Go Camping: Camping is Great Way to Increase your Survival Knowledge

Don’t be caught off guard; Prepare yourself by going camping!

When it comes to preparedness, testing, practice and real-world experience is everything. If you have a closet full of gear, but you’ve never really put that gear to the test then why bother even having it?

Camping, fishing and hunting are all great ways to relax and spend time with the family; they’re also great ways to improve your survival/preparedness related skills. Only by testing yourself in a real-world setting, can you truly understand what it will take to survive a real-life disaster.

Good old fashion camping is a great way to get in shape, discover how you’ll do with limited resources, and introduce children to the idea of preparedness.

JUST DO IT: Reading a book is not a Substitute for Real-World Experience

Reading about survival is one thing; actually practicing the skills your reading about in a real-world setting is entirely different. The only way you can truly be proficient in anything is to get out there and do it. Think about it; when you first learned to ride a bike, did you do it by reading about it in a book or did you get out there and practice?

Reading a book or a website about survival is not the same thing as getting out there and using that knowledge in a real world survival situation. You need to start putting your knowledge to use.

It Doesn’t Take much… You have a Backyard Right?

Personally, I’m a big fan of camping and backpacking.  But not everyone shares my enthusiasm for really roughing it, and those who lack real-world wilderness experience really shouldn’t try it there first time out.

You don’t even have to leave your home to go camping.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to trek miles away from people to benefit from camping. If you have a backyard, or even a living room, you have everything you need to get started – especially if you have small kids.

Camping at home can be a great way to ease younger children into the idea of camping out in the wilderness. A backyard adventure is not only an experience they will remember forever, it will start them down a path that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Preparedness skills that you can practice while you’re out camping:

For the beginner, things like learning how to put up a new tent, figuring out how the cook on an outdoor stove or fire, and testing out your sleeping bags are all great first steps. Once you have the basics down, you can then start to throw in some other wilderness survival related training.

Learning how to start a fire

Learning how to start a fire is a skill that everyone should have; but learning how to start one is only half the battle. Just like all aspects of preparedness, practice makes perfect.

Take the time to learn how to not only start a fire, but how to start one using various different fire starting techniques. Once you have that down, really start to study how different tinder, woods, and stacking techniques affect the fire.

Learn how to construct a good tarp shelter

I love making tent shelters; they’re fun, easy to make, and can really make a difference during an emergency situation. While building shelters from natural materials is always an option, tarp shelters are something you can practice in your backyard, or even in your living room in a pinch.

Make your breakfast in a thermos

During an emergency, where power and gas may be hard to come by, a thermos can be a great way to cook a wide variety of slow cooking foods. They are also awesome while camping.

Using a thermos can be a great way to save fuel when cooking foods that have a long cooking time. If you’ve ever cooked with a crock pot, then the concept of cooking with a thermos is pretty similar. It allows you to simmer foods for a long time, with only the fuel that’s required to boil some water.

Practice making survival traps and snares

If you have kids, you need to be careful with this one. That being said, knowing how to find and procure food is going to be essential to your ability to survive during a long-term survival situation. In order to get enough calories, you’re going to have to find foods high in fat and protein; that means you’re going to need a way to hunt and trap game.

The best survival traps are usually very simple to make, and can constructed with natural materials — if you know what to look for.

Camping Safety Tips:

If you do decide to trek out into the wilderness and camp for a couple of days, there are some safety tips that you need to keep in mind:

  • Pack a Good First Aid Kit: First Aid Kits are one of those preparedness items that people often forget about. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to receive the same amount of attention that things like survival knives, guns and bug out bags get.
  • Have a Pre-trip Plan: One of the most important parts of any back country camping trip is your Pre-Trip Planning. Planning will help ensure your camping adventure goes smoothly, and will allow you to account for any threats you may face out in the wilderness.
  • Fill out an Emergency Plan Sheet: One of the best ways you can prevent becoming another statistic is by filling out a detailed trip plan. Should something happen, and you fail to return home at the agreed upon time, your plan can help search and rescue teams know exactly where to start looking.
  • Bring Extra Emergency Supplies: In addition to a First Aid kit, make sure you pack things like a map, compass, flashlight, knife, duct tape, waterproof matches, whistle, blankets, and a solar or hand-crank cell phone charger.
  • Stay hydrated. Being out in the elements can take a toll on your body. Make sure you pack enough water for your entire campsite. If you like to hike and be on the move, we recommend carrying a portable hiking water filter. 
  • Stay Alert: When you’re out in the wilderness keep your eyes open. Just like all aspects of survival, situational awareness is the key to staying safe.

Natural Disasters: Emergency Preparedness Checklist

There are a number of different emergency events that people prepare for; unfortunately, far too many people ignore the most likely ones and focus on things that may or may not ever happen. But there are some events that are actually pretty predictable. At some point, everyone is going to have to deal with a natural disaster, so preparing for these events is something that we all need to take seriously.

What to expect:

While every disaster will have its own set of unique challenges, there are some things that you can expect during most natural disasters. Whether it’s a hurricane, flood, earthquake, wildfire, or even just extreme seasonal storms, there are a number of things you should be prepared to deal with.

  • Expect to be without utilities for several days to several weeks. That means services like electricity, gas, and water could be affected.
  • Disruptions in Food Distribution. Depending on the severity of the disaster, it’s very likely that you will see at least temporary disruptions in food delivery systems. Your local grocery stores may have trouble keeping food on the shelves.
  • Loss of Infrastructure Services. Things like trash collection, emergency services, and even hospital services could be affected.
  • Crime, Looting, and Violence. During most disasters there is usually a pretty big uptick in the amount of crime. From unprepared people who are desperate to find supplies, to the lowlifes who prey on the innocent in the aftermath of a disaster, this is something that has become far too common of an occurrence post-disaster.

Do you know what Disasters are most likely in your Area?

In order to plan for emergencies, you need to know what disasters are most likely to affect your immediate area.

  • Do you live in an earthquake zone?
  • Is your home situated in a flood plain?
  • What disasters have affected your geographical location in the past?

If you live in an area that is prone to a certain type of natural disaster, then that’s where you need to start your planning.

Do you have an evacuation plan in Place?

Being prepared for natural disasters means preparing for the possibility of having to evacuate your home, and possibly even your city or state. Events like hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes can create a situation where hunkering down could prove to be a life-threatening decision. It’s essential that you have a plan in place to deal with evacuation causing disasters.

Depending on where you live, millions of people could be hitting the roads trying to flee the area.

If you don’t have a plan, or you decide to wait for the government to issue an evacuation notice before you leave, you’re probably not going to get out of town on time. At the very least, you will find yourself stuck for hours in traffic with hordes of people all trying to escape; but more likely, you will probably find yourself stuck in the danger zone without a way of getting out.

  • Your plan should have a trigger. You need to decide ahead of time what things would need to happen for you to kick your plan into place.
  • You need to keep communication in mind and have a plan for contacting your loved ones during an emergency.
  • You need to practice your plan before disaster strikes.

Is your Home Disaster Ready?

When disaster strikes, there is a good chance your home is going to sustain some sort of damage. To minimize the effects of the disaster, and to help ensure your safety, there are some things you should be aware of.

  • Find out where your homes emergency shutoffs are located. If a disaster ruptures your waterlines or gas pipes, or damages the power grid in anyway, you may need to shut off these utility services at the source.
  • Do you have a Safe Room? You should have a room in your home that is a dedicated safe zone – an area away from windows that has been structurally fortified to withstand severe weather.
  • Is your emergency gear easily accessible? Things like flashlights, candles and emergency radios should be in a place where you can easily grab them once trouble strikes.

Is your home attack proof?

During times of crisis, criminals usually try to take advantage of the situation. You need to be prepared for the possibility of looters and people who are seeking to do you harm.

  • If you don’t have a firearm, you need to consider purchasing one and learning how to use it.
  • You need to make sure your home is fortified to withstand an attack or home invasion.
  • You need to have a plan in place, and everyone in your family should know what to do should a criminal try to enter your home.

Do you have an emergency kit, and will it last at least two weeks?

Most preparedness experts recommend having 72 hours’ worth of emergency supplies; that number is completely wrong. At minimum you need to have a two-week supply of food, water, medicine, and emergency supplies on hand at all times.

  • When stockpiling water you should store 1 gallon per day, per person in the household. You should also know where all the water sources are around your home.
  • Food supplies for a natural disaster are a little different than those for a long-term disaster, as you want to make sure you have plenty of easy to prepare foods that don’t require a lot of cooking.
  • Make sure you have a fully stocked first-aid kit, and if you have medical problems make sure you have extra medication. Check out our article on how to prepare if you have health problems.

Do you have cash on hand?

Even during small-scale disasters, power outages can affect electronic payment systems — making your debit and credit cards completely useless. You should always have some emergency cash on hand. Should you need last minute supplies, or need to rent a hotel room during a temporary evacuation, having cash could become extremely important.

Do you have a way to generate power?

Most natural disasters can have a destructive effect on the power grid. From temporary power outages, to outages that can last for weeks, or even months as we seen after Hurricane Sandy, you need to be prepared to deal with shutdowns in the grid.

  • How to Choose the Right Emergency Generator for Your Home: Our Generator worksheet will help you determine the right size generator for your situation.
  • The Top Portable Solar Panel Chargers for Disasters: Advances in solar technology have made it possible for everyone to have a small emergency solar backup. These small portable devices can help keep things like cell phones, small tablets, flashlights, emergency radios, ham radios, and GPS devices up and running.
  • Make sure you have a way to cook food. I recommend having some sort of outdoor stove or grill so that you can still cook should your power and gas go out.

Are you Psychologically prepared to deal with emergency situations?

Throughout history people have endured many unthinkable hardships. From the arctic explorers who survived being shipwrecked for years in the brutal conditions of the Antarctic, to those who survived the unthinkable conditions in Nazi Germany, the one thing these survivors all had in common was the will to survive.

To truly be prepared to survive any type of disaster, you need to cultivate a mindset that goes far beyond just having the skills and gear to survive.

  • Surviving Traumatic Events starts with developing the Right Mindset: The will to survive is probably the single most important aspect of surviving a traumatic event.
  • Disaster Related PTSD: How to Recover from Disasters and Traumatic Events: Disasters can have severe mental and physical health consequences, developing the proper coping skills and strategies can help get you through even the toughest situations.
  • Prepping without giving into Fear: While aspects of fear can be helpful during certain situations, if you don’t learn how to how to properly control it, it can be a debilitating killer.

Are your family, friends, and children prepared?

During your planning, it’s important to realize you’re not an island. If you have loved ones who live in your home, or people you take care of on a regular basis, these people need to be on board with your plans. An emergency is not the time to start teaching them what they should or shouldn’t do.

Once you have your plans in place, you need to remember to practice and periodically review your procedures to make sure nothing has changed. Conduct drills; ask your family members if they remember where to meet and what to do, make sure your emergency supplies are up-to-date, and stay on top of anything that might require you to rethink or rework your plans.

How to Weather Forecast And Weather Predict Without Technology

We have no control on the weather yet it is a part of our lives which influence what we do, what we eat, what we wear and many times where we live.  How did people predict the weather before there was the Internet, television, radio or the weatherperson with all of their gadgets?

Modern Tools for Weather Forecasting

  • Doppler radar and high altitude balloons.  The Doppler radar produces velocity data about objects at a distance with the help of the Doppler effect.
  • Weather balloons send back measurements of atmospheric pressures, wind speeds, temperatures, and humidity. Balloons send back data via a device called a radiosonde which collects information on its upward journey and transmits it back as the device comes back from its high altitudes.
  • Barometers measure air pressure.
  • Anemometers measure air pressure but have no mercury.  They also measure wind speed.
  • The Beaufort scale is also used to measure the wind speed.  Each picture represents one level of the scale.
  • Psychrometers measure relative humidity.  This instrument uses two thermometers.  One bulb is covered with a wet cloth.  A cooling effect of evaporation lower the temperature on the bulb as the cloth slowly dries.  The two thermometer temperatures are compared to a chart to get the relative humidity.
  • Thermometers measures the air temperature. In the United States, temperature is measured using two scales.  These are the fahrenheit and celsius scales.  Both of these are based on the state of the water at sea level.
  • Rain gauges measure the amount of liquid precipitation.  This is a fancy rain gauge used by professionals but any open container with a flat bottom can measure precipitation by adding an inch scale.

Predicting The Weather Before All Of The Modern Technology

Before our world had so many gadgets to predict the weather, people had to depend on observations and folklore to predict the weather.

