to possible threats. Communication is key and you should have multiple forms of communication, especially if a family or group member ends up being separated. One of the greatest threats we all face in cities are terrorist attacks. They target highly populated cities with dirty bombs and chemical weapons, and what we saw in Brussels that is can happen in peaceful cities, as well. Today it was Brussels. Where will it be the next time they hit America? Protecting yourself is the only option to ensuring your family has what it needs, including gas masks to gauge against chemical and biological attacks.

Start Finding Ways to Think Outside of the Box:

As I mentioned previously, to survive in a post-disaster urban setting, you will need to get creative in the way you work problems. Nothing should be wasted and everything could be used. Trash lying around can be repurposed and fashioned into something more useful. As well, start reading resources that can help you in your future preparations. The following books have great information on this type of survival.

SAS Urban Survival Handbook

The Prepper’s Blueprint

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

The human species has always found way to survive and times aren’t all that different. In order to thrive in an urban environment, you need to be aware of what’s stacked against you: the lack of resources, possible threats, roaming gangs and violence. If you can change your line of thinking, utilize key skill sets and become more fluid with the problem, your odds improve.

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

7 Natural Supplements You Should Have in Case of Nuclear Fallout

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 ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is going to highlight several effective naturopathic remedies to assist in the removal of radiation from the human body.  The information can be used if you are undergoing any treatments that have radiation therapy attached to them, such as chemotherapy, and can also be taken into consideration for preparation and survival.  We have Fukushima that is an ongoing release of radiation into the Pacific Ocean, and we also have a world situation where the nations are poised on the brink of thermonuclear war. Knowing what to do when this type of disaster occurs can save your life and those around you. The most important point to go from here is to educate yourself on what happens when a nuke is dropped.

Types of Radiation Exposure

Radiation affects the tissues and leads to cancer risks with long-term exposure.  For a really good expose on it, read Cresson Kearney’s “Nuclear War Survival Skills” series of information articles that give many different ways to protect against it.  The information is free and downloadable from the internet. In this type of emergency, it is paramount that you understand the differences in radiation exposure.

Contamination – This is usually unintended contact from radioactive material such as dust or liquid. This type of exposure may be internal or external, but nevertheless, causes poisoning to the body.
Irradiation –  This is the process by which an object is exposed to radiation, but not radioactive material. This usually occurs with x-ray machines, cancer treatments and blood transfusions. That said, the exposure can originate from various sources, including natural sources. Irradiation can involve the whole body, which, if the dose is high enough, can result in systemic symptoms and radiation syndromes or a small part of the body (i.e., from radiation therapy), which can result in local effects.

What symptoms to look for with radiation poisoning:

radiation poisoning

 7 Natural Supplements that Remove Radiation From the Body

Now we’re going to outline some aids you can use. Having these essential supplements on hand will assist in helping the body prevent the absorption of radiation. As well, it is recommended that each family member have a bottle each of these natural supplements stored.

  1. Calcium and Magnesium: these minerals combat the uptake of Strontium 90 by over 90% when taken. Studies were conducted by Dr. Linus Pauling showing how the calcium blocks the uptake of this dangerous radioisotope.
  2. Zeolite Clay: also combats Strontium 90 as well as Cesium 137, another dangerous radioactive isotope. It was used effectively for victims of Chernobyl.  Zeolites attach themselves to radiation and remove it at the cellular level.  The U.S. military uses Zeolite clay to line the floors of its weapons arsenals to help protect against radiation.  The clay can be taken (ingested) internally to remove radiation.
  3. Activated Charcoal: reduces radiation by neutralizing it. The ratio of reduction is 10 grams of activated charcoal will reduce 7 grams of toxic substance.  You already are aware of how important activated charcoal is regarding water purification; now you can add this medicinal use to your preparation supplies.
  4. Bee Pollen: can drastically reduce the harmful side effects of radiation exposure. This is beneficial to those undergoing chemotherapy.  The side effects such as that of radium, x-rays and cobalt-60 radiotherapy can be buffered against with the bee pollen.  Bee pollen intake is a natural method of boosting vital functions, such as red and white blood cell and antibody production.  These functions are hampered by radiation, be it an uncontrolled release or a controlled therapy.
  5. Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and hemp oil can remove radiation. Studies have shown that the lipids in these oils (and other oils as well) bind to toxins, as well as strengthening cellular membranes.  Various studies agree that if you have been exposed, drinking 4 ounces of oil can neutralize the toxins and help pull the radiation out of your system, as well as strengthening your cellular tissues.
  6. Chlorella: is a single-celled green algae that is extremely useful in detoxification of tissues; it can be used concurrently with the other aids mentioned for the removal of radiation from your system.
  7. Iodine tablets: use those approved specifically for a nuclear disaster/exposure to radiation. The way they work is that they are taken up by the Thyroid gland, and in essence “crowd” the gland…blocking further uptake from the deadly forms of radioactive iodine (the harmful isotopes) found in a nuclear blast/nuclear accident.

As with all things, consult with your physician prior to utilizing any of these supplements, especially the calcium and magnesium.  Many heart patients use things such as calcium channel blockers and the like.  Too much calcium or any mineral can potentially upset the delicate balance in their system.  Check with the physician to find out about any potential problems or contraindications prior to utilizing the information in this article.  The information is presented for informational purposes only, and does not intend to diagnose, treat, or prescribe any cure or action.

Even if these seven mentioned materials are not used on a daily basis, it cannot hurt you to have them in your disaster supplies.  The time to obtain such materials is, of course, before an event occurs.  Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s recommendations and know how to use each material.  Have a great day, and keep up the good work with your preps and supplies.  JJ out!

 

Advanced Tactical Gas Mask – Are You Ready for a Biological, Nuclear or Chemical Attack?

 

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 Awesome Backpacks That You’ll Want to Bug Out With

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framed backpackWhenever anyone starts getting interested in prepping, one of the first purchases they make is for a bug out bag. It’s a very simple and affordable thing that any newbie prepper can get, and it will immediately make them feel safer.

Of course, once they get around to doing some serious research about prepping, they usually realize that bugging out should always be a last resort. Doing so would make you a refugee in any disaster scenario, and it’s not be taken lightly. It’s far better to stock your home with supplies and prepare to hunker down during a disaster, and only leave when you have absolutely no choice.

But if that day comes, you’ll want the best bug out gear that you can afford. There’s only so much stuff you can carry on your back, so you’ll need to carry them in bag that you can stake your life on. If you’re just now taking an interest in prepping, here’s a few of the bags that you might want to consider.

Standard Tactical Backpack

tactical backpackYou can’t go wrong with an ordinary tactical backpack. Just a comfortable, no frills bag with lots of space and plenty of pockets to organize your gear. Plus it’s water-resistant, and comes with a waist belt that will help take the weight off your shoulders.

Firearm Scabbard

rifle scabbardWhen most people think about taking a rifle or a shotgun with them, they just assume that slinging it over their shoulder is the only way to go. However, sometimes a scabbard can make it a bit easier to carry a weapon. You can give your firearm the protection of a case while still having easy access, and many of these scabbards can be attached to your backpack. This is important because if you’re already carrying a backpack, you don’t want another strap digging into your shoulder. Depending on what you intend to bug out with, there are scabbards for shotguns, rifles, and scoped rifles.

Rubberized Rucksack

rubberized rucksackIf you happen to live in an extremely cold or wet environment, you might want to consider a rubberized bag. No backpack is truly waterproof, but bags that are made of rubberized canvas are about as close as you can get to that. Unless the bag is completely submerged in water, you can trust that your stuff is going to stay dry. And as an added bonus, these types of backpacks are ridiculously durable. They’ll last a lifetime.

Internal Frame Backpack

internal frame backpackUltimately, bugging out means carrying as much stuff on your back as you can reasonably manage, and you can’t go wrong with the type of bags that long distance backpackers typically use. These have the largest carrying capacity of any backpack, and they typically come with an internal frame and a waist belt that helps balance and spread out the weight you’re carrying. Essentially, they’re designed to help you carry a lot of weight as comfortably as possible.

Tactical Messenger Bag

tactical messenger bagSometimes smaller is better. Obviously, a tactical messenger bag doesn’t have enough space to carry everything you need to survive for several days, but it does have its place in your bug out bag ensemble. You can carry one of these in addition to a regular backpack, and if you don’t want to wear the strap, there is a belt loop in the back that will let you carry it around your waist. These are really handy for traveling in rough terrain. Sometimes you need to drop your main bag so you can quickly scout ahead, or when you’re settling down in your campsite. With the tactical messenger bag, you can carry the most basic essentials with you at all times without feeling encumbered.

While this is hardly an all-encompassing list of bags that you should bug out with, hopefully it will give you a starting point. Everyone has different gear, personal needs, and challenging environments that they would have to overcome in a disaster, so take your time and do your research. You’ll find the bug out bag arrangement that works best for you.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Hobby Homesteading: 3 Backyard Livestock Breeds Every Home Should Have

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backyardhomesteadGiven the state of our economy, many suburbanites and rural homeowners are resorting to raising their own small livestock in order to slash their budgets and provide food essentials for their family. Because of this increase in suburban homes keeping livestock, many are taking a stand against HOAs to change their intolerant policies on no livestock in the neighborhood. Regardless, if prices continue to escalate on basic food necessities like eggs, meat and dairy, we will be left with no choice but to raise our own.

Getting Started

Purchasing livestock for the first time, whether you are in suburbia or are a rural homeowner is both a nerve-wracking and an exciting adventure. I prefer to start with “trouble-free” breeds that are hearty and can, for the most part, take care of themselves. Of course, when you first start raising livestock, it can be overwhelming and dare I say nerve-wrecking to say this least. When I first started caring for my chickens and rabbits, I was afraid that I would make detrimental mistakes. But, like everything in life, there is a slight learning curve, good people to help and eventually the confidence to continue on. I recommend doing ample amounts of research. Find out about shelter sizes, how many animals would be best for providing for your family, how to care of them and what supplies you will need. I highly recommend “The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!” It’s a great primer for getting started and using the most of the space you have.

Favorite Breeds for Hobby Homesteaders

It goes without saying, but finding livestock that are relatively quiet and will not disturb neighbors is ideal when living in close proximity with others. Quiet livestock choices like quail, guinea pigs and rabbits are ideal in this case. As well, many backyard homesteaders choose small breeds that are easy to care for and require minimal upkeep. Micro-livestock, such as chickens, quail, guinea pigs, ducks and rabbits are, by far, the most popular livestock breeds amongst new homesteaders simply because they are the easiest to care for and require less space, and less food. In exchange, the animals provide your family with meat, eggs and rich manure for the garden.

Here are some excellent points on the great exchange small livestock provide:

  • More nutritionally dense food.
  • Better feed conversion (amount of feed it takes to make one pound of animal).
  • Small breeds are less expensive to purchase and produce much more per pound of animal.
  • Small backyards are not an issue with small breed animals.
  • Your livestock can also help you to prevent things from going to waste that would normally be thrown out, such as vegetable peels and scraps, leftovers, and stale bread.
  • If you plan on butchering your livestock for food, the butchering time is minimal and the blood and bones of the animals make blood and bone meal which are excellent soil amendments.

There are many homesteaders who recommend goats as a beginner livestock choice, but there are some challenges you will face and goats are not suited to live in smaller yards like those found in suburbia. As well, many neighborhoods frown upon pigs, even the smaller breeds like the American Guinea Hog because they destroy the yards. So I prefer to stick with the breeds below. Here are some ideal small breed choices and some future reading you can do to familiarize yourself with the breed before purchasing.

 Chickens:

Which Kind of Chicken Breed Is Best For Your Backyard Flock?

Homemade Chicken Treats

10 Foods You Should Not Feed Your Chickens

Quail:

Why You Should Consider Quail For the Urban Homestead

Sustainable Farming: Starting a Quail Flock

Raising Quail

 Rabbits:

The Complete Guide to Raising Rabbits

Expert Advice for Breeding Rabbits

Raising Kits to Harvest

Recently, I suggested some easy strategies to get you motivated to start a small homestead in your backyard. Hobby homesteading can easily be transitioned into sprawling suburban neighborhoods provided you find livestock that are small and relatively quiet. While chickens may not conform to certain noise ordinances in neighborhoods, rabbits and quail would be a wonderful alternative.

