How to Fillet a Fish: An Illustrated Guide

Reblogged:  http://www.artofmanliness.com/

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Few summer pastimes are as satisfying as fishing — it’s a great activity to do with your kids, makes for an excellent microadventure, and harkens to our manly imperative to be providers. What makes it even more satisfying is being able to fillet and cook your catch for a real water-to-table experience.

This illustrated guide is a useful starting point that will be accurate for most fish; some varieties have unique methods, but in those instances you’ll likely have someone with more expertise with you. Get out there and bring some dinner home!New

Hat tip to AoM food guy Matt Moore for consulting on this piece.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

Huge solar storm hits Earth: power grid and GPS could be disrupted

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The Earth is being battered by a huge solar storm, which could disrupt the power grid and GPS as well as letting people see beautiful auroras.

A potent blast of magnetic plasma shot out of the sun on Sunday, travelling faster than usual, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It brought with it the biggest solar storm at least since March, and perhaps since September 2005.

The solar weather brought with it aurora — spectacular lights that could be seen over the US overnight. Their effects were spotted and shared by Scott Kelly, an American astronaut who is currently on the International Space Station.

Aurora are caused by the way that the storm interacts with the top levels of our atmosphere. The red colour tends to come only during the most intense solar activity, and happens at the highest part of the atmosphere.

Solar storms can disrupt communications, navigations systems, the power grid and other systems that rely on radio communications, but there were no reports of damage, according to NOAA space weather physicist Doug Biesecker. It was likely that important systems like the electrical grid saw current fluctuations, but they have been built to be able to handle such disruption.

The storm arrived on Monday afternoon and could last up to a day or even longer.

Solar storms and wind are caused when the sun shoots out a big burst of gas and magnetic fields, which then travel through the solar system and hit Earth. They can cause huge disruption when they hit the Earth, but their force and effects vary.

Swedish Log ‘Stovetop’

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The Swedish Log StoveTop is one of the most simple devices you can find to make an evening of cooking in the great outdoors.  You can easily use the StoveTop for camping, surviving, or just for fun.

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DESCRIPTION

MITI is a simple and tough tool for cooking outdoor, made in Stainless 304L 1/8 thick, lazer cut and bent.
It includes 4 anchorage steel rods to stabilize the lug.

MITI + 4 rods = 1.130 Kg ( 2.5 Lb)

Need to be manipulated with precaution when using, wear cooking gloves and use tools for fire.** (Please follow the instruction notice inside the packaging)

The “Swedish log” technique has it’s roots in Europe, but now a Canadian Company has taken the cooking technique to a sophisticated level for the enthusiast. Basically all you need is a log split into four parts and then burned from the bottom creating a fire from within the log and directs the heat upward to your cooking area. Airflow in and around the log equals a strong burn.

This product is called the MITI-011 and made by SPORTES Inc., a small Quebec company. The cooking platform is built out of laser-cut stainless steel.

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Included are four large steel rods that insert into holes and provide vertical structure for a burning log.

To use it, split a log into four pieces (max 14 inches tall), insert the tabbed/bent pieces into the chops, and let the flat cooking surface rest on the log top.

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The rods go into brackets at four corners. The whole setup comes in a pouch for transport, and it weighs about 2.5 pounds.

SPORTES Inc. describes itself as a “design laboratory of tools and reliable low-tech outdoor accessories.” This product looks to fit that mold of simple, useful products that can enhance your camping experience.

The unit is available now for $65 (CAN). See more at SportesOutdoorTools.

6 Summer Preps Anyone Can Do

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Yes, I not only prep for economic hardship and disasters but I also prep (get ready) for other things too, like SUMMER!  Prepping for the summer helps me save money, accomplish preparedness goals, and schedule things to look forward too.  Summer can be the best season to develop self reliant skills for a couple of reasons:  first there are more free class available to the public during the summer and second the warm weather draws many of us towards outdoor activities like camping or gardening.  Below is a list of my summer preps that hopefully will give you some ideas so you can prep for a your perfect summer.

1. Beat the Heat with Meal Planning

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It gets ridiculously hot in my home over the course of the summer due to big windows and no air conditioning.  Cooking is the worst because it heats-up the house even more.  Last year was much more bearable with some meal planning.  We eat out far less by meal planning which saves us money!  Before the weather gets to warm I come up with a summer meal plan.  I started by making a list of cold dinner options:

Chicken Wraps

Guacamole Salad

Summer Rolls

Chicken Grape Salad

Cobb Salad

Summer Rolls – Photo taken by Zoe Shuttleworth

Next I make a list of freezer meals, set a side a day for cooking, and fill-up my freezer while the weather is still nice.  Because these meals are full cooked they just need to be warmed up in the microwave or toaster oven.  The toaster oven does not warm up the house like an oven does, plus, I can also move it outside to warm-up the freezer meals on my back patio.  As you can see in the picture below some of my freezer meals are in square baking tins (warm-up in oven) and other freezer meals are in single serving Glad Freezerware containers (warm-up in microwave).  This is for convenience, the larger option is if we have unexpected company and need to feed 4 to 6 people.  The smaller options feeds 1 person which works great for my husband’s work lunches or dinnertime.  Below are some of my favorite freezer meal recipes:

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Baking Tin (make a double batch, one for dinner and one for the freezer.  Should be defrosted for best results.)

Tater Tot Casserole

Lasagna

Enchiladas

Glad Freezerware (make a double batch then place the left-overs into containers.)

Slow Cooker Pepper Steak

Beef Stroganoff

Indian Chicken with Rice

Chicken Marsala with Rice

Onion Pasta

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2. Foodscaping

Foodscaping is adding plants that grow food to your existing landscape.  Foodscaping is a gaining popularity for people that don’t have a garden space.  Many homes across American come with flower beds on automatic sprinklers in the front yard and a fully sodded backyard with not much room for an edible garden.  If you want to try your hand at gardening before you rip out your perfectly sodded backyard add strawberries, herbs, potatoes, belle peppers, cabbage, and/or kale to your existing flower beds to begin developing your green thumb.  I tried this last year with one strawberry plant and it worked out so much better than my other gardening attempts that I am excited to try other plants this year.  This is a great month to start planting if you haven’t started already.

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To learn more about foodscaping check-out Rosalind Creasy book Edible Landscaping.

3. Develop a Self Reliant Skill

Another way I prep for the summer is by checking out free or cheap community classes.  In my local area nurseries, heath food stores, the preparedness store, sporting goods stores, the library, churches, adult school, museums, and fairs have cheap or even free classes.  Community classes are a great way to learn about and develop self reliant skills.  It’s also a great way to get to know your community a little better.  I will be looking forward to classes called Totally Tomatoes, When the Lights Go Out, Growing and Cooking with Herbs, and more.

4. Complete a Prepper Project

My mantra this year seems to be “one step at a time” or “one project at a time”.  I have a list of prepper projects I would like to do someday.  One item on that list is a prepper’s cache.  A Prepper’s Cache are survival supplies that are placed in a air tight container and buried in preparation of hard times.  The summer seems like a perfect time to gather items, dig a hole, and create a map.  I love the idea of buried treasure and time capsules so I’ll try to incorporate these themes into the cache as well.  I’ll gather prepper stuff, monetary treasures, and some items with sentimental value.  This is a great project to do with kids or a great date night activity.  My goal deadline will be August for my birthday which will give me time to come up with a list, find the right container, and gather items.

5. Make Progress on Your Preppers Supplies Checklist

Summer is the best time to make some progress checking off items on your Preppers Supplies Checklist.  My favorite places to hunt for deals are at moving sales and estate sales because of the quality of items that can be found.  When people have garage sales they are usually purging themselves of unwanted items. I have found that moving or estate sales often offer valuable stuff that the owners just can’t take with them.  Moving sales happen most often in warm weather months which is why I added it to my list of summertime activities.  This year I am working on obtaining items on my Kitchen Supplies Checklist and Tools Checklist.  The picture below is some of the great deals I got on some prepper items.  I was also able to find a BBQ grill for 60% less than if I were to buy it brand new.  Not only is it an off-grid cooking method I get to check off my list but it’s also another method to help keep the heat out of my kitchen this summer.

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6.  Develop A Survival Mindset

The books I enjoy reading are usually themed around survival.  I believe surviving is a mindset so I’m intrigued by those that survive hardship or tragedy.  I do not know what the future holds so knowing what preps I need is a guessing game, however, one prep that will be vital in any situation is developing a survival mindset.  I am a huge  fan because it allows me to listen to a book while I exercise, drive, or work on my to-do list.  The best part is that the audible books can be played on most digital devices (like my smart phone) for $14.99 or less a book.  The two books I have purchased to read this summer are Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard.

STATE RAINWATER | GRAYWATER HARVESTING LAWS AND LEGISLATION

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Record droughts and water-supply worries have served as catalysts for state legislatures to consider legislation legalizing the catchment and use of rainwater for use in households and for lawns.

There has been increased interest over the past five years in legislation allowing, defining, and clarifying when rainwater harvesting can occur. Rainwater harvesting is the act of utilizing a collection system to use rainwater for outdoor uses, plumbing, and, in some cases, consumption. States have also passed legislation encouraging the use of Graywater. Graywater refers to the reuse of water drained from baths, showers, washing machines, and sinks (household wastewater excluding toilet wastes) for irrigation and other water conservation applications.

States must ensure water-quality standards and public health concerns are met. In some states, such as Colorado, previous water law stated that all precipitation belonged to existing water-rights owners, and that rain needed to flow to join its rightful water drainage. However, a 2007 study conducted by the Colorado Water Conservation Board and Douglas County determined that only 3 percent of rain actually reached a stream or the ground. Colorado followed-up by enacting two pieces of legislation, one allowing certain types of well owners to use rainwater and one authorizing pilot development projects.

Texas and Ohio are among states that have devoted a considerable amount of attention to this issue, and have numerous enacted laws regulating the practice of rainwater harvesting. Texas offers a sales tax exemption on the purchase of rainwater harvesting equipment. Both Texas and Ohio allow the practice even for potable purposes. Oklahoma passed the Water for 2060 Act in 2012, to promote pilot projects for rainwater and graywater use among other water saving techniques.

Map of Rainwater Harvesting Laws

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State Rainwater Harvesting and Graywater Laws and Programs

Arizona | Colorado | Illinois | North Carolina | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Rhode Island | Texas | Utah | Virginia |Washington | U.S. Virgin Islands

Arizona

Arizona had a tax credit for water conservation systems that included collection of rainwater; however, the credit expired on Jan. 1, 2012. The credit is equal to 25 percent of the cost of the system. The maximum credit in a taxable year could not exceed $1,000. From 2007 to 2010, over $360,000 was credited to homeowners that purchased a water conservation system.  Arizona Revised Statutes §43-1090.01

AZ H 2363 (2012) – Established a joint legislative study committee on macro-harvested water. The committee shall study, analyze and evaluate issues arising from the collection and recovery of macro-harvested water, including reviewing scientific data on surface water, rainwater harvesting, methodology costs and benefits, potential impacts on water rights, downstream users, and potential aquifer management issues and groundwater management issues.
AZ H 2830 – This bill allows the governing body of a city or town to establish an energy and water savings account that consists of a designated pool of capital investment monies to fund energy or water savings projects in public facilities, including rainwater harvesting systems. (Arizona Revised Statutes §9-499.16)

Colorado

NEW CO HB 1044 empowers any local city, county, or city and county to pass a resolution that will allow the use of graywater for beneficial uses. Permitted sources of graywater include: bathroom and laundry sinks, dishwashers, bathtubs, showers and laundry machines. Graywater may not be collected from: toilets, urinals, kitchen sinks, dishwashers, or non-laundry utility sinks.

