Tips for Using Emergency Generators

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Tips for Using Emergency Generators A backup generator can be a godsend during power outages, but making sure you’re prepared takes more than just buying one and “waiting for a rainy day.” In addition to making sure you understand how much power your property needs to function, you’ll want to make sure you get a …

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Let’s Talk Knives: 12 Things You Should Know

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kk_skeleton_review_fallkniven_survival_knifeNo survivalist’s kit is complete without at least one knife, and there’s always an open space in the collection for just one more perfect specimen. (I know many who refuse to leave the house without theirs: When going hiking or camping, you’ll almost always have a use for one.) A knife is the one thing you’d rather have and not need.

By Alex Coyne, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

Here’s what you should know about buying, using, maintaining and owning your knives…

1. You should never buy cheap.

Aron Ralston, better known as the subject of ‘127 Hours’, was forced to amputate his own arm after getting trapped in a canyon. After the event, he stated that the knife he had bought was nothing more than a standard cheap gas-station pocket knife – dull, at that. Don’t buy cheap knives. Always buy the best you can possibly afford: Something that’s going to last you a long time, something that’s not going to rust, bend or break. You never know what you’re going to need it for, and that’s a perfect example.

2. Know what to look at for quality.

Article_SOG_PIllar_Knife_USA_Made_hand_choil_full_viewJust what makes a quality knife, then? Consider brand-name manufacturers rather than something you’ve never heard of that costs half the price – sadly, that is a good rule of thumb if you’re going to need your knife for life-and-death. Generally, buy something that comes recommended: Ask around. Try several in your hand before you buy one. You want to purchase a knife that feels right – something that’s too small or too big for your hands is going to be more of a danger and annoyance to you in the long-run.

Read Also: The SOG Pillar

3. Flashy is not always better.

A lot of people pick a flashy blade for their first (or carry-on) for no other reason than… It looks flashy. Don’t do this. Buying a knife because it looks flashy and cool assumes you’re going to have a situation come up where you’re going to want to flash it. (That, if you’ve seen anyone come out of a knife fight recently, is a terrible idea.) Buy a knife for practicality, never for show. (If you want to buy a piece simply for its beauty, that’s fine, but in the case it goes!)

4. Know the laws about knives in your state.

Laws on knives (and the concealment thereof) vary by state and country: Familiarize yourself with what you’re legally allowed to carry (especially in terms of blade length) and how you’re allowed to carry it before you take your knife out on the road. It can land you in far more trouble than it’s worth.

5. Always handle your knife with care.

Zero Tolerance EDC KnifeKnives are sharp; if not, they should be sharpened accordingly. Handle your knife with care (always!) and teach anyone you give a knife to as a gift to do the same. There have been far too many accidents involving knives, and we don’t want to be responsible for any more. (Note: When storing knives in your pocket, make sure that it’s one that won’t fly open and stab you in the leg by accident.)

6. Knives can be an heirloom; consider a customized piece.

Customized pieces are available online from many excellent, specialized knifemakers. Consider this as a long-term goal, especially if you’re a keen collector or would like to pass something like this down.

7. There’s a knife for almost everything.

knives_cheap_good_average_bargainAsk yourself what you’re going to need from your knife: Is it something exclusively for preparing food when camping? Is it something for taking plant samples? Are you going diving and need a good diving knife to take along? Do you need a knife with a built-in flashlight or compass? (At this point, you might have realized that there’s a knife for almost everything and that you might need to get several to fit your needs.)

8. Learn how to sharpen a knife properly.

Fallkniven_A1-Pro_survival knife_batonSharpening your own knives is a skill that both comes with time and is best practiced on one of the cheaper knives (trust us on that!). If you don’t yet trust your own hands, have your knives sharpened professionally – it’s not as expensive as you’d imagine and it’s much better than ruining your grandad’s favourite hunting knife. For those who want to learn how to do it themselves, there are great guides on YouTube, like How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives and How to Sharpen a Knife with a Flat Stone, or you can take a look on Amazon.com for knife sharpeners.

9. What knives can and can’t do.

Never over-exert a knife: Know what kind of pressure your knife can handle. I’ve seen people try to do excessively stupid things with their knives, and well, put simply… You really shouldn’t.

10. The danger with knife-fighting.

Knife-fighting is an art unto itself, and not one that should be practiced lightly. Ever. (Open up your search engine and look up “injuries from a knife fight” if you’ve got the stomach for it; your entire perspective on knife-fighting should change right about there). If you want to learn how to fight with a knife (or take a knife off of someone in self-defense), your best bet is to take classes from a professional in the field. (Anything, and we mean anything else is bound to lead to serious injury.)

11. Knife-throwing: The cool stuff.

You might want to learn knife-throwing as a way to show off your skills, improve your dexterity or simply demonstrate that you can be bad-ass with a knife. It goes without saying that safety applies (never practice this near children, animals, other humans; anything you can hit that you shouldn’t, basically), never indoors (no matter what you’ve seen on tv) and always with proper knives (not all knives are throwing knives). There are some great lessons available on YouTube, check out these from Tim Rosanelli for starters.

Check Out: Mora Knife

12. Using knives in the kitchen, too.

chef_knifeKitchen knives deserve a special mention, as you’re going to want special knives for food preparation. Chef’s knives can be expensive, but they are guaranteed to last a lifetime if taken care of properly. Again, there are several varieties so you should shop around: From stainless steel to ceramic. There are also paring knives, scaling knives and a range of others, each suiting your individual needs.