Step 1 OBSERVATIONS

A.  Coffee

  • You can predict the weather by observing a cup of coffee.  When you pour a cup of coffee watch which way the bubbles on the top go.  A good sign is when the bubbles quickly move to rim of the cup.  That means high pressure and good weather for the next 12 hours.  When the bubbles stay in the middle of the cup, you know the pressure is low and the weather is unsettled.  This illustrates air pressure just as a barometer or anemometer do.B.   Insects
  •  When bees stay in or hover around their hives it means it is going to rain sometime that day.  So if you see no bees in your flower beds you can probably count on rain.  Air pressure again is the cause of bees not venturing out too far from their hives.
  • Ants also stay near the opening of their ant hill if a rain storm is coming.  Sometimes ants will even cover up the hole on their mound.  They will also build the sides of their ant hills very steep right before the rain.  All of these occur due to the air pressure.
  • Some insects have a tendency to be mean when rain is approaching.  Wasps have a tendency of stinging and fleas will bite fiercely.  Watch your arms for flea bites and don’t let the wasp get you as they really hurt.
  • Spiders make their webs  stronger when a storm is expected, and rain is predicted.  The webs usually have more cross sections that reinforce the web.
  • Crickets are known as a poor man’s thermometer.  They can tell the temperature.  If you add the chirps a cricket makes in a 14 second time period and add the number to 40 you should come up with the temperature with one degree Fahrenheit.  Imagine using crickets as your thermometer.
  • C.  Cows
  • Looking in the field at a heard of cows, you know if they spread out it is going to be a nice day.
  • If the cattle are all clustered together, a storm is brewing.  The tighter the cluster the worse the weather will be.
  • Cowboys and cattle can’t talk but cattle can relay a message that it is going to rain and the cowboy understands by observing the actions of the cows.  For example, if a cow is restless in its stall, it usually is a sign of rain as cows are usually calm in the barn.
  • Another way a cow predicts rain to a cowboy is by not giving milk.
  • In the pasture cows rarely lie down but if they do, this is another prediction of precipitation.
  • D.  Birds
  • When rain is coming, birds have a tendency to fly low because the air pressure starts falling due to an oncoming storm and the lower air pressure hurts their ears.
  • It is also a sign of the air pressure falling when you see a bunch of birds sitting on the telephone or power lines.
  • Rain in coming when you observe the sparrows chirping and all of a sudden you don’t hear any birds.
  • Seagulls stop swarming and stay on the beach when a storm is coming.
  • E.  Cats
  • You will often see cats clean behind their ears before it rains.
  • Most animals sense the air pressure changing and will have a sixth sense when it come to predicting stormy weather.
  • F.  Moon
  • Light shining through cirrostratus clouds associated with moisture and warm fronts cause a ring around the moon.  The ring around the moon usually means rain or snow.
  • G.  Wind
  • By observing which direction the wind is blowing, throw a piece of grass into the air and watch its descent.  This will give you the wind’s direction.  Westerly winds indicate no storm fronts are near. Easterly winds can indicate a storm front is approaching.
  • H. Leaves
  • The leaves of deciduous trees turn upside down during unusual winds.  The leaves grow in a way that keeps them right side up during regular prevalent winds.
  • The leaves on trees will curl when the humidity changes.  Imagine observing tree leaves for humidity rather than measuring it with a psychrometer.
  • G.  Clouds
  • Clouds which look like puffs appearing in long rows.  These clouds are called cirrocumulus clouds. These are considered high clouds which have an elevation of over 20,000 feet.  When much of the sky is covered with these clouds the sky is called a “mackerel sky” because it looks like a lot of fish scales.
  • Altocumulus clouds are in the middle cloud group.  The elevation of these clouds is 10,000 to 20,000 feet.  These clouds form when rising currents within the cloud extend to the unstable air above.  Rain can be predicted within 36 hours.
  • Towering clouds, know as cumulonimbus clouds usually mean thunderstorms in the afternoon. These clouds usually have thunder, lightning and heavy rain.  These towering clouds can go up to 60.000 feet.
  • Cirrus clouds which are the highest clouds look like a lot wispy feathers in the sky.  Usually these clouds indicate pleasant to fair weather when they move from west to east.  A high number of these clouds can be a sign of an approaching frontal system.  They are usually over 20,000 feet and are where the atmosphere is very cold.
  • Light and moderate participation is associated with nimbostratus clouds.  These clouds cover the whole sky and are dark and low hanging. These are considered low clouds, under 10.000 feet and lengthy precipitation can be expected within a few hours.
  • Cumulus clouds look like cotton balls in the sky.  Usually these clouds are not a prediction of rain as there is a lot of clear sky in between them.  In the spring and summer these clouds can change into thunderhead clouds (cumulonimbus clouds).
  • H.  Air
  • If the air smells like compost, there must be a low pressure and plants are releasing their waste. Rain is on the way.
  • Another smell in the air during low pressure and a sign a storm is on the way is that of the gasses from the swamps.

Step 2 Folklore

Even though folklore weather seems way out there, farmers and sailers still use it today.

A.  Proverbs

  • “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight”.  Red sky at night usually means high pressure and stable air is approaching from the west.  Usually good weather will follow.
  • “Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning”.  If the sunrise is red, it usually indicates a storm system is moving to the east.  Rain is on its way if the morning sky is deep fiery red.
  • “Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning”.  This usually indicates we are probably going to get the shower in the west.
  • “If March come in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb”.  March is such an unpredictable month for weather.  We can only hope that if it is cold and snowy the beginning of March, it will be springlike and warm at the end of March.
  • “Cool is the night…when the stars shine bright”.  The temperature seems to drop when there is less moisture in the air at night.  A clear night sky allows the stars to shine bright.  The brighter the stars the cooler the night.
  • “Clear moon, frost soon”.  If the night sky is clear enough to see the moon and the temperature drops a-lot, frost will form.
  • “Mare’s tails and mackerel scales make tall ships take in their sails”.  This saying means that high winds could be coming and therefore the sails of the ships should come down.
  • “When the stars begin to huddle, the earth will soon become a puddle”.  Many stars are hidden by approaching clouds at night.  The clouds that are not hidden by the clouds look like they are huddled together.  This doesn’t always lead to rain but if clouds start increasing then there is the chance of rain.
  • “When the wind is blowing in the North, no fisherman should set forth.  When the wind is blowing in the East, ’tis not fit for man or beast.  When the wind is blowing in the South, it brings the food over the fish’s mouth.  When the wind is blowing in the West, that is when the fishing is best”. This is when all of the door signs that say “GONE FISHING” come out.

How to Dry Cure Meat at Home

50 g salt  5 g pink salt #2  20 g Hungarian paprika  20 g pepper  10 g fresh garlic, minced  4 g dextrose  3 g white pepper  24 g reduced dry white wine (Hungarian Tokaji)  3 ft of beef middles 1. If using natural casings, soak the casings in cold water for about an hour, making sure to rinse and replace the water at least once halfway through. Open the casings underneath running water to rinse the insides. 2. Grind partially-frozen meat through small die and pork fat through large die. 3. Dissolve the starter culture in de-chlorinated water. Let sit for 20 minutes. While it is rehydrating, chill the beef and pork in the freezer to keep it cold. 4. Combine meat with starter culture, salt, and remaining dry seasonings. Mix for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes tacky. 5. Add chilled Tokaji wine and mix until combined. If you took the optional step to boil off the alcohol and concentrate the wine flavors, be sure to add the same mass of liquid that the recipe calls for (start with a quantity of wine greater than 24 g and boil this down to 24 g). 6. Stuff immediately into casings. Prick all over with a sterile pin to eliminate air pockets. Weigh the mass of your salamis and record this value. 7. Ferment in the Cave chamber at 70ᵒF and 90% relative humidity for 72 hours. 8. Cold smoke for 6-12 hours. 9. Dry in the Cave at 55-60ᵒF and 75% relative humidity until the salami has lost 30% of its weight. Adjust airflow so that it is highest at start of drying, and gradually decreases until the salami is complete. This may take 2-3 months if using beef middles.

One of the old forms of food preservation is fermenting and curing meat. It’s also one  of the tastiest in artisan salamis, pepperoni, aged cheeses, and of course, bacon, just to name a few. Not only does fermenting add preservation to the meat, but it adds flavor, flavor. Need I repeat it again.

If learning how to do things the old-fashioned way, bringing back traditional skills and learning true art forms, or just plain eating delicious foods that you know where they came from and went into them, then you my friend, are in the right place. Let’s raise our cheeses and pepperoni together!

Today we’re talking about the art of using salt and fermentation to preserve your meat.Many people use the freezer or canning to preserve their foods, and while I’m a die hard Mason jar and canning addict, looking back at older forms of food preservation is just as important.

The art of fermenting is using the good bacteria (and salt with meats or dry curing) to give flavor and preservation to the meat, along with drawing out the moisture, which allows it to be a form of preservation. 

Advantages to Fermented and Dry Cured Meat

Cured meat increases in flavor as it ages, as opposed to time in the freezer where over time your meat slowly degrades. Hanging and aging your whole muscles cuts and salami it concentrates the flavors and gives it a more intense flavor process. Plus, there’s the cool factor of being able to have shelf stable meat cured like the pioneers did.

 How to Dry Cure Meat at Home

Purchase a culture specifically for meat SausageMaker.com or ButcherPacker.com  You can keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to do your meat.

The easiest way to preserve your meat is taking a whole muscle cut, make a salt and spice rub and cover it with the rub, and put it in the fridge for a few days. This way you don’t have to use nitrates or any special ingredients.

After a few days, when the salt has had a chance to get in there and draw out some of the moisture, hang it in a controlled environment at 60 degrees Farenheit with 70% humidity and let it dry until it’s lost about 30% of its water weight. That is preserved traditionally and you can eat it raw.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I make a commission if you make a purchase, but it costs you  no more. Thank you so much for helping support this site and podcast.

Resources for Dry Curing Meat at Home

Kitchen Scale– digital kitchen scale weighing up to 18 pounds at a time to make sure you can accurately tell when 30% moisture loss has occurred.

Salt This is a pink Himalayan sea salt with no additives

Curing Salt– for use in ground up cured meats to help prevent the growth of botulism

The Cave – unit that allows you to control the temperature and humidity on any refrigerator or freezer.

Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing -the book on how to cure meats at home.

Three FREE Recipes on How to Dry Cure Meat at Home- homemade pepperoni, salami, and prosciutto

How long do you let your muscle cut cure?

Prosciutto cuts can take up to a whole year, but smaller cuts don’t take as long. It depends on when it looses the 30% of its water weight. So you need to weigh the cut going in and then after its aged.

You can make Panchetta, which you usually cook, so if you cook it, and don’t eat it raw, then the 30% weight loss isn’t as crucial.

How do you store your cured meat and how long is it good for?

You can continue to store it in The Cave to continue to age it and concentrating the flavors. If you keep curing it will get really hard, otherwise you can store it in your fridge.Lowering the temperature slows down the aging. You can freeze it as well.

Once the meat is completely dry cured, it is shelf stable. You can keep it out on the counter. But to keep it as palatable as possible,  you store it in the fridge or freezer to extend the shelf life and keep it from drying out too much.

Karen says they take they’re salami camping and don’t worry about keeping it in the fridge.

What cuts are a whole muscle cut?

The most popular would be your back leg of a pig, deer, or lamb. You can do something smaller like a loin or neck muscle. Just a whole muscle group, just follow the line and separate that muscle from the rest of the muscle groups. This way you don’t need a grinder.

A grinder is a small investment and you can find both manual and electric
meat grinders here–>stainless steel meat grinder

You can take any piece of meat and do this process of salting and dry curing it.

Back when people naturally cured their own meant, they’d use an basement, cellar, or attic.

You want a slightly warmer temperature so the good bacteria blooms and forces the bad bacteria out, and not being to cold helps with this.

You can use cheese cloth to wrap your meat while its hanging if its in an open environment like a basement or attic. For ease and safety, a contained chamber is best, not only to keep the bugs off, but to help with humidity and temperature levels.

Karen and James created a product, called The Cave, to control your humidity and temperature that attaches onto any refrigerator or freezer. It has a touch screen that allows you to set the humidity and temperature for dry curing meat, cheeses, and even culturing yogurt and sourdough. It has a wireless app so you can easily change the settings if you’re not home.

Right now (thru June 8, 2016) they have a kickstarter campaign going for the Cave including some special kits and e-books.

The fridge or freezer you put it on should be a single unit (no separate freezer) and the heater for warm cultures works best at 10 square feet.

With cheese and meat, if it gets to dry on the outer layer of your meat and cheeses then it creates a hard crust and that hard crust traps the moisture inside and creates a safety issue. This is why the humidity level is so important.

This is also true of your cheeses, if the good mold doesn’t start to form. We had some disasters in the first few years, before The Cave, which is why we ended up creating.

How to Make Bacon at Home

Take your pork belly and throw it in a container with spices, maple syrup or brown sugar is a favorite, and put it in the fridge and flip it once a day for a week. Then throw it in the smoker or in the oven and cook it to a set temperature and you’ve got your bacon.

On the Kickstarter campaign is bacon making kit, both ginger garlic and apple cinnamon bacon.

Salt Safety in Dry Curing

Again, you really need some type of scale. You need 2.5% percent of the weight of the meat to salt ratio, if the meat is 100 grams then you need 2.5 grams of salt to the meat.

If you’re grinding the meat you need to include some type of sodium nitrate or pink salt, and it’s .25% in order to prevent botulism. Nitrates are controversial, but our opinion is we’d much rather not die of botulism if we’re aging salami, the nitrates protect against that.

You don’t need to use nitrates in a whole muscle cut. Unless, you’re rolling up panchetta, in that type some of the meat has been exposed to oxygen, and some hasn’t. Nitrates are needed when the  meat has been exposed to oxygen and is then put into an anaerobic environment. 