What to Feed Livestock

To live in a self-reliant manner, you want to look at this project as a big cycle: You want to grow food to feed your animals, who in turn will provide eggs and/or meat for your family, as well as, manure for your garden. Many backyard homesteaders prefer growing their own feed so they know the animals are consuming high-quality nutrients and avoiding chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics. Knowing some natural sources to feed your livestock will need to be researched, but can drastically cut down on the animal feed bill. If you plan on growing your livestock’s food sources, look at this article for more direction. As well, you’d be surprised that seeds like sunflowers are feed favorites for small livestock that chickens and goats.

I had a lot of success with a small flock of chickens and three rabbits. I have had a few issues with predators, but once I understood how the predators got into the cage, the issue was resolved. I have an overflowing amount of organic manure composting in my yard and should be able to use it for my spring garden. As well, when spring time comes, the eggs will be overflowing and will be able to make some foods made with eggs. I even plan on expanding these homesteading products (at the hesitancy of my husband). I love that we have livestock and feel better knowing we have fresh food sources if the economy continues to decline.

If you already have some livestock in your backyard, leave some helpful advice or tips you have learned along the way for the beginners!

 

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Survey: You’ll Never Guess What Americans Are Most Afraid Of…

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Survey: You’ll Never Guess What Americans Are Most Afraid Of…

 (Truthstream Media) Out of 88 potential horrors this batch of 1,500+ Americans were asked to rank in regard to their personal level of fear in 2015, you’ll never guess what the number one thing people are most afraid of in this country…

 

Or perhaps you will.

 

Americans are more afraid of their own corrupt government than ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ELSE including death, rape, murder, nuclear war, pandemics, terrorism, zombies, and even clowns.

What an amazingly sad statement on modern America and the times we are living in.

The survey can be found here.

Americans Deepest Fears

Are Americans today afraid of criminals with guns or a government that would seek to disarm its citizens?

The impositions of the system now rank higher among worry than hyped factors like terrorism – with distrust at very high levels among citizens and consumers alike. People are becoming disconnected from the wealth and prosperity they once knew, and instead are facing a collapsing system that wishes to loot from its populace as the ship goes down.

Dearly held rights in the American tradition are under threat today of vanishing, of being upended by a machine with secret designs.

Corporate schemers, conniving bankers and corrupt government insiders are driving perpetual wars, a damaged economy, disappearing jobs and diminishing chances of achieving the American dream.

Please share this article and story.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Self-Sufficiency Skill: Basic Vehicle Maintenance

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 Maintaining my vehicle is my least favorite thing to do.  I tend to procrastinate on it way too long.  I justify my procrastination by telling myself that there are a million other more pressing things I need to get done today and the car can wait.  In the summer, I added the very good excuse that it was a waste of water while we were in the midst of a terrible drought here in California.  Now that it’s winter, I tell myself that there’s no point in it because…actually, I don’t really have an excuse.  Then I take it to someone else to do it for me.

According to my very unscientific pole of my female friends and family, none of us know much about cars.  We know how to put fuel in them and a few of us have actually checked our own oil (Yay!  Go, me!).  I began to realize that I was going to have to hand over my I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar card and couldn’t really continue to ignore this lack of knowledge and still call myself prepped.  The following are the things, while in no way complete, that I’ve learned so far…

The Owner’s Manual & Other Literature

You’ll probably find this in the glove box where it has sat undisturbed since acquiring your vehicle.  It’s loaded with information you didn’t know you needed to know.  If you have a question about your vehicle, read it first.

If you want to know in-depth information about how to repair something on your car, there are Chilton Manuals designed specifically for your make and model.  You can order the paper copy of the book or look it up online.

Wash, Dry, Wax, Repeat

Prior to the 1980’s, vehicles had a basecoat finish and the color of the vehicle was actually in the topcoat.  Today, the color of the vehicle is in the basecoat which is covered with a clearcoat.  The clearcoat helps to protect the finish, but only if you take care of it.

Road dirt, acids in rain, dust, salt, snow, and mud- these all take a toll on the finish.  Even accidentally brushing against a dusty car can leave small scratches in the finish.  For reasons I haven’t been able to discover, you’re not supposed to wash a hot vehicle.  If someone can explain why, please tell me the answer in the comments section below.  Also, don’t use dish- or laundry soap when washing your vehicle.  They strip the wax and dry out the finish.  To protect the finish, it’s best to use approved car washing soaps.

Once you’ve washed your vehicle, you shouldn’t let it air dry.  Water accelerates corrosion and hard water is the worst.  Dry the vehicle with a towel or a chamois.  Chamois are made of sheep skin and are super absorbent, but shouldn’t be used dry because they’re too hard and abrasive.  Instead, dampen the chamois prior to use and wring it out as needed.

Once your vehicle is completely dry, it’s time to wax it.  Again, don’t wax a vehicle in direct sunlight or while it’s hot.  Wax is to a vehicle finish what moisturizers are to freshly shaved legs.  It also helps to remove oxidation and keeps the finish (the clearcoat) shining.  Carnauba, a natural wax, has the tendency to shed water by making it bead and run off a finish.  Some synthetic finish waxes have added slickness and help shed water even better.  The important thing to remember is to get the right wax for your type of finish.  Some waxes aren’t safe for both basecoat and clearcoat finishes.  Clearcoat type waxes usually have fewer abrasives.

Cleaning the Inside

I am not proud to say that when my children were young, no matter how well-kept I tried to keep the interior, the inside of my car probably smelled like Ronald McDonald threw up and lost control of his bowels in it right before he died.  Even the protective seat covers were no match for two children in car seats and one in a booster at the same time and their exploding diapers, occasional upchucks from becoming carsick, and a few (ok, more than a few) lost French fries between the seats.  I could have hung a daisy chain of those pine scented car air fresheners and it still would have smelled like pine and puke.

In an attempt to air it out, I left all the windows down overnight during the summer.  That night a neighboring tom cat climbed into my car and sprayed everywhere.  Grossest.Smell.Ever.  The next night I left the windows down, but only a little so that cat couldn’t get back in, but the stench could get out.  It rained so much that night that the next morning my floor mats were floating a little.  True story.  I’ve never left my windows down, even a fraction of an inch, since.

Cleaning the inside of the vehicle helps preserve the fabric of the material in car seat covers and carpeting in much the same way that vacuuming the carpets in your house does- dirty fabric will wear out quicker than clean fabric.  Dirty windows can lead to unsafe driving. At night, windows that have a film over them glare.  Vinyl and rubber have a tendency to dry out and need to be conditioned, so be sure to use a specially formulated interior cleaners are safe for most types of vinyl and rubber parts and especially the dash, which is often exposed to the most direct sunlight.

So Many Oils!

I had no idea vehicles used so many different types of oils and fluids.  There are more than I’m going to list here, but these should get you started:

Engine oil

  • The most common weight of engine oil is 5W30, but refer to your Owner’s Manual for your vehicle’s recommendations. To get an accurate reading it is best to check the engine oil when the engine is cold. The caps of most of the places you’re going to put oils or fluids are pretty clearly marked, but if you have any doubt about which hole the engine oil or any other oil/fluid goes in, check your Owner’s Manual.  Never pour the right thing in the wrong hole.
  • Park on a level surface for the most accurate reading. I like to wear driving gloves to keep my hands clean and protect my hands from hot or sharp edges, but in a pinch medical gloves will do.
  • Remove the engine oil dipstick and wipe it off with a clean cloth. Put it back in the dipstick hole all the way, pull it out, and take the reading.  The dipstick should be clearly marked with where the oil level should be.
  • If the oil is low, use a clean funnel to help pour the oil in without dripping it on your engine. If you drip it on the engine, it will smell awful while it burns off the next time the engine gets hot.  If you don’t have a dedicated funnel for oil, a paper plate folded into a funnel shape will do.

Transmission Fluid (automatics)

  • Check transmission fluid when the engine is hot by driving the vehicle around for about tem minutes to get the transmission hot. Again, you should park on a level surface for the most accurate reading.
  • For automatic transmissions, leave the engine running with the parking brake on and the transmission in park
  • Open the hood and find the transmission oil dipstick. Again, unless you’re absolutely certain, refer to your owner’s manual to get the right dipstick.
  • Check the transmission fluid the same way you checked the engine oil: pull, wipe, dip, pull, read.
  • The automatic transmission fluid should be between the full cold and the full hot marks. If low, use a clean funnel to add the necessary fluid by pouring the fluid directly into the tube. Don’t over-fill.

Coolant (anti-freeze)

  • Ethylene glycol, which is used in standard and extended life coolants, is a toxic substance. Antifreezes that are propylene glycol based are safer in case of spills or accidental ingestion. When checking coolant level, the engine must be cool.
  • Check the level in the coolant recovery tank. The recovery tank is usually translucent with a “full cold” and a “full hot” mark. If adding to this tank, remove the cap and add a 50% water to 50% antifreeze mixture.
  • Check the level in the radiator. This requires removing a cool radiator cap and looking into the radiator. Never remove a hot radiator cap.  The coolant should be near the top, and if not, add the 50/50 mixture until it is.  Replace cap securely.

Tire Care and Safety

Maintaining the recommended tire pressure and tread is critical to minimizing tire wear and optimizing handling stability and safety.  You should check your tire pressure often using a tire pressure gauge.  If you don’t know how much air should be in your tires, you can find out by looking at the sidewall of the tires on your vehicle or by referring to your driver’s side door for a tire placard that lists the correct tire pressure.You should also periodically check the amount of tread remaining on your tires.  Some tires come with wear indicator bars that provide a visual way to inspect the tread depth. The wear indicator bars run perpendicular to the tread. New tires are needed when the tread wears to the same level as the indicator bars.  I’ve never felt confident that I was reading the wear indicators accurately and instead rely on an inexpensive, simple-to-use tread depth gauge.  Be sure to check all four tires as they can sometimes wear differently and replace your tires when the reading is less than 1/16th of an inch.

Conclusion

Learning basic care car is a skill everyone should learn as part of being frugal and becoming more self-sufficient.  By protecting and maintaining the exterior and interior of the vehicle and maintaining proper engine fluids levels and air pressure and tread levels on tires, you’ll get better performance, better fuel mileage, longer use, and retain better resale value on your vehicle.  And remember…keep those windows up!

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

These Food Essentials Should Be in Every Bug Out Bag

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bug out foodNo matter how well-prepared and stocked your bug out location is, you should always carry food in your BOB in case you are unable to get to your destination.
When most people think of emergency rations, they think of MREs. However, Joshua Krause wrote an excellent article on what happens to most people who consume them.
“In the past, a lot of veterans have reported severe constipation for the first few days, sometimes followed by the exact opposite for another few days.”

Being painfully bloated and tied in gastric knots followed up by a severe case of the trots is not how I would like to spend my time when the SHTF. If you’re like me and have food allergies, finding an MRE or any other prepared, ready-to-eat meal becomes a challenge. Any food packed in a BOB needs to be lightweight and calorie-dense. The best option is to learn to make your own specifically tailored to your taste buds and diet restrictions.

Breads

Grains have been called the Staff of Life. They can supply much needed carbohydrates (energy) needed for the sustained hiking one might find themselves doing if the SHTF. They can also help satiate an appetite (fill you up) when other food sources aren’t as plentiful.

Hard Tack

This plain, simple bread can last for a year or more. But it is also as hard as a brick, doesn’t provide many calories per ounce, and I would have to be starving to eat it. However, soaked in a liquid like broth or milk, it becomes quite filling. Ideally, you should strive for 125 calories per ounce (weight measure) for your food. Hard Tack falls short, but has the added benefit of an extremely long shelf life without any kind of refrigeration.

This recipe, from Practical Primitive, is one of my favorites:

Gather your ingredients:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups of honey
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a muffin⁄cupcake tin in preparation for the batter. This will keep it from sticking. (You could also use paper cupcake liners, so long as you spray them well with a good no-stick cooking spray. Otherwise you’ll never get the papers off!)
  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the white flour, whole wheat flour, (any additional flours) and cornmeal. In a mixing bowl, mix ingredients. (Feel free to experiment with substituting different types of flour. We’re substituting a ¼ cup of the white flour with Amaranth flour.)
  4. Take the 2 cups of honey and heat them carefully in a small sauce pan until the honey has become thin and runny. Do not allow it to come to a boil.
  5. Pour the honey into the flour mixture and combine until the honey has been completely mixed in with the flour. If the batter is too thick, add some hot water, a little at a time, until the batter is of a thin enough consistency to drop off a spoon.
  6. Fill each greased cupcake holder about ½ full with batter. (Makes about 18 cakes.)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Turn the finished cakes out from the pan and allow to cool. While still warm the cakes will be relatively soft, but as they cool they will lose their spongy texture and within a few days will become hard as rock!