Prior to adopting a resolution allowing graywater, the county or municipal governing body is encouraged to consult with the local board of health, local health agencies, and wastewater service providers concerning the use of graywater and proper installation and operation of graywater works. Further, graywater must be used in accordance with all contracts, decrees, and well permits that govern the use of groundwater, and the Colorado Ground Water Commission may promulgate standards and requirements to encourage the use of graywater and protect public health and water quality. Under the bill, any water user that is supplied by a municipal or industrial water provider, or any person withdrawing water from a small capacity well may use graywater and install a graywater treatment work. Additionally, the use of graywater is limited to the “confines of the operation that generates the graywater.”

Colorado had some of the nation’s strictest rainwater harvest laws, essentially prohibiting the practice. In 2009, two laws were passed that loosened restrictions.
CO SB 80 allowed residential property owners who rely on certain types of wells to collect and use rainwater.Colorado Revised Statutes §37-90-105
CO HB 1129 authorized 10 pilot projects where captured precipitation was used in new real estate developments for non-potable uses. Colorado Revised Statutes §37-60-115
Resources:

  • Colorado Division of Water Resources outlined information on SB 80
  • Colorado Legislative Council Issue Brief on SB 80 and HB 1129 and Rainwater Harvesting in Colorado
  • Criteria and guidelines for pilot projects

Illinois
In 2009, Illinois created the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act which relates to water conservation, efficiency, infrastructure and management while promoting rainwater harvesting. Illinois Revised Statutes Chapter 415 §56

IL H 991 of 2011 amended the Homeowners’ Solar Rights Act. It requires  that within 120 days after a homeowners’ association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners’ association receives a request for a policy statement or an application from an association member, the association shall adopt an energy policy statement regarding: (i) the location, design, and architectural requirements of solar energy systems; and (ii) whether a wind energy collection, rain water collection, or composting system is allowed, and, if so, the location, design, and architectural requirements of those systems. Illinois Revised Statutes Chapter 765 § 165/20

North Carolina
NC H 609 of 2011 directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to provide statewide outreach and technical assistance regarding water efficiency, which shall include the development of best management practices for community water efficiency and conservation. This shall include employing water reuse practices that include harvesting rainwater and using grey water. North Carolina General Statutes § Session Law 143-355

Ohio
Ohio allows rainwater harvesting, even for potable purposes. Private water systems that provide drinking water to fewer than 25 people are regulated by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Ohio also has a Private Water Systems Advisory Council within the ODH. The nine member council is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Ohio Revised Code §3701.344 and Ohio Revised Code §3701.346

Oklahoma
OK HB 3055 of 2012 created the “Water for 2060 Act.” The bill initiates grants for pilot programs. The pilot projects shall be innovative programs that will serve as models for other communities in the state. Pilot projects may include, but are not limited to, community conservation demonstration projects, water use accounting programs, retrofit projects, school education projects, Xeriscape demonstration gardens, projects which promote efficiency, recycling and reuse of water, and information campaigns on capturing and using harvested rainwater and gray water.

Oregon
Since Oregon allows for alternate methods of construction of rainwater harvesting systems, the Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) created methods for both potable and non-potable systems. Oregon Revised Statute §455.060

Senate Bill 79, passed in 2009, directs the BCD to increase energy efficiency, by including rainwater harvesting, in new and repaired buildings.

Resources:

  • Potable Alternate Method
  • Non-Potable Alternate Method
  • Oregon Smart Guide – Rainwater Harvesting

Rhode Island
RI HB 7070 of 2012 created a tax credit for the installation of cisterns to collect rainwater. Any individual or business that installs a cistern on their property to collect rainwater for use in their home or business shall be entitled to a state income tax credit of ten percent (10%) of the cost of installing the cistern not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). Each entity shall be allowed only one tax credit over the life of the cistern unless they are replacing an existing cistern with a larger cistern and have not received the maximum tax credit of one thousand dollars ($1,000). A cistern is defined as a container holding fifty (50) or more gallons of diverted rainwater or snow melt, either above or below ground.

Texas
Texas HB 3391 of 2011 is one of the most far-reaching and comprehensive pieces of legislation regarding rainwater harvesting in recent years. Among its provisions:

  • Allows financial institutions to consider making loans for developments that will use harvested rainwater as the sole source of water supply.
  • Requires rainwater harvesting system technology for potable and nonpotable indoor use and landscape watering be incorporated into the design and construction of each new state building with a roof measuring at least 50,000 square feet that is located in an area of the state in which the average annual rainfall is at least 20 inches.
  • Requires the development of rules regarding the installation and maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems that are used for indoor potable purposes and connected to a public water supply system, prior to this bill it could only be used for nonpotable purposes. The rules must include criteria to ensure that safe drinking water standards are met and the water does not come in contact with the public water supply at a location off of the property.
  • Requires a person who intends to connect a rainwater harvesting system to a public water supply system for potable purposes to give written notice to the municipality or the owner or operator of the public water supply system. A municipality or public water supply system may not be held liable for any adverse health effects allegedly caused by the consumption of water collected by a rainwater harvesting system that is connected to a public water supply system and is used for potable purposes if the municipality or the public water supply system is in compliance with the sanitary standards for drinking water.
  • Encourages each municipality and county to promote rainwater harvesting at residential, commercial, and industrial facilities through incentives such as the provision at a discount of rain barrels or rebates for water storage facilities.  Requires the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to ensure that training on rainwater harvesting is available for the members of the permitting staffs of municipalities and counties at least quarterly. School districts are strongly encouraged to implement rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Prohibits a municipality or county from denying a building permit solely because the facility will implement rainwater harvesting.

Other Texas Statutes
Texas Health and Safety Code §341.042 outlines standards for harvested rainwater. Includes health and safety standards for treatment and collection methods for harvested rainwater intended for drinking, cooking, or bathing.

Texas Property Code §202.007 prevents homeowners associations from banning outdoor water-conserving measures, including rainwater harvesting installations. The legislation allows homeowners associations to require screening or shielding to obscure view of the tanks.

Texas Tax Code §151.355 allows for a state sales tax exemption on the purchase of rainwater harvesting equipment.

Resources:
The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting provides information on the practice and outlines sales tax exemptions at the state and local level (pg. 53).
In 2005, the legislature ordered the creation of a Texas Rainwater Harvesting Evaluation Committee; see here for its2006 Report to Texas Legislature with Recommendations.
The Texas Water Development Board sponsors the Texas Rain Catcher Award to advance the technology, educate the public, and to recognize excellence in the application of rainwater harvesting systems in the state.

Utah
Utah allows for the direct capture and storage of rainwater on land owned or leased by the person responsible for the collection. If a person collects or stores precipitation in an underground storage container, only one container with a maximum capacity of no more than 2,500 gallons may be used. For a covered storage container, no more than two containers may be used, and the maximum storage capacity of any one container shall not be greater than 100 gallons. Utah Code Annotated §73-3-1.5

Virginia
In 2001, Virginia passed Senate Bill 1416, which gave income tax credit to individuals and corporations that installed rainwater harvesting systems. “There is hereby established the Alternative Water Supply Assistance Fund to be administered by the Department to provide grants to localities to be used for entering into agreements with businesses and individuals to harvest and collect rainwater for such uses as determined necessary by the locality, including, but not limited to, irrigation and conservation.” However money has not been allocated for these purposes.

Va. Code Ann. § 32.1-248.2 – Requires the development of rainwater harvesting and graywater guidelines to ease demands on public treatment works and water supply systems and promote conservation.
Resources:
Virginia Rainwater Harvesting and Use Guidelines

Washington
In Washington, state law allows counties to reduce rates for storm water control facilities that utilize rainwater harvesting. Rates may be reduced by a minimum of ten percent for any new or remodeled commercial building. However, the rate can be reduced more than ten percent, depending on the county. Kitsap County’s Ordinancereduces surface and stormwater fees by 50 percent.  Washington Revised Code §36.89.080

Uses for harvested rainwater may include water closets, urinals, hose bibbs, industrial applications, and for irrigation purposes. Other uses may be allowed when first approved by the authority having jurisdiction. Washington Revised Code §51-56-1623

Resources:
In 2009, the Washington Department of Ecology issued an Interpretive Policy Statement clarifying that a water right is not required for rooftop rainwater harvesting.
Washington Department of Ecology Rainwater Collection website

U.S. Virgin Islands
Since 1964, the U.S. Virgin Islands has required most buildings to be constructed with a self-sustaining potable water system, such as a well or rainwater collection system.
U.S. Virgin Island Code Title 29 §308

2012 Notable Rainwater Harvesting Legislation

State

Bill

Summary

California

CA AB 1750 (Pending: To Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Water and Rules.)

Would enact the Rainwater Capture Act of 2012. Would authorize residential, commercial and governmental landowners to install, maintain, and operate rain barrel systems and rainwater capture systems for specified purposes, provided that the systems comply with specified requirements. Would authorize a landscape contractor working within the classification of his or her license to enter into a prime contract for the construction of a rainwater capture system if the system is used exclusively for landscape irrigation.

CA AB 2398 (Pending: In Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water: Held in committee.)

Would enact the Water Recycling Act of 2012. Would establish a statewide goal to recycle specified amounts of water by specified calendar years. Would require the adoption of a drinking water criteria for groundwater recharge project utilizing recycled water and the development and adoption of drinking water criteria for advanced treated purified water for raw water augmentation projects. Establish a related research fund. Relates to permits and permit fees for raw water augmentation projects. Relates to inspections.

Illinois

IL HB 1585 (Pending: Referred to House Committee on Rules.)

Would provide that “plumbing” includes rainwater harvesting distribution systems, but does not include any rainwater harvesting distribution system or rainwater harvesting collection system unless otherwise required by the Illinois Plumbing Code.

Massachusetts

NJ AB 2890 (Pending: To Assembly Committee on Environment and Solid Waste.)

Water Conserving Plants Purchase Tax Deduction – Would provide for a personal income tax deduction for the purchase of certain water conserving plants and items: WaterWise plants and landscaping items intended to reduce water usage, including, but not limited to: drought resistant plants that last for more than one year; kits or devices specifically designed for generating compost; grey-water recovery systems where the effluent is used for watering plants; rainwater recovery and storage devices where they are used for watering plants; rain sensors for irrigation systems; and, underground drip irrigation systems.

New Jersey

NJ AB 2890 (Pending: To Assembly Committee on Environment and Solid Waste.)

Rainwater Capture and Water Conservation – This bill would establish several incentives for installation and operation of a rainwater capture system and prohibiting any fees or taxation related to the purchase, installation and use of these systems.

New York

NY AB 6490 (Pending: Amended in Assembly Committee on Real Property Taxation.)

Would create a tax exemption program for commercial and residential real property owners who purchase or install systems for rainwater harvesting, which a municipality within Westchester or Putnam county could adopt by resolution.

North CarolinaNC HB 282 (Failed: Adjourned.)