Use the comments to tell us about your favourite knife or some handy skills you’ve picked up over the years.

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REPOST: SurvivalRing Guide #1: Five Most Important Skills for New Preppers…Set Your Foundation First (plus bonus Bug-out section)

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“Hello…We’re the Preppers…” The “Prepper” movement has grown exponentially in the last few years, thanks to reality TV shows such as “Doomsday Preppers” (aka DDP), and all the knockoff shows and repeats on many other networks, as well as online TV show services like Hulu and NetFlix. Mainstream print and online media is following in […]

The post REPOST: SurvivalRing Guide #1: Five Most Important Skills for New Preppers…Set Your Foundation First (plus bonus Bug-out section) appeared first on SurvivalRing.

Making Maple Syrup

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1_featured_syrupandshack

2_tappedinsnowMaking Maple syrup is an annual celebration of spring, as it is one of the first wild plant foods of the year and the rising of the sap marks the beginning of the spring harvest.  For the do-it-yourself tapper, it is not so much about calculating (the work to syrup ratio turns many a woodsman to purchase rather than boil, and perhaps even to the manufactured, corn syrup based, imitations) as it is about experiencing the full spectrum of early spring weather while communing with the forests and partaking in one of the most quintessentially American traditions.

By Nathaniel Whitmore, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and SurvivalCache

For me, cooking sap is a way of remembering my first mentor who taught me of wild edibles and medicinal herbs.  It is also a time to remember the Native Americans who taught early colonists how to tap Maple trees and boil the sap into syrup and sugar.  It is also a great way to start off a new year with an act of self-reliance.  Even if you don’t have the time or lifestyle to make syrup every year, you should be familiar with the basic principles and practices in the case of necessity.  The process is rather simple, but there are several things to know and be aware of.  This article will explain the basic steps of making syrup, including some information you should know about trees, the season, and the process of cooking.

When to Make Maple Syrup

When the dormant sap of trees first rises in the late winter and early spring, its sugar content is high and it is free of many of the stronger tasting constituents of the sap of a fully awakened tree.  It is this sap, that rises and descends back to the roots with the warm and cold of early spring.  Once the trees bud, the sap takes on bitter flavor and remains suspended in the tree, while the hole you drill to receive the sap through starts to heal up.

This year, because of regular warm spells, the sap is very watery.  I have not counted the gallons I boiled or the syrup resulting from it, but I have heard a couple people say that a local paper reported that the ratio was around 70 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  Good cold winters followed by ideal spring conditions (such as a March, in my area, with lots of warm days well above freezing alternating with cold nights well below freezing), produce much sweeter sap than warm winters.  We had sap flow all year and by mid February people were tapping trees and getting good sap flow.  Often, it is still much too cold in February for much sugaring.  Generally, a good year starts off with Sugar Maple yielding around 1 gallon of sap for 35 gallons of syrup.  The average for Sugar Maple is said to be 40 to 1.  The average for Red Maple is 60 to 1.  In spite of the watery sap, the syrup still tastes delicious!

Which Trees to Tap

Generally, syrup is made from Maple trees.  However, many other types of trees were tapped by Native Americans, including Birch, Ash, Hickory, and Black Walnut.  The ideal tree is Sugar Maple.  Quite a lot of syrup is made from Red Maple.  Silver Maple, Ash-Leaf Maple (Box Elder), and others can also be used.  

9_maple_leaf_imageMaple trees are relatively easy to pick out.  One distinct characteristic of Maples is that they have opposite branching.  When looking at the buds or branch silhouettes, you can see that the buds are formed directly opposite each other and the branches tend to remain that way (of course, here and there one of two opposite branches breaks off, but overwhelmingly the opposite branch arrangement is obvious).  Most other trees have alternate branch arrangement, where the branches come from one side then the other, or spiral around, so that they are alternating, rather than opposite.  A third type, such as is seen in many evergreens, is the whorled arrangement, in which several branches spread out from a certain point, or node.

The only other trees in my area besides Maple that have opposite leaves are Ash trees.  Ash are easy to tell apart because, having compound leaves, the branches are rather stout (the smaller branching taking place in the deciduous stem of the compound leaf).  Since Maple have only simple leaves, they need more finely divided branches.

Maple bark is distinct, but difficult to describe and highly variable.  Red Maples develop a much more shaggy appearance in older specimens, while Sugar Maple has its distinct folds.  Red Maples have large red buds, while those of Sugar Maple are smaller and brown.  Sugar Maple prefers upland, more exposed areas.  Red Maple prefers moist areas and is also known as Swamp Maple.  (Sugar Maple is known as Hard Maple and Red as Soft Maple because of the density of the wood.  Sugar Maple is good firewood.)

Besides the sugar content of the sap, Red Maple often doesn’t flow as well as Sugar because of the cooler shady areas it tends to grow.  Generally, people try to tap on the south side of the tree of trees with good southern exposure.  This is because on an average year, the trees that warm up the easiest run the best for syrup productions.  However, if you are tapping the same trees year after year, you will want to spiral around the tree with the taps each year to avoid damaging the “sweet spot”.

Tapping the Trees

9_dropofsapI use a non-electric drill to make the holes for my spiles.  It is a traditional tool, works well, is much more peaceful than a power drill, and doesn’t run out of battery power.  The holes are drilled so that they are a little deeper than the spile will need to go (you don’t want to smash it into the back of the hole) and at a little bit of a downward slant so the sap doesn’t stagnate in the back of the hole. When you hammer the tap, or spile, into the hole, take care not to split the tree.  If you split the tree, sap will run out of the crack and less through your spile into the sap bucket.  I listen for a change in tone as I tap.  When the hollow thud turns to a crisp note, I know the spile is seated tightly.