This bread requires NO refrigeration and will last almost indefinitely — but once it hardens be sure to soak it in some milk or coffee or some sort of liquid first, or your teeth might regret it!

Legend has it that this next bread was originally created in 1950 to climb Mount Logan. There are many variations of this recipe on the Interwebs, and that’s the beauty of it: you can modify it to suit your tastes. This recipe, from How to Wilderness, is hands down my favorite. Not as non-perishable as Hard Tack, but certainly much more delicious!

Logan Bread

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 c. wheat flour
  • 2 c. white flour
  • 2 c. quick oats
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. powdered milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 3/4 c. oil

Goodies:

  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. molasses
  • 3/4 c. oil

Cooking Instructions:

1. Heat oven to 300F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
3. Add liquid ingredients and stir thoroughly.
4. Add goodies. Feel free to improvise your own.
5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13-inch pan.
6. Cook at 300 degrees F for one hour.
7. Remove from oven, and cut into desired pieces (2 x 3 inches).
8. Return to oven at lowest setting possible, with door slightly open.
9. Cook for another hour or so to further dry.
10. Remove, cool, then wrap cut squares in plastic.

Healthy Choices: Fruits, Nuts, and Veggies

GORP (“Good Old Raisins and Peanuts” aka Trail Mix to most Americans) has been a favorite of backpackers for many years. There’s some debate over whether it’s more economical to buy pre-made GORP from the store or to make it at home. Personally, I prefer to make my own GORP. I have more control over the ingredients by incorporating homegrown fruits and veggies, can omit ingredients I don’t like or my family members can’t eat due to allergies, and I am assured that each one ounce serving contains at least 125 calories.

To get started, choose a recipe that sounds good to you. There are many on the Internet from savory to sweet. Next, use a calorie calculator like this one to determine the caloric content of each ingredient listed. I divide my batches into smaller snack-sized bags which I then put into a larger Ziploc quart-sized freezer bags. The additional weight of the thin snack bags in nominal while allowing easier rationing to insure proper caloric intake while the added thickness of the freezer bags helps protect the GORP in my backpack. Single-serving sized bags also allows me to trade or share with others on the trail without revealing my entire cache.

Protein and Fat

A properly mixed GORP can provide all the protein and fat needed to sustain your nutritional requirements, but menu fatigue can set in quickly. Menu fatigue has been documented in military, polar expeditions, and even in space settings and can cause a lower food intake and weight loss. Obviously, these two things that should be avoided during the high energy needs of bugging out on foot. To counter it, pack a sweet and a savory GORP recipe.

Another option is jerky.  Learning how to make your own jerky is an excellent prepping skill.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends using a heat source, like a low oven or a dehydrator to insure food safety, however, humans have been drying meat naturally without electricity for centuries.

Bugging out on foot, under extreme stress, while carrying a load in (potentially) rugged terrain requires A LOT of calories.  There is no better dense caloric source than fats.  Deficiencies in Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) can cause “…dry skin, hair loss, and impaired wound healing” (Source).  This recipe for Super Spackle (trust me, it’s much more delicious than the name implies) will deliver the calories and ESAs needed to keep you fueled and healthy.

Conclusion

Preparing to bug out on foot if the need should arise requires physical fitness (BUGGING OUT: TRAINING IS ONLY WAY TO BE READY) and lightweight calorie-dense foods.  Be sure to include different taste sensations, and the correct balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.  Knowing how to prepare a variety of trail-worthy foods can help avoid menu fatigue and insure your survival while on the move.

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Agrihoods: The Self Sufficient Alternative to Suburbia

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suburb wikimedia

Compared to rural agricultural areas and cities, suburbs are some of the most wasteful settlements in the United States. When you really break it down, suburbs are nothing more than the midpoint between rural and urban areas. They have a population density that leans more towards cities, but they take up the space of a countryside. Unfortunately, this means that suburbs, though taking on the costs of both of these extremes, wind up receiving none of the benefits. From an economic stand point, they often combine the worst of both worlds.

Here’s a few quick examples of what I mean. In the city, the cost of housing is very expensive, but fortunately there are more job opportunities. In rural areas, rent and most basic goods are cheaper, but there aren’t nearly as many jobs in most cases. But in suburbia, you often get the high rents without the same job opportunities, which means you’ll probably have to commute to the city for work. That brings me to another example.

In the city you probably don’t even need a car. Everything you need is incredibly close and public transportation and taxi cabs are everywhere. If there is somewhere that is too far to walk to, you won’t have any trouble finding a ride. In the rural areas, you’re practically doomed if you don’t have a car, or know someone who can drive you, but at least there isn’t any congestion. In the suburbs, you get the long distances and the congestion. Plus, newer suburbs aren’t built with pedestrians in mind, and they don’t have nearly as many sidewalks and trails as the suburbs that were built several decades ago.

See what I mean? Suburbs often combine the worst of both worlds. This of course, also includes sustainability and self-sufficiency. Rural areas have great potential for both of those attributes and cities do not, but at least cities have more economic opportunities. Suburbs on the other hand, take up all of the space of that is typical of rural community but without any of the self-sufficiency, especially in regards to food production. Which is a shame, because they have a great potential to capture the best of both worlds, in terms of self-sufficient food production and economic opportunities.

Case in point, all over the world there are a growing number of so-called ‘agrihoods.’ These are essentially residential neighborhoods that are built around small farms. Having this in the suburbs means you could have the benefit of fresh sustainable produce, but still live in an area that has far more job opportunities. Given the growing interest in organic, and local food, these types of neighborhoods may be the wave of the future.

This farm-to-table residential model has been sprouting up everywhere from Atlanta to Shanghai. It involves homes built within strolling distance of small working farms, where produce matures under the hungry gaze of residents, where people can venture out and pick greens for their salads.

“Real estate developers are looking for the next big thing to set them apart,” said Ed McMahon, senior resident fellow with the Urban Land Institute in Washington. “That gives them a competitive advantage.”

There are many variations of the agrihood, McMahon said. “Some developers rent acreage to farmers,” he said. “Some set up non-profit C.S.A. (community-supported agriculture) programs. Some have the residents doing it (the growing) themselves.”

Agrihoods frequently include farmer’s markets, inns and restaurants sited in communal hubs where the edibles are processed or sold.

For now, these neighborhoods are very pricey. They are often built as gated communities, and are marketed primarily to second home buyers and retirees. While the cost of food is much cheaper, that alone isn’t nearly enough to offset the cost of housing.

Like most things in this world however, the cost is always higher for the first product to fall off the assembly line, so to speak. What will really drive down the cost, is when preexisting neighborhoods start to retrofit their surroundings into small, sustainable farms. The first of these retrofits will probably coincide with golf’s lagging popularity, which is causing hundreds of golf courses to close every year. That’s a lot of open space with plenty of water access, right in the middle of suburbia, and it’s ripe for the picking. Give it a few years, and you might start to see these farms pop up in neighborhoods near you.

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

Frugal Living: Using Up Fish Scraps for Broth and Other Recipes

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[Editor’s Note: Finding ways to find natural food sources and using up every bit will not only enhance our preparedness skills, but also help us create a more frugal lifestyle in the process. Fish is one of the most readily available wild protein sources and homesteader, Ruby Burks provides some very sound advice on how to add these last food bits to make delicious meals.]

fish 

Periodically, I need to go through our freezers and cook or can up the food items that I just didn’t have time to get to during their season and to take stock of what got pushed to the back.  Today, I’m concentrating on all the fish.

Why Fish?

Fish is an important part of our diet here (and taking a day off to go fishing is an important part of our mental health!) and we try to be as conscientious about eating nose to tail to reduce food and money waste with fish as we are with all of our other foods.  However, I don’t always have time to preserve every part of the fish as soon as we bring it home.  So, like the ingredients for other meat-based stocks and broths, trimmings from the fish, including the heads, go into freezer bags to accumulate until I have enough to fill a stockpot, pressure can, or smoke.

There’s plenty of scientific evidence to prove that eating fish has many health benefits.   From Harvard School of Public Health:

Fish and other seafood are the major sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats and are also rich in other nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. There is strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for the heart and blood vessels. An analysis of 20 studies involving hundreds of thousands of participants indicates that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week—salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines—reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.

Eating fish fights heart disease in several ways…Both observational studies and controlled trials have also demonstrated that the omega-3 fats in fish are important for optimal development of a baby’s brain and nervous system, and that the children of women who consume lower amounts of fish or omega-3’s during pregnancy and breast-feeding have evidence of delayed brain development.”

Source

Unfortunately, fish can be crazy expensive for most people, especially if you’re among the Broke Folk.  And as much as I value the rest and relaxation that can be found in a day spent fishing and the value of knowing an essential prepping skill, the cost of the gear and licence can really add up if I’m not actually catching any fish.  So, to offset that, I try to find as many ways to cook, preserve, and use every bit of the fish.  The following is a collection based on what is available in my neck of the woods.  If you have access to other species of fish in your area, please share your recipes below in the comments section so we can all share the wealth of knowledge found in our prepping community.

Fresh and Fried

No doubt about it, my very favorite fish is pan fried trout cooked over an oak and manzanita campfire.  Freshly caught and cleaned, dredged in cornmeal, and just the right size to fit in a cast iron skillet that has been liberally greased with some bacon grease.  The recipe isn’t fancy, but the eating is good.  To round out the meal, I add the recipes below:

Firepit Dutch Oven Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons bacon grease
  1. Mix all your dry ingredients together in a container or easy seal bag before you leave the house so you don’t have to worry about measuring at your campsite.  Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.  I like to bring my dry ingredients in a gallon size Ziplock bag so I can dump my wet ingredients in, seal it up, and squish them all together.  Cornbread is forgiving and turns out just fine this way.
  2. Lightly grease your dutch oven and and set it over the fire to warm.  Once warm, pour the batter in, cover with the lid, and place the dutch oven back on a nice glowing bed of coals.  Scoop enough coals on top of the lid to cover it.  Wait about 30 minutes or so, replenishing the coals as needed to keep it hot, and then test for doneness by inserting a clean pocket knife.  When it comes out clean, it’s done.
  3. While your cornbread is cooking, fry up a few pieces of bacon.  It’s delicious crumbled over the trout and adds the extra fat calories needed for hiking and fishing.  Remove the bacon and set aside to cool.  Dredge your freshly caught and cleaned trout in some cornmeal, salt and pepper and fry it in the same pan you just took your bacon out of.  The trout is done when it flakes easily with the point of your knife.

I like greens with my fish and will usually bring some home canned collards or spinach to heat up off on the side of the grill while everything else is cooking.  Or, if I’m lucky, I might find some Miner’s Lettuce and make a salad.

Fish Stock

Broth is an extremely healthy way to make use of the head and bones. Personally speaking, I love fish stock.  It’s a great way to use up all the bits of fish that aren’t normally served up on a plate.  The meat from the cheeks is especially tender and tasty.  Just be sure to remove the gills from the fish heads before cooking because they make the stock bitter.  A great video on how to remove the gills easily can be found here.

No matter what the recipes say, you can use any kind of fish to make stock.  If I have enough salmon heads and trimmings, I might make a stock that is nothing but salmon.  The stock has a beautiful pink hue and a rich, fatty taste and texture.  However, if I don’t have enough salmon heads, I might throw in some trout or any other freshwater fish I have to finish filling my stock pot.  Trout heads are pretty small, though, and picking them clean is a little like trying to pick the meat off of nothing but chicken backs.  If you want some meat to go with your broth, make sure you have at least a couple of heads or trimmings from a larger fish like salmon.  On the other hand, if you aren’t planning on using the pickings in your stock, you can still use them to make Goldfish Cakes:

Ruby’s Goldfish Cakes

  • 15-ounces salmon (or other cooked, picked fish)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • About 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • About 2-3 cups of  breadcrumbs Note: This is one of those recipes where I don’t measure and instead cook by feel.  Add enough breadcrumbs to bind it all together but not so much that it tastes too much like breadcrumbs.  You can also use saltines or Ritz- whatever you have on hand and sounds good at the time.
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil or bacon grease
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the cooking oil together in a bowl.
  2. Shape into burger-sized patties and fry in a hot skillet until cooked through and nicely browned on the outside.
  3. Allow to cool a few minutes and serve warm.

Wondering what to do with all that fish stock?  Check out this list of my favorite recipes below:

Salmon Head Soup 

Bouillabaisse

Paella (substitute the 3 C of water in this recipe for fish stock.  Trust me, it’s better than cooking with water)

New England Fish Chowder 

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

5 Essential Emergency Protocols For Family Members Who Are Apart

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talking to families with communications are downReadyNutrition Readers, this piece is designed to give to you some methods that work that will make your daily travel more secure.  To and from work, school, or running errands, it is important for you and your family to know where each one is, what you’re doing, and when you’re due back home.  Rest assured, it is designed to give you a format so that you can look out for one another on a daily basis or when the world takes a nosedive.

