9 Tips to Avoid the Summertime Prepping Slump

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It’s so easy for the hot, lazy days of summer to just sort of run into each other in a haze of heat and laziness. Then the day arrives when it’s time once again to get the kids ready for school, and we ask, where did the summer go?

If your prepping goals have taken a break right along with your pledge to have the kids do daily math drills and read for at least 30 minutes every day, then here are a few prepping activities and tips to avoid the summertime prepping slump.

1.  Get the kids involved in prepping activities

If they’re sitting around the house doing nothing, then they can help you prep! Children can fill canning jars, mylar bags, and buckets with dry goods and oxygen absorbers. They can help weed the garden and pick ripe fruits and vegetables. They can wash and prepare produce for canning and dehydration. Kids can go through their closets and drawers and pull out toys they no longer play with and clothing that no longer fits.

Hey, every time they say they’re bored, give them a prepping related task, like the ones on this list! They’ll have something productive to do and you’ll accomplish your prepping goals more quickly.

2.  Learn something as a family

Check out online calendars for craft stores, REI, Cabela’s, gyms, and your city’s summertime offerings. Many of these are survival and/or prepping related, such as learning how to read a compass, learning how to crochet or sew, etc. and very often these classes are free.

If these resources aren’t readily available to you, then check out a how-to book or watch some how-to YouTube videos on something your family would like to learn and do it yourselves!

TIP: Browse through my Skill of the Month page for dozens of ideas that will appeal to all members of your family!

Or, ask around and see if there is someone in your circle of friends and acquaintances who has a skill you would like to learn and is a willing teacher.

3.  Turn a family outing or vacation into survival training!

Camping, hiking, fishing — those are all survival related, fun, and everyone can be involved. Check out these articles with more information about enjoying the great outdoors, as a prepper:

7 Summer Children’s Activities for Sowing Survivalist Seeds

25 Things I Learned From Long-Term Camping

A Camping Skill Basic: Safe Fire Building

Camping is More than Just Equipment — Here is a list of skills you need to have

Make This Summer a Family Camping Summer

Survival Mom Camping-Survival Secrets

And then there’s my series on family road trips. As a veteran of some 16,000 highway miles, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert in this area!

Eating On the Road: A Family Road Trip Survival Plan

Survive the Family Road Trip With These 13 Tips

Surviving the Family Road Trip

4.  Check into summer day camps related to prepping

Two summers ago my kids learned rifle skills in a 2-day camp at a local gun range. Lots of towns and cities start the summer with directories of these day camps.  If your kids are in a day camp or have gone away to camp, learning some sort of practical skill, then you’ll have time to either take a nap, read a relaxing book (just for fun!), or do anything else you like! Free time for mom is necessary!

5.  Amass produce in quantities and begin canning and dehydrating

Summer is prime produce time. Even if your garden was a flop or you didn’t get certain items planted, there are probably local gardeners and farmers who would love to share their bounty. Some might even be willing to trade a portion of their harvest for a portion of yours.

Bountiful Baskets is a large produce co-op that operates in many states. Do an internet search for “produce co-ops” in your area and you may end up finding a source of delicious, fresh product that you can then preserve for later.

Here are a few resources I’ve accumulated here to help you with canning different foods;

Once you have a good amount of green beans or tomatoes or whatever, make a simple plan for canning, dehydrating, and/or pickling. If your kids are whining about being bored, then you know who your helpers will be!

6.  Get away from the electronics!

Nothing zaps energy faster than sitting in front of a TV or computer screen hour after hour. Not only is time wasted but our minds and bodies become accustomed to inaction and it becomes even hard to get up and start doing something!

Allow yourself and the kids only a certain number of minutes per day in front of a screen.

7.  Take a few minutes to make lists to organize your prepping activities

A lot of time we find ourselves in a slump because we’re unfocused and are not sure what to do next. I’ve found that when I have all my scattered goals written down, it helps immensely.

Three lists that have helped me stay organized and focused on my preps are To Learn, To Do, and To Buy. From my book, Survival Mom:

List #1: To Learn
On this list you’ll keep track of skills and knowledge you realize will be important. A few examples on my own list are: Learn to tie various knots and know when to use them; work on creating recipes from my food-storage ingredients; and push my knitting skills to a higher level and knit a pair of socks.

Interestingly, many items on this list won’t cost a dime. If your budget is already strained, and buying even a few extra cans of tuna is a stretch, put more time and energy into learning skills, gaining knowledge, and seeking out other Survival Moms as resources.

List #2: To Do
Here’s another list that doesn’t have to empty out your bank account. Have you been meaning to compile all your important documents or inventory a garage filled with tools? Do you need to prepare your garden for the spring season?