Type of Salts for Dry Curing

You want to use salt that doesn’t have any additives to it, like anti-caking methods.

Sea Salt, Kosher Salt, Himalyan Pink Salt.

Is your cured meat okay if its moldy?

Orange and black are bad.

You’re dry aged pepperoni’s are covered in white mold.

You can buy mold powder to add to your meat when you’re hanging them. It’s beneficial to help with the moisture level and to establish the good mold.

We dissolve the mold culture into water and then spray our sausage with it to help bloom that mold onto the surface of our sausage.

What’s the molds purpose?

It helps the flavor profile and when you make a sausage like salami, the casing helps it not dry out too quickly, and the mold does the exact same thing. It helps regulate the moisture loss, so you don’t dry out the outside too quickly and then moisture gets trapped inside instead of releasing.

Three Dry Meat Recipes:

Home Curing Recipes Pepperoni: Homemade pepperoni is worlds above what you can buy in the store. It is also a great “beginner” fermented sausage, since it is aged in a smaller casing and is ready to eat much sooner than other sausages.

1400 g pork  600 g lean beef (or venison)  10 g Bactoferm F-RM-52  50 g de-chlorinated water  50 g salt 5 g Pink salt #2 (not Himalayan salt—pink salt is a mix of sodium nitrite/sodium nitrate)  30 g dextrose  56 g nonfat milk powder  13 g paprika  6 g sugar  6 g black pepper  6 g cayenne pepper  5 g anise seeds, crushed  1 g fennel  24 g reduced dry red wine (optional: boil wine for 15 minutes then chill)  3 meters hog casings, or 6 meters sheep casings

If using natural casings, soak the casings in cold water for about an hour, making sure to rinse and replace the water at least once halfway through. Open the casings underneath running water to rinse the insides. 2. Grind chilled beef and pork through the small die of your grinder. 3. Dissolve the starter culture (F-RM-52) in de-chlorinated water. Let sit for 20 minutes. While it is re-hydrating, chill the beef and pork in the freezer to keep it cold. 4. Combine meat with starter culture, salt, and remaining dry seasonings. Mix for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes tacky. 5. Add chilled dry red wine and mix until combined. If you took the optional step to boil off the alcohol and concentrate the wine flavors, be sure to add the same mass of liquid that the recipe calls for (start with a quantity of wine greater than 24 g and boil this down to 24 g). 6. Stuff immediately into casings. Prick all over with a sterile pin to eliminate air pockets. Weigh the mass of your sausages and record this value. 7. Ferment using the Cave fermentation controller at 85ᵒF and 90% relative humidity for 12 hours. 8. Optional: cold smoke for 6 hours. 9. Dry using the Cave fermentation controller at 55-60ᵒF and 75% relative humidity until the pepperoni has lost 30% of its weight. Adjust airflow so that it is highest at start of drying, and gradually decreases until the pepperoni is complete. This should take approximately 2-3 weeks, if using hog casings (less time if using sheep casings)

Goat Prosciutto: Lamb or goat prosciutto is easy to make, requiring only a few minutes of hands-on time before hanging in the Cave. It is intensely flavorful and has an amazing mouth-feel when sliced thin. This is a traditional recipe made with juniper berries, garlic, and fresh rosemary. You could also substitute other game animals for this

de-boned and butterflied goat leg (or leg roast)  3.8% sea salt  0.25% cure #2 (optional)  3.0% sugar  2.0% minced garlic  1.0% fresh rosemary (or 0.6% dried rosemary)  1.4% pepper  0.4% crushed juniper berries 1. Start by de-boning and butterflying the goat leg. Trim off any silverskin. 2. Mix the salt, cure, and seasonings Cure in the refrigerator: place it all in a zip-loc bag (or a covered non-reactive container) and put in the refrigerator. Cure for about 5 days, being sure to redistribute the cure every day or so. 4. Rinse in water or wine and pat dry. Weigh the meat and record this number. 5. Tie with butcher’s twine and hang in the Cave. Age at 55ᵒF and 75% relative humidity. The goat prosciutto is done when it has lost 30% of its weight and is firm to the touch. 6. Slice thin and enjoy!

Hungarian Salami Hungarian salami is a slow-fermented sausage with traditional flavors of Hungarian paprika, pepper, and garlic.

1200 g pork  400 g lean beef (or venison)  400 g pork fat  0.9 g T-SPX dissolved in 30 g de-chlorinated water 50 g salt  5 g pink salt #2  20 g Hungarian paprika  20 g pepper  10 g fresh garlic, minced  4 g dextrose  3 g white pepper  24 g reduced dry white wine (Hungarian Tokaji)  3 ft of beef middles 1. If using natural casings, soak the casings in cold water for about an hour, making sure to rinse and replace the water at least once halfway through. Open the casings underneath running water to rinse the insides. 2. Grind partially-frozen meat through small die and pork fat through large die. 3. Dissolve the starter culture in de-chlorinated water. Let sit for 20 minutes. While it is rehydrating, chill the beef and pork in the freezer to keep it cold. 4. Combine meat with starter culture, salt, and remaining dry seasonings. Mix for 1-2 minutes, until it becomes tacky. 5. Add chilled Tokaji wine and mix until combined. If you took the optional step to boil off the alcohol and concentrate the wine flavors, be sure to add the same mass of liquid that the recipe calls for (start with a quantity of wine greater than 24 g and boil this down to 24 g). 6. Stuff immediately into casings. Prick all over with a sterile pin to eliminate air pockets. Weigh the mass of your salamis and record this value. 7. Ferment in the Cave chamber at 70ᵒF and 90% relative humidity for 72 hours. 8. Cold smoke for 6-12 hours. 9. Dry in the Cave at 55-60ᵒF and 75% relative humidity until the salami has lost 30% of its weight. Adjust airflow so that it is highest at start of drying, and gradually decreases until the salami is complete. This may take 2-3 months if using beef middles.

So You Want to Eat a Tree

Trees provide us with lots to eat―all kinds of nuts, fruits, and berries, not to mention maple syrup. But what about the other stuff: can we eat the trees themselves?

It turns out we sure can. While trees should not be your go-to forager’s fare (in fact, they’re more of a famine food), their different parts can be repurposed into all kinds of nibbles, often venturing into the gourmet.

By Tao Tao Holmes

MAY 20, 2016

Trees provide us with lots to eat―all kinds of nuts, fruits, and berries, not to mention maple syrup. But what about the other stuff: can we eat the trees themselves?

It turns out we sure can. While trees should not be your go-to forager’s fare (in fact, they’re more of a famine food), their different parts can be repurposed into all kinds of nibbles, often venturing into the gourmet.

We chatted with several dedicated foragers to get the inside scoop on how best to eat trees. Here’s a guide to what we found: the edible parts of trees.

Sassafras roots and bark are used to make different teas and beer. (Photo: The 3 Foragers)

Cambium
Cambium is the layer of inner bark between the hard wood and the rough, papery outer bark: it’s a soft, moist, paler layer, the part of the trunk that is actively growing. It’s nutrient rich, and if you taste it, can actually be sweet, though the taste can vary a lot from tree to tree. The cambium of hundreds of trees―most, in fact―is edible, and can be harvested throughout all four seasons.

If you’re desperate, or just curious, you can try chewing it, kind of like gum. More palatable, perhaps, is if you shred cambium into strips and boil it, to soften the texture and taste, or turn it into chips or bark jerky by frying it in oil or butter. Dry roasting can create an almost crouton-like salad topping. However, it’s most commonly (and historically) repurposed as a flour: dried and then pounded into a powder, which can then be used in breads and baking, and added to other flours.

But you won’t last long on cambium alone, and if you eat too much of it, you’ll definitely upset your bowels. Naturalist and self-declared “Wildman” Steve Brill says that if you’re trying to survive on cambium, you have no idea what you’re doing.

Just pluck it off and pop it in your mouth. (Photo: The 3 Foragers)

Spruce Tips
Delivering a strong taste of pine and citrus, spruce tips are easy to gather and currently in season. You’ll find them on evergreens, such as the spruce and pine, as the trees are growing their new needles for the year. Those small, young, soft bits at the end of branches―a lighter color than the matured needles―are fully edible, and tender enough to just eat them on the spot. Karen Monger, who runs a website devoted to family foraging, says that her kids like to chew them plain.

You can also candy them, or use them to infuse a sugar or salt by mashing them with mortar and pestle; adding a cupful of spruce tips while baking scones or shortbread adds a really interesting flavor, says Debbie Naha, a naturalist and nutritionist who specializes in wild edible plants.

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Though spruce tips are only available in spring, pine needles are perennial, and you can give the needles of the white pine a quick chop and simmer to make tea, which Naha notes is a good source of Vitamin C.

Alder bark can be used as a bittering agent for primitive beer and also to provide a reddish color. (Photo: Pascal Baudar)

Outer bark
While today, bark is not seen as a viable or appealing food source, you might be surprised to know that the name “Adirondack”―best known for the mountain range, but also the name of a Native American tribe―derives from the Mohawk Indian word atirú:taks, which actually means “tree eaters.” It appears to have been aderogatory term used on neighboring Algonquian tribes who would resort to buds and bark when food was scarce.

Bark flour has made numerous cameos as an emergency food; for example, during World War I, there’s evidence of ground birch bark being added to enhance rations. During World War II, since flour was expensive, wood chip powder was regularly used as a filler.

The bark of the black birch has strongly wintergreen-flavored inner bark and twigs, that can be made into birch beer, used to flavor drinks and desserts. (Photo: The 3 Foragers)

Sassafras bark and root are used to make the traditional Southern tea, as well as traditional root beer. The bark of the hickory nut tree can be stripped off and boiled into a simple syrup, that boasts an earthy, nutty flavor and can be added to breakfast foods and baked meats.

Birch bark can be used as a flavoring, providing a sweet, wintergreen kind of taste. In parts of Scandinavia, pine bark is reduced to powder and made into cookies with the subtle flavor of Christmas. The ponderosa pine, for example, smells distinctly of vanilla.

Pascal Baudar’s shrimp cooked in eucalyptus bark with mountain spices such as white fir and manzanita berries. (Photo: Pascal Baudar)

In the middle ages, a lot of bitter barks were used to make beer, as well as being used for dyes, says Pascal Baudar, a professional forager and wild food consultant. Baudar likes to roast bark and use it in vinegar, which imparts a smoky, aged taste.

He’ll sometimes smoke and roast old bark and put it in sauerkraut, or he might infuse the bark with beer or white wine and use it cook fish. Baudar also uses bark as part of his concoction to make bitters, but a lot of the time, he simply uses bark to plate the food, rather than as an ingredient itself.

Linden tree bracts and flowers, which make an aromatic and relaxing herbal tea. (Photo: The 3 Foragers)

Leaves
To answer your burning question: yes, you can make trees into salad. The young, tender leaves of trees like the beech, birch, Chinese elm, fennel, mulberry, hawthorne, sassafras, and linden can be tossed into a salad, though some are better tasting than others. You can also pick and eat them fresh off the tree.

Steven Brill has used the very young leaves of white oak trees to make wine (the best wild wine he’s ever made, he says). Leaves, like cambium, have also served as a famine food in the past, as well as being used for medicinal purposes.

Black locust flowers, equally beautiful and delicious, can be used to make sweet and fragrant crepes, doughnuts, drinks, and custards—though all other parts of the tree are toxic. (Photo: The 3 Foragers)

Flowers
A number of trees grow delicious flowers. Right now, says Naha, the redbud tree boasts beautiful and very nutritious pink flowers, which are packed with antioxidants. And, if you miss your window, you’re still in luck: when the flowers fade, they turn into tiny pods, which can be cooked and eaten like snow peas.

The flowers of the linden tree are the most famous, used in various calming teas and cordials. Those of the black locust are also scrumptious, though be careful―they’re the only part of that tree that isn’t toxic.

Pine pollen, apparently high in testosterone, is used as a dietary supplement, added to baked goods and smoothies. (Photo: The 3 Foragers)

Other comestibles
Maple trees are not the only trees from which you can collect sap. People sometimes tap birch, black walnut, and hickory trees, though their sap has a lower sugar concentration than that of the maple, which makes transformation into syrup too much of a hassle.

Pine trees boast a cornucopia of edible parts. Not only can the cambium, needles, and tips be used in food, but pine cones―the young, male ones―are also edible. The male cones are small and soft, in contrast with their tougher female counterparts. In fact, they are less cones and more clusters (strobilus). On top of that, pine pollen is also collected for use as a dietary supplement.

As for all those tree branches? The twigs of some trees, like the birch and spice bush, can be scratched to extract flavor for drinks, puddings, and sorbets, according to Monger, of The 3 Foragers blog.

Homemade sassafras root beer. (Photo: The 3 Foragers)

There’s definitely a learning curve―don’t just set off into the nearest forest and start tasting plants. While the bark and cambium of most trees is edible, or at least harmless, there are also toxic ones loaded with tannin and cyanide, like in yew and cherry trees.