By performing these steps on a daily basis, you will be practicing for an emergency, whether temporary or apocalyptic in nature.  I’m not advising you to do anything that I do not have in place.  It does take for granted that you and your family members get along, or even if you do not, that you care for one another enough to set aside your differences when it all goes down.  Should that not be the case, this is something you will need to address on your own and it runs beyond the scope of this article.

Communication is Key

So, what does this mean?  From a practical perspective, keep in mind that my wife and I live in Montana, which is different in terms of geography and climate from many areas.  You must take these suggestions and tailor them to fit your locale.  In Montana, especially during the winter time, if you do not take certain precautions just driving to and from work (when you’re out in the boonies, as we are) and the vehicle breaks down?  You can die.  Cell phones (if you use them, and we do not) have a limited range, and can prove unreliable in a catastrophe.  Regarding vehicles, Triple-A will not go out when a snowstorm is dumping 2 feet on you.  The temperatures here can go from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to below zero in no time.

Take it seriously if your loved one is late checking in.

First things first.  When my wife goes off to work, and I’m home, I have her call me when she gets in.  We know the exact time that it takes for her or me to cover the distance.  If she’s late, I give it ½ hour, and then I call.  If she hasn’t arrived, I suit up and prep my vehicle, and give it another ½ hour.  I then call again, and if she’s not there, I’m on the road at about 10 mph, all the way in, scanning both sides of the road for her.

Have multiple forms of communication on hand.

We also have radios, and even with interrupted line of sight, they have a range of about 50 miles.  I have recommended the Yaesu models in previous articles, as they can be used either as a ham radio or as a long-range handheld during emergencies.  Yes, in an EMP (to address the observant concerns), the radios would be paperweights.  JJ, however, has two sets: one for use, and the other set in Faraday cages.  We’ll see what happens, but it follows my personal EMP posture: you need two of each electronic item, and one has to go into a cage.  You can use Motorola’s and CB radios, but the range is limited due to line-of-sight limitations.  If you all live together, a good base radio for the house is worth its weight in gold.

Be ready to bug out on the fly.

We have all covered enough info on “go” bags/Bug-Out bags (I call them “A” bags) to know there must be one in each vehicle with the basics: food, ammo, fire-starting equipment and materials, spare clothing, first-aid supplies, flashlight, a good knife, and a weapon of some kind.  This is a good list to go by. During the winter, we each have a military issue extreme cold weather bag with Gore-Tex cover packed away in a compression bag and then an Army-issue wet weather bag.

For signaling, I highly recommend several road flares for the vehicle.  They also make excellent fire starting devices when needed.  Supplement these with light sticks powered by batteries.  Obtain the ones that do multiple colors.  We’ll get to the reason shortly.  Supplement the light sticks with cyalume sticks/chem-lights to give you an edge if the batteries die.  For wintertime: stainless steel water bottles are the way to go, supplemented with an empty one-quart canteen and an Army issue canteen cup with “elephant ear” handles that fold in on itself.  The stainless steel bottles fill up ¾ of the way to allow for expansion if it freezes.  Then just place it over or near a fire, and the ice will melt to give you drinking water.  With the canteen cup, you can melt snow or ice to pack it in the one-quart for immediate use…not long-term, or it’ll freeze.

Keep your immediate needs in mind.

When it’s really cold here (-10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit) we go out with Aladdin thermos bottles filled with hot water.  We wrap ‘em up in thick quilted towels and blankets and stick them in cardboard boxes filled with shredded newspaper that can double as fire starting material if need be.  The towels and newspaper further insulate the thermoses.  You’d be amazed at how good it is to have hot water if you need it immediately.  Another “goodie” are packets of food in thick Mylar that are ready to eat, or MRE’s if you do prefer them.  You can stuff these inside of your shirt and partially warm them up with your body heat, then crack them open and eat as you need them.

When Mrs. Johnson comes home, I’m there waiting to meet her, suited up and ready to hit the road if need be.  She calls me when she leaves work, and once again, we know the distance and time.  If the weather is pretty rough, the radios are on the whole way, and she gives me a position every couple of minutes, as well as a situation report…weather, traffic, obstacles.  When she makes her final approach, I use the light stick, as I ask her on the radio what color she sees and she tells me.  This lets her know that it’s me, and lets me know those headlights I see are hers.

It All comes Down to These Points

We also have prearranged signals in the event there is trouble.  Use your imagination and find what works best for you and your family.  There are just the two of us, so it’s a bit easier.  When there are many family members, it can become tough to juggle.  Bottom line: it’s all going to depend on how important it is to you.  Let’s summarize some of our main points and review.

  1. Travel with all of the supplies and equipment you need to match the locale and the season
  2. Have good radios and communication sets, and do not rely only on cell phones
  3. Signaling devices for nighttime use: flares, light sticks, chem lights, and flashlights
  4. Coordinate your movements: Who is leaving, and when, for what distance, to arrive when? Who is monitoring the travel and meeting them?
  5. Quick Response: When the family member runs into trouble, someone has to go out and get them.

Doing these simple things can help with your team-building skills as a family, and teach you how to coordinate such movements together.  It is a matter of individual and team discipline, and its success is going to depend on how dedicated you are to following the organizational framework and procedures that you put in place.  Get in some good practice now, while the time is right.  You will find that all of these things fall into place naturally when a true emergency surfaces.  This type of planning is just as important as garnering supplies, and it is a skill that requires practice, as it can become perishable when not used.  Keep up the good work, and help one another day by day.  That’s what it’s all about.  JJ out!

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Food Freedom: Backyard Strategies You Can Try Today

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Food freedom – now that’s a loaded statement. Is there such a thing? How many of you go to the store every week to get produce and meat? I would venture to guess almost all of us. Over the last several years, a substantial amount of our wealth has gone into purchasing food staples like meat, eggs and dairy. Even though we were “technically” making our way out of the recession of 2008, prices still continued to steadily rise. I was even more frustrated when country of origin labels were removed and serious health-related superbugs were present in packaged meat.

food-inflation-since-2010 

For years, I have placed a lot of focuson finding ways to be more sustainable. I was tired of living a life in a dependency-driven system and wanted to make more sustainable choices. Admittedly, I still go to the grocery store, but I have taken significant strides to break away from it. I no longer purchase meat, eggs and most produce. I either raise my own food sources or find them locally. This has saved us from the ever volatile price increases of grocery stores that many are dealing with.

I also made some drastic changes around the house. While many believe the first steps toward food freedom are the most difficult to take, I found them to be the most rewarding and only encouraged me to be bolder in my pursuits. In a long-term emergency scenario, I knew that I needed the land I have to work for me. Therefore, I started raising my own food sources. The following are four of the easiest steps to take to become more sustainable in raising one’s own food and can be done in the convenience of a backyard.

Four Ways to Start Achieving Food Freedom

  1. Start a garden. It makes no difference if your backyard is big or small, you can grow vegetables. Growing your own vegetables is a fast way to take the necessary steps toward breaking up with the grocery stores. Think about it – you will know exactly where your food comes from and how it was raised. Here are some great seeds to consider planting for your garden. You could even regrow food from food scraps! There are a few things you need to do before you plant your garden, but for the most part, this is a great weekend activity. These tips can help your garden thrive.
  2. Have a water source. I understand that many of us are dependent on municipal water sources, but those sources of water can easily become contaminated and shut off altogether; especially during an emergency. Just look at the water crisis occurring in Flint, Michigan. If you are not lucky enough to have a year-round creek or be walking distance from a natural water source, consider installing water catchment barrels around your home. I have two creeks on my property, but they dry out in the summertime, so I purchased four catchment systems like these to collect the rainwater we get in the spring. For under $300, you can start collecting water; and trust me, the water will collect quickly. If apartment dwellers have access to rooftops, they can even take advantage of this. Here’s a great primer on how to get started harvesting your own water. As well, Daisy Luther wrote a book about everything you need to know about water.
  3. Get some chickens. Chickens are the gateway livestock that leads to homesteading. Aside from the initial investment of purchasing a brooder lampfeeders, waterers and feed, they are relatively inexpensive. As well, they provide meat, eggs and nitrogen-rich fertilizer (make sure you compost the fertilizer before using). These are some of the most popular breeds to start with. As well, I like that I can give chickens kitchen scraps instead of throwing them away. They are, by far, the easiest livestock choice to start out with. As long as you give them a place to roost at night and bugs and grass to eat, they basically take care of themselves. There are lots of diy plans out there for coops, or if you are short on time, you can purchase a chicken coop like this one at feed stores. I also raise rabbits and because they make no noise, this could be a viable option for those living in close quarters of other families. As well, the manure makes great fertilizer!
  4. Buy some fruit trees.  I realize that there are some who do not have enough backyard space for a fruit orchard, but if you get the right type of fruit tree, you won’t need a lot of space. Self-fertile dwarf variety fruit trees can easily become prolific producers of fresh fruit and can also lure wild game for hunting into your neck of the woods. Also, if you have a sunny area of the home, consider adding some fruit trees that can be grown indoors. Because I live in a more northern climate, I have two pomegranate trees that I keep indoors and will hand-pollinate the blossoms myself. I also have a lemon and orange tree that are in containers that can easily be brought indoors if need be. Look around locally to find quality dwarf variety fruit trees that are self-fertile and you can train them to be small but abundant.

Anyone Can Do It

With these four steps, you are essentially creating your own microfarm. If you have a yard, then you can take these steps. In fact, Jules Dervaes proved years ago that you can raise your own food sources on 1/5th of an acre. He says that “growing your own food is recession proof.  You don’t have to worry about the prices.”

While I live on acreage, the amount of land I use for these sustainable pursuits are very small. Moreover, I found the steps listed above to be the most rewarding and cost efficient ways to get started. Once your endeavors take off, consider how much additional food you will have. This could be great additional income sources or bartering tools that could be used.

Farms. Food. Freedom. It’s That Simple, Folks

To conclude, I ask again, is there such a thing as food freedom? The answer is yes; but you must be ready to work for it. The four steps outlined above are the most efficient course of action towards sustainability and if you have a small plot of land, you can make this happen.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Winter Beekeeping Maintenance for a Healthy Hive

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When people think of bees, they imagine warm, sunny days and lots of blooms, but the dead of winter is the best time to get your equipment ready so you won’t be caught short when the bloom comes roaring in at the beginning of spring.  Bees, like any other livestock, have specific needs and it’s our responsibility to make sure that we provide good animal husbandry for them.  Now is the time to start taking stock of your equipment.  As commercial beekeepers, we use Langstroth hives, but most of the advice here will apply for any kind of hive.

Wax Moths

There are two types of wax moths that live in the United States: the Lesser Wax Moth and the Greater Wax MothSupers stored over winter with honey-extracted comb are a bonanza for wax moths.  They especially like dark, warm, and poorly ventilated areas (outbuildings, barns, garages) or unprotected supers that get wet from being stacked and stored outside.  The larvae of the wax moth will chew through empty comb in their search for food (mostly pollen, but they’ll eat whatever is handy) and can cause significant damage.

Maximum light and ventilation are the best defense against infestation.  For hobbyists and small scale commercial beekeepers, store supers of extracted-comb or individual frames of extracted-comb by suspending them on wires strung along the rafter of a garage or well ventilated, well-lit outbuilding.

It’s important to check your stored supers periodically to make sure wax moths aren’t destroying your frames.  If caught early before too much damage is done to the comb, use a hive tool to dig the larvae out.  Another option is Paramoth wax.

If you discover that there is too much damage to the frame, it’s important take off the entire comb, inspect to make sure the wire is still good, and replace with a new sheet of foundation.  If the wire is bad, rewire the frame, and add new foundation.  Note: this work should be done away from the area where your frames were stored to avoid reinfesting your repaired frames.  If you have chickens, gather up all the infested beeswax and give it to your chickens.  They’ll love scratching through the beeswax bits in search of tasty, high protein larvae treats!

Thoroughly clean the storage shed, too, before returning your cleaned frames and supers to make sure they don’t get reinfested.  Bug bombs are the quickest and easiest way (be sure to follow manufacturers recommendations), but if you’d like to go a more natural route once you’ve cleaned the storage room, you can cut cedar boards and soak them in cedar oil to drive the moths away.  Wait 24 hours before returning your supers for storage.

