Fire & Security.

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This post is brought about from a link that was recommended by lonewolf. At that link & saw a popular image of an “all night burning fire”. Now on a winters night an all night fire may seem like a good idea, & there are several ways of accomplishing this, but post shtf an all night fire in my opinion is not a good idea.

Any fire small or large, day or night has the potential to attract unwanted guests, so an all night fire is going to at least double that risk. Post shtf, there will be no safe wilderness areas, people will be on the move, raiders are opportunists & a fire glowing in the night or the smell of smoke will draw them like ants to honey. Because I am a living historian, my historical treks have to be as authentic as possible. Now even today there are risks in camping out, but back in the 18th century those risks were far greater. So I set myself scenarios. Some nights I have camped with no fire, this requires knowledge of how to stay alive in winter with little bedding, because bedding is bulky & adds weight to your pack. It also requires knowledge regarding what foods to carry, because with no fire, you can not cook food, so you need to carry some food that can be eaten without having to cook it.

Other nights I do light a small fire in a fire hole. This is a scrape in the ground to contain the fire surrounded by rocks back & sides. The heat reflects off the rocks back into my shelter, & they help hide the fire from prying eyes. But a small fire does not last long once I have fallen asleep, & at some time in the night the cold will wake me & I will stoke the fire from my supplies under cover behind my bed & from a supply of wood at the end of my shelter. Despite the fact that I am always mindful & therefore alert to sounds in the forest, this waking up from the cold is for me a security measure. It is an opportunity to look & listen to the sounds around me before I make up my mind as to whether or not I should re light or stoke the fire.

If I had placed a large log on the fire to keep it going all night I would probably sleep soundly, certainly I would not be waking frequently because of the chill seeping through my bedding. This would create a security risk, one because as I have already said, the fire would be noticeably visible from a distance at night, & secondly because I would not be so alert. Just something for you to think about next time you are camping out & practicing your skills.

Keith.

6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets

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Have I told you about my collection of Vera Bradley blankets? I discovered these wildly colorful, plush blankets about 4 years ago when I was on a business trip and wanted to splurge on a little something just for me. Well, one blanket quickly turned into 2, 3 and now I believe we own a grand total of 6.

I love blankets and, if I am a hoarder of anything, it would be blankets.

For practical purposes, though, there is no need to buy anything expensive, not when there are always older, maybe even oddly colored, blankets at thrift stores and yard sales. Those cheap blankets can serve many purposes and can easily be tucked into corners until needed.

6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets via The Survival Mom

You should keep a small stockpile of several blankets on hand, for the following reasons:

  1. Let’s start with the obvious. Blankets keep us warm and in an emergency situation, sitting underneath and on top of blankets when there’s no or little heat can quite literally keep us alive. Having more than enough on hand means we can care for extra people as well – the elderly neighbor, extended family and friends who come to visit.
  2. Keeping a garden is an important part of the homesteading lifestyle and a late spring or early fall frost can destroy our plants quickly.  Keep extra blankets in the garden shed or garage for frost protection. When the weather forecast looks ominous, toss the blankets over sensitive plants to protect them from the damaging effects of a light frost.
  3. Add a pocket to one edge of a quilt and hang it from a tension rod in windows, to add an extra layer of warmth during frigid cold spells. This helps keep the cold out from drafty windows or even just large windows that get cold from sheer size. These window quilts can help keep cold out and heat in, helping us use less wood or other forms of heat energy. Believe it or not, our first winter in Texas was freezing cold — Texas not being known for cold weather, I know. The only way we could keep the frigid January air out of our master bedroom was to hang a heavy, plush blanket over the sliding glass door.
  4. 6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets - The Survival MomUse them as makeshift beds. A few blankets piled on a floor add padding and a slightly more comfortable sleeping space. It’s not as comfortable as a bed, but for extra guests in an emergency situation, it would be appreciated.
  5. Pets and livestock occasionally need bedding beyond just wood chips or straw, and your spare blankets can be a just as much a lifesaver for them as they are for humans. Keep a pile in the barn or outbuildings specifically for animal bedding. At worst, they get destroyed and can’t be used again, but most likely they can be washed and re-used multiple times.
  6. Receiving blankets and other thin cotton and wool blankets can make great scrap fabric. Hold onto these to repair thicker quilts that get torn or for piecing together larger quilts and throws. Depending on your sewing skill level, they can often be fashioned into coats, pants, pajamas, and more.

To keep your stockpiled blankets in the best possible shape, store them in plastic garbage sacks, space bags, or even plastic tubs to keep them from getting dirty between uses and to protect them from pests like insects or mice, especially when being kept outside. I’ve added cedar balls or small pieces of cedar planking to ward off insects.

Do you have any favorite uses for old blankets?

6 Reasons to Stockpile Blankets via The Survival Mom

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A Few Quick Bushcraft Tips and Tricks

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A Few Quick Bushcraft Tips and Tricks There are literally hundreds of tips and tricks out there that are useful in a survival or bushcraft situation. We’ll focus on the four categories needed to secure the basic things you need for survival. If you follow the survival rule of threes, then your basic requirements for … Continue reading A Few Quick Bushcraft Tips and Tricks

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5 Emergency Heat Sources Worth Considering

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As a dutiful Prepper, I am constantly on the lookout for affordable secondary heat sources.  These are five emergency heat sources worth considering. Click here to view DISCLAIMER 1.  Candle Heater A “Candle Heater” aka “Flowerpot Heater” is an inexpensive way to heat a small room.Read More

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