Would provide that homeowners associations may not prohibit the installation of certain water and energy efficiency improvements by homeowners. Water efficiency improvement. – Rain gardens, cisterns, rain barrels, and other devices or landscaping installations intended to capture, collect, or store rainwater or to reduce the need for irrigation.

NC SB 427/ NC HB 787 (Failed: Adjourned.)

Would improve the security of North Carolina’s water resources. Employing water reuse practices that include harvesting rainwater and using grey water.

Washington

c WA HB 1025 (Failed: Adjourned.)

The rate a county may charge a school district under this section for storm water control facilities would be reduced by a minimum of ten percent for any new or remodeled commercial building that utilizes a permissive rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater harvesting systems would be properly sized to utilize the available roof surface of the building. The jurisdiction would consider rate reductions in excess of ten percent dependent upon the amount of rainwater harvested.

WA SB 5447/ WA HB 1746 (Failed: Adjourned.)

Related to utility rates and charges for unoccupied mobile home lots in manufactured housing communities: The rate a city or town may charge under this section for storm or surface water sewer systems or the portion of the rate allocable to the storm or surface water sewer system of combined sanitary sewage and storm or surface water sewer systems shall be reduced by a minimum of ten percent for any new or remodeled commercial building that utilizes a permissive rainwater harvesting system. Rainwater harvesting systems would be properly sized to utilize the available roof surface of the building. The jurisdiction would consider rate reductions in excess of ten percent dependent upon the amount of rainwater harvested.

Wisconsin

WI AB 737 (Failed to Pass.)

This bill would require DSPS to promulgate rules that establish standards for the installation of graywater and rainwater systems and that authorize the use of graywater and rainwater within the building, or on the property surrounding the building, from which the graywater was generated or the rainwater was collected.

Defeating Drones: How To Build A Thermal Evasion Suit

Asymmetric tactics rely on the idea of fighting smarter, rather than fighting directly, against a larger or more technologically advanced aggressor. It means turning your opponent’s strengths into weaknesses.

For instance, if your opponent relies on the superiority of his tanks and armor, make him fight in the mountains where his armor is useless. If he relies on air superiority, make him sift through a thick canopy where his eye in the sky sees nothing, or make it dangerous for him to land and refuel such vehicles at all. If he relies on body armor for safety, make him fight uphill so that the extra weight wears him down. If his surveillance and security techniques are a little too sensitive and effective, create constant false positives, until he can no longer trust his own alert systems. And, if most of his weaponry and soldiers are heavily reliant on a particular piece of technology, make that technology useless in the field. Force your opponent to fight on fairer ground, where the man with the most skill and intelligence prevails rather than the man with the most million dollar toys.

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Asymmetric tactics rely on the idea of fighting smarter, rather than fighting directly, against a larger or more technologically advanced aggressor. It means turning your opponent’s strengths into weaknesses.

For instance, if your opponent relies on the superiority of his tanks and armor, make him fight in the mountains where his armor is useless. If he relies on air superiority, make him sift through a thick canopy where his eye in the sky sees nothing, or make it dangerous for him to land and refuel such vehicles at all. If he relies on body armor for safety, make him fight uphill so that the extra weight wears him down. If his surveillance and security techniques are a little too sensitive and effective, create constant false positives, until he can no longer trust his own alert systems. And, if most of his weaponry and soldiers are heavily reliant on a particular piece of technology, make that technology useless in the field. Force your opponent to fight on fairer ground, where the man with the most skill and intelligence prevails rather than the man with the most million dollar toys.

There is no such thing as fool proof combat technology. There is a way to trick or defeat or survive ANY weapon and any enemy. Period.

Drones and thermal vision have been held up to the common citizenry for years as the end-all-be-all of combat and surveillance technology. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the claim that no one can hide from thermal imaging and that predator drones herald the end of free resistance to tyranny. I find this assertion to be rather absurd, considering militaries across the globe have already developed their own thermal evasion suits (which means it IS possible to hide from thermal vision) and drones seem to kill more innocent bystanders than actual enemy combatants. I will admit that thermal vision use is skyrocketing amongst military and police across the board, and this is because it is indeed effective to a point.

Thermal imaging and drones in the hands of a corrupt establishment make a couple of things very difficult for any resistance – First, you might be able to hide, but you won’t be able to move freely without risk, especially in groups. Second, you might be able to act defensively, but never offensively. Advancing on an objective protected by thermal surveillance would be extremely difficult. Constantly being on the defensive takes the initiative away from those who want to fight back against tyranny. Without the ability to go on the offensive, you will inevitably lose. Hiding in a hole in the mountains for the rest of your life is not an option if you want your children and their children to experience liberty.

Today’s combat reality is that of the digitized battlefield. All modern military units now rely on full spectrum surveillance, computer models, and real time data. Thermal vision is a cornerstone of this model because it is currently the best way to identify potential threats before they can act, rather than after they act. Unfortunately, there is no doubt this kind of surveillance power will be misused, and the spread of drones for domestic applications proves that the establishment’s intention is to utilize thermal against the population, rather than in defense of the population. Therefore, thermal vision must be negated if people are to remain free. We might not be able to fight against misused drones directly, but we can make their primary advantage useless. Here is how it is possible to remove thermal vision as a threat, and thus nullify the primary strength of the drones (and other weapons) in our skies:

Thermal Vision And Drone Misconceptions

Now that you know it is more than possible for civilians to obtain thermal evasion, lets go over some of the most common misconceptions about thermal imaging and drone technology.

Building a suit that hides a person from thermal imaging is impossible?

Clearly, this is false, as we have shown in the video above. Add to this the fact that military units field their own thermal evasion suits (multi-spectral camouflage) for special purposes, and I think we’ve permanently buried the ludicrous assumption that a thermal evasion suit is a fruitless endeavor. Most existing suits, including those used by governments, boast a thermal reduction rating of 60% to 80%. It is important to recognize that there is currently no organization or company offering thermal evasion suits for widespread use by civilians. We have given the public free access to information on building their own suits if they wish, and we are offering professionally made suits for sale with a thermal reduction rating of 90% or more at Snakebite Tactical.

We made no attempt to hide “heat spots” within the tests in the above video. We want to make it clear that this is a 90% effective suit, which is more than enough for almost any application. Achieving 100% reduction at distances of 10 ft to 10 yards in a wearable suit is very difficult, and a person would still need to practice proper field craft in order to remain unseen. However, we believe our suit design more than meets the standards of currently issued military grade suits; suits which are not available to the public anyway.

Thermal imaging sees through walls?

This is movie-land nonsense. A thermal imager can see the heat you emit through a very thin wall if you are leaning against it, but remove your body from contact with the surface and the heat signature will disappear. Thermal imagers have a difficult time identifying stationary people through leaves and the branches of trees, let alone walls. As long as you are not in contact with the item, your heat will not be seen through the item.

Thermal vision sees through forests?

No. Not a chance. In fact, if your only goal is to hide, then a thick forest is the absolute best place to be if thermal surveillance is in use, even without a suit. If your plan is to advance on an objective, then the situation changes, but if you are a lone individual that just doesn’t want to be found, staying in the woods and dense terrain away from people who might rat you out is your best bet. Apply a thermal suit to the scenario and now your are fully mobile without fear of detection.

You will never see a drone coming, so having a suit is meaningless anyway?

Gotta love this kind of fuzzy logic. The claim apparently assumes that drones simply fly miles above the Earth silently raining hellfire missiles down on random heat signatures on the ground without identification. This is not how drones operate.

Drones are mainly used as OVERWATCH for teams of men already on the ground. A drone might see your signature when you are not wearing a suit, but a drone pilot will not waste ordinance on you until you are identified as a viable target. Most of the successful strikes you see in the news and on YouTube are targets that were already lazed by a team on the ground (this is something the DoD rarely mentions, because they want to retain the mystic surrounding drones). The drone is then sent in to attack the target that the team identified. When a military unit comes into contact with an enemy, a drone may be sent in to observe and identify targets. This is a situation where thermal evasion is essential. If those targets throw on thermal evasion gear, the drone becomes a useless platform. If you are under threat by drones and ground opponents, you can leave the area at will without being traced, or you can advance and attack your aggressor without being betrayed by your own heat signature. Your suit does not need to be worn at all times in order to be useful.

I don’t need a thermal evasion suit, I can just buy a thermal blanket or tarp at a fraction of the cost?

The first and most obvious advantage to a thermal evasion suit is that it CAN BE WORN. There is no existing tarp or thermal blanket system that can be worn against the human body and still hide that body from thermal imaging. All of these items conduct heat which can be seen almost as soon as you touch them. If a heat reflecting tarp was a practical working solution to thermal imaging, then you would see hundreds if not thousands of videos on the web proving their effectiveness and governments would not be keeping their own suits such a secret. The reality is, these items are only useful if you plan to stretch them out above you without physical contact, and stay in one place without moving. They are highly defensive in nature and severely limited in their application.

We have developed the very first thermal evasion system available to the public that can be worn for long periods of time and that also provides effective visual camouflage. Our suit works as a ghillie as well as a thermal evasion tool, meaning, it works in thermal, and in visible light. A thermal cloak offers near total 360 degree coverage against thermal imaging devices in the air and on the ground while the person is also mobile. Meaning, instead of constantly hiding from the enemy and being on the defensive (a losing strategy), you can advance on the enemy if you wish without detection. There is no comparison whatsoever in the level of application between a thermal blanket and a thermal suit.

This does not mean a suit solves all your problems. If you walk through an open field and start break-dancing, someone will see you. A thermal suit does not necessarily hide blatant movement by the wearer. You still need to follow proper field craft methods including the use of cover and concealment. Add to this the thermal reduction properties of the suit, and you are much less likely to be detected, even under heightened scrutiny.

I don’t need a thermal suit, I can just hide in the city amongst the crowds and blend in?

I’m sure there are situations when operating in a city might be called for, but frankly, the idea is extraordinarily ill conceived when one considers the surveillance grids being put in place in most major metropolitan areas. Thermal is not your worst enemy in the city. Try CCTV networks with facial and biometric recognition. Try numerous possible collaborators and quislings in a city environment (known for more passive and subservient populations permanently attached to the establishment umbilical cord) who might point the finger at you. The city is a BAD place to be under almost any circumstance that results in crisis and lost liberty, and probably the worst place to be if you are trying to avoid observation and surveillance.

That said, watch almost any police chopper thermal footage in a city and tell me the person being chased was better off without a thermal suit. Imagine you are being chased for simply being a proponent of liberty. Imagine that one day you wake up in the middle of your home city a designated criminal. Would you rather have a thermal evasion suit, or, do you plan to outrun the chopper?

Mud will hide your heat signature?

No, it will not. At least not for more than a minute, and it better be some thick friggin’ mud. Despite what Arnold Schwarzenegger may have taught you, heat transfers through mud just as it does through most other materials.

Drones will find you with LIDAR if they can’t see you with thermal vision?