There are simply dozens of things we intend to do, but they flicker in and out of our minds and are then . . . gone! As you read this book, start adding tasks to a To Do list and keep track of what you accomplish. It’s very empowering to see progress, although you will likely never have an empty To Do list!

List #3: To Buy
Although Lists 1 and 2 will keep you busy, there’s really no way around List 3. Stocking up on food, extra toiletries, good quality tools, and other supplies requires money. However, the good news is that a master To Buy list will help set priorities, keep you on budget, and even provide a shopping list when hitting the garage sale circuit.

Without a To Buy list, you may very well find yourself (a) spending money on things you later discover tucked away in a back cupboard or (b) snatching up purchases in a panic. This list helps save money as well as time.

8.  Assess whether or not the emotions that started your prepper journey have changed

If we begin a project or set a goal based mostly on emotion, when that emotion fades, and it will, very often our motivation fades as well. If you began preparing out of fear or panic, it’s likely that you’re not as motivated as you once were.

That’s all perfectly normal. However, if the logical part of your brain is convinced that prepping is important to the well-being of your family. You’ve just entered a new level of motivation based on rational conclusions. This is where lists come in handy: To Do, To Learn, To Buy. They’ll help you stay focused on what is most important regardless of the current state of your emotions.

9.  Start making plans and goals for when the kids are back in school

Summers are wonderful but let’s face it. When the kids return to school, so do routines. Having a predictable schedule once again will help you set priorities, focus on achieving small prepping goals, continue with prepping activities, and become the Super Survival Mom of your dreams!

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Solar TV: Entertainment Everywhere

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Solar Power, TV, Off-grid, Africa

Even in a remote location, the Solar TV can connect to satellite channels.

Living off-grid but want to keep dumbing down?

Cello Electronics have introduced what they claim is the first LED solar powered TV. With a screen size of 22 inches, the TV is still reasonably compact and so would fit well in an RV, hut or tiny home.

A built-in rechargeable battery and patented “Smart Energy Management System” ensures up to 10 hours of running time from a single charge! A smart antenna receives signals through a DVBT2 tuner giving the viewer HD quality. But if you’re located somewhere really remote where there is little or no TV signal, the built-in satellite tuner can still pick up satellite channels. This allows for TV entertainment, wherever you may be.

This unit can also play a more central role in powering an off-grid home. A 2.0 USB port can not only charge phones, but can also act as a connection or power source for other compatible devices. Not only this by connecting a flash disk to act as storage, the personal video recorder feature can be used. That’s right; this set offers the ability to record a show or series to watch when it’s more convenient for you.

A complete out-of-the-box solution:

The Solar TV package costs $300 and includes the TV, solar panel and antenna. All that needs to be done is to set up the TV with the solar panel (in a suitable location of course) and you’re good to go. A review of an “out of the box” opening can be found here.

UK based Cello Electronics launched the Solar TV at the third Solar Africa Expo in Kenya, last year. A large proportion of the African population do not have access to reliable electricity from the grid. Therefore, a TV that works completely off-grid offers a solution. Knowing that the $300 price tag could be a big barrier for poorer regions in Africa, the company set up a pay-as-you-go scheme. PAYGOTV allows the consumer to pay only for the TV they are watching by purchasing a code entered via the remote control. This also opens up a new market for customers that don’t have their own TV but have access to one in the local community.

Brian Palmer, CEO of Cello, recalled how it all started, saying in a press release, “Could we make a TV that was capable of working off-grid?” Seems the answer is, yes they could!

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BBC’s Wartime Farm: A Preparedness Review

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wartime farm review

If you love modern history, homesteading, and all things survivalist/ preparedness, and have run out of series to binge-watch on Netflix, may I humbly suggest to you BBC’s Wartime Farm?

Wartime Farm is an eight-part documentary series released in 2012 that chronicles the adventures of a team of archeologists and historians who run a farm in Southampton, England, the way that it would have been run during the early 1940s during the second world war. They wear period clothing, use period machinery, and eat period meals. Along the way, the main cast explores rationing, the technology available during the period, as well as the socio-political aspects of the war. If you are interested in emergency preparedness, even if the war itself has no interest for you, this show is a goldmine of wisdom. History tells us that if it can happen once, it can happen again, and there but for the Grace of God go we.

This type of show is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to admit that it takes a certain degree of talent to make plowing, sewing, and laundry interesting – especially eight hours of it.

Other topics covered:

  1. Washing hair with soapwort
  2. Raising rabbits
  3. Building a temporary structure out of bales of hay
  4. Making silage
  5. Cooking lots of depressing 1940s-era meals (this era must be where Britain got is reputation for cuisine)
  6. Plucking chickens
  7. Rat extermination

All this, and more! And it’s engaging and interesting enough that I was inspired to actually go out and buy soapwort seeds so I could copy what I saw on television.