Hang your bucket, cover with the lid, and, if the weather is right, enjoy the pings of the drops of sap landing in the empty buckets.

Boiling Maple Sap

Cooking of the sap is best done in a shallow pan, for surface area.  Bring the sap to a good boil.  As it gets cooking and for a little while after it is boiling impurities will rise to the top in the form of foam.  Use a sieve to scoop the foam from the boiling sap. Repeat this until it is cooking well without abundant foam production.  Every time you add sap, you will need to repeat the process of removing impurities as they foam to the surface.

3_3_goldenelixerAnother type of foam marks the end of the process.  Once the sugar concentration gets to a certain point, which depends also on the temperature, it turns to foam.  This is a very important point, for if you are not carefully watching towards the end, you could miss this stage as the syrup all turns to foam and bubbles out of the pan.  Many people like to finish the process inside.  It is particularly dangerous to leave almost finished syrup unattended in your home.  It could foam over and cause some problems.  This second foam, which marks the sugar concentration of syrup, is not to be removed with the sieve – it will simply calm back down to syrup once taken off the flame.

Finishing Steps

Once cooled, the syrup should be poured into large jars and let settle so that the sediment can sink to the bottom.  You can then pour the clear syrup off the top.  It might then be left to settle again, to remove any more sediment or sugar sand.  Often, people like to filter the syrup.  It can then be jarred.

With time, and sometimes quite quickly with watery syrup, mold can develop.  In order to recover moldy syrup simply bring to a simmer again and skim the mold off the top.  Let it simmer for a bit, being careful not to let it foam over, and skim repeatedly to make sure the syrup is heated up well and the impurities are completely removed.

Equipment

4_buckets on Red MapleI use the old fashioned galvanized buckets.  Many people today use plastic equipment, including plastic hose linked together to replace buckets at each tree.  I have often wondered about ways to make syrup without these specialty spiles and buckets.  Natives would sometimes collect sap through “v” shaped cuts, rather than holes with spiles.  It is, of course, possible to fashion spile with wood, bamboo, or other plants.

The process of cooking becomes much more challenging without metal.  The large, flat, pans used for sap boiling are perfect for the job.  I can’t easily imagine trying to boil without it.  Native people used hot rocks to boil sap, and apparently for making sugar.  I am sure they had ingenious ways for doing so, but any quantity of production will be much easier (and still plenty of work) with metal.

Drinking Sap

5_maplesyrupWhen I first began making Maple syrup, I was warned not to drink the sap.  However, this old knowledge was either misguided or the wisdom, for better or worse, has been forgotten.  Today, there are many companies bottling the sap itself for commercial sale.  It is being promoted as a sort of northern version of Coconut water. Sap, especially the first of the season, is indeed delicious.  It has a noticeably sweet taste and is otherwise clean and crisp like water.  Besides sugar, it has significant mineral content. It is also enjoyable to use the partially concentrated sap for making tea and oatmeal.  So, really, there are many ways to enjoy Maple sap, straight from the tree, during the cooking process, and as syrup.

Even if making Maple syrup is not much of an option, sap is a potentially important clean water substitute.  Weather permitting and without a good water source, it could be possible to tap a tree in the spring and collect the sap for cooking and drinking.  I mostly use 3 gallon buckets on the trees and on good days they can overflow.

One year I made some syrup from Black Birch when boiling from a stand of Red Maple.  The Maple ran for a couple weeks before the Birch started.  The Birch continued after the Red Maple had stopped.  The Black Birch produced copious amounts of sap.  Similarly, the Black Walnut that we tapped this season, though it dripped a little when first drilled it did not run much at first, when the Sugar Maple were productive, but then started to run well.  So, the staggered timing of the various tree’s sap flow is significant.  Knowing when which trees tend to run could help you collect sap beyond the season of any one species.

Pancake Ideas

pancakes_syrupOne final thought about Maple syrup- pancakes!  Since much of the delight in Maple syrup is in gathering food from the trees, I especially like to include other ingredients from the trees when eating it.  One of my favorites is acorn pancakes.  Properly prepared acorns are delicious and make very tasty pancakes.  I also like to use Slippery Elm powder as an ingredient.  (Sometimes, I simply make a gruel with Slippery Elm and Maple syrup.  It is very delicious.)  Walnuts can be added for additional flavor and nourishment from the trees.

The obvious drawback to Maple syrup is its high simple sugar content.  For this reason, I also like to use Cinnamon at times in my pancakes.  Cinnamon is known to help with blood sugar problems.  Blueberries (and other dark-colored fruits) are also good, as their high antioxidant content helps offset the sugar concentration.  Using such healthy ingredients makes enjoying Maple syrup a more wholesome and nourishing experience.