LIDAR is a form of laser based radar which is bounced off surfaces to create a 3D map of a large area. I’m not sure exactly where the idea came from that drones use LIDAR for personnel detection, but this is simply not so, at least not currently. LIDAR is being tested by the DoD and private contractors for personnel detection using GROUND based 360 degree units, and the effective range of these experimental units is rather limited. Aerial LIDAR is used for mapping of terrain. The complexity of ground based objects (think in terms of millions of objects in any given field of view) makes personnel tracking from the air all but impossible. Ground based LIDAR also requires a recognizable human shape at close range in order to “alert” on an intruder, which means the ThermTac suit (which removes normal human shape) would only HELP in preventing detection. From my research as of 2015, LIDAR for surveillance often suffers from numerous false positives, which means it is a very weak system for tracking personnel. Thermal vision is a far greater threat than LIDAR.

Even if you have a suit that blocks your body heat, you can still be tracked by your footprints?

Under perfect conditions and the use of a sensitive thermal imager on the ground, your footprints MIGHT be visible using a ground based unit right after you imprint them, but it is still unlikely you will be found. Quick thermal imprints (caused by footsteps) disappear within seconds, and are difficult if not impossible to pick out from any distance beyond a few yards. Rubber and plastic soled shoes do not in most cases transfer very much heat into the ground, and the theory that crushed grass releases more heat in thermal imaging is utter nonsense. Too many ideas about thermal imaging are drawn from television and movies, which greatly embellish the capabilities of such devices. If footprints were an effective way to track people using thermal, then Search and Rescue units (many have access to excellent thermal devices) would have numerous examples of this along with numerous success stories (these examples do not exist).

One legitimate danger involving footprints occurs when a very large number of people (small groups are not an issue) travel together in single file. This constant imprinting on the same path by multiple footfalls can indeed leave a residual trail that can be found several minutes later, enough time to be tracked by a thermal imager.

Thermal evasion suits will help terrorists?

As stated in the video, the world’s worst terrorist groups are often trained by our own governments and covert intelligence agencies. If covert agencies have access to thermal evasion techniques, then it only follows that so do the people they train. I have no doubt that we will be accused of aiding terrorists by releasing this information, because that is really the only recourse the establishment has to try to stop the use and spread of thermal cloaks (or they will claim that the suit is a scam and doesn’t actually work. Of course, people will be able to test this for themselves). They will have to try to shame people into refusing to adopt thermal evasion as a means of defense. Trust me, I’ve seen this kind of propaganda used against people merely for talking about methods that MIGHT work. Read any military forum where someone discusses thermal evasion, and invariably a dozen henpecking statists will ask them if they are “with ISIS or Al-Qaeda” to shut them up.

Self-defense is an inborn right, not a privilege granted by arbitrary authority. You do not need permission to obtain means of defense against a threat, even if that threat has thermal imaging at his disposal and a license from the state to kill you. Our thermal suit design is a culmination of three years of tireless effort.  We believe the information belongs in the hands of the citizenry, not only in the hands of governments and those they train. The greater threat to the common good is a lack of knowledge that makes free people weak and vulnerable. The goal of this project is to remove a clear weakness in the American people. If you are not informed, and not prepared, then you will never be secure. Some people would have you believe that thermal imaging and drones are for your safety. We say YOU are the only person that can be trusted to provide for your own safety. If anything, thermal eyes and lurking drones present a more intense danger to you and your freedom than any terrorists they are supposedly intended to fight against.

Home Invasion 101

Home invasions are an increasingly dangerous crime, nowadays. If you compare home invasions to a plain burglary they are two completely different crimes, however both have a violent perpetrators involved. So the question is do you have a safe room in case one of these two crimes happen to involve you and your family? Having a safe room could be one of the many rooms you decide to put and design for your new home.

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Home invasions are an increasingly dangerous crime, nowadays. If you compare home invasions to a plain burglary they are two completely different crimes, however both have a violent perpetrators involved. So the question is do you have a safe room in case one of these two crimes happen to involve you and your family? Having a safe room could be one of the many rooms you decide to put and design for your new home.

Protecting Your Home

 There are many things you can do to reduce the likelihood of your house or apartment being broken into or invaded, however protecting your home can only go so far. There are certain things that can protect you from the common criminal, but in long term SHTF situations, you and your family have to decide whether to bug in or bug out. So with that being said, your home needs an Extreme Home Makeover.

 Let’s start with lighting.

 If you plan to build your own house or already have a house these are things that you should make sure to add to your new or existing home. Yes, some of these are common sense things but not everyone remembers things like you. So for starters make sure all your entryways have lighting by using either timers or motion sensors. These are low cost purchases to your new home and easy to install. The exterior lighting you install should be able to be seen about 100 feet. Just do not leave them on all the time or your electric bill is going to get pretty high.

 Now every new home or existing home needs that green stuff called shrubs or bushes to add some spice to the new house!

 When planting these beautiful shrubs, bushes, and plants of any kind that are about 4 feet of a sidewalk and about 2 feet from driveway or door trim. Make sure to keep up on trimming these so that the branches are 6 feet above ground and limbs cannot be used to gain access to upper windows. A planting tip: Plant thorny bushes or flowers along fences and under windows to deject burglars from approaching through them.

 Every house needs a garage to store that expense Tesla in and another garage or two to store that ATV or Jet Ski as well.

 Garages are the prime entry way for perpetrators. The garage is where the goodies are at and many fail to secure the door to the house. If you happen to have an overhead rolling door, drill a hole in the runner and padlock it with a high quality padlock. The connecting door to the house should be solid wood or metal with a deadbolt. Make sure you remove your keys from vehicles overnight. Also remove your garage door opener from your vehicle and change the factory setting. If you have a newer opener they have “rolling” codes. Also do not, I repeat do not store your keys in the garage. Another tip is to not store ladders, pry bars, or other tools in garage or outdoor shed that would enable a perpetrator to aid them into your house.

 Every home needs those picture perfect windows to allow that beautiful sunlight to flow in.

 When building a home keep in mind when you add basement windows make sure to either have bars or grills covering them. You may also want to consider bars or grills on other ground floor windows. Windows should be locked and shouldn’t be open more than 6 inches even when someone is home. Windows should have secondary locks, and easily removable from inside in the event of fire.

Doors are the biggest entry to any home, garage, or shed. So having secure doors are the number one priority.

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 All doors on the exterior of house should be solid wood or metal. You should also install wide angle viewers on the exterior entrance doors about 160 degrees. Make sure you use deadbolts with at least 1 inch throw and consider installing an intercom on the front door for precaution. You should also install a latch chain. If you have a pet of any kind do not install a pet door.

 Additional Considerations

  •  Insure all external power and utility boxes locked.
  • All property fences should have locked gates.
  • Insure all skylights locked in place and reinforced with plastic glazing.
  • Do NOT hide spare key outside under the door mat, etc.
  • If you are a new occupant, re-key the property.
  • If you lose your keys, re-key the property.

The best way to secure your home is to make sure the doors, windows, locks, and other exterior home care is up to date.

However, if your outer defenses are broken, having a safe room to retreat to could be a life saver.

A safe room is a room in a house or other building that is invulnerable to attack or intrusion, and from which security operations can be directed. There are various types of safe room designs. If your pocket can spare the funds, you can have a safe room built that will protect you in the event of a tornado or other natural disaster.  According to FEMA, they have a number of documents on that topic. However, most of us don’t have the extra cash lying around to construct such a room. In this article we are strictly talking about home invasions.

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When creating a safe room you will have to figure out where and how big you want it. So you will need to make a plan and then build. You will then need to prepare you and your family for what to do and when to use the safe room. Lastly, you will have the protection to you and your family for creating the safe room if ever there was a need for it.

Many of you may have questions about safe rooms so I will cover a few of those.

Who needs a safe room if I have a gun?

 Okay, Chuck Norris, how about we think this through before we start firing away! I personally think that most people know how to use them. I personally go to the gun range with my family a couple months in the year to practice. I own a gun as well. Yes, guns do make you feel safe but just think if you had your loot of weapons along with a safe room, you would be more than Chuck Norris ready.

Why do I need a safe room?

Well, honestly you don’t need one, but I bet half of the people who build a home consider it but can’t afford it. This is why you have to consider other options other than a larger home such as apartments or flats. You could have a spare room as a safe room if you include the right things in it.

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Selecting and Constructing Your Safe Room

 Every family and housing situation is different, but the idea is to select a room that you can get all members of the household to as quickly as possible. (Remember your family safety plan). It might be the basement, or bedroom or even a large bathroom. Try to select a room with no windows or skylight. Most indoor doors are hollow wood. You need to replace the door with a solid type, wood or steel. Hang it so it opens outwardly. Use deadbolts with at least a 1 inch throw, and consider using two of them. Strike plates should be 4 screw designs with screws at least three inches long. If hinges on exterior, flange, weld, or pin the hinge pins to prevent removal and ensure they have 3 inch screws on the hinge plates. A door is really only as solid at the frame it is attached to. Try to reinforce the wooden frame with angle iron, or replace it with a steel frame. The whole idea is to ensure the door remains intact after repeated hits by a 180lb. man. If you must use a room with a window, shatterproof glass would be essential as well as an iron grate over it. Insure your safe room has an electrical outlet to charge your cell phone if necessary.

 Safe Room Supplies

You safe room is going to need certain supplies. Many people keep these items in the safe room pre stocked and some use a sort of mini-bug out bag to grab and go to the safe room. Personally, I recommend stocking the safe room ahead of time. It would be too easy to forget to grab the bag under stress or you might be in an area of the house that you couldn’t get to it in time. You need to be able to survive, communicate, and if necessary defend yourself. Here is a small recommended list that you can add to depending on your situation:

1.      A firearm for defense. If you can, try to dedicate at least one firearm that will be stored in the safe room. Insure you have the training to properly and legally defend yourself if necessary.

2.      A cell phone. This is essential. The idea is to stay safe long enough to call 911 for help and to remain safe until the police arrive. Make sure you have a charger with it. Dead battery can equal dead you. Test your cell phone from the safe room to insure you have coverage from it! If you have to call 911, stay on the line! This will be critical for communication when the police arrive.

3.      A good first aid kit. Don’t forget any medication you might need.

4.     Water and munchies. If you are using a bathroom the water problem is solved.

5.      A good flash light or security light.

6.      A small HAM radio if the cell phone fails

7.      Sanitation concerns. If you are not using the bathroom, you need a way to relieve yourself if you have a long wait.

 Deciding on how to set up a safe room takes a lot of serious thought. This is just an overview to get you started.

 

The Safe Search Engine: They Don’t Track You

DuckDuckGo.com on CNBC: We’ve grown 600% since NSA surveillance news broke

The privacy-minded search engine is now doing three billion searches a year.

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DuckDuckGo has exploded in popularity since the federal government’s surveillance program came to light two years ago. Remember the privacy-minded search engine’s best week ever?

The service has grown 600 percent since then, DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg said on CNBC.

“We’re doing about three billion searches a year,” Weinberg said, “so we’re already pretty mainstream.” (Tell ’em, Gabe.)

Browsers Firefox and Safari also made DuckDuckGo available last year.

Watch the CNBC clip below. The news anchor just can’t resist a little jab about DuckDuckGo’s location choice.

By Juliana Reyes

The Most Unsuspecting Rifle you NEED in your Survival Preps

Bigger doesn’t always mean better in survival and this rifle is a perfect demonstration of that concept.  No, I’m not talking about owning a 22 caliber rifle – although those are excellent as well.  What I’m talking about is something even simpler, cheaper and more effective!

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Bigger doesn’t always mean better in survival and this rifle is a perfect demonstration of that concept.  No, I’m not talking about owning a 22 caliber rifle – although those are excellent as well.  What I’m talking about is something even simpler, cheaper and more effective!