Gearing Up for Spring

It’s also time to take stock of the equipment you have on hand to be ready for the honey flow.  Inspect your extra supers and boxes for damage- repair cracks, check for dry rot, and apply a fresh coat of paint.  Take an inventory of how many frames you have and build new ones to replace damaged frames and to insure you have enough extras to put into supers when everything is in full bloom and the nectar flow is high.  Get your nucs ready if you plan on splitting hives or catching swarms.  If you do plan on splitting hives or catching swarms, build your new hive stands now. Hive stands help prevent ant infestations and help keep skunks from eating all your bees.  Use coffee containers (or something similar) filled with a little water under each stand leg to make “ant moats” to keep the ants from climbing up the legs.

This is also a good time to make extra top and bottom boards for your hives to insure you have replacements.  If you plan on trapping pollen (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t), clean and repair any pollen traps.  There is an excellent article, written by B. F. Detroy and E. R. Harp, agricultural engineer and agricultural research technician, here complete with building plans.  Keep their advice in mind that “Pollen should be trapped only from strong, disease-free colonies in bee-tight hives. Trapping should be done only during pollen flows of one-quarter pound per day minimum, and traps or grids should be removed at other times. Pollen should be removed from the trap often (daily during heavy pollen flows) and cared for properly. During major nectar flows, pollen trapping is unprofitable, and the grid slows down active flight, which reduces honey production.”

Bee Yards

If you plan on using beeyards on someone else’s property, now is a good time to take stock of their availability and get contracts signed.  I’m a firm believer in the saying, “Good fences build good neighbors” and prefer to have a contract in place even if they’re letting us use their property for free.  The contract below was originally posted at www.indianahoney.com, but the website is no longer valid.  I’ve retyped it (with a little modification) below.  Feel free to use it or modify it as you see fit, but keep in mind, we’re farmers, not lawyers:

Free Pollination Contract

I, (insert name of landowner here), have requested that (insert your name or the name of your apiary/farm here) place hives on my property, located at (insert full address of bee yard here).

By signing this contract, (insert name of landowner here) agrees to the following:

  1. All beehives on said property belong to (insert your name or your apiary/farm name here).
  2. By signing this contract, (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) or employees have the right to unrestricted access to the beehives belonging to (insert your name or apiary/farm name here).
  3. All products of the beehives, located in the beehives, or removed from the beehives are the sole property of (insert your name or apiary/farm name here).
  4. (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) is providing free pollination services in exchange for the use of the property as a base apiary.
  5. By having the minimum of (insert minimum number of hives here) present at all times during the growing season and a maximum of (insert max number of hives here), (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) has fulfilled their end of this agreement.  I agree that (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) has no control over what crops/plants/flowers the bees decide to gather pollen and/pr nectar from.
  6. I agree that (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) has the right to cancel this contract and move the hives at any time that they deem the property to be unacceptable for the placement of beehives.
  7. I agree that if I cancel this contract, (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) will have a minimum of 60 days to move the hives off of my property, and that all conditions of this contract are in effect until the hives are moved.
  8. I agree not to move, disturb, or harass the bees or their hives.
  9. I agree not to give anyone other than (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) or their employees access to the hives.
  10. I agree that I am the owner of said property and have the right to allow (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) to set hives on said property.
  11. I agree that (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) will be given the first opportunity to capture any swarms on the property for the duration that their hives are present and that any swarms captured by (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) are the sole property of (insert your name or apiary/farm name here) unless they decline to take possession of the swarm

 

I understand that by signing this contract, I am agreeing to all the terms and conditions of this contract

 

Landowner:

____________________________  Date: ___________

Apiary/farm name here):  

____________________________  Date:____________

 

Conclusion

By doing some winter maintenance on your apiary equipment, building new equipment, and securing bee yards for the coming season, you can be better prepared for spring flows.  Up next, we’ll talk “spring checks”- what you need to do now for your active hives to make sure they are at their peak health for the coming season.  Stay tuned!

 

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How to Stock a Prepper Pantry

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 The overall goal of our emergency food pantry is to have a wide array of nutritious foods stored away in order to carry us through an emergency. In my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook, I wrote how firmly I believe in each household having an emergency food pantry. Whether those emergencies are from Mother Nature or if we have hit a rough patch in our lives, having food on hand will be less burdensome and will help free up money for other living expenses. The key is to a well-stocked pantry is to have lots of nutritious shelf stable foods at your disposal. Foods filled with lots of nutrition will carry you farther in an emergency than lots of junk foods.

The Meat and Potatoes of a Prepper Pantry

Over the years, I have made recommendations for the best types of foods to put in your pantry, how to save on emergency food stores by learning how to can and dehydrate your own food sources, as well as provided the best rules to go by when creating an emergency food pantry. Ideally, you want the food you put in those coveted pantry spots to be versatile and serve many uses.

I like to start with shelf stable basics like wheat berries, rice, an assortment of beans, dry milk powder, peanut butter, drink mixes, etc., and then add-on to my pantry with home canned and dehydrated foods. This creates layers of different types of short and long-term food stores and gives me more functionality in my pantry. Having layers of different food sources as coincides with the prepper rule of having back-ups for your back-ups. Here is a shopping list that first-timers can use to get a pantry started. Keep in mind this is for one person. If you have additional family members, use this calculator to add-on appropriately. Another way to add essential vitamins and nutrients to your food supply is to stock up on sprouting seeds. Inside these small biogenic (living) foods lies essential nutrients and vitamins that can assist in providing a good portion one’s daily requirement of nutrients. Sprouts can grow anywhere, during any season, and requires minimal work.

Where To Get Bulk Pantry Foods

As many of you know, preparedness is an investment and doesn’t always come cheap. One of the best places to buy bulk shelf stable foodstuffs that I have found is at the LDS food storage warehouses. I am not Mormon, but this church has opened its doors to non-members in order to create a more prepared community; and I am very thankful for this. I am able to purchase cases of canned beans, rice, dry milk, etc. and it’s already packed and ready for long-term storage. This frees up so much time! Here’s a link to their locations. As well, purchasing the larger, bulkier bags at Sam’s or Walmart is also very economical, but make sure you transfer your food items into long-term storage containers to protect your food investment. As well, don’t forget about storing water or having a way to treat it – this is crucial to survival.

Other Food Pantry Items

As I mentioned earlier, we like to layer our preparedness pantry. I buy meat on sale and freeze or can it for a later date. As well, we stock up on freeze-dried foods. For my family, freeze-dried foods are our last resort. If we run out of our pantry items, and our garden fails, only then do we turn to our freeze-dried food supply. My purpose in this is that I don’t want to solely rely on this type of emergency food source. I’m thankful it has a 25-year shelf life, but there are a lot of preservatives in freeze-dried foods that can cause constipation and stomach upsets. Therefore, I want to have enough of the natural foods my family normally eats before I turn to my freeze-dried foods. In addition, I also have garden seeds on standby so that we can grow a garden immediately if there is a widespread event.

Hopefully, this primer will get you started on your food pantry endeavors. As well, here are some additional articles to help you create a long-lasting and dependable food pantry.

11 Emergency Foods That Last Forever

Five Family Friendly Food Pantry Organizing Tips Anyone Can Do

Prepping With Wheat Allergies

5 Ways to Stretch Your Meals SHTF Style

Food Pantry: Take Care of Your Basic Needs

72 Hours Without This Will Kill You: Survival Water Fundamentals

Those of you who plan to take the first steps toward preparing for emergencies may feel a bit overwhelmed at first. After all, there is a lot of food to choose from at the grocery stores. We all know how confusing it can be getting started and luckily, there are lots of articles from Ready Nutrition and other great prepping websites to help with that.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Five Components Determine How Healthy You Are

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healthA few years back when my kids were still pretty young, one of my girls and I and the family dog took a short walk in National Forest not too far from where we live. I had let the dog off the leash to stretch its legs while my young daughter and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll down a familiar trail. Free from the leash, the dog shot off down the trail only to come to an abrupt stop several hundred yards away, her hackles up, and staring intensely into the thick manzanita that lined each side of the trail. It was a bear with cubs.

I yelled, “run!” and my daughter took off like a rocket back the way we had come. Within seconds, I followed hoping the dog would distract the bear long enough for us to make it safely back to the vehicle. Time loses all meaning in moments like that and what could have been minutes felt like seconds. I quickly realized that the shock of accidentally crossing paths with a bear sow with cubs and the sudden burst of speed had stressed my heart. I was nowhere near close enough to the car and it already felt like my heart was going to burst and the muscles in my legs were on fire.

At the same time, the old saying, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you” flashed through my head. I was very glad to see my daughter running down the path and over fallen trees with the speed and agility of a deer. And I took comfort that, although I loved my dog very much, she would probably give her life to protect me from the bear…until she shot past me like a bullet.

I’m glad to say that we made it all out safely, including that damn dog that I wasn’t loving so much at the moment, but it was a sobering lesson. I was not in as good a shape as I thought I was. Also, thinking that my body would just know what to do in an emergency or that adrenaline would allow me to rise to the occasion like a lot of people think just wasn’t the case. When the SHTF, sometimes it’s a bear and sometimes it’s not. I wasn’t ready for any of it.

How Fit Are You?

It is a fact that past generations were more in shape compared to modern times. A healthy body that’s ready to take on whatever is demanded of it to the best of their ability should be the top priority of any prepper, not just for their own security, but also the security of loved ones that depend on them. I know that I could count on any one of my immediate family members if I ever needed help, but I also know that I have a personal responsibility not to overburden them in a crisis, and the best way I can do that is to make sure I am as healthy as possible before the SHTF. I would never want to put any of them in a potentially life threatening position to save me because I hadn’t bothered to take the time to get fit enough to save myself.

As well, many of us have physical limitations that can stop us from being as fit as we should. In an article on the subject, Tess Pennington writes, “As we get older, many of us are plagued with some type of physical limitation. Recognizing our physical weaknesses and figuring out how to make things work despite those weakness will be vital to our survival.”

Your Health Depends on These Five Components

Health, in this context, isn’t necessarily about weight, pants size, or any of the other standards of beauty frequently seen in fashion magazines. In this case, I’m talking about the ability to get the job done or get the hell out and that could mean different things depending on your own SHTF scenario.

Physical fitness can be measured by assessing five components of health: cardiovascular and respiratory, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition, and flexibility. If you’re neglecting any of these areas, you won’t be ready to respond.

Cardiovascular and Respiratory Fitness

Each type of fitness effects the body in different ways and they all support each other. If you’re lacking in one type of fitness, it will diminish the performance level of another. In my case, I frequently hiked, but rarely at a pace that would bring my heart rate up. Cardiovascular exercises that require endurance and raise the heart rate like those performed by runners, rowers, cyclist, and swimmers, increase the size and strength of the left and right ventricles of the heart.

“The left ventricle is one of four chambers of the heart. It is located in the bottom left portion of the heart below the left atrium, separated by the mitral valve. As the heart contracts, blood eventually flows back into the left atrium, and then through the mitral valve, whereupon it next enters the left ventricle. From there, blood is pumped out through the aortic valve into the aortic arch and onward to the rest of the body. The left ventricle is the thickest of the heart’s chambers and is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood to tissues all over the body. By contrast, the right ventricle solely pumps blood to the lungs.”

Source

My heart wasn’t strong enough to supply the boost of oxygen-rich blood quickly enough to keep up with the demand. Respiratory health ties into this- although lung function doesn’t change dramatically, oxygen that is taken into the lungs is used more effectively.

Muscle Strength

Muscular strength can be measured by the force your muscles are capable of exerting (example: lifting or pushing) and endurance is the measurement of how long your muscles can exert the force without tiring. A sudden sprint away from a bear requires both. Lifting heavy sacks of feed, children, and any number of daily activities as a mom on a farm had given me plenty of strength, but hadn’t really prepared me for endurance.

Muscles are comprised of two types of fibers: fast twitch and slow twitch. Fast twitch fibers contract quickly and use a lot of energy, but they also tire out quickly. Slow twitch fibers, on the other hand, can work for a long time without getting tired and they also require a lot of oxygenated blood. Different types of endurance training will increase one type of fiber more than the other, but both types are important for running for your life.

Body Composition & Flexibility

Body composition is simply a relative measurement of muscle, bone, water, and fat in your body. We all know that carrying too much fat, especially around the waist, is bad for our health. Many people use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine their fat percentage, but the BMI is not without controversy:

“BMI does not take into account age, gender, or muscle mass. Nor does it distinguish between lean body mass and fat mass. As a result, some people, such as heavily muscled athletes, may have a high BMI even though they don’t have a high percentage of body fat. In others, such as elderly people, BMI may appear normal even though muscle has been lost with aging”

(Source)

If you feel you’re carrying too much body fat, you probably are, and you should make every effort to reduce it to a healthier level. By doing so, you’ll be more physically fit, stronger, and have more endurance to meet the increased stress and physical demands of an emergency.