The ultimate toxic tree is the deadly manchineel, which you should not touch or even go near. You should also be mindful of the trees themselves; when you are harvesting the inner bark, you must make sure not to strip off an entire ring or you’ll kill the tree, cutting off the irrigation system that allows water from the roots to reach the leaves. Brill says that you’d have to be a very particular kind of herbivore―one who specializes in browsing rather than grazing―to really make food out of trees.

And while the internet provides all kinds of field guides, foraging blogs and apps, your best move is to find a forager in your area and go out with them. Dedicated foragers go out nearly every day, and they know exactly where to look―which means that for the most part, you won’t be looking at trees.

6 Ways to Hack Outdoor Solar Lights for Survival

It’s that startling moment when the lights go out in the middle of the night.

You haven’t had time to mount your flashlights next to your bed. And you can’t find your candles in the complete dark. As you stumble about, you notice a white glow coming from your vegetable garden.

It’s the solar lighting you put out there earlier this year.

Solar Lights for Emergencies

It’s that startling moment when the lights go out in the middle of the night.

You haven’t had time to mount your flashlights next to your bed. And you can’t find your candles in the complete dark. As you stumble about, you notice a white glow coming from your vegetable garden.

It’s the solar lighting you put out there earlier this year.

Often overlooked as a preparedness tool, solar lighting is something we should all consider. You can use them in many other ways than just looking pretty: from increasing egg production, to charging batteries, to preparing your unprepared loved ones.

Here are six hacks to maximize the usefulness of this green gadget:

1. First, replace the batteries

Yep, manufacturers lower their costs in building solar lights by using low-quality batteries. It’s often why solar lighting gets mixed reviews – it’s not the light, but the battery that failed. Replacing the low-quality ones with higher quality batteries is the secret to both longevity and efficiency of using solar outdoor lights indoors.

There’s a lot of debate out there on whether to use NiCD or NiMH batteries (such as the amazingly awesome Eneloop, of which I find myself collecting). If you live in a climate with moderate temperatures and a good amount of sunlight, a NiMH battery is your best choice. If not, opt for quality NiCD batteries, as they will tolerate a broader range of conditions than a NiMH will.

2. Turn it into a battery charger

Solar lighting can be used as a battery charger. You can use solar lights to charge batteries during the day, and then remove the batteries and use in other devices. Solar outdoor lights then serve double-duty and give you extra flexibility.

When looking for outdoor solar lighting that might be used indoors or as a battery charger, be sure it has an on-off switch. You’ll save energy for other uses and you may not want your house lit all night. Plus, a switch will allow you to convert it into a dedicated solar battery charger.

Most lights house a single battery, but if you get solar lights with at least two batteries, the light output is quite a bit more, and your charging capacity has doubled.

3. Remove the shades

Because the decorative shades impede the light, removing them will expose more light and the difference can be drastic.

4. Duct Tape over the light sensor

Most outdoor solar lights have a small sensor that works to turn off the lights at dawn. When using them indoors,you may also have other light sources that would trigger the sensor, so use some of your massive stock of camo duct tape to tape over it, effectively disabling it temporarily and keeping the light on.

5. Light up your coop and increase egg production

Increase egg production by putting a solar lamp in a chicken coop in winter and get more “daylight” for egg production. The solar lights can be hacked to extend the solar chip outside of the coop, while keeping the light itself inside the coop.

6. Prepare the unprepared

As I’ve said before, one of the best ways to prepare the unprepared is by giving practical gifts that can be used in an emergency. And this is a sly one.

You can’t very well show up with a hostess/birthday/Christmas gift of a H20 1.0 Personal Waterstraw (well you can, but you’ll probably compromise your OPSEC in the process), but you can show up with a wonderful treat for their lovely garden or eating area. And the bonus is you won’t have to explain yourself to a chorus of“are you like one of those doomsday preppers on TV?”

Pair the lights with a pack of good rechargeable batteries, and baby, you’ve just set them up with a solar battery charging solution that also runs double-duty as emergency lighting – cleverly disguised as a gift.

Solar Lighting options

So where to get good solar lights? It’s tough: If you buy online, you’ll encounter a lot of mixed reviews. If you pick some up at a dollar store, there’s no reviews at all to rely upon. And buying a cheap light just because it’s cheap won’t get you anywhere, worse yet, it will give you a false sense of security.

I’m a firm believer in doing your research – and online shopping. When I shop online at a site like Amazon, I can review the reviews and do price-comparisons to make sure I’m getting the best option out there. I’ve reviewed about a dozen options and these are my top three picks for outdoor solar lighting for the purposes as discussed:

1. Inexpensive Power-Houses

At less than $2 a piece, these solar lights are an inexpensive solution. I don’t plan on using these lights as a replacement for regular bulbs; and at this price, as one reviewer pointed out, you couldn’t buy the solar cell, battery and LEDs. This is an ideal set to gift to an unprepared loved one as well – the price is low enough to pair with some smashing batteries without busting the budget — and you’ll be preparing a loved one with a sneaky solar battery charger as well.

2. A Spot-On Spotlight

A spotlight is also an excellent choice – they tend to have larger solar panels and charge faster. This one, while it has a few mixed reviews (mainly due to damage in shipment) is the one for me. I just bought a tiny house and plan to use it to light my flag at night until someone I love needs some batteries charged.

3. Hanging tree lights

What can I say? I’m a total girl when it comes to the “pretty” factor. These solar lights for trees have pretty good reviews and well, they’re just so flippin’ pretty. Plus, you can just flip them upside down for indoor use. Perfect for my sister-in-law and her lovely (and useless, non-fruit-producing) trees. She won’t even know that I just set her up with a solar battery charger like a total “prepper”.

So there you have it, 3 options for solar lighting and 6 hacks you can do to them to make them moresurvival-y. Are you using solar outdoor lighting in a novel way in your preparedness plans? Do tell!

Happy prepping!

Mom, Could You Please Pass the Potassium Iodide?

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

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

Why Should Every Family Have Potassium Iodide in Their Supplies

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

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

How Does Potassium Iodide Protect Me?

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

Symptoms of Radiation Sickness Include:

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

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

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

WHO Recommended Dosage for Radio-logical Emergencies involving radioactive iodine:

AgeKI in mg per day

Over 12 years old130

3 – 12 years old65

1 – 36 months old32

Under 1 month old16

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

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

Survival Bread

Many years ago, at a Preparedness Fair, I picked up this recipe for Survival Bread. The recipe says that after it’s made, it “will keep indefinitely”. Hmmm… Made me think of Lembas bread – something the elves would make (for you Lord of the Rings fans). “One small bite will fill the belly of a grown man.” Since I can’t stand to waste, it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to HAVE to consume on an otherwise perfectly good day, with soft yeast bread and an abundance of other good foods in the fridge. But this recipe keeps popping up in front of me, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and bake up a brick of Survival Bread today. 

Many years ago, at a Preparedness Fair, I picked up this recipe for Survival Bread. The recipe says that after it’s made, it “will keep indefinitely”. Hmmm… Made me think of Lembas bread – something the elves would make (for you Lord of the Rings fans). “One small bite will fill the belly of a grown man.” Since I can’t stand to waste, it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to HAVE to consume on an otherwise perfectly good day, with soft yeast bread and an abundance of other good foods in the fridge. But this recipe keeps popping up in front of me, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and bake up a brick of Survival Bread today.

Here’s the original recipe, just as I received it:

Survival Bread

2 cups oats

2 1/2 cups powdered milk

1 cup sugar

3 Tbl honey

3 Tbl water

1 pkg. lemon or orange Jell-O (3oz)

Combine oats, powdered milk and sugar. In a medium pan, mix water, Jell-O and honey. Bring to a boil. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. (If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of water a teaspoon at a time.) Shape dough into a loaf. (About the size of a brick.) Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool. Wrap in aluminum foil to store. This bread will keep indefinitely and each loaf is the daily nutrients for one adult. 

Well, the ingredients don’t sound too bad, but that last line bothers me for some reason. Healthy food should deteriorate, shouldn’t it? I have teenage boys and not much goes to waste around here, so I figured it was worth trying out. Even though the recipe doesn’t specify, I used quick oats. As for the liquid, that little bit didn’t even begin to cover it. It was so dry, I was still stirring mostly powder, so I ended up adding another 1/3 cup water plus more – almost 1/2 cup! It was very stiff, and very sticky. I wonder if I should have added less and got my hands in there and just packed it all together when it was still a lot drier. I don’t know, but here’sthe results:

It doesn’t look so bad! AND – it actually tasted pretty good! It has a heavy powdered milk taste, which I’m not a big fan of, but with a little butter, or honey, or butter AND honey(!) I hardly noticed. I’m sure the recipe can be altered. Maybe less powdered milk and more oats? Unless it’s formulated to an exact scientifically nutritional specification! 🙂  But I doubt it.

Has anyone else had any experience with survival bread? Or maybe if you have a different recipe you’d like to share, email it to me and I’ll post it with your name.

How to Build a Fire Bed

Did you know that you can have your fire and sleep on it as well?  Most people are content to sleep as close to a fire as possible in order to stay warm at night.  However, we all know that this doesn’t always work as effectively as we would like.  Parts of our bodies get really hot while others receive little or no heat at all.  Let’s explore a really easy trick that can give you the best of both worlds and provide a long-lasting source of heat that your whole body can enjoy.

Did you know that you can have your fire and sleep on it as well?  Most people are content to sleep as close to a fire as possible in order to stay warm at night.  However, we all know that this doesn’t always work as effectively as we would like.  Parts of our bodies get really hot while others receive little or no heat at all.  Let’s explore a really easy trick that can give you the best of both worlds and provide a long-lasting source of heat that your whole body can enjoy.

Build A Solar Dehydrator For All Of Your Garden Bounty

Build a solar dehydrator for all of your garden bounty. This is a great diy project if you want or need to dehydrate a lot of food. It is perfect for folks that follow a raw diet or are mostly vegetarian. When preserving foods you have a few choices and a lot of folks like to can their foods for storage but canning does affect the nutrients because the food is cooked, where dehydrating only removes the moisture content of foods leaving all the nutrients behind. 

Build a solar dehydrator for all of your garden bounty. This is a great diy project if you want or need to dehydrate a lot of food. It is perfect for folks that follow a raw diet or are mostly vegetarian. When preserving foods you have a few choices and a lot of folks like to can their foods for storage but canning does affect the nutrients because the food is cooked, where dehydrating only removes the moisture content of foods leaving all the nutrients behind. Another plus to dehydrating is storage space. Dehydrated foods take up much less space than either canned or frozen. While a lot of people have electric dehydrators, these can take hours to dry foods and they are using energy the entire time. This diy solar dehydrator tower by Peak Prosperity can dehydrate a great amount of foods while it costs nothing to use because it drys with the sun.He built it using some recycled materials to help keep costs down but says the family is mostly vegetarian so they dehydrate a lot of their garden produce. As long as you have a place to build this that can catch enough sun you could dry a lot of your garden produce, saving on energy and storage while retaining all of the nutrients in the foods.

This is a story of one of the steps my family has taken towards increased resiliency, including actions taken to build a more sustainable lifestyle and invest in our food security.  My family lives on mostly a vegetarian diet. We currently grow a large garden and plan to grow most of our food for the full year. Growing a year’s worth of food brings up many questions, but the most critical one is how do we preserve the bounty of our garden?  Of methods that I know of, one can dry, ferment, can, or use cold storage. Canning heats the food and takes away some of the nutrients. Not all foods can be stored in cold storage (but I am working on this, as well). We have an Excalibur dryer but find it takes forever to dry things and the electricity to match.

So I decided to build a solar dehydrator. After researching different design ideas, I went with a design that I could use some recycled materials and materials left over from other projects, plus some new. I also wanted a high-capacity design that could dry a lot of food at once. This design has a heat collector and a tower.

Construction

First, I built the foundation out of 4×4 pressure treated (PT) and some not PT. The wood that did not touch the ground did not need PT. The site was also at a slight slant, so I doubled the wood under the tower. The design has a 4′ square tower and an area for the metal that is used for the heat collector mass. I dug trenches in the dirt, drilled screws into the 4×4’s and filled the trenches with concrete. I set the 4×4’s (with the screws down) in the trenches, then leveled the 4×4’s and bolted the intersections together. Then I covered this with 1/2″ plywood that I painted black.

We have a shop in town that sells recycled construction materials (Habitat for Humanity Restore) that makes finding used materials easier for these types of projects. I was able to find three 5′ long, 6″ diameter, single-wall stove pipes and one 14″ diameter single-wall pipe. The three 6″ pipes fit nicely inside the larger pipe. I painted the pipes black with high temp paint (the same paint that you paint a woodstove with). I was going for as much mass as I could get to dry a lot of food at once.

Next, I built the tower. I used 5/8″ plywood siding, as I have this thing for making structures that not only function, but look nice as well. You could use 1/2″ CDX plywood instead, if you chose. Since the plywood is 4′ x 8′, it took 3 sheets (the door is on one side). The framing, including the rafters was made from 2×4 studs. I was able to get a recycled 3′ wide door with a full dual-pane window. This I framed in on the west side of the tower, so the food would not be in the direct sun, but you could see inside. (It could have also been in the rear.) The roof is slanted to allow for an exit vent in the rear. The exit vent opening should be approx. equal to the inlet opening. I covered this with galvanized welded mesh wire on the outside (for animals) and window screening on the inside (for insects). I covered the roof with 1/2″ plywood and scrap metal roofing.