An Air Rifle – The Perfect Survival Tool

When you think about preppers and survivalists, I would argue AR-15s and AK47s come to mind in the firearm/security arena.  While these are great for battle files, they are not very practical for other aspects of survival – mostly hunting.

Many of the downsides to having a hunting or battle rifle are:

  • The rifle is heavy
  • Rifles are expensive
  • The shot is very loud
  • Ammo is expensive and sometimes difficult to find.  This is especially true with 22 caliber rounds today.
  • Ammo is heavy and takes up room
  • You normally don’t have frequent opportunities to catch big game.

Now, let’s look at an Air Rifle for hunting:

  • Some are heavy, but comparably less weight to a real rifle.
  • Some models accept 22 caliber pellets and can shoot as fast as a 22 rifle (feet per second).
  • Although some cost as much as a real rifle, the majority cost significantly less (hundreds of dollars less)!
  • The shot is not nearly as loud as a rifle
  • Ammo is incredibly cheap!!  1000 rounds cost a mere $15 at some retailers!
  • Ammo is plentiful!!  I can’t imagine people bum-rushing the store for air pellets if another democrat president takes office.
  • The ammo  is very small.  A handful of pellets can equal several magazines for a rifle.
  • Since it’s not classified as a “real gun” making a homemade silencer for the air gun is legal.  However, please check with ATF regulations.  There are some instances of where a jury convicted a person who made a homemade air gun silencer simply because it “could have” easily attached and been used as a silencer for a real firearm.
  • Small game is everywhere in a survival situation.  Birds perched on branches, squirrels, rabbits, possums and more can easily be taken down with a pellet rifle.
  • It’s a great way to teach kids firearm safety prior to progressing to a 22 rifle or higher caliber.

So, you see…a pellet rifle is an amazing tool for acquiring food for the table in a SHTF event, or even a long drawn out depressionary phase.  I own one myself, and would most likely find myself using it and conibear traps to put the majority of the food on the table.

A popular model of airgun selling on amazon is the GAMO 0.177 Caliber Hornet rifle that shoots at 1200 FPS. It has a single break-barrel cocking system which I really enjoy.  Personally, I think that’s the only type you should look at.  You do not want to be pumping a lever 20-40 times, nor rely on Co2 cartridges for your propellant.

Gamo also makes a very popular air rifle with built in suppressor that reduces the noise by 50% Gamo also makes a very popular air rifle with built in suppressor that reduces the noise by 50% And, as I stated before, pellets like this 1250 count of 0.177 caliber crossman pack are only $15. And, as I stated before, pellets like this 1250 count of 0.177 caliber crossman pack are only $15.

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The above setup costs  a mere $115.  However, as always with any sport, there are much more durable and high performing air rifles available at higher prices.  Vendors like MidwayUSA or AirGun Depot have a very broad selection of air rifles.

Lastly,  must make mention that you should not look into “Airsoft Rifles”.  These rifles typically operate at much lower velocities and require springs, gas or electricity to propel the bb’s.  When researching, make sure you are going for a “air pellet rifle” and not a “bb gun” or “Airsoft” rifle.

Summary

I honestly think all preppers should have an air rifle because of how useful they can be, and how cheap and readily available they are.  As I discussed in my article “Prepping for a slow collapse vs. a BIG event”, a slow depression might be the way our country crumbles.  By having an airsoft rifle, snares, and conibear traps, you can easily help feed your family with small game.

CANNED FOOD GONE BAD – DO YOU KNOW ALL 8 SIGNS?

Do you know the signs to watch for to avoid eating canned food that might be deadly?  There are several ways harmful bacteria can contaminate canned food.  “In the United States, about 110 cases of botulism are reported each year“.  A person can’t see or smell if a can is contaminated with botulism spores, however, there are other contaminates that can be seen and smelled.  The good news is that most of the signs that canned food has spoiled are fairly easy to recognize once you know what to look for.  Below is a quick review of what to keep an eye out for.  See if you know all the signs to watch out for.

1. A Lid that Bulges Moving Up & Down

This unsafe can of whole potatoes had been exposed to extremely cold temperatures and relatively hot temperatures in my garage, over a 6 month period.

2. Food Projecting or Exploding When Opened

This YouTube video was made by TheModernSurvivalist. Check out some of their other informative videos here and don’t forget to subscribe!

3. Rusting / Corrosion of Can

This was pulled out of a house fire and it was covered with soot.  Soot and moisture corrodes metal.  Corrosion will eventually create holes that let in air and bacteria.

4. Leaking

This YouTube video was made by Mrs. Crosby. Check out some of their her informative videos here and don’t forget to subscribe!

5. Dents

Dents compromise the integrity of the air tight seal which can expose the food to harmful bacteria.

6. Acrid Smell

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If it smells pungent, acidic, chemical, or has a unnatural smell don’t eat it!

7. Rising Bubbles or Unnatural Looking Colors

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The picture above is of a well shook can of safe bubbles.  I didn’t have an example of unsafe bubbles so I thought I’d show you safe bubbles.  The bubbles to be watchful of are small rising gas bubbles.

8. Hisses Loudly When Opened

A soft quite hiss when the air rushes into a can you are opening is normal but a can that hiss loudly when opened is a warning sign.

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So if a can is bulging, projecting, rusting, leaking, is dented, has a weird smell, looks funky, or hisses loudly DON’T taste it and handle it carefully!  “Contact with botulinum toxin can be fatal whether it is ingested or enters through the skin. Take care to avoid contact with suspect foods or liquids.”  Carefully dispose of the contaminated food.

  • How do I safety clean up and dispose of spoiled canned food?  Find the answer at the National Center for Home Food Preservation
  • Do you have food safety questions?  Find answers at USDA Shelf-Stable Food Safety

SureFire Unveils Auto-Adjusting Flashlight: The New Fury with IntelliBeam Technology

 

 

Surefire has an interesting new entrant into the flashlight market–a flashlight that auto adjusts based on ambient light, from 15 to 600 lumens.

This new Fury with proprietary IntelliBeam Technology (P2XIB)­ features an intelligent sensor and microprocessor-based system that continuously and seamlessly adjusts light output by constantly evaluating your surroundings. This model always delivers the right amount of light for the task at hand.

This cutting-edge technology also helps preserve dark-adapted vision by evaluating the environment before turning on, so it never activates on high in close quarters. If you’re in an open field, you’ll get all 600 lumens. If you’re prepping gear or loading a vehicle, it will dial in the necessary output based on the environmental feedback it receives, down to as little as 15 lumens. Just press or click the tailcap switch to engage this auto-adjusting mode. To override this mode, simply return to off and press or click again within one second to activate the max-output/tactical mode. This second press or click locks in all 600 lumens where maximum output is needed. The P2XIB defaults to IntelliBeam mode when it’s off for more than one second.

I wonder how much the sensor technology affects the battery life?  And while it is a neat idea, I can’t agree with the idea that white light (of ANY level) will preserve “dark adapted vision”.  It may not fully blind you, but I would argue that you are going to lose night vision even at 15 lumens.  That said, I think it would serve purpose in a non-tactical environment.  Thoughts?  What do you readers think?

Specifications:

  • Output High: 600 Lumens
  • Output Low: 15 Lumens
  • Runtime High: 1.5 hrs
  • Runtime Low: 45 hrs
  • “Tactical Runtime”: 1.5 hours (max until lumens drop below 50)
  • Bezel Diameter: 1.37 in
  • Body Diameter: 1 in
  • Length: 5.4 in
  • Weight: 5.7 oz
  • Finish: Mil-Spec Type III Hard Anodized
  • Batteries: 2 x 123A
  • MSRP:  $229.00

Freezer Bag Cooking – Cooking On The Go

Freezer Bag Cooking

I’m always looking for ways to crossover my knowledge, skills and equipment between both backpacking and prepping. There are many similarities and pieces of gear that are suitable for both activities, however one stands apart as a great idea if your plan is to bug out and head for the hills, forest or a destination that requires travelling on foot.

Freezer Bag Cooking

I’m always looking for ways to crossover my knowledge, skills and equipment between both backpacking and prepping. There are many similarities and pieces of gear that are suitable for both activities, however one stands apart as a great idea if your plan is to bug out and head for the hills, forest or a destination that requires travelling on foot.

What is freezer bag cooking?

Simply put, we are taking the humble freezer bag, adding your own pre-made dried food and turning it into a vessel that will allow us to re-hydrate our meals quickly and easily whilst on the move.

There are many benefits to this method of cooking, but first lets take a look at how it’s done.

Plan Your Meals

First up for any trip or bug out, you need to know roughly how long you will be hiking and how many meals you need. If your aim is to get to your destination in the quickest amount of time, I suggest eating something quick for breakfast, that doesn’t need cooking. Things like granola bars are great for this.

So that leaves lunch and dinner, and my plan is to use a bunch of trail mix, nuts and seeds for lunch. A small back will pack around 2,000 calories and is plenty for snaking throughout the day.

So that simply leaves us with dinner.

What To Pack

My first tip is to pack what you eat. There’s nothing worse than arriving at camp cold, wet, tired and hungry and eating crap you would never eat in a non-shtf situation.

If you’re just staring out, I also suggest packing store bought dried good. Things like instant rice, instant mash potato, couscous etc are all great staples that will allow you to go light and pack some good calories.

How To Pack

Now you’ve decide on your meals you need to get them prepared. This is often as simple as dumping it all into a freezer bag (the actual freezer grade bags, do not use the thinner/cheaper bags).

If you have ingredients that won’t mix well together, you can store them separately, but I have never had a problem mixing all of my dried ingredients into a single freezer bag.

Make sure you mark out the meal on the front of the bag so you know what’s inside and how many portions.

How To Cook

When you get to camp, you should try to get your water on the boil as soon as possible. Depending on what you’ve packed in your freezer bags, it could take 30+ minutes sometimes to rehydrate you meal. I use this time to set up my camp, collect wood, water and make shelter.

So you warm up your water, if using fresh water that doesn’t need boiling then it also doesn’t need to reach a rolling boil, just hot water is fine and will do the job.

Once the water is hot, add your bag of food to your pot or cozy and add the water. Often it is 1 cup of food to 1-1.5 cups of water, however you should add the water a little at a time to gauge the correct amount.

Then zip up the bag, add the lid to your cozy and allow to rehydrate, checking at 5-10 minute intervals and mixing the food and water with your hands by squishing the outside of the bag.

How To Eat

Now for the best bit! I like to unzip my freezer bag once the food is ready and fold over the edges of the bag around my pot so I don’t have to hold the hot bag.

Some people opt for a long handled spoon to save them from getting food onto their hands, however I prefer a normal sized spoon and to just roll the bag down a bit at a time to raise the food up towards the top of the pot.

So what are the benefits?

As I mentioned earlier, there are many benefits to this freezer bag cooking method, such as:

  • Control what goes into your food
  • Control portion size
  • You dictate the meals, not a manufacturer
  • Easy to dehydrate home cooked leftovers
  • Super lightweight and great for a bug out bag
  • East to prepare on the trail
  • Eat right out of the bag
  • No mess and not pot cleaning
  • Left over water can be used for a hot drink
  • Uses less fuel as water only needs to be warmed and food is cooked inside the cozy
  • Many of the dry ingredients you will already have in your home

How To Make A Cozy

In this video by a well know ultralight backpacker, you will learn how to make your own freezer bag cozy to rehydrate and cook your lightweight food.