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How to Make a Power Outage Bearable

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How to Make a Power Outage Bearable Power outages are actually a common occurrence, especially if you get a lot of snow in the winter or a lot of storms in the spring. The refrigerator stops running and everything starts to defrost. If you live in the tropical climate, the air conditioning is the first …

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SHTF Life Hacks | Secret Prepper Tip List

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SHTF Life Hacks | Secret Prepper Tip List We definitely have to think outside of the box and exercise some improvisation skills when we’re prepping for SHTF, and it helps to get tips and tutorials from others who have figured out some hacks themselves.  Survival Life has a list of tips and tutorials from other …

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17 Camping Hacks, Tips, & Tricks You’ll Wish You Knew Earlier

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17 Camping Hacks, Tips, & Tricks You’ll Wish You Knew Earlier As I’ve mentioned a couple of times this Fall, it’s camping season! 🙂 Camping is a great way to improve and develop your survival and self-sufficiency skills through hunting/fishing for food, learning to build a shelter, start a fire… you get the point. Food …

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50 Essential Backpacking Tips You Need to Know

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50 Essential Backpacking Tips You Need to Know Trouble has gone down. You’re in the wilderness with a backpack on and no contact with the outside world. You don’t know when you’ll next see the sparkling lights of the city, or what kind of state the city will be in. Or, perhaps not. Perhaps this …

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45 Survival/SHTF Tips

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45 Survival/SHTF Tips If you look long enough you will find millions and millions of hacks, tips and advice to help you with every situation known to man. Well, this article is no exception. Survivehive shows us 45 survival & SHTF tips that we all can learn even if we are seasoned survivalists. I have recently started wearing …

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10 Clever Food Preservation Tricks You Likely Won’t Find On YouTube

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10 Clever Food Preservation Tricks You Likely Won’t Find On YouTube

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

There is no doubt that the world wide web contains a wealth of information. How-to videos are easy to find for just about everything, and articles full of clever hints and hacks are all over the place.

But this article is not just another list of cute-but-impractical ideas. Most of these tricks are ones which I actually use myself on a regular basis to make my food preservation projects easier and more efficient. (I will explain the two exceptions at the end.)

Although I have embraced the arts of home food preservation for less than 10 years and have spent much of that time on a steep learning curve, I have been fully immersed in everything homesteading and surrounded by others who share the lifestyle. As a result, I have been able to pack plenty of great ideas into my bag of food preservation tricks, and have compiled a few of my favorites to share with others on the same journey.

1. Store onions in nylon hose. Aside from temperature and humidity control, one of the other important factors in keeping onions fresh is preventing them from touching each other. The key to accomplishing this is easy: Just store them in nylon stockings with knots tied between them. Any sort of hose will do; if you have tights or panty hose, just cut off the legs for use and throw out the top. Make sure they are clean, of course, since you will be storing your food in them. Place an onion into the clean hose, push it all the way to the toe, tie a knot in the hose, and repeat with another onion and another knot. Leave enough hose at the top to tie a loop, and hang the loop from a nail on the rafters of your cellar or a hook on the ceiling of your food storage area.

2. Keep apples separate during storage. Many people do not realize that apples give off a gas which causes other fruits and vegetables to ripen more quickly. While this is a great way to treat unripe fruit in a mixed fruit bowl, it creates unfavorable conditions for root cellars and can cause loss of produce. If at all possible, keep your apples stored apart from your squash and root vegetables.

10 Clever Food Preservation Tricks You Likely Won’t Find On YouTube

Image source: Pixabay.com

3. Use a scoop for pesto. After years of doing it the way everyone else does, I finally came up with a better way. The conventional method for freezing pesto is to put it in ice cube trays, freeze it, and then pop it out and store it in zip-top bags. Nice, unless you are the one who has the tedious job of cleaning out all of those oily little individual ice cube cups. This year, I tried using a small ice-cream style scoop—specifically, a size 40 disher, for those who use restaurant equipment—instead. My freshly processed pesto was too soft immediately, so I chilled it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, it was the perfect consistency for using a disher to make little balls of pesto. I scooped it out onto waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Once frozen that way, it was an easy task to toss the perfectly shaped and portioned pesto balls into a zip-top bag for storage, and cleanup was a breeze.

4. Use whatever fruits you have on hand for fruit leather. I am a great believer in adhering to food preservation recipes, with one exception. Fruit leather projects around my place turn into a fruit free-for-all. If I happen to be making peach leather, but there are a couple of bananas that are a little too soft for fresh eating lying on my countertop, I throw them into the food processor with the peaches.

‘Miracle Oil Maker’ Lets You Make Fresh Nut Oils Within Minutes!

On the other hand, if my apple leather project happens when there are once-frozen peaches now thawed and unappealingly discolored in the refrigerator, they end up in the leather as well. Mixing fruits for leather is safe and generally rewarding.

5. Use a salad spinner when blanching vegetables. This is a fantastic tip I learned from my Master Food Preserving Program instructor. After processing your broccoli or green beans in boiling water and then plunging them into an ice bath, the next step is to remove as much water as you can before packing them into freezer containers. You can spin almost all vegetables dry using a salad spinner, even the bulky ones like cauliflower or Brussels sprouts—just cut the vegetables into reasonably sized chunks and be sure not to overload the spinner.

6. Use a regular drinking straw to remove the air from freezer bags. The more air you can remove when packaging vegetables into zip-top bags, the better quality the frozen result will be. You can buy a vacuum seal machine if you want to, but that means greater expense, additional storage space and hassle, higher cost for bags, and less ability for reuse. Alternatively, you can manually suck the air out with a straw and pinch the seal around it as you withdraw the straw. It is an easy process and takes only a few seconds per bag.

10 Clever Food Preservation Tricks You Likely Won’t Find On YouTube

Image source: Pixabay.com

7. Keep jars warm in the canner. This sounds like a no-brainer, but many experienced home canners do not know about this. When I prepare for a canning project, I first place my clean jars into whatever canner I am using, cover them with water, and set them on the stove to heat. By the time my product is prepared and I am ready for jars, I simply lift them out a few at a time for filling, and return them afterwards for processing. You will have too much water for pressure canning this way and will have to pour some out before processing, because you need just a few inches instead of enough to cover the jars. If you heat your lids, you can drop them into the canner with the jars as well.