Flexibility, the range of motion across a joint, is also an important factor in being prepared. It’s much more difficult to perform a task when one isn’t flexible and it greatly increases the chances of injury. Flexibility exercises help increase he range of motion of joints, ligaments, and tendons so that muscles can perform at their peak.

Conclusion

In the years since, I’m happy to say, I’ve made a concerted effort to get physically fit and now at 50 years old, I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I can hike eight miles with a 30-pound pack and a 1000-foot elevation gain in under two hours. It certainly wasn’t easy and there are times, especially around the holidays, that I let things slide. I probably still can’t outrun that damn dog, but I feel pretty confident that I can outrun you!
Next up, we’ll talk about some frugal ways to incorporate fitness into your everyday lives without breaking the bank so you too can get in shape to survive the bears in your life.

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Home Protection Dogs: Amp Up Your Home’s Security Perimeter With These Tips

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guard dog1In the previous article on how your guard dogs could be compromised, I talked about how easy it is for me to get past your dog and onto your property when you’re not home.  Most people think that their pet dog behaves the same way towards strangers entering the property when the owner isn’t home as they do when the owner is present.  They see their dog barking ferociously and relentlessly and think they have a great guard dog on their hands.  My off the farm job requires that I enter all types of private property unannounced hundreds of times a month and I can tell you this just isn’t true in almost every case.

If you want your dog to protect your property while you’re away, there are a few things you can do that make it easier for the dog to do his job and to protect your dog from those that would otherwise want to do him harm.

Limit the Protection Zone

Dogs are naturally territorial, but they have a limit to what they consider their territory.  You may think of your entire acreage as “yours”, but your dog doesn’t.  The larger your property and the farther away from their territory they get, the less incentive they feel to protect it.  I feel much safer meeting your dog at your gate at the end of your long driveway than I do if your gate is open and I attempt to get out of my vehicle closer to the house.  The exceptions to this rule are dogs that are bred specifically to be livestock guardians, which we’ll discuss later.

If you have acreage that is fenced around the perimeter, put up a fence around your house and out buildings, too, and keep your dog inside that zone.  Install adequate shelter for the dog (a doggie door that leads inside one of the buildings or a dog house) within that perimeter.  This is not only the humane thing to do; it will also take advantage of the dog’s natural desire to defend its “den” and territory.

Never leave out fetch-type toys when you’re not home.  Balls, Frisbees, and other types of toys commonly used to play fetch are the first things I look for.  If you have a dog that loves to play fetch, I have a dog that loves to play fetch!  I’ll either try to get your dog excited about “Find the ball!  Where’s your ball?!” or if I’m unable to get the dog to go get the toy for me, I’ll look for a suitable substitute on my side of the perimeter like a stick.

Keep the dog poo picked up.  A yard full of dog poo is just gross and encourages parasites, but it’s also a dead give-away to let me know what size of a dog you have before I see the dog.  Little bitty poos and small dog houses- perfect!  I walk right in.  No one is that afraid of a twenty pound dog.  If your dog is on the smallish side, try to locate the dog house out of site.  On the other hand, if you have a big dog and a dog house sized to go with it, place it in a conspicuous place- the intent is to intimidate and give pause to whoever wants to enter your property before they get a chance to meet your dog.  Dogs can pick up on body language much better than we can and someone who is apprehensive is nervous and a little afraid.

Limit the amount of bushes and objects near your home.  One of the only times I feared for my life was while entering the backyard of a suburban home.  I had been told there was a known biter at this house, but that the dog was secured inside the home.  No one told me about the doggie door.  I was halfway across the backyard before the dog realized I was there and I was much too far away from the entry gate to get out before the dog could catch me.  The only reason I was able to escape is because the owner of the house was so messy.  Their yard was cluttered with all manner of things that I used to defend myself.

Provide a Pack

When we form a bond with a dog, we become part of their pack and dogs will defend anything in their pack, including other dogs and animals.  Many breeds that are now used in police and protection work were originally bred to protect a flock and don’t do well when left alone for an eight-hour (or longer) workday.  An “only child” dog left alone all day while you’re at work is often a bored and lonely dog.  They don’t have the job to do and will often welcome my unexpected company.

Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGDs) make great protection dogs, but they need something other than property to protect while you’re gone.  The pack instinct is very strong in these types of dogs and, with proper training and supervision to control the prey drive instinct, they’ll bond with almost any kind of livestock and make it part of their pack.  This brings me to the Backup Auxillary Dog- a small dog that acts as a companion to your LGD (if they have no other livestock companions) and an additional set of ears/eyes.

Dog Flipping

Dog flippers are just like real estate flippers, except real estate flippers don’t steal your house.  Purebreds, especially unaltered animals that are still capable of breeding, are prime targets, but any dog can fall victim to these pet thieves.  As reported in this Time article, pet flipping is on the rise.

 “In a typical pet-flipping situation, a criminal will get hold of a pet — either by stealing it or seeing the animal in a “Pet found” poster or ad on Craigslist and claiming to be the owner — and then turn around and sell it for a quick profit. It’s a cause for concern for pet owners, obviously, but also for anyone looking to buy a dog or cat. The scam is an extension of dognapping, a trend that the American Kennel Club reported spiking in recent years.”

Contrary to popular belief, these dogs are no longer stolen by unscrupulous Class B Dealers, aka dog bunchers, and sold to laboratories thanks to a recent change in the law for research facilities.

 “Class B” is a USDA designation for individuals who buy, sell, or transport animals they did not breed and raise themselves…. Class B dealers sell dogs and cats for research, and some of these individuals have generated controversy because of repeated failures to provide adequate care for animals and, in some cases, selling lost or stolen pets to research labs.”

Source

Instead, most pet thieves are motivated by a variety of reasons.  Purebreds and “designer dogs” can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.  The thieves steal the dogs and then turn around and sell them as unpapered purebreds, use them for dog breeding and sell off the offspring, or claim to have found the dog and demand a finder’s fee (a form of ransom) from distraught owners.  Occasionally, expensive or highly desirable breeds are stolen by thieves to give to themselves or to their friends or family.  Arguably the cruelest of all are the dogs stolen and used as bait animals in dog fighting.

Another group worth mention is the Do Gooders: those individuals that make it their mission, whether they belong to an organized animal rights group like PETA or not, to “rescue” dogs.  Non-aggressive working dogs are especially susceptible to these types of people.  They see a dog that was bred to be perfectly suited for the environment and conditions it’s working/living in and think the dog is being mistreated.

Never Feed From Your Hand

Using the tactics above to take advantage of your dog’s instincts will also help protect your dog.  Additionally, never feed your dog out of your hand or toss food at their feet or in the air.  It teaches the dog to accept hand-held treats and to eat things thrown over a fence.  Instead, toss a bit of food down and train your dog to “leave it”.  This won’t fool-proof every dog, but make those hand-held and tossed treats less familiar and therefore make your dog more cautious about accepting them when left to their own devices.  If your dog is small and portable, never leave it unattended in a yard or alone in a car.

Make Your Dog Less Desirable

Spaying and neutered your dog makes them less desirable to would-be dog thieves and reduces the animal’s desire to roam in search of a mate.  Micro-chipping your dog is the best form of identification.  Virtually all veterinarians and animal shelters have the device to read the chip to find out the rightful owner.  It’s important to note that the information on the chip needs to be registered to your name as soon as possible and then updated anytime you have a change of address or phone number.  Take close-up photos of distinguishing characteristics of your dog- for instance, a white stripe on it’s chest or the pattern of it’s stocking feet or any scars it may have.  Take yearly photos of your dog, including full body and face shots, so you always have updated photos in case you need to post a “lost dog” ad.If you do discover your dog missing, watch the “found” ads in the newspaper and on the internet. Respond to any that are even close to your pet’s description. What one person describes as a “red hound mix” may look like a “yellow pit mix” to someone else.    Check your local shelters and search websites like www.petfinder.com or www.petharbor.com to see if your dog has been taken in by a rescue.  Many communities also have Facebook groups dedicated to finding lost or stolen dogs.  If you post to your own Facebook profile, be sure to make the post “public” so it can be seen and shared by as many people as possible.  Monitor pets for sale or pet adoption ads in newspapers or online from pet thieves are looking to profit from stealing your animal.

By making a few small changes to your property, you can help your dog to do a better job of defending it.  Teaching your dog that food comes from a bowl, not from your hand, will help prevent them from becoming conditioned to take treats from strangers.  Micro-chipping your dog and taking yearly photos will greatly increase your chances of getting your dog back if he gets stolen.  Done together, you and your dog are better able to protect each other.

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Whole Thing is About To Come Unhinged: 6 Ways To Prepare For the Next Collapse

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collapse1Since the last great recession of 2008, economic forecasters and preppers alike have warned of the bottom dropping out of the economy. The proverbial doom prediction of “it’s not if, but when” was used for years as a call to action to get ready for a much larger economic disaster. Well folks, it seems that history is repeating itself. This week, George Soros cautioned the public of an impending economic crisis.

Speaking at an economic forum in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, he told an audience that China is struggling to find a new growth model and its currency devaluation is transferring problems to the rest of the world, according to media. He added that a return to rising interest rates was proving difficult for the developing world.

The current environment reminded him of the “crisis we had in 2008,”The Sunday Times in Sri Lanka reported on Thursday morning. “China has a major adjustment problem,” he added, according to Bloomberg. “I would say it amounts to a crisis.”

The Reality is Stark and the Consequences are Clear

For years, Mac Slavo of SHTFPlan fervently warned his readers to stock up on physical assets and to prepare. His weekly economic posts proved of economic strife, but many believed he was all hype. It seems the day is finally here and we are looking at the possibility of this crisis being more unforgiving than its predecessor.

Mac states, “All you have to do is look around. The signs are everywhere. There is an industrial recession in China, lackluster holiday sales prove there is a consumer recession in the United States, real estate is stalled and is re-collapsing and stock markets around the world are set to buckle. If you’ve yet to prepare, the time is now because the whole thing is about to come unhinged.

What is about to occur is mirroring what happened in 2008. In fact, given the many national and world events that has plagued us in the past, it seems that this looming crisis on the horizon is the perfect storm for disaster.

Mac goes on to warn us. What to expect is to expect the unexpected because uncertainty is the name of the game. We don’t know how far markets will crash, what will happen with the U.S. dollar or what will happen with geopolitical tensions; and our way of life could change literally overnight. In the last 15 years, we’ve seen what systemic breakdown does in countries like Greece, Cyprus, Venezuela and Argentina.

The lessons learned are clear – you better have supplies on hand. In Venezuela, for example, they couldn’t even get toilet paper or condoms. In Greece, people were lining up in droves to get expired food that grocery stores were throwing away, and perhaps just as significantly, access to lifesaving medicine was lost when Greek credit markets were locked up.

The reality is stark and the consequences are clear – there will be panic, confusion and violence. Are you ready for that?

If You’ve Yet to Prepare, the Time is Now

Unlike the recession of 2008, this economic beast will not be held off. There will be extensive amounts of wealth lost leading to drastic cutbacks by consumers. Moreover, you can expect massive  job loss. In 2008 and 2009, the U.S. labor market lost 8.4 million jobs, or 6.1% of all payroll employment. This was the most dramatic employment contraction (by far) of any recession since the Great Depression (Source). As well, you can anticipate food prices to increase even more than they have over the last few years. In fact, price for food has drastically risen since the last recession; and according to this chart, prices are set to steadily increase with this next crisis.

food-inflation-since-2010As Slavo points out, now is the time to invest in your future so that you can limit your exposure to this potential game changer.