Reliance on Farming During the War

“The plow was the farmer’s principle weapon of war.”

Every episode opens with this statement from one of the cast members. Farming became a reserved occupation during the War, which meant that farmers were exempt from the draft. Prior to the War, two-thirds of all Britain’s food was imported, so when the German submarines enforced a blockade, the British knew they’d have to more than double food production or starve.

Britain’s farmers had many tricks up their sleeve in order to meet the demand. These included using prisoners of war as agricultural workers and plowing up any teeny bits of irregularly-shaped land that could be found. Because farmers could not grow hay, they fed their animals things like beet tops, nettles, and the weeds that grow in churchyards.

In modern America, people choose to be thrifty in order to save money. In Wartime Britain, people had to be thrifty because there were no other options, period. You had to make every last scrap of everything count because even if you had money, you could not go out to the store to buy more of it.

READ MORE: 

“Make Do And Mend”

If you could condense the series into one phrase, it would be this one. Here’s a perfect example: the farm simulated preparations made for receiving evacuees from London. To do this, the cast had to fix up some of the out buildings and make them habitable, but the roofs had holes in them. Buying tiles for repairing the roofs was out of the question because all the factories that used to make tiles are now making munitions. So what do you do? You pull out some rusty machines that were obsolete in the ’20s and make tiles in your backyard! And then you distill some hard cider while you’re at it. Most of the show seems to consist of dealing with rusty machinery, come to think of it. And the rest of it entails resurrecting trade skills – like blacksmithing – that hadn’t been used in decades.

In this way, the series almost serves as a call to action. The way Wartime Farm tells it, possessing skills that were widely considered “obsolete” is what saved Britain. If there hadn’t been people around who knew how to use those ancient tile-making machines and how to build a kiln to fire them, what would you have done? With little clothing available for purchase, how else would you have clothed yourself or your children if you didn’t have any sewing ability?

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my son’s favorite segment. As part of the Christmas episode, one of the guys makes a toy airplane out of a tin can and some roofing nails. My six-year-old thinks this is the height of technology, and has often asked us to make him an identical plane out of our many empty #10 cans. That we lack the tools and knowledge to do so makes us, in his view, somewhat lacking as parents. But more importantly, the necessity of having to make a toy out of a tin can at all highlights the differing attitudes towards toys between then and now.

Today, children have more toys than they know what to do with, and people make jokes about how a child’s playthings reproduce at night until the house is completely overrun. Many children in 1940s Britain witnessed their homes being destroyed and their families torn apart. Something as simple as a tin can airplane would have been an absolute treasure.

Not All Was Sunshine and Rainbows

The final episode briefly touches on some of the negative consequences of the farming methods employed during the war. British farmers couldn’t afford to use their land to grow feed for livestock because it was needed to grow food for humans. As a result, a great number of animals were culled. In agriculture today we refer to “rare breeds” of livestock – this event is why so many breeds of farm animals are considered “rare.”

The war also introduced a number of government farm-related regulations that were arguably necessary given the circumstances, but in the United States we would consider them abhorrent examples of government overreach. The Ministry of Agriculture had the power to grade farms based on their efficiency, and if you failed inspection, the government had the power to take your farm away and give it to someone else. After the war, people had the opportunity to vote on whether to keep the new regulations or dispense with them. The voters ultimately decided to keep the regulations.

In addition to the TV series, the cast wrote a book entitled Wartime Farm, which is alsoavailable for purchase. The series itself is only available as a set of region 2 DVDs on Amazon, but and can be found on YouTube. If you enjoy Wartime Farm, you should also check out additional series done by the same people: Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, and Tudor Monastery Farm.

 

wartime farm review

Don’t Get Distracted From The Real Problems By BULLSHIT !!!

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THIS WHAT PROPAGANDA MEDIA SOUND LIKE WHEN THEY TRYING TO DISTRACT YOU FROM REAL NEWS

Posted by Yacub Majeed on Thursday, 14 August 2014

Convert a Junk TV Into a 2000ºF Solar Cooker

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“If a small magnifying glass will burn things with sunlight, how much power could you get from a lens as big as you?” So begins the following video. Right now people all over the country are getting flat screen TVs and selling their old rear projection TVs. Many […]

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Want a Chance to PROVE Your Survival Skills on TV?

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As I’ve mentioned before, from time to time, I receive emails asking me if I would like to be on TV shows like Doomsday Preppers. Each time I’ve received an invitation to appear on a television program like this, I have politely declined. The idea of being on TV just doesn’t appeal to me but who knows, that may change in the future. Nothing is out of the realm of possibilities. I’m actually working on a series of videos that I’ll be posting on my YouTube channel soon. This will be a big step outside of my comfort zone! If…

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