8. Mouse-proof plastic totes with hardware cloth. Large plastic storage totes make perfect storage for root cellaring, except for the problem of what to do about the lid. If you leave it on, the vegetables cannot breathe and the air in the container will become too humid. But if you take it off, rodents get into your bounty. The solution is to cut out a piece in the center of the lid and cover the hole with hardware cloth using heavy-duty glue or duct tape. You can adjust the size of the mesh according to the particular pests that threaten your produce, and may even need to use window screen if insects are an issue.

9. Keep raw tomatoes in the freezer until you have enough for processing. There is a lot of space between having just enough to eat fresh and having enough to can a whole batch of sauce. In the interim, many wise home food processors simply toss them into the freezer. When there is enough—or when you have time to do the work—simply take them out and cook them as usual, remove the skins in a food mill, and continue the sauce work.

10. Store berries in the freezer for making jam later. There is a lot of living to be crammed into short northern summers, and sometimes there is not time for jamming when the berries are ripe. And besides, standing over a pot of boiling fruit is far more appealing in November than it is in August. Using frozen and then thawed berries for jam can be the answer to short, hot busy summers.

The last two items are those which I do not do personally. The reason is simple—freezer space. I begin every summer with an empty 15-cubic-foot freezer, and by early October every square inch is full. I have a second freezer which I use for meats and other miscellanea, but space is at a premium in that one, as well. By the time my long-season paste tomatoes start ripening, there is no room for them in either freezer.

By incorporating some of these simple tips into your regular routine, you can benefit from the tried-and-true wisdom of the homestead community and begin to build your own bag of food processing tricks.

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

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All Things Fishing!

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All Things Fishing! Josh “The 7P’s of Survival” This week on the 7 P’s of Survival Radio show we will be talking all things fishing with Brook Pauley a member of the BASS and FLW fishing tours and also the owner of Rocky Brook Sinkers. We will spend time talking about his sinker line, his … Continue reading All Things Fishing!

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117 Essential Survival Tips and Tricks

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117 Essential Survival Tips and Tricks Any time that your life is on the line, a cool head and some common sense is your best bet.  Most people that die in the wild do so because they panic and stop thinking logically.  If you sit down and assess your situation, you will soon find that …

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Gadgets The Prepper Might Forget!

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Gadgets The Prepper Might Forget! Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” When we prep we think we have everything we need, well.. maybe not. In this episode we will be all about prepper oriented gadgets. Maybe you have forgotten a few? Here’s a chance to add them to your list, or maybe you are prepared! We shall see what all … Continue reading Gadgets The Prepper Might Forget!

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Braid with No Leader: Do you Really Need a Leader when Fishing with Braided Line?

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Why would you fish Braided Line without a Leader? On 90% of my setups I use Braided Fishing line; very rarely do I use a Fluorocarbon or Mono Leader on my setup… […]

The post Braid with No Leader: Do you Really Need a Leader when Fishing with Braided Line? appeared first on Monster Fish and Game: Fishing and Hunting tips, tricks and techniques.

Kitchen DIY: Basic Dutch Oven Tips

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If you are a prepper then a Dutch Oven is a must have item. The dutch oven tips in this article make it versatile enough that you can use it cook anything you cook in a regular oven. You can make pies, bread, stew, roasts outdoors using hot charcoal instead of inside using a traditional oven. Dutch Ovens are just metal cooking pot. Most often they are made of heavy cast-iron. They come in all sorts of dimensions and configurations, but if you plan on cooking on a fire, get one that has three short legs on the bottom, and

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Would Taxes Survive a SHTF Event?

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shtf taxes

As I look at the various disaster scenarios that people are preparing for, I see some common themes come forth. One of the most common I see is that the federal government will disappear in any major, nationwide catastrophe.

It almost seems to be wishful thinking, as if people are hoping that a serious enough disaster will occur so that we have to go back to the Constitution and start over, building a new government to go with our reborn nation.

While there is a certain attractiveness in the idea of getting rid of our bloated federal government and its myriad regulations, I don’t have a whole lot of hope in that happening. In fact, I’d have to say that I’ve got some bad news in that regard. The government would go on, regardless of what happens to the rest of us.

Governments are parasites and like any other parasite, they’ll allow their host to die, while ensuring that they themselves survive. Our government is so firmly entrenched, with well over two million federal government employees on the public payroll, there is little chance that they will all just go away, let alone the almost 22 million total government employees in our country, when you take into consideration, local, state and county employees too.

The fact of the matter is, we need our government, even though we may not need everything it does. The basic government functions are critical to us surviving as a nation and provide services that we all need to have, in order to live and work together. Granted, there are many government organizations which do nothing more than create more and more regulations, destroying businesses and making life difficult for us all, but they aren’t the whole government. There are actual useful functions that the government fulfills.

Even in the recent crashes of national economies, we haven’t seen any governments close their doors. Greece, Cyprus and Argentina governments all continued working, even while large portions of their populations were out of work, losing their homes and having trouble putting food on the table.

What to Expect?

With the world’s governments becoming more and more liberal, and being driven to become more liberal by organizations like the Bilderberg Group, we can expect the prevailing liberal attitude that governments create jobs, not businesses to continue. Even though there is no proof to back up that claim, the idea of large central governments is central to the progressive liberal ideology and the one-world government they want to create.