  1. Get prepared. At the very least, buy food, products, and supplies in bulk to help you prepare for price inflation. If you have the means to do so, invest in 30-60 days worth of supplies so that you have everything you need. Having these on hand will help you if times become more difficult. You can use this free online series to begin creating a personal step-by-step preparedness plan for your family; or, buy the best-selling book, The Prepper’s Blueprint to use as a reference in your preparations. As well, if you can manage, get out of debt, organize your finances and find ways to free up some of your income for an emergency fund to help you create a personal safety net.
  2. Preserve wealth. Choose hard assets (dry goods, precious metals, land, livestock, skills, etc.) for long-term investments so they will hold their intrinsic value over time. Holding these types of investments will insulate you from inflation and other economic issues. Further, tying your money up in assets will help you avoid the inflating prices of food sources in the future, thus furthering your cause of self-reliant living.
  3. Invest in food. One thing analysts and financial pundits agree on is that, in general, commodities will continue to rise. When others are buying foods at inflated prices, you will be consuming your investment when it was purchased at a lower price. Using a combination of shelf stable foods, you can create a well-rounded food supply to depend on when an emergency arises. Further, these foods last a lifetime and would make sound investments for future planning. Ideally, you want to store shelf-stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. Dry goods like rice, wheat, beans, salt, honey, and dry milk will provide you with an investment that will grow in value as prices rise, and also offer you peace of mind in case the economy further degrades. This  food storage calculator can show you how much food should you need to store. As well, read Emergency Items: What Will Disappear First for more ideas.
  4. Learn how to grow your own food. In a homestead environment, a person wants the land to work for them as much as possible. Invest in fruit trees, seeds, and garden supplies. If you really want these peak foods, find a way to grow them yourself. Further, if you live in a rural area, consider investing in trees and bushes that will lure wild game. The trees and bushes can provide you with added sustenance and help you stock meat in your freezer. Here is a how-to guide for creating a garden quickly.
  5. Raise your own food. Rather than paying hard-earned money at the store for eggs, poultry and dairy—raise them yourself. Chickens are very easy to care for and can provide you with meat and eggs throughout the year. Additionally, you can find substitutions for these peak foods with a little research and ingenuity. For example, rabbits would be a suitable protein replacement and can even be raised in more urban areas. Similar to chickens, they don’t require much care and with some effort can be fed from the homestead’s garden or you can grow fodder. They are also great breeders and will provide you with ample amounts of meat. These are the 10 best meat rabbit breeds. As well, for the modest price of purchasing a fishing license, you can stock your freezer with fresh-caught fish.
  6. It all adds up. Again, do what you can to pay off debts ahead of time and work to restructure your outgoing funds to lower your expenses as much as possible. Debt only enslaves you further, and finding ways to detach from the system will break those shackles. As well, look into finding additional income streams. The more income you can set aside, the better off you will be. That way, if your main income dries up, you have a fall back income and won’t have to go into default.

 We Have a Choice

This economic crisis is projected to hit much harder than the 2008 recession and will last longer. The truth of the matter is that we stand at the brink of a precipice and the choice is yours to make: you can ignore the tell-tale signs or get ready and brace yourselves for it. It’s time to get ready because it’s about to get real.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

How Your Guard Dog Security Could Easily Be Compromised

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[Editor’s Note: We would like to think our dogs are vigilantly guarding our properties and will deter anyone who dares to enter, but this isn’t always the case. Dogs can easily be swayed and manipulated to concede.

In a SHTF scenario, you want to ensure that your dog will not back down; and training a dog to protect requires a different type of training they are given at obedience schools. Look into local guard dog training facilities in your area or training manuals like this one, if you feel confident in your abilities.  As well, do not solely rely on your canine to protect your home. Look into adding layers of security in and around the home; because as Ruby Burks points out, dogs have been trained to back down with one simple item: treats. ]


 

As those of you that have been keeping up with my posts know, I had to take an off-farm job several months ago in order to help make ends meet.  I work for a utility company located here in the Sierras and my job involves a lot of driving and even more hiking as I go from one location to the next to perform inspections.  It’s the first time I’ve worked off-farm in over five years (with the exception of working at farmers’ markets) and it’s made me realize a few things: too many people drive while talking on their phones and there are lots and lots of supposed “guard” dogs.

A large part of my job involves going onto to private property unannounced in order to do inspections.  Most people don’t realize this, but when you contract with a utility company for services, you’ve granted them easement rights and we can enter your property at any time without notice.  Most utility companies make every effort to make it as convenient for you as possible and will try to schedule appointments or at least let you know when we’re going to be in your area, but a lot of times, and especially for the type of work I do, we’re in and out to do quick, routine inspections and you’re never the wiser.

When it comes to guard dogs, I hear it all the time: people think that their dog would never allow anyone on the property or inside the house.  Or they think their dog has a ferocious bark and an intimidating presence that will deter all but the most determined criminals.  I thought the same things about my own dogs.

I inspect hundreds of locations ranging from densely populated urban areas with six-foot fenced enclosures to very rural areas with acreage in locations that require 4-wheel drive each month, unannounced, and I can tell you from experience that there have been very few times that I haven’t been able to get past the dog and onto the property.  When I enter a property, the vast majority of the time no one is home and I never know who has a dog or if that dog is loose.  I’m shocked at how easy it is to get their “guard” dog to let me in.

First, I carry an assortment of dog treats.  It’s important to have an assortment because every dog is different and some will turn their noses up at one treat, but not the other, and if I can find the treat the dog wants most, I’m golden.  As I approach an enclosure, whether it’s a six-foot solid wood backyard fence like one would find in urban/suburban areas or a cattle gate in a rural area, I always do the same thing: shake or pound on the gate to draw the attention of the dog.  The last thing I want to do is walk into a yard or onto a property and surprise a sleeping dog.  I want to see the dog and know what I’m dealing with, but more importantly, I want the dog to see me.

Once I have the dog’s attention, I size it up.  Dogs that are big enough to take me down or reach my throat slow me down and require the most coaxing, but rarely am I ever stopped from entering.  I start by talking to the dog in a sweet sing-song voice.  You know the voice- it’s the voice we all use with our own dogs when we love them up.  Next, I break out the treats.  It helps if I pretend to eat them- it shows the dog I have something delicious.  Once I know I have the dog looking at the treat (even if they continue barking at me), I toss a treat or two over or through the fence.  I have never seen a dog yet that can resist going over to investigate what just landed in their yard.  A sniffing dog stops barking and his or her mind is no longer focused solely on ripping my face off.  They always eat the treat.

If the area is fenced in anything except a six-foot solid wood fence, I attempt to get the dog to come to me to take a treat through the fence.  This does two things: it allows the dog to smell my hand and know I’m not going to strike them and it allows me to keep my hand safely behind the fence until I know your dog isn’t one of those sneaky-sneak dogs that act like they’re friendly, but in reality is just trying to trick me into a false sense of security so they can get close enough to bite.  Once the dog takes a treat through the fence, I test their obedience by commanding them to sit before I’ll give them another one.  Not every dog will- mostly because they were never taught to or because they’re just so happy to get a treat they’re too wiggly with joy to do it.  Either way, obediently sitting or silly-happy, I just got past your guard dog.

I am now free to go about my business.  While I’m there walking about your property doing whatever I want with your dog’s permission, I make a point of getting to know your dog.  Ironically, well-trained dogs are the easiest because they have been conditioned to know that if they behave, treats and praise follow.  They’re also the dogs that really want a job to do.  I have them perform basic commands for me like sit, stay, and lay down.  I’m now in command of your dog.

I’m also looking around the property or yard for any dog toys.  I love seeing a ball- that almost always means you’ve got what I call a Ball Dog.  All I have to say is, “Where’s your ball?” or something similar in an excited, happy voice and your dog is off on a mission to bring me his ball to play fetch with me.  If your dog hasn’t been taught basic commands and is instead a Happy Wiggler, I’ll make a point of stopping my work every now and then to scratch its back or otherwise give it positive attention.

Once I’m done and am ready to leave, I always make sure to either tell the dog to sit one more time and give them a treat or I’ll play with them or scratch their backs before giving them another treat.  Dogs have great memories and I know that even if I don’t come back for another month or so, they’ll remember me as the Human Who Brings Treats and Plays.  The next time I come, they’ll bark less and will trust me faster.  I’ve laid the foundation towards conditioning your dog to allow me entry.

There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but for the most part, I can get past almost any “guard” dog.  A little patience and a bagful of treats almost always guarantees me entry.  Once in, I’m able to condition your dog to remember me so that the next time I show up your dog will be even more trusting and friendly to allow me faster access.  Next up, I’ll talk about how to train your dog to prevent this conditioning from happening and the steps you can take to make it more difficult for someone to get past your dog.  Stay tuned!

Ruby is a first generation Californian who grew up in the heart of the Central San Joaquin Valley farming community. She’s been involved in agriculture for 40 years and learned to preserve food, traditional home arts, to hunt and fish, raise livestock and garden from her Ozark native mother.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The New Year: Train on the Old, and in with the New

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out with the oldReadyNutrition Readers, I wish to thank you for your comments, feedback, and insight you shared with me and the rest of us in my first year of writing with Tess Pennington and ReadyNutrition.com.  One thing you can be sure of: on behalf of Miss Tess and all of us, I reaffirm what I wrote recently, and that is you can depend on us – as a source of information exchange, new instruction, a forum for discussion, and a window into what we all need to keep preparing and stocking up.

And I am committed to you, Guys and Gals, to continue to help Miss Tess and this wonderful blog to do my part with timely information and instruction with your interests always in my mind and heart.  We all instruct one another; all learn from one another.  I have gleaned much personally from my dialogues and interactions with all of you.  I thank you for a wonderful first year of writing for you, and I am honored with the responses and contacts you have gifted me with.  You’re the heart and soul of what it means to be dedicated, self-sufficient, and resourceful with your interest and feedback.  JJ is a “very happy camper” to serve such a wonderful readership and ReadyNutrition.com.

Now that the “old” year is coming to an end, we will need to take the lessons learned from this past year and (remember: refresh on study continually!) and keep them close to mind and heart.  Such is necessary as a base and foundation for things we cover next year.  This year, in a short and summarized review, we covered such things as Bug-out/Go bags and ways to stock and employ them.  We covered a tremendous amount on Biological Warfare (a three-part series back in the late Spring/Early summer).  We went into a few pieces of equipment, reviewed some books, and gave some instruction on things such as the most likely waterborne diseasesrainwater catchment, water purification, setting up a home hospital/recovery room in event of pandemic.

We studied many different diseases and ailments and the naturopathic holistic support to aid a person in their healing, as well as covering preventative measures.  We did a series on Wilderness Survival techniques and Wilderness First-Aid.  In short, many articles covering a gamut of subjects with references and information based on training and practical experience.  I reiterate, all of the subjects I have written articles to you, I have had formal training and experience with.

I ask you to save your articles in hard-copy for your reference in the times to come: for continuous review, and also as a backup in case we ever face a long-term or indefinite power outage, stemming from man-made or natural sources. If you can’t print them off all at once, do a little at a time.  I’m certain most of you do save to hard copy, and this makes me smile: you have info that you can use, in your hands.  Read them all frequently and continually, always remembering that (as my First Sergeant used to say in the 82nd Airborne Division): “Repetition always promotes a good follow-through and success.”   He was right.

Also bring to mind what “Top” told all of us all the time (more reinforcement in itself), as I have written to you before, of which he was even more right:

            “How you train in peace is how you fight in war.”

Much of what I have tried to impart to you is that you always hold a “readiness stance,” that is, the “footing” to step off as soon as a situation throws itself into gear.  The military experience I bring to you is important, regardless of whether you have served, because we are all Americans and called upon to become citizen-soldiers when the true need arises, in whatever gifts and capacities we can serve one another.

Today’s soccer mom may be tomorrow’s key to a community’s survival: home canning and food preservation, to teach to the younger preservers, maybe serving a small, isolated town with a hundred souls.  Today’s soccer dad may be a builder by trade, but tomorrow he will be the engineer for a group laying out perimeter security projects of building and construction, building storage sheds, barns, etc., for that same community.

Today’s family member may be tomorrow’s family leader, called on to take responsibility and accountability for all of their kin, eldest to youngest.  Today you are our Readership, and (it breaks my heart to ever have to say this to you, my Countrymen), and tomorrow you may be called upon: A Citizen-Soldier, to fight a battle of survival for our country.

Review all of the techniques and articles from Miss Tess, Joshua Krause, guest-contributors such as Ruby Banks.  Review and study the things I have written to you.  It is important to reinforce the knowledge in your mind, and if you can put some of these in practicum with training?  All the better.

We’re going to go into the New Year with some goals and plans:  JJ will continue with these different subjects, and you can use many of the past year’s instruction as a basis for our ongoing studies in the coming year.  I will also interject some current events and tie them in with whatever subject I’m covering in the article.  I’m going to submit more photos and diagrams to cover many of these articles in order to help you with the instruction.  In short, the Staff and Writers of ReadyNutrition are going to be there for you in the coming year, just as in this year.