I went to my local glass shop and they had recycled (like brand new) 3/16″ thick, tempered glass shower doors. I framed in a triangular box to hold the shower doors. This area became the heat collector area. Again I covered the inlet with welded mesh wire on the outside (for animals) and window screening on the inside (for insects). This could be flat, as well, with corrugated metal sheets as the heat mass. I made covers for the inlet and outlet for winter.

Cool air comes in the heat collector area, is heated by the metal, and flows up thru the tower and out the top rear of the tower. It works like a woodstove or greenhouse. Heat rises.

Now for the food trays: I made 10 frames out of 2″ x 2″ wood, painted with mineral oil. They are 3′ square. The mesh covers an area of 2′ x 3′ (the mesh comes in 4′ width, so I cut it in half). This leaves an area of 1′ x 3′ opening. I covered 3/4 of this opening with plywood. The opening is on the outside of the frame, away from the mesh. These are installed in a staggered pattern, with the opening opposite on each. This makes the air flow on both sides of the food and slows it down, as it makes its way up to the exit vent. The food is sliced thin and placed with maybe 1/4 to 1/2″ between the pieces. This makes the hot air stay more on the bottom of the trays and move to the opening. The trays rest on angles mounted the inside walls of the tower.

Material for food trays: I used 1/4″ mesh welded wire, type 316 stainless steel, to hold the food. This type of stainless is best for acid foods. It’s expensive, but there are only two types of mesh that you should use for this: food-grade plastic mesh (which I could only find commercial grade) or type 316 stainless steel. (Window screen is fiberglass and can put fibers in the food; aluminum window screen adds aluminum to the food. So these should not be used.) The stainless mesh needs to be welded, not woven, as food can be caught in the weave. The stainless comes in 4′ wide and sells by the foot. I needed 6 square feet (2′ x 3′) per tray x 10 trays = 60 square feet x $6 per square foot = $360.

Final Thoughts

The overall project came out nicely and the ability to use a lot of leftover and used building materials makes this type of project creatively adaptable regarding the design and size of the final dehydrator. The size of our system gives us the capacity to dry and preserve large quantities of garden produce with limited light exposure (we live in a mountain home) and maximize our harvest yields. Some of the other things we will be exploring with our system are:

  • Creating an adjustable cover to regulate heat levels
  • Adding a wireless thermometer to monitor temps from the house
  • Evaluating temperature ranges and zones of differing heat levels within the tower.

I’m happy with how this project turned out, and I hope you will be inspired by my efforts. Do-it-yourself plans for capturing and utilizing solar energy are a solid step on the journey toward resiliency. I’m looking forward to increasing our year-round preserved food supply with homegrown dehydrated produce and dried fruit, and I look forward to sharing our experiences after we’ve used our solar dehydrator through another growing season.

Teaching Your Kids Not to Rely on the Digital World

Children between ages 8 and 10 spend around 5.5 hours every day using media , according to a media usage report by the Ganz Cooney Center and the Sesame Workshop. But in reality, they’re exposed to eight hours a day of media because they’re often multitasking–watching cartoons while using a gaming system. Meanwhile the American Academy of Pediatrics warns too much media can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders and obesity.

Children between ages 8 and 10 spend around 5.5 hours every day using media , according to a media usage report by the Ganz Cooney Center and the Sesame Workshop. But in reality, they’re exposed to eight hours a day of media because they’re often multitasking–watching cartoons while using a gaming system. Meanwhile the American Academy of Pediatrics warns too much media can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders and obesity.

Technology can be useful in helping kids master valuable skills relevant in today’s digital workforce. There are also plenty of gadgets, tools and digital resources that can help kids learn. But there are life skills every child needs that go beyond technology. Here are five things kids should know without the help of a laptop or smartphone.

Telling time

With smartphones never being further away than arm’s reach, it is rare to see people looking up for a clock on the wall to tell the time. Being able to read a clock is a skill that is fading among the younger generation. Teach your kids the technique of telling time with an old-fashioned wall clock. Busy Teacher offers time telling worksheets illustrated with pictures and shows how to do simple tasks like writing the time and drawing the hands of the clocks. When they’ve got the hang of telling time, show them how to set a watch or clock to the correct time.

Money skills

Kids today see adults putting charges on credit cards and don’t know how to make change or count it back to ensure it’s correct. Children as young as age 4 can understand the concept of earning and saving money. Give them three clear jars and mark one for spending, one for saving and one for charity. Start a chore chart and let them earn an allowance that must be divided into their jars appropriately. When they save up for a big purchase, show them how to calculate how much they’ve earned and how much they still need. The sooner you teach your kids about money, the sooner they’ll develop the confidence to deal with financial matters themselves.

Reading a map

GPS devices make it easy to get from point A to B and never get lost. But a GPS doesn’t work everywhere, and your kids may find themselves in a situation where they need to read a map. Start by showing them how the map on your GPS works and what the different colored lines mean. Next, get out a paper map and show them how it looks just about the same as a GPS map and how to read it. Give them a challenge like how to get to grandma’s house just by using a map and have them write out the directions.

Entertaining themselves

Believe it or not, entertaining yourself is a skill that should be learned and is quickly becoming a lost art. Technology gives kids plenty of options from video games to online chatting without much room for imagination. Make mandatory nature time and get the kids outdoors in your backyard or at a local state park. Let the kids figure out what to do to have their own fun without suggestions from the adults. See what they come up with and remind them how much fun they had the next time they’re bored and looking for something to do on their computer.

Write a handwritten note

Handwriting and crafting a letter are getting left by the wayside with the rise of technology. But every child should know how to write a handwritten note with a structure including an opening and closing. Show them an example of a letter you wrote and its purpose. Whether it was a thank you note or correspondence with a relative, tell your kids why it’s important to learn how to communicate without emojis and text messaging. Give your kids an assignment like writing a note to their grandparents once a month or after receiving a gift.

6 Mind-Blowing Tactical Products Every Guy Needs

Guys like gadgets, whether for fun or for self-preservation. And when tech combines with tactical, it’s just cool. These days, with natural disasters seemingly on the rise and the threat of worldwide terrorism growing, keeping tactical gadgets handy is more than cool. It might be a necessary precaution. What do you carry now? Will it help you in state of emergency? Here are six tactical gadgets engineered for guys who want to be prepared for every day…and for when the pressure is on.

Guys like gadgets, whether for fun or for self-preservation. And when tech combines with tactical, it’s just cool. These days, with natural disasters seemingly on the rise and the threat of worldwide terrorism growing, keeping tactical gadgets handy is more than cool. It might be a necessary precaution. What do you carry now? Will it help you in state of emergency? Here are six tactical gadgets engineered for guys who want to be prepared for every day…and for when the pressure is on.

1. Shadowhawk X800 Tactical Flashlight

If Jason Bourne could pick his flashlight, this would be it. It packs military-grade LED technology into an aircraft-grade-aluminum-skinned cylinder. And it throws an astounding amount of light. You might be thinking that you already have a flashlight. But do the U.S. Navy Seals and the U.S. Coast Guard use the kind of flashlight you have? The Shadowhawk X800 can illuminate a field or blanket a work area with 800 lumens of glorious light. It can also blind an attacker. Don’t let its light weight trick you into thinking it’s not durable. Throw it, drive over it—it’ll still work. Drop it in six feet of water—it’ll still work. This tough gadget is also versatile. It comes with a strobe setting if you are stranded and need to signal for help, and you can zoom and focus its LED beam to see far, far away. The 3 AAA batteries give it 1,000 hours of life. That makes it ideal for reliable, abundant light during a prolonged natural disaster or emergency…and for lots of everyday uses. This is standard gear if you want to be prepared.

2. TrackR Bravo

When you attach this coin-size, James Bond-style tracking device to an item, you have a 20,000-times chance of getting it back if you lose it. The accompanying app enlists the help of network TrackR users to locate your lost bag, bike or dog. Last count, there were over 20,000 strong in their Crowd GPS. Of course, you will probably be able to get your wallet or whatever back on your own. The TrackR app will display how far you are from the keys or case you dropped, and it will sound the alarm to help you pinpoint its exact location. If you realize you left your bag after you travel to another location, all other TrackR users in the network are notified, and when one passes your missing article, you’ll get an update sent to your phone. What if you can’t find your phone? Use TrackR to ring it, even if it’s on silent mode, and you’ll find your phone fast. TrackR helps you keep your stuff…especially if you’re a chronic (keys/wallet/bike/car/bag) misplacer.

3. Inferno Dual Beam Lighter

This is the baddest lighter on the market since ZIPPO set the bar for bad-ass lighters. It is engineered to make you look cool, and cool you will be wherever you break it out: bar, ball game, backpacking, hunting. In fact, it might be worth becoming a smoker just to use the lighter. (Don’t actually start smoking just to use the lighter.) Forget harmful butane, because that’s not its fuel. Pay no mind to rain because water does not affect it. Don’t worry about blocking the wind, because there is no flame to protect. Get that? There. Is. No. Flame. Just an electric current forming a hot X that ignites anything in its crosshairs. Tactical, practical and flat out cool. You recharge it via a USB and you ignite it by pressing a button. Keep it in your pocket for those times you need fire and want to look cool. Real cool.

4. TL900 LED Headlamp

This Tactical Headlamp is survival gear at its best. It blasts a massive 1000 lumen beam, enough to light a field, an emergency work area or a basement. With five settings, you can focus the beam to pinpoint targets at a distance of 500 meters! (That’s over 1640 feet…or 546 yards.) The design is the result of multiple attempts at perfection. It seems these guys have nailed it with a 90° pivoting spotlight and a completely water-resistant head unit. The beauty of this equipment, though, and what it makes it a top-tier tactical tool, is the hands-free capabilities it gives you. You never know into what situation you might be forced to work or search in the dark, and being able to freely use both hands could be the difference between success and failure…even in mundane use when there’s no pressure.

5. Shadowhawk Military Tactical Laser

Another great gadget to have. It’s fun, it’s useful, and it could save your life. Simply speaking, it can help you point to that thing way over there, even half a mile away. Speaking from a safety standpoint, a blast of this beam of light can blind a person. Not recommended for use on friends, but on a would-be attacker or an intruder into your home, your Shadowhawk Military Tactical Laser lets you get all Star Wars on him. ZAP, and he’s on the ground or holding his eyes, letting you go to work on him or just get away. It’s also good in the woods if you ever lose your way. The powerful beam will point Search and Rescue to your exact origin. And on nights when you’re not walking the streets or wandering in the woods, your dog will get a kick out of chasing the laser point on the living room floor.

6. Everstryke Pro

Let’s face it: besides shelter, water, and food, fire is what you’d crave if you were ever lost, stranded or washed up on desert island. (Or hunkered down in a prolonged state of emergency.) Whatever your survival situation, fire is vital. That’s one reason you have so many product options to obtain fire quickly, easily… and in style. The Everstryke Pro is one—a sleek little canister that delivers a flame up to 30,000 times! It’s waterproof, rain proof, sleet proof and snow proof, and it won’t leak lighter fluid. The O ring sees to that. This item can easily be carried around on your keychain or in your pocket. Its effectiveness and its size make it ideal for bug out bags as well.

BONUS PRODUCT: Firekable

This is required survival gear and tactical planning at its best. If you are heading to the woods or going camping, the Firekable is insurance on your wrist. Should you lose your way or find yourself in trouble, you will be very glad you have this incognito camou bracelet. It has lot of tricks up its, well, up its sleeve. For starters, you can use it to easily start a fire. All you need is kindling. The ferro rod and striker are fitted nicely into the bracelet. Pull it out, strike it, start a fire. It might take a few strikes and some getting used to, but it works. The actual paracord is mildew-resistant. However, the strands inside the paracord cannot be used individually, should you need to peel back the skin for extra lines. That’s unfortunate. But you do get 80 feet of functional cordage if you unwind the paracord. This is helpful and could save your life, even if you’re not in the woods. Its rugged look will get you compliments around the office even if coworkers are not aware of its hidden abilities.

DIY: Antiseptic Ointment

For treating minor cuts, scrapes, abrasions and whatnot, most people will reach for the Neosporin or some other antiseptic ointments.

For treating minor cuts, scrapes, abrasions and whatnot, most people will reach for the Neosporin or some other antiseptic ointments.

These are great items to keep in your first aid kit, but hold on just a second before you rush out the the pharmacy to stock up on these…

Did you know that instead of wasting $5 to $10 on ointment, you can make your own DIY antiseptic from scratch?

This homemade antiseptic ointment is packed with germ-killing properties that will help treat those everyday minor cuts, scrapes, and abrasions you might have, and best of all, it’s really easy to make.

Here’s all you need:

    • 1 1/2 ounces beeswax, grated
    • 1 cup olive, almond, or coconut oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil
    • 20 drops lavender essential oil
    • 10 drops lemon essential oil

Ointment Recipe Directions:

1. In a small pot, and melt the oils (except the lavender and lemon essential oils) and beeswax using low heat (very low heat).

2. Remove pot from the heat and add Vitamin E oil, lemon, and lavender essential oil. Stir with a chopstick or a small wooden spoon.