This means that any future calamities, especially financial collapses of countries monetary systems, may lead to a number of austerity measures levied upon the population of those countries, but it won’t lead to any reduction of government. If anything, it will lead to an increase in government spending, which means an increase in taxes.

There are only three ways in which governments can receive money to operate on.

  • The first and most common is taxes. From time immemorial, kings and princes levied taxes on their peasants, so that they could build their castles and fight their wars. Modern governments have merely made their taxing of the common folk, who they still look at as peasants, more sophisticated and the waste of that tax money more prolific.
  • The second way that governments receive money is to borrow it. In a very real sense, the world is owned by a handful of bankers, chief amongst which is the Rothschild family, the world’s only trillionairs. These bankers own the majority of the world’s Federal Reserve banks, producing money which they loan to governments and individuals. They own the world in that everyone ultimately borrows from them, having to pay that money back with interest.
  • Finally, governments can receive money by creating it out of thin air. That’s actually the whole purpose of the Federal Reserve. By eliminating the gold and/or silver standard for money and replacing it with a Federal Reserve, governments give themselves the ability to create money from nothing. This is a large part of how our government has made up for the budgetary shortfall, as well as prop up the stock market, preventing it from crashing.

Quantitative easing, the technical term for creating money out of thin air, is actually a rather elaborate means of stealing from the people. Every time the government releases more money into the economy, it reduces the value of all existing money a minuscule amount. But the cumulative effect of that is a reduction of the money’s value to the point that in 100 years (1912 to 2012) the value of the dollar was reduced 98%.

So with these three methods as being the only ways that our government can receive revenue, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that they will stop collecting taxes, when and if a SHTF event were to happen. In fact, even a TEOTWAWKI event would be unable to stop the collection of taxes.

That’s not to say that it will always be easy for the government to collect those taxes, but if there is one place where governments are willing to do the hard things, it’s in collecting taxes. They will find a way.

It’s clear from the examples of recent history, that the government would continue to collect taxes through a financial collapse. In fact, it’s clear that taxes would skyrocket in such a case, as well as the government literally stealing money out of people’s bank accounts. Other governments have done it and there’s really no reason to think that our government is any more honest than any of them are.

The one situation which could cause some serious problems for the government, as far as tax collection is concerned, would be the loss of the electrical grid. Actually, loss of the electric grid by an EMP would be even worse. The vast majority of our nation’s wealth, including personal wealth, doesn’t exist in printed money or even gold bars; it only exists on a computer’s memory.

Unless the banking system and the government have a much better backup system than I believe they do, with computers and records that are immune to an EMP, such an event would destroy the vast majority of the nation’s wealth. The only money which would still exist is that which is printed, a small fraction of our total cumulative national wealth.

It would be difficult to collect taxes in such a case, as the records needed for collecting them would disappear, along with everything else. But that’s not to say that the government would forego collecting taxes. They’d collect them, even if it meant sending IRS agents door-to-door collecting whatever they could.

If anything, taxes would become more draconian under such a system than they are now. IRS agents would insist on payment in cash and if the people didn’t have cash, they would take whatever they had, selling it for cash. People could easily lose their homes, their businesses and their very means of survival under such a system; and there would be little to no recourse that they could use to regain what the government takes from them.

So, to answer the question I posed in the title of this article, yes, taxes would survive a SHTF event. Even in cases where not much else would survive, we could count on taxes surviving. As the old saying goes, “There’s two things you can be sure of in this life, death and taxes.”

A few people might manage to escape the attention of the IRS agents in such a case. Specifically, those who managed to escape to a prepared survival retreat would be hidden from the many eyes of the IRS… at least for a while. But you can be sure that even those people would be found eventually and the IRS would seek to extract their pound of flesh, with interest.

new EMP01

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

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Be creative, make it yourself!

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Be creative, make it yourself!
Brett Bauma “Makers On Acres

make Aquaponics_with_catfishOn the next episode of the Makers On Acres Tech, Build and Grow show we are going to be talking about getting creative and starting to make our own things for life.

2-13-16 Rankine_cycle_layoutMany of us have hands on talents, either from our past jobs, or just growing up in an era where it used to be taught.  On this episode, I am going to be discussing ways that we can take our creative ideas and start turning them into operable things.

On the last episode I talked about a steam powered generator. The steam powered generator is something I have been wanting to make for some time now and have not pulled the trigger on it yet.

2-13-16 800px-Pellet_Stove_burn_potSo what is the next step? How do I get this design out of my head, on paper, then ultimately running? We will talk about ways to design, and software that can be used to help you get your creations on paper. Once you get it on paper the next step will be getting your hands dirty and making it work.

I  dive into some of the tips and tricks for research, design, product sourcing and more. I also  discuss why it is important for us to hone our skills and learn to create our own things. If we are ever to be truly independent and self-reliant we need to know how to be creative and effective with our knowledge and skills.
Makers On Acres:Website: http://makersonacres.com/
Join us for Makers On Acres “LIVE SHOW” every Saturday 9:00/Et 8:00Ct 6:00/Pt Go To Listen and Chat

Listen to this broadcast or download “Be creative, make it yourself” in player below!

Get the 24/7 app for your smart phone HERE! 
Put the 24/7 player on your web site HERE! 
Archived shows of Makers On Acres Live at bottom of THIS PAGE!