Take a few days before the New Year to reflect upon all you guys and gals have accomplished and learned.  Review these things, and go into the New Year with a fresh mind to follow after those two things you need with all of it: resolve and patience.  Outline goals you wish to accomplish.  Send in comments with requests for special subjects you wish us to cover together for you.  BTW, “Shadow,” we’ll be getting into trees and their gifts for use in survival, as you requested…haven’t forgotten you!

It has been a challenging year, but it has been great for me because of all of you.  I thank you for your support and comments and feel charged up to meet the tasks for next year with all of you.  I wish you all the blessings of the season, and a New Year with success, health, happiness, and all that your hearts wish for.  May God bless and protect you and your families, and Happy New Year.  JJ will drink a toast to all of you!  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

When You Lose Power this Winter, Here’s What You’ll Need

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winterHey there, ReadyNutrition Readers!  Hope your winter season is kicking off smoothly and productively!  Here in Montana, I’ve been “battening down the hatches,” and dealing with all kinds of kooky weather and problems that are normal for this time of year, but can be very daunting, nonetheless.  I wanted to share with you how we’ve been dealing with these problems in the Johnson cabin, and some things we’ve learned may benefit you guys and gals as well.

Firstly, we’ve been having a tremendous amount of windstorms, and less than two weeks ago, a fifty-foot pine came down and missed the house, while grazing the rain gutter and taking out one of my downspouts.  Not much that can be done there.  When that tree falls, there’s nothing that’s going to stop it.  That being said, the time to remove trees is (of course) long past.  The past two weeks we have been losing power for one to two days at a time.

Heat

The wood stove (wood burner, if you prefer) is the answer to keeping the abode heated when the temperature falls.  This is crucial to keep your pipes from freezing.  The problem being when you heat the place up too much (you should see mine…it’s only about 3’x2’x2’ but can heat the place up to 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit in nothing flat).  Too much heat, and your food in your refrigerator is going to go bad faster.

I have learned in this case to just put one or two logs in to start, and then feed it with one log at a time.  This will enable you to keep the temperature about 70 degrees and not throw so much heat on the refrigerator.  For lighting, the best thing you can shake a stick at is the tea light.  You can pick up inexpensive tea-light lanterns, and position them throughout the house.  Get the ones that have a little hinged door, and a base that’s about 1” thick.  Such will keep anything it rests on from heating up.  One of these in each room, and you’ll be good to go.  The good news is the tea light candle will burn for about 3-4 hours.

You can pick up 50 of them in Wal-Mart (unscented) for about $2.75 a bag.  Put a fresh candle in each one of your lanterns, and preposition them in your rooms judiciously.  When the lights go out, it’ll make it a lot easier for you.  I also found a really nice deal on a flashlight.  It’s made by Coast, and has about 126 lumens (not a big light), but it has a nice wide beam and can be adjusted for a spotlight. This flashlight is very similar and comes with a two-way clip that works well on a baseball cap visor.  The best part is that it runs on just one (1) AA battery.  Runs you about $20 and will fit right in your pocket, as it’s about 4” in length.

Food

Now with food: after a couple of days, you’re either going to need to hook up your fridge to a generator.  The other option is to seal up your most durable food that can take a freeze in plastic bags and place them outside in plastic bins.  You’ll have to gauge according to your geographic location.  You can use your frozen foods in the freezer to help keep your unfrozen foods cold for about another additional 24 hours.  Here in Montana, it gets cold enough that everything will freeze in general.  This works well with foods that are already cooked, and leftovers. As well, have these shelf stable foods on standby to have in your survival pantry for these types of emergencies.

Remember, with a wood stove, you can heat up your stuff in foil on a baking sheet on the top of the stove.  These actions can be taken after 48 hours, if you keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible.  Now, keep in mind: you must wrap the food in plastic and put it in bins, especially if you have either wolves or bears in your locale.  These winter scavengers (black bear…as the grizzlies are “snoozing”) are opportunistic by nature, and will come for a ready meal that is not “camouflaged” from giving off aromas.

Water

Water is an issue that needs to be dealt with before the power cuts off.  I highly recommend purchasing at least two 5-gallon water jugs for each member of the family. Yes, that’s a lot of water, but each person needs about a gallon per day.  My family uses the Water Bricks for emergencies just like these.  Stock it up before the power cuts off.  A lot of people say that you can’t use snow, but that’s malarkey: put the snow in a large pot (5 gallon) and place it on top of the wood stove.  You’ll need that anyway to keep the wood stove’s heat from drying out all of the heat in the house, as the vapors from the steam act as a humidifier.  Plus, you’ll always have hot water available, another bonus.

I also highly recommend a “porta-potty” type sitting toilet, a chair-type with a bucket.  You can line that bucket with 5-gallon plastic bags, and with the use of baking soda on each visit, you can use a bag for 5 to 7 days per person.  It’ll save you water, big time, and in a long-term outage (such as forever, with an EMP), you can burn the waste or dispose of it in a pit outside.  This of course if you don’t live in Happyville, USA with ten thousand neighbors per square mile.  If you do, and it’s grid down, then the rules “change,” so to speak.

So, stay warm, and follow some of these tips to help you with your power outages.  You can turn it into a training exercise and have a few laughs along the way as you refine your skills.  It is good training for a disaster and for the days to come in the future, should the SHTF.  Have a great day, and keep your powder dry!  JJ out.

The Prepper's Blueprint

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

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

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

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

The Six Laws of Survival: Strategies For Beating the Worst Case Scenario

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 [Editor’s Note: Our underlying goal in a SHTF scenario is ultimately to stay alive and live without exposure to risks.  As much preparation as many of us have made, in the altered world of a SHTF crisis, there will be many dangers that lurk; and some of them will be inadvertently from our own doing.

Jeremiah Johnson outlines the six laws of survival. Read this. Memorize this. Apply this. One day, you will need it.]

 

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we just finished a series on how to escape from Bill Ayers’ Summer Reeducation Camp (or Gulag 17, depending on the situation).  Now we will cover one of the most important elements of all: How to stay out of the “Happy” Camp.  Best thing of all: do not go in.  Easier said than done, however, there are some things you can do beforehand that will increase your chances of staying out of the Gulag.

These things are not complicated, however, they will require both willpower and action.  They will not be things that happen on their own.  In order to stay out of a camp, you must do something very important:

 You must do things that others do not do, and you must not do what others do.

Let us run with this concept in a scenario:

You’re in bed…it’s a Saturday morning, and you don’t have to go to any of your 3 jobs today until noon.  Your battery-powered clock seems to have stopped at 5:15 am.  Puzzled you hear the drone of jet engines, and all of a sudden the house seems as if it is shaking.  You jump up and run to the front door and as you walk onto the front porch, all hell is breaking loose.

 Your mind is playing, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica as you look up and see dozens of aircraft flying West to East, disgorging sesame seeds that sprout parachutes by the thousands, all coming down into your neighborhood.  “Red Dawn” isn’t playing: it is happening, and you’re in it.  Your neighbors didn’t bother to come wake you up; however, they’re working on starting their cars, with no success.  The paratroopers are landing, and a large crowd of people is running down Main Street to the tune of automatic gunfire in the distance.  Yep, you guessed it!  America has been invaded, and chances are you are not going to be handing out a Slurpee this afternoon.

Now what?  You must fall upon the six laws of survival or else all could be lost.

The Six Laws of Survival

In a survival scenario all bets are off and the following laws will keep you alive. These laws are rigid, but necessary. Harsh, but true. Keep your cards close and always have a plan.

Law 1: Wherever that crowd is running, do not join them.

This is not to say that they aren’t (initially) running in the right direction.  But what of it?  They are bound to be either captured en masse or worse (bombed, strafed, or shot).  For the horror of the IHM (the Incredible Human Mob), look no further than “War of the Worlds” with Tom Cruise where he and his family are driving the passenger van…right up and into the mob.  Look what happened there.  You can’t defeat their numbers, and you will be captive to them…another steer in the herd.

Strike out on your own, you and your family, avoiding the main thoroughfares at all cost, and avoiding the IHM.

Law 2: You have to have a place (and places) to go.

This is where thinking outside of the general herd will pay off.  We’re going to instruct by running through a checklist…. this will be a “handy-dandy” checklist that you can print out or run over in your mind to be able to follow rule #2.

  • Did you preposition assets (food, weapons, money, etc.) at an initial safe location?
  • Is that location within walking distance for you and your family?
  • Once there, are you and your family secure for at least a 24 – 48-hour period?
  • Safe from enemy troops/government “peacekeepers” on the hunt?
  • Safe from fallout and/or NBC agents?
  • Does it have a food and water supply to sustain all of you for 7 days?
  •  If your initial safe location has been compromised, is a duplicate location nearby?
  • Do you have a farther (more remote) location that you can reach on foot in 3 days?
  • A secure, sustainable location with supplies for at least a month?
  • Do you and your family have a handheld method of communication for each member?
  • Have you formulated short-term (initial contact, 48 hours, 7 days) plans?
  • Have you made long-term (1 month and month-by-month; 6 months and 6-month continuous analysis; 1 year) plans?

Guys and gals, these are just basics.  You must have these things in place in order to give you and your family a fighting chance.  Whether or not it is a foreign invasion or a domestic communist takeover of the United States, you must leave your home in suburbia or you will be rounded up, bringing us forward:

Law 3: You will be leaving your home, permanently or for a long time.

This is survival.  The majority of readers are not living in the mountains or in a remote location.  If you follow these steps and practice them on a dry-run on a regular basis…it will give you the advantage that most people will not have.  You must innovate: come up with ideas that others will not think of.  Do you know of an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town?  Chances are that 90% of others will think the same thing in a grid-down/Red Dawn survival scenario.  You need to find the places that are off the beaten path.  And if there are none?  It may mean that you have to create a place.

How?  By caching your supplies within the walking distances described for each part of the “safe” area.  By finding tunnels, caves, or other sub-structures that can protect you from the elements and at least afford partial protection from radiation.  By being who it is you imagine yourself to be: a prepper…a survivalist…or a survivor.  When you enter any contest, do you enter it to lose?  Do you strive for just “second place” or “second best” in this arena?  Chances are the answer is “no,” but you have to arrive on that conclusion on your own.  All of this is a challenge, and this underlines everything for you if it needs clarification:

Law 4: In survival, there is no silver medal: “second place” means death.

Forget that phrase in “The Hunger Games,” because if you are taken…the odds are not ever in your favor.  We went through a 4-article series on how to escape from the Gulag where I reiterated how important it is for you to stay out of it.  I stand by this concept.  If you are taken captive, the odds aren’t in your favor of getting out…for the duration of it.

And then guess what?  The Germans during WWII as the allies approached began to hide their transgressions by liquidating the camps…basically killing everyone that could bear any type of witness to the atrocities.  Do not think for an instant that it will not happen again.  Look at Holodomor in Ukraine and the starvation tactics the USSR used to follow after the Malthusian model.  Our enemies have very little regard for human life, and the lives they value are of their own people.  If the Chinese communists would run over their own people with tanks and sell their internal organs while they’re still alive, what will they do with us?

Which brings us to the “Malcolm X” rule:

Law 5: You must stay out and survive by any and all means necessary.

Some of you may think “JJ is a little harsh.”  I would rather be hard and harsh now, and enable you, my countrymen, to have some tools at your disposal and a “sharp tack” under the figurative buttocks of your mind to give you the impetus to do something about the situation prior to its occurrence.  The country is “long in the tooth,” and you have to grasp these concepts and act upon them now…not burn off the pages and save them in the survival archives…but use them to inculcate your own, individual plan of action now.

Rule #5 means resolving yourself to do what you must in order to protect yourself from the ravages (and not just possible, but probable death) inside of one of these camps.  These are all basic, “generic” things to begin as a base for your preparations.  This is a form of guerilla warfare!  Avoid the occupiers/oppressors at all cost!  These things will work for you…if you resolve yourself (ves) to do them.  I’ll close with a note on OPSEC (operational security): you better build off of these basics and keep all of them to yourself.

JJ is giving you the basics that you need, without revealing everything of his own plans.  Why?  Because I earned them by paying for them with years of experience and suffering, and it means my family’s survival.  Such measures would run you a lot of money and imagination; such measures come from years of practical experience and the willingness to take chances.  This thought brings us to our final rule, the failure of which means compromise leading to death:

Law 6:  Do not tip your hand or reveal your plans to anyone.

Next installment we will talk about life under occupation, be that by foreign invaders or by totalitarian state that has morphed out of a democracy.  In the meantime, prepare and plan, and when you are reasonably sure, execute a dry run.  The practice does make perfect and affords you a time and trials to iron out all of the glitches in your operations.  Until next time be good to one another and keep up the fight!

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