3. Pour the mixture into a small sterilized jar(s) (or a mason jar). Then let stand and cool on the counter.

4. Store it in a dark cool place.

When you get a cut, scrape or abrasion, use this ointment as needed on the wound(s).

It should keep for roughly 5 years.

How does it work?

The antiseptic properties include:

    • Tea Tree Oil: antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial
    • Lavender: analgesic (pain relief), antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial
    • Lemon: antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial

*For those who don’t like the smell of lavender, you can substitute chamomile essential oils for lavender and fir essential oils for lemon.

Preparing Kids for The Apocalypse

In this article we will discuss one reality almost every man and woman absolutely dread, preparing our kids for the apocalypse, and keeping them alive after the shit hits the fan.  I’ve never sugar coated articles, and this will be no different, so if you’re not ready to read this I’ll completely understand.  I will give you all a hard dose of reality, some preparedness tips, techniques to keep your kids alive after doomsday, and some more brutal honesty.  Now that you’ve all been duly informed, let’s proceed…

In this article we will discuss one reality almost every man and woman absolutely dread, preparing our kids for the apocalypse, and keeping them alive after the shit hits the fan.  I’ve never sugar coated articles, and this will be no different, so if you’re not ready to read this I’ll completely understand.  I will give you all a hard dose of reality, some preparedness tips, techniques to keep your kids alive after doomsday, and some more brutal honesty.  Now that you’ve all been duly informed, let’s proceed…

It’s almost universally accepted we are hardwired to instinctively protect our children, and others’ children too, but it’s actually more than instinctual, it’s biologically instinctual.  In fact, Oxford University did a study showing the reaction time in the orbitofrontal cortex part of our brains when seeing a child and a human in distress isn’t even comparable, it showed we physically respond to children in distress without even thinking about, or letting instinct kick in, while seeing a human in distress triggered compartmentalized action.  Basically, unless you’re a subhuman degenerate, kids will always come first!

Nothing new, right?  To be honest, I didn’t state the above for us parents, it’s for those of you who haven’t been blessed with the beautiful curse of having children.  Why?  Mutual understanding.  If you’re a part of a group that has kids and you try to go against that grain, you will find yourself alone, without supplies, and if the kids get hurt because of your actions…you’ll end up dead.  If you’re not the type of guy who puts women and kids in the lifeboat first, a group with kids might not be the best for you.

Cautionary Preamble for Prepping Kids

Before you go spray painting your kids face with camo, stuffing MREs down their throats, and throwing them under barbwire, while popping smoke and black cats at their feet, let’s think about this for a second.  We’ve talked a few times about turning your kids into preppers without scaring the living shit out of them, and this is no exception.  Being a parent is tough, being a parent that believes in preparedness, self-sustainability, or The Constitution is damn near impossible in this CPS and guardian ad litem Nazi Era.  Hell, even though our beliefs are logical, responsible, and morally sound, we’re the crazy ones in their eyes.  Moral of the story, we have to prepare our kids for the shit to hit the fan discretely.

Luckily, you have your old buddy Administrator Ryan to guide you through the muddy waters of the state’s watchful eyes.  Just so you know I’m not some childless sycophant lecturing you on youth preparedness, I have two daughters who’ve been being prepared for five years.  Luckily, my X-wife and I have always thought alike about many things including preparedness, so getting her on board wasn’t hard.  For those of you who have to deal with Mr. or Mrs. Vindictive you’ll have to be just as equally discrete with them as you are with the state, unless this is that one thing you agree on.  If you’re divorced being aware of your spouse’s feelings is very important.  You don’t want to end up in court with Little Susie telling the Judge “Daddy said I have to know how to kill a man with my thumb when the world ends.”….

Discrete Kid Prepper Training

The goal here is to prepare your kids for the apocalypse without your kids, or spouse knowing they’re being trained for the end of times. Genius, right?  The trick is to keep your beliefs to yourself for the time being.  As long as you don’t accompany these activities with a prepper narrative, no one can label you a lunatic.  Luckily, there are several activities that can prepare a kid for the apocalypse that almost all parents can agree on while avoiding unwanted attention that include, but are not limited to;

  • judo — in my opinion the best martial artis for kids to learn allowing them to use the attacker(s) bodyweight against them
  • camping —  allows the opportunity to teach bushcrafting, firestarting, shelter building, identifying edible plants, while banning all technology
  • fishing —  taking the kids out teaching them how to catch fish, gut, scale, and cook their food is an requisite skill for everyone to have
  • hunting —  again learning the circle of life is very important, and teaching your kids how to field dress big game could save their life down the road
  • running —  running and exercising with your kids is a great way of keep you and your kids endurance high

While there are activities like the ones listed above that aren’t outside the realm of normal behavior, there are activities that are considered abnormal and should be judged on a case by case basis accounting for factors like; spousal approval, state and county political ideologies, and school involvement.  There are groups, and events that no prepper should be a part of lest ye want the watchful eye upon you that includes;

  • Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts —  not only have these organizations been turned into over politicized profiteering child labor camps, but they are breeding grounds for parental interference putting someone between you and your children
  • militia training camps —  if your kid isn’t at least 16 years old he or she has no business at a militia training camp, which is why every email we receive asking to bring their kids are responded to negatively
  • extreme religious organizations —  having you or your kids a part of a church or religious group that is way too extreme like saying ‘Dancing is a sin’ makes it way too easy to label you
  • public school —  surely I know it’s far too difficult for many of us to home school our children, but if you have the opportunity or financial means to do sothen by all means I surely encourage home schooling or private/charter schools

Kid Preppers

Turning your kid into a prepper is one of the most responsible things you can do as a parent, and in my opinion it is a moral obligation.  Far too many children are being raised to be victims and nothing less, an entire generation of slaves.  Your children are the only thing to carry on your genetic code after you die, and it’s your responsibility to ensure they are fully prepared to not only survive on their own, but to thrive.  The greatest decision I’ve ever made was teaching my two daughters survivalism, preparedness, and firearms.  What I learned is that training your children must be done in steps…

Teaching your kids firearms…

The first thing I did with my kids is I took the mystery out of firearms, by removing the magazine, clearing the chamber, and explaining what guns were, what they do, how they work with some serious cautionary tales.  Most kids are enamored with the idea of guns specifically because they are ‘off limits’, not to mention how cool they look to kids when they watch T.V. shows, and movies.  Then after explaining to them what guns were, I took them out back where we have a makeshift range with a backstop and setup some fruit downrange, and shot each, and as the fruit exploded into a million little pieces I could see my kids faces turn from amazement to understanding.  With their faces turned stern I told them ‘If this was another person, they would be dead, which is why you must learn how to use these before you touch them.’, and they both understood.

Then, I gave each of my girls cute pink Daisy B.B. guns that I etched their names into (they tend to get territorial over stuff).  With these BB guns I taught them standard firearm safety rules, loading, sighting, and etc.  Each took a turn and shot at their targets with groupings you’d expect from a couple of kids.  Every weekend we’d all train, focusing on getting better, and when my oldest daughter turned 8, she was the first to try our little Ruger 10/22, and I was exceptionally happy with the utter amount of respect she showed the rifle.  Her little sister was only slightly upset that she couldn’t use it yet, but she knew it was because of her age and size.  It was that year of training leading up to my oldest turning 8 that trained her to have that profound respect for the rifle, and I’ll tell you what, she had some pretty good groupings for her first time with a real rifle.  Moral of the story, teach them young, or pay the price later.

Teaching kids survivalism…

In today’s PopTart culture, it’s hard to get your kids to understand anything outside the realm of a thirty second spasmodic cartoon commercial of a dinosaur skating on a unicorn’s head shooting glitter everywhere, so your task is not an easy one.  That’s why I can’t truly emphasize the need for you the parent not to make survivalism a chore, but a fun activity your children will learn from.  This means don’t be a psychopath telling your kids ‘You better learn this or you’ll end up with a pike through your tiny skull in front of a wasteland raider’s shack town!’, seriously, chill out.  I’ve probably already said this to you guys more than once, but do not rob your children of their childhood!  That being said, teaching survivalism to your kids should be done based on priority; water, fire. shelter, and food.

We all know the rule of three, 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh environments, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food, and this is where you should start with teaching your kids survivalism.  The trick with my daughters is bribery.  One day I sat them down eat dinner, which is when we talk about a million things and I said..

‘Girls, do you know the rule of three?’   They both shook their heads and I explained..
‘Did you know you can only survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter in harsh environments, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food?’   They both shook their heads again as they said ‘No’ in their patented brat tones, to which I replied…
‘When people don’t remember that they die.’ I made sure not to personalize it because I had no intentions of scaring them.
‘So here’s the deal’ I said leering at both of them ‘the next time I ask what the rule of 3 is and you can remember it, I will let whoever gets it right the first time pick where we eat’ an idea both of them would love since Sonic is their crack and either way I win.. to which I followed up with..
‘So what’s the rule of 3?’ to which my oldest (who is somewhat of a prodigy)sprang out of her seat and recited every single rule to finish off by saying ‘and 3 seconds if we don’t get to go to Sonic tonight, Daddy!’

As simple as that I created an engine to get them to remember something incredibly important, and created competition to see who’d answer it right the fastest.  Since then, I’ve done this to them with several different survival factoids, and even got them to remember the Mozambique drill.  As a parent you need incentive, competition, and value to teach your children important things, while masking the seriousness of the knowledge.

Teaching Survival While Camping

If the shit were to hit the fan today, do you feel comfortable that your kid(s) would be able to locate potable water that wouldn’t kill them within 3 days?  Hell, I know it’s a very cryptic thing to say but about 99.9% of the children I’ve been in contact with through social and work acquaintances will not survive outside 24 hours.  Kids these days simply aren’t taught how to be self sufficient, with their mothers pandering to their every need, and their fathers either completely checked out or too scared (and prideful) to discipline their children in fear of turning out like their old man.  Tough cookies, the kids aren’t going to be alright and they need to be taught to survive!

Luckily, water is one of the easier things to teach a kid about.  If you’re not camping with your kids at least once a month you’re already failing them, because camping is where you can teach the basics of survival like finding potable water, filtering water, and etc.  Get out of the house and go camping!  And yes, I do know for some people it’s pretty hard to do, especially in mid-western desert areas like Southern Nevada, but you must find time.

The first two or three times I took my girls camping I made sure to show them how to do everything I was doing.  While I taught them I made sure to say ‘One time when we go camping I’m going to let you two do it, and if you can do it without my help we’ll go to Target and get you a new Barbie’ (yes I bribe my children all the time). The very simple things I taught them included;

  • finding a suitable campsite
  • finding potable water
  • setting up the tent
  • digging latrines
  • making a water filter
  • fire starting methods

Like all things with children you have to be patient and understanding.  Be meticulous in your explanation, while not being so insufferably boring you lose their attention.  Kids dig positive enforcement and momentum, so when you explain things you have to sound motivated and excited.  And for the love of god don’t scorn them for not getting it right the first time, they’re kids!

Teaching your Kids Shelter Building

The coolest thing about teaching your kids about building shelter is it’s not too far outside the realm of normal behavior for kids.  When I was a kid we’d go into the Kentucky backwoods (i.e. the backyard) and build forts every weekend.  You don’t have to go camping to teach your kids shelter building if you live in a wooded rural area.  Take your kids out back every weekend and teach them the basics of a good shelter; compact, off the ground, well insulated, waterproof thatching, and how to use local foliage.

Just like everything else, you can make shelter building into a competition with rewards and incentive, whoever gets theirs built first or is the most sturdy wins ‘fill in the blank’.  As long as your kids think it’s a game and not a chore they’ll always want to build a shelter faster and more sturdy then before.  Does this mean you can point at the woods and say ‘Go build’, grunt, and walk away?  Absolutely not!  This activity, like all others in this guide should be done as a family, and not an excuse for you to go drink a six-pack and watch the game by yourself.  Come on guys..

Hunting and Fishing

Fishing has been around since man’s been on two feet.  Try to make camping a regular activity for your family, teaching your kids the many techniques of fishing; netting, lures and bobbers, spearfishing, angling, and etc.  Keep in mind, death is a touchy subject to kids and should be explained in a very black and white way.  Don’t beat around the bush.  Explain to your kids that for us to live we have to eat animals, bla, bla, bla.  They always understand, and when they catch their first fish they’ll understand the great cycle even more when you have them gut it.  No matter how touchy the subject, they have to learn how life works.

By now your kids should know the basic firearm safety, and should be able to get some decent groupings with a little 22 rifle.  If you feel your kid(s) are responsible enough to go hunting then by all means you should start taking them with you to hunt; deer, turkey, small game, and etc.  Teaching your kids how to track game, hunt, field dress, and cook their kill is probably one of the most useful skills you are going to teach them out of everything else.

Kids and Preparedness

Preparedness is often over-complicated by people like us, because we want to be perfect preppers, developing strategies and preparing for any possibility.  We want to have a plan for everything! Hell, I’m sure some of you even have a contingency plan for when Earth is invaded by cannibal aliens from outer space.  Right?  Kids don’t need to know all that shit.  A simple ‘we are preparing for an emergency’ explanation will suffice.  Teaching your kids preparedness will instill values that will help throughout their adult life.