 

11 Foods That Last Forever

Although there are many foods that will last for decades when stored properly (wheat, beans, pasta, etc.), there are some foods that last forever without canning, freezing or dehydrating. If you’re new to food storage, these staples are a great way to start. They are the longest lasting foods in the world and are often referred to as “forever foods.”

Next time you’re at the store grab some of these foods, put them

Although there are many foods that will last for decades when stored properly (wheat, beans, pasta, etc.), there are some foods that last forever without canning, freezing or dehydrating. If you’re new to food storage, these staples are a great way to start. They are the longest lasting foods in the world and are often referred to as “forever foods.”

Next time you’re at the store grab some of these foods, put them in the back of the pantry and forget about them. If you ever need them, they’ll be ready to be eaten.

  1. Corn starch. As long as it’s kept dry, corn starch can last indefinitely, so stock up. It’s not only great for cooking, but can also be used for other things like removing oil from the face and hair, soothing sunburns, and diaper rashes. Be sure to reseal it after each use.
  2. Corn syrup. The most common substitute for sugar in America. You can use it for brownies, cookies or candy. Again, reseal after each use and keep it in a cool, dry area.
  3. Hard liquor. Distilled liquor never goes bad, even after it’s been opened. And it’s not just a temporary escape, it’s also important for disinfecting wounds and easing physical pain.
  4. Hardtack. This is a mixture of flour and water forms a hard cracker that keeps for decades. Soldiers carried it with them in the civil war. It’s very hard and doesn’t taste great, but it will keep you going in an emergency.
  5. Honey. Archaeologists discovered ancient honey in the Egyptian pyramids and it was still edible! It crystallizes over time, but all you have to do is warm it up and stir it to get it back to the right consistency.
  6. Salt. This stuff lasts forever, whether it’s sea salt or ordinary table salt. Just make sure it’s not seasoned salt, which is only good for a year.
  7. Soy sauce. As long as it’s never opened, soy sauce also lasts indefinitely. This is mainly due to the high sodium content.
  8. Sugar. Brown, white and powdered sugar all lasts forever. The problem with sugar is it hardens over time, but you can break up the chunks by warming it up and stirring it, just like with honey.
  9. Vanilla extract. Like fine wine, pure vanilla extract actually improves with time because it’s a form of liqueur. It’s more expensive than imitation vanilla, but well worth it. Just reseal it when you’re done.
  10. White Rice. Every type of rice except for brown rice will keep forever if you store it properly. Brown rice, on the other hand, has a lot of oil so it goes bad after several months.
  11. White vinegar – distilled. Like some other items on this list, in addition to cooking white vinegar can be used for cleaning, polishing and deodorizing. When you’re done with it, put it in a cool, dark spot.

What Will Be Best Form of Communication If the Grid Goes Down?

What is the lowest common denominator of our civilization, or any civilization for that matter? By that I mean, what is the one thing no society can go without? Is it water and sanitation? Fuel and transportation? Food and electricity?

I would argue that absolutely nothing we have is possible without our ability to communicate. A society’s sophistication is directly proportional to the ability of its citizens to communicate with each other. Members of a primitive, nomadic society may only be able to speak to each other in person, whereas an advanced industrial society has telephones, radios, and the internet. And don’t think for a moment that high tech societies create these devices. On the contrary, these devices create high tech societies.

What is the lowest common denominator of our civilization, or any civilization for that matter? By that I mean, what is the one thing no society can go without? Is it water and sanitation? Fuel and transportation? Food and electricity?

I would argue that absolutely nothing we have is possible without our ability to communicate. A society’s sophistication is directly proportional to the ability of its citizens to communicate with each other. Members of a primitive, nomadic society may only be able to speak to each other in person, whereas an advanced industrial society has telephones, radios, and the internet. And don’t think for a moment that high tech societies create these devices. On the contrary, these devices create high tech societies.

So we should ask ourselves what the most useful forms of communication would be, should the grid ever go down permanently; not only to keep in touch with other survivors, but to help rebuild society after the cataclysm has passed. Without some of these critical tools, we’re only prepping to survive, not to thrive.

Cell Phones/Computers

At first glace, there is little potential for these devices when the grid goes down. Without the multitude of servers that are scattered around the globe and the electricity that feeds them, our computers are nothing more than bulky hard drives. Cell phones might still work for a little while since some cell towers have backup batteries and solar panels, but their usefulness might be short lived.

However, don’t be too quick to scoff at the prepping potential of these devices. Computers might still be useful for communicating in some cases. It’s fairly easy to create a local WiFi network (aka ad hoc network) between computers that are within range of each other. This would allow people living on the same street or in the same apartment building to talk to each other, provided they can generate their own electricity.

The better solution would be to create a local network with cell phones that isn’t reliant on any infrastructure. Their energy demands are far less than other computers, their range is longer than WiFi, and they are of course, mobile. The technology for creating peer to peer networks between cell phones has existed for some time now, but unfortunately it has yet to be sold to the public. Companies like Terranet have been perfecting it over the past few years, and they estimate that about 30% of cell phones will be capable of making these networks with a simple software change. So right now, cell phones will be pretty much useless when the grid goes down, but that may change before the end of the decade.

Ham Radio

When most preppers think of communications, ham radios usually come to mind, and for good reason. They can communicate to other radios over hundreds of miles, and they may be the only form of very long distance communication when all else fails. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be very useful for the average person.

They use a lot of electricity, the equipment can be pretty expensive, and only about 700,000 Americans are licensed operators. Still, if even a fraction of them are up and running after a major disaster, they will play a crucial role in the relief effort. Due to their limited numbers and the amount of resources that are required to keep them running, you won’t see them being used for casual conversation, but you will see them used by communities for conducting commerce and coordinating reconstruction efforts.

CB Radio/Walkie Talkie

I suspect that CB Radio’s and Walkie Talkies will be the main form of communication for the average person, and they are the best candidates for filling the gap that cell phones and internet providers would leave behind. If anything, CB radios were our parents version of the internet. They were affordable and accessible, you had to learn the lingo to use them, they allowed you to communicate anonymously, and much like the internet, they were used to skirt the law from time to time.

There are millions of CB radios lying around, and many of them are still being used by truckers today, so they will be available to many of the survivors. More importantly, they don’t use too much electricity, they’re more user friendly than ham radios, and some of them are portable. Depending on the conditions you’re using them in, their range can extend anywhere from 1 to 25 miles.

As for walkie talkies, I don’t have to tell you how useful they could be. Much like the WiFi network I spoke of earlier, these will be pretty handy for staying in touch with your neighbors. Together, CB radios and walkie talkies will be most common form communication after a disaster.

Courier

If the grid is down long enough, eventually some enterprising citizens would start to provide courier services. Whether it’s by foot or by bicycle, they will fill an important niche that other items on this list can’t provide, and that is a secure form of communication. If you had to send a message to someone who lives out of the range of your radio or WiFi network, and you needed that message to remain a secret, writing that message down and sending someone out to deliver it by hand would be the only way to do it. WiFi just doesn’t have the range, and radios are too easy to listen in on.

So how do you plan on keeping in touch with your friends and relatives after a cataclysmic event? Are their any other methods or technologies that should have been included in this list?

5 Survival Tips From the USMC Survival Course

Few people know more about being tough and surviving like the United States Marines. Half of their toughness comes from being a special breed of soldier, and the rest comes from their training. U.S. military training is easily the best in the world, which is why our soldiers are prepared for just about anything the world can throw at them.

We can all learn a lot from the Marines, especially when it comes to survival. While we would rather not go through their summer survival training course, we did read their guide to learn some of their tips and tricks, five of which we provided below.

Few people know more about being tough and surviving like the United States Marines. Half of their toughness comes from being a special breed of soldier, and the rest comes from their training. U.S. military training is easily the best in the world, which is why our soldiers are prepared for just about anything the world can throw at them.

We can all learn a lot from the Marines, especially when it comes to survival. While we would rather not go through their summer survival training course, we did read their guide to learn some of their tips and tricks, five of which we provided below.

1. Get your priorities straight – the first 24 hours

One of the biggest keys to survival is setting your priorities. The first 24 hours of a survival situation are vital and can easily mean the difference between success and failure. The top of your list should always be shelter. Sure, water and food are pretty important, but even the most basic shelter can protect you from wind, rain, and even animals.

After securing shelter for yourself you should build yourself a fire. Fire should be your second-highest priority, even if it’s warm out and the middle of the day. Trust me, it’s far easier to build a fire when you don’t need it than when it’s dark and cold. Start by collecting wood at varying sizes and stages of the fire building process, collecting as much as you can in the time you have. Once you have enough wood to get you through the night you can start building the fire itself. Keep it small while you don’t need it, and build it up when you walk away so it keeps burning.

After your fire is taken care of, you should look for a clean source of water. If you can’t find a clean source, find the best quality you can and start the purification process. In a perfect world you should drink around a gallon of water every day. Add in extreme heat, cold, or activity and this number goes up. Thankfully, you built yourself a fire already, so you have a way of boiling water before drinking it.

With the basics of shelter, fire, and water under control, you should look into a way to signal anyone looking for you. The best way to signal is something shiny like a mirror or mirror-like object. You can polish the back of a watch, the blade of a knife, or use a signaling mirror if you’re extra prepared. Another great way to signal is with smoke and fire. Live leaves and greenery burns with a thick white smoke, and while this isn’t ideal for cooking, it’s perfect to draw attention to yourself. Have some lying next to your fire, ready to be set afire at a moment’s notice. The moral of the story here is to have your signaling tools ready before you need them and within easy reach. You may only get one chance to signal a plane or helicopter, and you don’t want to miss it because you can’t find your mirror.

2. Even more priorities – the second 24 hours

With the preparations in section one complete, you’ll probably want to get some rest. Build your fire up and take it easy. The first 24 hours of survival are often the hardest for even veterans of survival. When darkness comes the reality that you’re not being rescued that day really sinks in. Thankfully you already have a fire, water, and shelter to bide you over.

The second 24 hours, while far from a party, can be slightly easier. It’s this day that you can start focusing on the tools that will keep you alive until you can be rescued or the emergency you’re avoiding is over.

You want to start your second day of survival off by making some tools and weapons. These can include makeshift shovels, saws, and utensils. You can also work on fishing equipment and hunting implements like spears. You also want to prepare yourself against running into any less-than-friendly people, too.

Once you have a few tools and weapons made or sourced, it’s time to get some real food. Hopefully you already know how to make traps and snares for hunting, as this is the time to put that knowledge to use. Look for animal tracks and set your snares there. You can even build yourself a fish trap and catch fish the easy way while you’re out doing other tasks.

Finally, once you have food and protection, you need to set yourself a few path guards around your camp. These help you know when people and animals alike come too close to your camp for comfort. Even if the alarms never go off, their presence alone can help you get a good night’s sleep without the worry of someone or something sneaking up on you. Use anything that makes noise or trips someone for best results. Rigging weapons around your camp isn’t recommended. You want to be alerted of their presence, not kill them; you don’t know if the person or animal in your trap is friend or foe.