The post Be creative, make it yourself! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

What Preppers and Survivalists Actually Buy

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There are lots of products marketed to preppers and survivalists, but did you ever wonder what those folks actually buy? Here are the recent top-selling gear and books (in order of numbers sold) from my online store:

1) Vietnam Era Surplus Snare/Trip Wire

2) Survival Pocket Chain Saw with Pouch

3) Cold Steel Peace Maker II Knife

4) Pocket Fisherman Spin Casting Outfit

5) Pocket Constitution

6)  Jones Stephens 4-Way Sillcock Key

7) UCO Long-Burn Matches 50 Pack

8-tie) Spectra Braided Fishing Line 6-300Lb Test 

8-tie) Small First Aid Storage Bag

10-tie) Nite Ize DoohicKey Multi-Tool

10-tie) WaterBrick Stackable Water/Dry Goods Container
 
12)  Going Galt: Surviving Economic Armageddon

13) Countdown to Preparedness: Prepper’s 52 Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness

14) Nitecore TUBE 45 lumen USB rechargeable keychain light

15) Curad Bloodstop Hemostatic Gauze

3 Emergency Survival Tips!

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3 Emergency Survival Tips!

12-21-15 katrinaThere are many types of natural disasters in the world today. There are hurricanes, tidal waves, bush fires and floods. Most of these emergency disasters manifest themselves when you least expect them. Their effects can change lives and even kill people in the hundreds of thousands. If you are prepared for the event before it happens, there is a far greater chance that you and your family will be able to weather it out (no pun intended) and be safe and sound at the end of it all.

Whether you buy gold for prepping or food supplies to stockpile on,
there are going to be many ways you can prepare for impending disaster and not appear to be a doomsday nut to your neighbors. Here are a few useful tips you can follow to ensure that you are prepared for natural disasters and their aftermath:

Have breakout tools

If your region is prone to floods, make 12-21-15 emergency floodsure your home has the equipment necessary to deal with this on hand at all times. This includes an axe to clear out any obstacles as well as life vests and preservers for emergency situations. In hurricanes and major storms, people can get trapped in their homes. The rising water levels will then gradually reduce your breathing space until it runs out and you drown. With an axe in hand, you will be able to cut your way to the roof of your home and stay safe, high and dry until rescue comes for you.

Water will save your life

Water is one of the most important survival items that you can have. It is integral to your survival and your life. While you could live for days, and even weeks, without food, you wouldn’t last three days without water. If it is a hot climate, you will die in a day or two. Make sure that you have a gallon of water per day for every person in your family unit set aside, for at least three days. This is a lot of water, but it will definitely pay off when the going gets tough.

The minimum amount of water needed for a person to live during a normal day is about 1 quart. This means that there can be no physical activity either. You will still feel dehydrated, but in reality you will be at the very edge of that cliff looking over. Remember that during natural disasters like landslides and storms, water supplies can be contaminated and become undrinkable. You will be thankful for the disaster storage tank of water you have in your attic then.

Get a portable filter

Homespun 150x1501In order to ensure that you can have water to drink even after your supply of stored drinking water is over, get a water filter for your home. There are natural water filters that use layers of sediment and rock in order to purify contaminated water and make it good for drinking. While it won’t be as good as boiled and treated water, it will provide a low-toxicity supply of drinking water indefinitely. In addition to this, if you stock up on chemicals to purify water, you are going to be good to go for a few weeks if you want to.

The post 3 Emergency Survival Tips! appeared first on The Prepper Broadcasting Network.

10 Tips For Comfortable Sleeping In The Rain

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10 Tips For Comfortable Sleeping In The Rain This article has great info on how to have a comfortable nights sleep if you have to bug out or are stuck away from home in an emergency and its raining it might not be as bad as you think… Rain is ultimately inevitable and might as well learn how …

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3 Must-Have Skills For Every Prepper Getting Ready For SHTF

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All About Preppers

3 Must-Have Skills For Every Prepper Getting Ready For SHTF By Mike Kuykendall

You may be an aspiring “Doomsday Prepper” or maybe you are just concerned about something short of a full-blown “SHTF” scenario. Either way, you are wondering what you can do, right now, to become better prepared for a natural disaster, terror attack […]

The post 3 Must-Have Skills For Every Prepper Getting Ready For SHTF appeared first on All About Preppers.

Vital Herb Properties Series Part 1

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“Vital Herbs and Properties”

* Indicates included with herbal survivalist herbal kits

Target: All Main Systems
Survival: Medicine, Food

The properties of a herb are important so one can know its most effective application(s) most herbs have several properties but some herbal is come herbs to combine the properties as well to maximize the healing effects on an application. We will talk on this topic in another part.

Tinctures,Teas Concotions, Tonics:

  • *Echinacea: antibacterial, mild antiseptic, imune system stimulant, increases the number of white blood cells by increasing the level of a substance called properdin.
  • *Cayenne: antispasmodic, diaphoretic
  • *Lemon Balm: Nervine, AntiViral, Anti bacterial
  • *Dandelion: a supplementation of vitamins, A, K, and C also magnesium with trace minerals of calcium, manganese, blood purifier, bacterial flush.
  • *Slippery Elm Bark: A superfood, mucilaginous, demuculant, nutritive, mucilage, fibrous, diuretic,pectoral. 
  • *White Willow: Anti- inflammatory, aspirin like effect, antibacterial, antiviral,nerve pain, tooth aches.
  • Marshmallow Root: anti-inflammatory, mild immune system stimulent.
  • Wild Cherry Bark: astringent, tonic, pectoral,sedative,stimulant.
  • Horehound: anti bacterial, antiviral, diaphoretic, expectorant, diuretic, stimulant,hepatic.
  • Mullen: Antiviral, antibacterial, antispasmodic, vulnerary,astringent,demulcent. 
  • Licorice Root: laxative, tonic, expectorant, demulcent, pectoral,emollient.
  • Yarrow Root: astringent, tonic, alterative, diuretic,vulnerary,diaphoretic.
  • Valerian: aromatic, stimulant tonic, anodyne, antispasmodic, nervine,emmenagogue.
  • Skullcap: antispasmodic,nervine, tonic diuretic
  • Black Cohosh: emmenagogue,nervine, altertative, expectorant, diaphoretic, astringent, antispasmodic.
  • Astragals: Anti bacterial, Anti viral, Imune system Stimulent
  • Burdock Root diuretic:, depilatory, alterative,  
  • Elderberry: emetic, cathartic. Flowers diaphoretic, exanthematous, alliterative,emollient, discutient, rubriifacient, stimulant.

Essential Oils:

  • Spearmint: antibacterial
  • Myrrh: antimicrobial, astringent, expectorant, antifungal, stimulant, carminative, stomachic, anticatarrhal, diaphoretic, vulnerary, antiseptic, immune booster, circulatory, tonic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic.Thyme:antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant
  • *Oregano: antibacterial, antiviral
  • Basil: antiseptic, antispasmodic, carmative, cephalic, digestive, emmenagogue,febrifuge, nervine, tonic.
  • *Lavender: antimicrobial,antibacterial
  • *Tea Tree: antviral, antifungal,
  • *Peppermint: analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astrigent, carmative, cephalic, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, fribrifuge, nervine, stmulant, stomachic.
  • Frankincense: immune system support, antibacterial, healthy skin and wound healing support 
  • Lemon: stimulating, calming, carminative, anti-infection, astringent, detoxifying, antiseptic, disinfectant, sleep inducing, and antifungaGrapefruit:
  • Orange: anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diuretic, tonic, sedative and cholagogue substance.
  • Thieves: antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial,antiseptic,anesthetic
  • *Clove: Anesthetic
  • *Eucalyptus: eucalyptus oil are analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-neuralgic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, astringent, balsamic, cicatrisant, decongestant, deodorant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, rubefacient, stimulant, vermifuge and vulnerary.Rosemary: analgesic, antidepressant, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, cordial, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, hepatic, hypertensive, nervine, rubefacient, stimulant, sudorific and tonic.Clary Sage: anti convulsive, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, digestive, nervine, tonic, sedative.
  • Lime: antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, aperitif, bactericidal, disinfectant, febrifuge, haemostatic, restorative and tonic substance.Ginger: anti-inflamatory
  • Cinnamon: antiseptic

Save This List for Spring Cleaning!

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With the cold spell making us long for springtime, you might wanna bookmark this blog post…37 Deep Cleaning Tips Every Obsessive Clean Freak Should Know.

Now, contrary to that article’s title, deep cleaning isn’t limited to “obsessive clean freaks” and it’s definitely not limited to the spring time. For example:

  • Ever considered using citrus fruits to clean a dirty drain? See #12
  • Or how-about using half of a bagel to clean an old painting? See #25
  • Ever used your fabric softener sheets to keep your baseboards looking sharp? See #15

There’s quite a few more for you to see at Buzzfeed’s post in the above link.

Enjoy!

The post Save This List for Spring Cleaning! appeared first on LPC Survival.

Keep pics of your pups…and kitties!

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No one likes to think about it, but it’s quite possible that after a disaster, you’ll be separated from your beloved furry and/or feathered friends. In addition to having your companion animals microchipped, keep a recent photo of them in your wallet or smartphone. It’ll make it that much easier to be reunited…just in case.

Is that duct tape in your pocket?

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Duct Tape: is there nothing it can’t do??

But who wants to carry around a big ol’ roll of it on their person, let alone in their already-bulky emergency kit?

For a clever way to store this handy “tool,” just wrap a strip of it around something, then unspool as needed. That “something” can be as thin as an old credit card, or even an empty tube of lip balm! Get creative!

What to do when there is no loo

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PrintBuild a homebrew port-a-potty

There’s really no delicate way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it: everybody poops.

And if a disaster results in no water to your household pipes, the sanitation issue can become pretty dire in a hurry.

Rather than wallow in pestilence or attempt to cross your legs until utilities are restored, it’s a good (nay, a FABULOUS) idea to put together a port-a-potty kit. The components are cheap and ubiquitous. One trip to your local hardware store will set you up. Use your 60 seconds to copy down this list for your next Home Depot run:

  • 5-gallon bucket with lid
  • Toilet seat
  • Heavy-duty trash bags (like you use for yard waste)
  • Kitty litter

If/When the time comes to put your kit into service, assemble it like so:

  • Open bucket
  • Line bucket with open trash bag
  • Pour in a few cups of kitty litter
  • Top with toilet seat

After use, add a few more cups of kitty litter, remove the toilet seat, and seal the bucket with its lid. You can see how after several uses, you’ll have the world’s most disgusting lasagna, but at least the human waste is contained, and the litter will keep it from reeking. When the bucket is close to full, tie up the used bag and put it in a corner of your yard away from human and pet activity. If you have a sealed trashcan for the waste storage, that’s even better.

Hey, no one said emergency preparedness was pretty…but at least this little kit can keep an emergency situation from getting downright disgusting!