  • Tell your kids about the four pillars of preparedness; water, food, energy, and finances.  Have your kids pick the items they want in their bug out bag, and why those items are good to have and not good to have
  • Teach your kids about money, precious metals, the importance of wealth, and for God’s sake, please teach your kids how to balance a damn checkbook
  • Have your kids store water in food in their closets letting them pick the food they want so they don’t end up with a closet full of Cheerios when they’d prefer Frosted Flakes

In closing…

As parents we have a lot of responsibilities.  We have to wake our offspring up at the crack of dawn, feed them something nutritious, slap pseudo-matching clothes on them, while making sure they are at somewhat presentable to the world, and that’s just the beginning.  We have to make sure they come out decent human beings, lest the world think what savages we must have created.  But out of all the things the world thinks we should teach them, teaching them to be able to survive anything is the greatest gift we can give our children, so when the world goes to shit it is they who will inherit the world, and hopefully make it a better place, getting right what we got wrong…

Survival Bunkers

Recently I saw a show called Extreme Survival Bunkers on TV that got me to thinking. The show detailed several different people and their plans for building bunkers to ride out any mass casualty or TEOTWAWKI events.  If you’re looking for an hour of fairly entertaining television then I would highly recommend it.  If you’re looking for advice on how to Prudently and Reasonable Prepare then I would probably not recommend bothering to take notes…

Recently I saw a show called Extreme Survival Bunkers on TV that got me tothinking. The show detailed several different people and their plans for building bunkers to ride out any mass casualty or TEOTWAWKI events.  If you’re looking for an hour of fairly entertaining television then I would highly recommend it.  If you’re looking for advice on how to Prudently and Reasonable Prepare then I would probably not recommend bothering to take notes…

The concept behind large underground bunkers like the ones detailed in the show is to securely house and provide for multiple people or even multiple families for a period of months or years.  The bunkers highlighted cost between a couple hundred thousand dollars up into the millions.  Two of the manufacturers are Vivos and Rising S Company.  Check out their websites, the bunkers they build are definitely cool.

But what exactly are you preparing for with this type of shelter?  I’m perfectly fine with building a storm shelter if you live in an area of the country that is prone to hurricanes or tornadoes.  I believe that to be a Prudent and Reasonable way to Prepare for a likely event.  But a long term survival bunker is something you would build if you were preparing for mass extinction events like nuclear war, EMP, global pandemic, catastrophic meteor strikes, or super-volcanic eruption.  And, while I did just list five events right off the top of my head that would leave anyone wishing for access to a bunker, they are still five very very unlikely events.

I prefer to prepare for more likely events that may affect a region of the country and could require a person to be self sufficient for a period of time, but which will pass.  Disasters like this happen every year multiple times in this country alone.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, power outages, tornadoes, etc…  We see these disasters strike every year and they are what I choose to spend my money and time preparing for and defending against.  Not an end of the world scenario that is a) extremely unlikely and b) even if it were to happen unlikely to leave me able to reach my bunker anyhow.

Some of the bunkers featured looked to be on their owners immediate property.  A small underground shelter like this that could be accessed quickly in the event of emergency would actually be pretty cool.  Especially if you live in an area often hit with tornadoes or hurricanes.

Some of the other bunkers appeared to be in remote locations (one of them in an old missile silo) and was set up more like a giant apartment complex.  How would one even expect to get to this bunker in an emergency?  And who are your new neighbors if you do all make it?  I don’t even like sharing a table at Beni Hana’s, I can’t imagine living underground with a few hundred strangers for a year or two.

I guess you could build your own large underground bunker and live there full-time, they certainly make them big enough.  But seriously, that’s the life you want?  I’m not too interested in living underground when I could be up enjoying the sunshine.  I’m even less interested in finding out what life looks like a year or two after a mass extinction event.  Every scenario I can think of looks pretty grim.

So, while I would probably have a small shelter set up if I had unlimited cash I doubt I would go for the bigtime “stay underground for years” type bunker.  I’m just too claustrophobic.  I’ll take my chances with the zombies, thank you very much…

Antibiotics for Survival

Expanded list of natural antibiotics for survival times

Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ” — Hippocrates.

An antibiotic is a medicine that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms. It
can be topical or taken internally. Stop poisoning your body with man made chemical
antibiotics. Instead trust nature, and let food by thy antibiotic!

antibotics-for-survival

Expanded list of natural antibiotics for survival times

Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ” — Hippocrates.

An antibiotic is a medicine that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms. It
can be topical or taken internally. Stop poisoning your body with man made chemical
antibiotics. Instead trust nature, and let food by thy antibiotic!

The survival antibiotics most overlooked by preppers? The ones from nature!
Hippocrates was correct that food has healing powers and stimulate the body’s
immune function. Fruits rich in Vitamin C, such as strawberries, pineapples,
cantaloupes, watermelon, oranges, lemons and limes, for example, can help reduce
incident of infection by stimulating your own body’s immune function. Vegetables rich
in Vitamin C include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. They are equally
powerful foods to heal the body naturally.

The Hippocratic oath includes this important sentence: “With regard to healing the
sick, I will devise and order for them the best diet, according to my judgment and
means; and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.” This is an important
sentence. The message is clear about doing no harm. If you listen to advertisements
for prescriptions medicines you will hear an alarming list of side effects. The side
effects for prescriptive antibiotics include vomiting, severe diarrhea and abdominal
cramps, vaginal itching or discharge, white patches on the tongue, shortness of
breath, hives, swelling of lips, face, or tongue, fainting and rash.

Why would anyone succumb their body to such torture when nature is all the
medicine a sick body needs, and is virtually free of symptoms?

Indeed, nature offers a powerful prescription! Let’s take a closer look.

List of Most Powerful Natural Antibiotics for Survival
Take a closer look at natural antibiotics for survival because antibiotics may not be
available when you need them most. Natural antibiotics can be your first line of
defense (before going to the doctor for antibiotic drugs).  Natural antibiotics can help
you with sinus infections and colds, sore throats, urinary tract infections and
ordinary cuts and scrapes. You need only have the knowledge of the right natural
antibiotics.

Nineteen Natural Antibiotics
Let the healing begin! This top list of powerful antibiotics don’t require a prescription:

Natural Antibiotic #1: Apple Cider Vinegar.
Apple Cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic. Further weight loss,
arthritis, cholesterol, skin disorders, sinuses, anti-aging and much more. ACV is a
great detox for the body and can also be used as an astringent topically.

Natural Antibiotics #2: Andrographis to help with upper respiratory
infections.

Many preppers have not heard of andrographis. Grown in India and Sri Lanka,
Andrographis is a powerful anti-inflammatory to help you fight respiratory infections.
This powerful anti-inflammatory that’s a popular traditional Chinese herb.
Andrographis supports healthy digestive, cardiovascular, and urinary systems. For
an upper respiratory infection make andrographis tea.

  • Recipe for Andrographis Tea: Make a tea by using one tablespoon of the
    herb into hot water. Drink this tea three or four times a day. It’s rather strong, 
    but well worth the benefits. If you can’t muster the tea,  then get the capsule
    form!
  • Andrographis tablets: Andrographis Extract  in Nature’s Way, pictured right, is
    standardized to 10% andrographolides to support healthy immunity. Take 1
    capsule 2 times daily with water.

Natural Antibiotic #3: Cinnamon and Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil.  
Cinnamon is a natural antibiotic alternative that helps regulate insulin levels in the
body. Cinnamon helps repel insects too! Cinnamon leaf essential has a warm, spicy
and clove-like smell.

Cinnamon Leaf Oil (distinctly different from Cassia) is extremely effective against anti-
biotic resistant bacteria, which makes a powerful food safe nontoxic disinfectant to
disinfect Kitchen cupboards, inside refrigerators and toys. Cinnamon Leaf Oil
promotes circulation, helping to alleviate aches and pains. As well, Cinnamon Leaf oil
builds and maintains a healthy immune system and has long been used to flavor
food and for its internal health benefits.

Natural Antibiotic #4: Cloves and Clove Essential Oil.
As an antibiotic, Clove Essential Oil is a botanical alternative worth considering. It’s
an active ingredient in Fresh green black walnut wormwood complex, which helps
treat parasites. Cloves were precious in 16th and 17th century Europe, worth more
than its weight in gold for its medicinal properties. Avoid during pregnancy.

Natural Antibiotic #5: Coconut oil.
Prepper’s love multi-functional preps and coconut oil is one of them.Coconut oil is a
heat stable food that provides fast energy among many other useful properties,
including as a cosmetic. You can apply coconut oil directly to the skin!  It’s the lauric
acid in coconut oil that turn into an antibioitic.

Natural Antibiotic #6: Echinacea.
Echinacea purpurea is stem leaf flower, which has been clinically shown to support
the immune system. Echinacea is most effective at the very onset of a cold of flu. It
has the proven ability to increase white blood cell count, but it is a stimulant.

Natural Antibiotic #7: Frankincense (Botswellia serrata).
Frankincense has been used to treat inflammatory diseases for the centuries.
Boswellic acids from Frankincense are compounds isolated from the gum resin of the
Boswellia serrata plant. Frankincnese Essential Oil has a rich woody, earthy scent
with a deeply mysterious nuance dating back to biblical times. Frankincense also can
help aid with cancer according to Dr. Axe who also proclaims that food is medicine!

Natural Antibiotic #8: Garlic, Chives, Leeks and Onions.
Raw garlic is an antibiotic, antiviral and a fungicide. Not only will you keep those
vampires away, but raw garlic will help you overcome colds and flu and is used as a
cancer prevention food. Garlic has sulfur compounds which are beneficial to the
cardiovascular system to maintain cholesterol. In the same family for consideration
also are chives, leeks and onions.

Natural Antibiotics #9: Goldenseal.
Golden Seal is an ideal botanical option for antibiotics. Goldenseal prevents bacteria
from adhering to cell walls.  Used as a treatment for irritations and inflammation of
the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts, Goldenseal
is ideal to for preppers to stock for many other reasons. Because of its anti-microbial
activity, goldenseal has a long history of use during the winter season and is often
used in combination with Echinacea.

  • Recipe for Sore Throat Gargle with GoldensealMake a gargle from
    Goldenseal PowderStart with a pinch of salt with half a teaspoon golden seal
    powder. Mix in the glass then gargle and spit. Do this three or four times a
    day. Do not take longer than two weeksRight, is Smallflower, Goldenseal
    root powder (one ounce of loose herbs). Smallflower is packaged in old world
    apothecary style, air tight brown paper canisters to keep light and moisture
    out, and freshness in. Use in teas, tinctures, and elixirs. See also, Frontier
    organic Goldenseal powder, right for your bulk use of goldenseal.
  • Read more about the immune boosting powers of Golden Seal. Golden seal
    may be applied topically on dry wounds to speed healing!For many centuries, 
    people from all over the globe have found fresh herbs to be a gentle yet
    effective health-enhancing blessing. The goldenseal herb has properties that
    stimulate appetite, aid digestion, often increase the production of bile and
    cure digestive problems, in addition to its antibiotic properties.

Natural Antibiotic #10: Grapefruit seed extract.
Grapefruit Seed Liquid Extract is a versatile natural oil known to have antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. There are many tablets on the market,
which you can take for anti-bacterial/anti-fungal maintenance. Grapefruit seed
extract helps keep the beneficial Flora.

Natural Antibiotics #11: Honey (Specifically, Manuka Honey to help
heal cuts and scrapes).

Many preppers believe ordinary honey will do the trick, but really you must choose
only honey, which comes from the Manuka tree in New Zealand!

Manuka honey has a stronger antibiotic component to it than ordinary honey. (Use a
tablespoon of Manuka honey and apply it topically three times a day). Be sure also
to look for the pre-made bandage with Manuka honey.

Natural Antibiotic #12: Lemon Eucalyptus Oil.
With it’s strong and woodsy aroma, Eucalyptus oil, is a treatment for skin ailments
such as burns, blisters, wounds, insect bites, lice and skin infections. Historically
Lemon Eucalyptus oil has helped combat the effects of colds and the flu, making
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil a fine addition to the list of pandemic preparedness and
supplies. It also has been used for over 100 years to combat sinus issues. Common
uses also include arthritis, bronchitis, poor circulation, and sinusitis.

Natural Antibiotic Food #13: Limes and Lemons.
Both lemons and limes contain flavonoids, which have antibiotic effects. Lime juice is
also effective against Cholera.

  • Grow lemons for survival.
  • Lemons can help soothe a mosquito bite!

Natural Antibiotic #14: Oil of Oregano.
Oregano oil has proven antibacterial qualitites according to a study published by the
JMM (Journal of Medical Microbiology).

Known to support digestive, respiratory and joint health, an active ingredient in Oil
of Oregano is carvacrol. According to Dr. Oz, “Oil of oregano, which is distilled from
the flowers and leaves of the oregano plant, could be one of nature’s most powerful
antibiotics. “Its ingredient, carvacro, may provide support to the immune system and
it also inhibits the growth of bacteria.”