3. Have a proper survival kit

The old saying goes that the best offense is a good defense. In the world of survival this means being prepared for survival before you need to actually survive. The best way to do this is to have a proper survival kit. A good kit should include fire starters, a length of 550 cord, a candle wrapped in aluminum foil, knife, fishing line and hooks, a sewing kit, and basic first-aid items.

Keeping a survival kit with you can help ensure you have the basics of survival if something bad happens and you need to “get out of Dodge” in a hurry. When building your kit, keep three key ideas in mind. First, make it small enough that you’ll actually keep it with you. A backpack-sized survival kit is great, but not so easy to carry with you when hiking. Second, customize the kit to fit your needs. Extra medicine and necessities like epi-pens for allergies are a very good idea. Finally, the kit should be enough for you to survive for 72 hours. You can always stretch it to last a little longer, but it should comfortably work for 72.

4. Forage

While trapping food is a very good idea, much of your food will come from foraging in the wild. Fruits, nuts, and even bugs can provide a great and very much needed source of nutrients. The key to foraging is to NEVER EAT ANYTHING YOU CANNOT 100% IDENTIFY AS SAFE. The last thing you want to do is eat something that’s poisonous when you’re cut off from society and emergency help.

When foraging for survival, never take more than you can eat at that time. Accidents happen and extra food sitting around attracts animals and bugs, in a bad way. If you’re eating items that you don’t commonly eat but are sure is safe, only experiment with one new item each day. This way, you can pick out items that might not agree with you without limiting yourself too much.

5. Evasion

Finally, once you have food, water, fire, shelter, and protection all lined up, you should start paying attention to evasion tactics. Take different paths and cover your trail whenever you can. If you believe there may be enemies in the area, you don’t want to stay in one place for too long. The shelter you use should blend into the ground around it, basically disappearing into the woods.

The key to proper evasion is planning ahead. Know escape routes from where you are, as well as from where your snares and traps are located. What you don’t want is to be surprised and run in a direction you’re unfamiliar with. Explore around you and know where you’ll run if need be.

10 Survival Uses for Alcohol

First a little background, a chemistry lesson if you will, before we get started. Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is also known as ethanol or even better known as “drinking alcohol”. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH, and it is produced by fermentation.

First a little background, a chemistry lesson if you will, before we get started. Ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol is also known as ethanol or even better known as “drinking alcohol”. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH, and it is produced by fermentation.

Ethanol is, different from Isopropyl alcohol (C3H80), which is more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. Do not confuse the two. Both are produced by the fermentation process however, the fermenting agent for isopropyl is a bacterium while, ethyl uses a yeast.

Caution: Isopropyl alcohol is converted in the liver into acetone making it toxic, in other words, it will kill you if consumed.

Ethanol is not converted into a toxin in the liver and so can be consumed.

Okay So What Are the Uses for Ethanol during a Crisis: The Alcohol You Can Also Consume?

1.) Grain Alcohol as a Disinfectant for Wounds

Ethanol can be used for wound irrigation and as a topical disinfectant in an emergency. It works to kill bacteria by denaturing proteins and by dissolving lipids. However, even though it will destroy certain bacteria in and around wounds, it also destroys cell tissue, because of how it reacts to proteins, in other words it is caustic, and can cause tissue damage in some cases.

In an emergency killing deadly bacterium in cuts and wounds is the priority. Just remember you can damage the tissue in and around the area with prolonged use.

How Do You Know How Much Alcohol Is In A Bottle of Vodka for Example

In the United States the actual grain alcohol content is defined as twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. In other words 100-proof equals 50 percent alcohol by volume while, 86-proof equals 43 percent alcohol by volume for example.

When purchasing alcohol for future use as a disinfectant once the SHTF purchase the highest proof available for greater alcohol content by volume.

2.) Disinfectant for Instruments/Surfaces

Ethanol evaporates quickly so in some cases, contact with surfaces may not be long enough to kill the bacteria. Therefore, when disinfecting knife blades, thermometers, scalpels and so on, submerged the surfaces in the solution if possible, versus just wiping or spraying them down with the solution. Pour enough solution in a glass or basin so the entire surface to be disinfected can be submerged. Wipe down eating/food preparation surfaces and leave wet, and then reapply for best results as it dries.

3.) Mouth Wash

Simply swish around for at least one minute and spit out, to help destroy bacteria in the mouth particularly at the gum line and in between teeth. Force the solution between the teeth to remove food particles and to reach crevices where bacteria are harbored.

4.) Destroy Mold Spores

Moisture is what mold spores thrive on, so depriving them of their life blood if you will, can help control its growth and eventually destroy the mold. Alcohol displaces water, and as the alcohol evaporates it creates a gas that floats from the surface with the water molecules clinging to it.

By the way the vapor is what is flammable so stayed tuned for more on this later in the article.

5.) Help remove Water from Pet and Human Ears

Dogs in particular can have problems with their ears because of water collecting in them. A few drops of alcohol can help displace the water in your pet’s ear, as well as, your own ears to help keep bacteria at bay. Some people state that equal parts of white vinegar and alcohol works better than just using alcohol by itself for removing water from the ear canals.

6.) Kill Odor in Clothing and Confined Areas

Vodka is the preferred room deodorizer for some people because it is clear with no apparent odor. It is sprayed in the air to kill odor causing bacteria. Keep in mind grain alcohol is not effective against spores, so it will do little to reduce certain allergens and bacteria in the spores floating in the air. Spray the solution in shoes, on bedding and clothes and then let air dry in the sunlight if possible to destroy odors.

7.) Fire Starter

Bartenders and those that like to experiment will do what is called “float” alcohol on other alcohol to create a floating flame. Bacardi 151 for example, will float on top of a drink with lower alcohol content, and thus can be ignited without igniting the product. The same applies to cooking certain foods. You have probably seen chefs splash a little alcohol in a fry pan and then tilt it so the vapor makes contact with the gas cooking flame.

It is all about the vapor and to use alcohol to start a fire you have to move quickly. Soak a piece of cloth, and then put your dry tinder on top, so the vapor flows up through the tinder. In most cases the cloth itself will not ignite before the alcohol has burned off, so it is important you have dry tinder on top. Otherwise you will simply burn off the alcohol from the cloth without actually igniting the cloth. The flame is nearly invisible in daylight. Typically alcohol at 80-proof or more can be ignited rather easily.

8.) Barter Item

It was debated as to whether or not to mention alcohol and bartering, because some find it so obvious of a choice for a bartering item that it goes without saying. For those that have been prepping for years however, you have to keep in mind some are just getting started and so what may seem obvious to you will not be so obvious to others.

Even if you do not drink alcohol others do. In fact alcohol consumption is at record levels, so someone is drinking it, and just because the SHTF does not mean people will stop drinking it if it is available. Make sure it is available, because it can be traded for other items you may desperately need.

Stockpile a variety and remember you do get what you pay for, so spend a little extra because quality will pay off.

9.) Used As a Deodorant for Body and Feet

Bacteria need moisture to grow and growing bacteria cause odors. We already know that alcohol displaces moisture, which will in turn kill off bacteria. Use it on the body to help with body odor, particularly odor problems with your feet. Some people even soak their feet in vodka, for example, to help control foot odor when you cannot wash your feet regularly.

10.) Bug Repellent

Alcohol blended with certain other compounds, olive oil, for example, can be used as a bug repellent that can be rubbed on the skin. Again, the go to choice for many is vodka. Mix equal parts together and rub on exposed skin.

How it works to repel or kill certain insects is not entirely clear, but studies have shown it does work to some extent. Possibly the displacement of moisture creates certain results or the ingredients in the alcohol are toxic to some insects. There are plenty of myths and rumors surrounding many so-called home remedies, so experiment safely to find out what works best for you.

Obviously, the above listed uses for grain alcohol are not the only uses during a crisis. Do some research and if you experiment do so safely and come up with some more uses for “drinking alcohol” once the SHTF.

An Evac Plan For Your Dog

I have two dogs that are just as much a part of the family as my wife and kid are. They sleep in bed
 

I have two dogs that are just as much a part of the family as my wife and kid are. They sleep in bed

with us and lay on the couch. In return they protect the house while we’re away and alert us when they hear  something go bump in the night. I don’t think you should have a dog if you lack that mindset. A dog will do anything for you and lives to make you happy so please remember to include them in the family evac plan.
The pros to having a dog in a crisis far outweigh the cons. Your dog will guard the family with its life and they’ll hear stuff long before you do so they are an excellent early warning system. Size doesn’t matter, even the smallest dogs will still alert you and try to protect you. My ma has a little Pomeranian that’s gotta be getting close to ten years old now and she still runs the pack which includes a pitbull, a lab, and a hound.
Dogs can be trained to help with hunting and tracking as well.
You wake up one night to your dog barking its head off. What’s going on? A fire, a tornado, an earthquake? Regardless of the reason the first thing to remember is DON’T PANIC. Dogs pick up on body language and are very receptive to their owner’s emotions. Now that the disaster is under way you need to keep your dog calm, quiet, and under control. If you have worked with your dog this should be easy. If you haven’t your dog may bolt. A dog has built in survival instincts and will normally seek shelter close to home until the commotion calms down. If your dog didn’t bolt and you have them under control where are you planning on going? Do you know where the pet friendly hotels are? Most shelters won’t take pets and red cross shelters do not accept them at all. Do you have an evac plan? If you don’t its okay this guide should help you figure out a very detailed plan for your pooch.
*** Please, never, ever, leave your dog during an evacuation. The emergency officials may tell you it will only be for a few hours but there is no way to know for sure. Police can prevent you from returning to your home for weeks. Don’t leave your dog behind he/she wouldn’t leave you.

Preventative measures
There are a few simple things that should be done as soon as possible.

  • The first and most important thing is to establish a plan and practice it.
  • Get your dog up to date on all their shots
  • Consider getting your dog micro chipped
  • Make sure their ID tag is current and that it has your phone number on it
  • Discuss a plan with a trusted friend or family member that can check on your dogs if you can’t make it home do to a car accident or injury. Give this person a key and instructions for your dog.
  • Make copies of all of your dogs paperwork. Put one set in your pack and one set in the dogs pack. I have a list below of all the info you need

Training tips
Training should be fun for you and your dog. Practice for a few minutes a day instead of once in a  while and remember to be patient with your dog. Your dog lives to make you happy so disaster training will be a good way to bond with him.
Knowing your dog wants nothing more than to please you, remember that positive reinforcement and treats yields better results than being overly forceful. While you are training keep your dog on the left side of you not in front or behind. Remember to use a low firm tone and give lots of praise for a job well done. It is a good idea to increase stress in the house before running bug out drills with your dog. The final thing to remember is to use your dog’s name before every command such as “Titan, Speak.”

Training exercises

A dog is going to learn a lot of commands when prepping for a bug out. This is just a few good training exercises and you may want to add or remove some.