Natural Antibiotic #15: Olive Leaf.
Olive Leaf was used by the Egyptians and written about by Hippocrates! Pictured
right, Barlean’s Olive Leaf Complex is an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal. It’s a
powerful antioxidant that can help give support to the healthy immune system,
cardiovascular system, and joints. Olive leaf features a natural antioxidant
(oleuropein), which neutralizes harmful free-radicals to bolster immune function.

Natural Antibiotic #16: Peppermint Oil.
Sure peppermint oil is revitalizing, invigorating, and cooling when applied topically as
aromatherapy, but Peppermint Oil aids with digestive problems (including irritable
bowel syndrome). It freshens your breath as well, which is why it’s an active
ingredient in many mouthwashes. Peppermint Oil has antibiotic properties, which is
another reason its often included in mouthwash and toothpaste, thanks the menthol
which is an organic compound of the peppermint plant. In addition to combating
stomach ailments, peppermint oil helps bruises heal more rapidly and soothes sore
joints. As an extra measure of natural goodness, perppermint is an antibacterial, as
well. Avoid Essential Oil of Peppermint during pregnancy (and keep out of eyes)!

Natural Antibiotic #17: Pau D’arco.
Not often talked about in prepper circles when it comes to botanical antibiotic
alternatives, is Pau D’arco. Pictured immediate right, Pau D’arco has a long history of
use in traditional cultures as a blood cleanser. This botanical from the rain forest
boosts your body’s defenses at the cellular level.

Natural Antibiotic #18: Tea Tree Oil.
Preppers are discovering the power of tea tree oil,  particularly in the realm of first
aid, but there is so much more tea tree oil can do for preppers! Indeed tea tree oil is
well loved in the medicine cabinet by preppers for dealing with everything from cuts,
abrasions sun burns and sprains to rashes, tick and chiggar bites and even tonsilitis!

From personal hygiene, to first aid and pet care, tea tree oil is extremely beneficial
for preppers. Tea tree oil offers a variety of cosmetic benefits, including clearing up
acne, blackheads and blemishes, as well as eliminating body odor, dandruff and
even bad breath. Tea tree oil is a natural and safe disinfectant! Preppers are also
discovering benefits in fighting mold, and helping relieve bacterial and viral infections.

Read more about the beneficial uses of tea tree oil and its significance to preppers.

Natural Antibiotic #19: Thyme oil.  
According to an abstract published by the U.S.National Library of Medicine National
Institutes of Health, “Thyme Oil demonstrated a good efficacy against antibiotics
resistant strains of the tested bacteria.”

BONUS Natural Antibiotics #20: Silver (Colloidal and NanoSilver).
Silver is an ancient remedy worthy of consideration. Colloidal silver was mainstream
medicine in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was replaced by man made antibiotics!

A natural and powerful antibiotic, colloidal silver works as a catalyst to disable
bacteria, fungus and viruses. Colloidal silver was first discovered in the early 1900s
by Alfread Searle who found it could kills the most deadly pathogens.

For Ebola prevention, choose 10ppm: as with Silver Biotics, which can supercharge
your family’s immune systems. Free of artificial ingredients, preservatives or
additives, Silver Biotics supports the immune system with 10 parts per million
beneficial silver. Dr. Rima Laibow says it’s a nutrient effective in neutralizing Ebola.
(She is referring to Nanosilver 10 parts per million)! The declassified research in
2009 from the Department of Defense shows that NanoSilver 10ppm (not to be
confused with Colloidal Silver) inactivates and neutralizes the Ebola virus.
There are many natural, botanical antibiotic alternatives to find in the natural food
stores or search easily online. Please tell us what you find!

Extensive list of Natural Antibiotics:
While the above list is a good start, below you’ll find an extensive list of more
natural antibiotics:

  1. Acacia
  2. Aloe
  3. Andrographis, listed above
  4. Bergamot (natura al polyphenolic antioxidant free radical scavenger)
  5. Cabbage
  6. Collodial Silver, listed above
  7. Echinacea
  8. Eucalyptus (see also lemon eucalyptus, which is not the same)
  9. Garlic, listed above
  10. Ginger
  11. Goldenseal, listed above
  12. Grapefruit Seed Extract, listed above
  13. Horseradish
  14. Honey
  15. Lavender Esstential Oil
  16. Lemon Eucaylptus Oil
  17. Licorice
  18. Olive Leaf, listed above
  19. Oil of Oregano, listed above
  20. Myrhh
  21. Pau D’arco, listed above
  22. Sage
  23. Tea Tree Oil
  24. Thyme Oil, listed above
  25. Turmeric
  26. Wooly Lamb’s Ear
  27. Wormwood, excellent for parasite cleansing.

How to Survive in a world without antibiotic prescriptions
Antibiotics, which surfaced for medical use in the 1950s, kill or inhibit the growth of
microorganisms — they are directly lethal to bacteria  and have no effect on viruses)!

Available topically or orally, antibiotics have been helping mankind win the war
against bacteria and live to tell about it. Penicillin was the first natural oral antibiotic
discovered for medicinal purposes, but there are many natural alternatives.
While the natural antibiotics are a viable option, storing antibiotics intended for
animals, because they don’t require a prescription is a common prepper practice.

Fish antibiotics, like FishMox, is a common prepper survival tactic and well worth
considering. Mind you, it’s difficult to find and not always available in pet stores, nor
on Amazon, but if you can find it, then get some! Consult your doctor about FishMox,
which is the same amoxicillin prescribed for humans, to see if this is right for you and
your family. This antibiotic intended for fish may be the only antibiotic available in
uncertain times when a doctor is not available.

  • Doctor Bones and Nurse Amy recommend botanical antibiotic alternatives, 
    such as cayenne, eucalyptus oil, honey, thyme oil, peppermint oil, garlic oil, as
    well as fresh garlic and ginger. As well, they advise use of Fish antibiotics.
  • Read the Survival Blog: Veterinarians perspective on Prepper Medicine.
  • See this testimonial from a Doomsday Prepper who advocates pet medicine use.
  • NOTE: Always consult a physician for a proper human prescription as you may
    have a sever allergic reaction. Prior to ever needing this medication, consult
    your doctor on the proper dosage, should you ever need it when he or she is
    not around for a prescription
  • Patriot Nurse Recommended Antibiotics:
  1. Zithromax
  2. Ampicillin
  3. Cipro
  4. Amoxicillin
  5. Doxycycline
  • (Additionally she recommends clindamycin, Flagyl and Bactrim).
  • Equivalent antibiotics available for fish, popular with preppers:
  1. Fish Flex (Cephalexin)*
  2. FishMox Fort (Amoxicillin)*
  3. Fish Pen (Penicillin)*

While antibiotics have had a role in modern medicine, considering the long list of side
effects from prescription drugs, isn’t it wise to consider first the natural antibiotic
alternatives?

Grow your own Medicinal Herbs:
What will you discover in Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs book, a beginners
guide? Bring herbs into your life! Learn to make an aloe lotion soothes poison ivy,
dandelion-burdock tincture for sluggish digestion, and lavender-lemon balm tea for
stress relief. Pair this guidebook with the Medicinal Herb Garden in a can, also
pictured left. Soon you will enjoy.

  • Cayenne, the most widely regarded as a circulatory stimulant said to
    strengthen the heart and blood vessels while promoting increased vitality.
  • Borage, effective against weak or diminished adrenal function, inflammation, 
    sore and inflamed eyes, colds, bronchitis, congestion, and fever.
  • Pleurisy root, used by Native Americans, has been used in the treatment of
    diarrhea, dysentery, chronic rheumatism, and as an expectorant
  • Nettle treats asthma as well as cold and allergy relief when steeped as a tea.
  • Skullcap treats insomnia and is a headache remedy.
  • Culver’s root treats liver and gallbladder disorders.
  • Hyssop leaves have been brewed into a tea to soothing properties for colds, 
    flus, sore throat, bruises and burns!
  • Lemon balm is a known folk remedy used as an anti-viral agent.
  • Lavender has a multitude of uses for preppers.

What’s the Difference between Antiseptics, Antibacterials and
Antibiotics and Disinfectants?

  • Antibacterial: apply to skin! An antibacterial is anything that is active against
    bacteria.  Saliva has natural antibacterial properties, which is why wound in
    your mouth heal quickly, so your instinct to lick a wound is actually a good
    thing! Antiseptics go a step further.
  • Antiseptics: apply to the skin to prevent the growth and reproduction of
    disease-causing microorganisms. An antiseptic is gentler than a disinfectant, 
    because its applied to living tissue. The microorganisms an antiseptic deters
    include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses! Believe it or not, some mouthwash is an antiseptic. Mouthwash antiseptics include ingredients such
    as cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine (available by prescription from your
    Dentist), or zinc chloride.
  • Antibiotics. An agent that kills or inhibits the growth of a microorganism 
    applied topically or orally. Antibiotics are transported… used in or on the body
    to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms. Antibiotics have no effect on
    viruses.
  • Disinfectants: apply to surfaces (not skin). A disinfectant is a chemical liquid
    that destroys bacteria. A disinfectant is stronger than an antiseptic. It kills 
    bacteria, and also viruses and fungi.

When there is no doctor, preppers will need to be creative about their medical
supplies. Following is a list of antibacterials and disinfectants to consider stocking.
Many have uses beyond their wound cleansing properties.

Happy endings…
Survival antibiotics  often overlooked by preppers, come from nature. This earth is
complete with natural remedies. Look to nature to heal. Nature is happy to be your
medicine doctor! Below you will find some related articles to help you in your quest
for natural healing.

In case of apocalypse, here’s how to make penicillin in your kitchen

What’s rotting in your kitchen right now? How about we grab it, and make life-saving antibiotics with it? We’ll take you through the steps, and you’ll be prepared if the world ends by Sunday.

acocalypse-to-make-pencillin

Penicillin, the most famous antibiotic of all time, has saved millions of lives. And it’s quietly lurking in your kitchen right now. If you have that moldy piece of bread in a bag at the back of the fridge, or a rotting cantaloupe or orange in the crisper, you’re most likely growing penicillin by accident. In fact, penicillin’s whole discovery hinged on the fact that it was easy to grow accidentally.

The Accidental History of Penicillin

acocalypse-to-make-pencillin-2

Infection has always been a killer, and while soap and water could prevent it externally, when it went internal humans were often helpless. Any anti-bacterial agent injected into the body would kill a person more quickly than the infection would. Then Alexander Fleming had the nasal drip felt round the world. He was working with a plate of bacteria when his nose dripped into them. The bacteria around the dripping died off, and he was encouraged by the idea that the body could tolerate internally a substance that could fight off bacteria.

Fleming’s next stroke of luck came when he lost his assistant. When dishes of bacteria were no longer useful, they were put in a sort of tub of bleach. Without his assistant, Fleming’s dirty dishes formed towers in the tub. The highest dishes sat well above bleach, and remained filthy. They grew even filthier when mold which had floated up from the lab downstairs started growing on them. And then they stopped being as filthy, when the mold, one of the many types of penicillium fungi, killed off the bacteria.

That was all the luck Fleming got. It took years to find a way to cultivate the right strain of penicillium, and to extract the right parts of it to make penicillin.

acocalypse-to-make-pencillin-3

How to Make Your Own Penicillin

The strains that we have are from the mold grown on a cantaloupe in the 1940s, so you can grab some cantaloupe if you’re feeling like a traditionalist. Otherwise, a leftover crust of bread or the peel of some citrus fruit will do fine. The mold will start out gray, but as it develops will turn a bright blue-green. Once it gets started, cut the bread up into pieces and put it in a sterilized flask. (You can sterilize a flask by putting it in an oven at 315 degrees for an hour.) Incubate it in the flask for about a week at around seventy degrees.

Some people just stop there. Folk recipes for “penicillin tea” or “penicillin soup” abound, with people just boiling up the molded bread or adding the citrus to tea with honey, and serving it to sick people. (Note: Do not do this.)

If you want to get more involved, you can extract the penicillin by sterilizing yet another jar and, according to the experts, adding the following:

Into 500ml of cold tap water put 44.0 grams Lactose Monohydrate, 25.0 grams cornstarch, 3.0 grams sodium nitrate, 0.25 grams magnesium sulfate, 0.50 grams potassium phosphate mono, 2.75 grams glucose monohydrate, 0.044 grams zinc sulfate, 0.044 grams manganese sulfate. Then add enough cold tap water to make one liter. Use hydrochloric acid to adjust the pH to between 5.0 and 5.5.

Then you add the spores from the moldy bread. Another seven days incubation will leave the penicillin floating in the liquid portion of the results. A quick filter and you have penicillin.

Urgent Medical Disclaimer!

In theory, at least, you have penicillin. I must stress at this point that you should not use this homemade penicillin on any limb that you want to keep. Although you did probably get a lot of penicillium mold growing on the bread, you also got other molds. Even with the right kind of fungi growing, filtering out everything but the penicillin is difficult, and best left to the professionals. Molds make a lot of different things to kill bacteria, and many of them are harmful to humans. While there are plenty of survivalist websites that recommend clapping whatever grows on bread or citrus to your wound, and while that might even be an option sometimes after the world ends, there are better options right now, and you should take advantage of them. If you want to see how well you’ve done making penicillin, try growing a tray of bacteria and using the penicillin on that.