  • Leash train your dog. Nobody likes walking a dog that pulls.
  • Teach your dogs “Speak” and “Quiet” these are two of the most important commands during a survival situation. The commands go together like peanut butter and jelly. Here’s a very helpful how to
  • Basic obedience training
  • Get your dog used to wearing their pack or vest. Start off by putting it on empty and givethem a treat every time they wear it. Once Fido is used to the empty pack start adding gear to it gradually so he can get used to the weight.
  • After the pack is second nature to your dog teach him that when the pack is on he is to sit by the door and wait for instruction. The instruction words should be easy terms like car, safe room, crate.
  • Train your dog to return when called

Choosing a pack 
Not being used as a go bag but come on its cool

 Do some searching on amazon and find a nice go bag for your dog. He can carry most of the supplies he’ll need, so that’s one less thing on your own back. Remember to keep it light and simple. Consider the size of the dog when buying and planning their go bag. You don’t want to strap 20 pounds of gear to a 15 pound dog. More weight means slower travel, more food, more water, and risking injuries to your dog. When funds allow I want to get my dogs black, tactical, molle capable go bags. Gotta wait a little while on that though. Now onto the gear list. All of these items are handy and can be used for humans or dogs but again consider the size of your dog. My pitbull or lab won’t have a problem carrying their own gear but a pug or Chihuahua won’t be able to carry all that much. So as I said consider the size of your dog as well as the types of disasters and terrain you might face.

Gear list

  • All  paperwork and photos you need in a waterproof bag. I’ll cover paperwork next.
  • Three day supply of food in zip lock baggies.
  • Three day supply of water. The bottles can be hung from your dogs go bag.
  • Water and food bowls
  • A pair of women’s panty hose or stockings. These can be used as an emergency muzzle, a bandage, an ace bandage, water filtration, and numerous other things.
  • Sandwich bags instead of poop bags. You can use them for poop and other stuff that way.
  • A muzzle. I hate muzzles but unfortunately anytime I go to the vet my dog needs one. He doesn’t like the vet and this is the easiest way to be sure no one gets bitten.
  • Treats
  • A favorite toy
  • A small blanket or towel
  • ID tags for your dog’s collar, crate, and go bag
  • Allergy meds and any other daily meds with instructions
  • Glow lite sticks to help you and your dog be more visible at night
  • Flea and tick control
  • Nail clippers
  • A brush or comb if your dog has long fur
  • One of your unwashed t shirts in a ziplock baggy. You can put the t shirt on the dog’s bed to help calm them.
  • several tubes of Nutrical concentrated dog food. This is a highly concentrated dog food that is fed to animals who cant eat. It provides enough nutrition to keep them alive. 1tsp per 10lbs of body weight.

Here’s some extra stuff that can be added if it won’t weigh down your dog too much

  • Compass and map
  • A small flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water purification tablets
  • Hand warmers
  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • A reflective dog vest
  • Bic lighter
  • Extra collar and leash
  • Tie out leash or chain.
  • Rain coat and boots for the dog. Sounds dumb but this can provide some protection from nuclear fallout. The boots can also help if your dog hurts their foot.
  • Crate or kennel

Replace food, water, and meds every 6 months. If you use a crate or kennel know where it is at all times. Write your contact info in permanent marker and duck tape a photo of your pet to the carrier.
Pet first aid kit

  • Small scissors
  • Gauze pads and cotton squares
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Insand cold packs. As an alternative you can put cold mud in a sandwich bag.
  • Medical tape
  • Tweezers
  • 1 small bar of soap
  • 1 small tube of antiseptic
  • 1 small bottle of eye drops
  • 10-20 cotton balls
  • large tea bags. These help stop bleeding
  • Vet wrap. Like an ace bandage but self adhesive.
  • Tampons. Work well for deep punctures or bullet holes
  • Peroxide. Clean wounds and induce vomiting if your dog eats something he shouldn’t
  • Benadryl 1mg per pound for bug bites and bee stings
  • Aspirin good for dogs but it’ll kill a cat
  • ***NEVER GIVE A DOG IBUPROFEN***

Paperwork and phone numbers

  • Dog ID
  • Health records
  • Multiple pictures of your dog and family members together
  • Vaccination records
  • Contact info for yourself and a few friends and family members
  • Ownership papers
  • A list and photo of each pet including breed, sex, age, color, markings
  • City license
  • Pet insurance policy
  • Vet contact info
  • A list of pet friendly hotels and boarding kennels in your area
  • Phone numbers should include veterinarian, emergency vet, animal poison control center, pet friendly hotels, area animal shelters, etc.
  • An unfilled drug prescription for your pets meds or a 2 week supply.

Food and water
You will want a three day supply of food in your dog’s go bag but if it runs out there are alternatives. 
Pretty much whatever you eat your dog can too. There are exceptions like no onions, garlic, chocolate, gum, grapes, and a few others do some research before you give your dog something. A good way to find out alternative food sources before a disaster is to add a food item to your dogs food for 2 weeks. If there is no upset stomach or allergies you have found a new food the dog can safely eat. A dog needs two sources of nutrition, a protein and a carbohydrate. The protein part is meat, eggs, poultry, or fish. The carbohydrate part is the filler such as oatmeal, rice, macaroni, and bread.  The only other thing is water. Dogs will drink from puddles, nasty muck water, streams, they don’t seem to care but use caution. Even though a dog has a faster digestive tract than a human they can still get diarreah from contaminated water. The better option is to have water bottles just for them. The minimum amount of water for a dog is 8 oz of water for every 5 pounds of body weight. 

As long as you have a plan in place you can keep the whole family safe including the hairier members. Your dog will do anything to make you happy so don’t leave him behind to starve and die. If you are considering adopting a dog only do so if you plan to treat them as a person and include them in any bug out plan. 

Reblogged from http://livetoseetomorrow.blogspot.com/

How to Treat 4 Types of Gunshot Wounds (From One Shot?)

A paramedic told me that when she was in TRAINING, a patient came in who had been shot in the right upper chest. They ended up finding the bullet not in the back, not even in the other side of the chest, but way down in the right butt cheek, pushing against the skin.

In my last post, I covered general gunshot-wound treatment—the basics for survival situations when you can’t get to a doctor. Now, I’ll go into more detail for specific wounds.

A paramedic told me that when she was in TRAINING, a patient came in who had been shot in the right upper chest. They ended up finding the bullet not in the back, not even in the other side of the chest, but way down in the right butt cheek, pushing against the skin.

In my last post, I covered general gunshot-wound treatment—the basics for survival situations when you can’t get to a doctor. Now, I’ll go into more detail for specific wounds.

 

As I said in the first post, one bullet can cause multiple injuries—both internal and external. Even if you can’t get expert treatment right away, you need to get it as soon as you can. There are some lifesaving things I don’t cover here that you just can’t do outside a hospital.
Signs of Internal Bleeding

Since you can’t see all the bleeding, it’s important to note the initial vital signs. Warning signs of internal bleeding include:

  • Decreasing alertness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Weak pulse
  • Lowering blood pressure, or faster and faster pulse.

Important Note

These treatments for gunshot wounds are complicated and require advanced knowledge. I can’t cover everything in a blog post. (I’ll be writing about gunshot wounds in a future book.)

I’ve tried to give you a good OVERVIEW so you have the best chance to save a life, but as always, my blog isn’t meant to be YOUR sole source of information.

Someone with internal bleeding is probably not going to survive without rapid transfer to a medical facility.
For a Gunshot Wound in the Head
Think about: the airway.

Tips:

  1. Attempt to control the bleeding with direct pressure as best you can (no tourniquets around the neck).
  2. Make sure the blood doesn’t choke the person. You can have a conscious person sit up and lean forward, or turn an unconscious person on their side and bend the top knee forward to keep them that way.
  3. If you believe a carotid artery (that large artery on either side of the neck that supplies the brain) is nicked, you can APPLY soft direct pressure, and include an occlusive dressing. (See the box to the right.)

How to Make an Occlusive Dressing out of a Driver’s License

For an OPEN, or “sucking,” chest wound, you want to keep air from getting in but also let excess air escape.

One makeshift way to do this is to lay a driver’s license or plastic wrap on the wound. When the diaphragm contracts and pulls in air (the same mechanism that makes us breathe), the vaccuum will suck the object onto the wound. But if air needs to escape, it can easily push the object up.

You could also use Vaseline gauze or put petroleum jelly on gauze. No petroleum jelly? Try any type of ointment or even honey.

The victim needs other treatment, such as a chest tube, right away. The occlusive dressing is just a temporary treatment to keep the situation from getting worse.

Learn how to treat other wounds when there is no doctor in The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds.
For a Gunshot Wound in the Chest
Think about: air sucking, spine injury.

Tips:

  1. Open chest wounds are also nicknamed sucking chest wounds because they suck air in and can lead to a collapsed lung. You can help stop the sucking by closing the open wound with an occlusive dressing.
  2. Remember the spine is also included in the back of the chest. Be very careful about movement of these victims. You want to keep them as still as possible and not damage the spinal cord.
  3. If the heart, the lungs, the spine, or a large blood vessel is damaged, there’s not much you can do outside getting immediate expert medical care.

For a Gunshot Wound in the Abdomen
Think about: organ protection.

Tips:

  1. If the wound is open and you can see the intestines, find a moist, sterile dressing to place on top of the wound (to protect the organs).
  2. If the intestines are ripped open, the victim needs immediate medical care. If they don’t bleed to death, they’ll likely die of the coming severe infection.
  3. The victim should take nothing at all by mouth until the pain lets up, and then wait a day or two. This is obviously a difficult situation, but this STEP is very important and a time when a slow drip of IV fluids would be useful.

If an arm wound won’t stop bleeding despite direct pressure to the wound and elevation, press on the brachial artery around the place where the arrow in the left picture is pointing (below the armpit). Do this by grabbing underneath the person’s arm, wrapping YOUR fingers to the artery (inner arm), and pressing firmly on it with your fingers. You’ll know you probably have it right when the bleeding slows down. If it’s still not controlled, try pressure nearer to the heart.

Here’s a trick to try it out now: Get a partner, and find the person’s radial pulse (in the wrist on the thumb side). Then grab the upper arm as described above. You should feel the pulse stop. Only do this for a couple of seconds, of course, since you’re stopping blood flow.

For a leg wound that won’t stop bleeding, APPLY pressure to the femoral artery, shown in the picture on the right. The best place to do this is in the middle of the bend between the front of leg and the hip. (This is not the place where the arrow is pointing; it’s above it.)

For a Gunshot Wound in the Arms or Legs
Think about: bones.

Tips:

  1. Direct pressure, elevation, pressure bandage—in that ORDER. Elevate the wound above the heart, and apply a pressure bandage. Then if it’s still bleeding, take your fingers and apply pressure to the brachial artery for the arm or the femoral artery for the leg. (See the box to the right.)
  2. If all else fails in an extremity, go to a tourniquet. (It may come down to “lose a limb or lose a life.” See The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds for dos and don’ts of tourniquet use.)
  3. If the area is rapidly swelling, that’s a sign of internal bleeding. Also, consider that a bone might have been injured, even shattered. If you suspect this, the area needs to be splinted.

For a Superficial Wound

If the gunshot wound is superficial, clean it as much as you can and follow the STEPS in “Puncture Wounds” in my e-book The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds. Start antibiotics when you’re finished taking care of the wounds.

One More Thing: What About the Bullet?

In most circumstances, you don’t want to remove an implanted bullet. It’s almost impossible to find, and it may actually be corking up a big blood vessel.

Thousands of military members live daily with shrapnel in their bodies. Unless there’s initial infection from the wound itself, the body adapts to most metal without much serious problem.

Gunshot wounds can run the gamut. Some people are too severely injured to save. Get expert treatment as soon as possible.